A common concern about plant-based food for dogs is whether it is “natural”. If dogs evolved from wolves, and wolves preyed on other animals, shouldn't dogs also eat flesh? The following sections discuss this in depth from the evolutionary perspective (dogs evolving as human companions and living on scraps), as well as from conventional diet perspective (conventional meat-based commercial diets being very different from what wolves have consumed in the wild).
Genetic Adaptation to Plant-Based Diet
Conventional Meat-Based Diets Are NOT What Wolves Eat
We will now compare the ingredients included within commercial meat-based diets with the natural diets of wolves.
Commercial diets commonly include body parts from cows, sheep, pigs, turkeys, ducks, chickens, fish and prawns; some of which have been labelled as unfit for human consumption.
In contrast, the natural diet of wolves consists primarily of animal protein typically sourced from larger prey, such as elk, with the nutrient-dense organs consumed first, followed by muscle tissue.
"The Natural Diet"
Nutrients over Ingredients
Dogs—and indeed all species—require specific nutrients, rather than specific ingredients. There is no reason why diets comprised entirely of plants, minerals, and synthetically-based ingredients (i.e., vegan diets) cannot meet the necessary palatability, bioavailability, and nutritional requirements of dogs(4).
Evolution Diet products for dogs contain all the nutrients your dog requires. These 100% plant-based products are manufactured in the USA without the use of harmful chemicals. Established by a scientist and a researcher Dr. Eric Weisman, Evolution Diet is proud to offer nutritionally complete, vegan products that conform to AAFCO requirements for dogs of all life stages (growing, adult and senior). Transitioning your dog to a healthy, ethical plant-based diet has never been easier! Read more about us, and check out our products!
|Introductory Pack for Dogs - ideal for those who are starting out with vegan dog diet. Consists of samples of all our products for dogs, this pack will allow you to determine which products are the best fit with your dog.|
|Maximum Life Dog Kibble kibble is grain free, gluten free, 100% non-GMO and is formulated for maximum health. Appropriate for dogs of all life stages (puppies, adult and senior).|
|Ultra Life Dog Kibble - healthiest dog kibble available. It is 100% vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, and contains organic ingredients.|
|"Gourmet Fondue Delicious Cheese Flavor" dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile for all life stages.|
Study by Semp (2014)(5) – no significant differences were evident in any of the tested parameters, compared to the dogs fed a conventional diet. Lower levels of iron and vitamin B12 in vegan dogs were not observed.
Study by Brown et al. (2009)(6) – It is difficult to envision any companion animals placed under greater physical demands than sprint-racing Siberian Huskies. During sprint races, these dogs run fast through snow, while hauling sleds, for much of the 30-mile race duration; half of the dogs were fed with plant-based diets, while the other half with meat-based diets. All dogs were assessed as being in excellent physical condition.
Study by PETA (1994)(7) – over 80% of dogs maintained on vegan or vegetarian diets for 50% to 100% of their lifetimes were reported as being in good to excellent health (the remaining 20% of dogs had the same health problems as those commonly reported within the normal domesticated dog population).
(1) Buff, P.R.; Carter, R.A.; Bauer, J.E.; Kersey, J.N. Natural pet food: A review of natural diets and their impact on canine and feline physiology. J. Anim. Sci. 2014, 92, 3781–3791. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
(2) Semp, P.-G. Vegan Nutrition of Dogs and Cats. Master’s Thesis, Veterinary University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 2014. [Google Scholar]
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(4) Knight, A.; Leitsberger, M. Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals. Animals 2016, 6, 57. [MDPI]
(5) Semp, P.-G. Vegan Nutrition of Dogs and Cats. Master’s Thesis, Veterinary University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 2014. [Google Scholar]
(6) Brown, W.Y.; Vanselow, B.A.; Redman, A.J.; Pluske, J.R. An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs. Br. J. Nutr. 2009, 102, 1318–1323. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
(7) People for the Ethical Treatement of Animals (PETA). Dog Health Survey. Available online: http://www.pkdiet.com/pdf/diet/Dog_Health_Survey.pdf (accessed on 17 March 2017).
(8) Ovodov, N.D.; Crockford, S.J.; Kuzmin, Y.V.; Higham, T.F.; Hodgins, G.W.; van der Plicht, J. A 33,000-year-old incipient dog from the Altai mountains of Siberia: Evidence of the earliest domestication disrupted by the last glacial maximum. PLoS ONE 2011, 6, e22821. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
(9) Skoglund, P.; Ersmark, E.; Palkopoulou, E.; Dalén, L. Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds. Curr. Biol. 2015, 25, 1515–1519. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
(10) Buff, P.R.; Carter, R.A.; Bauer, J.E.; Kersey, J.N. Natural pet food: A review of natural diets and their impact on canine and feline physiology. J. Anim. Sci. 2014, 92, 3781–3791. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Notice: E. Weisman, CAHP, multiple international prize-winning scientist, empiricist, former graduate human physician pioneered and provides Nutrient Compound Applications for Internal Disease (cancers, infectious disease & organ failures) in Non-Humans & Humans including Dogs, Cats, Ferrets, Rabbits, Horses, Reptiles, others & Humans. E. Weisman developed and uses nutrient compounds made up of nutrients, botanicals, vitamins, protein isolates, fruit-seed extracts, minerals and does not use pharmaceuticals for the most part. E. Weisman is an empiricist – scientist and state authorized health care practitioner that does not run a medically qualified veterinary practice depending on chemical drugs or surgery for the most part. He has reviewed much research literature, conducted 100’s of experiments & worked in 1000’s of Cat-Dog, other Non-Human & Human Cases for over 25 Years. He has also spent thousands of hours caring for, treating and training 100’s of rescued pets he has looked after over the past 28 years. As mentioned, E. Weisman provides nutrient compound applications for Human Disease. E. Weisman has available sworn statements from satisfied clients that document the efficiency of the nutrient compounds he has developed for cancers and other diseases for both Non-Human and Human subjects. He is both authorized & registered with the Minnesota Dept. of Health. Cancers are leading causes of death in Humans, Dogs and Cats. Why is this? Call Evolution Diet Health Sciences for a free assessment & consultation at 651-228-0632