Veganism in Dogs?



Author: Louise (proHOUND Co-Founder)

 

REALLY?!

A celebrity with over FOUR MILLION followers decided to broadcast the advocation of a ‘vegan’ diet for his dog. In a world where we are strongly influenced by the actions of celebrities, this decision will ultimately cause others to feed their dog a species-inappropriate diet.  

 

A vegan diet is a choice that a human makes for themselves. Forcing such a diet on a facultative carnivore who has the anatomy to eat meat is forcing them to act as a herbivore and therefore denying them of the nutrients they NEED to survive and thrive.


For perspective: a horse is a herbivore. Can you imagine feeding a horse raw meat?

 

What anatomy does a herbivore have that is crucial to processing its diet?

  • Molars designed to flatten and grind plant matter

  • The enzyme amylase is present in the mouth (where digestion begins) and further in the digestive system to break down starch
  • A long digestive tract and in the case of ruminants, multiple stomachs ‐ carbohydrates take a long time to digest

     

    Let’s now compare these features to those of a dog, a facultative carnivore:

    • Teeth that are designed to shred and tear meat; their jaw cannot move sideways because they don’t need to grind plant matter

    • No amylase in the mouth

    • Short digestive tract and only one stomach suited to process a diet of mainly meat (meat takes less time to digest)

     

    Sadly, it is not yet legally defined as cruelty to feed a dog a vegan diet.
    A dog may well be able to survive on some dry matter that the commercial pet food industry pushes at us, but they can’t thrive. Whether a dog can even survive on a vegan diet is not something that needs to be debated.

     

    The celebrity in question has actually raised an interesting point though. He claims taking his dog off ‘dog food’ has resolved a lot of ailments. Well yes, you are feeding actual food. It’s probably not processed either.
    We all need to consider this when we are debating whether raw meat or kibble is better for our dogs.
    But he hasn’t quite chosen the right kind of food for his carnivorous pet…!

    What has actually happened to stop Lewis’ dog presenting ailments?
    The dog has very likely stopped being poisoned by his food: aflatoxins, mycotoxins, ‘derivatives’ of things companies would rather you didn’t read about and extremely high levels of starch (the worst carbohydrate for a dog to attempt to digest) trigger a slow poisoning effect on our dogs. This dog thankfully had such poisons removed but they were not replaced with nutrients helpful to the dog.

     

    All domesticated pets are at the mercy of whatever the owner chooses to feed them. Dogs being opportunists means they will eat whatever is on offer if there’s nothing better (and can sometimes benefit from this, hence why they are also facultative carnivores as well as opportunists) and they need calories to continue functioning, after all. But who reading this would attempt to feed a lion some grass? Or perhaps feed a rabbit a chunk of raw meat? Isn’t the lack of respect for the domestic dog (and with it the lack of respect for their anatomy) so heart-breaking?

     

    Perhaps you’ve been told a dog is an omnivore. Ask yourself who told you this – was it a vet who pushes kibble in their own practice? Was it an armchair expert on social media? Was it the back of a packet of kibble? The source of the information is often as informative as the information itself.

     

    Our dog’s most basic needs have been ignored amongst human self-importance, entitlement and the decisions that come from those two things.

     

    If you still aren’t convinced, please head to the amazing Raw Feeding Vet Society (RFVS, HERE). The society is comprised of registered vets who dedicate much of their free time trying to undo the effects of the commercial pet food industry.

     

     




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