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Keeping dogs healthy on a vegan diet: the best vegan dog food brands

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Can dogs survive and be healthy on a vegan diet? Here’s all you need to know, and a list of the best vegan dog food brands.

With the increase in plant-based diets among humans, pet owners have started to wonder whether their beloved companions could thrive on a vegan diet as well.

There has been a lot of conversations and debates about this topic and whether dogs can actually survive without eating meat.

Are dogs carnivores?

Many arguments are based on the fact that dogs have descended from wolves, whose primary diet consists of larger amounts of animal protein. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that dogs have the same nutritional needs as their ancestors.

In 2013, a group of researchers compared the dog genome to that of a wolf. They discovered that the difference between the two animals was mainly in the genes that were responsible for behaviour traits and starch digestion. That means dogs have evolved to be better able to digest carbohydrates.

Additionally, from a biological perspective, dogs lack the metabolic adaptations needed to thrive on a diet consisting of strictly animal protein. Compared to true carnivores, dogs also produce more enzymes that assist in starch digestion. They have a much lower protein requirement and can utilise vitamin A and D from plant sources, similar to humans.vegan dog food brands

Can dogs eat a vegan diet?

One myth that has sparked is that a vegan diet is hurtful to a dog’s pancreas. One job of the pancreas is to produce digestive enzymes that help break down food. The truth is: a dog’s pancreas is quite efficient in breaking down starch from plants. There is no concrete evidence to show that feeding a higher carbohydrate diet to dogs damages the pancreas in any way.

Most dogs can do quite well on a carefully designed vegan diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. Additionally, meat-free diets have been used for dogs to help manage various health concerns. If you are looking for vegan dog food for your pet, make sure you reserach and possibly discuss with your veterinarian to ensure their diet is complete.

There are quite a few great vegan dog food brands on the market that provide great nutritional support for your furry friend.

Read our story about feeding cats and dogs on a vegan diet.

The best vegan dog food brands

V-Dog

 

 
 
 
 
 
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V-Dog’s Kind Kibble is gluten-free and vegan. It has plant-based nutrition for dogs of all sizes and ages to ensure they get adequate nutrition from their diets. Its formulated recipe boasts all-natural and meat-free ingredients to promote healthy and energetic dogs.

The main ingredients in V-Dog are dried peas, pea protein, brown rice, oatmeal and potato protein. Additionally, this brand is great for dogs with a sensitive stomach or allergies, as it does not include common allergens such as soy, wheat, and corn.

Halo

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Halo’s carefully crafted recipe focuses on only the best and most nutrient-dense ingredients for its products. The main ingredients in this vegan dog food are green peas, chickpeas, pearled barley, oat groats, and pea protein.

The whole foods-blend also includes non-GMO vegetables and nourishing oils to create a complete and balanced meal for your best friend. The mixture is also easily digestible, making it great for dogs with any food sensitivities. Additionally, it has a blend of essential minerals, vitamins, and trace nutrients to ensure the best for your pet.

Wild Earth

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Over the past couple of years, Wild Earth has surged in popularity to become a leading vegan dog food brand. This adult dog formula is excellent for all breeds and sizes and has a nutritionally complete profile to offer an exceptional option.

The top ingredients in the mixture are dried yeast, chickpeas, oats, peas, and pea protein. The recipe also contains prebiotic fibres that help promote a healthy microbiome for stronger immunity and resistance against some diseases.

Gather

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dog food brand Gather offers a great vegan option that is fortified with essential nutrients. Gather’s delicious blend of sustainably grown vegetables and fruits includes lentils, blueberries, potatoes, kale, cranberries and carrots.

It also includes healthy grains such as quinoa, oats, and barley. Like many of the others, Gather’s recipe is also free from common allergens and fillers such as corn, soy, wheat, preservatives, and artificial flavours.

Jackie Lutze
Jackie is a sustainable fashion designer and writer currently residing in Colorado Springs, CO with her rescue dog, Walter, and husband. She has been an ethical vegan for over 12 years and writes mostly about sustainable fashion, travel and lifestyle. She is currently working towards her Master's Degree in Corporate Sustainability with hopes to continue to educate and help create a more ethical fashion industry.