While people do feed their dogs vegetarian diets it isn’t necessarily good for them. As original carnivores (although they’re more omnivores now) dogs digestive tracts aren’t made to handle large quantities of plant material. Their bodies also require high amounts of protein and calcium which typically come from meat sources so if a vegetarian formula isn’t meeting their requirements it will be unhealthy.
Not necessarily. Dogs are naturally carnivorous, and their nutritional needs reflect that. For example, they require relatively high levels of protein and calcium, as well as various vitamins that they can only obtain from meat. For this reason, when crafting a vegetarian or vegan diet for a dog, you can’t simply make him or her the same meal you would make for yourself – the meal must be designed for their unique needs. Moreover, some of the nutrients dogs require are not naturally available in any non-meat source, so it may be necessary to include a specially designed dietary supplement. Fortunately, such suplements do exist, as do meal recipes specifically catered to a dog’s nutritional needs. Feeding a dog well on a vegetarian diet will likely be much more expensive, and a lot more work, but it can be done.
From what I learned in the book Vegan Dogbook (full of recipes and great advice, with advice from vets) by Michelle Rivera, dogs can be vegan but cats cannot.
You must be very careful if you are to put your dog on a vegan diet, mainly because of protein. Dog’s intestines are shorter than humans and proteins from vegetables take longer to absorb, rendering absorbtion of protein from a source like tofu to be very minimal. Talk to your vet or consult the web or books for recipes for vegan dog food. Make sure you are aware of the foods that you should avoid giving your dog. Also, make sure you tell your vet about your decision. This is not right for all dogs.
Cats cannot synthesize their own taurine, an essential amino acid. Humans and many other mammals can synthesize their own, but cats need it from external forces. Only non vegan foods supply this and thus cats cannot be vegans.
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