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Is Vegetarian Diet Safe for Dogs?

Becca
June 10th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Hello,

For about a month now, I have been feeding my dog a vegetarian dog food (Nature's Recipe). I initially assumed that it was fine and contained everything he would need to be healthy, since the package doesn't say otherwise.

Now, in reading some articles, I am finding several that suggest essential supplements and all of them suggest talking to a veterinarian about a vegetarian diet. None are specific as to what supplements and how much is necessary.

Does anyone have any knowledge about this?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Becca

Puppyluv
June 10th, 2006, 03:29 PM
As long as the food is balanced, a vegetarian diet is fine. My parents' dog has eaten vegetarian for years due to allergies and needs no supplements. I'm not sure about this food in particular, but it should be fine. I will update when I look at the complete ingredient list.

Prin
June 10th, 2006, 03:59 PM
If it's balanced, it should be ok. But still look for deficiencies or cravings from your dog (like with any food).

IMO though, unless there are allergies to meat proteins, dogs should still get access to meaty foods...

rainbow
June 10th, 2006, 05:30 PM
I agree as long as it's balanced it should be fine but, if your dog doesn't have allergies to all meats and fish, why would you want to feed a dog a vegetarian food?

meb999
June 10th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I imagine that you're feeding the Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe ?


Product Description:
Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe is designed to help avoid common pet food ingredients that may cause food intolerances such as beef, corn, wheat, pork or dairy products. It is lactose-free and contains no color additives or artificial preservatives. Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe is a wholesome, complete and balanced maintenance diet for your adult dog. It is formulated without any meat or animal proteins, but still provides the same essential nutrients found in diets with meat as the protein source.

Many pet owners who are vegetarians may prefer to feed their dogs this vegetarian diet.

Ingredients:

Ground rice, soybean meal, cracked pearled barley, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, dehydrated carrots, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), garlic oil, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), onion extract, garlic powder, rosemary extract.


I personally prefer a diet with meat, as long as your pet isn't allergic to it. Maybe you could add some meaty treats? Are you a vegetarian? I know many vegetarians like to feed their dog a veggie diet, but you have to remember that dogs are carnivores, not omnivores like us....
This particular food seems pretty well balanced though....

mafiaprincess
June 10th, 2006, 08:45 PM
Soy is a common enough allery though, and it's ingredient two. I'm not sure if that is the food, that I would trust what the bag says. A company can say what they want, like Bil-jac making claims that only 1% of the allergies seen in dogs are food related, and few dogs are allergic to the food which is packed with common allergy causing foods. Reading what the company writes is propaganda since they want you to buy it. You are better off with third party opinions about it.

Prin
June 10th, 2006, 10:10 PM
The other thing is that soy can cause bloat, so if you have a larger, high-risk dog, soy is not the best choice, especially as a major ingredient.

Puppyluv
June 10th, 2006, 10:28 PM
some veggie dog foods use veggie protein (oat, potato, barley) maybe this would be a good alternative?

Chicoboy
June 11th, 2006, 07:24 AM
Hello,

For about a month now, I have been feeding my dog a vegetarian dog food (Nature's Recipe). I initially assumed that it was fine and contained everything he would need to be healthy, since the package doesn't say otherwise.

Now, in reading some articles, I am finding several that suggest essential supplements and all of them suggest talking to a veterinarian about a vegetarian diet. None are specific as to what supplements and how much is necessary.

Does anyone have any knowledge about this?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Becca


May I ask why you feed your doggie vegetarian?
Is it for health reasons, like does he need to loose weight?
Or is it just because you yourself are a vegetarian?
Don't you think that rather than vegetarian, you should feed your dog the very best dogfood?
The best dogfood money can buy is Iam's, it is from Australia, I know the guy who invented it, it is made from mutton.
It comes in many varities, including weight loss, puppy, older dogs, active dogs, etc.... :eek:

phoenix
June 11th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Um, Iams is actually NOT a good quality food. Please do your research before posting advice on here that is not true. There is a lot of information on good dog foods here on this board.

jesse's mommy
June 11th, 2006, 08:10 AM
The best dogfood money can buy is Iam's, it is from


Iams is terrible food. Please look at the dog food forum and educate yourself. There was a time that Iams was a pretty good food, but over the years it has really gone downhill. Here is a good link that will break down ingredients:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27297

meb999
June 11th, 2006, 09:19 AM
The best dogfood money can buy is Iam's, it is from Australia, I know the guy who invented it, it is made from mutton.
It comes in many varities, including weight loss, puppy, older dogs, active dogs, etc.... :eek:

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Becca
June 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Hi everyone,

To follow-up on some of your questions about my dog's vegetarian diet...

I am vegetarian and I felt very conflicted about feeding him meat as well. I feel certain that people and dogs can both be healthy without eating meat.

He doesn't have any health problems or a weight problem so I didn't switch his diet for that reason. I just prefer not to buy meat products.

With that said, I want it to be known that his health is most important to me. Therefore, if enough information disputes vegetarian diets, I will certainly put him back on meat.

I also feed him raw vegetables as I prepare them for myself and he loves them! He eats brocolli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.

As far as I can tell he is a very healthy dog.

I'm really wondering if I should feed him supplements? I am confident that he is getting enough protein (from the soy) but I'm not sure if he is lacking any vitamins.

Thanks for all of the info. and any more is always welcome.

~Becca

Prin
June 11th, 2006, 04:11 PM
It's hard to say... If I had no other choice but to feed veg food, I'd try at least a fish oil supplement to get the coat in better shape.. But if you have trouble with meat, you're probably not going to get that either... In that case, definitely a flaxseed oil supplement (the kind you are supposed to keep in the freezer to keep it from breaking down) but be careful because that might cause itchiness (not in all dogs). Introduce any supplements gradually.

Do you allow cheese and dairy? If so, some plain yogurt would help and it might help him get some animal protein... Dogs usually love cheese too...

Otherwise, I think most of the supplements on the market are more for adding vitamins, which is probably the only thing you don't really have to supplement...

What breed of dog is it? If it's anything larger than 60lbs, you should really try to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of bloat (you can search this site for bloat- there are a few threads about it already). With a veg diet, I think that the dog would be much more prone to it than a regular, lower grain food.

Becca
June 11th, 2006, 10:04 PM
To answer some of the last questions...

He is a 55-lb lab mix. I don't know exactly what he is because I rescued him from the animal shelter.

I don't know anything about bloat but I'll definitely learn and watch out for it. Thanks for the advice.

And I wouldn't be against giving him yogurt or cheese. I can give him flaxseed as well.

Does anyone know if taurine supplements are necessary?

Thanks,
Becca

rainbow
June 11th, 2006, 11:46 PM
Taurine supplements are necessary IMO but I do not know how much you would need to add. New studies have shown that taurine helps against cardiovascular diseases. More and more companies are starting to add it to their dog foods. :pawprint:

Becca
June 12th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Okay, so at this point, I think I'm going to ask a vet about adding taurine to his diet and about getting him on something that helps prevent excess gas (for the bloat thing).

Do you all think I'm on the right track?

I'm almost overwhelmed to the point that I want to just put him back on the meat products.

Still, I'd like to work the vegetarian thing out if it can really be healthy for him. I would hate to jeopardize his health in any way.

Thanks everyone for the information and suggestions!

Keep 'em coming if you have anymore.

~Becca

Puppyluv
June 12th, 2006, 07:30 PM
imo, the vegetarian diet, if properly executed, is just as healthy for a dog as a meat diet. It may not be "what he was meant to eat" but he can do just fine on it. There are a tonne of great veggie foods out there, they are just hard to find.
http://www.veggiepets.com/acatalog/vegetarian_dog_information.html
http://www.vegetariandogs.com/
Our Belgian has thrived on a veggie diet. She probably wouldn't be on it if it weren't for allergies, but she is, she loves it, and she is very healthy. A lot of the foods are fully supplemented and additional supplements aren't required.

I disagree with the need for a Taurine supplement. Dogs, like humans, are completely capable of synthesizing Taurine in the liver from vitamin B and methyonine. (Cat's can't do this very well, and they also use taurine in bile acid- other mammals use glycine- so it is excreted). So long as your dog is not deficient in Vit B, and Met, he will be fine. (This AA
and vitamin are easy to get in vegetarian diets) (Pulses are a great met source)