Many people are surprised to learn that dogs can be vibrantly healthy on a plant-based diet. Not only this, but their physical condition can actually improve, just like people, as a result of eliminating animal foods. This is a wonderful thing for those of us who embrace the vegan way of life, and also share our lives with canine companions.
Skeptical? Consider this story from CNN, where six veterinarians agreed that the nutritional requirements of dogs can be adequately met with a vegan diet. Veterinarian Kathryn E. Michel is an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and confirms:
“The important thing is that you use a diet that has been shown to be nutritionally adequate for whatever stage of life you’re feeding, and it is absolutely possible to find a good quality commercial pet food that doesn’t have animal products in it.”
By genus, dogs are classified as carnivorous, but metabolically, they are actually omnivorous. This means that their nutritional requirements can be adequately met with a plant-based diet – as they can source or synthesize all the nutrients they require from plant foods with supplementation.
Butterflies Katz has put together a collection of plant-strong pups from all over the world: Malaysia, India, Italy, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Yes, vegan dogs are taking over the world!
This extensive list includes long-lived canines such as 25-year-old Bramble (the world’s longest-living dog at the time) and 20-year-old Floyd (who was a vegan dog in the late seventies), Rapchik from India, who cured her heart disease and arthritis with a vegan diet, Fonzie who “will totally jump up the table to steal apples” and Tia who loves to chew broccoli stalks or raw kale as a snack.
For those who are curious about transitioning their canine companion to an animal-free diet, this blog post is also an excellent resource for information about what a responsible vegan regimen for a dog entails.
For more information about how to raise a healthy vegan dog (or cat) take a look at these resources.