Vegetarian Food for Dogs

Nutrition, last updated 15th, Oct 2020, Kritika Ponia

Did you know that dogs are NOT carnivorous animals? Yes, they like meat but they are omnivorous. If you want proof, try feeding your dog a carrot and look at how excited he will get with that treat. He will chew on it happily and will want more for sure. Dogs love fruits and vegetables just like they love meat and thus, if you don’t prefer meat, you can choose vegetarian food for dogs too. Some might say that you are being cruel to the dog by depriving him of meat but that is not true. As long as you ensure that you are giving him healthy food, which contains all the required nutrients for the growth and development of your dog, you are doing fine. You should understand the requirements of your dog so that you give him the right vegetarian food. Here is more information to help you out:

 So what are the dietary requirements of dogs?

 Dogs need 5.5% fat, 50% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 3.5% percent fiber on an average. However, the fat and carbohydrate requirement may vary with the state of the dog. For example, the requirement for puppies is different from adults. The requirement of inactive dogs is different from the active dogs, and the requirement of pregnant dogs is different from the other dogs. Based on what situation your dog is in, you can consult the vet to find out the right dietary requirements.

What about proteins and amino acids?

Protein is an absolute MUST for dogs. It HAS to be present in your dog’s food each and everyday. Again, you don’t have to worry that dogs might require meat-specific protein. The source does not matter actually. You can, hence, choose vegetarian sources to meet their protein requirements. Out of the twenty-two amino acids, the dog produces twelve amino acids naturally. The remaining ten amino acids must be given through diet. Out of these, two are extremely important. They are L-carnitine and taurine. You should make sure the diet of your pet includes these amino acids every single day. If you don’t give food that meets these requirements, your dog will face serious heart issues such as dilated cardiomyopathy. Fortunately there are many vegetarian foods for dogs containing these amino acids. Some of them are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts. You can also give them milk and eggs. But milk should be restricted to puppies. You should note that as the dog grows old, his ability to digest milk depletes. Feeding him too milk as he grows can be dangerous, thus. Canola, lentils, and soybean are good choices. They are all rich in protein and very healthy.

Are essential fatty acids essential for dogs too?

Yes, they absolutely are. Essential fatty acids work to keep the coat of your dog shiny and healthy. These also avoid itchiness and dryness of the skin. Essential fatty acids are usually present in fish but you can give supplements such as omega 3 fatty acid supplements to your dog. Simply mix them in his food and he will consume them with ease. By making sure that your dog gets essential fatty acids, you will ensure healthy skin and coat.

Could you give me more information about minerals and vitamins for dogs?

Dogs need numerous different vitamins and minerals. For example, calcium is very important for the coagulation of blood and for proper bone growth. Vitamins K, B1, B6, and B12 are important because they assist the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. These vitamins also help the production of red blood cells, regulation of glucose levels in the blood, and regulation of enzyme function. Sodium and zinc are also very important because they play a direct role in the maintenance of cell growth. They also help regulate the levels of blood chemicals. Additionally, copper and iodine assist tissue formation and cell growth. Riboflavin, selenium, potassium, phosphorous, panthothenic acid, niacin, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and choline are also important for dogs. During pregnancy, the vet will prescribe vitamin E and vitamin C for dogs. If your dog has dry skin, vitamin E can be beneficial.

Help me out about carbohydrates and fiber, please?

Sure. Carbohydrates are very important for dogs. As aforementioned, they need 50% carbohydrates daily. Wheat, rice, soybeans, and corn meal are good sources of carbohydrates for dogs. When it comes to fiber, you can choose various vegetables, fruits, and grains. Thus, you should include pectin, bran, rice, beetroot, and soybean in your dog’s diet for complete nutrition.

Do I buy dietary supplements for my dog too?

Yes, it is advisable that you do. You can easily find minerals and vitamin supplements in the Online pet store. If you have any doubts, you can talk to the vet and ask him what supplements you should give your dog. He will examine your dog and find out if he has any nutrition deficiencies. He will then recommend dietary supplements alongside.

Besides vegetarian food for dogs made at home, what can I feed him?

You can feed him readymade food that is vegetarian too. It is available at various stores easily. You can check out your nearest pet store or grocery store. You can choose from dry forms of food or wet forms based on your preferences. In addition, you can buy vegetarian dog biscuits and dog treats for your adorable pet.

One advice: Don’t follow the same recipe or same type of readymade dog food all the time. Doing so has two downsides. One is that your dog will be bored with the same food over and over, just like you will if you are made to eat the same variety each day. Another is that the same food won’t give him all the nutrients he requires. Give him variety and he will be very happy with his vegetarian diet.

Also, keep observing your dog’s mood, coat, skin, and waste. If you see anything weird, go to the vet at once or at least change the recipe to see if there is an improvement.

What should I NOT feed my dog?

Tomatoes, onions, onion powder, raisins, grapes, too much fruit, sugar, pepper, macadamia nuts, and chocolates are among the foods that are dangerous to dogs. You should keep them away from your dog at all times.


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