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Veganism and Dogs!

By Anna Webb Broadcaster, Nutrition & Behaviour expert has studied with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies 1 years ago 6444 Views

I cannot bear the thought of the unethical treatment of animals, and I’m not a fan of industrial farming.

I choose to be a vegetarian, but I wouldn’t impose my diet choices onto my dogs as I understand that we’re different species.

Is it fair to impose vegan or vegetarian diets on dogs if this isn’t species appropriate?

I’m an omnivore whereas a dog is classified as a primary carnivore, a cat is an obligate carnivore and a rabbit is a herbivore.

My study with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies clarified that dogs are biologically and physiologically designed to eat meat.

Some classify dog’s as omnivores. Just because a dog will eat anything, as a natural born scavenger, this doesn’t mean they’re an omnivore.

Despite us domesticating our pooches for thousands of years, their teeth and the short length of their digestive tract and bowels have not changed.

Unlike us, dogs have trouble digesting, discarding and processing a plant-based diet through their gut and their liver.

Conversely dogs digest and metabolise the proteins in meat much quicker and more effectively than we do.

The proteins dogs absorb from meat, rather than plants, are responsible for building and repairing the muscles and tissues.

It also provides dogs with the structure for the skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscle fibres.

Meat contains the essential 10 amino acids that dogs need to thrive, which are either missing from plant sourced protein, or are not bio-available.

Not least the essential amino acid Tryptophan, which promotes the release of the happy hormone, serotonin, in the brain.

Perhaps that’s why my tiny English Toy Terrier, Mr Binks looks so happy chomping through a raw meaty bone.

He’s proof that even small dogs enjoy using their teeth which are specifically designed for this purpose.

Dogs’ digestive systems are naturally more acidic than ours. Meat provides this acidity whereas plant sourced proteins promote an alkaline PH.

The gut is responsible for over 70% of the immune system, it’s the number one defence mechanism against toxins and disease.

It absorbs nutrition that fuels the body to survive and fight the ageing process.

If the gut is compromised it can cause ill health e.g. allergies, autoimmune conditions, even cancer.

The proteins found in plants, like un-sprouted and GMO grains, beans, legumes, and nuts can cause inflammation and damage the stomach lining.

It’s the combination of insecticides and pesticides coupled with many natural compounds only found in plant proteins that protect plants against parasites and fungi, but only serve to distort a dog’s digestive tract.

Another big difference in our digestion is that we produce the starch enzyme Amylase in our saliva, which begins to ‘digest’ carbohydrates in our mouths.

Whereas dogs only secrete Amylase in their pancreas, allowing limited time and availability to cope with plant based foods.

Opting for locally sourced, even organic, meat is an answer to balance concerns of antibiotics that can travel down the meat food chain.

I opt for a responsible supplier like Natural Instinct to offer locally sourced meat that’s pre-prepared into balanced complete frozen meals.

Ethically I feel it’s a tad ironic to feed dogs as vegans or vegetarians. Spend time campaigning for more humane farming, but feeding your dog on plants is nothing less than unethical.

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