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 #2132477


Animal_Girl32
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 A Question on Dog Food

Hi, my name is Lex and I’m new to the forums. I have a mixed breed dog named Brody, we think he is a Weimeraner and shepherd mix around 4 years old but we aren’t sure (unfortunately I have no pics). My question is something that I have always wondered about, and maybe some of you can provide me with some insight, be it fact or opinion.
Humans are considered omnivores, eating both plants and animals, yet many people are vegetarians and thrive without meat or meat by-products. A coworker’s Maltese mix has food allergies and has to be fed a prescription, meat-free diet. Although my dog is not allergic to anything, I’ve often wondered if a food exists that is meat free and that a dog could thrive on. Not that I would try it for sake of preserving the health of Brody, however I have always wondered if this is a possibility. Is there information regarding whether a dog could survive and thrive on a meat free diet using the correct balance of other vitamins, minerals, and fruits and vegetables?
Thanks,
Lexi



03/13/10  11:16am

 #2132478


FutureVet123
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  Message To: Animal_Girl32   In reference to Message Id: 2132477


 A Question on Dog Food

Being that I am a vegetarian, although I don’t have a dog, I have often wondered the same thing. I am interested to see what people (especially LizaB and HerpsinIN) think.
-Peaches and Jeni



03/13/10  11:24am

 #2132484


Ghastly
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  Message To: Animal_Girl32   In reference to Message Id: 2132477


 A Question on Dog Food

Meat has a source of vitamins and minerals that we get from it that vegetable products can not give to us. Thus for vegetarians and Vegans lack in more nutrients that us meat eaters have.

Thats all i am really saying on the food matter so i try and avoid causing a argument lol since they happen a lot on here lately like the weather changing XD



03/13/10  11:50am

 #2132514


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Ghastly   In reference to Message Id: 2132484


 A Question on Dog Food

Yes, a dog can live completely off of a diet of vegis and grains. Their teeth and bodies are built for both. To supplement the lack of certain vitamins, you may need to either give pills or selectively choose certain foods that would help (like chickpeas and peanutbutter for protein and such). But it is good to study up on what does and doesn’t effect your dog. After all, Dogs can’t have grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate, and the such. Some things simply are too much for their liver and kidneys to handle. Smaller dogs will be more effected by such things than larger ones.

My grandmother had an old white German shepherd in the ’60s that ate only leftovers. When the farm became especially poor, my father (and uncles/aunt) would be forced to feed it nothing but oatmeal at times. It ate the oatmeal when it got hungry, but hated it and growled begrudgingly throughout the eating process. The thing lived to be very very old. Something like 18 years.


Dogs, unlike cats (which are strictly carnivorous), don’t ultimately have to have meat. They can extract the necessary ingredients from just about anything they can get their mouth around. If a cat doesn’t eat meat, it can become blind from the lack of taurine. If a dog doesn’t have meat, it’ll find something else to make up the difference.



03/13/10  02:18pm

 #2132523


FutureVet123
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2132514


 A Question on Dog Food

Wow KrazyKelli I never knew that. That is some good info
-Peaches and Jeni



03/13/10  02:38pm

 #2132557


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: FutureVet123   In reference to Message Id: 2132523


 A Question on Dog Food

Oh! I want to argue with Ghastly! =D

j/k, just wanted to give more random info on omnivores and the human race.

I find that saying that Vegetarians lack nutrients (that meat would or would not provide) is faux advice, being that humans are also omnivorous. You don’t see Vegi-eaters dropping like flies, starving to death, going blind, and suffering from nutritional ailments like red patches on the skin, scurvy, and sloughing. Like dogs, humans can live a no-meat diet by eating other things that provide what meat would. In India (where almost everyone following certain faiths eat no meat whatsoever their entire life) the chickpea is the savior. You will see it in everything over there. It, as well as other things such as tofu, and certain other nuts like the peanut and pine nut provide us with the right nutrition and proteins to get by without the need of meat. Meat substitutes of the natural world =D

And, technically, we can also live off of a complete carnivore diet for spurts of time. The best example of this is in certain tribes throughout Africa and South America that eat nothing but bats, bugs, grubs, and small woodland prey. They can get the nutrients missing from vegis through what the grubs and other prey eat, as it’s absorbed into the edible creature. Another very nutritious part of the animal that goes a long way is the bone marrow. These tribes, however, are extremely rare as most tribes in the world tend to put something like wood pulp, leaves, or grain in their diet to get the added calories.

It all has to do with how our stomach functions and is able to process the best of both worlds, and probably has to do with species survival if pushed to the edge. Same goes with dogs, bears, and the such.

On the by, I am not a vegetarian. =P I love meat. Cow is especially delicious. Don’t get me started on the wonderfulness of ground and stewed venison. Yum. I’m simply dribbling over with knowledge that I love to share at given opportunities. Good times.



03/13/10  04:40pm

 #2132715


ShadowAceD
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2132557


 A Question on Dog Food

KrazyKelli is accurate on everything stated above, I did want to add a bit myself though, more so about human vegans and vegetarians.

But, as for the dog. I’ve heard of dogs surviving on this diet quite well with supplemental help. My friend’s dog is allergic to beef, pork, chicken and seafish so ... yeah, he can’t eat too much beyond that or he loses his hair and suffers from a variety of other problems. So, he gets his food made for him int the home with some powdered additives that give him a complete balance of nutrients. He’s been this way for eleven years and is still going strong. Of course, you have too be careful of the vegetables and fruits you feed dogs. Some are incredibly harmful, but as a random side note ... my Boxer is obsessed with pickles ... if you open the jar he runs from wherever he is in the house to eat them. He also eats bell peppers, apples (he’ll eat the cores), oranges, bananas, celery, tomatos and ... well, he’s just a non-discriminate eater. Lol

Anyway ... there is an extreme difference in both vegetarians and vegans, by the way. A vegan eats NO animal products whatsoever (this includes cheese, eggs (eggs are not technically a meat if unfertilized) and milk) whereas vegtarians just do not eat meats, more often than not, just red meats. I know numerous vegetarians and vegans. I was even a vegan for some time before my desire for seafood when I relocated to Florida got the better of me. None of these people and myself lack vitamins and nutrients.

Many of the vitamins and nutrients that can be gotten from meat can be gotten from other foods as well as supplements. Also, I would like to add, that from a biological stand point, a vast majority of humans actually have a very hard time even digesting meat. Technically speaking, the human body is not really well adapted to digesting heavy amounts of red meat. Dogs, on the contrary, as most animals of their kind are, are far better suited for it. Teeth is a really good indicator on which animals can handle it better than others. Red meat is incredibly hard to digest from the moment it is chewed to the moment it is evacuated. As a side note, the more you deficate, the less your body is actually pulling in. Most people that eat an abundance of red meat deficate more often. Liken it to dogs deficating more with less than digestable foods.

Now, if you do eat meat, quality also makes a difference, and this is for dogs and people. The leaner the red meat (venison vs. beef since that was brought up) the more you can digest it. Factory farming produces crummy meat. "Free Range" is often a joke and "Organic" rarely lives up to its term. Venison is often better because most places where you hunt deer do not interfere with their conditons at all. The less fat an animal has, the higher quality of meat you can get from it. After all, according to cannibalistic tribes (totally not making this up Lol) ... the majority of humans don’t taste very good and are often described as "mushy" and "bitter". Then again, you literally are what you eat. And, let’s face it ... most people eat junk. At least in "civilized" worlds.

Kinda’ creepy, huh?

Anyway, my two cents.



03/14/10  01:48am

 #2132921


LizaB2008
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  Message To: ShadowAceD   In reference to Message Id: 2132715


 A Question on Dog Food

Sorry no comment, wouldn’t want any arguements to start lol. Good luck with your food search though.



03/14/10  11:22pm

 #2133190


Rae rae
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  Message To: LizaB2008   In reference to Message Id: 2132921


 A Question on Dog Food

ok, the key you see everyone saying here if a dog is on an all veggie diet...they have to have supplemental help. so my theory is why? all this info is coming from two vets i work with because we get questions about food all the time of course being a vet clinic.

if you put your dog on a good quality dog food, then vitamins are not even needed. some dogs will have special needs with certain food allergies and such. usually the perscription diets do have meat in them. the science diet food has meat in it, but it uses different kind of meat. for example they make an allergy food called Z/D. it has a couple of different types. one type is with duck meat. that’s because that’s not a common allergy for dogs. some foods use bison, venison, and so on. i think the way people want to live their lives is none of my business. but working in the dog health industry i have to give these speaches daily.

my biggest concern is PROTEIN. this is why, even some dog foods say they have 20% protein in them so their food is the best! well, the trick they don’t tell you is that protein is plant protein. and according to my vet dogs cannot digest protein, their bodies don’t absorb it. if you’ve ever noticed someone’s dog on a cheap food, they will leave the elephant piles of poop in the backyard, that’s because their not really absorbing their food. it’s running straight through them. on a better quality food, you have to feed less and they poop less, therefore you have to buy less. it can turn out cheaper in the long run.

so, as to feeding dogs just veggies, they would still need the proteins from meat. and you’ll have to buy these supplements (not sure which ones supplement the right protein for dogs) so.....what i’m getting at is i think it’s much easier just to feed a good dog food haha! i know people who are vegitarians can take supplements, eat beans, peanut butter, i’m really not sure how each of them get their protein. but you can’t just throw any kind of protein like that at your dog. they are not people.

ALL IN ALL; that’s what my vet told me. you should always talk to yours before making any diet decisions like that with any pet.



03/15/10  11:09pm


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