Pet owners have argued over this for years and lots of owners say that eliminating meat and dairy from their dog`s diet makes them a healthier, happier pooch especially the ones with food allergies. While some vegans say there is a host of benefits to feeding their pet a vegan diet, veterinarians say that going meatless may not be good for dogs.
Dr. Benjamin Davidson, a vet at NYC Veterinary Specialists, says “People feel it`s good for their pet because it`s good for them. Dogs and cats, they`re carnivores and they do eat meat as part of their natural diet” as per “nydailynews.com.”
Still, some pet owners think by putting their pet on a vegan diet, it can give them the same health benefits as it does for a human like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping maintain the right weight.
The co-owner of Whiskers Holistic Pet Store in New York`s East Village says he keeps a variety of vegetarian friendly products for those who want their pets on a vegan diet but admits there can be disadvantages. He states “There are a number of health benefits, but there are health detriments as well. It depends on the individual animal and the reason the dog is being put on a vegan diet. If it`s well thought out, it could be O.K. We do an awful lot of work with allergenic animals and sometimes will recommend a vegetarian or vegan diet because the majority of allergies are due to particular proteins.”
However, Dr. Davidson says there is little advantage for going vegan, even those animals who suffer from food allergies. They risk not getting enough essential proteins, vitamins and minerals that only come from meat products. He states “In general, with most of the dietary recommendations we make for pets with allergies, we usually find an animal protein that the dog will not be allergic to. There will be no requirement to move to a vegan diet.”
Many other vets agree with Dr. Davidson like Dr. Michael Rubinstein, clinical director for the Humane Society of New York who states “Dogs need meat in their diet. In an ideal world, we try to mimic what animals eat in the wild.” He also says vegan diets are quite expensive and in the end, not worth it.
This is however, a personal choice, so if you decide to have your pet go vegan, make sure to discuss with your vet how to achieve a healthy diet for your pet.
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