How to Choose the Best Vegan Dog Food – Dogster

Making your dog vegan is a controversial topic.

But as more humans consider a plant-based lifestyle themselves, it’s becoming a relevant idea for dog parents.

Dr. Ilana Halperin, chief of community medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in Californiasays that since dogs are omnivores, it is possible that a vegan diet contains all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats necessary for proper functioning. Balanced diet.

“But in practice, meeting a dog’s needs for protein, amino acids, and macro- and micronutrients is complex and can be difficult to do well when meat is eliminated from the diet,” she says.

Look for these criteria when purchasing vegan dog food

Dr. Marybeth Minter, who provides nutritional advice at the Mariposa Veterinary Department in Utahsays a growing number of vegan dog food brands are hitting the market.

woman with dog choosing canned goods
As you find more vegan dog food options on pet store aisles, look for brands that perform a full nutritional analysis of the food, which is extremely important when there is no source meat proteins. © JackF/Getty Images

“It’s best not to settle for pure kibble,” she says. “There are some good canned selections on the market. Some formulas contain organic ingredients.

When choosing a vegan dog food, Dr. Halperin suggests following these criteria:

  • Choose a reputable brand that has conducted extensive testing and feeding trials on its finished product.
  • Find a complete and balanced diet that meets Association of American Feed Control Officials(AAFCO) or European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF), and the finished product must meet their nutritional profiles.
  • The pet food company must employ a veterinary nutritionist or a nutritionist with a doctorate in animal nutrition. The diet should be formulated by a veterinary nutritionist trained in pet food formulation or by someone with an advanced degree in animal nutrition.
  • The manufacturer must perform ingredient validation, final dietary nutrient analysis, toxicology, bacteriology, and packaging/shelf life before, during, and after manufacturing.

Try These Vegan Dog Foods

If dog parents are opting for a vegan lifestyle for their pets, what are the options?

These three vegan dog foods meet the expert criteria mentioned above:

  • Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food lends itself well to a vegan diet for dogs as it allows for protein rotation in a nutrient-rich pre-mix. Actually, long-time vegan, actress Alicia Silverstone details on her blog how she prepares her own dogs’ vegan diet with this food. It is a blend of six organic cereals and nine dehydrated vegetables without colorings, chemicals or preservatives. Preparation involves adding hot water, a protein and an oil like olive oil. A 5-pound bag costs $46 and makes 33 1-pound meals.
  • Halo’s Vegan Garden comes in both dry And wet food These are complete and balanced recipes prepared with sustainable, cruelty-free and non-GMO ingredients. Dry food contains prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to help support digestive health. Halo also offers meat-free treats including Peanut & Pumpkin; Sweet potato, carrot and quinoa; Oats and blueberries; and oats, peanut butter and banana. Dry food costs $48.99 for a 10-pound bag and a case of 12 5.5-ounce cans costs $29.99.
  • Tofu and Quinoa Recipe from JustFoodForDogs is made with fresh, whole food and plant-based ingredients including tofu, sweet potatoes, quinoa, kale, white mushrooms, blueberries and nutritional yeast. JustFoodForDogs is a company that has made a name for itself by offering freshly cooked human foods designed for pets. The vegan diet was developed in collaboration with vegan pet nutrition researchers. $79.03 for a small 7.8 pound box.

Do dogs have to be vegan?

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to turn your dog into a plant eater is yours. Many brands are adding vegan lines or are completely vegan. If you decide to try dog ​​food, look for a company that has done their research and also cares about quality ingredients, such as non-GMO and organic.

“If a dog owner is interested in following a vegan diet, I recommend working with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the chosen diet meets the dog’s specific needs and takes into account age, breed, fitness level. activity and any health problems he may live with,” explains Dr. Halperin.

“Many pet owners may be considering vegan diets as a greener or more humane alternative to traditional diets. It’s completely understandable: plant-based diets for humans make a lot of sense when trying to minimize our impact on the environment and animals. However, given the complexity of nutrition and how the needs of dogs differ from those of humans, it may be safer for our pets to find other ways to promote sustainability, such as limiting sources from meat in the diet to sustainably sourced fish or work with a certified veterinary nutritionist to formulate a human-sourced meat diet.


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