Vegan diets for dogs?

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Emrys
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Vegan diets for dogs?

#1 Postby Emrys » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:12 pm

Just makes me cringe when I have to go down the dogfood aisle at the store. I don't like how it was produced and all the carnage I'm creating just to feed my dog. Has anyone tried a vegan diet for a dog before? I've read a little bit and found out that it was possible at least. There was a dog named Bramble that was a vegan and lived to 27 years old. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_dogs Bramble is 6th on the list)

I have a harder time making my dog a vegan than I would myself. I wouldn't want to exert my influence over another being and do it harm. I have an easier time experimenting with myself on a vegan diet than I would experimenting with my dog.

Just my question is what do you do with your dogs? If anyone has tried a vegan diet did you have good or bad results? I read a little about deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, taurine and L-carnatine can cause a dog problems if their food isn't fortified with them. Is there anything else I need to look for other than that?

So far I've found v-dog and natural balance vegetarian dry dog food. They seem to be reputable brands and both are vegan afaik.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#2 Postby Compassion » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:30 am

My dog ( golden retriever ) was on the Natural Balance Vegetarian for a few years ( from age 2-5 ) . He just turned 6, and I hate to admit that he is back on a meat based diet.

I definitely sympathize with the resistance of walking down the dog food aisle. I feel it every time I have to restock. I want to say he was 100% healthy while on the vegan diet, and there were no issues like that to switch me back.

MY reasons for switching him back, are a lack of information. Certain people say it is completely healthy, certain people say there are vital vitamins/minerals missing from the vegan formula. My dog has been my best friend, and the closest thing to me since he was a baby and athough it may be selfish, I didn't want to use him as a "ginuea pig".

One concern I have heard is bladder infections. It may be a coincidence, but a fellow animal rights activist has been feeding his dog the NB vegan, and she has been battling bladder infections for the past 3 years.


TL:DR

my dog was on the N.B vegan for years, but I switched him off due to lack of scientific proof that it is healthy. I was scared that I would come home one day and find him dead from something missing from his diet that I wasn't aware of. Selfish decision? yes. Am I open to switch back if I am proven that it is safe for him? yes.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#3 Postby mythil » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:36 pm

I would not put an animal on a non meat based diet. While dogs do need vegetables in their diet (a small amount) their bodies are set up for eating meat and not much else.

I take in re-homed reptiles as I have animal welfare/health/nutrition training (I was going to be a vet but bad eyesight stopped me) and specific training when it comes to reptiles and other exotics. Human bodies are perfectly able to be vegan/vegetarian but not all animals are, snakes and reptiles are built for eating insects or in a snakes case dead rats. There is no real way around that, plus soy products can have adverse health effects on animals such as dogs though it's fine for humans.

You can get "cruelty free" animal food. I know something had to die to make it, but that's not the dogs fault. We have a choice, the dog does not, that's what it comes down to when I feed my snakes dead rats.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#4 Postby Compassion » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:22 pm

Mythil: what do you mean by "Cruelty Free" dog food that consists of animal products? I am not arguing whether or not a dog can optimally survive on a vegan diet, and you definitely seem to know what you are talking about but those two don't go hand in hand.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#5 Postby mythil » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:22 am

Compassion wrote:Mythil: what do you mean by "Cruelty Free" dog food that consists of animal products? I am not arguing whether or not a dog can optimally survive on a vegan diet, and you definitely seem to know what you are talking about but those two don't go hand in hand.


Well it's why I put the words in " " because A) something had to die for it and B) They aren't totally free. But it works on the same principle as "free range" or "cruelty free" meat that you.. well not you but someone may find in a butcher.

You can shop around to try and find non battery, free range, non corn fed animal foods for your dog, be prepared to pay the price for them though. The other option is going to a butcher and making your own dog food from meat and vegetables.

Yea I know the above statement kinda goes against what we do but as my original post says, some animals just eat meat and that's the way it is.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#6 Postby Emrys » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:21 am

Thanks kind of the answers I was looking for. I guess I'll probably hold off until there is more research done about it. Going to the vet today cuz she has an ear infection. Will ask just to see their opinion.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#7 Postby Compassion » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:43 pm

mythil wrote:
Compassion wrote:Mythil: what do you mean by "Cruelty Free" dog food that consists of animal products? I am not arguing whether or not a dog can optimally survive on a vegan diet, and you definitely seem to know what you are talking about but those two don't go hand in hand.


Well it's why I put the words in " " because A) something had to die for it and B) They aren't totally free. But it works on the same principle as "free range" or "cruelty free" meat that you.. well not you but someone may find in a butcher.

You can shop around to try and find non battery, free range, non corn fed animal foods for your dog, be prepared to pay the price for them though. The other option is going to a butcher and making your own dog food from meat and vegetables.

Yea I know the above statement kinda goes against what we do but as my original post says, some animals just eat meat and that's the way it is.


Cool, I totally understand what you are saying. It is a constant moral dilemma because it does go against everything I stand for, but at the same time it's not my dogs fault that he was born. I already feed him a high quality non grain fed food, but that just covers up the guilt. It will always be there until I can teach him to go out and hunt his own food (which isn't likely because I live in the city haha )
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#8 Postby VeganEssentials » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:14 am

Dig around on this forum, lots of discussion about this topic before that has plenty of useful info. It'll save me the hours of typing it all up again :)
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#9 Postby FormicaLinoleum » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:54 am

Our dog (and Italian Greyhound) is 8 years old and has been given vegan food by us since he was 4 months old.

Of course--he's a freegan. We feed him vegan food but he finds things to eat in the park and we don't stop other people from giving him non-vegan treats (e.g., he has a dog walker and I'm sure she gives him treats).
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#10 Postby Emrys » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:06 pm

VeganEssentials wrote:Dig around on this forum, lots of discussion about this topic before that has plenty of useful info. It'll save me the hours of typing it all up again :)


I think I found the one you are talking about. Just finished reading the whole thread it was from like 2008. Still on the fence I guess. What I really need to make my decision are cold hard facts. While seeing it works for some dogs is nice, but maybe the people it didn't work for are just too embarassed to say anything about it. Do you know of any studies done with side by side comparisons?

I saw PETA did a study where 82 percent that had been on a vegan diet for 5 years or more were in good to excellent health. I don't really know what that means though because what about the other 18 percent. Is that the normal rate of bad health or is it higher than a meat based diet. I'll keep looking for more studies. Would like to base my decision solely on facts.

Think maybe next pet will be a pig or something I know I can feed entirely vegan. Was sort of thinking a pig would be a nice pet anyway. Possibly pursuade others to show them that they aren't food.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#11 Postby mythil » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:46 am

Personally I'm going by the information I know, studied and did courses on. If someone out there has better, scientifically proved information then that's fine, I will throw my hands up and admit I'm wrong :)

However, I always try and feed animals a diet that they would have in the wild.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#12 Postby Compassion » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:00 pm

mythil wrote:Personally I'm going by the information I know, studied and did courses on. If someone out there has better, scientifically proved information then that's fine, I will throw my hands up and admit I'm wrong :)

However, I always try and feed animals a diet that they would have in the wild.


I agree, it's so hard to make this kind of decision for our little loved ones. I have read so many views on both sides of the spectrum and everybody is talking like their answer is the right answer. It's extremely stressful !
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#13 Postby Synny667 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:11 pm

I actually prefer making my dogs their own food. And with farmer's market fast approaching I will be stockpiling meats from a farmer I personally know just don't have time to drive to her farm to pick up what I need. My boxer responses better on a more homemade diet better than bagged food.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#14 Postby FormicaLinoleum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:17 am

mythil wrote:However, I always try and feed animals a diet that they would have in the wild.

But domesticated animals aren't wild animals--they've been the domesticated animals they are for ages and are significantly different from the wild species they originally descended from--so there's no wild diet to base their food on.

If a domesticated dog was feral, it'd eat whatever it could get its little mouth on. Some of our dog's favourite "foods" are coffee grounds and the sludge left from rotting grass.
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Re: Vegan diets for dogs?

#15 Postby mythil » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:25 am

FormicaLinoleum wrote:
mythil wrote:However, I always try and feed animals a diet that they would have in the wild.

But domesticated animals aren't wild animals--they've been the domesticated animals they are for ages and are significantly different from the wild species they originally descended from--so there's no wild diet to base their food on.

If a domesticated dog was feral, it'd eat whatever it could get its little mouth on. Some of our dog's favourite "foods" are coffee grounds and the sludge left from rotting grass.


True yes but that only affects their mental makeup, not their physical. Pets have changed mentally over the few thousand years we've been messing with them but their general physical makeup when it comes to nutrition hasn't really changed much.
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