Despite being omnivores, dogs are often fed very high meat diets. There are also owners who feed their four-legged friends vegan. Canine professional Martin Rütter has so far been highly critical of this.
In the face of climate change, many reflect not only on their own diet, but also on that of their four-legged relatives. There are now ways to feed dogs a vegan diet, but opinions differ as to whether it is healthy. Noted dog trainer Martin Rütter spoke out against a vegan diet for dogs until recently. Now the expert has changed his mind.
A study compares the diets of dogs: vegans get the best scores
Martin Rütter has been on the Vox show “Der Hundeprofi” since 2008. Since the beginning of 2021 he publishes a podcast called “Tierisch mensch” together with science reporter Katharina Adick. In the last episode, the two highlighted, among other things, the topic of vegan canine nutrition.
There was a recent one on the subject. new studio appeared, which Rütter and Adick discuss as part of the episode. He evaluated the experiences of dog owners from Europe, the United States and Australia. They have over 2,500 dogs either conventional, vegan or exclusively with raw meat fed (Barfen) and provided information on the health status of their animals, for example how often the dogs had to go to the vet. The study concluded that conventionally fed dogs tended to be the least healthy. Dogs on a balanced vegan diet performed better, taking several factors into account.
Canine professional criticizes conventional dog food
The study itself views canine professional Martin Rütter critically. You can’t judge whether a vegan dog is healthier, he explains on the podcast. The expert points out that, ideally, the ingredients of vegan dog food should be “scientifically designed”. Therefore, the important ingredients of the meat must be replaced.
According to Rütter, the fact that the conventionally fed dog was the worst in the study is not because the food consists of a mixture of “meat and no meat”, but because conventional food is “terribly bad food”. “. She states that the result would be different if only high-quality food products had been used in the study.
Martin Rütter has changed his mind about vegan nutrition
As for the vegan diet of dogs, Rütter used to be very critical of it: “I made fun of vegan dog diets very loudly and vehemently.‘ he admits. Eating meat and vegan omnivores seemed “totally stupid”.
But the dog professional is working hard on insect-based dog food and vegan nutrition, and he thinks it’s important to address the issue.
Above all, he argues on moral grounds: For those dealing with the “climate” or “factory farm” issue, a purely plant-based diet makes a lot of sense. “By having a dog, I also support factory farming production. As a general rule, this conventional food comes from factory farming and this promotes suffering.
He refutes the argument that dogs need meat to be kept in a species-appropriate manner: to keep a dog in a species-appropriate manner, one would have to “let him run free, he should chase three deer, he should attack the neighbor dog and must have its own pack.” Therefore, he concludes, “We can’t have a dog in a species-appropriate way.”
utopia says: The best way to find out how to feed your dog is with experts, such as a veterinarian. The market for quality products has grown significantly in recent years: you can now also buy organic dog food, for example. You can find a comparison of different options here: Best animal feed: organic, vegan or homemade?
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