Vegan dog food, while once considered to be a passing craze, has gained quite a large following over the past few decades due to several different studies that have shown these diets can benefit many dogs. For example, pet owners who have dogs with meat allergies have turned to vegan dog food in order to get away from the many allergy medications their pets had to take over the years.
Vegan Dog: Can dogs be vegan (or vegetarian)?
You may be wondering if it is even possible for a dog to be vegan. The answer to this is a simple yes. Although it may sound odd, there are dogs who simply do not like the taste of meat. Just as there are people who dislike the taste of a specific food, dogs have different likes and dislikes. In addition, some may be driven by their reactions to foods.
If a dog has an allergic reaction to a specific food that causes it discomfort, it will slowly gain recognition of that connection. This can lead to associated behavior, such as refusing chicken, beef, or whatever item they have learned to be a cause of their suffering. No matter where it is just a quirk in their personality or an associated behavior, it is possible for a dog to be vegan.
Vegan Diet for Dogs: Vegan Dog Food Brands
There are a variety of vegan dog food brands on the market. That number increases each year, as many owners, breeders, and trainers switch to a vegetarian diet for dogs in their care. Some of the most well-known brands are outlined below for your convenience.
Vdog is a company that has proven their dedication to providing outstanding vegan dog food, full of quality ingredients and minimal fillers. This is important, as it means pet owners can rest assured that they are not simply trading off one ingredient base for a host of filler and additives.
Halo Vegan Dog Food
This amazing supplier has created a range of products that are sure to give your vegan dog a great diet to work with. Not only will you be showing your concern for their overall health and well-being, but you’ll also be ensuring they have a solid diet that lacks fillers and other additives. Providing the best is what Halo Vegan Dog Food strives for.
Wysong Vegan Dog Food
Wysong is an American-made Dog and Cat food that provides not only excellent ingredient sourcing, but a high level of protein and fat as well. This, alongside their nutritionally balanced omega-3, anti-oxidants, probiotics and enzymes make the food not only palatable, but easily digestible too.
One of the best features of this outstanding product is that it has been fully endorsed by a variety of veterinarians and almost entirely marketed by them! This means that it has had a great run already among vegan dog diet testers and been shown to work great on its own, or alongside meat as a transitioning food.
Vegetarian Dog Food
Vegetarian dog food is not necessarily a new concept. As previously stated, there are plenty of pet owners who have chosen this route for their pets for a variety of reasons. For example, there are Husky owners who have chosen a vegetarian dog food diet in order to combat chicken allergies.
The same can be said for a variety of diet changes in our pets as we choose to provide them with the best possible care and nutrition for their individual needs. This includes the need to provide either a vegan or vegetarian diet. The two are different, as vegetarian dog foods can contain milk products, whereas vegan dog foods will include only vegetables and grain-derived proteins.
As we realize there will still be those who wonder if this is a natural or particularly healthy dietary choice for their pets, we’d like to remind you that our dogs today are not like the wolves they descended from. Over centuries they have lived at our sides, eating much of the same diet we have. That has created dogs that are omnivorous, rather than carnivorous. They find it much easier to digest vegan and vegetarian diets due to this adaptation.
As to whether it is truly healthy, it actually is. Dogs who are fed a vegetarian diet often live longer, leaner, healthier and more active lives than their meat-eating counterparts. This has been explained in several veterinary articles, as well as why our dogs of today no longer have the same nutritional requirements as their lovely and very wolfish ancestors.
Vegetarian Dog Food Brands
Once you’ve made the decision to start transitioning to a vegetarian diet for dogs in your care, you’ll likely feel a bit overwhelmed when checking out the variety of brands available. Rest assured, no matter which brand you choose, it is not hard to transition your beloved pet to a fully vegan diet. One of the key things to remember is to make the change slowly.
You do this by mixing the new vegan dog food into your dog’s current menu at no more than 10% to start. You can add a bit more every few days, allowing your dog time to adjust to their new diet. Once you’ve fully shifted to the new diet, you will begin to see a distinct difference in their coat, energy, weight management, and overall health.
A few brands are listed below for your convenience, as we’ve found them to be a great choice in transitioning the furry member of your family to a healthier, vegetarian diet for dogs.
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food – This brand has a great balance of proteins, fats, and other essential nutrients that will help to shape your dog’s health one day at a time. By supporting a healthy immune system and aiding in weight management, the brand has helped to bring many dogs back to top health.
- Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe Adult Dog Food – If your dog is experiencing specific dermal problems related to their current diet, then this is certainly a brand you will want to try. By focusing on specific details within your dog’s diet, you can work to improve their health, coat, skin, and resulting behavior that can be attributed to these conditions.
Nature’s Recipe has taken many of the concerns of pet owners and found a great solution for them. Transitioning to the diet is easy and you’ll have the chance to watch your dog’s overall health and wellness improve step-by-step. This has proven to be a great motivator for pet owners and provided a more comfortable, healthy lifestyle for their four-legged family members as well.
- Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food – Purina is well-known for their efforts to provide pets all over the world with outstanding food. Vegetarian dog diets came to their attention far before it was popular and they began researching the best ingredients for their own hypoallergenic alternative.
Starting out by sourcing high-quality ingredients, their team of analysts began to test what the best balance was for each ingredient in order to provide optimal nutrition while attempting to remain hypoallergenic for all dogs. The resulting dog food has shown itself to be a really great alternative diet for dogs and many owners have spoken up to confirm this.
Homemade Vegan Dog Food Recipes
For pet owners who prefer to take a direct hand in their pet’s diet, there are a variety of homemade vegan dog food recipes out there to try. However, it is important to cross-check new recipes to ensure they are the best possible choice for your dog. Whereas some may claim to be great, they may contain ingredients that are not necessarily the best for your dog’s specific nutritional needs.
You can find a variety of recipes that have already proven themselves across the internet, as well as getting suggestions from your preferred veterinary care provider. Be sure to double check each recipe to ensure there are no ingredients that may affect current allergies, as this could cause reactions reminiscent of those you previously experienced with standard dog food.
Vegan Dog Treats
Now that you’ve not only switched your furry friends to a vegan diet, you’ve likely gotten curious about treats. After all, what is the point in changing to a vegan diet for your dog if you are still stuck with the same old treats? However, that need not be the case! There are plenty of great vegan dog treats out there for your beloved furbabies to enjoy.
In addition to purchasing vegan dog treats, you can easily make your own! That’s right, just like creating their kibble, ala carte, you can provide them with great treats, too. Check out the list of commercial treats we have included below for your to enjoy.
- Canine Caviar Vegan Dog Treats – These delicious dried sweet potato treats are a great way to show your pup some love and affection. Don’t forget that you can also create your own vegan dog treats at home once you’ve fully transitioned to a vegan diet for dogs! Although some sources list these as vegetarian treats, they are pure sweet potato, with no wheat, soy, or other gluten allergens either, making them a doubly great treat.
- Halo Healthsome Vegan Biscuits – Halo does a great job of providing pet owners with outstanding products for their equally vegan pets. Their peanut and pumpkin treats are delicious and your dogs will be wagging with delight for days after getting a treat or two for great behavior.
- Sam’s Yams – These healthy vegan dog treats offer your pet a great mix of fruits and veggies to provide them with necessary anti-oxidants, great flavor, and a great immune system boost. With the inclusion of sweet potatoes and kale, your pet also gets a nice boost of fiber, which will aid their digestive system even further.
What’s the Best Vegan Dog Food?
While there are several brands of vegan dog food on the market, we are commonly asked which is the best vegan dog food. The answer to this question lies within your dog. Their specific nutritional needs will help to direct you to the best food for them. This is why we stress so very much that you learn what your pet is allergic to, reacts poorly to in general, and whether they have specific deficiencies that you will need to address.
Once you have taken those steps, you’ll be ready to take a deeper look at each vegan dog food brand and make a solid choice as to which is the best for your dog’s needs. However, if you still wish to have our opinion on the best brands, we’ve listed a few brands below that have received great owner reviews. These are the five top brands in our current list.
- Gather Endless Valley Vegan Dry Dog Food
- Vdog Kinder Kibble Vegan Adult Dry Dog Food
- Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Adult Dry Dog Food
- Wysong Vegan Dry Dog and Cat Food
- PetGuard Organic Vegan Formula Canned Dog Food
Providing your pet with the best possible nutrition is the most important thing you can do for their health and happiness. Once you’ve taken the steps to transition to a healthier diet and provide flavorful and healthy treats, the only thing you have left to do is to enjoy the many years you’ll have together. After all, what good is having a best friend, if you don’t enjoy every day with them?