I have been tempted to transform my dog’s meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet. There have been many developments in the area of fake meat that form great alternatives to meatless burgers. That led me to wonder: Can Dogs Eat Plant-Based Burgers?
There has been quite a debate on whether or not dogs can eat a plant-based product. Read this post to know if dogs can eat plant-based burgers and whether dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet.
Can Dogs Eat Plant-Based Burgers?
Dogs can eat a plant-based burger but it is not recommended to give them vegan meat such as Beyond Meat or Instant Meat because they are high in sodium and saturated fats that can upset your dog’s stomach. Instead, you can switch your dog’s diet to a healthy vegetarian diet.
Meat substitutes are better suited for human consumption rather than a pet’s consumption. It wouldn’t hurt your dog if it had a little bit of the meatless burger, but it should not be included in your dog’s daily diet.
The “natural flavors” of a veggie burger contain certain ingredients like soy, coconut oil, and added spices that are toxic to dogs. It is recommended that you don’t give a vegetarian meat burger to your dog at all.
According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet if you are persistent in giving your dog vegetarian food.
Apart from plant-based burgers, refrain from serving these 30 food items to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Beyond Meat Or Impossible Burger?
There are certain meat producers that have come up with meat substitutes like the Beyond Meat or Impossible burger.
But are they safe for dogs to consume? No, they are not.
Impossible meat and Beyond Meat are highly processed meat substitute that is suitable only for human consumption.
Is Plant-Based Food Good For Dogs?
Plant-based food is good for dogs, considering the nutrient values they have. But you should not get store-bought plant-based foods since they are highly processed. It is better that you give fresh vegetarian food to your dog.
If you want to give a plant-based meat alternative to your dog, then give a small quantity of it first and see your pet’s reaction. If your pet shows no adverse signs, then you can give a bit more to your dog. However, don’t make it a habit to give your dog store-bought food.
Here are the signs to look for in case the pet food you gave did not agree with your dog’s stomach:
- Excessive Thirst
In case of any such symptoms, give plenty of water to your dog and if it gets serious then take your dog to the vet.
Can Dogs Eat Meat Alternatives?
Dogs should not eat meat alternatives because even though vegetarian meat is healthy for humans, it is harmful to dogs. These foods contain harmful ingredients like MSG, gluten that will cause health issues in your dog in the long run.
If your dog eats meat substitutes once in a while in moderation, it won’t make any difference. Dogs are sensitive to human food items, so high quantities of meat substitutes can make your dog sick.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Accidentally Eats Plant-Based Products?
Do not panic if your dog accidentally ate a plant-based product. It is unlikely for your dog to get sick with just a bite of the fake meat. If your dog gobbled down the whole plant-based burger, your dog’s stomach will get upset and it will probably throw up.
The high salt contents will make your dog dehydrated and thirsty. You keep a check on the water intake of your dog and make sure that it does not drink too much water at once. This will cause your dog’s stomach to bloat.
If your dog is portraying serious symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, or unconsciousness, then rush your pet to the veterinarian.
Can Dogs Survive On a Vegetarian Diet?
Dogs can easily survive on a vegetarian diet. Dogs are believed to be carnivores, but they actually belong to the omnivore’s order. A dog’s body can transform certain amino acids into others. This means that they can get all the protein without having to eat meat.
You can change your dog’s diet to a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet without having to deal with any nutritional deficiencies in your dog. In fact, eggs are a good source of animal protein and they are also used to make many pet foods.
According to PetMD, dogs can easily survive on a vegan diet but it is a bit tricky. You just have to find the right balance of plant-based protein.
“A lack of these nutrients can lead to medical conditions like heart disease; lack of taurine can result in dilated cardiomyopathy,” says Dr. Susan Jeffrey. Important amino acids commonly found in meat, like taurine and L-carnitine, may be deficient in some vegan diets.
The only concern with changing your dog’s diet is acceptance from your dog’s side. It is difficult for dogs who are used to eating meat, change their diet to vegetarian or vegan. The solution for this is that you make changes gradually and not suddenly. Keep adding the new diet slowly and phase out the old meat-based food.
Is It Healthy For Dogs To Eat Vegan Food?
Vegan food is healthy for dogs, just as much as non-vegan food. There is no evidence to support that vegan food is a healthier option for dogs. It is possible that dogs who eat non-vegan food are just as healthy as the dogs that follow a vegan diet.
As long as your dog’s nutrition requirements are met, your dog remains healthy, no matter what it eats. So you can give your furry friend vegan or non-vegan food, whatever it likes.
Does Feeding Vegetarian Meat to Dogs Create Any Problems?
Soy-based Vegetarian Meat
Vegetarian meats mostly contain soy which can create health issues for dogs. If your dog suffers from hypothyroidism, then it is advised that you do not give soy-based food to your dog. Consuming soy could increase the production of estrogen in dogs, which is bad for dogs with hypothyroidism.
Soy-based vegetarian meat might also have onion and garlic powder, which can be harmful to dogs.
The food that you eat may not necessarily be good for your dog. You might be tempted to give the food you eat to your dog as an occasional treat. It is advised that you look for something other than vegetarian meat to give to your dog.
Dogs can’t digest foods with spices or hot ingredients, so avoid giving your cooked food to your dog. You can give raw vegetables to your dog instead as they have high nutritional value.
Have a look at this video to understand what you should and should not feed your dog.
How to Make a Plant-Based Diet for your Dog?
It is difficult to make a plant-based diet for dogs that include all the necessary nutrients dogs need, but it is possible. You will have to consult with your vet to create a plant-based diet for your dog considering all the food items that your dog is allergic to.
It will take time for your dog to accept the new diet. You will have to make the changes to your dog’s diet very slowly so that your dog can transition from a meat to a plant-based diet without difficulty.
Here is a list of the percentage of nutrients that your dog should intake, per kg of food.
- Protein: 22%
- Fats: 8%
- Minerals: 7%
- Vitamins: 15%
Plant-Based Dishes You Can Give Your Dog
If you like to prepare your dog’s meals on your own, then vegan food is the best option for your dog. Here are a couple of recipes that you can try out for vegan dog food.
1. Maximo’s Mush
This recipe from Canterbury Cottage Designs includes very healthy nutrients like zucchini, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and peanut butter. Your dog will certainly love this dish.
To make the Maximo’s Mush:
- Add the zucchini, potatoes, and carrots into a glass bowl
- Add a little bit of water to the bowl of vegetables
- Cover the bowl and microwave it for 15 to 20 minutes
- Let the vegetables cool down
- Add peas and peanut butter to the mix
- Chop the vegetables until you form a mush
2. Banana Dog Treats
This recipe by Snoot and Toebeans is very popular among dogs. It forms a healthy breakfast that helps your dog’s immune system. Bananas help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
To make the banana dog treats:
- Preheat your oven to 225 degrees
- Mash 3-4 bananas
- Add olive oil, oats, and, cinnamon to the bananas
- Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes
- Make a thin layer of the mix on a wax paper
- Cut it into cookie shapes
- Bake it in your microwave for 25 minutes at 225 degrees
Which Plant-Based Foods Can Your Dog Eat?
The key to giving your dog a plant-based diet is nutritional balance. A dog needs vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats, and amino acids to stay healthy. You need to make sure that your dog’s diet has the perfect combination of all those nutrients.
Here are some plant-based foods that you can give your dog:
- Pea Protein
You need to find the balance between the foods that you give your dog according to their nutritional value.
Which Plant-Based Foods Your Dog Can’t Eat?
There are certain plant-based foods that you shouldn’t give your dog at all. You must already know about chocolates, tea, and coffee, but there are other human foods that can be toxic for your dog.
You should be careful in giving nuts to your dog as they form a choking hazard. The seeds of fruits can also be a choking hazard. Additionally, the seeds of fruits like cherries can cause cyanide poisoning.
To avoid such issues, make sure that you don’t include the following foods in your dog’s diet:
- Macadamia Nuts
FAQs on Can dogs eat plant-based burgers?
1. Do Vegan Dogs Live Longer?
Dog’s life expectancy does not depend on their diet. So, whether dogs eat meat or vegan food, it won’t affect the duration of their life. Normally, dogs live from 10 to 13 years on average which will not increase if your dog eats vegan food.
However, dogs can live a bit longer if you provide a loving environment for them to live in. After all, everyone craves love, care, and attention.
2. Can Dogs Eat Vegetarian Meat Substitutes?
Vegetarian meat substitutes are not good for dogs since they contain added flavor and spices that are toxic for dogs. If you want an alternative for meat and transform your dog’s diet to vegetarian or vegan, then vegetarian meat substitutes should be completely avoided.
If you want to give vegetarian meat substitutes, then you should give small quantities of it once in a while.
3. Can Dogs Eat Dairy Products?
Most dogs can eat and drink dairy products without developing any health issues. However, certain dogs can’t digest dairy products and experience intestinal upset. Such dogs are lactose-intolerant who will suffer from gas, vomiting, or diarrhea when they eat dairy products.
The answer to can dogs eat plant-based burgers is definitely not. It may seem like an awesome burger to you, but it is harmful to your dog since it is highly processed. The high levels of sodium and fat in plant-based burgers can make your dog sick.
It is okay if your dog grabbed a bite from your burger for a little taste, it does not harm your dog. But don’t include it in your dog’s daily diet.