Can Dogs and Cats Be Vegans?
Updated: Nov 15
I know, Dear Reader, that you and I are are doing so many things to lighten our "carbon footprint" on Mother Earth. Eating organic, local foods supporting regenerative farming is one of THE most important steps we can take. Eating less meat is a no-brainer. For many, being a vegetarian or a vegan is a logical choice. Many humans thrive on these diets, especially when fresh, local and organic. However, if you think feeding your dog or cat a vegetarian or vegan diet will help them lead healthier lives, you are sadly very wrong.
You can find ads on FB and TV touting clean, environmentally friendly vegetarian and vegan foods for dogs and sometimes cats. The sad thing is that these are misleading countless guardians to switching their carnivores to a plant-based diet, which will inevitably lead to dietary imbalances, inflammation, organ issues and more. Please do not be fooled into thinking you can support your dog's or cat's heath this way.
Look to Nature and Anatomy
Dogs are not omnivores like humans are. They are carnivores and carrion feeders. Cat are OBLIGATE carnivores, which means that they must eat meat. You only have to look at their teeth to see that cats and dogs have sharp, pointed teeth, designed to puncture, tear and swallow. They do not have molars for grinding plant material. They require amino acids, fats and proteins that only can be found in their prey-based diets. Of course, factory farmed chicken, beef and pork is a terrible thing for the planet. Buying inexpensive kibble made from these abused animals, meat by-products, what I call "beef toes and chicken lips," meat meals, poor quality vegetables, legumes and/or grains, and synthetic vitamins, is NOT a healthy alternative to a vegetarian diet. Dogs and cats require real meat, vegetables, low carbs and fresh foods just as we do.
There are many excellent books available about creating a healthy, species appropriate diet for your beloveds. However, there is not one-diet-fits-all, when it comes to dogs and cats. Each animal has his individual needs. I can "get personal" with your individual animals to make recommendations for a wholesome diet that creates optimal nourishment for them and will fit your budget. Feeding our dogs and cats so they can thrive does not need to break the bank. I've been coaching guardians and teaching dog and cat nutrition for thirty years now.
In this season of gift-giving, why not continue your great efforts to lighten your carbon footprint, cut back on plastics, disposable gifts and stuff that ends up in landfills, and give your beloved the gift of the best diet for her life?
Has it been a while since we checked in to be sure what you're feeding is still giving them all they need? Needs change as they grow and age.
Is it time to change supplements, add other fresh ingredients, learn about new health-promoting goodies?
Let's do a session and find out. Click here if you're new to me, or here if you're an established client to choose your day and time. Your animals will thank you with bright eyes, shiny coats, happy joints, balanced energy and healthier long lives!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,
PS For more excellent info as to why dogs and cats cannot thrive on vegetarian and vegan diets, read Dr. Becker's excellent article