Can you give your dog a vegetarian dog diet?

Some people who adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle may choose to reflect their diet onto their dogs. Yet is a dog that doesn’t eat meat going to have a healthy quality of life compared to a meat-eating canine?

Dogs in reality are almost omnivorous and like to consume both plant based foods and meat. However a dog is mainly a carnivore and deal better with meat based foods. Their guts, although designed to consume a wide variety of foods, cope better with meat and sometimes don’t digest plant based foods and grain very well.

vegetarian dogDogs are usually hunters and predators and most of their plant based intake will come from the intestinal content of their usually herbivorous prey. Making a dog entirely vegetarian is possible but will need careful planning. This is not a dog’s natural state however and it is stressed that careful planning goes in to making a dog 100% vegetarian.

There are some well balanced commercial vegetarian dog foods that are available to buy which will help to provide your dog with quality protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. By supplementing these with a number of vegetable based protein foods like tofu, avocado, and steamed vegetables will help to provide the dog with a healthy meat free meal.

Basing the diet around the commercial vegetarian foods and the suggested foods will be healthy for the dog. It is recommended, however, that for variety you try adding some non vegetarian food. There are several recipe books that are available that will help to give ideas for the dogs.

As always it is recommended that you speak to a vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.