New research endorses vegan dog food for healthier pets

golden retriever with woman owner

As more people adopt plant-based diets for themselves, the interest in vegan diets for pets, including dogs, has been growing. Novel scientific research has aimed to fill the gap in knowledge of plant based diets for dogs and provide valuable insights into the nutritional value and health effects.

Vegan dog food lowers cholesterol

One recent study conducted by a team of researchers in the United States, examined the digestibility of vegan dog foods and their effects on 12 healthy adult dogs. In the study, three commercial dog foods were tested. One was chicken based extruded food and the other 2 were mildly cooked human-grade vegan dog foods. The results of the study showed that all diets were highly digestible, with digestibility values of over 80% for all macronutrients. This suggests that dogs can efficiently digest and utilize the nutrients in vegan dog foods just as well as those on a meat based diet.

Additionally, the study found that dogs consuming the vegan diets had lower circulating cholesterol compared to dogs consuming the meat food. Lastly, dogs on the vegan diet were found to have higher concentrations of short-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial for gut health. These findings indicate potential positive effects and suggest that vegan diets may have cardiovascular health benefits for dogs.

dogs running playing

Vegan dog food can help the environment

Another US study which aimed to investigate the nutritional equivalence of a plant-based diet for dogs by measuring health outcomes in adult dogs fed a commercial canine plant-based nutrition diet over a period of twelve months, compared to a meat-based diet at baseline. The study included fifteen clinically healthy adult dogs. The researchers examined nutritional parameters at 0, 6, and 12 months, including complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry, cardiac biomarkers, plasma amino acids, and serum vitamin concentrations.

The results of the study showed that clinically healthy, client-owned adult dogs maintained health when fed a commercial plant-based diet over a twelve-month period. This study is the most comprehensive and longest known investigation on plant based diets for dogs to date, providing valuable evidence-based nutrition data and new knowledge on outcomes in clinically healthy dogs who maintain health without consumption of animal-derived ingredients. The findings of this study also have major relevance to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as ingredients produced independent of industrial food animal production are more sustainable and can help circumvent ethical dilemmas related to dogs health.

The future of plant-based food for dogs

Overall, these studies contribute to the growing body of research on plant-based nutrition for dogs and provides valuable insights that they can be a viable option for dogs. The findings of these studies are also significant for veterinary professionals, as there is a growing interest in non-traditional dog foods, including plant-based diets, with perceived health benefits. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) are also now acknowledging the benefits of feeding dogs a plant based diet.

dogs on field running

Getting your dog ready for their plant-based adventure

When transitioning your dog to a vegan diet or reducing meat intake for your dog a few times a week is easy. First, it’s important to choose a high-quality, well-balanced, and nutritionally complete vegan dog food that meets FEDIAF standards, like HOWND Superfood. Over the space of 2 weeks, start mixing their current food with HOWND gradually and monitor your dog's health and well-being (Raw fed dogs may require 2+ weeks transition period). If you’re not ready for your pooch to go plant-based, even feeding your dog vegan wellness treats will aid their gut health and have positive benefits for your pooch.


HOWND creates products that help keep dogs happy and healthy for life, while encouraging others to live a planet-kind, cruelty-free lifestyle. We believe the world would be a better place if more people embraced the power of plants.

Our products are kind to our precious planet and the animals that inhabit it. That’s why dogs and their humans love HOWND.

We are convinced that dogs can thrive without compromising the welfare of other animals. Since day one, HOWND pet care has been certified by Cruelty-Free International and is accredited by The Vegetarian (Vegan) Society, PETA Cruelty-Free and The Ethical Company Organisation.

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