The vegetarian lifestyle is trendy. But is it possible to feed your beloved four-legged friend exclusively with meat-free food? What ends up in the dog bowl with a vegetarian diet and what are the disadvantages of this type of diet for dogs? We have summarized the most important questions and answers about vegetarian dog food for you.
Vegetarian Dog Food is Trendy
Every dog owner asks himself which dog food is right for his four-legged friend. Human nutrition also has a major impact on trends in dog nutrition. More and more people are following a vegetarian diet and therefore want to feed their pets without meat. It is now assumed that more than 6.5 million people in Germany alone eat a meatless diet – and the trend is rising. There are many reasons for a vegetarian diet: from animal welfare to health reasons to ecological factors.
Can You Feed Your Dog a Vegan Diet?
Not everything that is good for people is also good for the dog. Therefore, one should deal intensively with the question of which diet is healthy for the dog. One reason why many dog owners no longer want to buy conventional dog food is the lack of transparency regarding the origin of the meat. Only a few manufacturers provide precise information on the origin and quality of processed meat.
Slaughterhouse waste also often ends up in the dog’s bowl, as well as preservatives, dyes, and other additives that could harm the dog. If you want to prevent your dog from getting poor meat quality, you should opt for high-quality food in food quality, for barfing with fresh meat you have bought yourself, or for a vegetarian or vegan diet for your dog.
Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?
It is repeatedly discussed whether the dog is descended from the wolf and whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores. While carnivores primarily feed on meat, omnivores are omnivores that can also digest and use plant-based food.
Dogs are often referred to as carni omnivores, i.e. omnivores that mainly eat meat but also eat plant-based foods. Incidentally, this is where dogs differ immensely from the house cat, which is a classic carnivore.
Is a Vegetarian Dog Diet Appropriate to the Species?
Dogs can therefore eat both: meat and vegetarian food. But is it species-appropriate to feed the dog exclusively with vegetarian food?
The dog needs vital proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and trace elements for a balanced diet. It doesn’t matter whether he gets it from meat or from vegetarian food.
However, just like with humans, it is more difficult to meet the nutritional needs only through vegetarian food, because vegetable proteins are more difficult to digest for dogs. So that there are no deficiency symptoms, as a vegetarian you have to deal precisely with the nutrients in the diet in order to be able to create a full-fledged menu for the dog.
Compared to vegan dog food, the vegetarian dog has the advantage that he can also consume animal products such as eggs and dairy products and obtain important amino acids and animal fats as well as calcium from them.
Which Vegetarian Food is Suitable for Dogs?
Vegetarian food for the dog can consist of different ingredients. The main share is provided by nutritious and healthy vegetables that provide the dog with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Fruit can also be on the menu of a vegetarian dog. There are also animal products such as eggs and dairy products, but also types of grain or pseudo-grain.
The vegetarian diet for dogs requires a lot of practice and is not for beginners.
Anyone who decides to feed their dog meatless can turn to an experienced nutritionist. In addition, the four-legged friend should be presented to the vet regularly to ensure that there is no malnutrition. Especially with puppies in the growth phase, it is important that nothing is missing.
Vegetarian foods suitable for dogs
- Vegetables and legumes;
- Fruits, fruits, and berries;
- Boiled eggs;
- Dairy products;
- Cereals or pseudo-grains.
Can Dogs Be Vegetarian?
Barf is a form of raw feeding. However, this does not mean that you can feed your dog any food raw. On the contrary: when barfing, only the meat is often raw, while vegetables and fruit are often even boiled or steamed so that the plant-based foods are easier to digest.
Raw feeding with raw vegetables is by no means suitable as a completely vegetarian diet for the dog.
One possibility to give the dog vegetarian food every now and then while barfing is to introduce one vegetarian day per week. In this way, meat consumption is reduced without improper nutrition and deficiency symptoms occurring.
Conclusion: Feed Your Dog a Vegetarian Diet – Yes or No?
Whether a strictly vegetarian diet is healthy or even harmful for dogs is controversial. The studies to date have not yet produced any clear results either, because the trend towards vegetarianism in dogs is still relatively new.
Every dog owner must therefore decide for himself how to feed his four-legged friend. It is important that the food is of high quality and adequately covers the nutritional needs of the fur nose.
If ethical or ecological reasons are the reason for a vegetarian diet, it is worth considering alternatives to a vegetarian diet. High-quality dog food, organic food, or barps are ways to control the origin and quality of the meat yourself and thus contribute to the more responsible use of meat.