Vegetarian nutrition for dogs: is that possible?

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Vegetarian nutrition for dogs: is that possible?

With vegetarian dog food, four-legged friends do without meat. In contrast to vegan feeding, animal products such as milk or eggs are allowed in the bowl of a vegetarian dog. Read here which foods you can feed your dog in a species-appropriate vegetarian way and what you have to pay attention to.

Can dogs be vegetarian?

It is important that the dog can meet his daily nutritional requirements even with a meatless diet. What the dog organism really needs depends primarily on the age and health of the animal. In general, however, it is possible to provide the dog with all the nutrients it needs with vegetarian or vegan food – provided that the diet is balanced.

But the vegetarian diet of a dog is very controversial. If you opt for meatless feeding, it is essential to observe Section 2 of the German Animal Welfare Act.

In § 2 of the German Animal Welfare Act it says: Whoever keeps, looks after or has to look after an animal,

… must feed and care for the animal appropriately and suitably accommodate its species and needs,

… must not restrict the animal’s ability to move around in such a way that it causes pain or avoidable suffering or damage,

… must have the knowledge and skills required for adequate nutrition, care and behavioral accommodation of the animal.

Risk with vegetarian dog feeding

However, a dog’s vegetarian diet is a challenge: the dog receives certain nutrients mainly from meat. These then have to be supplied by a vegetarian food. These primarily include:

• Proteins (protein) • Minerals (eg phosphorus) • B vitamins (eg vitamin B12)

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Other animal products such as milk or eggs can be used so that a vegetarian dog is also supplied with protein. However, it is uncertain whether plant proteins alone are sufficient for the dog’s body in the long term. Minerals can also be guaranteed by animal components: Cod liver oil supports the supply of vitamin D, blood meals the iron supply of the dog.

Eggs provide valuable proteins. © adobestock.com/chendongshan

Prerequisite for a vegetarian dog diet

If you would like to feed your dog without meat, you should speak to your veterinarian beforehand. It is also important to know which vegetarian foods are intolerant or even dangerous for the dog. For growing dogs or sick animals, veterinary advice is absolutely essential for a vegetarian diet. If the dog is fully grown, healthy and receives all the necessary nutrients, a vegetarian dog diet is quite conceivable.

Examples of components of a vegetarian ration

Nutrients / energyVegetarian rationProteinDairy products (cottage cheese, quark) Hard-boiled eggsEnergyCarbohydrate-rich components (rice, pasta, potatoes) Vegetable fats (flax, rapeseed oil) Essential fatty acidsVegetable fats (flax, rapeseed oil) Essential amino acids, dairy products (eggs) Fruits Hard boiled Feed celluloseMineral substances / vitaminsVitaminated mineral preparationAllowed feed additives for complete feed

Suitable vegetarian foods

Before you start with meatless feeding, you should first test in small quantities which vegetarian foods your dog particularly likes and tolerates. For example, you can feed your dog the following fruits and vegetables:

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • cucumber
  • peach
  • Chinese cabbage (raw only in small quantities)
  • Potatoes (cooked)
  • Kohlrabi (raw only in small quantities)
  • Carrots
  • Spinach (steamed and mashed)
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