We all know that veganism has become very popular these days. Either for the health benefits that this diet promises or for ethical reasons, many people have adopted the vegan diet.
Many of these vegans also own dogs, including dachshunds. Then an irony arises, these people do their best not to eat animal products. Meanwhile, their pets consume food made mainly from animal products.
So it’s perfectly understandable that vegan dog owners wonder if their dogs can be vegan too. Especially if their dog is a breed that is descended from hunters, like dachshunds.
Dachshunds were created specifically to hunt smaller animals. And any dachshund owner knows that these dogs love to eat meat. So can dachshunds be vegan?
The short answer is yes, dogs including dachshunds can be healthy and thrive by eating a vegan diet.
But, it is not as simple as it seems, a vegan diet for dogs has to be designed to perfection so that the dog has all the nutrients and proteins that it needs. There is no room for error, a poorly designed vegan diet can cause health problems for your dog. This is why many vets are reluctant to recommend that their canine patients switch to a vegan diet.
Are dachshunds carnivores or omnivores?
Modern dogs are not 100% carnivores like their wolf ancestors were. Today’s dogs are omnivorous, they can eat plant products such as fruits and vegetables. Of course, this includes dachshunds, I have personally met many dachshunds who like to eat apples as much as meat.
While there are some fruits and vegetables that can be eaten by dogs and that also give them the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong, there are also some fruits and vegetables that humans eat frequently that are harmful to dogs.
We have written a feeding guide for dachshunds, which you can see here.
So it’s well known that dogs can eat plant products. So much so, that the best brands of dog food include vegetables in the formulas to complement the animal proteins. This includes brands that produce the best fresh dog food.
You can see our selection of the best dog foods for your dachshund here.
Can dogs be 100% vegan?
The book, “Bramble; The dog who wanted to live forever” tells the story of Bramble a welsh collie who lived to the age of 25, thanks to the vegan diet. Many proponents of veganism use this story as proof that dogs are healthier and live longer when they eat a 100% vegan diet. This could be true but to be sure which is the best diet for our dogs we must see what veterinarians and experts in animal nutrition say about this.
According to this PetMD publication, dogs can be fed a completely vegan diet as long as the diet meets all the nutritional requirements of dogs. The best way to ensure that the vegan food you plan to feed your dog is that it has a “complete and balanced” statement of nutritional adequacy on its label from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
So it’s best to keep this in mind when shopping for vegan food for your dachshund. Be careful if you plan on preparing a vegan diet for your dog yourself. It is not very recommendable to follow the first recipe you find on the internet.
The best thing you can do in this case is to speak with a veterinarian or animal nutrition specialist to choose the correct recipe, to prevent your dog from having health problems due to not having adequate nutrition.
Do dogs live longer if they are vegan?
According to Anne Heritage, the author of the book we mentioned earlier, Bramble the Welsh Collie lived to be 25 years old, eating vegan food that included brown rice and lentils, among other plant products. This fact is impressive considering that the life expectancy of a Collie is only 14 years.
Aside from this anecdotal fact. There is not much information to suggest that dogs that are fed vegan food live longer. But many dog owners who follow the vegan diet swear that their dogs are in perfect health, even when they reach old age. But this remains anecdotal, there is no medical study that proves that this is true.
Benefits of vegan dog food
The following benefits are known to accompany a vegetarian diet:
- Reduction of allergies
- Decrease in skin problems
- Weight control
- Improve bad breath
- Less smell in the dog’s eliminations
Again, these benefits only come if the vegan diet is balanced and meets the nutritional needs of your dog.
Related post: Are dachshunds picky eaters?
Is vegan dog food bad for dogs?
No, vegan food is not dangerous for dogs. If prepared properly, vegan food is safe for dogs. One of the main problems with vegan diets is that most plant-based foods do not have all the amino acids and fatty acids that dogs need to maintain their health. A well-done vegan diet should have a mixture of different plant proteins to ensure that this food provides all the amino acids that dogs require to be strong and healthy.
Amino acids such as taurine and L-carnitine are vital for the functioning of the heart of our dogs. These amino acids are easy to find in foods made with meat, but they are difficult to find in vegan foods. The lack of these amino acids will cause heart diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, a dangerous and potentially fatal condition.
Another challenge of vegan diets is providing sufficient essential fatty acids. Dog foods made with meat use salmon or fish oil as a source of fatty acids. Vegan foods must use a variety of seeds to provide the minimum required amounts of sufficient fatty acids. One sign that your dog is not getting enough fatty acids is that the dog’s hair will lose its shine and the skin will tend to flake.
Related post: Is Your Dachshund Overweight?
As we have seen the dogs, including dachshunds, CAN eat a vegan diet and stay strong and healthy. However, this vegan diet must be well designed and prepared. Unfortunately, properly preparing vegan diets at home can be very difficult, and good-quality commercial vegan food can be quite expensive. So, having a healthy vegan dog is possible, but not easy.
Talk to your dog’s vet before making the switch to the vegan diet. Also, if your dog eats vegan food, it is a good idea to do an annual wellness exam. This test consists of blood and urine tests to determine if your dog is consuming the necessary nutrients or not.
Finding the right vegan food for your dachshund is not an easy task. We looked for the best option for our readers and we found Wild Earth. This company makes sustainable plant-based dog food of the best quality.
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