Lewis Hamilton has been criticised by the Pet Food Manufacturer's Association after the six-time Formula One world champion revealed his dog has been "fully vegan" since July.
Hamilton claimed that his pet dog, Roscoe, had been suffering from skin allergies and breathing difficulties before switching to a plant-based diet, with Roscoe now acting "like a puppy again".
However, Hamilton has since been warned by animal nutritionists that meat-free diets can cause dogs to become deficient in vital vitamins.
Nicole Paley, deputy chief executive of the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, said: "We advise that vegan diets – with no animal products – are carefully checked by a vet or animal nutritionist."
Meanwhile, television vet Dr Scott Miller claimed a vegan diet could be "extremely dangerous" for dogs.
This is Roscoe, I’ve had him for 8 years now. He loves to travel, he loves sticks, loves basketball and football. He ate normal dog food all of his life, as well as food with meat in it. His breathing has always been bad, which meant he was never able to walk very far and his joints would hurt. He also had skin allergies. 3 months ago, I decided to transition him to a vegan diet. It has changed his life. He now doesn’t have any breathing issues, his throat is no longer restricted, and he doesn’t overheat like he did before and he loves to run. He also has no allergy issues. He’s like a puppy again! It’s been amazing to see these changes in Roscoe and I’m so grateful to be able to share this. That said, I always recommend consulting with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet to ensure their nutritional needs are being met – which is the most important thing.
A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:32am PDT
"Dogs and cats have sharper teeth for catching meat," he said. "As much as it makes sense for you to be a vegan, when it comes to our pets it's going to prove problematic."
Hamilton has been vegan for several years and has often publicly promoted the benefits he has experienced.
He did warn any pet owners to consult their vet before following his example.