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Do Not Feed Your Dog A Vegan Diet, What Dogs Eat Is Meat

Dogs Are Carnivores

I am very concerned after reading so many peoples websites or blogs, that tell you dogs are omnivores. A tiny amount of a dogs diet is grass. Not apples, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, brown rice, oatmeal or any other vegetable or fruit matter you can think of that is not grass.

You are the intended target of the dog food companies marketing campaigns, Not your dog. That is the reason behind so many (what we think anyway) yummy ingredients being prominently listed in their dog food advertising programs.

I know you really love your dog but you are not doing him/her any favors by feeding a vegetarian or vegan diet.

So please do not feed your dog a diet that does not contain a meat protein. Regardless of your own personal beliefs on eating meat. We have herbivore teeth, your dog has carnivore teeth.


Meat eaters have tearing and ripping teeth ( Fangs- Canine Teeth) and sharp (Pre-molars- Carnassial Teeth) .

“Important teeth for carnivorans are the large, slightly recurved canines, used to dispatch prey, and the carnassial complex, used to rend meat from bone and slice it into digestible pieces. Dogs have molar teeth behind the carnassials for crushing bones”  (wikipedia)

Thank you

The Spirit Dog

P.S. Every type of vegetable or fruit I mentioned, your dogs can eat. But meat is the main thing.

canids, Dogs, ALL DOGS,

American Heritage DictionaryCite This SourceShare This

(kān’ĭd, kā’nĭd)  Pronunciation Key
n.   Any of various widely distributed carnivorous mammals of the family Canidae, which includes the foxes, wolves, dogs, jackals, and coyotes.


Vertebrates with four limbs, covered with hair and having carnassial teeth to tear meat apart; they feed mainly on the flesh of animals.

carnivorous mammals


Carnivorous mammal with an excellent sense of smell; it has been domesticated since prehistoric times and trained to perform a number of tasks: guarding and protecting, detecting, carrying and hunting.

dog breeds [1]

dog breeds [1]

There are about 350 breeds of dog, classified into 10 groups according to their morphology and use.

dog breeds [2]

dog breeds [2]

There are about 350 breeds of dog, classified into 10 groups according to their morphology and use.



Carnivorous mammal with a supple muscular body and paws ending in retractable claws; it is a very common pet.

cat breeds

cat breeds

There are more than 30 officially recognized breeds of domestic cat, classified into three groups according to the length of their hair (short, medium-long or long).

examples of carnivorous mammals [1]

examples of carnivorous mammals [1]

Carnivorous mammals (about 270 species) that have strong canines (fangs) and sharp molars (carnassials) adapted for eating flesh.

examples of carnivorous mammals [2]

examples of carnivorous mammals [2]

Carnivorous mammals (about 270 species) that have strong canines (fangs) and sharp molars (carnassials) adapted for eating flesh.

examples of carnivorous mammals [3]

examples of carnivorous mammals [3]

Carnivorous mammals (about 270 species) that have strong canines (fangs) and sharp molars (carnassials) adapted for eating flesh.

examples of carnivorous mammals [4]

examples of carnivorous mammals [4]

Carnivorous mammals (about 270 species) that have strong canines (fangs) and sharp molars (carnassials) adapted for eating flesh.

examples of carnivorous mammals [5]

examples of carnivorous mammals [5]

Carnivorous mammals (about 270 species) that have strong canines (fangs) and sharp molars (carnassials) adapted for eating flesh.

—————-                  —————–        —————        —————


ungulate mammals



Grouping of all living beings with more or less complex organs, with which they move about and feed themselves; the body of knowledge about them.

ungulate mammals


Herbivorous vertebrates covered with hair, having four limbs bearing a varying number of digits ending in a corneous sheath (nail or hoof).

examples of hooves

examples of hooves

Ungulate mammals can have an odd or even number of toes (from one to five); the number can vary for the forelimbs and the hind limbs.

examples of ungulate mammals [1]

examples of ungulate mammals [1]

There are many species of ungulate mammals; some are wild, some are domesticated and some are both.

examples of ungulate mammals [2]

examples of ungulate mammals [2]

There are many species of ungulate mammals; some are wild, some are domesticated and some are both.

examples of ungulate mammals [3]

examples of ungulate mammals [3]

There are many species of ungulate mammals; some are wild, some are domesticated and some are both.

examples of ungulate mammals [4]

examples of ungulate mammals [4]

There are many species of ungulate mammals; some are wild, some are domesticated and some are both.

examples of ungulate mammals [5]

examples of ungulate mammals [5]

There are many species of ungulate mammals; some are wild, some are domesticated and some are both.

examples of ungulate mammals [6]

11 Responses

  1. In a perfect world Humans would only eat their intended food groups of fruit’s, vegetables and plant matter, and carnivore species would only eat their intended food group of other animals.


  2. You asked ‘why go against nature?’. As I already pointed out, you go against nature every day in many ways, both for your dogs and yourself (e.g. you live in a house, using electricity to type on a plastic and metal computer); I find it interesting that it’s only this one anti-nature choice that you think is dangerous.

    Sure, dogs would not be able to get sufficient nutrition in the wild from plants alone, but that’s why we don’t just feed them whole raw vegetables. Because they can’t break down the cellulose in the plant cell walls, we pre-process it for them, by chopping it into small pieces/pureeing and cooking it.

    When prey is small enough to be entirely consumed, wild/feral dogs will be consuming some part-digested plant material in the animals’ intestines (they usually ignore the stomach contents of larger prey).

    And I would disagree with your assertion that dogs only eat grass; I’ve seen them take berries, fruit and legumes straight off the plants (without any encouragement). For example, my dog loves peapods. I’m not saying he derives any nutrition from them, as they’re raw, but the simple lack of meat protein in them doesn’t make them an inappropriate food.

    Animal and plant proteins have different super-structures, this is true. But once they are denatured (whether by thorough cooking or part-digestion), then the peptide bonds can be broken and the amino acids absorbed in exactly the same way.

    Actually, it’s interesting, animal cells have certain types of protein markers on them that plant cells don’t. You could make an analogy to blood groups.
    Type O blood has no markers on the blood cells, so people with type O blood have both A and B type antibodies.
    People with type A blood have type B antibodies, and type A markers on their blood cells.
    So someone with type A blood can receive blood from someone with type O, because the type O blood cells don’t have type B markers on them, for the B antibodies to attack.
    But the type O person cannot receive it from the type A, because their A antibodies will attack the A markers on the blood cells.

    It’s a similar kind of thing with animal/plant proteins – most plant cells are like type O blood, having no relevant offending markers to trigger a reaction. Obviously there are exceptions, which is partly why different plant species are toxic to different animal species.
    Wheat is a bit of a weird one, because you can have innate immunity to it, quite apart from e.g. the usual immune response of a coeliac. I think it’s best not to give dogs wheat, due to its unusual biochemistry.

    But most animal cells have all sorts of markers, and some of them look quite similar to your own body’s cell markers.
    When you ingest animal foods, the body ‘notices’ this, and gets a bit ‘confused’. It ‘knows’ they’re not your own cells, because they’re not exactly the same.
    So it ‘thinks’ it might be an invader (e.g. some kind of parasite, or virus – viruses often disguise themselves like the body’s own cells). The immune system is mobilised, but of course there’s actually no immune threat directly from the food.
    Instead, your body may start attacking its own cells. This is partly why increased animal product intake is one risk factor correlated with some automimmune diseases.

    So although animal protein can be hazardous to (facultative or obligate) herbivores, plant protein itself isn’t generally inherently bad for carnivores.
    The only problem you have, therefore, is planning a formula for the food which matches a dog’s dietary requirements. Meat is a ready-made perfect formula, because that’s what the dog evolved to eat, but you can also make vegan food match this profile.

    Dogs’ digestive enzymes are more tolerant to a wider range of foods than cats’, which is why cats are often labelled (obligate) carnivores and dogs omnivores (or facultative carnivores). Dogs can change the amount of various digestive enzymes they produce depending on which foods are available to them. Cats have a harder time doing this, they must eat from within a narrower range of foods.

    Taurine, for example, can be synthesised from plant sources. In fact tinned meat-based dog food also has the synthesised version added back to it, as the natural taurine is destroyed during processing.

    It makes no difference whether a dog is classified as a carnivore or not, it’s irrelevant to the discussion, because that label is only based on what it would need to eat in its natural, wild habitat. When dogs live with us, we can formulate a suitable vegan diet for them, through the magic of science. We know what proportions of nutrients they require, and can design a food to match that; there is no obligation for it to be meat-based in order for it to fulfil their needs.

    There has been this fallacy for many years that meat protein is inherently better than vegetable protein, because most individual plant proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids together. This is irrelevant if you are designing the dog’s diet from scratch, specifically to include appropriate amounts of each amino acid. It does not matter one jot what the structures of the entire proteins are, if when you break them down, you can absorb enough of each necessary type of amino acids from them.

    What some people also don’t understand is that animals don’t require protein per se. They require amino acids (which usually come in the form of protein, but don’t have to). If they eat proteins, they will be broken down into individual amino acids and then built back up into different proteins to be incorporated into that animal’s cells. As long as they come in a form which the body has suitable enzymes to digest them with, it doesn’t matter if the source is vegetable or animal.

    If my dog could not digest protein simply because it came from a plant source, his muscles would be wasting away, he would have neurological problems, and then he would die. He doesn’t have any of those (or any other) health problems.

    So, it is entirely possible to produce vegan food for dogs (and indeed cats) which matches their nutritional requirements for good health. I.e. food that they are able to digest and absorb, containing sufficient nutrients for their physiological needs.
    Many vegan cats and dogs are happy and healthy – I’ve heard about some problems with one vegan manufacturer’s food in the USA, but all the ones I know of here in the UK are fine.

    You still don’t really get what I meant. I’m saying that there’s no point in your article at all, appealing to people who are vegan for anti-speciesist reasons, to feed their dog meat.
    It would make more sense, logically, from their point of view, to kill their one dog, rather than kill many chickens for it over its lifetime. Of course the dog doesn’t deserve that, but then neither do the chickens. Fortunately there is another choice; vegan dog food.

    Yes, they are forcing their dietary choice on the dog, but you can’t use that alone as a reason for them not to do it.
    It’s an illogical basis on which to argue your point, because they force a load of other choices on the dog too, like when and where it goes for a walk, and you’re not objecting to that.

    Sure, if dogs had free choice they’d probably choose a fresh carcass over a bowl of vegan food. But to be fair, you’d have to give them free choice on everything else too, and they’d probably choose not to be neutered, to mate and reproduce, to run in front of cars, and to start a pack in the middle of the city.

    It may seem strange for anti-speciesist vegans to even keep animals in the first place, given that they are usually against forcing choices on other beings. They would not buy a dog, or cause one to be bred for them, but would rescue them, because the other option is for the dog to be killed, when shelters run out of space. This is an example of the least harm principle which guides the anti-speciesist vegan.

    The only valid reason to argue against feeding no meat is on the grounds of the dog’s health. You can’t demonstrate that a well-planned vegan diet has a negative effect on their health, as the only evidence available right now is anecdotal. If we’re accepting anecdotal evidence as valid, then I have plenty that dogs are fine on a well-designed vegan diet.

    Even if you know some who aren’t, that does not mean you can conclude that all vegan diets are bad for all dogs, simply that the owners of those dogs are doing it wrong.

    The most you could reasonably say is that people should abide by the precautionary principle (if you wish to ignore the anecdotal evidence, in the absence of controlled studies) and feed meat just in case it’s necessary. But by the same logic they should also only let their dog hunt/scavenge for itself, in case the stimulation of the hunt and that particular type of exercise are necessary to their physical or mental wellbeing.
    So I’m no ‘worse’ on that basis than anyone who feeds their dog bought fresh meat.
    I know you advocate feeding organic grass-fed meat – my dog eats solely organic food, like me, it just happens not to contain meat.

    The precautionary principle argument still won’t work on anti-speciesist vegans though, for the reasons outlined above. Least harm dictates that they can look around and see other healthy vegan dogs, so why cause more (and certain) harm by killing other animals to feed their dog?

    Of course some people are vegan for other reasons than anti-speciesism, but then those people are probably feeding their dogs meat anyway and don’t need convincing.

    So my point was really that the article was a bit pointless because your target audience are precisely the people who won’t change their mind based on your arguments.

    They cannot disregard their own personal views on eating meat, as you suggest, because their particular worldview necessarily extends to other species; it’s an inherent part of the belief system. That’s the bit you don’t understand.

    That’s not to say that anti-speciesist vegans are out every day protecting springbok from lions – but if they themselves are going to be responsible for providing food, shelter and protection for another animal (which after all, only exists because of other humans’ choices), then they will do it in a way that is compatible with their philosophy.

    If not, then they simply do not adhere to that philosophy, and are vegan for some reason other than anti-speciesism, and would therefore have no reason not to feed their dogs meat anyway.

    Sorry for the long post, but I want you to know that there are vegans out there who do have academic backgrounds in biology, and have done as much research as is currently possible on the matter, and have not only a sincere, but also an informed opinion that they are not harming their dogs by not feeding them meat. And that their vets agree that their dogs are healthy, and indeed thriving.

    Thanks for your good wishes, the same to you and your many rescue dogs.

  3. Hello Roshie,

    My concern is for the health and welfare of dogs, maybe dogs will do alright with plant based proteins, but why go against nature ? Not only does an animals teeth determine their dietary needs , but also their digestive enzymes. Carnivores gastrointestinal tract by nature have a hard time breaking down any plant based products or proteins.

    And I do understand an individuals reasons for going vegan, that’s why I addressed it in my last paragraph of the post.

    “So please do not feed your dog a diet that does not contain a meat protein. Regardless of your own personal beliefs on eating meat. We have herbivore teeth, your dog has carnivore teeth.”

    If you do not agree that dogs are carnivores, you maybe should reevaluate your thoughts on it.

    In any case, I wish you and your dog the best of luck.

  4. You are arguing a red herring. ‘Carnivore’, ‘omnivore’ etc are just labels. They describe a general set of physical traits and dietary requirements according to what food would be found in the wild habitat of that animal.

    It doesn’t matter one bit how sharp a dog’s teeth are, or what it would eat if it lived outdoors without humans.
    It doesn’t matter how dog foods are marketed – of course meat-based tinned/dry dog foods are also marketed at the owner…

    What matters is that it is possible to feed a dog a vegan diet that fulfils all its nutritional requirements for good health. The reason you aren’t arguing this point instead is because you couldn’t win.

    It’s also interesting how you pick this one thing to complain about, when all people who care for animals in their homes make choices for them.
    To name but a few of these choices: humans choose where dogs live, where they go, who they mate with (or that they don’t mate), what they sleep on, when they eat and what they eat.

    None of these choices are ‘natural’, i.e. what would occur in the wild – no dog is designed by evolution to sleep on cotton beds, or wear a collar.
    Of course, in any event, what is natural is irrelevant in the case of an entirely unnatural animal – one which has been bred by humans.

    So why is it only this one choice you are so concerned about? If the dog is healthy and thriving, what is there to criticise about their diet?

    I know many vegan dogs (including my own) of varying breeds and ages, and all are well. Anecdotal evidence must suffice for now, for there have been no large-scale scientific controlled studies performed regarding this issue that I can find. Even so vets etc continue to recommend against it, simply based on the ‘carnivore’ label.

    However, you would only legitimately be able to claim that a vegan diet is harmful to dogs if a peer-reviewed study were carried out, comparing a nutritionally adequate vegan diet with a nutritionally adequate meat-basd diet, and the vegan dogs were found to be in significantly worse health.

    Of course, it is possible to be ill-informed, and to harm your dog by feeding them an inappropriate vegan diet. However, the same is true of inappropriate meat-based diets. So do not judge all vegan dog food on the failings of certain manufacturers to get their product right.

    You also do not seem to understand a common reason for being vegan – it is that people are anti-speciesism. That is, they think it is wrong to treat other species unequally based on their species. Therefore, why on earth would they put a cow’s right to life below the taste preferences of a dog? And there would be many dead cows or chickens or pigs over the dog’s lifetime, not just one.

  5. I’m all for people making their own choices, such as choosing for ones self a vegetarian or vegan life style. Whether that choice was based on a personal moral belief or health concerns.

    But just like religion or politics, one who has made a particular choice in their life, should respect the choices of others and not try and force their beliefs on them.

    Your readers may find these articles of interest.




  6. You tell them !

  7. Hi Helen,

    show your friends this post, maybe that will help.

  8. I feed my Sheltie regular dog food that has chicken in it, and I’m a vegetarian. I wish some of my friends would do the same.

  9. Not all vegans are like that. Over the years I have had plenty of clients change their dogs diet from vegan to a more natural diet for dogs.

  10. Good luck in getting through to vegans. Their mission is far more important that the health and well being of their dogs.

  11. […] here: Do Not Feed Your Dog A Vegan Diet, What Dogs Eat Is Meat Categories : […]

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