FOR PROFESSIONALS

Healthy animal companions.
Vegan or carnivorous diet for dogs.

 

Introduction

Dogs can be classified biologically as omnivores because of their ability to subsist on a diet of animal and/or vegetable origin.

In their natural environment, wild dogs consume plants and obtain plant material primarily from the intestines of their prey.

There is no scientific reason why a diet based on vegetables, minerals and suitable supplements can’t become complete, nutritious and palatable for pets.

Slaughterhouse’s business is no longer just the industrialization of animals with the aim of producing meat for human consumption, but in recent years it has expanded and increasingly, to the production of “waste flour from the slaughter of cattle, poultry, pigs, etc.” for the manufacturing of pet food.

Meat based meals are obtained from the Slaughterhouse’s by-products (viscera, bones, tissue, fat, etc.) and is used by traditional pet food producers as main raw material.

The implementation of a carnivorous diet on dogs using animal flour, preservatives and additives is responsible for more than 75% of affections they suffer, such as “allergies, dermatitis, digestibility problems, obesity and general health issues of dogs”. (See references).

The flour of animal origin has great organoleptic variability, great acidity, low palatability, high risk of microbial contamination and possibility of adulterations.

This raw material is declared high risk by the Secretaries of Agriculture of most countries because it can transmit BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and Salmonella.

The implementation of a “diet with flour of 100% vegetable origin” on dogs, is fundamental to achieve the goals of the movement protecting the rights of animals, while at the same time, it is the healthiest option.

 

Vegetable-based food for dogs, arises as a consequence of the concerns of their owners to avoid health problems as allergies, obesity, acidity caused by some of the ingredients of balanced food with “animal flour”, as well as the pursuit of a healthier food without the large amount of preservatives and flavorings that the traditional pet foods use.

A complete and balanced diet of plant origin is essential to prevent hearth problems and protect the general health of our animal companions.

 

Requirements for foods.

Nutritional content:

A diet of vegetal origin, must respect all the essential nutrients needed to avoid health problems, especially the following: Lysine, Arginine, Methionine, Tryptophan, Taurine, L-carnitine, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin A and B.

The essentials amino acids are provided mainly by vegetable flours and the rest is provided by mineral and vitamin supplements to achieve a balanced diet.

 

Bioavailability:

It is widely determined by its overall digestibility level > 82% and for vegetable fat which is 97%.

Dogs have a relatively short digestive tract, however, studies have shown better digestibility in dogs with vegan diets because their ingredients are quickly and easyly absorbed.

Different protein sources have been tested in dogs, were soybean and peanut protein have a digestibility coefficient of 71 to 87%.

 

Palatability:

It’s determined by three factors: aroma, texture and taste.

The internal and external flavorings with smoked flavors and vegetable oils (not chicken fat) contribute to the product palatability thanks to its great taste, smell and crisp texture.

 

Health investigation

In 1994 PETA conducted a systematic health research on 300 vegetarian dogs from 33 states of the USA and Canada.

These are the main conclusions:

  • There is an undoubted advantage to increase life expectation when  consuming a vegetable diet.
  • Dogs fed for more than 4 years with balanced vegetarian or vegan foods will have an excellent state of health and greater longevity.
  • Veganism is more beneficious than vegetarianism.
  • The longer the dog stays vegan or vegetarian it will be less likely to have cancer, infections, hypothyroidism or obesity and allergies.
  • A vegan or vegetarian diet must have urinary acidifiers, so the food is not alkaline and avoid consequent kidney stones, blockings and infections.
  • If the dog remains vegan or vegetarian for a long time the food must be supplemented with “L-carnitine and Taurine” to prevent hearth diseases.
  • Vegetal diets helps to improve hair and breath, as well as it helps to reduce the smell of the dog and the smell of feces.
  • No dog that has been vegan for more than five years or a vegetarian for more than five and a half years had cancer.

Health benefits

Some of the benefits of this type of feeding can be a boost of the immune system, fewer fleas, ticks and lice, improved coat, control of allergies and weight, increased vitality, decreased arthritis, solves cataracts and reduce the smell of defecations.

Allergies control: It’s possible that the artificial coloring, flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers and adulterated products from slaughterhouses in commercial balanced foods are the main cause of increased allergies in companion animals.

Food made with animal origin products cause the most varied allergies, beginning with beef as the main reason of allergies in dogs.

Changing to another brand that also contains animal flour does not solve the problem since the ingredients used are similar.

Since the vegetarian diet do not contain allergenic ingredients, it almost doenn’t present allergies in pets.

Weight control and arthritis: Obesity is a major growing problem in domestic dogs that is closely related to respiratory disorders and hearth problems.

Obesity predisposes the pet to arthritis and is one of the main causes that affect longevity in an animal.

Dogs with a balanced vegetable-based diet do not present cases of obesity because it´s a healthy food, without cholesterol, grain free (wheat, oats, barley and rye), which does not produce accumulation of fat.

Better vitality: In some cases it has been shown that  there is an increase of vitality.

This may be because of the energy conservation previously used in the production and excretion of waste products of animal origin, which are not found in diets of vegetable origin.

Odor: With balanced 100% vegetable diets,  we find improvement in the smell of feces, better breath and dog’s coat in general.

Grain free: Vegan foods are suitable for celiac dogs since they are gluten free (free of wheat, oats, barley and rye).

Cholesterol Free: As they are of 100% vegetable origin vegan diets contain no cholesterol.

 

Conclusions

The dangers that “meat” balanced foods bring for the health of dogs and cats are enormous and difficult to avoid.

Dog diets should be formulated considering palatability, nutritional value and all requirements for each species.

There is no scientific reason why a diet based on vegetables, minerals and synthetic ingredients does not meet all the needs.

The correct and balanced use of a nutritional supplement is essential to ensure the health of our animal companions.

 

References: