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Vegetarian Dog

DOGS AND A VEGETARIAN DIET

Choosing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is becoming more widespread. Pet owners in particular enjoy a close relationship with the animals in their home and therefore feel they do not want to harm other animals.

We sometimes witness amazing animal behaviour and hear incredible stories about their intelligence, wisdom, loyalty, companionship and love for us. At the same time we have also seen some terrible YouTube clips which give us a small insight into the cruelty of how other animals are being raised and slaughtered only to end up on a plate.

So how is it that we call one a companion and the other dinner?
Eating plant-based foods instead of meat (and there are many alternatives available) is not only compassionate but also health promoting, humane and environmentally friendly.

A Healthy Diet

Vegetables, fruits and grains, with their natural vibrant colours, are foods which are alive and fuel our bodies in a positive way. There are numerous examples of well-known people, who claim that they feel stronger, mentally, physically and emotionally after having adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet. There are many famous people (link) from the past and present who are vegetarians or vegans.

Another huge bonus of a vegetarian diet is that it can quickly and easily make a massive improvement to our planet’s carbon footprint without the need for any new technologies.

It is simply common sense to be on a veg diet to live healthier, longer and stronger in a better environment.

Do Dogs Need Meat?

Despite the claims of the dog food manufacturers the same is true for our dogs. Dogs are omnivores and can easily adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet.

When dogs first began to live with humans many thousands of years ago they almost certainly lived off leftover scraps given to them from the table. Meat for a domesticated dog was no doubt a rarity. In fact this was probably true until the dog food companies first began promoting a meat-only diet for dogs. The main argument by these companies, which they still maintain, is that dogs must have a high protein diet. Whilst it is true that protein is necessary for all living creatures, too much is actually damaging.

Protein is as important as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, enzymes and minerals and these are finely balanced in a vegetarian diet. Ingesting a high amount of animal protein is particularly stressful on the joints of a dog as the excess protein is laid down in the soft tissues of their joints. Gradually the joints become less fluid which causes stiffness and pain. Since arthritis is so prevalent in dogs it is seen as a natural ageing symptom, but it is in fact a result of a high-meat diet that is given to almost all dogs.

Dog Behaviour

On the behavioural side, too much protein causes restlessness, hyperactivity and even a tendency to aggression in some dogs. Many dog owners, including myself, can report improved behaviour and obedience with their dogs after swapping them to vegetarian food.

On all levels the evolvement of our modern pet dog is phenomenal. Dogs live in our houses, rest in our armchairs or beds, some watch TV with us, whilst others even fetch the remote control. Their level of understanding has increased dramatically as shown in the highly skilled training some dogs undergo to: rescue people, sense diseases in humans, find drugs or explosives, help people with mental problems, the list goes on…

Dogs have become true companions, and loyal protectors. I am surprised when I hear the comment, “…but dogs must eat meat – they are hunters and killers.” It seems to me that despite their lives and circumstances having changed enormously we are still stuck in the belief that dogs require a stone-age diet.  We should not withhold the choice of a vegetarian diet from our animals.

dog in training sniffer rescue