It is an unacknowledged fact that dogs belong to the carnivorous category but it is also true that most dog species are omnivorous. It means that while they are pure meat-eating animals, in reality, they can eat both types of food, veg, and non-veg.
But, while dogs may be able to digest all types of food, they tend to like meat and dairy products more than plant products. So, it is quite a hassle if you want to get your Labrador to change from a non-vegetarian diet to a vegetarian one.
Can dogs survive on a vegetarian diet?
Many of our dog lovers are vegetarian or vegan and they want their canine partners to be like them, a vegetarian. While not welcoming meat products in their house they let it be for the sake of their pets.
People, regardless of how much they hate Non-veg, want their pets to get all the required nutrients. They also have to suffer from the smelly excretion that their pet releases because of consumption.
The consumption is due to a high quantity of meat and dairy products increase the smelliness of their body waste discharge. But after all these hardships the pet parents grit their teeth.
They try to adapt to all these problems so that their dogs don’t suffer from malnutrition. We have found from our research about dogs’ diet across the world.
Many dog species never eat a single piece of meat but still live fine if not healthier. So, if any of our readers are also suffering from this same condition and situation then there is no need to tolerate it anymore.
You need to understand?
Dogs’ bodies are like human bodies that can transform a type of amino acids, fatty acids, and proteins into other types according to their body needs. So, it means that your dog doesn’t need to eat meat to get all the types of essential nutrients.
They can get all the essentials from a well-balanced vegetarian diet plan as well.
It is the toughest to find a supplement for Protein. If you can allow eggs then you can solve the protein problem altogether. but if you can’t then you can give them a mix of high protein veggies such as corn, soy, beans, and whole grains.
So, if you want to change your dog’s diet from a non-veg one to a vegan one. In that case, you have to ensure that they are getting all the required protein, calcium, minerals, and nutrients.
But before changing their diet do consult your veterinarian for preparing a well-balanced diet plan.
What dogs like to eat?
While dogs don’t like or appreciate a change from non-veg to veg in their diet plan. You can get them to accept the vegan diet by starting to add a few veggie parts to their normal diet plan.
Then by increasing the amount of vegetarian food in their daily diet and decreasing its non-veg counterpart. You do it till it replaces all the non-veg food you can change their diet without suffering from their tantrums.
People also ask which one is good/better for our dogs: a veg diet or a non-veg diet. Or if there are any downsides from any of them.
Well, while there are many medical journals and studies about the best diets and foods for our canine friends. There have never been any that can outright reject or support that a vegetarian diet is a more suitable or unsuitable diet for dogs.
You must give your dogs a well-balanced diet and from time to time change it according to their needs. Dogs may need a high quantity of any certain type of nutrient during pregnancy but only a little may suffice after the post-labor period.
If your dog is on a vegetarian diet then you should consult your veterinarian for a suitable diet plan.
Downsides of vegetarian diet
Like everything has both upsides as well as downside. Providing only a vegetarian diet to your dog would have the same effects. Let’s take a look at what are the downsides of a completely vegetarian diet for a Labrador.
While protein carbs calcium iodine and other nutrients can be supplemented by a vegetarian diet. But there are some essential nutrients, some minerals, and vitamins.
Essential Vitamin B12, D3, iron, calcium, and Vitamin E have a small number of substitutes in veggies and are hard to find. Omit, these vitamins and minerals can be found in a non-vegetarian diet.
Another thing that is seen is that people tend to use soybeans or other soy products. This is mainly done to fulfil the daily protein requirements of their dogs.
While there are no immediate harmful side effects of it. But in the long term, it can affect their hormonal system since Soy also contains many unnecessary hormones. The riskiest period being during pregnancy.
Upsides of vegetarian diet
Most important of all, a well-balanced vegan diet plan for your dog leaves any chance if any is left for any digestion-related problem.
Vegetarian dogs have a lower risk of suffering from diseases such as cancer or hypothyroidism. A vegan food plan costs less than its non-veg counterpart.
It decreases the bad smell of your dogs’ excretion and fluid discharges. It also reduces the chances of kidney stone formation and developing liver disease.
And in some Labradors retrievers, the skin tone has gotten better. According to observations, there was also a reduction in unexplainable skin allergies.
What Vegetables can be given to Labrador?
- Kale: contains a high quantity of vitamin K, Vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help to prevent cancer from developing. It contains iron, calcium, and magnesium that are good for bone health.
- Green beans: Green beans contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and magnesium. This help in regulating metabolism, and also promotes and support external and internal healing
- Beet: Beet has a high fibre content which helps in regulating the digestive system. It also has flute, magnesium, and potassium that support the immune system and maintains healthy skin and coat
- Soy protein: Soy can be added to dog food in many different forms with two main ingredients being soybean meal and soybean oil. The soybean has a very high nutritional value containing a variety of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is one of the best veg substitutes for meat protein and eggs.
As per AKC here are the most common fruits and veggies that you can have with your dog are Bananas, apples, Carrots. Celery, Blueberries, Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, Cantaloupe, peas, pumpkin, Spinach, and Melon are edible.
Other than your dogs if you also own other pets like rabbits, cats, etc then you can also give these popular foods.
A mixture of soy and some other whole grains such as corn, brown rice, and oatmeal can create a perfect veg protein supplement for your dog.
Some other foods that labra like the most are sweet potato, mashed and dried carrots, and butternut squash.
- Some veggies must not be given to your dog as they will do more harm than good to your dog.
- Top of the must-not-give list is grapes and raisins. They can do severe kidney damage to your dog. Other than grapes there are also onions, garlic, chives that can reduce blood cells, and Rhubarbs that can cause renal failure in your dog.
- There is another thing that you should always remember while choosing to give your dog only a vegetarian diet. You should always avoid giving Tomatoes. This is because Tomatoes can cause kidney stones in Labradors, as well as, in some other dog breeds too.
Our opinion is if you are considering giving only a vegetarian diet to your dog. In such a case, a vegetarian diet should always be planned according to a vets’ consultation and instructions.
In addition to this, the product to be used must be of human-grade. We hope this article has solved all you veg diet for dogs related problems.
Also has helped you in making choices about your labs’ future diet whether it be pure veg, nonveg, or mixed diet plan.