According to a study in England, dogs fed a vegan diet are less likely to get sick than their meat-fed counterparts. Good news for vegan owners who apply the same diet to their hairballs.
The theory that eating vegetarian is better for your health is beginning to gain ground, supported by several recent scientific studies that all come to the same conclusion. Naturally, if the question applies to humans, one would expect it to arise for the most faithful of pets: the dog.
2,536 dog owners surveyed
In any case, this is what English scientists from the University of Winchester have sought to find out. So, are vegan dogs healthier than their predatory counterparts? To find out for sure, the authors of this study published in Plos One interviewed the owners of 2,536 dogs. The volunteers were asked to complete questionnaires aimed at providing information relating to the diet and the state of health of their hairballs.
The researchers analyzed this information over a period of one year, in particular taking into account the number of visits made to the veterinarian and any drug treatments administered to Médor. Of the dogs represented in the study, just over half ate meat, a third raw meat and 13% exclusively vegetable products.
Overall, the study shows that dogs on a meatless diet are four times less likely than others to have a visit to the vet compared to those on a more conventional diet.
In the same logic, the percentage of dogs having encountered health problems during the year rises to 49% for dogs subjected to a classic diet, against 36% for “vegan” canids. Dogs more accustomed to Eating raw meat also seems healthier, although this is probably due to the animals in question being a year younger on average.
“Significant evidence indicates that diets based on raw meat are often associated with dietary risks, including nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, as well as pathogens,” the study authors state.
“The pooled data to date indicate that the healthiest and least dangerous dietary choices for dogs are vegan diets,” the researchers conclude.