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aimee
Participant

Hi Matt
Like others I think most people who want to feed a vegetarian diet to their dog do so because they themselves are vegetarian. I do though recall vegetarian diets sometimes being rec. for Dalmatians to prevent stone formation. My own dog was raised on a meatless diet because of a liver condition.

Dogs do not have any requirements that can not be met by plants so it is possible to have a dog be a vegetarian and thrive. By blending plant proteins there is no reason why the full AA complement can not be met. BUT where my concern comes in is are the commercial vegetarian diets always adequate?? Is the dog getting out of the diet what it needs to? Considering that not to long ago there was a problems found with lamb and rice diets leading to heart problems, I always keep in the back of my mind that what a dog gets out of a diet may not be what we think it does. That applies to all diets, not just vegetarian diets but there is less margin for error in a vegetarian diet.

As far as your customers, if you advocate against vegetarian foods they may just go elsewhere so as to “avoid the lecture”. If this is what they have chosen then it may be best for you to advise them how they can best do it, just as you would advise someone how to feed a raw diet properly instead of saying “don’t feed raw”. For me that means rotating companies and protein sources often so that if one company diet is deficient the others may make up for it. Advise them to use diets made by large companies with nutritionists on staff, that do feeding trials (Purina, Royal Canin), vs a small company with “a vision”. Inquire if they are looking for vegan vs vegetarian. ( Is a diet that is based in egg /dairy acceptable in their rotation?) JMO but I think your customers would be better served by sharing concerns and helping them make good choices vs just advising against a vegetarian diet.