The Debate Continues

Study finds people still interested in vegan pet food

A University of Guelph online survey of 3,673 pet owners found that 35 percent of the responders whose pets ate conventional diets were interested in switching to a vegan diet.

Published in the journal PLoS One, the study says that 55 percent said they needed further evidence that a plant-based diet would meet their pets’ nutritional needs and their veterinarian’s approval and plant-based pet foods to be easily available.

Previous studies show that pet owners tend to offer the same kind of diets to their dogs and cats that they adopt for themselves. However, there has not been much research on the nutritional suitability of vegan diets for dogs and cats, nor on the health benefits and risks of plant-based diets in these animals, says lead author Sarah Dodd.

Cats, of course, are obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat in their diet to survive. Vegetarian or vegan diets are not recommended for cats.

Dodd. S. et al. Plant-based (vegan) diets for pets: A survey of pet owner attitudes and feeding practices PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (1): e0210806 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0210806.