Can dogs and cats be happy and healthy on a vegan diet?

Emerging research suggests that vegan pet foods may be able to keep dogs and even cats healthy and happy, reducing the massive impact traditional pet foods have on the environment.

Environment


September 19, 2022


Studies suggest a dog’s nutritional needs can be met with plants and supplements

Rica I

WHEN I finally stopped eating meat, I discovered that I couldn’t stop buying meat. My two teenage sons were both big fans of this stuff and my two cats ate nothing but meat. And while I thought boys might be weaned off it, cats not so much. I knew vegan diets for dogs were available, but I assumed they weren’t optimal, and it never even occurred to me that cats could do the same thing without losing some of their their nine lives. Now, however, the boys have left home and the cats have sadly passed away. I’m finally meatless. And when we get our next cat, and maybe a dog, I’m considering making them meatless as well.

Because far from being biologically impossible, evidence is accumulating that cats and dogs can perfectly be satisfied with a veggie or even vegan diet. Indeed, they may be healthier than those fed conventional pet food. Nevertheless, veterinarians still tell owners not to impose plant-based diets on dogs and cats, warning that they are likely unhealthy, possibly cruel, and potentially illegal. So what’s the truth about plant-eating pooches and moggies?

Cats, dogs and their dinners are big business. In 2018, there were around 370 million pet cats and 470 million pet dogs worldwide, together devouring 134 billion dollars worth of food every year. And the pet food market is growing. In the UK, it grew by 17% in the five years to 2019. Thousands…