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I am considering adopting a puppy in the near future and was wondering if anyone has any tips for feeding them a vegan diet. I have read that it can be done, but I would guess that it would be more difficult than it is for humans.

Are there any good nutrition resources? Is it best to use kibble or kibble mixed with homemade food? What is the best macronutrient balance? Which foods should be the basis of their diets? Are there any supplements that are necessary?

I would love to have a vegan dog, but I would only do so if I could do it in a way that would not harm them. I also would need to make sure that I have solid evidence to back up that it is safe, because people would probably think I'm crazy/ abusing the animal.

Any advice would be helpful.
 

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Vegan since 1991
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Hi veganfitnessjunkie,

As is true for all nutrition topics, the internet is filled with opinion-rich, evidence-poor articles on vegetarian diets for dogs.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has only published one article on vegetarian foods for dogs:

http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.247.4.385
 

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I found this resource that might be helpful:

http://behavetech.com/vegandogs.pdf

It's a very comprehensive online book on feeding a dog a vegan diet. I skimmed through it but haven't read it thoroughly yet. I plan to. Near the back of it there are more resources and I think a study or two.

Best wishes!
 

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i spend quite a bit of time around a lot of different dogs, some are mostly on vegetarian diets and seem to be just as healthy as their omnivore counterparts. Emily @BiteSizeVegan (i'm not sure how to "mention" a member!) often posts about how her once very unhealthy dog Ooby, began to thrive on a vegan diet. i think she has a few youtube videos on the subject and offers discount codes for http://v-dog.com/
 

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No flesh since 99'
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Personally, I would not feed a natural carnivore a vegan diet and wouldn't consider adopting a natural carnivore I would have to feed animal products to. I personally would only consider adopting naturally vegan pets at this point. As mentioned, there are bunnies and several species of rodent if you like fluffy pets, there are also birds and a few species of reptiles as well who are naturally vegan and thrive on a vegan diet because it is what nature intended for them to eat:) And please keep in mind, it's not just dogs and cats who are being dumped in shelters by the millions. It's all kinds of species, and the less well known smaller ones tend to languish longer because no one thinks to consider adopting them and just keep buying them from breeders/pet stores:(.
 

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It's great to do some research before hand online but I would first contact a few reputable vets in your area before taking the plunge. I personally don't think it would be fair to the dog but I am not a vet.
 

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Like I said, on the topic of vegetarian diets for dogs, the internet is filled with opinion-rich, evidence-poor statements.
 

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The American Veterinary Medical Association has only published one article on vegetarian foods for dogs:

http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.247.4.385
While I did not read the full text (because it's a paid article and I'm not paying to read it), the abstract (specifically the results and conclusions) listed on that page would make me leery of feeding my dog any commercially available vegetarian dog food.

The conclusions in bulleted format:
(1) Most products were not compliant with labeling regulations;
(2) The authors had concerns about amino acid content;
(3) The health of pets fed commercially available vegetarian diets should be closely monitored and assessed.

Here is a direct quote of the conclusions:
Most diets assessed in this study were not compliant with AAFCO labeling regulations, and there were concerns regarding adequacy of AA content. Manufacturers should ensure regulatory compliance and nutritional adequacy of all diets, and pets fed commercially available vegetarian diets should be monitored and assessed routinely.
 

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Personally, I would not feed a natural carnivore a vegan diet and wouldn't consider adopting a natural carnivore I would have to feed animal products to. I personally would only consider adopting naturally vegan pets at this point. As mentioned, there are bunnies and several species of rodent if you like fluffy pets, there are also birds and a few species of reptiles as well who are naturally vegan and thrive on a vegan diet because it is what nature intended for them to eat:) And please keep in mind, it's not just dogs and cats who are being dumped in shelters by the millions. It's all kinds of species, and the less well known smaller ones tend to languish longer because no one thinks to consider adopting them and just keep buying them from breeders/pet stores:(.

This.

While dogs are not obligate carnivores the way cats are, they are basically carnivores. I'm sure that there are SOME dogs who would do O.K. on a well regulated vegetarian diet (I'm less sure about a vegan one), I would not count on any random dog flourishing on a vegetarian diet. A significant percentage of the dogs with whom I have lived have been allergic to a number of different foods (about half of my dogs haven't been able to tolerate grains). This significantly reduces the types of foods that would be available for a vegetarian dog.

Anyone who can't bring themselves to feed flesh to a meat eating companion animal should choose a companion whose dietary needs they can fulfill without compunction.

As Kiwibird said, there are many, many naturally vegetarian/vegan animals in rescue and in need of a home.
 
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