Vegan – from the garden to the bowl

PETA expert gives
10 tips for animal-friendly dog ​​nutrition

Stuttgart. Optimal food for your best friend: More and more people are benefiting from the advantages of a vegan diet and also want to do something good for their dog with animal and environmentally friendly food. A balanced plant-based menu includes everything your four-legged friends need for a long and healthy life and can also be delicious for dogs. Lisa Kainz, specialist for animals in the food industry at PETA, has years of experience with vegan dog nutrition.

“Dogs are descendants of wolves, but by definition they are omnivores. That’s why four-legged friends can also benefit from a plant-based diet,” says Lisa Kainz. “If a few tips are followed, the dog and owner will be happy about the uncomplicated change in food and the wide range of options.”

10 tips for an easy change and a balanced plant-based dog diet

  • The conversion: Dogs should get used to the new diet slowly so that their intestines can adapt to the new food composition. It is best to increase the plant content day by day until the change in food is completed after about two weeks. Larger amounts of feces are possible in the first few weeks, but not too serious.
  • Tastes are different: As with humans, there are individuals among dogs who like to eat everything and those who pick out their favorite items. It is advisable to try out different variants and also vary the consistency of the meal. Many dogs prefer their plant-based food pureed, others prefer food with coarse pieces. The location and material of the food bowl can also be crucial.
  • Healthy protein from the plant: Dogs can easily absorb almost all nutrients from plants – including protein. Cooked lentils and peas or lupine have proven particularly useful. The four-legged friends also enjoy whole-grain pasta, potatoes and rice.
  • Fruit and vegetables: In addition to the classics – apples and carrots – many dogs also like beetroot, spinach, pumpkin, bananas or berries.
  • Power packs: Nuts, seeds and sprouts are full of energy – four-legged friends also benefit from this. Dog owners can grow sprouts such as alfalfa, quinoa or radishes themselves and mix them into the meal. Many four-legged friends enjoy whole nuts as a snack between meals or like to nibble on a carrot. Hazelnut, walnut, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as linseed also contain valuable ingredients that enrich the animal diet. Almonds are not recommended because of the hydrogen cyanide they contain. And be careful: macadamia nuts are highly toxic to dogs!
  • Goodies from the garden: Herbal plants such as dandelion, nettle or parsley are not only good for the health of human companions, but when mixed in, they also make the dog's bowl greener.
  • Tasty Rewards: Chewing bones are a thing of the past. For a change, many dogs also like to gnaw on raw sweet potatoes, snack on a little smoked tofu or occupy themselves with a torga root.
  • But would you prefer ready-made food? There is now a wide range of purely plant-based food or treats available in specialist stores or various online shops. So if you don't have the confidence to prepare a meal for your four-legged friend yourself, you can use these animal and environmentally friendly alternatives.
  • Always drink enough: Many dogs don't drink enough fluids or prefer to drink from a dirty puddle rather than from a bowl at home. You can spice up boring water with a dash of oat or rice drink or some cooked vegetable broth. Some dogs prefer stale water, while for others the fluid needs to be changed several times a day. As with eating, the location or material of the bowl can influence drinking behavior.
  • Shiny fur: A small amount of oil (depending on the dog's weight) over food usually improves the four-legged friend's skin and coat. Flaxseed, hemp, safflower or black cumin oil are often used here.

If you are unsure whether your dog should not eat certain products from the above-mentioned foods due to previous illnesses, allergies or similar, please discuss this with an informed veterinarian before changing his diet. If you want to prepare your dog's food yourself, you should make sure that all nutrients are contained in sufficient quantity and quality. To be on the safe side, there are supplements that you should use. Dog owners should also always ensure that they have an adequate supply of water. The composition of individual food components depends on height, weight and other individual factors. In any case, it is advisable to obtain sufficient information from the numerous specialist publications on vegan dog nutrition. Important: If the dog doesn't like something, the owner should never force him to eat – and never let the animal go hungry.

Just like people, more and more dogs are suffering from allergies that can be triggered by animal substances. Many experts also advise against feeding raw meat, as this can transmit diseases and parasites. Conventional dog food causes millions of animal suffering – and dog lovers in particular should think outside the box or dog bowl and find out about purely plant-based dog nutrition.

Further information at PETA​.de/​H​u​n​d​-​K​a​t​z​e​-​v​e​g​a​n​-​e​r​n​a ​hon​er