Today’s craze of healthy eating and living has extended to the canine world, making for an abundance of vegetarian dog food options for your dog. More than a trendy lifestyle choice, however, going vegetarian might actually be healthier for your dog, especially if he is prone to allergies and has a sensitive tummy, or is a particularly picky eater.
With the hundreds of dog food choices available nowadays, DogGear has poured in tons of research to aid you in finding the best vegetarian options on the market. Simply read on to find out and choose the perfect vegetarian dog food for you and your canine friend. Here’s a list of some of the best vegetarian dog foods in 2021 we’ve found on the market.
Vegetarians and vegans should make sure they eat a high-quality vegetarian dog food to avoid any potential health issues. The type of food also dictates what else the dog can eat, and this is something to think about if you want your dog to get enough nutrients to stay healthy.If you’ve been wondering if a vegetarian or vegan dog Food is a good option for your pup, then you should definitely check out this buying guide and see if it is the right choice for you and your pooch.
You can find vegetarian dog food that is low in sodium, but you should be mindful of the source of that sodium. For most dogs, beef, lamb, pork, or poultry are the most sodium-rich. Generally speaking, the more meat in a food the less sodium it has. Look for a package with a low sodium level if you have a dog who consumes a lot of meat. Some vegetarian food is made from soybean, corn, soy, and canola oil.
These oils have very little sodium and are a good source for omega-3s. Meat meal can also be a problem. It tends to contain a high amount of sodium as well as nitrates, which are known to cause unwanted symptoms in dogs. The vegetarian brands tend to be lower in nitrate, so you may want to look for vegetarian dry dog kibble instead.
We used the following criteria to narrow down our list of the best vegetarian dog food.
Type of dog
All dogs are omnivores, and the vast majority will survive eating a vegetarian diet. However, we realize that not all dogs can stomach meat. Here are some other types of dogs we considered.
Smaller dogs, such as Chihuahuas, often thrive on a plant-based diet, while bigger dogs need a meat-free option.
Active dogs that exercise often (such as working dogs or sled dogs) need meat to make sure their muscles are adequately fueled.Possums: If you live in an area where possums are common, you can find some vegetarian vegetarian dogs food to help keep you company.
It's important to look at the amount of food a particular vegetarian food contains to be sure you don't get overwhelmed by the size of your dog's stomach. A small-volume dog-food may be fine for a puppy, but a large dog may not be. We’ve included vegetarian options for each dog size range to take this into consideration.
Vegetarian Dog Food ranges from $10 to $20 for a single dog food package. The lower price is due to the smaller number of ingredients, but you may find some vegetarian dog diets at this price point that are quite good.
For $25 to 50, you will find a wider selection of vegetarian-friendly dog recipes. These recipes should be more balanced in protein and carbohydrates and include a higher percentage of bone and/or vegetable protein.
Expensive (and mostly organic)
The most expensive vegetarian foods are made with 100% organic ingredients and typically cost between $50 and $90 for one dog diet.
Vegetable Protein Supplement
This type of supplement is designed to provide your dog with the amino acids they need to digest their food. The protein in this type is usually sourced from either grains or legumes.
If you are looking for a vegan dog food, this is the type to look for.
Most BOS dog formulas contain meat meal, but some may include a poultry meal as well.
Some BOSH dog meals are designed with kidney support in mind. They may be fortified with potassium or added a little extra to help keep blood pressure in check.
Vegan dog treats may not be keto-friendly, so make sure to check the ingredients list if you’re concerned about this. BOKIN's vegan formula is a great option. It's totally ketogenic (it contains no animal products), low in sugar, and contains a significant amount of plant-based protein.
Vegetarians and vegans usually avoid meat products because, although it tastes delicious, it’s a protein-rich source of protein, lacking in the essential amino acid methionine. Dogs are also hard on the joints, especially after long periods on a rigid, heavy walking schedule. Vegetarian and vegan dog food is formulated to provide enough protein for joints that are still somewhat sensitive. However, this does not mean that the food lacks any nutrients. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are crucial to the proper development and function of every organ in your dog‘s body. Without adequate amino acids, your pet will develop joint problems that will need to be addressed by a vet. In addition, not all dogs are able to digest certain animal proteins, so there may be problems with absorption. Some dog proteins are gluten-free, meaning your pup can easily digest the foods. If your pooch is sensitive to grains, you might want to look for a vegetarian or vegan food that is also grain- and gluten free.
Vegetarian Dog Food FAQ
Q: What is a vegetarian dog food?
A: A vegetarian food is just as it sounds; a dog treat or meal that is not made from dogs or other living creatures. By definition, a vegan dog is one that does not eat meat, eggs, dairy products, or any other product derived from animals.
Q: What does a non-vegan diet include for my dog?
A: There are many non vegan diet plans out there, but they usually include a range of things, including grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and soy. Most dogs can handle any of the above, although some are allergic to them all. Many vegetarian diets for dogs include meat as a staple, as well.
Q: Is it healthier for a pet to eat a meat-free diet?
A: Healthy vegetarian dogs are better able to absorb all the vitamins and minerals they need from a plant-based diet. A dog can also get all of its vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins C and D from the foods they eat. It is also possible that a healthier vegetarian diet will cause more fat in your dog's system, which could result in weight gain. On the other hand, it is possible for your pet's health to improve on a high-protein, low-carb vegetarian, high fat diet, especially if you replace the high amounts of protein with a low fat and/or added sugar content.
Amber grew up having golden retrievers and will always have a special place in her heart for the breed. Her love for all things "dog" helped her become a general manager at a small kennel in Ohio for several years. Acquainting dogs and understanding both their needs and limitations have given her deep insights into the boarding process many dogs face in their lives. From consistent details to play time to food and bed time, Amber will always remember the small influences she was able to present to every pooch she cared for.