Is Vegetarian Diet Good for Dogs?

Yay or nay to Vegetarian Diet for dogs?

We all want only the best for our precious little fur-kids! We want the best lifestyle, the best toys, the best interactions, and of course- the best food.

The Devil Behind Dog Food Advertising

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Most of us are led to believe some of the most popular pet food brands are great for our dogs, offering complete nutrition for everything a nourishing pup needs to thrive a happy lifestyle. Most of us have seen the beautiful advertising on television and saw the attention grabbing ads on our internet browsers. How can these foods be so cheap and so great at the same time?

They aren’t. When it comes to dog food, you normally get what you pay for! These cheaper foods use the lowest quality ingredients, and are normally packed with filler. If you wish to feed your pup $20 worth of food a month, well, that’s what you get.

Why not a Vegetarian Diet for Dogs?

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Can our dogs thrive on vegetarian, even vegan diets? The topic is highly debatable, depending on who you ask. Yes, our dogs can certainly survive on plants alone, but surviving and thriving are two different things.

Contrary to past belief, dogs can live off of a vegetarian diet. Though the original diet of the wolf consisted almost entirely of meat products, dogs are considered omnivores. The canine body had the ability to transform certain amino acids, fulfilling the dog’s nutritional needs.

Essential Amino Acids

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So, why does this matter? Both humans, and all animals really, require a certain set of amino acids (the building block of proteins) in their diets. Though the body can naturally create some amino acids, it can’t create these ‘essential amino acids’. While humans might have a difficult time avoiding animal meat altogether, dogs can certainly get by.

Important: Though it is very possible for a dog to thrive on a vegan diet with the exact right combinations of ingredients, it can be rather tricky. Regardless of the advertising you see promoted on television, or what your ‘friends told you’, I wouldn’t recommend anyone switch their dogs to a complete vegan diet without doing research first. In all honesty, dog owners should research their pet’s nutritional requirements! Where as it may work for dogs, cats are born carnivorous and require high amounts of animal dietary protein; they can’t survive on a vegan diet.

Yay or Nay to the Vegetarian Diet?

Dogs are very resilient, adaptable animals. Certain breeds can even go long durations without eating at all. Even so, dogs evolved from the almost completely carnivorous Grey Wolf; they would probably just go on hunting for meat if it weren’t for humans. However, we do understand that some owners are vegetarians themselves and would prefer if their dogs go on the same diet as them. 

Updated: September 21, 2017.

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