Back in 2015 I had written an article detailing out vegetarian foods. I often ran into vegetarian clients who were just not comfortable feeding their dogs meat. When I insisted they do, I lost them as clients. I stared desperately looking for answers – vegetarian answers. I was also faced with the argument that a lot of dogs scavenged of garbage, which in India is often vegetarian, so a veggie diet was not really going to kill our dogs.
But, what I have discovered after all the dogs I have worked with is that veggie diets don’t work at all. I have come to give up on that idea and now insist with all clients that they put their dogs on a meaty diet.
I work on dog behaviour issues. So why should the diet be of consequence to me? That’s because a dog that is not on a good diet is often in poor health, which results in odd behaviours. When I say, poor health don’t picture a sick dog. No that’s now how veggie dogs look. What they have is general “lack of good health”. Their coat is rarely as soft and shiny and other members of their breed. There is often a lot of fur fall and bad breath. The dog is quite often either hyper or lack luster. The signs are all there. And not once, NOT ONCE has a dog failed to surprise me with the improvement in wellness on a better diet.
Dogs are obligate carnivores. What that means is that they need meat. Plant based proteins like dal and soy will just not do (soy is also a goitrogen which could result in hypothyroidism in dogs). Milk, curds and eggs cannot come close to the kind of protein requirements a dog has. A dog can handle up to 70% animal protein and the closer we get to that number the better our dogs health will get.
I do have a few ideas for my vegetarian clients and readers. In large cities there are many people who make this fresh food for dogs and deliver it in day sized packets. Some others enlist the help of the cleaning lady or driver to cook the meat at their houses and serve it to the dog. Some others enlist help of friends. Get creative! Trust me when I say that your dog’s reaction to his food will totally be the effort you put into figuring this out.
The meat could be feed cooked or even raw. However, if you are going to feed the meat raw, there is a procedure to ensure it’s safe. If you decide to feed your dog raw meat, please do your necessary research. I suggest starting with Dr. Dodds’s book called Canine Nutrigenomics. It’s not as simple as getting meat from a butchers and chucking it at the dog.
Which brings me to the mental image that conjures up and the myth associated with that mental image – “Feeding meat makes dogs aggressive”. That’s not true one little bit. Aggression is not a result of a dog eating meat. Aggression is rooted mainly in fear and is often a consequence of the dogs physical and mental health, coupled with the environment. A dog that is fed meat, is in fact likely to have far FEWER behavioural problems because he is eating what he was meant to eat and so he is physically and mentally more fit.