Can Your Dog Thrive on Vegan Dog Food? A Very Public Case Study
As veganism becomes more mainstream, many pet parents are looking into vegan / plant-based diets as an option for their dogs.
The conversion to veganism for humans comes down to a variety of reasons but the majority for animal welfare reasons and a moral desire to protect the planet . It naturally follows that to consider the moral implications and environmental sustainability of the diets our dogs are also enjoying.
However, when it comes to our canine companions we know we have to be super careful when making any significant changes to what they eat. Dogs rely on certain nutrients and vitamins in certain amounts (and proportions) in order to thrive and achieve their optimal health.
From building strong bones and muscles, to the quality of their coat, a dog’s diet plays a key role in their health and wellbeing and should never, and need never, be compromised as long as your decision to feed your dog plant-based is well informed.
So let’s get started!
What Is a Vegan or Plant-based Dog Food Diet?
When dogs follow a vegan/ plant based diet, they still need the same nutrients that consuming meat, egg and dairy ingredients would provide.
By using proteinaceous beans, vegetables, yeasts, and vegan-friendly produce such as grains (which includes rice), it ensures vegan dog food is nutritionally complete.
Commercial vegan and plant-based dog food that are labelled as ‘complete’ will be formulated to include the correct balance of nutrients (as set by FEDIAF in the UK and EU, AAFCO in the US, and PFIAA in Australia).
Noochy Poochy’s range of dog food is suitable for adult dogs from 12 months onwards. It contains an incredible cheesy aroma from the protein and vitamin-packed superfood Nutritional Yeast.
This means switching to a planet-friendly plant-based diet can be exciting and delicious, whilst still fulfilling your dog’s dietary requirements.
Take a look at what some of our happy customers said about the range:
“Just to let you know an ageing and very difficult to feed border terrier ….absolutely loves it!” – early trialist 1
Noochy Poochy has a 28% protein content, the highest of a plant-based in the UK plus an impressive Omega 6:3 (essential fatty acid) ratio of 4:1, which is considered optimum for dogs.
“My dog nearly killed me for the bag as I got home so I gave her a handful and she went mad!! Absolutely loved it!!!’’ – early trialist 2
We achieve this by combining olive oil, rapeseed oil, and linseed. These high quality oils are more expensive, but getting this optimum omega balance is incredibly important to us.
“Chloe goes totally insane for it. She doesn’t even react like that to her dog treats!” – early trialist 3
Did you know?
Many pet foods on the market have an omega 6:3 ratio of up to 20:1.
Why don’t you see how your current pet food stacks up? Take the omega 6 value and divide it by the omega 3 value. If the number you get out is more than 8 (i.e. means a ratio of more than 8:1) then we would advise you to consider changing!
Noochy Poochy is 100% nutritionally complete to ensure your dog’s dietary needs are fulfilled and we also supplement methionine and taurine separately into the food to ensure there’s enough available for your dog to thrive. Take a look for yourself!
Benefits of a Vegan Dog Food Diet
With the right care and planning, vegan dogs can lead long, healthy and happy lives. The key is providing them with a balanced, nutritionally complete diet.
Whilst many pet parents are unsure as to whether a plant-based diet is safe for their dog, your dog may actually enjoy a vast range of health benefits.
Take a look at the below benefits that may be enjoyed making the transition to a nutritionally balanced vegan or plant-based diet:
- Your dog’s poo will smell less
- Their digestive system will be better
- Their skin will improve
- It helps manage their weight
- They will enjoy improved energy levels
If your dog has an allergy to soybean, double-check the packaging of a plant-based or vegan diet. Soybean boasts a fairly comprehensive amino acid profile and is for that reason included in many plant-based (and meat based) diets.
Noochy Poochy would not be an appropriate diet to try if your dog had an allergy to soybean as organic soybean is one of our top ingredients!
It’s advised you always speak to a vet before making this change, and introduce new diets slowly over 10 days to give dogs a chance to get used to their new diet.
What to Look Out for in Dry Vegan Dog Food
Pet owners need to find a vegan diet that is carefully balanced and contains not only a good amount of protein but also the right amounts and ratios of specific amino acids – the building blocks of protein.
Let’s take a look at simple steps so you can make informed decisions about which commercial food to buy.
Overall Protein Content
Make sure the overall protein content of an adult dog food for normal adult dogs is 24% or more.
Although this can only give an indication of how much protein (i.e. amino acids) your dog will be getting (as it also depends how well that protein is then digested) it’s the best indication you have.
In a nutshell, always buy adult dog food with a protein content of 24% or more as anything less than 24% is lower than what your dog needs.
Our nutritionist loves to use the example of an old leather boot.
It’s 80% protein which sounds great! But actually, because of the digestibility of it, it’s only around 8% protein that the body can make use of.
Methionine and Taurine
Some vegan dog food diets are at risk of lacking necessary amino acids including methionine and taurine which are both found in meat, and either not so much (methionine) or not at all (taurine) in plant matter.
It is therefore essential that you check the ingredients list to make sure plant-based alternatives have these two added in in the ingredients list.
Homemade Plant Based and Vegan Dog Food
As the taboo around vegan dog food recedes and more owners are sitting on the ‘pro’ side of the vegan dogs park-fence, more vegan dog food brands are finally able to make their way into the market.
However, some pet parents decide to make their vegan dogs meals at home, at least some of the time.
With any homemade dog meal, it can be easy to overlook key nutrients.
We advise following some rules regarding supplements plus following some initial recipe suggestions to get you started.
You could get these from either a private consultation with a vet nutritionist, or to keep costs down, purchase a recipe book authored by a vet nutritionist. It cannot be overstated how important it is to not leave out any of the ingredients in each recipe.
Alternatively, you may want to opt for an ‘all-in’ supplement that can be added to a home made ‘base’ meal which may be more convenient.
See our website for links to some of the UK and US and Australia veterinary nutritionists and best all-in supplements out there.
We advise you to research what your dog requires so you can tailor their meals to suit and ensure they aren’t lacking anything.
As we’ve covered, your canine companion really relies on certains minerals and vitamins to support their bone structure, muscle strength, and overall immune system. Their health is integral to their happiness and quality of life.
By consulting your vet or a pet nutritionist, they will be able to determine the appropriate amount and types of food and supplement, to ensure your dog’s requirements are met.
Case Study: Meet Lewis Hamilton’s Vegan Dog
‘It’s changed his life’
Lewis Hamilton, British pro racing driver, is one of the most successful Formula One Grand Prix Racing Drivers of all time.
Aside from car racing, the athlete is devoted to his beloved four legged friend Roscoe, who he has had since 2013. Roscoe is usually seen at Formula One tracks and even has his own passport to travel alongside the racing star.
In his first UK interview since he won his 7th Formula 1 title in 2020, Lewis Hamilton told the BBC that Roscoe is now following a vegan diet.
Lewis himself has followed a vegan diet for the last 3 years but has only recently made the transition for his dog. He emphasised that the new diet has changed Roscoe’s life and has made him much healthier and happier.
The Formula One driver first made the announcement on his dog’s Instagram page which boasts more than 178,000 followers. He posted an adorable photo of his canine companion along with the caption ‘Hey guys, so Roscoe is now fully vegan.’
The decision to transition his beloved best friend to a vegan diet followed the tragic loss of his other dog, Coco. After battling several health problems, Coco sadly passed away last year after a suspected heart attack.
This tragedy spurred Lewis on to reconsider what he was feeding to his pets and whether their lifestyle could be improved.
In an Instagram post he wrote, ‘I’m looking into dog food and supplements as I think the industry can be a lot better and our pets deserve the best we can give them.’
Roscoe is a British Bulldog and used to weigh 30 kilos. Lewis said he had always suffered from breathing issues and problems with his joints, and as a result, was never able to walk very far. He also added that Roscoe used to suffer from allergies and until now, had followed a ‘normal’ diet.
Since changing to a vegan diet, Lewis described Roscoe as being like a puppy again, adding that his breathing was much better and his throat was no longer restricted. This means Roscoe is now able to enjoy being out and can walk much further. He added that Roscoe now loves to run!
Since ditching meat produce, Rosco no longer overheats and his symptoms attributed to allergy have cleared up too. Lewis describes his coat as feeling much softer and said his paws are no longer swollen.
The athlete strongly credits veganism and said he is over the moon with the results. Rosco is said to be loving the perks of his new diet too.
Posting on his instagram, he wrote ‘He’s like a puppy again! It’s been amazing to see these changes in Roscoe and I’m so grateful to be able to share this.”
Lewis advised that pet owners should consult with their vet and seek advice before making the decision to convert their dog to a plant-based diet, to ensure their nutritional needs are fulfilled.
Another Vegan Dog Star?
Roscoe isn’t the only dog celebrity who has thrived on a plant-based diet.
Introducing Bramble, a 27 year old Border Collie who made it into the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest living dog in 2002. That’s nearly 189 human years – remarkable!
The border collie thrived on a diet of rice, lentils, and organic vegetables leading a long and happy life which earned her the title.
Bramble’s owner described her as an inspiration, adding that it just goes to show what can be achieved on a vegan diet when your dog is consuming the right amount of nutrients.
She said Bramble ate once a day and exercised a lot which led to a fit and healthy canine.
Another vegan success story in the dog world!
How Noochy Poochy Can Help your Vegan Dog to Thrive
Here at McKinna, we provide a range of 100% plant protein, plant based dog food that is packed with all of the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy and happy.
All products are 100% nutritionally complete and don’t contain any artificial colours, flavourings, or preservatives.
With a 30% organic ingredient content and an omega 6:3 ratio of 4:1 and added methionine and taurine, you can have peace of mind that we’ve put your dog’s health at the forefront.
If your dog suffers from digestion issues, then our ‘Noochy Poochy’ range is crammed with prebiotics to improve their digestion and gut health. This is key to boosting their immune system as a high proportion of the immune system is found in the intestines.
The Noochy Poochy range ensures your dog receives the nutrients they need, whilst still providing delicious tasting food that they love.
Intrigued by our vegan dog food offering? You should be! Take a look at our range of plant-based dog food and see the benefits for yourself.
Can Your Pet Thrive on Vegan Dog Food? A Very Public Case Study
More and more experts agree vegan dog food is perfectly safe for your canine friend as long as it is well-balanced. It’s imperative vegan dog contains all of the nutrients your dog needs to flourish as this ensures they are both healthy and happy.
We’ve pointed out the key things you need to look for in your next vegan dog food purchase to make sure you’re making a good choice.
Research has shown that dogs can enjoy a range of benefits (including the added benefit for owners that they’re protecting the planet), which is a big reassurance for any owners thinking about making the transition.
From helping to manage weight loss, to reducing digestion problems, there are numerous potential advantages to your dog following a plant-based diet.
Even Lewis Hamilton and his beloved Roscoe are on board! And let’s not forget about 27 year old Bramble – one of the oldest dogs in the world.
What more convincing do you need?!
Grab your first order of Noochy Poochy today, and see what all the fuss is about!