Many people in the recent years have been turning over a new leaf by becoming vegetarians and vegans. By exempting meat and other animal-related products from their diet, these people are living healthy lives like trying to make an impact on the earth, and most importantly to cause less harm to animals. It goes to say that this is a very hard but fulfilling way to live life, and to further their beliefs they have begun to feed their omnivorous and carnivorous pets vegan and vegetarian foods. While it may seem difficult it is certainly possible to switch a dog and cats diet to a more vegan and vegetarian friendly kind while still keeping them extremely, if not more healthy than they would be while eating regular commercial kibbles and wet foods. This has been going on for years, but only the past few years have been brought into the public eye.
It is amazing what we can do these days to help the environment and the animals that habit this earth. With vegan and vegetarian dog and cat foods, people are able to keep their pets healthier than before with the added nutrition that fruits, vegetables and vitamins provide. It is also a great way to prevent these animals from eating a lot of the ‘junk’ meat that commercial dog and cat foods add. Certainly the label can say chicken, but when looked further into, it is shown that a lot of the meat used is mostly consisting of intestines, organs, and any other leftover meat that can be ground up– not the lean kind we monitor so closely. This is important, as the ‘junk’ meat in commercial foods can often cause allergy symptoms, indigestion, and other kinds of sickness in both dogs and cats.
All in all, whether we feed our pets Blue Buffalo or V-dog, we just want them to be happy, healthy, and live the longest lives that they can. It goes to say that one of the longest living dogs known (living to 28) was also on a vegetarian diet (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vegetarian-dog-lives-to-189-years.html). Perhaps it is time that we can all change our pets food to something healthier and vegetable-based. We could save the lives of so many animals by switching their diets; both in the farms and in our homes, all by switching to a different pet food. It sounds easy, almost too easy, and unfortunately just like all other foods we feed our pets, there will be to the potential consequences that these healthy foods will cause our beloved companions.
Vegetarian and Vegan dog foods are amazing– they help dogs immensely with health, let them live longer and healthier lives, as well as preventing them from eating ‘junk’ meat often seen in commercial foods. To make it even easier, there are even companies that now produce kibble and wet food for dogs AND cats that are certified to fulfill all of their nutritional needs, so you won’t even have to toss a salad. However while dogs are omnivorous, they also have lesser diet and nutritional needs than cats do, simply because of the way their body synthesizes different proteins and sunlight (http://pets.webmd.com/features/vegetarian-diet-dogs-cats). Due to this, while a vegan or vegetarian diet may be possible for a dog, it is highly recommended that cats, a carnivorous species, should not be fed a completely vegetarian cat food. While it is possible to feed them a meat free diet, this constitutes the use of many vitamins for the loss of vitamins A and D, as well as a substitute for taurine creation. Without these, a cat can easily get sick and die to to malnutrition– something that nobody wants.
So what should happen? Do we keep feeding our pets foods with or without meats? The answer is both. While cats can be provided with substitutes, it is best for them to get their nutrients straight from the source. This of it like this, humans are better off getting vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies and the like, rather than through multivitamins– so shouldn’t your pet be the same? While cats are no recommended for vegan and vegetarian diets, dogs are perfectly fine with the switch, as their bodies are able to produce vitamins A and D, as well as taurine, without the aid of meat. If pet owners are truly set on feeding their companions strict, meat free diets, they should consider getting a vegetarian or vegan animal, such as hamsters, gerbils and types of birds, as well as other species. Finally, vegan and vegetarian pet food can be very pricey and is not usually sold in grocery or pet stores, so one must consider the added cost of very expensive food into their plan.