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Are Vegan Diets Healthy for Dogs? A New Study Says Yes

A dog eating out of a yellow dish
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For humans, vegan diets are beneficial for a number of reasons, from reducing people’s carbon footprints to improving heart health. But, as it turns out, vegan diets may also healthy for our beloved canine friends, according to a new study.

A study of over 2,500 dog owners suggests not only that vegan diets are beneficial to dogs, but that nutritious vegan diets may be healthier than some meat-based diets. The researchers discovered that the dogs that ate vegan or stayed on raw meat diets were healthier than dogs who were fed kibble and meat-heavy diets.

Related: Need another reason to adopt a pet? Long-term pet owners may have slower cognitive decline.

Researchers also compared pups on raw meat diets to those on vegan diets and found that the dogs on raw meat diets appeared to be healthier than those on vegan diets, however, they didn’t claim that raw meat diets were better. Because meat diets have been connected to an increased risk of infections and even nutritional deficiencies in dogs, researchers suggest that nutritious vegan diets could be the way to go. The study authors wrote that “the pooled evidence to date indicates that the healthiest and least hazardous dietary choices for dogs, are nutritionally sound vegan diets.”

A woman giving her dog a treat

The study also pointed out that all dietary choices may include certain hazards, so pup parents should be mindful and ensure their dog’s diet is “nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, and appropriate for life stage (e.g., young, old) and physiological status (e.g., pregnant, heavily exercising).”

Of course, before deciding to switch up your dog’s diet, consult with a vet to see what the best options are for your furry friend.

Related: The cutest hypoallergenic dog breeds for the allergy-prone this spring.


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