We have seen a number of dog owners asking various questions about turning their dog into either a vegetarian or a vegan. Unlike cats, the biology of dogs is able to survive on a vegetarian based diet without any major threats to their health. In this article, we will be taking a look at how to make your dog vegetarian or vegan.
We will be covering various food types both commercial and homemade that you are able to feed your dog. We will also take a look at information on why dogs can live on vegetable-based diets without risk.
How To Make Your Dog Vegetarian
Although dogs possess characteristics of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores they can live on vegetables. That said, you have to pay close attention to the vitamins, mineral, and amino acid content of the diet. This is why we recommend a specialized commercial vegetarian or vegan dog food for this rather than a homemade solution.
That said, there are some specific fruits, and vegetables that dogs can and cant eat.
Dogs Can Eat
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green beans
- Sweet Potatoes
Dogs Can Eat
You are able to start mixing in fruits and vegetables in your dog’s diet at any time. We recommend that you gradually transition your dog from its current food to a vegetable based on over time though. This helps your dog’s digestive system adjust to the new diet and makes the process much easier.
To transition your dog from its current food we suggest you start with a 75/25 mix. This will allow your dog to gradually get used to the new flavors while allowing its gut bacteria to adjust accordingly. This ratio can last anywhere from one day to one week.
Next, increase the mix to a 50/50 split of 50% current food and 50% of the new food. Again, this ratio can last between one day and around a week. Next, go to a 25/75 ratio and leave your dog to adjust before finally going 100% with the new food. All in all, this can take between a week and a month if done right.
The Best Vegetarian And Vegan Dog Food Brands On The Market
It contains the exact same essential nutrients found in traditional meat-based foods as well as similar protein levels. All protein is sourced from organic ethical vegan sources that are packed with vitamins and minerals.
It contains premium carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, potatoes, green peas, and oatmeal. Each ingredient has been tested to ensure it is easy for your dog to digest to avoid digestive problems. Green peas are also an excellent vegan-friendly source of protein in the food mix.
Natural Balance carries out nine different safety tests on their food mix before shipping it to market so you can rest assured the food is safe.
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The Best Vegetarian And Vegan Puppy Food
As most vegetarian/vegan dog foods specifically state their product is not recommended for dogs under six months old. The ketunpet vegan puppy food is a godsend as it has everything required for a puppies diet. Although new to the market, the user base is growing at a steady pace with initial feedback being positive.
The Best Vegetarian And Vegan Dog Supplement
As it is a liquid supplement, simply pour it over your dog’s food each day and wait up to two weeks to see an improvement in your pet.
Homemade Vegetarian And Vegan Dog Food Recipes
Making your own grain-free vegetarian dog food recipes is surprisingly easy. You can mix any of the fruits and vegetables from the list we shared above that are safe for dogs. We highly recommend that you include spinach in as many as possible due to its excellent nutritional profile.
As most of the fruits and vegetables in our list will provide your dog with its energy requirement you need to focus on protein. As dogs required a higher percentage of protein in their diet than humans we recommend 1/3-1/2 of the meal be protein based. Excellent vegan-friendly protein sources for dogs are:-
- Well-cooked legumes
- Chick Peas
- Garbanzo Beans
Depending on your dog you can also add well cooked whole grains into their food mix. Be warned, they can sometimes cause digestive upset in dogs and some medical conditions prevent their use. Whole grains can be an excellent source of both carbohydrates and protein. That said, we do not recommend more than a quarter of each meal be made up from whole grains.Here is a list of the most commonly used sources:-
- Brown Rice
- Blended fresh corn kernels
We also recommend that you try to include either carrots or sweet potatoes in each meal for your dog. They are one of the only sources of beta-carotene and contain a bunch of other vitamins and minerals. Your dog’s digestive system will use an enzyme from its liver to convert the beta-carotene into Vitamin A. While on a vegetarian or vegan based diet, Vitamin A can be hard to come by.