Vegetarian Diet Is Good For You But Not Your Pet

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While a vegetarian diet might be doing wonders for you and while you may be satisfied with the fact that this saves animals’ lives, it can be extremely dangerous for your pets, experts warn. This is according to a number of veterinary experts from the United Kingdom who have shared their findings with the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail. The reason why they have decided to go on record is that the sales of vegetarian pet food is on the rise in the UK, with sales going up by 25 percent every year.

According to the junior vice-president of the British Veterinary Association Gudrun Ravetz, while it is theoretically possible to feed a dog solely vegetarian foods, it is far more likely than not that the owner will make a mistake, especially if they do not consult a veterinary expert. If a dog does not get enough protein and other nutrients that they usually get from meat, they may suffer stunted muscle growth, heart problems, general lethargy and various skin problems.

He added that the situation is even worse with cats which are considered to be “obligate carnivores”, meaning that it is absolutely crucial for them to eat meat. Gudrun said that it would take so much supplementation and care in order to switch cats and keep them healthy on a vegetarian diet it is simply not realistic. One case that proved the adverse effects of a vegetarian diet on cats occurred in Australia in 2013.

Namely, owners of a small kitten brought it into the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, extremely weak and almost non-responsive. The owner readily admitted they fed the kitten pasta, rice and potatoes instead of meat-based foods.  The veterinarians managed to save the kitten and they warned the owners of the dangers of excluding meet from a cat’s diet, such as blindness, damage to the brain and premature death.

Back in the UK, a professor at the Royal Veterinary College, Daniel Chan also stated that another big problem with the vegetarian or, worse, vegan, diet for one’s pet is the fact that the pets might not show there is anything wrong with them and their health before it is too late. He also added that the pet food industry is not sufficiently regulated which makes it quite dangerous to feed one’s pets a vegetarian diet, although it may be theoretically possible.

 

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