We are now a completely vegan household. There’s no meat or dairy in our kitchen, our household products and cosmetics are cruelty-free, our pillows and duvets are vegan-friendly (not a feather in sight), and our wardrobes have been purged of any leather items. Veganism isn’t just about what you eat – it’s a way of life that attempts to cause as little harm to others as possible. So when Buddy came into our lives, it made sense for us to explore the idea of vegan diets for dogs.
I know this can be a divisive issue, even among vegans, and some people look at me like I’ve got a second head if I mention that Buddy doesn’t eat meat. But it all comes down to the same thing – if you can be happy and healthy without causing harm to animals then why wouldn’t you do it? And for me the same applies to dogs.
I love Buddy with all my heart, and his health and well-being are one of my top priorities. Andy and I did a lot of research on whether or not a vegan diet would be suitable for a dog, and we also agreed that if Buddy didn’t take to it then we certainly wouldn’t force it on him. But dogs are omnivorous and can thrive without meat or dairy, just like humans, so we saw no reason why we shouldn’t try Buddy on a vegan diet.
We source Buddy’s food from Veganpet where we get nutritionally complete dog biscuits. These make up the basis for most of Buddy’s meals because we know it contains everything he needs to keep him healthy. We mix these biscuits in with varying combinations of tinned food, rice, pasta, and vegetables. We introduced Buddy to a vegan diet very gradually, combining his original meat-based biscuits with the vegan ones, and then slowly adjusting the ratios. Buddy didn’t appear to notice the difference.
Buddy has now been on a vegan diet for a year and he’s happy, healthy, and full of energy. Our vet is fully aware of Buddy’s diet, has no problem with it, and certainly hasn’t found it to be causing any issues when Buddy goes in for his check-ups. And Buddy seems perfectly happy with his breakfast, dinner, and treats. He adores rice, loves his doggie treats, and is particularly partial to a slice of cucumber here and there.
I know there are some dogs for whom a vegan diet would not be suitable, but our dog is thriving. As a vegan household it makes complete sense that Buddy would be vegan too. If he enjoys his food, is getting everything he needs, and is proven to be healthy then I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with our dog not eating meat.