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Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about providing your dog with a vegan diet. You can rest assured I am not anti-vegan, and I'm glad you're looking for the information you need. I live in a very health-conscious area, and many of my clients have the same desire but don't bother to get informed, and --- as a result --- I see a lot of health issues in their dogs.
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Hi there!When thinking of what diet to feed your dog, vegan or not, you have basically two options - commercial dog food or home made. Generally speaking, commercial is often preferred for a few reasons: (a) easier, (b) usually less expensive, depending on brand and source of other ingredients, (c) more likely to be nutritionally complete.a. A commercial diet is easy - you buy it and feed it, no need to shop for ingredients, calculate amounts, measure and prepare; no additional supplies needed, other than a measuring cup and a food bowl. There are several formulations of vegan/vegetarian diets for dogs, one good one is Royal Canin Vegetarian formula (which I believe is completely vegan) - http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/Veterinary-Products/Canine-Nutrition/Veterinary-Therapeutic-Formulas/Vegetarianb. The cost varies, of course, but many home made diets maybe more expensive depending on the ingredients you choose, plus, you figure in the cost of making the meals in terms of effort/time.c. Home made diets work well for many dogs, but the most important thing to consider is that it is very difficult to make up a nutritionally complete dog diet using human ingredients; studies have shown that recipes obtained in books, online and even those made up by veterinarians often contain deficiencies and excesses of nutrients. In addition, something called diet drift can occur, when you gradually, over time, substitute ingredients with others made by different companies, etc., which leads to deviation from original recipe and thus potential for imbalance.So, the best way to ensure you are feeding a nutritionally complete home made diet for your dog is to contact a veterinary nutritionist and have them make up a recipe based on your dog's individual variables. One good resource is http://www.balanceit.com which is a website for the University of California Davis Veterinary Nutrition Service. Another resource that provides information on diets in general is http://www.petdiets.com
Hope this helps!!