Should you give your puppy a plant-based diet?

Should you give your puppy a plant-based diet? So says a vet
Your four-legged friend needs proper nutrition to thrive.

Feed his puppy plant-based meals.

There are so many different diets for humans, and two that are becoming more and more popular are veganism and vegetarianism. The Mayo Clinic explains that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. Diabetes and even certain cancers. (There are also environmental benefits.) But different dog diets are also becoming more modern, and some people are choosing to feed their dogs plant-based meals.

How to feed your puppy

There are now vegan dog food brands and owners showcasing their pets meat-free diets. (A quick simple search on Instagram shows several hashtags focusing on vegan dogs that have tens of thousands of posts.) Of course, a plant-based lifestyle may be good for you. But when it comes to your puppy, you should not feed him meat-free meals. Says Katy Nelson, DVM, associate veterinarian at Belle Haven Animal Medical Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Dogs can definitely survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet. But they will not necessarily thrive on it, ”she says. The reason? “Your body needs protein and essential amino acids from meat. That’s all there is to it,” Nelson said.

A plant-based diet

herbs

In fact, Nelson’s statement repeats a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This assessed the health of dogs on a plant-based diet. The authors note that their “biggest concern with strictly plant-based diets is the adequacy of essential amino acids. May also include nutrients derived primarily from animal ingredients.” Some of these nutrients include total protein and vitamins A, B12 and D.

Are dogs best fed as carnivores

Are dogs best fed as carnivores

While yes, you can add these compounds from an “external, synthetic” supplement, Nelson does not like the idea. “It worries me that when we try to be more holistic with our diet and we try to be more organic, that by doing something like that we actually have to introduce artificial sources,” she says. . She recommends buying protein-rich animal feed. Low in carbohydrates and contains fruits, green vegetables and grains. She believes that dogs are best fed as carnivores, even though they are technically omnivorous, she notes.

“I think we need to get back to the middle of our diet philosophy. We stick to what we know works. In other words, a meat-based diet with green vegetables, grains and fruits and attempts to stay away from all chemical additives, ”she says.

Increased interest in diets

Increased interest in diets

Nelson admits she has recently seen an increased interest in plant-based diets for dogs. She thinks it started with animals that were allergic to the usual proteins found in animal feed. Namely fish, chicken, beef and sometimes lamb. Nelson notes, however, that even in these cases, there are other options for those who do not cut the meat. “I have been a veterinarian for 18 years and I have never recommended a vegetarian diet to any of my patients,” she reveals. “If my patients have severe allergies, I generally look for … Either a new source of protein for them or a prescription diet.”

“There is no perfect diet

Whether you think your dog may have a food allergy or want to introduce new foods to their diet. Nelson says it is imperative to see your vet first and work with them. “There is no perfect diet, but there can just be one perfect for your pet,” she says.

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