If you’re a vegetarian paw-rent either by choice or by religion, you might have considered placing Fido on the same diet as well. Is this safe, you may ask? Well, yes! Contrary to popular belief, our pooches are not strictly carnivores, and can still do well even on a vegetarian diet.

Dogs belong in the carnivora order, but are actually omnivores in the wild. They are able to consume meat and vegetables, and certain studies suggest that dogs can convert certain amino acids into others based on what their bodies need.

This means that the protein source need not be meat! So long as their nutritional needs are met in a balanced diet, pups can be placed on vegetarian diets.  

Of course, while a vegetarian diet for Fido may be harmless, this does not apply to those with special needs. Always consult your vet and/or pet nutritionist if you are planning to make such a dramatic change in Fido’s diet. If your furkid has any condition that requires a specific diet that needs meat, do not change his diet unless your vet gives you the green light.

Your vet and nutritionist can help to analyse the types of food that you’re intending to give and make recommendations for additional health safeguards. To compensate for imbalances or deficiency in Fido’s diet, paw-rents may turn to nutritional supplements for the added help.

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you! There are no serious health hazards in placing your pooch on a vegetarian diet, as their bodies can adapt to the change. Once you’ve come up with a balanced and healthy meal plan for Fido, the only challenge lies in whether he is willing to accept the vegetables or not!

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 12 Oct 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on  29 Jun 2016.