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  • Is Vegetarian Food Healthy For Dogs

    Vegetarianism is no longer some fringe idea followed by just a few people on the edge of society. It is a lifestyle and a way of eating that millions of people embrace. Quite a few happen to be pet owners and they are little bit concerned about feeding meat to their dogs. It seems like a compromise in their values and they wonder if it is possible to put their dogs on a vegetarian diet. It is not an easy decision because they worry that this may be unhealthy. They do not need to worry because dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet.

    Puppy Eating Vegetable

    What a person has to remember is that while a dog is ordinarily thought of as a carnivore, these breeds are actually omnivores. The biology of the dog is such that it can transform amino acids into nutrition no matter where it comes from. Those amino acids that come from sources other than meat can be broken down in a dog’s body for health effects.

    Protein Comes from Many Sources

    Eggs are a superior source of what dogs need and, believe it or not, eggs are used in many pet foods. This means it is not something out of the ordinary for any dog. Other sources of protein include soy, beans, and whole grains. One major challenge for a dog is that the pet has a higher need for protein than its owner. This is where some difficulties arise because vegetables themselves do not have the same concentration of protein that meat products have. A totally vegan diet, one that contains no animal products at all, is deficient in fatty acids. This may cause you to reconsider doing away with certain dairy products such as cheese that contain necessary fatty acids for the animal. There are some vegetarian pet foods on the market and these will have synthetic amino acids in them. It is possible urinary problems may arise from vegetarian diets. This is because of struvite crystals being formed due to high alkaline content in the urine. To avoid this from happening, a dog owner should bring the animal in to the local veterinarian for a urine analysis. Amino acid intake is also important to prevent forms of heart disease. A dog’s diet should have taurine or carnitine amino acids in it.

    Vegetarian Fare is Healthy

    Yet, the healthy side of a vegetarian diet for a dog cannot be denied. A number of dogs have food allergies which ordinarily can be traced to a meat source. Certain skin allergies can be relieved when the dog is moved from meat products to more vegetarian fare. A problem with commercial dog food containing meat is the quality control sometimes is deficient. There been cases contaminated meat has been found, resulting in the recall of the commercial product. A vegetarian diet has been known to increase the lifespan of many animals who were not fed meat. It becomes a situation where the vegetarian has to make sure at the very least that amino acid supplements are included in the diet.

    Do research on the vegetarian diet

    Dog With Vegetables

    Research and doing the right amount of homework on the best vegetarian diet for your dog is important. You have to understand certain breeds of dogs will require particular amino acids in order to avoid some very serious health problems. Lentils are a source of protein that have been successfully included in a dog’s diet. The animal itself has to accept the new food, and you may have to gradually introduce nonmeat products. But doing away with meat is not going to cause any problems for your dog. You simply have to make sure that amino acids in one form or another are part of the daily diet.

    Final thought

    Vegetarians choose to live a life that is more compassionate. They care about animals and do not want to see them slaughtered or forced to live in narrow cages, waiting for the butchery. By introducing their pet dogs to a vegetarian diet, they allow their pet friends to be part of a movement away from animal violence. Reducing dependence on meat has been shown to have a positive effect on reduction of greenhouse gases. Taking meat away from a pet dog does not cause the animal to suffer at all. It does mean that other animals are not going to be killed in order to satisfy an appetite. Dogs with a vegetarian diet can lead very healthy lives. Meat alone is not that necessary.

    posted on December 19, 2015 at 9:14 am by Doctor Ron