Would you like your Lab to eat the same way you do? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at can Labrador be vegetarian and consider the potential benefits and risks involved.
Most dogs are omnivorous. It means they can eat both meat and fruits and vegetables.
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But, while dogs may be able to digest all types of food, they tend to like meat and dairy products more than plant products. So, it is quite a hassle if you want to get your Labrador to change from a non-vegetarian diet to a vegetarian one.
Can dogs survive on a vegetarian diet?
Yes, dogs can eat a well-designed vegetarian diet.
Many dog owners are vegetarian or vegan and they want their dogs to eat a similar diet. While not welcoming meat products in their house they let it be for the sake of their pets.
People, regardless of how much they hate non-veg, want their pets to get all the required nutrients.
Dogs’ bodies are like human bodies that can transform a type of amino acids, fatty acids, and proteins into other types according to their body needs. So, it means that your dog doesn’t need to eat meat to get all the types of essential nutrients.
They can get all the essentials from a well-balanced vegetarian diet plan as well.
It is complicated to replace the protein from meat. If you can allow eggs, then you can add eggs and a mix of high-protein veggies such as corn, soy, beans, and whole grains.
If you want to change your dog’s diet from a non-veg one to a vegan one you have to ensure that they are getting all the required protein, calcium, minerals, and nutrients.
But before changing their diet, consult with your veterinarian.
What do Labradors like to eat?
Labradors enjoy eating a meat-based diet. Most dogs would not enjoy a change from eating meat to eating vegetarian since meat is their natural choice.
How to switch a dog to a vegetarian diet
You can start by adding a few vegetables to their bowl of food. I suggest, boiled or steamed vegetables mixed in with their food.
Then continue to increase the vegetarian portion of their food, keeping in mind that the vegetarian food needs to meet their protein requirements.
Are there any downsides to a vegetarian diet for dogs?
While there are many medical journals and studies about the best diets and foods for our canine friends. There have never been any that can outright reject or support that a vegetarian diet is a more suitable or unsuitable diet for dogs.
You must give your dogs a well-balanced diet and from time to time, according to their needs. Dogs may need a high quantity of any certain type of nutrient during pregnancy but only a little may suffice after the post-labor period.
If your dog is on a vegetarian diet then you should consult your veterinarian for a suitable diet plan.
Protein, carbs, calcium, iodine, and other nutrients can be supplemented on a vegetarian diet. There are some essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that cannot.
Essential Vitamins B12, D3, iron, calcium, and Vitamin E have a small number of substitutes in veggies and are hard to find.
Another thing that is seen is that people tend to use soybeans or other soy products. This is mainly done to fulfill the daily protein requirements of their dogs.
In the long term, soy can affect their hormonal system since soy also contains many unnecessary hormones. The riskiest period is during pregnancy.
Upsides of vegetarian diet
A vegetarian food plan costs less than its non-veg counterpart.
In some Labradors Retrievers, their skin tone has gotten better. According to observations, there was also a reduction in unexplainable skin allergies.
What vegetables can be given to a Labrador?
- Kale: contains a high quantity of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help to prevent cancer from developing. It contains iron, calcium, and magnesium which are good for bone health.
- Green beans: Green beans contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and magnesium. This help in regulating metabolism, and also promotes and support external and internal healing
- Beet: Beet has a high fiber content which helps in regulating the digestive system. It also has flute, magnesium, and potassium that support the immune system and maintains healthy skin and coat
- Soy protein: Soy can be added to dog food in many different forms with two main ingredients being soybean meal and soybean oil. The soybean has a very high nutritional value containing a variety of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is one of the best veg substitutes for meat protein and eggs.
As per AKC here are the most common fruits and veggies that you can give your dog: bananas, apples, carrots, celery, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cantaloupe, peas, pumpkin, spinach, and melon are edible.
A mixture of soy and some other whole grains such as corn, brown rice, and oatmeal can create a perfect veg protein supplement for your dog.
Some other foods that Labradors like the most are sweet potato, carrots, and butternut squash.
- Some veggies must not be given to your dog as they will do more harm than good to your dog.
- Top of the must-not-give list are grapes and raisins. They can do severe kidney damage to your dog. Other than grapes there are also onions, garlic, and chives that can reduce blood cells and rhubarbs that can cause renal failure in your dog.
- There is another thing that you should always remember while choosing to give your dog only a vegetarian diet. You should always avoid giving tomatoes. This is because tomatoes can cause kidney stones in Labradors, as well as, in some other dog breeds too.
Our opinion is if you are considering giving only a vegetarian diet to your dog you should consult with your vet.
In addition to this, the product to be used must be human-grade. We hope this article has solved all your veg diet for dog-related problems.