A recent new study of more than 3600 cat and dog owners worldwide reported that 35% are considering placing their companion pets on a vegan diet, while 27% also already do feed their animals plant based food.
The benefits of giving our pets a vegan diet
Many vegans and vegetarians feed their cats and dogs a healthy, meatless diet. Many pet owners feel that giving organic vegetables, lentils and rice to their pets will enhance their lives, allow them to live for longer and be free from serious health problems. Lots of research has been done that shows that the nutritional needs of many household pets will certainly be met with a balanced vegan diet, complemented with necessary supplements.
Controversy still surrounds feeding a vegan diet to pets
This new study was carried out by the veterinary college at the University of Guelph, Canada, Dr. Sarah Dodd, leading researcher, commented "That percentage, 27 percent, might sound like a small number, but when you think of the actual numbers of pets involved, that's huge, and much higher than we expected.”
As we hear more detail about how vegan diets can have improved health benefits for humans and also lowers cancer risks, interest in giving our pets a vegan diet is likely to increase. This is also magnified by the environmental impact concerns surrounding animal agriculture.
While many dogs, as omnivores, can cope quite well on a vegan diet, they still need 2 amino acids to keep their hearts healthy. L-carnitine and taurine can be given as supplements when dogs are given a vegan diet. Cats however, don't fare as well, as they are natural carnivores, plus they can be quite finicky eaters.
It certainly appears that more research and further studies are required, to provide enhanced information to pet owners, before the remaining 73% decide to feed their pets a purely vegan diet.