Can Dogs Have Vegetarian Diets?

Can Dogs Have Vegetarian Diets?
Disclaimer: Please consult your vet / canine nutritionist before transitioning your dog to a different diet. This article only seeks to satisfy the curiosity that many dog parents have about vegetarian diets for dogs.

Dogs are considered an omnivore animal means they can live by eating a variety of food of both plant and animal origin. There’s a lot of controversy in this area whether you can give a vegetarian diet to your dog or not. Right now, if you search in Google about providing a vegetarian diet to your dog, you’ll find a mixed reaction. Your search result will pop up some articles where some advocates insisting that your dog can live without meat and vegetarian options are better for him. In contrast, you’ll also find some articles where some prefer a high protein meat diet for your four-legged friend.

After seeing those, many questions will arise in your mind. You’ll get confused about whether you can provide a vegetarian diet to your dog? Will your dog survive only with a vegetarian diet? 

In this article, we will give a brief insight into giving a vegetarian diet to your dog. Let’s go…

This doggo likes his carrots!

The author of ‘Vegetarian Cats & Dogs’, James Peden, said that a balanced vegetarian diet and certain supplements can meet the nutritional needs of many dogs and cats. A vegetarian diet can give the opportunity for your dog to enjoy excellent health, and this is ethically consistent with animal rights philosophy.

While giving a vegetarian diet, you need to make sure that it has all the nutrients adequately.

There are two amino acids, called L-carnitine and taurine, are essential for your dog. But these two are not available in the plant-based or cooked dog food, so you need to add this to your dog’s diet as a supplement. These amino acids are found in raw meat. A deficiency of these two amino acids can result in dilated cardiomyopathy, a serious disease that causes an enlarged heart to lose proper function.

You can easily get the supplement of L-carnitine and taurine in your nearest local pet shop. Dogs also get benefit from the addition of digestive enzymes to their food that enhances their digestibility. 

How to Adjust Your Dog into a Vegetarian Diet?

It’s not an easy job to change your dog’s diet from meat to vegetarian in a day. At first, you need to adjust your dog to a vegetarian or vegan diet by mixing some vegetarian food slowly in their regular diet. Day by day increase the number of vegetables and reduce the content of meat until there is no meaty portion left. The most favourable vegetables for your dog are:

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potatoes, etc.
Ready to go veggie shopping cuz this dog ate all the vegetables!

Sometimes, dogs won’t accept this change very easily. For this, you need to add some soy milk, olive oil, tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, catnip (for dogs – yes it exists!), powdered kelp, or other seasonings. Some dogs prefer mashed chickpeas and veggie burgers. But if your dog becomes addicted to commercial pet food, then this will be difficult to change his habit.

After this change, monitor your dog closely to make sure that they accept their new diet. It is observed that most dogs take well to vegetarian unless there are some major health issues. Make sure you consult your vet if you notice anything abnormal.

Did you try putting your dog on a vegetarian diet? Tell us what happened in the comments!