I have just joined this forum when searching for veterinarian dog food on Google. I have 2 dogs, one is 7 y/o and the other is 3 y/o.
Both of them have been fed a vegetarian diet for the last 3 years. My 3 y/o has been in great health, she has never been to a vet besides the mandatory shots, etc.
My 7 y/o, before being fed a vegetarian diet, was constantly going to the vet. At a time he was actually obese. Every time we switched vets, the new vet would recommend a new dog food and would say that the previous food we were given him wasn’t appropriate.
Three months ago, my 7 y/o was feeling sick and we took him to the vet. First question asked was what we fed him the day before and we told the truth. Surprisingly the vet started to behave in an aggressive manner against us and preaching about how dogs aren’t supposed to be on a vegetarian diet. She (the vet) prescribed some medications for his illness and gave us a syringe. When we got home, we decided to give him fresh coconut water using the syringe instead of the prescribed medications, and he was healed the next day.
So my question for other vegetarian-dog parents is: when you need to take your dog to the vet, do you lie about his/her diet?
Why take a dog to the vet in the first place if you are noncompliant with treatment? Just curious.CyndiMember
There aren’t too many here that feed their dogs a vegetarian diet. Dogs are meant to eat meat, IMO.Joe BMember
We took him to the vet mainly to get his symptoms diagnosed. Sorry, I thought this forum would be more supportive, I apologize for coming to the wrong place.tisha pMember
Maybe try a more holistic vet. They might be more open minded and on the same page as you for treatments etc.MelissaandcrewMember
It’s not a matter of supportive or not. The fact is dogs ate carnivores and as such the vast majority here believe they should in fact be fed foods containing meat. My goats ate herbivores ..would anyone think it appropriate to force a big Mac on them?MelissaandcrewMember
Ugh..I hate typing on my phone. Obviously ate should be are lolNaturellaMember
Hey, Joe, if you’re even still here. Although I entirely second Melissaandcrew’s statement of fact that dogs are carnivores, I just want to throw my 2 cents in there.
First off, PERSONALLY, I would not feed a dog a vegetarian diet. That being said, I also believe that if something “ain’t broke”, it doesn’t need fixing. So if your dogs are doing fine on a vegetarian diet, then hey, it is what seems to work for them… THAT being said, this may be just temporary. Because I don’t feel that a vegetarian diet is species-appropriate (as Melissaandcrew said, herbivores need to eat plant matter, not meat, and it is the total opposite with carnivores, but the same idea), I would not lie to your vet because should an issue arise, it may well be the diet’s fault. If you were feeding, say, balanced raw meat-based diet and your vet did not approve of that, I would probably choose to respectfully not discuss my dog’s nutrition with the vet. But because I see the diet that you feed as deficient in the main thing dogs need – animal protein source in their diet – I would probably put it out there, and as long as your dogs remain healthy, I would respectfully defend it to the vet as a choice of their diet. But definitely disclose it, because there is a risk of the dogs becoming unhealthy down the way should they continue to eat species-inappropriate food.
And we do not mean to bash anyone – on the contrary – I believe that we all do what we perceive as best for our companions. But we can always learn from each other, and we can all do better. Hope this helps.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Naturella.
I agree with feeding what works, to a point. People say “I feed (fill in the low quality food) because it works” and wont try anything better. People talk about budgets and there are good foods at lower price points; maybe their dog would do fine on a better food they can afford.
For a vegeterian food, unless there is a medical reason they cannot eat any type of meat protein, no. Just no. I don’t care what anyones beliefs are, dogs need meat. If you are a vegan & can’t bear the thought of feeding a pet food, get something otherr than a dog. IMO.Jon hMember
I think the reason you are receiving so much negativity is you are seeming to conform to a lot of the stereotypes of vegetarian feeders (ie: lack of knowledge of canine nutrition, lack of canine medical knowledge, lack any sort of formal nutritional training and yet propose that they know more than their vet and people with PhDs in the field canine nutrition). Vegetarian diets should only be imposed on a dog if there are medical reasons to do so (ie: some sort of allergy) and I personally haven’t read any cases of dogs allergic to all meat sources so I highly doubt that is a legitimate argument in your case. Now if you are switching your dog to a vegetarian diet because of your own moral reasoning or some ill founded notion that vegetarian diets are healthier than diets that include meat then I would strongly reconsider being a dog owner.
Lets take a quick look at your arguments. First (in regards to your dog being obese before), a dog becoming obese is almost always the direct result of an owner not properly managing their dogs caloric intake to activity level ratio. Not because meat was magically making their dog fat. Switching to vegetarian meals most likely significantly reduced the dog’s caloric intake therefore attributing their obesity to meat is a really poor argument. Second, in regards to your dog always being sick. If their sickness was food related your dog may have had an allergy you were not aware of and switching to a vegetarian diet eliminated that allergen. Saying that this means that vegetarian diets are better than diets that include meat is a poor founded conclusion from your observations.
Third (and this one really concerns me), no… coconut water is not some magic fluid that will cure all ailments, to draw the conclusion that coconut water is such a strong medicinal product that it cured your dog overnight is logic I’d expect to see on late night infomercials, not from someone who claims to know more than their vet about canine medicine.
I understand that this doesn’t directly answer the question you originally asked but I am a strong proponent of making medical and nutritional decisions using science and always in the best interest of your dog (even if it goes against something you believe in).
Some of things you’ve said really concern me. At the end of the day if you can’t have a science based discussion with your vet on why you chose a vegetarian diet for your dog then that should be a flashing red light for you that you haven’t done the proper research and don’t have the knowledge/qualification to be making such a drastic change to your dogs nutrition source….jakes momMember
A little late to the subject but I’ll throw in my 2 cents here. I don’t eat meat but do not impose my beliefs on my dog and cats. They need meat, they get meat.Dog_ObsessedMember
I always find the topic of vegetarian/vegan fed dogs interesting, as I am vegetarian, (not vegan) but would never have a dog be vegan unless it was an extreme medical situation for the dog. If that was the case, I would try to do a home-cooked, balanced, vegetarian/vegan diet with guidance from a nutritionist. I am against vegetarian/vegan diets for dogs due to belief reasons, and I don’t think cats should be vegetarian/vegan under any circumstances.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Dog_Obsessed.
Ditto. I don’t eat meat, but I am not a strict vegetarian either.
That being said, dogs are carnivores, so I feed them meat/chicken/fish, with good results.PitloveMember
Kind of sad that Joe B couldn’t actually stick around and have a back and forth conversation like an adult about this topic. He came here simply looking for someone to agree with him which I find really sad and unnerving especially for the health of his dogs.
Obviously the vast majority of us here do understand the new research that developed that dogs are in FACT scavenging carnivores, not omnivores. Doesn’t mean we can’t be civil and have a conversation.
I was raised from the time of birth as a vegetarian because my mom was. I was never given a choice as to whether or not I wanted to eat meat and it never bothered me until I got older and wanted to have some control of my life. I could never imagine forcing a diet on my cat (especially my cat) or my dog just because it was my diet.
I was thinking about it the other day because I work at a pet store that sells live mice as feeders and everyone always thinks its so gross. But I sat and thought about it and was like wow you know what ya sure I love all animals and I feel some sympathy for the mice but it’s amazing that the only creatures on this earth that we allow to eat the diet they are meant to eat are reptiles, fish (when they are given feeder fish), some birds (i think). Yet when it comes to a dog eating his ancestral diet (raw MEAT) we freak out. People have told me that other pet stores have tried to make them feel guilty for feeding live mice to their snake or would not sell them live mice. I told them I think it’s fantastic.
Truly I do wish people could see the importance of this concept for dogs and cats too.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Pitlove.
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