Sunday, April 24, 2022

Vegan food for dogs


Rant alert.

I see a lot of posts lately regarding vegan food for dogs and a research paper surrounding it. There is a lot of bickering going on about it in the dog world.
For transparency, my own dog currently eats raw meat/homecooked stuff and dried body parts of various levels of stinkiness. She is Omni.
Myself, I consume vegan products and try to live a vegan lifestyle.
My children are Omnis. That is their choice, and I respect that.
But would I choose a vegan diet for my dog?
After having Moo, with all his food struggles (and he ate meat), and then doing my canine nutrition diploma, I can categorically say that yes, I would feed vegan if need be.
I know many dogs who have or do well on a vegan diet.
Twyla has meat because it is easy to formulate a diet for her, easy to get hold of, and in the house anyway - I am lazy. Pure and simple. She is happy eating whatever is put in front of her.
Dogs can digest meat AND vegetable matter and process the protein from either. They can also eat insect-based protein too. They can also usually eat a vegetarian diet with small amounts of yoghurt or eggs. As long as they are getting the correct nutrition and their diet keeps them healthy, then there is no reason not to give them the food that best suits them - of either diet.
They are not wolves and do not need to eat the same as a wolf, just as we are not chimps and do not need to eat the same diet as a chimp. Evolution happens, and dietary needs change. Their bodies reflect this with the ability and equipment to digest different foods from their ancestors. Despite what militant fans of any particular diet will say, there is NO natural dog diet apart from that which we feed them as they evolved as a species over thousands of years living on our waste, leftovers and goodwill. In fact, in some countries, dogs are kept for the very purpose of cleaning up after the humans.
Most dogs will do well on either diet so long as they get the right balance of nutrients and do not eat foods known to be toxic to them, such as chocolate, onions, grapes, and sweeteners.
What is also not suitable for them is a ton of processed food and never a morsel of anything fresh passing their lips.
Research is pretty much ALWAYS funded by food manufacturers and companies on either side of the argument. Until independent research is done, it should often be taken with a pinch of salt (or not - too much salt is bad for dogs).
Similarly, vets and dog pros only know what they have been taught, often by food manufacturers, and are not all nutrition experts. It is easy to find reports that agree or disagree with either side of the argument.

There are many reasons why we choose what we choose to feed our dogs. From budget to allergies and intolerances, other health reasons, availability, or simply knowing what our individual dog enjoys most. Which may surprise you - Moo would have given up his own tail for vegan puff pastry. His favourite thing to eat in the world was a tidbit of a Greggs vegan sausage roll. I would save him the pastry bit where it joins together, and I would eat the rest. He LOVED it.

Twyla eats roadkill and Lego if she is given a chance - which she generally is not - but it shows that our dogs do not always know what is best for them. Personally, I would live on Vegan Cornettos and Free From white chocolate. Again - choosing a diet by palatability might not be best!
In the end, we all just want what is best for our own dogs and for that to fit in with our own ethics and moral codes.
Frankly... it's nobody else's business what anyone else feeds their dogs. So quit with the insults on either side (often discriminatory and illegal) and mind your own f*%!ing business.
If you want to feed your dog meat, then do. If you don't, then don't. But don't insult other people by calling them names and telling them what they should or should not do with their own lifestyle, dogs and family when it has f:*% all to do with you.
That is all.

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