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Can Dogs Be Vegetarians? Should I Feed My Dog Meat?

Updated on August 5, 2018
Rada4Health profile image

Rada is a volunteer at an animal shelter, where she helps dogs get adopted and have a chance for a fresh start.

What Should I Feed My Dog?
What Should I Feed My Dog?

It is a myth that dogs are carnivores, actually they are omnivores. As with a person, an animal protein isn't vitally important for functioning of the dog's body. There is nothing magic about meat. Meat is rich in protein, amino acids, iron, B vitamins. All this can be fully obtained from plant-based diet and without bad consequences. With a proper vegetarian diet it's possible to achieve absolutely adequate nutrition.

The most striking example of a long healthy vegan life can be one of the oldest dogs - Bramble, 28 years old border collie, according to the Guinness World Record. Bramble was a rescue dog picked up by Anne Heritage. The dog lived on a vegetarian diet for the majority of his life. His usual menu consisted of lentis, brown rice and vegetables. He ate one meal a day - at dinner, and the rest of the day was active and exercised. Anne has had seven other dogs, who also lived on a vegetarian diet and lived a long healthy life.

Raw Dog Food Diet
Raw Dog Food Diet | Source

The Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet for Dogs

Pros of a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet for Dogs

Vegetarian diet can be helpful in solving the following health problems:

  • Cancer: Plant-based food free of chemicals, antibiotics and hormones boosts the immune system of your pet and don't waste his energy for recovery.

  • Liver Disease: As a main filter in the body, liver detoxifies harmful chemicals in the blood. Vegan diet helps improve liver's work, releasing everyday tension from the traditional diet.

  • Kidney Stones: Vegetarian diet is the best solution for this health problem. Light healthy food will ease the functioning of kidneys. Most kidney stones are calcium that contained in large amounts in meat.

  • Skin Allergies: The leading cause of skin allergies in dogs is food allergies - a reaction to the chemicals contained in meat and dry/wet dog food. This problem could be fully eliminated by the plant-based food.
  • Digestion Issues: Plant cellulose contained in the vegetables regulates functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates metabolism, contributes to better assimilation of mineral substances, and growth of normal microflora of the intestines.

Pitfalls of a Vegan Diet For Dogs

  • It's difficult for a dog to change his food habits, but real. It may take much time to teach your dog to eat plant-based food.

  • Weight loss, because of switching to the new diet too fast, which can lead to the lack of nutrients.

  • Cooking could take a long time.

We ARE what we eat.

What Causes Cancer In Dogs

There are three main reasons of cancer in dogs:

  • Eating the modern Meat: Livestock are injected with large amounts of hormones and antibiotics that make animals gain as much as 3% more weight than they othterwise would, gaining more profits for companies. Scientists are sounding the alarm about the impact of the uncontrolled use of antibiotics in food animals leading to serious health risks not only for animals, but for people. Odd hormones and antibiotics contained in meat getting inside you (if you are not a vegetarian) and your dog disrupt the hormonal balance and immunizing microflora of internal organs. 80% of the immune system is concentrated in the normal microflora in the intestines. Therefore, it's necessary to keep an intestinal tract healthy and clean. Cellulose contained in the plant food improves motor activeness of the bowels and boost the immune system.
  • Dry and Wet Dog Food: Often dry dog food is made of the rotten meat and other waste from the slaughterhouses. There are a lot of types of bacteria and viruses resistant to high temperatures. Special plants that produce animal fodder often neglect the norms of high quality processing of meat. After complaints were made by owners about death incidents with their pets eating certain dry food, control comissions find Pentobarbital (Nembutal) in the dog and cat dry food, a toxic chemical that used for the death penalty for people and for the euthanasia for animals. This drug remains in the meat of the killed animals even after processing. How many more toxic chemicals may be found there? Drugs, pesticides, herbicides, heavy-metal compounds are also not removed after processing. BHA and BHT often used in the dry and wet food as preservatives may cause liver disease, metabolic distress, cancer and other disorders.
  • Soy in the Dry and Wet Dog Food. Even if dry dog food is vegan, it contains soy instead of animal protein. Soy in the dog and cat food gives just a sense of satiety. Soy is hard to digest both for cats and for dogs and may cause distended stomach. Soy protein contains phytoestrogens, which can act like estrogens affecting hormonal balance and metabolism. Increasing estrogen levels, soy can be harmful and lead to the cancer. If we love our pets and wish them a good health and longevity, we can't keep feeding them dangerous chemicals contained in meat and dry/wet dog food.

Vegan Dog Food
Vegan Dog Food

Vegan Pet Products

Where to buy
F&O Alternative Pet Products
Compassion Circle
Natural Life Pet Products
Nature's Recipe
Pet Guard
Wysong Corporation
Evolution Diet

How to Make Vegan Dog Food

2 cups
whole grain rice
2 cups
potatoes or pumpkin
4 cups
You can use fresh or frozen. Don't use more than 3 types of veggies for the best uptake of nutritional values of the ingredients.
flax seeds
1/2 cup
Only chopped seeds are fully digested.
nutritional yeast
1/2 cup
flax oil
2 Tablespoons
green mush
2 T
taurine powder
1 T

Add lentils, whole grain rice, sweet potatoes or pumpkin, any tough veggies like carrots and celery, and 6 cups of water to whatever pot you are cooking with.

If you are using Instant Pot: Cook on manual for 30 minutes.

If using Stove Top: Chop Ingredients to allow them all to fit in pot. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until water has been soaked up and rice and potatoes/pumpkin have been cooked through.

Once done cooking in desired pot, give it a stir and blend using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and give it a stir. Stir in an airtight container in the fridge. Sometimes it's better to add a bit of warm water before serving to a dog because warm food is easier for dogs to digest.

Have your dog ever experienced a vegan food diet?

See results

© 2018 Rada Heger


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    • Rada4Health profile imageAUTHOR

      Rada Heger 

      4 months ago

      I hope you will find this information useful.Thanks for the visit.

    • lukefernsby profile image

      Luke Fernsby 

      4 months ago from United Kingdom

      Cool! Thank you for that! I will have a look into it! Definitely an interesting topic!

    • Rada4Health profile imageAUTHOR

      Rada Heger 

      4 months ago

      It's not my personal conclusion, but results of control comissions made by ASPCA (Animal Poison Control), AAFCO, EPA, FDA. You can check it on their official pages.

      Also it's interesting to know :

      If check the quality of used ingredients by all Pet Food companies this percent would be higher.

      Unfortunately, the necessity of doing more with less is the basic principle of business.

    • lukefernsby profile image

      Luke Fernsby 

      4 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Rada! Please can you clarify how did you come to this conclusion:

      "Dry and Wet Dog Food: Often dry dog food is made of the rotted meat and other waste from slaughterhouse."

      When you say "Often" it implies that at least 50% of the meat comes from such sources. (are you talking about American market?)

      Any sources I could follow up on myself?


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