Nowadays, many pet parents prefer feeding their furry friends vegetarian dog food. Some have even termed it more beneficial than normal canine foods.
This article lists the best vegetarian dog foods, the benefits of putting your canine on a vegan diet, and factors you should consider when buying vegan dog foods.
What is vegetarian dog food?
Vegetarian dog foods are a type of canine food made entirely from plants. The food can either be commercial or homemade. As you may already know, vegetarian dog foods don’t contain any animal products.
Homemade vegan mutt foods usually constitute of plant-based ingredients like
- Leafy greens
However commercial vegetarian foods are a healthier alternative since they contain higher and well-balanced amounts of particular nutrients which a dog needs. These nutrients include
- Amino acids (especially taurine and L- carnitine)
Can dogs thrive on a vegan diet?
Yes, dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet. However, you must supplement your dog’s diet with particular supplements, especially if you use home-cooked meals.
That is because dogs require various nutrients for their well-being, which they easily obtain from animal-based diets.
Hence, you must consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your dog gets a healthy and balanced diet.
Benefits of vegetarian dog food
Like humans, dogs can also benefit greatly from a vegetarian diet, provided it comprises all the necessary nutrients.
Also, you should note that even though most people consider dogs carnivores, research has proven that they are omnivores.
In other words, a vegan diet can give your dog all he needs to be strong and healthy.
Some of the benefits of a vegetarian diet include
- Weight management
- Glowing coat and skin
- Reduced allergies
- Removes bad breath
Best vegetarian dog foods
Below we have reviewed some of the top vegetarian canine food brands. We also included the pros and cons of each to help you make an enlightened decision.
Halo Vegan Adult Dry Dog Food
Halo vegetarian dog food is meat-free and thus doesn’t have any animal products. It’s made using high-quality foods which provide various essential nutrients an adult dog requires.
The food comes in two categories.
- Ocean of vegan
- Holistic Garden of Vegan
- Has a crunchy texture which dogs love
- Contains additional omega-three fatty acids
- All the ingredients are sourced in the USA
- Ideal for dogs that have allergies
- Comes in two distinct flavours
- Not suitable for puppies.
The canine food contains oat groats, chickpeas, pea protein, ground peas, and pearled barley as the main ingredients.
Additionally, the food has healthy ingredients such as minerals, seeds, and fruits, which provide your dog with much-needed micronutrients.
Over 80% of Halo vegan dog food reviews are positive and garner plenty of 5-star ratings among users.
What’s more, pet parents have been using the food for years. It has also helped dogs with digestive issues, severe itching, or being underweight.
Wild Earth Vegan Dry Dog Food
Wild Earth Vegan dry dog food ranks among the top brands due to its use of premium quality ingredients.
The diet contains a lot of omega and amino fatty acids; the ingredients are non-GMO and sustainably sourced. In addition, dogs love it due to its distinct scent and taste.
- High protein content (31%)
- Ideal for dogs that have gluten allergies
- Doesn’t have any fillers or artificial additives
- Renewable or green sourced ingredients
- Proper kibble texture, size, and taste
- The largest bag is only 18 lbs.
The main ingredients are:
- Sweet potatoes
Wild Earth is among the few vegetarian dog foods that don’t have many ingredients but contain many nutrients.
Most pet parents like how well their canines respond to the diet. Some even mentioned that their dogs became healthier after eating the food.
Wysong Vegan Canine Formula Dry Dog Food
Wysong Vegan canine dog food is made from a plant-based formula that comprises many ingredients, like
- Omega 3 fatty acids
However, unlike many other vegetarian foods, you will have to use this food with other feeds for your dog to get all the nutrients.
- Has probiotics and prebiotics
- Filler and additive free
- All-natural vegetarian formula
- Rich in omegas, antioxidants, and enzymes
- Only comes in one size.
The main ingredients of Wysong Vegan are
- Potato proteins
- Brown rice
Additionally, the food is enriched with flaxseeds to improve the taste.
Pet parents and dogs like this food. The pet parents love the improved health their dogs obtain from the food, and the canines like the taste.
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food
The food doesn’t contain animal products; it provides your dog with all the required nutrients, including proteins, fats, and minerals.
- All-inclusive and balanced formula
- Ideal for all dog breeds, regardless of the size
- Comes in three size categories (4.5 lbs., 21lbs and 29lbs)
- Not suitable for dogs that have grain allergies.
The ingredients used to make the food are highly nutritious and of premium quality. They include
- Brown rice
- Potato protein
- Oat groats
Pet parents who have used this dog food say it’s been a game changer as it helps increase body muscle and the overall health of the dogs.
Some even stated that their dogs which used to have issues eating, had developed an appetite thanks to the dog food.
Factors to consider when buying vegetarian dog food
This is perhaps the most important aspect that you should check. You should only buy vegetarian dog food made from human-grade natural ingredients.
Review the ingredient list to ascertain that the food has no artificial additives, allergens, fillers, or GMOs.
Ideal vegetarian dog food should have sufficient nutrient composition. Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins are two of the most critical nutrients that vegan dog food should have.
Additionally, essential minerals and vitamins must also be present.
Flavour or taste
Like humans, dogs like tasty foods, and there’s no benefit in providing a nutritious meal that your dog won’t eat.
Hence you should consider how the vegan food tastes before making a choice, and if you find a flavour your mutt loves, stick to it.
Always pick pet products from brands recommended by other pet parents and veterinary doctors.
Trustworthy brands are open about their ingredient sourcing methods; they list all the ingredients used in the product.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials tests and approves animal foods to ascertain whether they meet an animal’s nutritional requirements.
Therefore, the vegetarian dog food you pick should have AAFCO approval.
Do veterinary doctors recommend vegetarian dog food?
Veterinarians have varying opinions about putting dogs on a vegetarian diet. Some support the diet provided it is properly balanced, whereas others disagree.
There is also a select group of veterans who only recommend a vegetarian diet for healthy dogs but not those with health issues.
Regardless of a vet’s personal opinion, most of them will give you a logical reason on whether or not you should put your mutt on a vegetarian diet.
Why you should supplement with Safe Guard
Even though vegetarian dog foods are beneficial, some don’t provide all the nutrients your dog will require.
That’s where supplements come in, and an ideal supplement you should include in your dog’s vegetarian diet is Safe Guard probiotic.
Safe Guard soil-based probiotic will introduce plenty of healthy bacteria into your dog’s system that will
- Increase nutrient absorption
- Enhance immunity
- Detoxify the liver
- Manage yeast
- Manage the free radicals
Hence, by including Safe Guard in your dog’s food, you will be sure that he will obtain all the nutrients present in the food and won’t have gut problems.
Vegetarian dog foods are a good option, especially for vegetarian pet parents who want their furry friends to partake in the diet.
However, it would be best to first consult with your vet doctor to determine the food you should buy and what supplements your dogs will need to thrive.