How to change your Dog to a Vegan Diet (Guest Post)

How to change your Dog to a Vegan Diet (Guest Post)

This Article is courtesy of Veganpet. Written by Veganpet

Can a dog be vegan?

It is possible to love and care for an animal in a way that enriches the lives of both the animal and the human involved.

It is also possible to raise a meat-eating animal such as a cat or dog on a vegan diet and thus reduce the overall amount of animal suffering and death in the world by not supporting the exploitative industries of fishing and meat-farming.

How to change your Dog to Vegan

The best time to begin your dog on a vegan diet is when he is a puppy, but older dogs can convert easily too. Make any changes to your dogs diet SLOWLY. Begin by adding a small amount of veggies and VEGANPET dry food, slowly increasing the amounts replacing his old diet with the new. Be sure your dog is eating enough to sustain him, if not go back a few steps adding more of his old diet, and slowly decreasing it again. If your dog is very old I would not try to make him total vegan, some old timers take to it easily, but some can be very set in their ways and it would be cruel to force change on them at this time of life. You could slowly reduce the amount of meat or chicken feeding him mainly vegan food and only a very small amount of meat or chicken. Please if you must give meat, fish or chicken make sure it is fit for human consumption. Even though your old dog is still eating the flesh of a dead animal the amount is greatly reduced.

VEGANPET puppy/dog food is a dry extruded food that contains a vegetable source of every nutrient a pup/dog needs. I now have available Vegan tinned Puppy/Dog food, which can give a change in texture and flavour in your dog's diet. However, you can still make up different meals for your dog for more change if you like.

Dogs adapt well to being vegan and will additionally benefit when fed VEGANPET dry dog food. Cats are very different from dogs in that they will die if fed only vegetables as a diet when it is not supplemented by VEGANPET cat food.

Dogs on a vegan diet can live quite well without the addition of VEGANPET dog food PROVIDED A VET DESIGNS THE DIET AND IT IS CLOSELY SUPERVISED. It is far more convenient to use VEGANPET dry food knowing your dog is receiving all the essential nutrients that are complete and balanced needed to grow and remain strong and healthy, and free from disease.

Be sure your dog is eating enough to sustain him; if not, go back a few steps adding more of his old diet, and slowly decreasing it again. Usually, once the transition is made your dog will eat with gusto, it is almost like they discover that it is good for them. If your dog is elderly I would not try to make him total vegan, some old timers take to it easily, but some can be very set in their ways and it would be cruel to force change on them at this time of life. Perhaps the biscuits could be changed over but leave the meat-based extra’s making sure they are always human grade. Even if your old dog is eating flesh of a dead animal the amount is greatly reduced. Dogs adapt well to be vegan and will benefit from it. If your dog is under veterinary care for any illness please always check with you Vet before beginning a vegan diet.

My VEGANPET dry food is an excellent base for your vegan diet. Just add the required amount of food daily as suggested on my label allowing for size, activity and age of your dog. You can mix it with any other food, feed it alone or pour warm water over it making it softer. In recent studies, it has been found to be best to feed your adult dog at least twice a day (puppies must be fed more) instead of one big meal daily. The smaller more frequent meals have been found to stop gulping of food, which helps to prevent ingestion of air giving stomach, cramps. Small meals can prevent choking while gorging on food. Finally smaller meals help prevent gastric dilatation and aids in nutrient absorption in the small intestine. Do not feed your dog a big meal before any strenuous exercise. Your dog will live happily on just VEGANPET dry dog food, however, they really enjoy a variety of different foods as well, so why not try a few foods to add interest to your dog's diet. Always have fresh cool water available for your dog.

Veganpet now have canned or wet food available in 390 gram tins. This food is vegan and although it can be claimed as complete, I choose not to claim this. Vegan Omegas cannot survive retorting of a tin. I claim this food is a change in texture and flavour. All the goodness in a balanced form comes from my Veganpet Dry food. The tinned food does have added vitamins and minerals to meet AAFCO standard and is a wonderful addition to any pooches dinner.

Some other foods dogs enjoy

Cooked mashed squash, sweet potato, broccoli( small amounts only) potato, rice or lentils. Tofu or pasta with tomato ( only a very small amount of tomato) or a creamy sauce. (Always opt for low-fat ingredients in creamy sauces). Just try your dog on different veggies you will soon see what his taste is. Finely grated fresh greens, carrots and beetroot or sprouts, mix together well, especially with an added whole grain cereal or brown rice. Always cook the grains and rice perhaps with a vegetable stock cube to add flavour.” Supreme” Gravox is vegetarian that could be added as some flavour. TVP or Textured vegetable protein or Gluten wheat properly prepared becomes meat like in texture and flavour and dogs love it. Sanitarium has tinned TVP mince, although a bit strong and high in salt, can be mixed with some cooked brown rice or pasta to add to VEGANPET for a nice meal change. They also have BBQ Sausages, Slices of veggie roast and vegeburgers (onion free) that can be a nice change, but be aware they are very high in salt so only a small amount. A dog, unlike the cat, can enjoy whatever you cook and eat, so just add a bit of what the family are eating to the VEGANPET for another change.

Fruit should be fed alone before or after the meal because fruit is high in water and is digested rapidly. Favourite fruits are cantaloupe, banana, melons, berries, pear, and any fruit really so long as it is ripened. Try to keep it to one family of fruit at a time. All stones and pips should be removed as many are toxic.

An example of some additives to enhance flavour and add interest to your dog’s food are: Japanese seaweed, veggie bacon bits, and a sprinkle of Brewer’s yeast, Spirilina powder, garlic, soya sauce or tahini and cooked veggie burgers.

Dogs love a sweet taste too, but only give sweets as a special treat. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs when consumed in large amounts. A small special treat of a cocoa or chocolate is fine but all chocolate foods should be stored in areas inaccessible to dogs. Carob is fine for dogs, it contains no theobromine. Onions and garlic should be used in strict moderation. Legumes can cause some gas and tummy upsets. Brocoli use in small amount

The secret is to try all different types of vegetables, remembering that they should be finely grated and root vegetables, oats and lentils etc need to be cooked. Always serve food at room temperature or slightly warmed, and always serve with fresh water. Be adventuresome and try all sorts of mixes of foods for your dog, he will soon develop his favourite. Always be careful to incorporate my VEGANPET dry food. Happy cooking.

Remember: no animal has suffered to feed your pet – Doesn’t it feel great!

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