Being vegetarian is very trendy right now. Many people change their diet habits and give up meat because of health (longer and better quality of life) and ethical reasons. They often treat their dogs as family members and for such, they try to find an answer if their pupil could also benefit from being on a dog vegetarian diet. So, lets try to find the answer.
There are a lot of controversies regarding this subject and you can meet both supporters and opponents of such idea. Certified dog nutritionists take into account the anatomical structure of a dog’s digestive system to get an answer. We know that these animals underwent tens of thousands of years of evolution and their digestive system got adjusted over the years to different foods, as one of the conditions necessary to survive. Based on such information, we can only assume that they can be put on a dog vegetarian diet for a certain period of time. However, we assume that such diet is not optimal and has not full value and can’t last forever. This is why, your dog should be always supervised by a veterinarian or a certified dog dietician when you finally decide that your pupil will share with you a vegetarian diet. It would be a bit easier to make your dog happy if you would decide to enrich his diet with animal products such as eggs or dairy products. Thanks to such products you could provide him with necessary amino acids. However, also in this specific case you need to discuss it with a dog dietitian. He is able to determine the correct amount of animal products in your dog’s diet.
Another reason why many dogs get put on a dog vegetarian diet is their health. They can suffer from allergies and other health problems. But again, you have to remember that if your dog is not receiving enough nutrients and right supplements, such diet could cause malnutrition and in worst cases, even death of your best friend. This leads us to conclusion that we should never start such diet on our own. We have to speak with professionals who can give us the right information and advice on how to keep our dogs safe and healthy. They will help us to set up proper and full value dog vegetarian diet that is beneficial and harmless for him.
So, knowing the fact that dog on a dog vegetarian diet is something feasible, we can talk about types of plants and their role in dogs’ diet. Grains, vegetables and fruits are important source of vitamins and minerals for the dogs. They provide fibers which support their digestive system and intestines, stimulate buildup of natural microflora and provide starch which is fantastic source of energy.
Some of the foods that you can give to your dog when putting him on a dog vegetarian diet include: rice, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, dark leafy greens, quinoa, lentils and sometimes even beans. The only problem with beans is that they could cause your dog flatulent or in other words cause your pet to release gas. It can be a real problem when you are sensitive person. Please, always remember that even though these items are healthy for people, dogs can only eat small amounts of them as it could make them feel sick and unhappy.
Another problem can be connected with the fact that vegetarian diet does not smell and taste as good as meat. In such case your dog can be just unhappy or even reluctant to eat such food.
It is necessary to remember also about vitamin D which is very important for your dog’s health and has to be provided as it is not get produced in your dog’s body. Remember that natural sources of this vitamin are meat, eggs and fish. So maybe you should again consider including at least eggs and fish into your dog’s diet, if he is on dog vegetarian diet.
Lastly, be aware that dog vegetarian diet has less calories. it means that your dog will probably require bigger and more frequent meals.
In conclusion, if you are vegetarian and want to share your lifestyle with your dog, just remember to give him the best possible care including professional consultation and supervision, as well as all the supplements that can help him to get the most optimal diet for healthy growth and development. The most important and ultimate goal is just to keep your dog happy and healthy. It means that in some cases you might be forced to give up your idea of putting your dog on a dog vegetarian diet, so he can live a long, happy, and stress-free life.
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