Can dogs be put on a vegetarian diet?
Starting from puppyhood
For new born puppies, it's best to just let them be on their mother's milk.
Once they are about a month old and ready to eat solid food, start giving them Cerelac - the same one that you give for growing human babies. This you will have to give for about 3 times a day..the usual breakfast-lunch-dinner routine. Cerelac has to be mixed with water and a little bit of milk.
Make sure to keep a bowl of water alongside the food and regularly keep changing the water in the bowl because puppies have a tendency to put their nose everywhere and then put it into the bowl of water and contaminate it.
What's the diet you can put them on once they're growing up?
Your staple food is best.
If you're from south India, you can give your dog rice mixed with a curry like sambar or curds added with soya boiled and cooked in water with turmeric powder. And if you're from north India, you can give them rotis mixed with curds or milk. Soya helps a lot in proper digestion.
Another option is to just give white bread mixed with milk. You can add few granules of dog food like Pedigree dog food or Royal Canin dog food if your dog is suffering from skin issues.
If you're an eggetarian, you can also add a boiled egg to the meal.
If you want to cut down the bread content in the meal, you can cook rava in water and add the solid, cooled form to the basic meal.
Do they eat fruits and vegetables?
This depends on the dog.
Breeds like labradors, pomeranians and German spitz have fruits while German shepherd dogs and dobermans may not.
You can give them bananas, papaya pieces as a snack instead of fried items.
If your dog has a bad chewing-everything habit during it's teething period, give it a carrot that is washed and peeled, to chew on. It keeps them occupied, is healthy and saves your furniture.
Does this diet affect their life span or health? Will they be weaker?
I have two dogs as proof for life span. My German spitz lived for 14 years and my alsatian for 12 years. So yeah, they have a long life span even though they're on a veg diet.
Both dogs have been healthy and strong and my alsatian was so strong, he used to topple me over with one push while playing! They died only because of old age.
Just because you give meat doesn't mean your dog will be more ferocious or stronger. That is achieved through a proper diet and training.