Can Dogs Have a Vegetarian Diet?

Thursday, December 8, 2022 13:17:19 PM America/Los_Angeles

Vegetarian diets are no longer rare, and many dog pawrents interested in sustainability or animal rights may be wondering if a vegetarian diet for their pets is a realistic option. Read on to find out whether or not a vegetarian diet is the right choice for you and your pup!

Photo by Kabo 

Can Dogs Be Vegetarian? 

Dogs can technically be vegetarians, but a vegetarian diet isn’t natural for these omnivore creatures. Vegetarian human food may lead to nutrient deficiencies, so store-bought options are better suited for dogs. This ensures that your furry one is getting sufficient quantities of L-carnitine, vitamin B12, and taurine – all essential for a healthy pooch! If you’re committed to going the homemade route, be sure to check in with a vet so that you know if you’re providing food that offers enough nutrients to keep your doggo healthy and happy. 

Keep in mind that any diet change can also cause a change in potty behaviors. Pee pads will come in handy in case your pup has more frequent bowel movements. A subscription to a real bark dog bathroom like Bark Potty is a convenient option that is always there whenever your fur baby is ready to “go”!

Is Vegan or Vegetarian Food for Dogs Harmful?

Vegan or vegetarian food made for dogs isn’t unsafe in and of itself – especially if it’s being used to supplement a regular meat-based diet. In fact, these types of food can provide important nutrients that only veggies offer, or they can be wholesome supplements for dogs who have sensitive tummies that don’t respond well to regular dog food. 

Most important for dog pawrents is ensuring that their fur baby’s diet – vegetarian or otherwise – has sufficient essential nutrients that not only maintain health but support age and breed-specific concerns such as arthritis, skin conditions, and so on. Regardless of the path you choose, it’s always wise to check with a vet to make sure your dog’s diet will help them thrive for years to come. 

Alternative to Traditional Proteins for Dogs 

If sustainability is your concern, there are ways to provide a more eco-friendly diet that still honors your dog’s natural diet. Sustainable proteins are one option for ensuring that your canine companion gets the protein they need with a much smaller ecological footprint. If that feels too novel, companies that use sustainably farmed ingredients are another food option that help you get closer to your sustainability goals!