“Can dogs eat quinoa?”
This might have seemed an outlandish question a few years ago. But in this age when “hipster” life choices are in…from your appearance to your food, why should our dogs be an exception?
For us dog owners who love to do everything with our pooches, diets shouldn’t be an exception. And in fact, they needn’t be.
It’s simple…dogs are omnivores after all. That means a dog’s diet normally consists of both plant and animal sourced foods. It’s not like they’re pure carnivores.
Does That Mean Vegan Dog Food is OK?
As a matter of fact, you can give your dog virtually any proportion of each, as long as he or she is getting her daily required intake of nutrients from the diet. It’s not like the best food for dogs always need be meat or other animal products. There are plenty of vegetarian – or vegan – foods dogs can eat, and that are good for their health.
And you need to be careful about that – as the nutritional needs of dogs varies by breed, size, age and so on…Beyond that, it’s basically a matter of how well your pup takes to the diet. If she doesn’t like how the food tastes, it’s going to be hard to get her to eat all she needs.
So is an All Vegan Diet Really Healthy for My Dog?
Hold your horses!
While it’s true that in theory a dog can stay healthy on an all-vegan diet, there are a bunch of things to consider before making such a drastic switch. For one, there are plenty of vegetarian foods that your dog may be allergic to, or which are toxic, or at the very least unhealthy in the amounts that you might include them in a vegan diet.
Besides, getting your puppy’s diet nutritionally right with just vegan ingredients in homemade dog food is not easy at all. Most vegan ingredients lack certain nutrients needed by your dog that are otherwise relatively abundant in animal-sourced foods – like vitamin B12, vitamin D or something as basic as protein. So to compensate for that, you would often need to increase the quantity of food your dog eats, just so he’s getting his bare minimum nutritional intake. That doesn’t sound very healthy does it?
Of course, you can turn to supplements. Or commercial vegan dog foods that are purported to be “balanced”. But many of these products aren’t entirely what they claim. And if they are, they’re often expensive.
So while homemade dog food recipes are your best bet for a healthy vegan doggy diet, they’re not easy to get right. And if you don’t know which ingredients are best, and which harmful for your dog, things can go wrong fast.
Besides, a lot of processing is needed to make plant-based ingredients easily digestible for dogs. And there is always nutritional loss that happens as a result – particularly of essentials like protein and vitamins.
So is Asking Can Dogs Eat Quinoa for Homemade Dog Food Just Pointless?
Not at all!
So while we do say that homemade – or even relying on commercial – vegan dog food recipes isn’t very straightforward – it can be really great for your pup if you do things right.
So for instance, asking questions such as can dogs eat quinoa is really good. It’s crucial to know what your dog should or shouldn’t eat. And because a lot of kitchen ingredients we automatically use for ourselves – like garlic and onions, and even salt and sugar to an extent – aren’t good for your puppy.
And there are plenty more…chocolate, most nuts, mushrooms and raw or green tomatoes. What about fruits, you might wonder…Surely the answer to can dogs eat grapes, or raisins or avocados must be yes. In fact, that’s a hard no. Especially in case of those particular fruits.
Grapes and raisins in fact can be lethal for your pup. Even peaches and plums can be dangerous if your dog accidentally ingests the seed.
On the other hand, though, there are so many fruits and veggies that can be really great for your puppy. Brussels sprouts, cranberries, cooked potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas and so many others. Can dogs eat beans? Give ‘em plenty! Can dogs eat quinoa? Sure, cook it well though!
What You Should Do
The thing is, you need to be sure what you’re doing with such a diet. And so the course of action we strongly recommend is to clear all your recipes, or brands of commercial dog food you plant to use, with the vet beforehand.
If there are ingredients that are allergy or other serious health risks for your puppy, make sure you know. And that goes for the quantities too. Your vet should know exactly what, and how much you plan to feed your pup so that she or he can best advice you how to go about it.
Hope we answered your questions on switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet for your puppy adequately. And as for the question of can dogs eat quinoa, we have a whole other post on that specifically. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this topic, do mention them in the comments section below!