Vegan diets are just as healthy for cats and dogs as meat-based pet food.
Can your pet be vegan?
YES! They can. Here's some frequently asked questions to help you.
But isn’t it going against nature?
Commercial meat-based pet foods comprise assorted body parts from cows, pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens and fish – animals that cats and dogs never naturally eat. They are also heavily laced with unnatural additives of questionable safety.
Will they still be healthy?
Cats, dogs and other species, have requirements for specific dietary nutrients, not ingredients. There is no scientific reason why a diet comprising plant, mineral and nature-identical ingredients cannot be formulated to meet all of the palatability, nutritional and bioavailability needs of the species for which they are intended. In fact, a growing number of commercial products are now available and studies demonstrate that animals maintained on nutritionally sound vegetarian and vegan diets can be perfectly healthy and active.
How will I get them to change?
Changes are best made gradually, e.g., by feeding a 90%/10% old/new dietary mixture for a few days, then 80%/20%, and so on. This allows an appropriate transition of digestive enzymes and intestinal micro-organisms, minimizing adverse reactions such as abdominal discomfort, flatulence and diarrhoea.
Are there any benefits in vegan diets?
Yes, plant-based diets have reportedly been associated with a range of benefits, such as improved coat condition, allergy control, weight control, increased overall health and vitality, arthritis regression, diabetes regression, cataract resolution, and decreased incidences of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites).
Wouldn’t you want the best for your cherished animal friend?
Could Vegan Pet Food Help Save the Planet?
What would the environmental benefits be, if the world’s dogs, cats and people all consumed vegan diets, and how many additional people or pets could be fed with the food energy saved?
How much livestock consumption is due to pet food? After analysing pet food ingredients in detail, as well as food consumed by people, Prof. Andrew Knight was able to calculate these benefits in a study just published in leading scientific journal PLOS ONE.
They are game-changingly large. Vegan diets for dogs, cats and people, would save many billions of livestock animals from slaughter annually, would eliminate vast quantities of greenhouse gases, pesticides and other damaging emissions, would save vast amounts of land (allowing reforestation) and freshwater.
Recent very large-scale studies have shown health outcomes as good or better for both cats and dogs fed vegan diets (see www.sustainablepetfood.info > health). And studies of feeding behaviour have demonstrated that average dogs and cats enjoy vegan pet foods as much as those made from meat. Hence, pet owners who care about the environment or their animals’ health should consider nutritionally-sound vegan pet food. However, to safeguard health, people should feed only diets labelled as nutritionally complete, produced by reputable companies with good standards.
Full study: Knight A (2023) The relative benefits for environmental sustainability of vegan diets for dogs, cats and people. PLoS ONE 18(10): e0291791.
New study’s findings released – 2022
This study on vegan dog health has just been published: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0265662 and reported in over100 media outlets including UK Times, Guardian and TV.
Andrew Knight MANZCVS, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), DACAW, PhD, FRCVS, SFHEA
Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics
Read more from Andrew Knight here >>
BNC Veterinary Research Study
A study of 1,325 cat owners has just reported on the diets and health outcomes of 1,026 cats, including 187 vegans. Health outcomes of the vegan and meat-based cats were compared. There were no statistically significant differences in reported lifespan.
More owners of cats fed vegan diets reported their cat to be in very good health. Cats fed vegan diets were reported to have more ideal body condition scores (less obesity), and fewer gastrointestinal and hepatic (liver) disorders. No body system or disorder appeared to be more common, when feeding a vegan diet to cats.
The full study has just been published in BMC Veterinary Research – one of the world’s top veterinary journals:
The Guardian, UK on vegan pet food
Vegan diets are just as healthy for cats and dogs as meat-based pet food, according to research that will further fuel a row over whether owners should feed their pets plant-based meals. Read full article here >>
Further advice and guidance is available at www.vegepets.info
Vegan friendly pet food & recipes
New Zealand vegan pet food suppliers.
Vegan Pet Food Co
Vegan Pet Food Co proudly source cruelty-free pet food for vegan pet owners.
All Natural Pet Care
100% cruelty-free pet care products and petfood, NZ distributor of Ami Pet Food – the Natural Choice, Benevo range, Harbingers of A New Age vegecat & vegedog supplements, natural eco-friendly pet products and care. 100% cruelty free brought to you with respect to all living things.
Addiction ‘Zen’ vegan dog food can be purchased from a few places in NZ, including:Cruelty Free ShopPet.co.nz NZ Natural Pet Food
Simple Little Vegan Dog Book
A good recipe book for vegan dogs is the Simple Little Vegan Dog Book