Many people may have the idea to extend your way of life to dogs or pet cats. In other cases, owners are advised to seek a healthier diet for pets and end up providing a vegetarian diet to them. This diet has some restrictions on dogs and is prohibited for cats .
Dogs and cats belong to the class Mammalia and Carnivores order to , ie, take your protein energy source and fat from animal tissue, or rather, the “flesh.” The dogs belong to the superfamily canid and cats to the superfamily Felídea. The evolution of these species is linked to the domestication that may have started between 15 to 20 thousand years ago, when the animals began to eat similar diets to their owners, man, for shared hunting and often eat food scraps from the camps the prehistoric man.
Thus, significant amounts of carbohydrates (seeds, fruits and cereals) were introduced into their diets, but carbohydrates are not essential in the diet of dogs and much less in the diet of cats. This evolution and adaptation were much more intense in dogs that came to be called omnivores (carnivores partial) and did not happen with cats who still call themselves essentially carnivores . Even after thousands of years of domestication, your digestive enzyme system is perfectly adapted to digest meat and very inefficient in the digestion of starches.
The very teeth of cats and dogs, different from ours, is adapted for hunting and for crushing bones and meat with ease. In addition, the digestive system (intestines) shorter is adapted to the digestion of high protein diets. Dogs and cats in nature used to feed on small game, eating the whole animal and often dead decaying. They fed on rabbits, mice, birds and other prey. Thus, we can see that the energy consumption is originated from hunting 43% protein, 55% fat and only 2% of ingested carbohydrates.
A diet rich in carbohydrates leads to an increase in daily feed intake compared to a diet high in protein and fat . The increased volume ingested results in increased stool volume, increased predisposition to gastric torsion in dogs, a lower palatability and digestibility and increases the possibility of obesity (due to increased production of insulin, increased fat deposition in cells) .
A strict vegetarian diet these animals would lead to a deficiency of arginine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, taurine, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin A and some B vitamins
Therefore, we do not recommend in any way a vegetarian diet for cats and for dogs, it could be recommended with various restrictions. For some dogs with food intolerance or allergy problems, we can replace the source of animal protein (meat) for another vegetable or adequate levels of another source of protein such as eggs or milk, always under the guidance of the veterinarian.
The biggest cause of adoption of vegetarian diet for dogs and cats occurs mainly as a philosophy of life that owners end up extending their Pets of those who medically indicated because of the food and / or allergy intolerance. So often vegetarians want to extend their way of life and also food for their pets, ignoring the physiological and real restrictions their needs.
This is another sign of excessive humanization we impose on our dogs and cats. For those people or families who do not give up philosophy and vegetarian way of life, imposing to all the inhabitants of the house, we suggest you adopt rabbits, squirrels, chinchillas, fish and birds are physiologically adapted to that diet and not dogs and cats.