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Vegetarian Dogs

I am a new dog owner. I just rescued a 3 mo. old female Labradane. She is in good health besides a skin condition (Staph Infection) & a vaginal bacteria infection that she is being treated for.

I am just curious if anyone currently has there dog on a vegetarian diet..
Do you buy the food or make it?
I want to make my own dog food, so if you make it what is the recipe?
& does anybody know the risks of a veggie dog diet? (Like I read it can make dogs more prone to urinary tract infections..)

Thank you.

There are lots and lots of discussions about vegetarian/vegan dog and cat foods. 

Here are a few of them:

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=17574.0

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=16301.0

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=17349.0

There are a lot of opinions out there.  Do your research and keep an eye out for biased information (i.e. pet food companies giving you info so you buy their food, for example).  Dogs tend to do better on veg diets than cats (less of a protein requirement), but you still need to make sure they are getting high-quality, highly digestable protein.  My advice?  Whatever you decide, avoid foods that contain anything with the word "by-product" in it, corn, wheat, and soy.  By-products are horrible ingredients, and corn, wheat, and soy are not good-quality protein sources for companion animals and are common allergens for many pets.

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I must say... I know this is a contentious issue, but most veterinarians and such believe cats and dogs are not vegetarians and should not be subjected to such diets. I agree.

If you think about it, cats and dogs in the wild eat meat. That's the way they are. While I definitely have ethical concerns about the slaughtering practices, etc., that go into making "regular" dog and cat food, it seems wrong to force pets to go on a diet that simply isn't natural for them.

Just my opinion!

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I must say... I know this is a contentious issue, but most veterinarians and such believe cats and dogs are not vegetarians and should not be subjected to such diets. I agree.

If you think about it, cats and dogs in the wild eat meat. That's the way they are. While I definitely have ethical concerns about the slaughtering practices, etc., that go into making "regular" dog and cat food, it seems wrong to force pets to go on a diet that simply isn't natural for them.

Just my opinion!

Totally agree!

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Our dog is vegan, and has been so for 7 months.  We make him homemade food using Sojo's Dog Muesli.  We mash up chickpeas, add sweet potato, apple, spirulina, garlic, nutritional yeast, tahini or natural peanut butter, sea vegetables, whatever we have that we know is good for him.

He lost his extra weight right away, and after a vet visit I can say he is in perfect health.  Dogs can be vegan.  It can extend their life.

Cats not so much.  Our two cats are the only meat eaters in the house.

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I think cats are more prone to the UTI's than dogs on a vegan diet and more sensitive to change.

My dogs eat a vegan diet of kibble food and gobble it up.  They are small Italian Greyhounds and cheap to feed.  They have no health problems and one of them is a senior who is 13 1/2 years. 

They are currently eating Evolution and doing well.  http://store.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=vegane&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=75649440&Count2=992789864&CategoryID=51&Target=products.asp

They did very well on Ami dog food as well.  Since becoming vegan my dogs skin and coats have become amazingly soft.  So if you dog has a skin condition, this might help.  I rotate brands and have also tried PetGuard.

Dogs aren't ethical eaters and don't have the same morals as me, so they don't really care.  Also their "natural diet in the wild" certainly wasn't cows and chicken scraps.  My take on it is that with modern science we can create a healthy vegan alternative to slaugherhouse food for the modern dog.

This is my opinion and I certainly respect that it's an individual decision that each can make for themselves and their companions.

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my dal/lab is also a vegetarian.  i did a lot of research on it thought and found that dals really need to be vegetarian because of their digestive tract.  definitely research it on your own so you know the facts and how it will impact the breed of your dog.

i dont cook regularly for my dog, but she LOVES spinach/banana/flax seed popsicles: water + spinach + flax seeds + plus banana + freezer = doggie pop.

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I must say... I know this is a contentious issue, but most veterinarians and such believe cats and dogs are not vegetarians and should not be subjected to such diets. I agree.

If you think about it, cats and dogs in the wild eat meat. That's the way they are. While I definitely have ethical concerns about the slaughtering practices, etc., that go into making "regular" dog and cat food, it seems wrong to force pets to go on a diet that simply isn't natural for them.

Just my opinion!

I think the vets are wrong, honestly.  It can be dangerous to feed a male cat a vegan diet, especially, because of the danger of urinary blockages.  But I have known of lots of dogs who thrive on vegan diets and love them.  It can be really great for their health.  I would do some searching around for vegan dog food recipes.  I know lots of people like sprinkles who cook up their own dog food. 

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my dal/lab is also a vegetarian.  i did a lot of research on it thought and found that dals really need to be vegetarian because of their digestive tract.  definitely research it on your own so you know the facts and how it will impact the breed of your dog.

i dont cook regularly for my dog, but she LOVES spinach/banana/flax seed popsicles: water + spinach + flax seeds + plus banana + freezer = doggie pop.

Depends on the breed and problems they have. A friend of mine's BYB boxer had to be vegetarian because his kidneys couldn't handle meat protien. His vet had designed a special dry food blend but it gave him terrible smelly farts so my friend had to research home made foods. He lived a normal number of years for a boxer but died of cancer.

Aside from the fact that I would never go out and pay a huge price for a dog anyway, given the shelters are overflowing, here in Spain the gene pool is so small for "purebreds" that most pedigreed animals have all kinds of problems.

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I believe it is wrong to impose our diets on animals that aren't omnivores.  There are many vegetarian pets out there that can meet ones needs...so to speak.  Bunnies, iguanas, cows, horses... :-)  Even my future hedgehog likes bugs. :-(  I do have a cricket loose in my place so if it lives until November...heaven help it.  
Seriously, there may be a few dogs that can not tolerate meat for whatever reason but their digestive tracks are such to process meat and optimize it and it's nutrients.
I would guess if one was to do a test and put 1000 dogs in a field and 1000 meaty bones and 1000 apples, the bones would be the first to disappear.
Of course this is a topic I am passionate about.  Dogs and cats are meat eaters.  
I don't know how a vegan diet can extend a dogs life as someone stated considering it isn't their natural food.
But to each their own.  All IMHO.  
P.S.  Someone on the board asked what IMHO stood for and the reply was in my honest opinion.  I always thought it was in my humble opinion and not meant to be derogatory in any way.

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But to each their own.  All IMHO.  
P.S.  Someone on the board asked what IMHO stood for and the reply was in my honest opinion.  I always thought it was in my humble opinion and not meant to be derogatory in any way.

I have heard British kids use it in conversation, they will say something and say "but that's just an IMO" pronounced eye-mo.

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I believe it is wrong to impose our diets on animals that aren't omnivores.  There are many vegetarian pets out there that can meet ones needs...so to speak.  Bunnies, iguanas, cows, horses... :-)  Even my future hedgehog likes bugs. :-(  I do have a cricket loose in my place so if it lives until November...heaven help it.  
Seriously, there may be a few dogs that can not tolerate meat for whatever reason but their digestive tracks are such to process meat and optimize it and it's nutrients.
I would guess if one was to do a test and put 1000 dogs in a field and 1000 meaty bones and 1000 apples, the bones would be the first to disappear.
Of course this is a topic I am passionate about.  Dogs and cats are meat eaters.  
I don't know how a vegan diet can extend a dogs life as someone stated considering it isn't their natural food.
But to each their own.  All IMHO.  
P.S.  Someone on the board asked what IMHO stood for and the reply was in my honest opinion.  I always thought it was in my humble opinion and not meant to be derogatory in any way.

Dogs and cats are meat eaters for sure. That is a fact and understood.   My dogs love meat.  Offered a plate of raw meat and vegetables surely they will gooble up the meat.  (Go to any human buffet and watch what humans gobble up and notice the nice fruit and veggie plater is usally mostly untouched after everyone goes through the line.)  If they were dogs in the wild, they surely would hunt, although I'm not sure their natural diet in the wild would be cows, fish and chicken.

My dogs are not wild animals out their hunting for their food. They are modern dogs leading a dependent existence.   They eat what I provide them. I'm the boss of what goes into their bodies.   I provide them a plate of food that is healthy, that they gobble up with gusto, that they thrive on.  They don't have the capicity to think "gee I'm a meateater and I'm being deprived of my natural instinct to eat meat".  All they know is their bellies are full and they are satisfied. 

Am I forcing my morals on them?  Of course I am.  I'm a moral person.  I can't shed tears over watching "meet your meat" and strive for veganism while feeding my dogs a cruel diet of slaughtershouse scraps when there are healthy alternatives.  I can't offer my dogs foods where I say "I value you so much I allow these animals to be tortured so you can live".    They really don't care.  They don't have the morality to think "gee this is a cruelty free plate of food" or visa versa. 

Dogs can and do live long on vegetarian diets. Modern vet science has allowed us the knowledge to figure out what their needs are and how a vegetarian diet can meet them.   I have no documentation, because I'm lazy, but I've heard one of the worlds oldest dogs was a vegetarian.  Might be a coincidence. 

I'm not necessarily feeding them a vegetarian diet because I want to extend their lives.  Breeeds tend to have their own life cycles and an average age of their breed.  I do want their lives to be healthy and happy and so far so good, no health problems or challenges.   

I realize you're opinion is staunch because I've read it over the years and I certainly am not going to change your mind and I'm not trying.  Just offering my thought processes and opinions for others to read.  More than likely this is all I'm going to say on the subject, because as others have pointed out there are other threads about it.

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i remember all of the wild dogs in greece, they would eat anything, not just meat.  my dog loves chasing birds, mice and frogs around our yard, shes caught some sometimes, but she never eats them, she just steps on them or chases them until they leave the yard.  but she sure does love to eat my garden!  maybe it's because shes a dal.  not sure.

i agree with tweety.  my boyfriend and i cant bring ourselves to buy meat.  we probably will not adopt a cat because a cat should be a meat eater, although my boyfriend swears that cats can be healthy vegans.  but we will take in any veggie dog!

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my dal/lab is also a vegetarian.  i did a lot of research on it thought and found that dals really need to be vegetarian because of their digestive tract.  definitely research it on your own so you know the facts and how it will impact the breed of your dog.

i dont cook regularly for my dog, but she LOVES spinach/banana/flax seed popsicles: water + spinach + flax seeds + plus banana + freezer = doggie pop.

A lot of the breeds that have been very overbred do better on veg diets (dalmations, like you said, shar peis sometimes, boxers, and sometimes even golden retrievers).  Some dals, I'm sure, would be fine on a meat-based diet, but many do very, very well on veg diets.  I'm glad you found something that worked for your doggie  :)>>>

I think everyone who has a critter of some sort needs to do their own nutritional research.  Vets (like human docs) know basically nothing about nutrition (because I plan to go to vet school, I've looked at many curriculums and you're lucky to get even one nutrition course...some schools don't have any).  I mean, how many vets sell Hill's/Royal Canin/Purina, etc. and continuously promote them as "the best foods" when really they're some of the worst? 

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i remember all of the wild dogs in greece, they would eat anything, not just meat.

Of course they would eat anything.  They were/are hungry.  Cali is a Greek rescue (huge animal cruelty in Greece) and my previous dog Isabela was a street dog in Cozumel, Mexico for about 6 years.  She would find a frozen bagel in a snow bank here and eat it.  She would eat bones she found as in chicken bones with no meat.  Anything to fill her tummy.  She never lost that food drive when I got her (really had to watch the garbage).  Too many years filled with parasites and trying to feel full.  I used to take her to my friend's pet store and she would walk along the cages with hamsters, rats, mice, iguanas and would quiver with excitement and paw at the cages.  I am sure she was thinking buffet.  I am pretty sure he ate the odd dead rat in her life.  As well as fajitas, guacamole, and what ever some kind hearted tourist handed her way.

Don't get me wrong because both Cali and my cats also eat fruits, veggies and some grains.  They do not eat a 100% meat/fish based diet. 

I just found out a few weeks ago, Cali loves watermelon.  All the dogs on the hike that day did.  I had never given her any before.  Banana is also very healthy. 

Cali also likes olives with the pimento inside.  That was one thing Isabela refused to eat.  The first time she found one, she put it in her mouth and actually spit it out and spit so hard it went close to 4 feet.  Yet she continually tried them and continually spit them out.

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Cali also likes olives with the pimento inside.  That was one thing Isabela refused to eat.  The first time she found one, she put it in her mouth and actually spit it out and spit so hard it went close to 4 feet.  Yet she continually tried them and continually spit them out.

Of course! YOU, her human, ate them, so they MUST be good, right? She probably just kept tasting looking for that flavour that you obviously enjoyed..."Nope, not this one (ptoo!)...let's see...nope, not that one either (ptoo!)...Gotta be here somewhere..."  ;)

We never had trouble giving our dogs medicine, and we never had to "hide" things in meat or cheese or anything else. It was enough to pretend to gobble the pills down with exclamations of pleasure: "Mmmmm....goooood....yum yum." Soon the dog to be treated was begging for a taste, and down it would go in one gulp.

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Cali also likes olives with the pimento inside.  That was one thing Isabela refused to eat.  The first time she found one, she put it in her mouth and actually spit it out and spit so hard it went close to 4 feet.  Yet she continually tried them and continually spit them out.

Of course! YOU, her human, ate them, so they MUST be good, right? She probably just kept tasting looking for that flavour that you obviously enjoyed..."Nope, not this one (ptoo!)...let's see...nope, not that one either (ptoo!)...Gotta be here somewhere..."  ;)

Yabbit, you made me LOL!  Yes, that must have been it.  Isabela must have figured that if I ate them..they must be good.  Usually after spitting it out, she would walk over to it, put it in her mouth again and drop it.

It was a huge source of amusement and entertainment for me.  OK, I know, I need to get a life.

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"The oldest dog on record was Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog, who died at 29 in 1939. In the 2000s, at least two dogs were still living at 27 or 28 years old, but one was fed a purely vegetarian diet and one fed primarily on kangaroo and emu meat"

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