If you feel that you don’t want to give your pet meat-based foods, you might have concerns about their diet. Here are some points to consider before you trade their beef for broccoli.
- Make Sure Their Diet is Filled with Nutrients
Cats and dogs have different systems than humans, and process vitamins from foods in a different way, too. You have to ensure they get important nutrients on a vegetarian/vegan diet, such as protein, amino acids such as L-carnitine and taurine, B-vitamins, phosphorous, iron and calcium. You don’t want your pet to fall sick with an illness that isn’t reversible, so it’s essential to give them a healthy, balanced diet.
- Dogs, But Not Cats
Expert Lew Olsen, PhD, who wrote 'Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs', states that cats are difficult to put on vegan diets because they are built to have meat in their diet. They are regarded as obligate carnivores, which basically means they depend on meat-based nutrition in order to survive.
Dogs, on the other hand, can go on meat-free diets. For instance, they can obtain all the amino acids their bodies require without having to eat meat. However, preparing a vegan/vegetarian diet for them must be done carefully. It's always a must to consult with your vet so that you ensure you give them the proper nutrition.
- Striking a Vegan Balance
Just because you are vegan, it doesn’t mean that this diet will be good for your specific pet, however there is a way to find some compromise. The meat-based foods you feed your pet don’t have to originate from animals on farms that are treated badly. You can choose meat that has been humanely procured as well as sustainable. Although it might still feel like it’s conflicting with your values, bear in mind that you want the best thing for your pet. If that means there is no way around feeding him/her meat in order for them to be healthy, then this is what you should focus on: your pet’s health. Avoiding meat because animals are treated badly is a valuable ethic, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of YOUR pet’s health. Charity begins at home, and you should be loving your pet and giving him/her what he/she needs in order to be happy and healthy.
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