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uisce

Vegetarian Dogs

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So I've been doing some reading lately and there are a lot of sites claiming that dogs who live a vegetarian lifestyle are often healthier than a standard dog. Having less chance at suffering stuff like heart problems or of getting cancer, less likely to have organ failure and so on - basically the same boons to a human being vegetarian. The thing is, the Guinness Book of World Records actually somewhat seems to support the theory due to their consideration of one such bitch as the oldest living canine. Female Border Collie "Bramble" (currently the 6th longest living dog on record) who lived 27 years and 211 days, she doesn't hold the number one position, but 27 years is still a very long time for a dog to live.

My question is, has anyone ever attempted or witnessed someone feeding their dog an all vegetarian diet? If so how would you say the results prospered?
Viewed: 10 times
Added: 5 years, 8 months ago
 
starling
5 years, 8 months ago
I'd be careful if they're comparing it to a "good" meat diet or not. If you feed a dog that crap processed food (dry kibble, processed meat sausage, etc) then it's basically like giving them McDonalds every day. I feed mine on raw bones (not cooked), raw meats and some vegetables and they seem to be living the longest life the breed can live. :P My dogs don't stink like dogs fed on processed food and their farts aren't nuclear toxic death bombs like some friend's dogs I know that just get the processed food all the time. Man that stuff STINKS when you open the bag and put it in the bowl even before the dog has eaten it.
uisce
5 years, 8 months ago
That I agree with (though I can't afford to not feed them the processed garbage most of the time) I hate having to feed them that stuff. My family often gives our dogs vegetables and fruits as well as occasional bites of meat (though meat is really expensive unfortunately). Our Dogs usually live as long as the breed is expected to and oftena  few years more. It still doesn't change my curiosity of how well this vegetarian dog thing works.
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
As far as I'm aware, it doesn't make them superdogs or anything.  My aunt feeds her dogs on mostly vegetarian and 'organic' foods (organic as in, no artificial ingredients, because the literal definition applies to all living things).  Many of her dogs still get diseases, cancers, and die.  I'm not sure what their lifespan is compared to what's typical for their breed. They do seem to linger on for a few years towards the end, and she often has to make special accommodations for reduced mobility.  Which I imagine is probably typical of most dogs who live on into their years.

While there are certain advantages to a low calorie diet, which has been demonstrated in many organisms, and vegetarian diets would probably make this easier, I probably wouldn't want to live on 1,000 calories a day, even if I lived to be a hundred.  One thing I think people should keep in mind is that dogs are predators. They have adapted their entire lifestyle around hunting and eating meat. That's probably what their bodies are most acclimated to do.  Though they have some omnivorous flexibility, I would no more expect a Dog to live better on a vegetarian diet then I would expect a Giraffe to live better on a carnivorous one.

 I think the tendency towards healthier vegetarian dogs could simply be explained that if someone cares enough about their dog to examine their diet at all, the dog is probably receiving more effective care and attention.  But I'm no expert on dogs, so feel free to find one.
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
Well a dog would survive better on a vegetarian diet than a Giraffe would on a carnivorous one for sure. Also with dogs, while they do hunt, are honestly more scavengers than true hunters like a cat, dogs will eat pretty much anything in the wild (or at home :P). I'm not saying though that it is a miracle cure to make them vegetarians, but there does seem to be a benefit according to the research I have done if you do it right. I know our dogs usually live longer than their breeds usually do and we have always fed our dogs a lot of veggies and fruits as snacks.
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
Well, yeah, you know what I mean, though. lol

But yes, dogs will generally eat whatever you give them, but I've yet to witness dogs that are particularly crazy for garden veggies out in the wild.  A dog might dig up a garden, but they rarely seem to eat anything in it.  If they do, it's usually because they're either bored or can't get anything else.

And the average lifespan for breeds is probably also accounting for people who chain them out in the hot sun, feed them leftover Denny's and don't change their water for a week.  I should certainly hope a dog cared for properly would live longer than average.
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
It's hard to say honestly because observing wild dogs is a touch and go basis, but I know that my dog (a Siberian Husky/German Shepard hybrid) will turn down meat, butter, and other animal fats in favor of a lot of different vegetables (including peas and carrots for example). Especially if it is a fruit, she'll practically put on a top hat grab a cane and start dancing for you (even with her genetic hip displaysia mind you) for a slice of apple! XD Also, I know that (from my research anyway) wolves will often times eat vegetation in the wild, especially during times where game is more rare such as during the winter (where they'll even eat tree bark apparently in some cases.)

Although I see where you are coming from when it comes to the whole taking care of your animals leading to longer lifespans and I agree.
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
Did you know that some deer will actually eat trapped birds?  Like, when people set nets to catch certain kinds of birds, to study them, they have to be careful to check the traps frequently, because if they leave them there too long, deer will occasionally eat them.

I once owned a cat that would eat Green Beans.  My current cat turns his nose up at almost everything, even beef.  The only kinds of meat he likes are turkey, chicken, and fish.  Well, along with whatever he catches out in the yard, but he mostly just nibbles on that.
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
I've heard about the deer thing before in different context and the way it has been described is that it isn't that they eat them for the meat, but rather for the calcium in their bones. But it is a funny thought to think about deer being predatory. XD

I had a cat a couple years ago that loved potatoes, especially potato chips. I haven't had a cat since he passed away a couple years ago though. I miss him and miss having a cat around, although I am more of a dog person.
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
My current cat was feral when we got him.  We had to tame him.  He's still a little wild and runs from visitors, or from people he knows if they happen to be wearing unfamiliar clothes or carrying a strange object.  He's terrified of plastic bags.  If I approach him out in the yard, there's a 75% chance he'll run.  But inside, he loves to be around people, and will "myaw" if you ignore him.  His food is downstairs, but sometimes he doesn't want to go down by himself, and if you stand at the top of the stairs long enough without following him down, he'll get annoyed and bite at your legs.

He's kind of a dick.

But he's so FLUFFY!
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
Lol sounds like a true cat indeed! No, actually my last cat was really sweet, he'd even give kisses the same way a dog does... It was really weird actually!
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
My old cat was sweeter.  And less panicky.  If a visitor showed up he'd be like, "Oh hai."  

I think he may have been part ragdoll, because he was really calm when I picked him up, and would just go limp a lot.  If I get another cat, it will probably be a ragdoll, or something with similar temperament.
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
I feel goof asking this, but is "ragdoll" actually a breed of cat or are you using it as an analogy to an actual ragdoll? XD
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
That was adorable!
Infinityplus1
5 years, 5 months ago
I know, right?  I would get one, and train it to go limp over my shoulders, to freak people out.
uisce
5 years, 5 months ago
lol that would be funny.
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