Vegan dog food – should we be swapping the bone life for the carrot stick?

Vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, flexitarian. More of us are turning the humble 5-a-day into a way of life, so the question lots of you have been asking is – can I feed my dog a vegetarian or vegan diet?

We’ve looked through the studies – and chatted to our head vet Sean – to get the lowdown on whether these popular human diets can work for our dogs, too.

Can I feed my dog a vegetarian or vegan diet?

In theory, yes. Dogs evolved to enjoy our campfire leftovers – meaning they’re happy on an omnivorous diet. Fun fact: our feline friends need animal protein in their diet (it contains taurine, an amino acid they can’t produce on their own).

The tricky part with feeding a vegetarian or vegan diet to your dog is making sure they get the complete, balanced nutrition that they need. Some ingredients we rely on in a veggie diet aren’t always suitable for our dogs. Cheese is a great source of fat and protein for humans, but not for dogs. Lots of vegans use soya as a replacement for meat – but dogs can be sensitive to it. In fact, all our recipes are always soya-free.

The best food for your dog is one that’s nutritionally complete

We believe your dog needs a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins and minerals. We use quality ingredients such as brown rice and sweet potato – both great sources of fibre and slow-release energy.

For a healthy source of protein, we only use human-grade meat – from our lamb to our salmon, we use every part of the animal to make sure our food has the maximum nutritional value.

What about veggie treats?

Yes! Keep those vegetables coming. Dogs love a carrot to munch on – or a handful of peas with dinner. Adding dog-friendly fruit and vegetables to our dog’s diet is a great way to treat them without adding lots of extra calories. Before you raid the salad bar, take a look at this blog on dog-friendly vegetables

Looking after the planet

It’s our duty to look after the planet – We’re conscious of the impact meat production can have, which is why we take a nose to tail approach to our food. From bone meal to offal, we use the whole animal – reducing waste in the world, one tasty kibble at a time. Meat is delicious, nutritious – and dogs love it.

We think kibble is king, it’s everything your dog needs in one, crunchy biscuit that’s as good for their digestion as it is for their teeth. Our kibble blends will give your dog everything they need right the way down to the last vitamin and mineral. That’s not so easy to achieve through plant-based ingredients alone.

10 thoughts on “Vegan dog food – should we be swapping the bone life for the carrot stick?”

  1. A DOG’s LIFE was always built on real food. Like meat, catching and eating it! NOT growing carrots and asparagus. If you don’t want a meat eating friend and life long companion then don’t get a dog. It might be OK for humans to be faddy feeders and not eat animals/meat and its bye products, milk, cheese etc., but a real dog, as nature intended. lived on meat either caught or scavenged. with a bit of medicinal vegetable roughage. I am a cocker spaniel. I can catch rabbits and I love the odd carrot but I prefer a good bone any time. I know I am not politically correct but I know what God intended me to eat or he would not have invented rabbits.

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  2. Is there any way that you could package the food in compostable or recyclable bags as we are trying very hard to reduce our single-use plastics. thank you

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  3. Dear sir for years l fed my two dogs on Happy Dog vegan dog food and they both lived to sixteen , Tess Was a Samoyed and Sam was a Japanese Spitz at the time l did ask my vet if they would be O K on that diet and he was quite happy. So the only reason that Skye is on tails.com is that here in the north of Scotland l am not able to get hold Happy Dog as being a vegan is very important for me

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  4. As an apex “predator” we, two legged creatures, equipped with all sorts of ability to find and create “food stuff” to satisfy the needs of our bodies, can decide whether to hunt, forage and indeed scavenge.
    We are not unusual, the difference being others do not generally have the choice. The humble fox does all these, and it’s diet is varied, I’ve seen one eating a washed up flounder, a rotten rabbit and even a frosted cabbage, the badger likewise but possibly a few more roots and worms. The little common shrew is a little carnivore however, eating circa 80% of its body weight each day comprising insects, slugs, snails and enormous earthworms. The difference – they take the opportunity that arrises, they do not head out with a shopping list.
    Dogs of all sorts are a bit of a fox/badge/shrew mix. A bit of rotting flesh, a slimy eal or two, that tasty cow poo full of half digested grass, discarded veg from yesterday’s human meal – the list goes on. But their choice (other than on a really good walk in the woods) is managed by their “keeper” – yes that’s you, whatever you see yourself as.
    Full, varied and diets that are unconstrained by human prejudice is probably best for our little friends – oh and make sure they get more of a walk than you usually give them….
    Love them, don’t love them tho death.

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  5. Hi, as a vegan myself I would absolutely love to be able to feed my four legged furry friend a vegan diet. Please Tails.com could you develop something nutritionally based and vegan friendly please…. ???

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    • Hi Geraldine,

      We’re not looking at providing a complete vegan or vegetarian dog food at the moment – we believe meat provides the best source of protein for your dog that’s both easily digestible and palatable.

      I’d recommend speaking to your vet for advice 🙂

      Millie

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  6. Dogs can thrive perfectly on a vegan diet. Its completely unnecessary to feed them animal products. And especially if you’re a vegan. Buying dog food with animal products in it, isn’t vegan. So find some vegan dog food and live your life. Totally unnecessary to buy food with animal flesh. I would highly recommend Wild Earth brand vegan dog food. He was on shark tank and its been proven both scientifically and anecdotally that dogs do not require any animal products. And can lead extremely healthy lives on a plant based diet.

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    • Hi Levi! If you find a vegan diet works for your dog, that’s great. It’s really difficult to get all the nutrition your dog needs through a vegan diet, which is why our head vet Sean recommends a diet that includes good quality animal protein.

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