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While I firmly believe that dogs are carnivores, let's not forget that many experts also claim that dogs are omnivores and CAN be fed a vegetarian diet as long as it is done right - and eggs are involved. I would suggest picking up Dr.Pitcairn's "Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats" to learn more about cooking for your dog and the supplements you will need to add. I do not advocate vegetarian feeding but it CAN be done.
 

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While I firmly believe that dogs are carnivores, let's not forget that many experts also claim that dogs are omnivores and CAN be fed a vegetarian diet as long as it is done right - and eggs are involved. I would suggest picking up Dr.Pitcairn's "Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats" to learn more about cooking for your dog and the supplements you will need to add. I do not advocate vegetarian feeding but it CAN be done.
Based on the research I've done, this seems accurate. I've even heard that eggs aren't absolutely necessary. I remember reading a story about a dog who lived to 27 on a vegan diet, so while it may not be the best choice for a dog it's obviously not going to kill them. Dogs, like humans and most (all?) omnivores, have the ability to synthesize taurine, so they don't need animal sources. This doesn't mean that a completely plant based diet is best, or even good, for them. It does mean that dogs can live on a proper vegan diet.

I've done a little more reading since this thread started. I believe that it is possible to feed a vegan diet that is every bit as healthful as the best kibble, but I don't know that it's practical or reasonable. It's certainly not going to happen by dumping a block of tofu and some carrots into the dog's bowl. So dogs are obviously carnivores since the family Canidae is contained within the order Carnivora, but the giant panda is also a member of order Carnivora, has the teeth and digestive system of a meat eater, yet lives almost entirely on bamboo. I'm not trying to say that dogs should live on a vegan diet. I think the fact that there are no high quality vegetarian or vegan dog foods on the market is good evidence that it's very difficult to make one. I just haven't seen any evidence that it can't be just as good as an animal based diet.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Even though I don't intend to remove animal protein from my dogs' diets, I'd like to have a better understanding of how to feed them the best food I can.
 

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Based on the research I've done, this seems accurate. I've even heard that eggs aren't absolutely necessary. I remember reading a story about a dog who lived to 27 on a vegan diet, so while it may not be the best choice for a dog it's obviously not going to kill them. Dogs, like humans and most (all?) omnivores, have the ability to synthesize taurine, so they don't need animal sources. This doesn't mean that a completely plant based diet is best, or even good, for them. It does mean that dogs can live on a proper vegan diet.

I've done a little more reading since this thread started. I believe that it is possible to feed a vegan diet that is every bit as healthful as the best kibble, but I don't know that it's practical or reasonable. It's certainly not going to happen by dumping a block of tofu and some carrots into the dog's bowl. So dogs are obviously carnivores since the family Canidae is contained within the order Carnivora, but the giant panda is also a member of order Carnivora, has the teeth and digestive system of a meat eater, yet lives almost entirely on bamboo. I'm not trying to say that dogs should live on a vegan diet. I think the fact that there are no high quality vegetarian or vegan dog foods on the market is good evidence that it's very difficult to make one. I just haven't seen any evidence that it can't be just as good as an animal based diet.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Even though I don't intend to remove animal protein from my dogs' diets, I'd like to have a better understanding of how to feed them the best food I can.
Hi, I wanted to address the Giant Panda issue - it is need as opposed to want that drives them to consume bamboo and the constantly need a lot of it in order to survive since bamboo is basically a filler and is low on nutrition. Also their lifestyle allows them to survive on bamboo - they are slow and pretty damn lazy. They do have carnivorous teeth and WILL eat eggs and fish.

Unless you intend for your dog to be a couch potato with absolutely no life in him, a vegan diet would suffice. To properly function, canines need the "complete amino acids" that are only found through meat protein. Don't forget that genetics and environment plays an important part in a healthy dog, not diet alone. So the dog that lived 27 years on a vegan diet might have had good genes going for it, along with a stress-free, green environment.

For me personally, looking at my dog's teeth and what he chooses to eat when given a choice let's me know that he was designed to be a meat eater. I can plop down a bowl with brown rice, apples and raw beef for him and he goes for the beef first. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get him to drop a chicken drumstick but lettuce, beans or bananas are easy peasy. It's survival instinct to eat your precious resource first (if it's in your tummy no one can steal it!).

I am not trying to impose my views on anyone, but I think that it is important to remember why you choose certain dietary views for yourself in the first place: be it ethical or health or religious reasons - you are opposed to the killing/mistreatment of animals or you feel that you must live a life that is as natural as possible. But by denying your dog something as basic to their genetic makeup as meat, you are mistreating it in return for making yourself feel good about a cow not being slaughtered.
 

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I agree with most of what you said, and I wasn't trying to start an argument, but I feel like you're missing some of the facts. First of all, I haven't seen any evidence at all that a dog on a vegan diet would be a couch potato with no life in him. There are millions of dogs that live on Ol Roy or equally poor food sources. I'm quite certain that with only a few minutes of research you could put together a vegan diet far superior to Ol' Roy in every way.

Complete amino acids are in fact available in plant food. As a vegetarian, being aware of this has been a part of my life for years. Sources like hempseed, quinoa, and buckwheat provide balanced quantities of all essential amino acids. Certain combinations of grains and/or vegetables provide complete protein as well. So the amino acids aren't a problem, since Lysine, Tryptophan, and the other amino acids are identical regardless of where they come from. The big issue for going purely vegan isn't the protein, it appears to be the B vitamins. I'm not aware of any whole plant based food that contains B12, so it would need to be obtained through supplements. Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are chemically identical whether the were grown or raised, so if the right balance can be found and prepared so that it's nutritionally available to the dog's digestive system, there's no reason a vegan diet can't be every bit as healthful as an animal based one. Because dogs can't digest the cellulose in plant cell walls, some cooking or processing of the plant matter is necessary, but I don't think the necessity of cooking the vegetables makes the diet impossible.

Most dogs will go for the meat first every time, but so will most humans. That doesn't mean that that particular meat is the best thing for them. Most Americans will pick a Big Mac over a healthful, nutritionally complete vegetarian meal, but that does not prove that the Big Mac is nutritionally superior. It only shows that millions of years of evolution has adapted animals to eat the foods with the highest calorie density when they're available, so in that sense you're right about it being survival instinct. My dogs will drop meat and vegetables with equal ease, and Bodhi will drop both meat and veggies before he'll drop the frisbee. I don't think frisbees are his ideal diet, but he sure seems to! :eek:

This is neither the time nor the place for a full discussion of my dietary beliefs, so I'll skip the response to those comments. However, since dogs can synthesize taurine and acquire all of their vitamins, minerals, and amino acids through plant based sources (except B12 as mentioned above) there's nothing proving meat is basic to their genetic makeup. Providing them a nutritionally balanced, biologically available meal isn't mistreatment regardless of where the meal comes from.

I'd like to restate that my dogs are fed raw meat at night, and will add that I'm sure my dogs get higher quality animal protein than all but a small percentage of people on the forum eat themselves. I drive to the farm and buy all natural, antibiotic and hormone free meat. The chickens are pastured, and the buffalo are grazing 100 feet away. The dogs get fresh, pastured chicken and duck eggs, and small amounts of raw, unpasteurized yogurt, cow's milk, or goat's milk. I'm still fine tuning everything, but I think you get the idea. I'm not saying anyone should remove all animal protein from their dog's diet, or that I plan to. I'm not saying that I know how to plan a vegan diet that is as good as Orijen or EVO. All I'm saying is that I have been unable to find any evidence that a dog couldn't thrive without animal products in its diet.
 

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This is a nine year old thread, and the person you are quoting hasn't posted anything in over a year, so the odds of them seeing it might be pretty slim.

Morning Star Farms product are available in the freezer section of most grocery stores (look in the "natural" and/or "breakfast" section), if you want to check them out.
 

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ummmm.....dogs are carnivores. Not herbivores.

Just compare the teeth and jaw movement of carnivores and herbivores. Which is more like a dog??
 

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Technically, unlike cats who are obligate carnivores due to not being able to produce certain amino acids themselves, dogs are more omnivorous, and can do well on a vegetarian diet if need be. Research has shown that the ability to digest starches developed very early in the domestication process, and indeed, may be the reason that dogs are dogs and not wolves. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/01/diet-shaped-dog-domestication

And like I said previously, this is a nine year old thread. The OP is long gone.
 
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