Can My Pet Be a Vegetarian?

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Maybe you are a vegan, and you are wondering if your pet can be one too, or you just want your pet to try out plant-based diet. Whatever your reason, this article is just right for you.

First, you have to know that the health of your pet depends on proper nutrition. For dogs and cats, this means more of a balanced commercial dry or canned pet food. If you are wondering if your pet can become a vegetarian, you may also want to consider how far you can go to ensure that these plant-based canned foods are actually nutritionally sufficient for your pet.

Vegan canned foods are plant-based and do not contain meat and animal by-products such as dairy or eggs. The point on whether or not your cat or dog may be able to digest plant-based products is not the argument here. Dogs mainly can eat almost everything because they are omnivores.

Vegetarian pet

When creating a vegetarian food diet for pets, protein is a significant concern. Most manufacturers, use soy products or beans to add protein. The benefits of a vegetarian diet for your pet is mostly based on your principles.

For you to opt for a plant-based diet for your pet, you should have greater knowledge about the manufacturing process of these foods, and the ingredients used in the manufacturing of such foods. You may also want to purchase or go home-made. Some benefits of a vegan diet include;

  • Reduced animal cruelty, as no animal has to be slaughtered for your pet to feed.
  • Increased research into vegan foods for pets
  • Health benefits. Allergies, especially in dogs, results from foods containing animal protein, such as chicken and beef. A vegan diet may help reduce such allergies. Most veterinarians, however, oppose vegetarian diets for pets. Their reasons include;
  • A vegan diet may be lacking in most essential nutrients and fatty acids.
  • It will be more expensive to create this pet diet. This is because special diets for pets cost more.
  • Your pet may not like the taste of the food. Just as humans are drawn to the aroma of foods, it may be same also for pets.

There have been no long term studies on this diet, so it would be difficult to know if a vegan diet would actually be good for your cat or dog. For instance, cats require animal sources of certain vitamins and minerals even more than dogs. They are also unable to obtain these minerals from plant sources. What happens then, when you put your cat on a vegan diet? It is wise to consult a veterinary nutritionist before you put your pet on a plant-based diet.

It is also useful to know which type of pet is actually best for a vegetarian diet. This will enable you to know if your pet falls into the category or not. The safest course of action is to choose a pet that naturally eats a plant-based diet. They include; hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and some caged birds. The transition process may prove challenging for your dog or cat and may take weeks for your pet to fully adapt to this diet.

Tell us what your thoughts are on this topic. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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