More and more people are changing to a plant-based diet for all kinds of reasons. Many are health related; others want to save the planet, while a lot just simply do it because they love animals too much to have them on their plate. But what happens if they have to feed animal products to their beloved animal?
This subject has become a big thing over the past few years since giving up on meat or animal products has generally turned into a big movement around the world.
Why does it matter what my pet eats?
As pets consume around one fifth of the world’s meat and fish, it definitely makes sense to take a closer look at their diet. Cheap meat production is not just driving up emissions but also means that pet food often lacks on quality and actual nutrition. It’s not surprising that many people don’t just change what they put into their bodies but also what they give to their cats and dogs.
Feed the Breed
Different breeds of dogs are susceptible to different health conditions. Dalmatians frequently get urinary stones or urine infections, miniature schnauzers have troubles with blood fat levels and cholesterol, Labradors become overweight easily, Huskies seem to be predisposed to a variety of autoimmune disorders, many of which affect the skin and Boxers are at higher risk for certain types of cancer, including lymphoma and mast cell tumours. Some of these health issues can potentially be prevented or can be treated in part by the food that your pet eats, so it is smart to feed diets designed specifically for these breeds.
Vegan, fish or meat? So, what is the best pet diet?
The vegan diet for pets isn’t most popular, many claim that it isn’t healthy or even animal cruelty to keep our four legged friends on a purely plant based diet and the statement is in some cases not completely wrong.
Dogs have starch-digestive enzyme compared to their ancestors, wolves.
As scavengers they can eat almost anything they sniff out. Which means supported by the right synthetic supplements, dogs can survive on a balanced vegan or veggie diet. But would it work for every dog? Well, it is recommended to adapt to the individual dog and focus on their needs. All dogs are different, depending on the size, gender, breed and origin.
For example, a husky would be much better off eating mainly fish in comparison to other dogs. Greyhounds if they are just kept as pets on the other hand can vary between a bit of cooked meat and veg, or are more in need of fatty raw meat when they are used as racing dogs.
Can cats be vegan?
Cats are actual carnivores and require a meat- or fish-based diet.
In the UK it even goes that far, that under the Animal Welfare Act, it can result in criminal charges turning a cat vegetarian or vegan.
There isn’t a right or wrong for dogs but only one way for cats. You should always make sure that you meet your four-legged friend’s needs and feed them what is best for them.
If you would like to reduce your carbon footprint, finding organic local farms and asking them if they would sell or give away slaughter leftovers would also be a more sustainable option. But if you consider trying out a more plant-based diet for your dog, there are a lot of exciting products on the market that you can start with.
Wild Earth is one of them and started up two years ago by Mars Petcare, which is the company behind Pedigree and Whiskas, and Paypal fonder Peter Thiel. The dogfood is based on pea protein, yeast and potato. Their formula is loaded with the 10 essential amino acids and fatty acids that your dogs need.
The vegan pet food by Halo is completely sustainable and sourced and made in the USA. Their formula is based on protein and is 100% vegan and easy to digest for Dog’s with issues.
Veg-to-bowl is a gran free alternative and doesn’t contain grain or brown rice which is kinder to their bellies. It also has no synthetic ingredients and is free of chemical dyes and preservatives.
There are many ways to keep the planet healthy and your pet happy, you just have to choose one and make sure your pets get the nutrients they need.