There is a school of thought out there that describes dogs as meat eaters. This is a pretty accurate distinction, as their system is fully equipped to handle meat: The digestive tract is short, while their stomach has a much higher acidity level than humans which allows food to be processed quickly and excess to be expelled quickly. While their system seems to be set up for eating primarily meat, we all know that dogs will (and do) eat pretty much anything that’s put in front of them.
Meat free food
Vegetarian dog food is a popular topic for vegetarian dog owners, since most don’t want any meat or meat products anywhere in their home. Manufacturers of vegetarian dog food normally fortify their products with all the necessary amino acids, fatty acids and other essentials needed for optimal health: They just don’t include actual meat or animal byproducts that are found in conventional foods.
Observation is key
It’s been found that many dogs will respond perfectly to vegetarian dog food, while others will appear malnourished. Don’t get discouraged and rush out to get your dog a steak if they don’t take to the food right away — humans are designed for a vegetarian diet and still some of us have trouble when switching off meat.
The reason for this is that meat provides us with all of the amino acids and many minerals all in one package, whereas we would have to eat a few different plant products to get the same nutrients. It will also take your dog’s system time to get used to the speed that food is digested. If your dog stays sluggish for a long period of time after switching food, or looks unusually bloated with no improvement you may have to consider switching them back to meat products.
Find out more on vegetarian dog food and read many interesting articles on pet health.