There is a lot of controversy about feeding a vegan diet to dogs. This is mainly because people can’t agree if dogs are carnivores or omnivores. During the long years of domestication, dogs have evolved and they are able to digest plants, which makes them omnivores.
Different studies have shown that a vegan diet is beneficial for some health problems and makes dogs more active and energized. Vegan food brings relief to dogs suffering from meat allergies and cuts the cost of allergy medication. Furthermore, a plant-based diet helps dogs with liver disease and kidney stones.
Transitioning your dog to a meat-free diet can be hard so we will list the best vegan dog food available. Talk to your vet and have your dog regularly checked to see how he is reacting to the new diet.
Top 5 Best Vegan Dog Foods
Evolution vegan dog food is a cruelty-free diet that meets the nutritional levels established by AAFCO. To offer dog parents a versatile choice, Evolution created Gourmet Pasta flavor and Veggie Cheezburger flavor.
The main ingredient in Gourmet Pasta flavor is Whole Grain Ground Wheat followed by Corn Gluten Meal. Evolution is a U.S based brand that uses healthy non-GMO ingredients that are easy to digest.
Soybean meal is the third ingredient and the main contributor to the protein count in this food. With a minimum of 28% crude protein, this food will provide enough fuel for tissue and muscle development.
The main source of fat is Soybean oil which creates a minimum of 14% crude fat. This is an optimal amount for active dogs. Besides providing energy fat also supports a shiny and healthy looking coat.
With a minimum 3.5% crude fiber, this is an easily digestible formula that won’t cause flatulence, diarrhea, or stomach issues. This food contains Carrots and Dried Tomato Pomace and is supplemented with necessary vitamins and minerals.
Evolution is one of the best vegan dog food brands available today and this formula offers a dietary solution for dogs who suffer from allergies. Since it is made according to AAFCO standards this food is safe for daily feeding and won’t cause any nutrient deficiencies.
Halo is America based brand that uses natural and healthy ingredients for dog owners who seek a holistic dietary approach. Halo vegan dog food is made without meat, dairy, corn, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
The main ingredient Green Peas is followed by Chickpeas, and Pea Protein. These are all healthy ingredients that create a minimum of 20% crude protein. This is a bit on a low side so make sure to check your dog’s blood work regularly.
Pearled Barley and Oat Groats are wholesome grains that are easy to digest and will provide the sense of fullness longer. They create a maximum of 8.5% crude fiber, that supports easier digestion and won’t cause an upset stomach.
Whole Flaxseed and Sunflower Oil are the main sources of fat and create a minimum of 10% crude fat. The fat is the main source of energy, and Flaxseed contains Omega 3 fatty acids that support lush and healthy skin and coat.
This formula is packed full with healthy vegetables and fruits like Dried Carrot, Celery, Beet, Parsley, Spinach, Dried Blueberry, and Cranberry. Halo also included Chicory Root as a natural source of prebiotics that will help with digestion.
Halo vegan dog food reviews state that this food helps with gas, flatulence, itching, and other digestive problems caused by meat-based diet. Many owners like that this is a healthier and cheaper option compared to prescription dog food.
Natural Balance vegan dog food is designed to provide your dog with all the necessary nutrients with the exclusion of meat and other animal products. To fulfill the needs of all dogs and provide diversity in this brand besides kibble offers vegan canned dog food.
The main ingredient in this canned formula is Ground Brown Rice followed by Cracked Barley and Oatmeal. These are easily digestible whole grains that won’t cause digestive upset. Combined they provide a maximum of 1.5% crude fiber, or 6.82% on dry matter basis.
Potato protein and Peas are the vegan sources of protein and create a minimum of 5% crude protein. When converted to dry matter basis, we get a 22.73% crude protein which is a good amount that will support muscles and tissues.
The main source of fat in this vegan wet dog food is Canola Oil that creates 13.64% crude fat on dry matter basis. This is a great amount that will keep your dog energize without providing a lot of calories that will contribute to weight gain.
This vegan formula wouldn’t be complete without fresh fruits and vegetables. Natural Balance included Carrots, Fresh Potatoes, Spinach, Parsley, and Cranberries. All necessary vitamins and minerals are included to make this food complete and balanced for daily feeding.
Wysong vegan dog food is made with advanced processing methods to preserve all the necessary micro and macronutrients. This formula is created by Dr. Wysong and this brand is one of the leaders in the pet food industry for more than 30 years.
The main ingredient Brown Rice is followed by Corn which means that this isn’t a grain-free vegan dog food. Combined with other ingredients, they create a maximum of 5% crude fiber that will improve the quality of your dog’s stool.
Extruded Soybeans, Pea Protein, and Potato Protein are plant-based sources of protein. This vegan kibble has a minimum of 26% crude protein which is a bit higher compared to other vegan dog foods. This amount will stimulate muscle and tissue growth and keep your dog energized through the day.
Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, and Coconut Oil create a minimum of 10% crude fat and serve as main energy sources. They also contain Omega 3 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat which is beneficial for dogs who suffer from allergies.
Wysong vegan formula contains vitamins and minerals that support a strong immune system and are necessary for the overall well-being. Prebiotics and probiotics are also included to stimulate normal digestion and relieve all symptoms of an upset stomach.
Based on vegan dog food reviews this brand has a long list of satisfied customers. V-Dog uses only human grade ingredients and you can rest assured that your dog isn’t eating fillers, animal product, by-products, or preservatives.
The main ingredient Dried Peas is followed by Pea Protein and Potato Protein that provide much-needed fuel for muscles and tissues. This formula contains 24% crude protein which is in accordance with AAFCO nutritional standards for adult dogs.
Brown Rice, Oatmeal, and Sorghum are wholesome grains that support healthy digestion and provide a feeling of a full belly. Combined they create a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that won’t cause flatulence, gas, or loose stool.
Canola Oil and Flaxseed are the main fat sources and they create a minimum of 9% crude fat. Additionally, they support healthy skin and coat which is important for dogs who are recovering from allergies.
This formula is supplemented with necessary vitamins and minerals and also contains Lentils, Peanut Hearts, Quinoa, Dried Blueberries, and Cranberries. Yucca Extract is included as a source of probiotic to balance good gut bacterias.
V-dog vegan food provides much-needed relief to dogs who suffer from severe food allergies and is complete and balanced for daily feeding. Dogs who are on this formula are more energetic and active and even succeeded in losing a few extra pounds without a sweat.
How to find the best vegan dog food?
Before transitioning your dog to a new diet you need to make sure that he can benefit from being vegan. Just because being vegan works for you, it doesn’t mean that it will provide the same benefits for your pooch. With that being said, consult with your vet prior to making any changes in your dog’s diet.
What to look for in plant-based dog food?
Dogs are omnivores, and like people can benefit from the plant-based diet. However, a slight nutritional deficiency can cause serious health problems. That’s why you have to make sure that your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients from his food.
– Protein Count: Since vegan foods depend solely on plant-based proteins they are bound to have lower crude protein compared to meat-based formula. The recommended protein count for adult dogs is 18%. Foods that don’t have this minimum should be avoided at all costs.
– Complete and balanced: It is very important to check if dog food has an AAFCO statement that it is complete and balanced. This ensures that your dog is receiving all the necessary micro and macronutrients he needs from his diet.
– Healthy ingredients: It doesn’t make any difference transitioning a dog to a vegan diet if he end’s up eating GMO ingredients. Look for brands that use human grade ingredients and make organic vegan dog food.
What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
It is completely safe for a dog to be on a vegan diet as long as his basic nutritional needs are met. A few studies that are conducted showed that plant-based diet provides more energy and improves some health issues in dogs. However, it is very important that your dog is monitored by a vet and that his blood and urine are tested regularly.
– Allergy relief: Most people think that grains are the leading cause of dog allergies, but that isn’t the case. Most dogs are allergic to flea bites and meat like beef or chicken.
For dogs that are suffering from meat allergies going vegan can be the only solution. Besides providing a dog with much-needed relief, vegan food will also keep him off allergy meds and improve the quality of his life.
– Cruelty-free: The majority of dog foods are produced from farm raised animals that are treated well, however, this isn’t a rule. Some manufacturers use roadkill, euthanized pets, expired meat, or animals that suffered whole their lives.
Truth is, we aren’t completely aware what goes in human food, let alone what ends up as dog dinner. Transitioning your dog to a vegan diet can help you sleep at night knowing that you aren’t participating in cruelty against animals.
– No contamination: With meat, there is always a risk of bacterial contamination. With so many food recalls during recent years, dog owners are left with only a few trustworthy brands.
The bacteria from contaminated meat can make your dog sick and cause big health problems. With vegan food your pooch isn’t at any risk, and you can rest assured that you are getting what you paid for.
Can you prepare homemade vegan dog food?
With the demand rise, you can find vegan dog food in PetSmart or in any other better-supplied pet store. However, some owners opt for preparing their dog’s meals at home and there is a lot of homemade vegan dog food recipes online.
If you want to learn how to make vegan dog food, focus your attention on high-quality proteins and healthy grains. The best plant-based protein sources include legumes like pinto beans and lentils. By adding wholesome grains like brown rice or quinoa you are providing a good alternative to commercially manufactured foods.
Bear in mind that cooking a balanced meal for your dog is a commitment that requires a lot of planning and research. Not providing enough essential nutrients can have long-lasting consequences to your dog’s health so seek the advice of a veterinary nutritionist.
Although there is a lot of evidence that supports the health benefits of meat-free diet in humans, so far only a few studies were done on dogs. The results show that vegan diet relieves symptoms of allergies and helps to treat conditions like liver disease and kidney stones. Furthermore, vegan dogs are more active and energized compared to their meat-eating counterparts.
Regardless of your personal or religious believes, not all dogs have to be vegan. However, if you and your vet feel that your pooch can benefit from this type of food, go for it. With the best vegan dog food, you can rest assured that he is getting all the nutrients he needs.
Feeding a dog with vegan food will always cause some degree of controversy. But if your dog is healthy and doing good, you shouldn’t be concerned with other peoples opinions. To keep an eye on the overall well-being of your dog take him to regular blood and urine tests.