Book Review: The Plant-Powered Dog

The Plant-Powered Dog gently guides the reader through complex evidence-based research, presenting seemingly endless data in support of the efficacy of a well-balanced, nutrient-dense canine vegan diet.

Canine Nutrition Consultant Diana Laverdure-Dunetz imparts her wisdom in the field of canine nutritional science in The Plant-Powered Dog. This exhaustive 378-page book examines the latest scientific findings in the field of canine nutrition and serves as a comprehensive resource for human caretakers eager to support the health and well-being of their dog friends.  

Compassionate to readers’ needs and well-versed in the common challenges associated with transitioning a dog companion to a plant-based diet, the author offers a variety of tips and strategies for those bravely facing the gauntlet of misinformation surrounding modern day food systems. With this in mind, The Plant-Powered Dog gently guides the reader through complex evidence-based research, presenting seemingly endless data in support of the efficacy of a well-balanced, nutrient-dense canine vegan diet. The Plant-Powered Dog touches on everything from the genetic evolution of canines to the causal effect of diet on cellular inflammation. It also breaks down harmful myths propagated by the mainstream dog food industry and gives practical advice on how to be a more conscientious consumer.  

“Animal ingredients cause damage to cells and we see that with canine chronic diseases skyrocketing. I knew there had to be a better way to help my canine clients achieve better health and move the world in a kinder direction. I found that better way with plants… As I further investigated the connection between toxins in food animals and all the chronic inflammatory diseases I was seeing in my canine clients, I came to the logical conclusion: The best way to reduce and avoid the bioaccumulated toxins rampant in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy is to eat low on the food chain. And this means a whole-food plant-based diet.

~ Diana Laverdure-Dunetz

An unexpected advantage to reading The Plant-Powered Dog is that many of the health and wellness resources in the book are not only relevant for our canine companions, but also for ourselves and our human families. For those readers who are less scientifically-inclined, the book even goes as far as to break down high-level scientific terminology and offers practical tools like goal setting mechanisms, meal planning resources and plant-based recipes. These tools make the idea of transitioning your canine companion to a plant-based diet feel much less daunting, while empowering the reader to make ethical choices that both support their dog’s health and honor the inevitable impact of those choices on one another and planet Earth.  

The Plant-Powered Dog’s breadth of content, helpful tools and extensive recipe section make it a worthwhile purchase and a useful resource for any home library or kitchen. We also recommend this book as a starting point for researchers as it contains 75 pages of studies and other cited works in the field of canine nutrition.

In future iterations of The Plant-Powered Dog, we hope to see specific information included about the inflammatory properties of seed oils in the multiple (and otherwise very informative) sections dedicated to added oils. As seed oils come hidden in many foods we think are healthy, an explanation of their risks to dogs would be especially helpful for those who aren’t aware of these highly inflammatory ingredients. It was encouraging to see that the author does take seriously the question of added oils, explaining in significant detail the differences between them.

In addition, we feel it important to acknowledge the challenges around accessing healthy food experienced by human caretakers residing in “food swamps.” In an effort to make the book more inclusive and accessible to a greater proportion of the population, we’d love to see the author incorporate tips and suggestions for caretakers who face these barriers to access. 



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© Gentle World 2023. Gentle World is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, helping to build a more peaceful society by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition. EIN: 59-1999433