Can Dogs and Cats eat a Plant-Based diet?

In 2022 many people have transitioned to a Plant-Based diet for a myriad of reasons, whether it be for their own health or for environmental reasons. As a society we are becoming more eco-conscious, looking for ways to make pet ownership more in-line with our ethics. Some have turned to plant-based diets for their pets and in this article, we will discuss the implications this might have.

The most popular pet in the UK, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the dog. The simple answer to whether a dog can survive on a plant-based diet is yes, but surviving is not the same as thriving.

Dogs are closely related to their wild carnivorous cousins the wolf, but over time and years of domestication, they evolved into something new. Dogs are omnivores, meaning they acquire their nutrition from both plants and meat and the vast majority of dogs to well on this mixed-source diet. Dogs need protein in their diets, you can obtain protein from plants however some are better than others.
Protein that a dog obtains from meat are more easily digested by canines than plant proteins and if a dog is routinely given proteins which are more difficult to utilise, health problems can present in the dog, especially in pregnant, nursing or growing dogs.

Occasionally a plant-based diet may be useful for a dog if you have been specifically told by your vet that your dog needs to avoid animal proteins but this is always something you should talk to your vet about before making the transition with your dog. It is also very unlikely for a dog to be allergic to an animal protein and while some intolerances do occur, you should always discuss this further with your vet as tests may be required to prove this.

The answer is much simpler when asking whether a plant-based diet is suitable for a cat, the answer is no. cats should not be vegan or even vegetarian because they are obligate carnivores and meat is an essential part of their diets.

Cats require a much higher level of protein than dogs or humans and have a reduced ability to digest carbohydrates. The most essential part of a cat’s diet is Taurine which a cat’s body can only get from their food and without it they cannot survive.

Here at the Natural Dog Food Company, we produce high quality 100% natural pet food that requires absolutely no artificial or additional supplementation at all. The food is a perfectly balanced blend of high-quality human grade meat and carefully selected fruits and vegetables, designed to give your pet precisely what it needs to maintain good health, a happy tummy and a shiny coat.

Our meat sources are higher welfare, British and human grade to ensure high standard of care are observed. Our products also use biodegradable and recyclable packaging, use sustainably sourced paper, water-based ink and recycled water helping to reduce our footprint on the environment.

For more information about our products click here!

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