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Vegetarian and vegan dog diet

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**1. Types of Plant-Based Diets for Dogs:**
Vegetarianism vs. Veganism in dog diets.
– Inclusion/exclusion of animal-derived products.
– Reasons for choosing veganism for pets.
– Components of vegan dog food (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, oils).

**2. Nutritional Considerations for Plant-Based Dog Diets:**
– Dietary needs of dogs (protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals).
– Nutritional requirements in commercial plant-based pet food.
– Concerns about meeting nutrient requirements in vegetarian dog diets.
– Factors impacting health in both vegetarian and meat-based diets.

**3. Ingredients and Nutrients in Plant-Based Dog Diets:**
– Alternative sourcing of nutrients from plant-based ingredients.
– Essential nutrients like Vitamin D, B12, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Omega-3 fatty acids.
– Sources of these nutrients in vegan dog foods.
– Risks associated with deficiencies in plant-based diets.

**4. Palatability and Feeding Recommendations:**
– Factors affecting palatability of plant-based diets for dogs.
– Strategies to enhance food smell and flavor.
– Precision in following recipes for balanced nutrition.
– Feeding recommendations for homemade plant-based diets.

**5. Benefits and Risks of Plant-Based Diets for Dogs:**
– Potential benefits of vegan/vegetarian diets for dogs.
– Risks associated with alkaline urine and nutrient deficiencies.
– Importance of recipe precision and consulting veterinary nutritionists.
– Processing of plant-based diets and its impact on nutrient digestibility.

As in the human practice of veganism, vegan dog foods are those formulated with the exclusion of ingredients that contain or were processed with any part of an animal, or any animal byproduct. Vegan dog food may incorporate the use of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes including soya, nuts, vegetable oils, as well as any other non-animal based foods.

A puppy eating a bell pepper

The omnivorous domestic dog was originally primarily carnivore but has evolved to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and fiber and remain healthy on a diet lower in protein, with as little as 10% of calories derived from protein, of whatever source, for younger dogs, rising to 50% or more for older dogs. Research shows that dogs can remain healthy on a vegetarian diet.

In theory a vegan diet is also nutritionally adequate for dogs if properly formulated and balanced. The American Kennel Club highlights risks factors of a vegan diet such as ensuring adequate protein intake, imbalance of certain amino acids, such as taurine and L-carnitine and potential vitamin or mineral deficiency. To offset these risks, supplements may need to be added to the dog's vegan or vegetarian diet, most importantly those that provide taurine, L-carnitine and vitamin B-12. According to this advice, dogs in the wild prefer animal-based protein, so matching their diet more closely to what they would eat if getting food on their own is more reliable for ensuring health. This dietary advice for dogs resembles that for humans on balanced vegan diets, where it is also important to ensure inclusion of essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, iodine, and selenium and vitamin B12 and vitamin D, possibly in the form of supplements, especially in pregnancy and early life stages.

Motivations for vegans diets include animal welfare and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. As of 2018, there are around 470 million pet dogs.

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