“Dogs, cats, and other species have nutrient requirements, they don’t need meat or any other particular ingredient.”
New research finds that plant-based diets are just as healthy for cats and dogs as meat-based pet food.
Andrew Knight, a veterinary professor at the University of Winchester, said his research shows that carefully designed plant-based diets with added artificial nutrients are as good or better for dogs and cats when compared to their meat counterparts.
His research, which has yet to be published, is part of a larger study on plant foods versus meat-based pet foods.
Knight’s findings come as UK health officials have warned pet owners that canines must be fed an ‘appropriate diet’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and a fine of £20,000 or 51 weeks in prison could be imposed on those found condemn them.
Although the guidelines don’t specifically mention vegetarian or vegan diets, they do emphasize that pet food should “meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs.”
Are dogs vegan At risk of nutritional deficiencies?
Justin Shutton is President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA). “We do not recommend feeding your dog a plant-based diet because it is much easier to get the balance of nutrients wrong than to correct them, which leads to a risk of deficiencies in the diet and associated illnesses,” she said.
However, Knight posing differently said that vegan pet food can be nutritionally equivalent to meat-based products and pleasant for pets to eat.
He told the Guardian: “Dogs, cats and other species have nutrient requirements, they don’t need meat or any other particular ingredients. They need the nutrient combination, provided they are provided in a diet that is tasty enough that they are motivated to eat it. , and digestible, we would expect to see them flourish. That’s what the evidence suggests.
“The claim that animals on a plant-based diet will necessarily get sick and somewhat cruel to keep them, is inconsistent with the scientific evidence in the field and is ignorant.”
Several studies other than Knight’s studies have also indicated that dogs and cats can ‘thriving’ on a meat-free diet.
A 2009 study looked at the diets of high-exercise dogs to confirm whether they could stay healthy on a meat-free diet.
The 16-week study involved racing Siberian huskies in sprints and included 10 weeks of competitive racing. Dogs on a plant-based diet remained in “excellent physical condition”.
Another research led by Knight and published in 2016 concluded: “This [plant-based] The diets have been associated with benefits such as improved coat condition, allergy control, weight control, increased overall health and vitality, regression of arthritis, remission of diabetes, and treatment of cataracts.”
She also indicated “a decrease in the incidence of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism and external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites)”.
“Health, ethics and resource benefits
Dr Richard Pitcairn, MD, DVM, and co-founder of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy – the first professional organization for veterinary homeopathy in the United States – said: resources.
“Many of the chronic health problems in both dogs and cats are the effects of eating other animals that have accumulated many environmental toxins, or that have been given drugs or other substances.
“Also, the accelerated development of ‘factory farming’ has led to very miserable lives of billions of animals, which were to be killed and eaten. This is unacceptable to those of us who care about all the animals.”
Share this story: Your vet says vegan cat and dog food is as healthy as meat.