Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
Meatless Meat Eaters: Is it Healthy for Dogs to Go Vegan?
Food is a touchy subject for many people, and decisions about what to eat can be deeply personal. The choice to go vegan is no exception. The popularity of this diet has skyrocketed in recent years, with various celebrities, scientists, and food experts promoting it as the ideal option.
Proponents of veganism generally cite a concern over animal welfare and a desire for more vibrant health as the main reasons to choose a plant-based diet. This can lead to a real dilemma when it comes to buying commercial dog food with meat. It’s no surprise that many vegan dog owners are contemplating (or have already made the switch to) meat-free diets for their pets – but is it really safe for dogs to go vegan?
Can Dogs Go Vegan?
The short answer is – yes. Although they’re classified under the order Carnivora, dogs have evolved to become omnivores. For example, in India and other countries where meat generally isn’t eaten, homeless dogs can survive on scraps they find in the street. However, just because these animals are capable of living a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean they should. To date, no long-term studies have been conducted about the effects of a vegan diet on dogs.
Surviving or Thriving?
Dogs have a much higher protein requirement than humans, making it difficult to meet this need without animal products. A vegan diet can also lead to deficiencies in certain amino acids, as well as key vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamin, calcium, phosphorus, and iron, all of which can be obtained either exclusively or mostly through animal products. Over time, these deficiencies can lead to significant health problems.
Certain conditions may be relieved by reducing or eliminating meat and animal byproducts from a pet’s diet for a set period of time. For example, veterinarians may prescribe a specially formulated pet food that uses alternative protein sources (such as soy) to diagnose or treat food allergies, bladder stones, or liver disease.
Proceed with Caution
Deciding to have your dog go vegan or vegetarian is a major decision, and one that requires a good deal of research and preparation.
- Talk with your veterinarian before making any changes. We can help you decide which vegan diet plan is right for your pet, as well as make recommendations for supplements and additional safeguards.
- More frequent wellness exams and diagnostic testing may be needed in order to ensure your pet remains as healthy as possible.
- If you plan on feeding your pet a commercial vegan diet, make sure it meets the requirements of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
- Vegan or vegetarian diets are not appropriate for puppies or pregnant or nursing adult dogs. They’re never recommended for cats.
When it comes to figuring out whether it’s safe for dogs to go vegan, there are clearly plenty of factors to consider. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Schertz Animal Hospital for more information.
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Dr. Mossburg is WONDERFUL! He is so patient! Answers all my questions. I don't feel rushed. He is just so awesome with our Sophie! — S. Cobarruvias
This is the only place I trust with my girl. They always take great care of my Yorkie. — A Byrd
We can't say enough about Schertz Animal Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez and the whole staff are wonderful and so caring. — P. Ring
This is a wonderful animal hospital. Will highly recommend them for anyone who loves and cares about their pets. — B. Lewis
Have taken our pets there for years. Dr. R. Is the best. We appreciate him and the rest of his hard working staff. — C. Yeary
These are our first pets and first ever Vet visit. We are very pleased with the attention, knowledge, and quality of care. Very pleased with our decision!. — J. Tibbetts
We love the care the staff provides, they are big enough to provide services without having to wait long for an appointment, but still make you feel like family. Love this place. — T. Ha
Took my cat in today on an emergency basis and they were so helpful and kind. They have done what they can for him. I have a dog too and this is the only place I will be taking her to. Best vet we have ever been too. — L. Hamilton
Exceptional customer service and great care of my Sammy! Dr. Rodriguez "Dr. R" is the BEST! — A. Garcia
We absolutely love Schertz Animal Hospital for our puppy! They are so caring and take good care of our Bella. — P. Willard
The entire staff is friendly to me and my Bradley. I feel that my Bradley is in good hands. — A. Cano
Love Schertz Animal Hospital. The staff are all friendly and helpful. Dr. Mossburg is thorough and caring. We have taken 3 of our rescues there. Most recently our 7 year old Rottweiler we rescued. They have always taken excellent care of them. — A. Peterson
Schertz Animal Hospital really cares about your pet. They know their stuff. They been in Schertz for many years. All the doctors really know how to relate to us as they are pet owners too. I highly recommend them for all your Veterinary needs. You won't be sorry. SAH thank you for taking such great care of my Service Dog. — K. Duchess
Schertz Animal Hospital is a group of some of the most selfless people. They have been so attentive and caring to my pups, literally dropping everything to care for their needs. I am blessed and ever so grateful to have this team a part of my little family's life. Alley and Noah looooove you all! Y'all are the bomb dot com! Keep on keepin' on ladies and gents! — A.H
Dr. Mossberg and his assistant, Terri, are outstanding! Rusty can be difficult and they are so patient and kind. My husband and I really appreciate that they go the extra mile! Thank you!!! — T. & M. Taylor
I am totally satisfied with the practices, procedures, and service currently in place and have no recommendation for improvement. — R. Schutte
The front staff are awesome and have great attitudes. Very friendly and approachable. — R. & D. Carter
This is the one place that I feel completely safe with taking my Jasmine too. All of you take good care of her. Thank you. — C. & J. Smith
I appreciate being able to walk in (I did call first) with no appt. The doctor was booked but he still took care of my pet. Kudos to Dr. Rodriguez!! — S. & C. Mag
You are doing everything super good!!! Keep it up!!!! — W. Williams
I have never had a vet office that treats its patients so well, and throughly explains all diagnosis and possible treatment. I have always bragged on this office and will continue to do so. — M. & N. Heller
Always professional, clean atmosphere. — J. Wilson
Love how Dr Rodriguez has a passion for what he does - it makes a huge difference! The staff is friendly and caring - thank you. — Anonymous
Very nice facility that is well kept up. Whenever one of my pets needs medical care,I know I can rely on Schertz Animal Hospital to provide excellent care. — D. & R. Lanier
Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are always pleasant, caring and I feel very confident in the care given to all of our pets! :) — M. & J. Hild