There is no doubt about it veganism and vegetarianism is one of the strongest trends in nutrition. Recent studies show that already 6 percent. Mature Poles are vegetarians or vegans, and up to 24 percent. declares flexibility.
Subject meatless diet for dogs and cats Thus, it appears more and more in public opinion, but at the same time creates a lot of controversy and extremism.
This is natural disputes In the approach to our pet’s plant diet, they appear in dogs and cats, not in horses or most rodents, which are naturally herbivores.
However, there are theories and opinions that during evolution, the dog may become more prone to plant-based diets. “Man’s best friend” through hundreds of years of domestication adapted to cereals, fruits or vegetables. This is indicated by inter alia, the length of the intestines that allows the digestion of plant foods or more premolars.
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Even today, so-called cats have reacted differently to the development of evolution “ruthless carnivores”because, among others, many plant products cannot be properly digested due to the small capacity of the teeth or stomach and intestines.
It seems that the food needs of dogs or cats should not differ significantly from the needs of each of us. After all, an animal, like a human being, needs the same nutrients among others. protein, fat, vitamins and carbohydrates. But it turns out to compare the needs of animals with the needs of humans one by one can be a big mistake.
– In my opinion, to apply a regular vegan or vegetarian diet for your dog or cat not the optimal solution – convinces the animal technician, eng. Katarzyna Żmuda. – It is true that dogs are relatively carnivorous animals, and their bodies have adapted to digest both meat and plant foods. However, we must remember that the origin of nutrients determines the nutritional value of nutrients. A good example is protein, which is very important in the diet of every pet, does not provide the dog with the necessary amount of essential amino acids in plant form, that is, it has a lower biological value than animal protein, he says. Udamuda.
Therefore, as the expert emphasized, it is very important to include animal proteins in the diet of dogs and cats, especially during growth – proteins. they are used to create new tissues.
– This is one of the reasons why I believe that high-quality meat dishes selected under the supervision of a dietitian are still better, and of course, more secure solution – he says.
There are also opinions that a plant-based diet cannot be taken care of the correct proportions of many other minerals necessary for the activity of each animal. In addition to the above proteins, from foods such as macro and micronutrients, including calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, iron and vitamins.
Therefore, is it not possible to provide a plant-based diet for animals? That means incomplete. And among some veterinarians – you can find ideas that show the possibility of changing the diet of our pet. However, it must meet very important conditions.
– If a pet owner – for ethical or ideological reasons – is determined to follow a plant-based diet, he must remember a few important rules, says Kamila Kaczmarkiewicz-Dudek of Pets Diag, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. – First of all, we must remember that any changes in the diet of the animal – especially the transition to a diet without meat – should be carefully considered in advance and consulted with a veterinarian and animal nutritionist. Only this, in the opinion of the owner, will allow to prepare a menu that is ethical and at the same time properly balanced and gives the animal as many nutritious features as possible – adds the expert.
It is also worth remembering that a “vegetarian pet” will always be a better idea than a “vegan pet”. This is due to the above great demand for protein. As you know, a vegetarian diet means giving up meat, leaving behind other animal products that can provide more of this valuable food. Therefore, if we really want to eliminate meat from the animal’s diet, ovo-vegetarianism, which allows the consumption of protein-rich eggs, may be a good solution.
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It is worth remembering that for some animals, a regular vegetarian diet may even be recommended, and this is the case, for example, when there are clear medical reasons for this. intolerance to meat. In any case, it is good to remember about the right supplements – especially vitamin B12, which is very popular among all vegans, deficiencies can be seen in animals.
As you can see, both proponents and opponents of plant-based diets for animals find their arguments. However, it is important to remember that any changes in your pet’s diet must be made in some way careful and responsible. It should also be remembered that animals often react individually to changes in diet. Excellent food for Azor, Bella and Sonia can hurt Toffik, Luna or Max.
– First of all, pay attention to the health of your pet! When we decide to introduce a meatless diet for a pet, we must carefully observe it and conduct control tests. If vegetables are eaten reluctantly and, most importantly, have a negative effect on the physical condition, we can be sure that the menu does not meet the natural needs of our pet. Based on assumptions “nothing by force”then you need to return to the traditional diet – concludes expert Kamila Kaczmarkiewicz-Dudek, Pets Diag.
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