Many vegan humans want to avoid buying animal products in any aspect of their life, so they begin to wonder about how to make or buy vegan dog food for their pet.
Dogs can be healthy and happy on a vegan diet, but it needs to be done in a way that meets your dogs nutritional needs. You need to know which plants dogs can and can’t eat safely, and you must get the right balance of vitamins and nutrients in your dogs diet.
Can a dog be vegan?
Dogs are omnivores and can stay healthy and happy eating a vegan diet. HOWEVER, it is important to get the right balance of food, so if a dog is fed plants only, it should have a quality commercial vegan dog food, or a diet designed and supervised by a vet.
You can begin your dog on a vegan diet as a puppy or at a later stage of life. If you want to transition your dog to a vegan diet, the trick is to do so slowly. Start adding a small amount of veggies and vegan dog food into the food it’s used to eating. Slowly over a number of weeks, increase the proportion of vegan ingredients.
About vegan dog food
To ensure your dog is healthy and happy you need to ensure your vegan dog food is balanced and doesn’t contain any dangerous ingredients. There are certain plants that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic, onion, broccoli, peaches, plums, persimmons, grapes, raisin and avocados.
Plants that dogs CAN eat include bananas, apples, oranges, watermelon, rice and lentils. Take out any fruit seeds first. Raw vegetables should be grated or chopped with a food processor to ensure they are digestible for your dog. Suitable vegetables can be cooked beforehand, but dogs that ONLY eat cooked or processed food will benefit from digestive enzymes added to their food.
But it’s not as simple as feeding dogs any old mix of acceptable foods. You need to ensure your dog gets the right nutritional balance. If a dog eats too little of certain nutrients, such as calcium, protein or vitamin D, his health can suffer. If you’re planning to make home-made dog food you should only do so in consultation with your vet, to ensure you’re getting all the right nutrition in there. You may also need extra dog vitamin supplements in addition to preparing homemade dog food recipes.
To make it easier to get the right balance of nutrition in your dog’s diet, you might prefer to get a commercially made plant based dog food. These are specially formulated to contain all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, while avoiding the plants that are toxic to dogs.
Traditional dog food is often made with low quality meat, and most certainly has no concern for cruelty-free processes. Just like for humans, eating low quality meat is associated with various chronic diseases in dogs.
Our picks – Best vegan dog food brands
V-dog is a superior quality vegan dog food brand that uses human grade quality products. Its 100% plant based recipe is made in the US and includes nutritious ingredients without any nasty or cheap fillers. Not only does it avoid meat and other animal products, but it also leaves out wheat, corn, soy, gluten, and other nasty fillers. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the best quality, cruelty-free food for their pet, and is especially good for pets that have food intolerance, allergies or other health issues.
Kinderkibble contains 24% plant-based protein, and is expertly balanced with all the vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids your dog needs for great health. It contains a complex mix of many healthy, dog-friendly plants such as peas, brown rice, lentils, peanuts, quinoa, millet, cranberries and blueberries, as well as plant derived sources of the necessary vitamins and minerals. It can be fed to your dog either wet or dry.
This is the healthiest vegan dog food on the market and will help your dog thrive while also being good for the planet, other animals and your conscience! It is a top selling product on Amazon, and after more than 100 reviews is rated with 4.5 stars. It’s available with free shipping and you can even set up a recurring delivery to make sure you always have the supply you need. V-dog also makes a good vegan dog treat to counter bad dog breath.
This is a great value bulk dog food buy for dogs on a plant based diet. While the package clearly uses the word vegetarian, all over it, it is ALSO vegan. It provides the same essential nutrients found in diets with meat as the primary protein source, but it is made with no animal or dairy products. It has a formula carefully calculated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile for adult dogs. It includes quality ingredients such as brown rice, oatmeal, barley, vegetables and plant derived vitamins and nutrients.
It is suitable for all breeds of adult dogs. This is a dry dog food formula, but Natural Balance also make a wet vegan dog food that is very popular.
Best vegan dog treats
These “vegan dog bones” are are a tasty treat your dog will love and also help your dogs dental hygiene! They come in 2 different sizes: The regular pack contains 6 “bones”, each 4″ long, and the minis contain 10 “bones” of 3″ length. They are 100% plant based and contain healthy ingredients like brown rice, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and greens. They have a pleasant cinnamon scent to keep your dog’s breath fresh.
These are a very highly rated product on Amazon, averaging 4.5 stars from many reviews. The bottom line is, dogs love them, and if you can afford them, these are a fantastic product.
V-dog is a superior quality vegan dog food brand that uses human grade quality products and is made in the US. Not only does it avoid meat and other animal products, but it also leaves out wheat, corn, soy, gluten, and other nasty fillers. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the best quality, cruelty-free products for their pet, and is especially good for pets that have food intolerance, allergies or other health issues.
About Vegan Dog Vitamins
While dogs can survive on a meatless diet, for them to really thrive you need to take care they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. Recommended micro-nutrients include arginine, vitamins A, B6 and B12, Calcium, Iron, Lysine, Methionine, Zinc and Tryptophan. Other nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids, probiotics and a range of minerals will also help to improve your dogs diet.
Best Vegan Dog Supplement
I find a powder supplement works better than trying to get my dog to chew tablets. That’s one reason I like this multivitamin powder product from Dog Greens, which can be stirred into home made vegan dog food, or store bought dog kibble.
The 100% vegan ingredients (all organic and wild harvested) are: spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass, kelp and Irish moss. The product is safe for dogs and cats (and even humans) of all ages. However, cats will need extra nutrition if on a vegan diet as it doesn’t contain all the nutrients they need.
In terms of micro-nutrients, this covers: Coenzyme Q10, Omega 3 fatty acid, GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), Mucopoly saccharides, Nucleic acids, Chlorophyll and Xanthopyll, Alpha-linolenic, SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase), B vitamins including B12, pantothenic acid, choline, folic acid, Vitamin A (beta carotene), C, D, E, F, K and more. It also includes numerous minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iodine, selenium, silicon, silver, sulfur, iron, boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, germanium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel and vanadium.
This should provide your dog with all the vitamins and minerals they need to live a long healthy life, and comes from a nutritious, whole food source. They also claim the product will help rebuild flora that has been lost in your dog’s intestines due to poor nutrition and pharmaceutical drugs including antibiotics.
Best Vegan Probiotic for Dogs
Probiotics are good bacteria & yeast that function internally to encourage healthy digestion and immunity. Giving your dog a probiotic helps support its digestive and gut health which has benefits for immunity, improved mood, greater energy and healthier skin. They can help ease symptoms of digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion.
The Pristine Foods product is a human grade vegan probiotic which is sold on Amazon marketed for dogs and other pets too. They contain 100% all natural non-gmo ingredients and are made in the USA.
Each bottle contains 30 capsules, each containing 13 unique strains of helpful bacteria and more than 50 billion CFUs. (CFUs = colony forming units = the standard measurement for a probiotics potency) .
Recommended source of Omega 6 and Omega 3
Hemp oil is a great way to add Omega-6 and Omega-3 to your vegan dog’s diet. Nutiva’s Hemp Oil is a human grade product and is also suitable for your pet. It is cold-pressed from raw shelled hempseed and provides a perfect balance of Omega-3, Omega-6 and GLA/SDA fatty acids. Unlike flaxseed oil, hemp oil has the ideal 3:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
Stir a spoonful of this in to your dogs wet or home-cooked food (and add a spoonful to your own smoothies and salad dressings to boost your own health too).