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More than one third of pet owners open to vegan pet diets

A new study examined what pet owners ate and what they feed their pets

A study by Canada’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has found 35 percent of pet owners are interested in feeding their pets vegan diets.

Conducted in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand, the international online survey of 3,673 dog and cat owners looked at what kind of food they fed themselves and their pets.

Of the 35 percent of owners, 55 percent said they would require proof a vegan diet would meet their pets’ nutritional needs, would want endorsement from their veterinarian, and would want the pet food to be easily available.

“While only a small proportion of pet owners are currently feeding plant-based diets to their pets, it is safe to say interest in the diets is likely to grow,” says lead author, Sarah Dodd, currently a PhD candidate at OVC’s department of population medicine. “People have been hearing about how vegan diets are linked to lowered risks of cancer and other health benefits in humans.”

The survey also found the following:
• A little under six percent of owners were vegan and more than 27 percent of them already fed their pets a vegan diet; and
• Seventy-eight percent of vegan pet owners were interested in getting their pets to switch to a vegan diet, providing it met their needs.

In total, 1.6 percent of the 2,940 dog owners and 0.7 percent of the 1,545 cat owners surveyed said they fed their pets a vegan diet. Further, 10.4 percent of dogs and 3.3 percent of cats were found to have been fed vegetarian and plant-based diets occasionally.

According to Dodd, it is unclear whether there are any health benefits or risks involved with vegan diets in pets. “This study shows there is a clear need for further research in this area,” she adds.

7 thoughts on “More than one third of pet owners open to vegan pet diets

  1. As a life-long cat owner, I absolutely WOULD NOT attempt to feed a vegan diet to cats! Not only do they have different essential amino acid requirements than dogs or humans, which would require supplementation by synthetic or animal products, I would worry about minerals and micronutrients being provided in appropriate quantities and a bioavailable form. why do some people feel the need to treat their pets as “little people in fur coats” rather than accepting them as members of a different species?

    Besides, as long as people continue to eat meat, there will be scraps and byproducts available to be fabricated into pet food; very few food animals are killed just to be fed to cats & dogs.

  2. What an incredibly bad idea…to feed cats and dogs a vegan diet. This goes against millions of years of meat eating by these animals. If they were designed to be adequately fed by eating a vegan diet, they would already be doing that naturally. Since they are clearly meat eaters, then it would make sense to feed them meat products.

      1. sorry feed YOUR cat a vegan diet then let them outside.. whoops.. mouse desert tanta mount o cruelty and abuse to feed animals a diet that they are not meant to eat

  3. If the thought is that dogs and cats were “designed” to eat meat and therefore this is the only food they should be given, what does that say for human beings? We have primate bodies, physiologically “designed” to eat plants, vegetables, seeds. Eating meat by a primate does not match in the slightest as the intestines are too long and the meat purifies as it takes this long trip to the outside. If one really feels strongly that the physiology should determine diet, without exception, putting aside any other consideration, this should be pondered, don’t you think. Should we not be consistent in our thinking?

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