Can dogs be vegan?

By personal convictions or to save the climate. Sometimes even by simple taste. Some of us have gone vegan. A diet that, if implemented correctly, can also be beneficial for our health. But is it the same for the health of our dogs? Possible, say researchers today.

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For tens of thousands of years it has followed us… like a little dog. But if sometimes we have the impression of knowing everything about our best friend, researchers have not finished teaching us.

Some humans who share the life of a dog have already taken the plunge. They chose to make their best friend follow the same diet as them. A vegan diet. By conviction, in general. Because eating meat has a huge impact on the environment. Or because the conditions for processing the animals used as food leave something to be desired. But until then, they did not have a study on which to base themselves in order to know whether such a diet could be good or not for the health of said dogs.

From researchers from the universities of Winchester (United Kingdom) and Griffith (Australia) have finally tackled the question. They interviewed over 2,500 humans about the eating habits of their dogs. Taking note of the number of their visits to the veterinary, their use of medication and more generally, their health problems. Depending on whether these dogs were on a vegan diet or ate meat or raw meat.

Researchers have studied the health effects of a vegan diet in dogs.  They say nothing about the appetite of dogs for plants.  © Michael Pettigrew, Adobe Stock

Raw meat, really better for the health of dogs?

Result: dogs that follow a classic meat-based diet seem to be those who live in less good health. Next come those who follow a vegan diet. And finally, those who eat raw meat. A little surprise. Because previous studies have suggested that the consumption of raw meat leads to an increased risk of pathogens in dogs. pathogens and of deficiencies nutritional.

The researchers acknowledge that their findings should be viewed with caution. Because the humans of dogs eating raw meat seem to be naturally more reluctant to consult a veterinarian for their pet. And the vegan dogs who took part in the survey were, on the whole, younger than the others. Pending further studies, however, researchers believe that a nutritionally sound vegan diet may be the healthiest and least dangerous for the health of our four-legged friends.

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