Can I feed my puppy Halo Garden of Vegan?

Halo’s Garden of Vegan® dog food is an award-winning recipe with many applications. It is a great option for dogs with dietary sensitivities and has a nutrient profile ideal for dogs with some health conditions, under guidance from their veterinarian. It is formulated to be complete and balanced for adult dogs. It is not for puppies.  

Due to the demands of growth, puppies have higher nutrient requirements than adult dogs. They need more dietary protein to support their growing organs and tissues, and their essential amino acid requirements are typically higher as well, for the same reason. Puppies’ fat requirement is higher, and they require dietary provisions of the essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Perhaps most crucial is their higher mineral requirement, particularly for calcium and phosphorus. Developing skeletons are highly active and require much more calcium and phosphorus than adult bones need. Inappropriate mineral provisions during this critical life stage can result in improper bone and joint development, leading to potentially life-long mobility compromise. 

How does this relate to Halo’s Garden of Vegan® formulas? Being formulated for adult maintenance, all the nutrient requirements are met for adult dogs, however these adult formulas don’t meet all the nutrient requirements for puppies. As mentioned above, puppy formulas require added EPA, DHA, calcium, and phosphorus. Alone, these formulas are not sufficient for feeding to puppies.

Options do, however, exist! Some pet parents may want to feed Halo Garden of Vegan® to their puppies, whether as a lifestyle choice or due to ingredient sensitivities. Firstly, the required additional nutrients needed for puppies can be easily given as supplements. There are plenty of calcium and phosphorus supplements available, and there are a number of plant-based EPA and DHA sources as well. This is best done under the guidance of a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. Alternatively, Halo Garden of Vegan® can be fed in conjunction with a non-vegan diet that is formulated for puppies, provided the puppy food provides 90% of the daily caloric intake to ensure they are meeting all their essential nutrient needs. 

Puppies grow at exceptional rates, and the nutritional support their developing bodies’ demand is great. This is a critical time period to set them up for lifelong health and wellbeing. When in doubt, please discuss your puppy’s nutritional requirements with your veterinarian or nutritionist. 

Best wishes and tail wags,

Dr. Sarah Dodd

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