Can Dogs Be Vegan? By Dr Elaine Cebuliak

It’s important to remember that a vegan diet may not be appropriate for all dogs, and it should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. Additionally, monitoring your dog’s health and well-being is crucial, as any signs of nutritional deficiencies or health issues should be addressed immediately.

Balancing a dog’s diet with regards to absorbable zinc, and sulphur containing amino acids plus B12 can be problematic on a vegan diet.

Consider the anatomy of a dog: is it appropriate to just eat a vegan diet? Do dogs have horse like large bowels or have four stomachs like cows to allow the gut bacteria to ferment the cellulose? Not really.  Do their teeth look like a cow’s or horse’s teeth, where they can macerate grasses? Not really.

Dogs have canine teeth and a bowel (large intestine) suited to having some meat in their diet. Their teeth can benefit from mildly abrasive chewing, such as the cartilage on the knuckle part of a brisket bone.

Vegan dogs that we have tested in the past have had low protein, low albumen, low immunity, and are prone to autoimmune disease and some liver problems.

However, it is possible to manufacture a diet that is mostly vegetarian, and in fact the antioxidants and fibre in vegetables are very important to give to a dog.  They must be finely ground or cooked to be able to be absorbed. 

Many legumes will have some lectins that can leach and bind trace minerals and over time make the pet deficient in these.   The lectins need to be well cooked and broken down.

Our Veterinarian, Dr Malina, worked as a pet nutritionist in Eastern Europe for many years and is currently writing pet nutrition books, including one on how to balance and prepare a vegan dog food diet. So, with quite a lot of supplementation and care dogs may survive on a vegan diet.

On the other hand CATS are obligate carnivores and MUST eat meat including a good source of Taurine daily, or they will become very sick with a bad heart and go blind.

Book an appointment at:

Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Dr Elaine is a highly experienced holistic vet and pioneer of Animal Wellness in Brisbane. She also assists with many charitable projects in Australia and in Bali.

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