Feeding pets is part of the obligations of cat and dog owners and ensuring a healthy and balanced diet is part of that responsibility. To do this, some owners choose a vegetarian diet, or even a vegan diet, for these animals. But is it suitable for their needs?
The vegan diet is better for dogs, the study finds
With more and more people adopting plant-based diets for health, ecological or ethical reasons, it is not surprising to learn that some individuals are deciding to apply this lifestyle to their pets as well. But before imposing a vegetarian diet on dogs and cats, it is important to know if such a diet is healthy for these animals. First of all we need to understand that dogs and cats are omnivorous animals. This means that their body can absorb both animal and plant foods.
A good protein intake is usually essential, which usually comes from foods of animal origin. It is for this reason that many owners wonder if dogs and cats are suitable for a vegetarian diet. According to a recent study by researchers from the University of Winchester in the UK, the answer is yes. According to the results of the study published in the journal PLOS Onea plant-based diet would be even better for the health of our pets, or at least dogs.
” We have found that the healthiest and least dangerous diet for dogs is a nutritionally vegan diet “, Indeed declared Andrea Cavalierelead author of the study, a news on the euro. By investigating owners of more than 2,500 dogs, the researchers found that dogs on a conventional meat-based diet were less healthy than dogs on a raw-meat or vegan-based diet. To make this health assessment of these animals, the scientists took into account various factors, such as the frequency of non-routine visits to the vet, the use of medications, and common health problems reported by owners.
A concern that remains in the gray area
If the results of this study are therefore favorable to adopting a vegetarian diet for dogs, this is not the opinion of all professionals. In fact, many veterinarians believe that a vegetarian or vegan diet is not recommended for the well-being of dogs and cats. Some vets are not so categorical on this topic and consider a vegetarian diet as a possibility for some animals and under certain conditions.
The main condition is in particular to be accompanied by a professional during the passage of the animal’s food, in order to regularly assess whether the dog or cat remains healthy with its new diet. Inquiring with the experts is also necessary to know several important information, such as the sources of protein in a vegetarian diet, or the fruits and vegetables that are prohibited for dogs and cats. In conclusion, saying that a vegetarian diet is safe for dogs and cats cannot be taken for granted. However, it is not forbidden, as long as you pay close attention and seek the help of a professional.