Scrutinising A Meat-free Diet For Dogs
Vegetarian or vegan are the popular lifestyles that most of us are adopting nowadays. Many pet owners often enquire if their pets too could adopt this lifestyle. Here are some facts to ease their curiosity.
Busting the myth
The root cause of all curiosity is the belief that abstaining pets from meat consumption will result in an unhealthy, weak pet with reduced longevity. To put this false belief to rest, I must say it out-loud – dogs are highly adept at getting all necessary nutrients from varied foods, other than meat. Canines are classified as carnivores (Carnivora) as per the mammalian order. However, they are in fact omnivores and scavengers, naturally abled to thrive on diverse foods. So yes, it is good news for all vegetarian/vegan pet parents; switching to a meat-free plan is safe.
The drawbacks, however
Unlike human, dogs have certain limitations with processing food and thus the plant-based pet parents will have some special needs to meet effectively. For instance, Dogs need Vitamin D directly from a food source as they are incapable of processing the vitamin in the skin.
The vegan caution
To switch from meat, a dog must be supplemented with commercial pet foods, no matter what the diet. These foods are available in market only after thorough testing and approval as per the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Consulting a pet nutritionist is equally important in designing the vegetarian meal plan.
It gets somewhat tricky to make balanced dietary adjustments for a vegan diet as it is free from all animal products. However, an expert pet nutritionist will be able to identify the perfect balance plant-based proteins, for instance from soy, corn, beans, and other sources through careful monitoring.
Amino acids such as taurine and L-carnitine, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies as that of B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, calcium – dogs acquire these nutrients through consumption of animal products. If these aren’t sufficiently met, end result could be growth or reproductive failure, or some other grave medical condition.
So these are the concerns that may have haunted you for a while. But not any more, as we have clarified any doubts pertaining these quintessential facts to calm your curiosity. Now is the perfect time to give the new lifestyle a go. Once you accomplish the perfect vegetarian/vegan diet, make sure to keep regular vet visits, a minimum of two every year.