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Vegan dogs as healthy as those fed meat, new study reveals

Vegan dogs who are fed nutritionally-sound diets are as healthy as those who are fed meat, new research reveals.

The study, which studied dogs that were fed 100% vegan diets for a year, found that overweight or obese dogs lost weight, while the remainder maintained normal weight.

In addition, no clinically significant changes occurred within the blood and urine of the vegan dogs, with levels of vitamins and amino acids generally maintained. In some cases, dogs with deficiencies following their meat-based diets saw improvements in levels of L-taurine and L-carnitine, vitamin D, and folate.

Lead researcher, veterinarian Dr Annika Linde from the Western University of Health Sciences, said: “Evolutionary adaptations have resulted in a digestive system that enables dogs to maintain health on nutritionally complete omnivorous diets, including those free of animal ingredients.

“Our study offers new evidence on outcomes in clinically healthy dogs who thrive without consumption of animal-derived ingredients. Notably, foods produced independent of factory farming are also more sustainable and ethical.”

Veterinary Professor Andrew Knight added: “If all the world’s dogs went vegan, it would save more greenhouse gases than those emitted by the UK, land larger than Mexico, and 450 million additional people could be fed with food energy savings – more than the entire EU population.

“With 13 studies now demonstrating good health outcomes achieved by nutritionally-sound vegan pet diets, and several others demonstrating major environmental benefits, a compelling case now exists for environmentally-friendly vegan pet diets.”

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