The Problem with Feeding Your Dog a Vegan Diet

17th May 2022

Guest Blog: Anna Webb

Read on to find out why Anna Webb, top behaviourist and nutritionist, has beef with mankind and why dogs should not be fed on a vegan diet.

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My Beef With Mankind: Why Feeding Your Dog a Vegan Diet Causes Issues

My beef with mankind is compromising the health of ‘man’s best friend’ in an attempt to balance the unsustainable world that man has created.

Many pet food firms have jumped on the results of a Swedish study by Axelsson et al that was published in 2013. It revealed that dogs produce Amylase in their digestive system.

They pronounced globally that dogs were in fact omnivores! Evidently the process of evolution, co-existing with man, had turned dogs into plant eaters rather than meat eaters.

Their study hit headlines, and triggered a further fight back from the heavily processed grain fuelled, sterile kibble brands that their foods are ‘species appropriate’.

I always wondered who had paid for this study in the first place? The research failed to compare the precise amounts of Amylase produced by dogs to humans, or factor in the many biological and physiological differences between dogs and humans digestive systems.

To classify dogs as omnivorous, with the ability to digest and absorb their essential proteins from plants, is at best misinformed, at worst unethical. Yet there’s a massive growth in Vegetarian and even Vegan processed food options for pet parents.

I cannot bear the thought of the unethical treatment of animals, and I’m not a fan of industrial farming.

I choose to be a vegetarian, but I wouldn’t impose my diet choices onto my dogs, as I understand that we’re different species.

I know that I’m definitely an omnivore with a long digestive tract, alkaline pH, I walk on two legs, and produce Amylase (the starch enzyme) in my saliva. Whereas my dogs are classified as a primary carnivore, my cat is an obligate carnivore, and my friend’s rabbit is a herbivore.

My study with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies clarified that dogs are biologically and physiologically designed to eat meat.

Just because a dog will eat anything, as a natural born scavenger, this doesn’t mean they’re an omnivore.

Despite us domesticating our pooches for thousands of years, their teeth and their short digestive tract and bowels have not changed.

Unlike us, dogs have trouble digesting, discarding, and processing a plant-based diet through their gut and their liver.

Conversely, dogs digest and metabolise the proteins in meat much quicker and effectively than we do thanks to their gut being acidic in pH, which absorbs animal fat and animal protein super efficiently.

The proteins of 10 amino acids, including Tryptophan, Taurine, Lysine, Arginine, are essential for a dog’s health and are only available in meat! These are either missing from plant sourced protein, or are not bio-available.

So, meat is responsible for building and repairing the muscles and tissues, and maintaining cellular expression.

Meat also provides dogs with the structure for the skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscle fibres.

As the gut is responsible for over 70% of the immune system, it’s the number one defence mechanism against toxins and disease. It fuels the body to survive and fight the ageing process.

It’s well documented at a human level that a compromised gut causes ill health like allergies, autoimmune conditions, even cancer. And science has recently shown the same is true in dogs.

Opting for locally sourced, even organic meat is an answer to balance concerns of antibiotics that can travel down the meat food chain.

I opt for a responsible supplier like Paleo Ridge to offer locally sourced or organic meat that’s pre-prepared into balanced complete frozen meals.

If you are what you eat, ethically I feel it’s a tad ironic to feed dogs as vegans or vegetarians.

After all, you would never dream of feeding your rabbit a steak.

Anna Webb with Prudence.

If you would like to know more about Anna and her work, please visit her pages below:




Further Reading

23rd May 2024

Guest Blog: Anna Webb

It’s interesting that there are many flea ‘species’, including dog fleas, hedgehog fleas, human fleas, but 90% of the world’s flea population is the very well adapted ‘cat flea’ otherwise known as 'Ctenocephalides Felix’.

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