Why Choose Vegan Dog Food?
A healthy dog food made entirely from plants?
The concept of plant-based, vegan dog foods is not new. However, with the limited options available to Canadian pet owners up to this point, the demand for high-quality, plant-based dog food has never been greater.
Traditionally, the majority of dogs consuming vegetarian and vegan dog foods has been largely from pets suffering with allergies and sensitivities to meats commonly found in today’s pet foods. Today, a growing trend exists among eco-conscious pet owners, wanting to make better choices both for the planet, and also for animal-wellness.
V-planet vegan adult dog food has recently entered the Canadian pet food marketplace, embodying many of the values shared by environmentally conscious pet owners. V-planet is crafted by v-dog, a Californian-based, family-owned business passionate about pet health, and the power of plant-based nutrition.
Best of all, v-planet is manufactured right here in Canada.
What is Vegan Dog Food?
Simply put, vegan dog foods are made without the use of animal products. This means they contain no meat, eggs, honey, gelatin, or other animal by-products. There are no vitamins and minerals sourced from animals.
The philosophy behind a Vegan dog foods is to eliminate the suffering of animals, including farmed animals, by leaving them out of the recipe.
Vegan Dog Food For Environmental Reasons
Factory farming of livestock, including those that make their way into pet foods, is the biggest contributor to global climate change. It is a complex, multi-layered issue, however some of the main contributing reasons include:
- Destruction and loss of habitat: Large amounts of land are cleared every year to make way for livestock farming. This includes thousands of hectares of the Amazon rainforest. Damage like this results in the loss of habitat for thousands of native species, and is believed to be the cause of many species becoming endangered.
- Large volumes of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane are released from factory farms, which has been a massive contributor to global warming. In fact, factory farming contributes to an estimated 37% of methane gas creation.
- Antibiotics use is high in factory farms, because of the crowded living situations and likeliness of disease. These antibiotics make their way into the food system, and have been the main contributor to the formation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
- Excessive amounts of manure used to grow feed for livestock leaks into waterways, contaminating lakes and rivers and killing native plants. This creates an unbalance in local ecosystems.
- Fossil fuels burned in farming practices annually contribute an estimated 41 million metric tons of CO2.
While this list is not exhaustive, it is clear why many pet owners are turning to a plant based diet for themselves, as well as for their pets.
Vegan Dog Food For Health Reasons
Historically, one of the biggest reasons for feeding a plant-based diet to a dog is because of unexplained or unidentified allergies or sensitivities. Dogs can manifest allergy symptoms from any number of ingredients, including animal proteins. Due to most commercial dog foods containing animal proteins, pet owners who have had difficulty controlling symptoms will often turn to a diet free from animal ingredients, as a way to eliminate variables.
In recent years, with the growing trend of plant-based eating, more pet owners have been turning to vegan diets for reasons other than meat allergies. This is largely due to environmental reasons, however, many pet owners believe a plant-based diet is a healthier alternative to traditional dog foods.
It is difficult to dispute the health benefits of a plant-based diet for people: lower risk of heart disease, increased energy and vitality, lower risk of obesity, and other benefits can be enjoyed on a well-planned Vegan diet. But how can this type of diet translate to better health for dogs?
First of all, it is important to understand that dogs are omnivores, just like humans. This means that they can digest both plant based products, as well as animal based products. Some animals, such as cats, are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat in order to live a long-term, healthy life. Cats have a more difficult time digesting high carbohydrate diets, and require diets higher in protein and fat.
Dogs, on the other hand, can easily digest most carbohydrates. They can also create essential Vitamin A from the beta carotene found in plants, something their feline counterparts are unable to do. Dogs have a wonderfully efficient digestive system, perfectly suitable for high-fiber, plant based diets. Essential vitamins and nutrients from plant sources are considered to be more bio-absorbable than those from meats, meaning a higher percentage could make their way into the bloodstream during digestion.
To be clear, vegan diets are completely safe for dogs as long as the diet is complete and balanced, and your pooch is receiving the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
This is why homemade Vegan diets can be extraordinarily difficult to do properly. If you do wish to make your own plant-based dog food, consult with a pet nutritionist beforehand, and carefully monitor your dog’s health. Get regular blood work done to ensure their nutritional needs are being met.
Thankfully, there are plant-based dog foods on the market that are designed to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
Whether or not plant-based diets are healthier for dogs than meat-based ones is still highly debated among the pet health community. Studies have shown that Vegan diets can be just as sustainable for dogs, however, there haven’t been any exceptionally long-term studies done to date.
While there is no consensus on what the absolute best diet is for our canine companions, the one thing all pet experts can agree on is this: feeding a diet consisting of high-quality, whole, fresh ingredients is best for optimal health. As our understanding of canine health continues to grow, the industry grows with it.
In today’s marketplace, pet owners are benefiting from the multitude of healthy pet food options available, and with companies like v-planet, consumers now have a choice to support brands that support a happy, healthy planet.