These days it seems like more people are jumping on the healthy or dare I say unusual diet bandwagon, and they are bringing their pets along for the ride. Being a veggie myself I looked around and found a couple more popular alternatives to your typical canned food and bagged kibble and here is what I found about current diets.
Raw diets incorporate foods that are not processed, so raw meat and produce.
- Muscle meat, most of the time on the bone, sinew, fat, ligaments. Raw fish is good for a couple meals a week. Try to go for small oily fish, as those are good especially if the meat you are feeding is from grain fed not grass fed animals. This will give them the needed Omega-3’s
- Bones either whole or ground. If whole, try to stick to bones from animals other than a cow. Preferably bones from something they might find in the wild or poultry, pork, lamb, venison, fish, etc..
- Organ meat, like liver, heart, and kidneys, basically anything you would probably consider gross
- Raw eggs, some diets suggest that you give them the entire egg shell in all, but that you can only do this with non-commercial eggs, so go farm fresh to avoid anything toxic that was sprayed on the shells
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery (high in Vitamin B)
- Fruits like apples, ripe fruits are better since they are easier to digest
- A dairy product like yogurt
- Shinier coats
- Healthy skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy level
- Maintaining a healthier weight
- Smaller stools
- Raw meats carry bacteria that can be harmful to pets and humans if not handled properly
- Possible unbalanced diet that can actually harm the dog in the long run
- Whole bones can cause a choking hazard, break teeth and cause punctures internally if swallowed
- Can be more expensive if you don’t purchase food wisely
Veggie diets are the same as with humans: no food that had a face! (No meat). Vegan would be no animal products at all.
- Soy Milk
- Olive oil
- Lentils, pinto beans, cooked well and mashed up or pureed
- Potatoes and (best because they are a good source of beta-carotene) Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan or Vegetarian types of dry kibble
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and carrots (some of our office dogs favorites, and also great source of beta-carotene)
- Baby food that doesn’t contain onions, seasonings, or other items toxic to pets
- Nutritional yeast and other nutritional supplements added to the food
- Most people choose this for their dogs because they are vegetarian, so it makes the owner happy and feel better about themselves
- Some sources say that they saw an increase in energy level
- Can be helpful in some medical cases where dogs have a specific food allergy, liver disease or bladder stones. These are prescription diets that use soy or egg as the main source of protein
- Can cause some serious vitamin and nutrient deficiencies if not done correctly. Not enough protein, imbalances of amino acids, not enough vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, D, calcium, iron, or phosphorous
- Could potentially cost more in vet bills. I did read that it was recommend if you do go with a veggie diet you take your dog for check ups more often, just to make sure that they are getting everything nutritionally they need to stay healthy (but this could be said with any dietary change)
- Takes a bit more to time to prepare if you are cooking, chopping, and mashing
- Your dog might start hogging your computer and using Google to find new owners (just kidding)
As with any diet change for pets they recommend that you monitor them and start slowly. These examples are for informational purposes only and in both cases consulting with your vet on what would be best based on breed and health is the way to go.
And now an adorable video of puppies playing with a laser pointer: