With each passing day, more and more people are identifying as vegetarians and vegans, thereby shunning the consumption of animal products. For some, they have opted for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle out of health concerns. For others, they have taken up this form of diets out of ethical concerns, keeping in mind the state of factory farming and animal abuses that happen in the name of food production.
With this in mind, more and more people are considering inducting their beloved pooches into a diet devoid of animal products. It is now commonplace to find dog parents giving their dogs a vegetarian diet after all both dogs and humans are omnivorous beings. And to their credit, their dogs will benefit from this diet quite immensely. However, on the flip side, there are plenty of risks associated with a vegetarian diet. It is not all a rose of bed.
With this in mind, herein we will explore some of the pros and cons of feeding your furry best friend a vegetarian diet. This read will give you an intricate understanding of what to expect on your part as well as from your dog.\
The Pros Of Vegetarian Diet For Your Dog
There are health benefits for your dog to accrue from consuming a vegetarian diet. For instance, for dogs that have reoccurring skin allergies that are not caused by fleas, chances are the allergies are caused by the food the dog consumes. Getting rid of the animal protein in the diet will help keep the skin allergies at bay. This, in turn, will improve your dog’s coat quality.
Furthermore, eliminating animal protein, whether it be chicken, lamb, or beef from your pooch’s diet will help relieve other medical conditions that he or she may have. For instance, a meat-free diet will keep kidney stones and liver disease at bay. This, in turn, will improve the overall health of your dog.
Giving your dog a vegetarian diet also helps in reducing food intolerance, reducing obesity, negating the effects of diabetes, urogenital ailments, and reduced offensive smells.
You Reduce The Demand For Animal Products
By feeding your dog a vegetarian diet, you help to reduce the demand for animal products, thereby reducing your dog’s carbon footprint. Importantly, however, feeding your dog a vegetarian diet helps to increase the demand for vegetarian dog food.
This will help companies plying their trade in this market segment remain afloat and, crucially, gain ample capital and experience to make improvements in vegetarian dog foods. Therefore, you will be supporting the development of the market, which is in dire need of developments.
An Opportunity TO Give Your Dog Fresh Ingredients
For quite a long time now, dogs have been consuming commercial pet food that has been prepared and packaged to sell on the mass market. This has been the standard practice and in many regards, it has been accepted as the norm. However, analytically speaking, the pet food sold on the mass market is not the healthiest food for your dog. For starters, the ingredients are not fresh. Additionally, many of the ingredients are of little health benefit to your dogs.
For instance, many of the dog foods meat byproducts, fillers, and also contains high doses of preservatives; not so healthy ingredient. It is little wonder that many dog owners are opting to feed their beloved pooches fresh produce these days. By opting for a vegetarian diet, you have an opportunity to feed your dog fresh products only, something that will only benefit your dog.
The Cons Of Vegetarian Diet For Your Dog
While humans and dogs are both omnivorous, we are fundamentally different beings. As such, we have different dietary needs that should be met to stay as healthy as possible. This means that when it comes to changing the dietary needs of your dog, you need to be cognizant of your dog’s needs. Importantly, you should be aware of the possible side effects of switching your dog’s diet to a vegetarian diet.
There Are Health Risks
Sharing your dietary preference with your dog may seem as good idea, but it can have a negative impact with dire consequences. For instance, dogs need a variety of vitamins to thrive. Some of these vitamins can only be derived from other animal meat. A good example of such vitamins is Vitamin D3, which plays a huge role in the health of their coat. A lack or deficiency of this vitamin will cause your dog to have poor health.
It Is More Time Consuming
While taking care of a dog is a huge responsibility, taking care of a dog that is fed a vegetarian diet is even a much bigger responsibility. You need to increase your trip the vet just to make sure that the diet you are feeding him or her is not having a negative effect. Moreover, you need to ensure that diet is as complete as possible, which means you have to spend extra time preparing your dog’s food. This is a drawback that should not be underestimated.
The Bottom Line
As discussed above, there are plenty of benefits and there are plenty of demerits that come with feeding your dog an all vegetarian diet. For starters, you have to be patient and very diligent in your efforts to introduce a vegetarian diet for your dog. Nonetheless, it is not impossible. Therefore, be careful in your effort to introduce this diet to your dog and make sure you always monitor the health of your dog. By dedicating extra efforts, you can succeed.