Should Dogs Be Vegans?

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

When I was living in Italy, my dog Robbie developed tummy troubles which were evidenced by very distressing physical symptoms - he had a violent gut ache. It had been the sudden change of food. After spending 6 euros per kilo on some high-quality kibbles, I put both my dogs on a natural plan - boiled beef, rice and/or potatoes/pasta, fresh veggies like carrots - and it was healthier and cheaper. Over time, his tummy troubles subsided and now his diet includes some hypo-allergenic kibbles.

So, let me get on my soap box about giving dogs a vegan or vegetarian diet. There have been studies and articles, for and against, giving dogs vegan/vegetarian diets. I don't believe, subject to some evidence, that veganism is long-term healthy or sustainable for humans - so, why then should I inflict this on my pets?

Homemade vegetarian diets for dogs are risky. A European study of nearly 90 dogs and a study of 86 dogs in found over half deficient in protein, essential amino acids, calcium, zinc and vitamins D and B12. Vegan foods may be even more problematic for dogs.

Consider this: bones (take care what types of bones you feed your pet), raw hide and meat-based chews offer a considerable behavioural benefit to dogs. Chewing can be an immensely satisfying and relaxing experience which can be invaluable to dogs who spend a great deal of time alone.

I'm a vegetarian and as much as I dislike stalking the meat section in the supermarket, I will continue to give my dogs their boiled mince.

Over and out.

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