Ask Seth: Vegetarian Dog Food?

I have a friend who is a strict vegetarian and is considering adopting a dog.  She said she plans on making the dog eat a vegetarian diet too.  I have read that soy is considered a poor filler in dog foods.  Is there any way for her to keep a dog healthy on a vegetarian diet? What is the best diet for dogs?

I have not personally used vegetarian diets in my dogs but I have known a few people that have been successful in preparing a diet themselves.  There are a few commercially prepared vegetarian diets that have been specifically designed for dogs, yet in my eyes, I feel that a home-prepared meal will always be better than a commercially prepared diet.  Dogs are classified as omnivores.  This means they can eat both meat and plants, just like humans.  It is important to research, read and understand the nutritional requirements of dogs before creating a diet at home.  I recommend buying the book Vegetarian Dogs written by Verona ReBow and Jonathan Dune.  This outlines why to feed vegetarian and has meal and treat recipes with proper nutrition. 

Choosing to feed your dog a vegetarian diet is a personal decision.  Be sure to discuss with your veterinarian that you are feeding this diet. They may have you adjust dietary ingredients for a better individual diet. Be sure to assess how your pet is doing every other month or so.  In some cases, there may be the need to add some animal based protein source.  If so, adding organic meats will be the best bet. I also must say that I know a lot more dogs fed a balanced meat-based diet that have also lead long healthy lives.

Do you have a vegetarian dog? Share with us in the comments!

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