A surprising number of pet owners are considering turning their dog or cat vegan

You love your dog or cat, and want the best for them. But would you switch Fido over to a vegan diet? But do they want to eat a plant-based diet? And are you sure that’s good for them?

A study published in the journal PLoS One found that 35% of pet owners expressed interest in switching their animals over to a vegan diet. Of that group, more than half (55%) had certain rules that would have to be met first: a vegan diet would have to meet their pet’s nutritional needs; they’d want approval from their veterinarians, and they’d want to make sure vegan pet food was easily available.

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Of all the pet owners surveyed, just under 6% were vegan. Surprisingly, a full 27% of vegan pet owners had already turned their dog or cat into vegans.

The study’s lead author Dr. Sarah Dodd, currently a Ph.D. candidate at the OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, was surprised to hear this number.

“That percentage, 27%, might sound like a small number, but when you think of the actual numbers of pets involved, that’s huge, and much higher than we expected,” she told Science Daily.

Vegan dogs and cats accounted for 1.6% of the entire study.

Still, Dodd expended the trend to grow.

“People have been hearing about how vegan diets are linked to lowered risks of cancer and other health benefits in humans,” she told Science Daily. “There is also growing concern about the environmental impact of animal agriculture.”

Little research has been done on the nutritional or health benefits or risks of plant-based diets for dogs and cats.

“This study shows there is a clear need for further research in this area,” says Dodd.

Percentage of pet owners who would consider feeding a plant-based diet if one were available which fit their criteria.

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