Vegetarian Pets

Dog Garden

If you’re a vegetarian, should your pet be one too? This is a controversial issue and animal rights activists are divided. Here are some of the arguments for and against feeding your pet a vegetarian diet.

Yes, pets should eat a plant-based diet

  • Buying meaty pet food supports the same meat industry that vegetarians and vegans are so opposed to because of its cruelty to animals.
  • Dogs are omnivores to begin with. They can survive on a vegetarian diet without requiring too many additions. Cats need an amino acid called taurine found in meat, but this can be given to them as a supplement.
  • Commercial pet foods are not always the best nutritional choice for your pet in any case. They certainly are not the food that dogs and cats would eat naturally in the wild.
  • There are a number of vegetarian and vegan pet foods available on the market which meet the nutritional needs of dogs and cats.
  • The producers of vegetarian pet food don’t engage in animal testing, a common problem with the big commercial pet food companies.
  • If your pets feel the need for meat, they can always hunt the neighborhood mice or birds.

No, pets should eat meat

  • Cats and dogs are naturally hunters. Feeding a carnivore a vegetarian diet is unnatural.
  • The FDA does not recommend feeding your dog or cat a plant-based diet since these animals were clearly not intended to eat only plants. The shape of their teeth demonstrates that they are meant to consume mostly animal tissue.
  • Your own moral choices are just that – your own. You should not impose them on your animals.
  • Cats are carnivores and require an amino acid called taurine to survive. Taurine is found naturally only in meat. Even dogs may have trouble subsisting on an entirely vegetarian diet. A compromise might be to feed your pet a combination of vegetarian food and organic meat food.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, vegetarian or vegan diet are not recommended.

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