“Are your dogs vegan?” is one of the questions I get asked the MOST on the internet. I’ve strayed away from this topic for a while — primarily because people have their strong opinions on the topic, and while some people are super open-minded, others are very much not.
Rest assured, my dogs are family — my children, and I would never EVER feed them a vegan diet just because I’m vegan myself. If I thought they needed meat to be healthy, I would absolutely be feeding them meat, perhaps using raw dog food. I’ve done endless amounts of research on the topic and my dogs have consumed primarily vegan diets for years now. The proof is in the pudding — they’re healthier and happier than they’ve ever been.
CAN DOGS EAT VEGAN?
Yes. Dogs are true omnivores. While they descended from wolves, they are very much not wolves and thrive off of a variety of plant foods. None of the essential nutrients required by dogs are found exclusively in animal tissues. There are many vegan dog food brands that contain all the necessary nutrients.
WHAT’S ACTUALLY IN YOUR DOG FOOD?
One HUGE factor in me making the switch was realizing I really don’t know what goes into my dog’s food. There aren’t many regulations regarding animal by-products in dog food. That means dog food can contain ANY type of animal and it’s not just what it tells you on the front. Your dog food can actually legally contain other dogs — EUTHANIZED dogs to be exact. Pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats in the shelter and has been found in many top-rated kibbles. Lead and mercury are a couple of other toxic chemicals found in these foods. Your dog food can also contain diseased, dying, disabled, (and already dead) animals. Basically any meat that isn’t considered safe for humans — go ahead and throw it in to the dog food.
WHY I LOVE WILD EARTH
Wild Earth contains the 10 essential amino acids your dog needs for optimal health. They use a yeast-based protein that is not only a great source of protein for your furry friend, it also contains prebiotics. It’s made of over 30% protein from a sustainable source and doesn’t contain any corn, soy or rice. And another important factor — my dogs LOVE the taste. We made the official switch after we tried Wild Earth one time and my pups gobbled it up. They’re especially big fans of the treats.
WHY I WON’T GO BACK
Before feeding my dogs a vegan diet, they both suffered pretty severe allergies. Zoey, in particular, would get red paws and was constantly biting and licking them. She also suffered from seizures – it’s something she would experience every few months — not enough where she would need to be on medication, but enough for it to be really scary. If you’ve ever experienced a dog having a seizure it is quite possibly one of the saddest, scariest things. And they’re more common than you think. I’d even heard that some people who have experienced pet seizures with their furry friends have made the decision to try CBD on them, to see if this would make a difference. Surprisingly, in some cases, it had. Who would have thought it? Luckily for us though, they weren’t this severe. I tried MANY different dog foods and spent a lot of money and had to end up donating a lot of food in the process of finding out what caused her allergies. I decided to try the vegan dog food to see if it helped and thankfully, after keeping a consistent vegan diet, her allergies are completely gone and she only has about 1-2 seizures a year. They both maintain a really healthy weight and their digestion is super consistent. With small dogs, it’s extra important that they maintain a healthy weight as too much weight can cause them long term hip and knee problems. The vet is always thrilled at how healthy they are and tells me to “keep doing what I’m doing”.
I’m supportive of everyone doing what they feel is best for their pets — I think we all are doing the very best we can. I’ve seen tremendous benefits from feeding my dogs vegan dog food and will only do what’s best for them. For now, that’s this.
I hope you found this helpful if you’re considering making the switch – and please feel free to reach out with any questions you have!
Also, if you’re interested in Wild Earth, you can get 20% off your purchase with code HANNAHHAGLER20OFF!