If some of the latest UK newspaper headlines are to be believed, my trusted canine side-kick “Boots”, will live longer if he goes vegan.

It would seem our pets are next in the firing line of the vegan crusade, and of course there are plenty of opinion formers out there ready and willing to end animal agriculture.

But, on this occasion, there is underlying research in the form of a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

So to be fair to the headline writers, they are reporting on something they believe to be scientific fact.

However, if they dug a bit deeper, everything might not be as good as it seems.

The University of Winchester study was funded by Proveg, a group with a mission to “reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by 2040”, and relies on the responses from over 2,500 dog owners to a survey.

Of these owners, 22% said they were vegan, 10% were vegetarian and another 21% were following a reducetarian diet (committed to eating less meat), so it is hardly a representative group.

Among the dogs in the survey, 13% were fed a vegan diet for at least one year.

The results showed that a higher proportion of owners feeding vegan food believed their pooches to be healthy. Well, just because I believe in the tooth fairy, doesn’t make it a scientific fact.

My advice for what it’s worth – if you want a vegan pet, get a rabbit.

Boots definitely agrees.

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