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Can My Dog Survive Without Meat?

by Albert John April 08, 2019

Can Dogs Go Vegan?

Various foods provide various nutrients and minerals essential for human beings to healthy. Everything we eat always has a role once inside our digestive system and it is really important to provide these foods for our body. However, this is not the only deciding factor when it comes to what we eat. Different human beings have different decisions on what to eat depending on their culture, religion, beliefs, and backgrounds. That is why people prefer to live a vegetarian way of life while some do not. For some others, this way of living carries into what they feed with their canine companions. The question now, is it safe for my dogs to have a meat-free diet?

We all know animals are hugely different from human beings. Unlike us, they can’t choose what they have to eat and just have to consume what is given to them. Vegetarian people all around the world have always wondered if it is safe for dogs to have a meatless diet knowing that there are food properties in meat that are essential for their growth and well being. A lack of this material could result into a nutrient deficiency that will affect their health in the long run. A substitute food material could be introduced however to sustain the needs of your pets.

So, can my pets survive on being vegan?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this question and has pressed on thousands of queries and question whether or not it is safe at all. Some personal experiences claim that it is safe, but some experts are also hesitant in approving this.

Technically speaking, yes they can survive on a meatless diet. In some cases even, they do well more on a vegan diet compared to another option. Though it is commonly believed that dogs are pure carnivores just like their wolf ancestors, dogs belong to the animal order Carnivora – which also includes the giant Panda, an animal known to eat bamboo plants exclusively – dogs therefore, are actually omnivores. In short, dogs can survive a meat-less diet.

The bodies of canines are amazing in a way that they have the ability to take certain amino acids (protein or building blocks) and transform them into others. This means that dogs are able to get all the amino acids they need while also not consuming meat. Their digestive systems can also derive and digest various food materials like food and vegetables. This also goes hand in hand with the fact that some dogs are allergic to animal proteins, making veterinarians prescribe a meatless diet for these dogs to avoid food allergies and other health problems.

Furthermore, meat is not even mostly used in pet foods for its protein value. In fact, eggs are used mostly in pet foods because of its high biological value of all protein sources. This biological value serves as a measurement to supply all the individual amino acids that a dog needs. Aside from eggs, there are other plant-based food materials that can provide enough protein for dogs such as whole grains, corn, soy, and beans. Supplements are is another option to ensure that your dog still receives the necessary nutrients and minerals they need to be healthy. These supplements can be added to their diet easily and some even are made for puppies and lactating dogs.

Are there any risks I should know before trying this?

A meatless diet for dogs is possible, but it does not mean that it is easy for your dogs. Although their bodies have digestive systems designed to get nutrition from plant based sources, it is much easier and faster for their body to digest animal matter. Moreover, animal based food sources contain the necessary amount of fat and protein to help your dog thrive in which plant matter does not have. It is safe to say that a major risk in this is that your dog may get nutrients, but is not enough for them and needs the help and constant guidance of a licensed veterinary nutritionist to assure that everything will go well.

Okay, I want my dog to have a meatless diet, how do I do it?

If there is one thing we can point out why a lot of pet owners are not directly accepting of this is because they do not know more. Most dog lovers and owners have this confusing information about this type of canine nutrition and diet that is not only safe, but can sometimes be better than their regular diet in some cases.

The transition is where dog owners will find most trouble. Dogs are smart animals and they can really notice when one food material is being taken away from their daily diet. One way to get through this easily is to not immediately change your dog’s diet. Do this in gradual amounts by mixing increasing amounts of the new food with a decreasing amount of your dog’s prior diet.

Whether or not you want to try this kind of diet for your dog, it is best for you as a dog owner to know that these kinds of options exist. Always remember to consult with your veterinarian always and tell her your concerns if you have trying this diet. Moreover, aside from a vegan diet, a fish-based diet also exists for dogs so you might want to check on that also. Lastly, don’t make your own meat-free diet for your dog unless you are a licensed veterinary nutritionist to avoid complications in your dog’s health and welfare.

Closing Thoughts

We answered earlier that technically speaking; a meat-free diet is safe for dogs. But to shed more light on this, it is important to note that yes, it is safe, but it is research miles away from ideal and recommended to all dogs. It can even be dangerous if done without any supervision of an expert. Although thinking about what your dog eats is truly admirable at its best, the health of your canine companion will always comes first and you have to consider it above all else. Go through PetClever to find something your dog or animal likes.

Albert John
Albert John


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