How can I transition my dog off meat or include plant-based food into my dogs diet?
Whether you’re doing Veganuary or you’re already a plant-based devotee, you’re almost certainly seeing the benefits for your own health and wellbeing. Maybe you’re thinking this meat-free thing might work for your dog too… so, what next?
You’ve researched the benefits of plant-based dog diets, you’ve heard from other pawrents whose pets love their meatless chow and you’ve sourced some promising complete vegan dog foods to try. But we get it: changing what you and your dog are used to is scary!
In fact, even if you’re raring to get your pet started on meat-free food, we don’t recommend making a dramatic switch. Just like in humans, sudden changes in diet can lead to stomach upsets so try transitioning your dog slowly. Mix half vegan food with half animal meat and gradually increase the percentage of the plant-based portion. Or before you change his or her main meal, start by rewarding your dog with vegan treats instead of meaty bites. You can buy delicious plant-based treats from independent companies or even large pet food brands – or you can simply feed basic veggies like carrot sticks or cubes of sweet potato.
Pet Nutritionist Emma Passman agrees, telling THE PACK “I always try to recommend feeding a varied diet where possible, barring certain illness and dietary intolerances.” Emma explains that “a vegan diet containing a blend of vegetables and fruits, supplemented with vitamins and minerals can contribute to that variety to help ensure a dog gets all the nutrients they need.”
Maybe you’re not keen to make a full switchover and still want to feed human-grade or raw meat at weekends. Or you just want to do Meatless Monday (or as we like to say Meatless Muttday!) with your dog. Maybe you feed vegan kibble but throw your dog a meaty bone as a treat. Or you keep the salmon dog food and swap out chicken chews for raw carrots, beef biscuits for butternut squash. Just make sure that their main meal is ‘complete’ i.e., providing all the nutrients they need, whether it be meat or plant-based.
All these options are okay with us. Because even small reductions in your dog’s meat consumption will make a big difference: for the planet, for other animals and for your dog’s health. From greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity to the horrors of factory farming, our planet is in trouble. So much of modern-day pet food is meat when it doesn’t have to be, meaning that dog food is part of the problem. Yet it can also become part of the solution and we want to help you get there, one bowl at a time.
Simply swapping in some plant-based options can keep your dog’s ecological pawprint small, as well as keeping them healthy, strong, shiny and happy. We’ll wag a tail to that!
To celebrate Veganuary we are offering new customers a 40% discount with their first order. Just head to our shop page and use PACKVEG40 at checkout. We have a handy transitioning guide to help you know how to transition THE PACK into your dogs diet.