Vegetarian Diet

 

The belly rules the mind

Vegetarian Diet for pet dogs

Hi, I’m Prateek Kashyap – a professional dog behaviourist. We and our loving pets are, quite literally, what we eat! So, I’m with you today to share my opinion and a few suggestions regarding a healthy vegetarian diet for pet dogs. 

Before you and I dive into the 5 course menu { pun intended 😉 } please note there is no perfect diet plan as-in one size fits all.  Some dogs thrive well on vegetarian diets & some don’t. You know your dog better than anyone else!

Much like us, our pets’ diet should have multiple sources of carbs, protein & fat to  fulfil their nutritional demand.

In the wild, dogs do eat raw meat, but they also eat eggs, berries and even grass. Skeleton structure of a dog suggests that they are from Carnivora family but domestication of dogs over thousands of years helped them in adapting less meat and more plant based diet. So our furry friends have adapted very well to eat ‘what is grown rather than only having what is born.’  

Studies have shown that feeding your pet a plant/meat based diet is  not that simple because it’s much easier to get it wrong than right. For instance, one of my dogs Wow gets itchy skin when he eats wheat and the other one  can’t digest a high-protein meat based diet. Meat-free dog diets are a little tricky as getting high quality protein from vegetarian food could be a challenge.

In my research, I have found pros and cons of both -a purely plant based and meat based diet. So there is no black and white answer as to what’s the best food for my furrrrry companion.

Pet industry is the only industry where companies make us believe, by false marketing, that packed food is a better option than freshly cooked meals.  We do fall for that verrrrryyyy easily. Even the most famous and reputed brands would fail the food safety and standards test. Keeping it simple – ask yourself -is packed food better for you than freshly cooked ? Woah…you got the answer bro! 

P.S. The foods we choose do make a difference!

Just like snowflakes, every dog is different and unique, so their appetites and food preferences can vary depending on their age, lifestyle and activity level. Here’s how you can customise your dog’s diet. Feel free to modify it dear parent!

The basic percentage of the portions that preferably should form your dog’s diet-

 

Puppies

Adult Dogs

Senior Dogs

Protein

60%

50%

40%

Fat

10%

20%

20%

Carbs

30%

30%

40%

As per my experience most dogs thrive on a high protein diet for healthy skin, strong muscles, good growth, shiny coat and robust immune system (much like me) and I usually follow the above ratio to help me plan my dog’s meals. You can thank me later!

But, how much shall I feed my dog ? For a  fairly active 1yr+ old :-

Shih Tzu 5kgs  

walks 20 mins  

250 calories – Three Meals a day

Beagle 10kgs  

walks 1hr + plays fetch 30mins 500 calories – Three Meals a day

Labrador 25kgs  

walks 2hrs + plays fetch 30mins 1000 calories – Two Meals a day

50 grams paneer

50 grams paneer

100 grams paneer 

10g soya chunks 

10g soya chunks 

25 grams boiled dal

50g carrots

50g carrots

Half cup cooked rice

Half banana or apple 

Half banana or apple 

1 cup curd

 

1 cup cooked rice + curd a day

70g carrots

  

10g soya chunks 

  

Half tablespoon peanut butter

  

Half banana or apple

Unlike labradors, many dogs may not be food lovers. They don’t see food as the ultimate reward and might eat only after your praise or attention. Pay attention to what motivates your dog but don’t force it.

The key is to start with easy to digest ingredients first and once your dog’s tummy has adjusted to it , increase the dose. There is a possibility that some dogs may not accept vegetarian food. In that case, simply mix new food with old food in small quantities and bring about the change slowly. Freshly cooked food can also be introduced as a treat and  after a week or more the frequency and the quantity can be increased. 

My advice is to feed your dog high quality food that fits your pocket. It’s definitely not about the price tag on the outside  but the ingredients in the bowl. Please prioritise high quality protein and freshly cooked food which will be nutritionally superior compared to any packed dog food. 

‘Tell me what your pet eats and I will tell you what it is.’ – French proverb proudly twisted by me! Happy feeding!

*Disclaimer- The views expressed here are entirely of a dog lover. 

 

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