“Feeding your dog vegan deprives them of the taste of meat.”
A study published in Journal of Ethology found that puppies did not share the same preference for meaty-smelling foods that adult dogs do. The puppies were presented with various food options and favored them equally, which suggests that dogs learn a preference for foods with a high meat content through experience, such as by observing their mothers, rather than innately preferring the taste of animal flesh.
If you choose a balanced vegan diet and your dog loves the taste, it is unlikely that theyre missing out. A diet that does no harm to animals, provides complete nutrition, and has your pup jumping for joy at mealtime? Sign us up!
Learn more: Do Dogs Prefer Meat?
Dogs prefer meat, but a vegan or vegetarian diet is possible with the right supplements.
For health and ethical reasons, many vegetarian and vegan humans choose to share their dietary preferences with their dogs.
In general, dogs are omnivorous. They eat meat, fish, and poultry, but also can derive nutrients from a wide variety of sources, including vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes.
Find food that fits your pet’s needs
Can dogs be vegan? Theres a lot of controversy surrounding this question. While some people may claim that their dogs thrive on a meat-free diet, many experts express concern that a vegan meal plan for dogs lacks the nutritional requirements for a truly healthy dog. So, which side is correct?
The short answer is that yes, technically speaking, dogs can survive and even do well on a vegan or vegetarian regimen, says Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University. While its commonly believed that dogs are carnivores like their wolf ancestors, meaning that they must eat meat to survive, this is incorrect. Although theyre members of the order Carnivora — which, it should be noted, also includes the giant panda, a species that eats almost exclusively bamboo plants — dogs are actually omnivores. Canine digestive systems are quite capable of digesting and deriving nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Because of this, and the fact that some dogs are allergic to animal proteins, sometimes veterinarians and licensed pet nutritionists will prescribe specially designed meat-free diets to treat dogs with allergies and other types of health problems. With that said, Tufts University cautions that a dog food plan devoid of animal fats and proteins is potentially dangerous and should never be fed without the supervision of a professional.