Is a Vegetarian Diet Healthy for Dogs?

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In India, vegetarianism is widely popular due to cultural and religious reasons. However, due to environmental and philosophical beliefs, many meat-eaters are now shifting to vegetarian/vegan diets. Not just that, they are also choosing to leave out meat from their pets’ diets. While vegetarian diets can be a healthier choice for humans, the debate continues on whether they are just as good for dogs. Some people believe that a vegetarian-only diet is good as long as adequate and necessary nourishment is provided, but others argue that dogs are omnivores and benefit from a combination of animal protein and plant sources.

What does our expert have to say?

Dr. Umesh Kallahalli [Director Scientific Affairs at Mars Pet Care] says, “Anyone that cares for a dog must understand that they have an entirely different digestive physiology and different nutritional requirements. A balanced combination of vegetarian sources are required to provide all the nutrient and energy requirements of a dog.”

So are home-cooked vegetarian meals good enough for dogs?

Home-cooked meals (unless prepared by a veterinary nutritionist) are often deficient in essential nutrients, and more so when they’re vegetarian. Did you know that a popular vegetarian meal of curd and rice contains more water (50-80%) and not adequate levels of energy, vitamins and minerals your pooch needs on a daily basis? Additionally, home-cooked meals tend to have too much energy due to high carbohydrate levels. Not only do these meals lack the right amount of nutrients, but they also cause dogs to gain weight and have loose stools.

So does that mean dogs have to be fed meat?

No! Your doggo can be a pure vegetarian just like you! All they need is high-quality vegetarian dog food. To meet this need, Pedigree is reintroducing a complete and balanced meal that is 100% vegetarian. Pedigree Puppy & Adult - 100% Vegetarian Dog Food is formulated with protein and the right amount of essential nutrients to keep your dog healthy, happy and active. It is packed with protein from soyabean and vegetable oil as well as essential vitamins and minerals from vegetables. This vegetarian dog food supports digestive health, natural defences, strong muscles, bones and teeth as well as coat health. With Pedigree Puppy & Adult - 100% Vegetarian Dog Food, you can rest assured knowing that you aren’t compromising on your dietary beliefs or your pooch’s health.

After consulting your vet and getting their approval, if you choose to switch your pooch to a vegetarian diet, make sure to do it gradually over a course of 7 days. Start by mixing 25% of Pedigree 100% Vegetarian Dog Food into your dog's current food for the first two days and slowly move it up to 50% and 75% every two days until you are feeding them 100% of Pedigree dog food on day 7. A daily feeding guide is mentioned at the back of the pack, however, your vet can help you with this as well.

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