Pet food

Vegetarian versus meat-based diets for companion animals


Many owners of companion animals are interested in vegetarian diets for their animals, as concerns increase about the consequences of animal farming, for health, animal welfare, and the environment. However, are vegetarian diets for cats and dogs nutritionally balanced and healthy? This article comprehensively reviews the evidence published to date from four studies that have examined the nutritional adequacy of vegetarian diets for cats and dogs. To obtain additional information, we surveyed 12 pet food companies detailed in the most recent study. We also examined the nutritional soundness of meat-based companion-animal diets, and reviewed the evidence concerning the health status of vegetarian, carnivorous and omnivorous companion animals. Both cats and dogs may thrive on vegetarian diets, but these must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced. Owners should also regularly monitor urinary acidity, and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary.

Knight, A. and Leitsberger, M. (2016). Vegetarian versus meat-based diets for companion animals. Animals 6, 57.

Article link.


Vegan diets for companion animals

Circulation 1.2 million people.

Knight A (2018). Vegan diets for companion animals. The Healthy Pet Guide. Distributed with The Mail on Sunday, 14 Oct. 50 – 51.

How to safely veganise your cat or dog

One page summary by the Vegan Society (New Zealand).

Knight A (2018). How to safely veganise your cat or dog. Green for Life, winter. 16.

Fishy business?

A humorous, thought-provoking examination of the controversial issue of vegan diets for cats and dogs. Includes a discussion of the health hazards and benefits of meat-based and vegan diets, a discussion of natural feeding behaviour, and advice for guardians of vegan animals on safeguarding their health.

Knight A (2008). Fishy business? Lifescape, May, 74-76.

Vegan animal diets: facts and myths

A summary published on The Vegan Society (UK) website.

Knight A (2015). Vegan animal diets: facts and myths. The Vegan Society [UK].