Vegan nutrition
  • Hello there,

    Does anybody has any experience/knowledge about feeding a dog a vegan diet? That is food with no animal ingredients: fruits, grains, plants, etc. I have an Akita Inu pup, im feeding him Purina Proplan for puppies which is what the Vet recommended, but i just wander if its possible at some point to feed him with a plant based diet.

  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    Why does he have a medical issue? allergic to a lot of proteins? Only reason I can think of vegan diet be for..

    There are vegan kibbles out there, but I don't think dogs thrive well with it. They live on it, but I dunno never met one in person, but I don't think of dogs as herbivores.

    I see them as carnivore with inclination to feed on fruits, vegetation especially when times are tough or for other reasons.

    I've fed Bella cooked and raw veggies and both cooked and raw come out of her poop whole..

    I know with people who feed barf diet and give veggie glop they need to cook and grind the fruits and veggies for the dog to be able to digest the stuff. Or maybe they grind the veggies raw..

    I give Saya fruits for yummy treat and she loves grilled veggies that aren't seasoned except for olive oil on the grill..

    She only eats a little bit once she has enough she won't eat it.

    If your worried how the meat was treated when it was a live you can always feed a home cooked diet and buy from local farmers who raise animals right?

    Grass fed and free ranged have more nutrients and raised much better then feed lot kinds..

    Coarse grass fed/ free ranged is very high priced compared to feed lots..

    Dogs are usually seen as omnivores, but humans are omnivores and can do good on veggie diet, but dogs have digestive system mainly for meat though they're not obligate carnivores like cats.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Thanks for the info Saya!

    This is something i was just thinking about because, well, i'm vegan (by choice) so i wander if it was possible to feed my dog a vegan diet. Having said that, i want him to be happy and healthy so i wouldnt feed him a vegan diet just because its possible.

    BTW, i had no idea cats are obligate carnivores!

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3449
    I would suggest (I can't believe I'm saying this) to just stick with the ProPlan over feeding your dog Vegan.

    If you have an ethical issue with the products that are in your dogs current diet (and that is totally understandable since it is a Purina product), try switchIng to something more Ecofriendly that uses organically raised free range animal products. There are many kibbles/semi raws available from companies that maintain high standards ethically and don't support factory farming.
    Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-09-16 05:58:16
  • I personally am vegan and have been for over twenty years and I would never ever force that on my dogs. If I wanted a vegan pet I would get a rabbit.

    I will let others explain why proplan is less than ideal.
    I feed Wellness Core fish to my dogs. And love them for the carnivores they are.
    Fuzzy Gang Signature
  • I uses to do the pro plan thing until I got a little edumacated on this forum. Now I feed my dogs a combo of raw and blue buffalo. My dogs have more energy out in the field and much better coats.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • Hinata23Hinata23
    Posts: 1444
    I personally would never feed my dogs anything by Purina... Vets will recommend whatever gets them money. If they have Purina in their office they will recommend that. If they have Science Diet in the office, they will recommend it and say it's the best.

    Dogs need meat. They are not humans. I agree with @JessicaRabbit, If you want a vegan pet get a rabbit or a hamster. Dog are carnivores. Your dog need protein and lots of it. We feed our dogs a kibble with high fish protein levels (Earthborn Holistic: Coastal Catch). Their coats look great, are super healthy and have tons of energy. Dog are part of our families, but they are not our children (even though it feels like it sometimes). We shouldn't push our philosophies and ideas on an animal.

    My parents started giving their dogs (who have been eating Purina and Pedigree for 14 years) Earthborn Holistic (because of the high protein levels) and they look amazing! For being old dogs they have the softest coat they've ever had, they are in better shape, and have more energy. Protein is a essential part of a dogs' diet. Don't take it away.
    Post edited by Hinata23 at 2012-09-16 08:15:22
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1904
    I would not swap to a vegan diet for your pup for reasons stated above

    that said, I do have a client who feeds their dog the vegetarian version of Natural Balance for health reasons and the dog does very well on a mix of Natural Balance (veggie) and dehydrated rabbit patties, but I'm not sure how much something like that would cost to feed a large dog - this dog is a Pomeranian so he doesn't require much food.

    If anything, swap from ProPlan to a higher quality kibble.
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 ||
  • I didnt know proplan was no good, i talked to 2 different vets and they told me about how proplan was the best and stuff like that. One of them explained me that Purina has three brands: Dog chow (the less desirable), the middle one which i do not recall the name and then Proplan, being the "premium" one. I now these are all "marketing" stuff, i certainly dont know much about this so i just go with what the experts tell me.

    Are Earthborn Holistic and Natural Balance other brands?

    Thank you all for your feeback!! I really do appreciate it!

    PS: BTW, about the vegan thing, that is something i was just thinking, because i just dont know many things about dog nutrition (hence that's why i'm asking) and i did say i was not going to force anything on my pup and that my goal is for him to be happy and healthy, theres no need to point things like "get a rabbit if you want a vegan pet", that just rude, i never said i wanted such thing.

  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1904
    @matias - I believe the vet when they say that ProPlan is Purina's highest quality kibble, but there are higher quality kibbles than what Purina offers with ProPlan. As was said before - vets will often promote whatever brands they're allied with or carry in their office. The perscription diets Purina and Science Diet offer are much better/higher quality than their regular formulas, but still way too expensive for the nutrition you're paying for, imo.

    Earthborn Holistic, Natural Balance, Acana, Wellness, Orijen, Solid Gold and Blue Buffalo are all high-quality/holistic brands I've used for my dogs. I stuck with Natural Balance and Solid Gold for my dogs' individual needs and disliked Blue Buffalo the most out of the bunch, but they're all alternative/better options than the ProPlan.
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 ||
  • Thanks a lot @Crispy!! Unfortunately i dont recognize any of those brands in my locals markets/pet shops.

    I usually find these brands: Royal Canin, Eukanuba, ProPlan, Dog Chow, ProVet, Raza, Pedigree, Vital Can, Sieger, Hills (the last three are hard to get, few places have them). I'll have to investigate if any of these shares the same manufacturer as the brands you mention.
    Post edited by matias at 2012-09-16 12:31:27
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Being in Argentina, you may have a harder time finding these smaller company manufactured brands, but if you visit their websites (by googling the names listed) you should be able to see if they have a distributor near you.

    The brands that are being suggested do NOT have the same manufacturers or companies behind them as those that manufacture the low quality kibble brands that you have listed. And to be quite honest, a good deal of those brands you list are likely the furthest you can get from the "ethics" of being vegan. Many source some of their meats from China, who don't really have any sort of rules or laws pertaining to methods of raising and slaughtering their livestock, so there is a greater chance of these animals suffering for the sake of profit. One of the main ingredients in many of those brands is corn, which is also unhealthy for a dog but very likely to have been genetically modified and/or drowning in various fertilizers and pesticides. Health aside, I've found these brands to be unethical to use.

    Where do you shop for your dog food? Some places practically on carry low quality dog food, such as human food stores/grocers. You may have a better chance finding a mom and pop type pet store, or even a feed store that also carries livestock feed.
  • Hinata23Hinata23
    Posts: 1444
    @matias No one is trying to be rude... just honest. Diets are the type of things one has to research and be familiar with before getting a pet. For example: If a person is not comfortable with feeding live food to their pets, then obviously they would never get a snake or a monitor lizard. You can't expect your snake to eat grass because you don't like giving it a live rat.

    Like @Calia said, go to the brands we have suggested website and look up their shipping options. Even here in the US, I have had to drive 45 mins to buy my dogs' food. High quality foods are not sold in large/popular pet stores or vets' offices.
  • Try checking for more potential brands (stick to the five star dry foods), since the ones mentioned may not be in your area. Each type of kibble has a full explanation of its ingredients and why it was given that score.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
  • Thanks @poeticdragon, that was actually very helpful, cheers!
  • Taste of the wild is a good one as well, I believe its cheaper than blue buff., better quality imo.

    if you're ever in the mood for a good laugh, show your vet the science diet/Proplan rating page from @poeticdragon 's post.
  • could yall give me your own opinions of these brands basically do this,best>good>worst:

    Blue buffalo, natural choice, AvoDerm, Innova, wellness, nutro max, organix

    If you don't know the brand just leave them out, any reasoning to why you made your decision is also helpful. Been switching the cat around from blue buffalo to natural choice and noting fur differences, trying to guess what's best. Basically trying to decide what i want to feed the cat and my puppy when I finally get her.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    Lets see here... In general, all the puppy formulas tend to have more protein in them than adult foods, and my experience is with adult or all life stages (ALS) foods. I would probably only use a puppy food up to at the oldest, 6 months though, so I don't now how well that would transfer over.
    Also, I'm a bit of a dog food snob. I like things a certain way and if they don't line up, I generally don't like it right off the bat. However, I will try things I don't exactly like, within certain limits.

    Best, in no particular order.

    Blue Buffalo.
    What I have heard is about 50/50 good/bad. This food seems to be good for some dogs, not so great for others. But that depends on the formula. I personally would probably only use the Wilderness line since I like more rather than less protein in my dog's food. The ingredients of the Blue foods tend to be good.
    In general, I see it as a good, but pricey (for comparable by ingredients) food.

    Again another food that I've heard both good and bad about. Well, my experience was not bad, it was terrible. But, that seems to be more of an exception than a rule. I tried the CORE variety, the only one I would (again, protein levels dictate this) and they have recently come out with a puppy CORE formula. Anyways, my dog couldn't digest this food very well at all without very high doses of probiotics and prebiotics, so I generally did not like it.
    The Super5Mix puppy doesn't look too bad, I might try that one, but I wouldn't use the adult formulas unless it was CORE, but not for my Shiba.

    I generally liked this food despite it being lower in protein than I prefer. I used the Red Meat formula, but Innova has recently reworked their foods so I do not know if my experience is redundant or not. Anyways, it's got more energy than a lot of other similar (ingredient-wise) foods, the ingredients are generally good, and my Shiba did pretty well on it. However, he was fatter than normal despite me cutting his ration (which he was NOT happy about) so I would probably not feed this as a base, but in rotation instead.
    Price-wise, it's kinda expensive. I got it for something like %50 off, which is the only reason why I bought it so... Yeah.

    Good, in order.

    Ingredients look alright, but I'm not sold on the organic thing. Pretty expensive (in my area) for a chicken-based food that has average protein levels. I'd probably use Merrick instead. I had good results with their Before Grain (discontinued) line, so I might try the regular Merrick or grain-free stuff instead. I like the ingredients and analysis better on the Merrick foods.

    I'm a bit skeptical of this one, since there is some stuff that says avocados are bad for dogs, yet other stuff that says they aren't, or that it's only a certain type that is bad. Anyways, the ingredients generally don't look too bad, they aren't great, but again, it's lower in protein than I'd like so I would probably not feed it.

    Natural Choice.
    Again I haven't tried this one, but I don't think it looks so great. The ingredients appear to be lesser quality than some other brands. The and if I were to feed it, I'd probably only use the performance formula since all the others tend towards the lower side of the protein ratio.


    Nutro Max.
    Wheat and corn... Both of those are huge no no's with my dog, so this line is automatically scrapped off my list. Anyways, it looks similar to the other Nutro food (Natural Choice) and I would probably not use it even if my dog did not have problems with corn or wheat.

    Again, this is my opinion, and I'm a snob about dog food. I like higher protein, mid-high fat, lower carb, (something like 30-38% protein) and good named non-fractured ingredients. (Chicken meal instead of poultry meal, whole rice instead of rice bran.) I don't care if there are grains in the food, as long as they are not wheat or corn and the protein level is acceptable. I'm not overly fond of peas which seem to be the new "it" thing right now, but I don't have a definitive opinion on them yet.
    I have fed a couple very high protein foods, but I probably wouldn't feed a very high protein food (40%+) to a young pup, or an adult that was not very active. I like to shoot for medium-medium high protein dry foods in general.

    I do not know much about cat nutrition so I don't know how well this would transfer to cats. I do know though that cats need a lot more (if not a 100% ) meat/animal stuff in their diet than dogs, so the more meat and protein, the better. However, cats tend to get kidney(?) problems on dry food (that I have heard) so I'd probably feed at least 50% wet or raw.

    Also, if I missed the intention of what you wanted, let me know... I wrote this in the middle of the night.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    Saya and Bella does good on wellness core ocean.

    Bella did get some loose poop on the wellness super5mix puppy kibble around when she was 10months or so it wasn't due to parasite so we switched her to core and she did better.

    I've only fed wellness core ocean, fromm and chicken soup for puppy's lover soul for Saya..

    I plan to try different brand soon still looking them up.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Just to give note about feeding Wellness to cats, a lot of people have been noticing their cats getting bladder stone/crystal issues when on Wellness. The magnesium, a key ingredient in struvite crystals/stones, in Wellness is very high and even cats who have never had issues before would start to get serious issues after switching. This is mostly anecdotal, as there haven't been any official studies done on it, but it's surprising how many people were noticing the link. I love the Wellness dog food, but will no longer feed the Wellness cat food especially to males, who are more susceptible to serious complications than females due to a narrower urethra.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    Interesting luckily my cat doesn't eat wellness..

    So glad saya eats raw..

    Cat also gets some pre made raw twice week plus his caned food weekly.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • It was late when I asked. These are basically food I can buy when I go to Little Rock. The cat does fine on blue buffalo, no kidney issues... need to fix her water fountain, tho. There are just so many foods i've never heard of that you guys feed, just wanna do a good job for the "kids." I WILL NOT feed wet cat food and i didn't try giving her raw at a young age and she looks at me now like i'm psychotic if I offer her raw meat. She will eat a few things cooked, but not much and only little pieces.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    @lizzysilvertongue - Why not wet cat food? From what I've been reading, cats should have at least some wet food (if you're sticking with commercial) in their diet to make up for the water content they're used to getting from whole prey in the "wild". Cats don't generally make up the difference by drinking more water like a dog would
  • The water fountain helps... she drinks A LOT of water with it, pushes a normal water bowl around. wet cat food = horrible gas. Plus my mom had a cat when I was younger that would bite the hell out of the tops of feet of the first person that would come out of their room in the morning, UNTIL he got his fucking wet cat food in the morning. It was horrible, I've never seen a cat so aggressive in my life before. I'm just really turned off it even if it is for stupid reasons. I clean her litter box... she get PLENTY of water.

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