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While some people choose to raise their dogs on a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons there are a number of important factors to consider when making the change over.
Dogs have higher protein requirements than humans, and this protein requirement can be adequately met with legumes and other vegetarian sources. The amount of protein required ranges between 12% -
Supplementation is needed to reduce the risk of deficiencies. Two important amino acids that may be lacking in vegetarian diets are taurine and L-
High quality protein is very important in supporting your dog’s heart health, and so amino acid supplementation is routinely recommended for dogs that are at risk of poor heart health.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and those particularly associated with heart health in dogs are L-
Heart disease in dogs is progressive and often irreversible and so it is doubly important to pay attention to the long term dietary intake of these key amino acids. Dietary supplementation can play a role in this.
These high energy requirements also make the heart uniquely vulnerable to L-
The body's ability to synthesize L-
High levels of this amino acid are normally found in the heart muscle and it is abundant in most meats and fish, but cooking, especially cooking methods that immerse meat in water, such as boiling, can reduce Taurine levels in food by up to 85%.
However, this is not supposed to be a problem for dogs, because, unlike cats, dogs are supposed to be able to synthesize sufficient Taurine from the sulphur amino acids, Cysteine and Methionine, much like humans.
You'll notice the "supposed to’s" in that sentence. That's because it is far from clear that all dogs have the ability to synthesize adequate levels of Taurine.
While premium dog foods typically include additional Taurine supplements, low protein diets as well as brands using high levels of cereal protein can produce deficiencies. Lamb and rice diets have also been implicated as have homemade vegetarian and vegan diets.
Some breeds (e.g., Newfoundlands, American Cocker Spaniels) are prone to developing Taurine deficiencies even when Taurine levels in their diet are adequate.
There is evidence that Taurine supplementation supports heart health in many breeds.
Vital amino acids for your dog’s healthy heart and circulation
Owners who decide to feed a vegetarian or vegan diet can fully satisfy their dogs dietary needs if they are aware of the species’ nutritional requirements.
Dogs may prefer to be carnivores whenever possible and while meat and fish are their preferred prey, even when times are plentiful they will still eat some herbage. Perhaps they are self medicating in some way. Perhaps obtaining certain minerals and vitamins that their meat diet lacks. Observers of carnivorous animals have noted that hunters will often eat intestinal contents before tackling raw meat. Another piece of evidence to give us an insight into the dogs true nutritional needs.
So what should you take into account when preparing a vegetarian diet for your dog. Well firstly because they do not have a large capacity to digest vegetable matter, including starches and sugars they do lean towards a high protein and high fat content diet.
Therefore be aware that cereals, including rice, and potato must be kept to a minimum. Excessive starches and sugars increase the risk of your dog developing serious diseases such as diabetes, colitis and other digestive conditions.
Vegetable fibre is difficult to digest and so must be well broken down by mincing or liquidising though not necessarily cooking; which will reduce nutritional value. Raw is often best if it is broken down to improve digestability.
Plant proteins are abundant in legumes, peas, beans etc.
Since practically all vegetable material contains fats and oils in addition to the oils you may add, you need to be aware that too much omega 6 oils are harmful, causing internal inflammation that can give rise to arthritis and other complaints. The better vegetable oils are: olive, coconut and flax. Avoid sunflower, corn and rapeseed oils especially. We have a good article on vegetable oils for dogs in our online healthcare blog.
The clever thing about metabolism is that if we don’t get a certain nutrient in our diet then the body can synthesise it from the chemical building blocks obtained from other parts of our diet. So in fact not that many nutrients are really classed as “essential”. But nevertheless there are some that are essential that the dog can’t manufacture at all or can’t manufacture enough of to fulfil their true potential. This can lead to a dog “surviving” on a vegetarian diet rather than “blossoming”. It can also become more important for older dogs as their internal “manufacturing” systems weaken with age.
This then is the area where judicial supplemention of the diet on the owner’s part can help the vegetarian diet become truly fulfilling both for dog and owner. Supplementation is usually needed to reduce the risk of deficiencies at somer point in your dog’s life.
Two important amino acids that may be lacking in vegetarian diets are taurine and L-
Many minerals can be deficient either because of where crops are grown or over-
Bear in mind that the greater the variety of foods that you introduce into the vegetarian diet the lower the risk of deficiencies.
Bear in mind that the greater the variety you can introduce into the vegetarian diet the lower the risk of deficiencies.
The use of L-
During the post traumatic and post surgical recovery periods, energy requirements increase by between 20% and 100%. L-
While not a magic bullet for combating canine obesity, we are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that L-
Carnicare liquid syrup is fed at the rate of 1ml twice per day for every 10kg of your dog’s weight. It should be sprinkled on your dog’s food at mealtimes, although not necessarily with each meal. A measuring dispenser is provided to help you to feed the correct amount easily.
Side effects are rare and limited to mild diarrhea. Feed at half the recommended rate to allow your dog to acclimatise to it.
Carnicare contains 40% (400mg/ml) of L-
Carnicare™ contains is a special grade of L-
Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride 100mg/ml
Potassium Sorbate natural preservative – less than 1%
Safe and Vet recommended
Please consult your Vet
The Ingredients in Carnicare are widely recommended and used by Veterinary Surgeons, often in conjunction with prescription drugs.
Carnicare has a very safe record and is compatible with all medications that may be prescribed by your vet. It is important that in order to obtain the most complete treatment available for your dog Carnicare should be used in conjunction with medications deemed necessary by your Veterinary Surgeon.