What are my Dog’s Nutritional Needs?
(Part 2 of 2 on healthy vegan diets for dogs. Part 1)
A dog’s nutritional needs are not the same as ours, but they are not that different.
The dog must have enough protein: about 3 gr / per kg, this quantity increases for puppies, pregnant and nursing bitches and sporting dogs. Protein intake will be mainly provided by legumes and algae. A regular intake of legumes (approx. 20% protein) and spirulina (approx. 60% protein) is more than sufficient to cover the dog’s protein requirements.
Spirulina is very rich in proteins (60-70% of its dry weight) of high biological value. It contains all the essential amino acids for both adults and children. The membrane of spirulina dissolves easily under the effect of gastric acidity, which guarantees the good assimilation of these 20 amino acids.
We particularly like spirulina, which is very rich in nutrients. It contains all essential amino acids and promotes the growth of a healthy intestinal flora. Marketed all over the world, it is easy to use, digestible, basifying, and dogs love it.
The production of spirulina is done in water basins where the quality is perfectly controlled as well as the nutrients used for its cultivation. Its environmental footprint is totally negligible, in short it is worth its weight in gold, provided you buy a real organic spirulina.
It is not negligible to specify here that proteins of animal origin are acidic (positive PRAL index which measures the acidifying-alkalizing potential of food) and therefore harmful to the body in the long term. Feeding your dog with proteins of vegetable origin is therefore a plus for his health, against all odds! Taurine and carnitine are not amino acids that must be added to the dog’s diet, the dog synthesizes them, but often in insufficient quantities. The objective being to optimize its food, we will add them in the form of supplements.
Cooked fats are a health catastrophe, so they must be strongly limited for dogs. Vegetable fats naturally contained in cereals, legumes and oil-seeds are sufficient in quantity and variety to cover the dog’s basic needs.
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In order to provide an additional source of energy as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids (including Omega 3) to the dog, we will add fats in the form of crushed nuts and vegetable oils (e.g. flax, olive, rapeseed, coconut, etc…). Coconut fat is particularly interesting because of its richness in saturated fatty acids (about 30%), it is an important source of energy for the dog.
We advise you to buy the coconuts picked without exploitation of the monkeys (used as slaves to ride the coconut trees), such as the brands with the “one voice” label.
It goes without saying that you should not give your dog any refined or isolated sugar. No white flour, pasta or white rice. Cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit contain enough natural sugars to cover your dog’s sugar requirements.
Foods to Avoid
Salty, peppery, chili, chocolate, onion, avocado (although only the skin is toxic) and garlic.
Xylitol sugar, which can be found as a sweetener in human food, should be avoided for dogs, because depending on the quantity ingested, it causes a massive release of insulin, which can lead to hypoglycaemia with coma.
To learn more about how to help your dog thrive on a vegan diet, including precise recipe and ingredients for various sizes of dog, please visit our free library full of topics like these and covering a wide range of topics written by Holistic Natural Health Experts.