Dogs can be vegan, but they need a carefully balanced diet, study finds – ČT24 – Czech Television

Nutritionists have found that at least two lightly cooked human-made vegan diets provide adequate nutrition for dogs.

“The vegan food and human food trend is becoming more and more common for dogs. “Because people are feeding them (vegan products) to their animals, it’s important that they are tested like any other food and that we know if they are safe, complete and balanced,” said co-author Kelly Swanson, who led the study.

His team tested two vegan human foods (with and without a grain component) and compared them to a conventional but high-quality chicken dog food from a leading brand. For three weeks, the researchers fed the dogs this diet and took blood and stool samples from them. From them, they assessed the changes that occurred in their bodies and microbiomes. Then the results It is described in the Journal of Animal Science.

The team analyzed the feeds themselves. The vegan diet was a mix of whole foods such as lentils, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, greens, peas and carrots. The analysis confirmed that both the vegan diet and the chicken-based diet met the standards set by US authorities for a “complete and balanced” diet.

“It is necessary to forget that animals have requirements for nutrients, not food components. Dogs can be vegetarians, vegans or carnivores if they consume the right foods in the right amounts and proportions,” says Swanson. “But it’s important to know the composition and nutrients. Anyone can bribe their dog with vegan food, but without careful formulation, it’s really unbalanced you might end up with something.”

Obese pets can benefit from a balanced vegan diet

In previous studies, Swanson’s group showed that fresh human-grade dog food was highly digestible and resulted in significantly less poop. This was not exactly the case with the vegan diet in the current study. All diets were highly digestible, but the vegan diet produced no more or less feces than the chicken diet.

“It’s not really a surprise. These ingredients have more fiber and oligosaccharides, which can be good for dogs who need to maintain regularity,” Swanson notes.

The research team was surprised to find that some blood metabolites—chemicals in the blood that can indicate health status—differed between a vegan diet and a chicken-based diet. In particular, dogs fed a vegan diet had significantly lower blood triglycerides and cholesterol, indicators of circulating fat. According to Swanson, this could benefit obese pets and help them maintain a healthy weight.

While analyzing the stool microbiome and the chemicals these microbes produce, the team also observed other positive changes.

“There were interesting and beneficial changes in the microbial community that I think reflect the mix of fibers present in the vegan diet. The phenolic and indole metabolites that contribute to stool odor are also dramatically reduced in these diets. They will still smell, but probably less so,” Swanson added. “Overall, there seemed to be some beneficial changes in gut health in dogs fed a vegan diet.”

Dietary Alerts at Home

The scientist says he would like to do a direct comparison between a human diet with and without meat and dairy, but the results of the first study showing how a fresh vegan diet works in dogs are promising.

“No one has tested the digestibility of these diets in dogs before. We showed that these vegan diets led to desirable stool characteristics, higher nutrient digestibility, and positive changes in some blood and stool metabolites,” he adds. “For people interested in feeding their pets a vegan diet that matches their personal values, the diets we’ve tested are good choices.”

Swanson emphasizes that these diets are formulated by veterinary nutritionists and that homemade vegan dog food cannot provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top