There’s no doubt about all the wonderful benefits that a vegetarian diet can offer to us humans. And because it is so healthy for us, you may have wondered if your dog can be a vegetarian too. What does it take for your dog to become a vegetarian? Read on to find out.
What a vegetarian diet means for dogs
A vegetarian diet, as described by the Vegetarian Society, is a kind of diet where one does not consume any animal meat (poultry, game, insects, fish, seafood), animal products (eggs, dairy), and by-products of animal slaughter.
Although dogs do thrive on proteins from fully meat-based diets, dogs are actually omnivores. Their bodies can process nutrients and thrive from a variety of plant-based protein sources, like soy, legumes, nuts, seeds, kelp, and other protein-rich fruits and vegetables. It’s a matter of choosing the right fruits and vegetables to give your dogs a complete and well-balanced plant-based meal.
Why do dogs go vegetarian?
Aside from the health benefits, there are two more reasons why there are dog owners who go for vegetarian dog food. These are:
- the dog owner’s ethical beliefs
- dog food allergies
Food allergies in dogs happen when your dog’s immune system becomes hypersensitive to specific proteins found in his food. In a study, researchers found out that animal meat proteins are the most common food allergy triggers in dogs. Experts recommend removing these triggers from your dog’s diet and choosing ingredients that your dog isn’t sensitive to, like plant-based protein sources.
“Most of the time a dog has food allergy to meat protein such as beef, chicken, or one of the other common meat sources. Vegetarian diets may bring these food-allergic dogs relief from their skin allergies,” according to veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May in her article published in veganoutreach.org.
What’s in a vegetarian dog food
There are lots of fruits and vegetables that your dog can safely enjoy. But make sure that you talk to your veterinarian first as there are also fruits and vegetables that your dog should not eat. You can work with your vet to create a well-balanced and safe vegetarian meal plan for your dog.
Alternatively, you can buy readily available vegetarian dry dog food. Make sure you opt for ones that meet AAFCO’s nutritional requirements and standards and are enriched with the amino acid taurine to keep your dog’s heart healthy, like Addiction Foods’ Zen Vegetarian.
Zen Vegetarian is a holistic and hypoallergenic plant-based formula that is a perfect alternative to meat-based protein dog food. It is formulated with choice vegetable proteins freshly sourced and made in the cleanest country on earth to make pet food: New Zealand. This veterinarian-tested and -recommended formula has helped many dogs, with or without food allergies, to lead long and healthy lives.