We are all aware of the rising pressures our current lifestyle and diets have on the planet and many of us are making small and big changes to our daily lives to combat that, and a big one is adopting a plant-based diet, in other words, becoming vegan. But is it possible to make the same choice for our pets? Can our dogs not only live on a vegan diet but can they? And, more importantly, should they?
The answer for cats at least is a little more simple, cats are carnivores and need amino acids found in meat to thrive, the science tells us that whilst you can change your cat’s diet essentially they will suffer and will search for meat outside of your home and their instincts direct them to.
But for dogs, the science is a little more complicated. Dogs are essentially domesticated wolves and as we know, wolves are carnivores but what brought dogs to humans in the first place was food and that was not just meat-based, it included plants, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Dogs have adapted and can now process and digest plants meaning it is possible for them to survive on a plant-only diet. However, in order for them to do so healthily, you need to be creative and work alongside a pet nutritionist to get the balance just right. If you were to cut out meat all together without viable alternative solutions to the nutrients they need your dog would become unhealthy very quickly.
If you are wanting to reduce the carbon footprint of your dog without making a full change to vegan there are other options. There is a range of alternatives to standard dog food that you could consider for your dog that is healthy and includes things like cricket and fungus that ensure your dog receives all the vital nutrients they need whilst you are remaining eco-aware.