Like it or not, it is an established fact that dogs can and do thrive on vegetarian diets,

I'd like to see data other than that put forward by the vegan or vegetarian societys, or anyone else who doesn't have a vested interest.

It doesn't sound as though you looked very hard, Kristine.

Have you heard of the Committee on Animal Nutrition (CAN)?

CAN publish "The Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Animals", the reference used by veterinarians and animal nutritionists the length and breadth of the US.
They are a committee of the the US National Research Council, coming under the Board of Agriculture and National Resources (BANR).

The very first question in the FAQ at the BANR website

http://dels.nas.edu/banr/cd dog faq.html#q1
is
"Does my dog need to eat meat?"
and their answer is:
"A: Since dogs are descended from omnivores, they are not strict meat eaters. They are remarkably adaptable to a wide range of ingredients, texture, and form in terms of what they will eat. Though many dogs may prefer animal-based protein, they can thrive on a vegetarian diet. Regardless of whether the protein comes from plant or animal sources, normal adult dogs should get about 10 percent of their total calories from protein. Older dogs appear to require somewhat more protein to maintain their protein reserves, perhaps as much as 50 percent more."
it is an established fact that dogs can and do thrive on vegetarian diets

I hope you've learnt something.
Chris
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I've added uk.rec.pets.misc to the list for follow ups, I'm not subscribed to the other groups!
On 13 May 2004 11:52:13 GMT, Chris Nellist
The very first question in the FAQ at the BANR website http://dels.nas.edu/banr/cd dog faq.html#q1 is "Does my dog need to ... terms of what they will eat. Though many dogs may prefer animal-based protein, they can thrive on a vegetarian diet

If they prefer animal based protein, do you have a right to deny them? Feeding them a meat based diet isn't going to kill them or do them damage so you're not doing it for the dog's benefit. And if there's any risk that you might do harm people can and will voice their opinions.
I hope you've learnt something.

Not really, no. I know dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet, I know someone who had a vegan greyhound, although we lost touch so I've no idea what happened to her or the dog. My issue is that you're applying your strict dietary codes on an animal that would enjoy wolfing into a juicy bit of liver - and you don't seem to be doing it for the benefit of the dog because it could healthier or whatever; you seem to be basing it on your own moral codes that go against the experience of most dog owners and people interested in animal welfare. So, you must accept that other people who feel differently will have concerns. To call everyone who disagrees 'idiots' is simply arrogant, and wrong IMO.
The very first question in the FAQ at the BANR ... prefer animal-based protein, they can thrive on a vegetarian diet

If they prefer animal based protein, do you have a right to deny them?

I didn't notice your saying "Thank you for the reference. I now accept that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet".
To answer your question, yes.
Similarly one shouldn't give children sweets every time they ask for them. A pet owner has responsibility for their pet, which is a pet and not a wild animal. A person who lets their pet do whatever the pet prefers is not a responsible owner.
Feeding them a meat based diet isn't going to kill them or do them damage so you're not doing it for the dog's benefit.

Feeding them dead babies wouldn't kill them either.
And if there's any risk that you might do harm people can and will voice their opinions.

??? If all the evidence is that there isn't any risk in a properly managed vegetarian diet, people would be wrong to insist otherwise.
I hope you've learnt something.

Not really, no. I know dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet,

You were querying the idea that they could thrive. Thrive is different from survive.
I know someone who had a vegan greyhound, although we lost touch so I've no idea what happened to her ... owners and people interested in animal welfare. So, you must accept that other people who feel differently will have concerns.

It should be obvious that I am responsible enough to do proper research, which involves admitting what I don't know and trying to find it out. As for the basic fact that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet, that's a closed question.
It's all right, your telling me not to call people idiots. Do you have a view on those who have called me "unfit" to own a pet dog, simply because I intend to raise the dog on a vegetarian diet?
Chris
The very first question in the FAQ at the BANR website http://dels.nas.edu/banr/cd dog faq.html#q1 is "Does my dog need to eat meat?" and their answer is:

no!
I hope you've learnt something. Chris

Yah but are these guys as expert as the experts here? :-)

Marshall
On 13 May 2004 14:00:16 GMT, Chris Nellist
If they prefer animal based protein, do you have a right to deny them?

I didn't notice your saying "Thank you for the reference. I now accept that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet".

Well, I don't accept they do thrive, especially a highly active dog like a collie. You put up one reference, I can counter it with many more if I did a quick google.
does a quick google
Fully referenced article at:
http://www.infopet.co.uk/pages/0131.html
Can I give my dog a vegetarian diet?
You can, but it is not advisable. Dogs are designed to be carnivores, and it is very difficult to feed them properly without giving them meat and fish. Working dogs on low protein vegetarian diets may be more vulnerable to anaemia than if they are fed animal-based low protein diets.
Also from that site:
What foods should a dog always avoid?
Foods to avoid include ... all products containing sugar, garlic, onions, tofu - foods I'm sure you eat in your vegetarian diet (I certainly do!).
To answer your question, yes. Similarly one shouldn't give children sweets every time they ask for them. A pet owner ... not a wild animal. A person who lets their pet do whatever the pet prefers is not a responsible owner.

We're not talking about giving sweets to a child that have no nutritional value and can cause obesity and tooth decay, so of course it's not responsible to give a child sweets when they ask. We're talking about allowing an animal, whose natural instincts, physical attributes and digestive system are geared towards eating animal protein, the right to feed on that foodstuff as has every other dog since dogs first roamed the earth.
Feeding them a meat based diet isn't going to kill them or do them damage so you're not doing it for the dog's benefit.

Feeding them dead babies wouldn't kill them either.

Is there a market for dead babies? I've not seen any in Tesco.
And if there's any risk that you might do harm people can and will voice their opinions.

??? If all the evidence is that there isn't any risk in a properly managed vegetarian diet, people would be wrong to insist otherwise.

But *is* it all the evidence?! If this discussion has shown anything it's that nothing is set in stone and what's 'true' is totally contentious. There is 'evidence' on both sides of the fence, you can only go with what you see as right.
Not really, no. I know dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet,

You were querying the idea that they could thrive. Thrive is different from survive.

So far I have seen nothing to suggest they thrive: they can survive, I accept that.
So, you must accept that other people who feel differently will have concerns.

It should be obvious that I am responsible enough to do proper research, which involves admitting what I don't know ... called me "unfit" to own a pet dog, simply because I intend to raise the dog on a vegetarian diet?

Evidently you have shown you're responsible enough to make sure you do it 'properly' but surely it's an indicator of what an emotive subject you're dealing with. People are genuinely concerned that, no matter how well your intentions are, you might just not get it right and a dog will suffer as a consequence. As far as a lot of people are concerned, that is an act of cruelty.
I dare say your dog will consume some animal protein through all the insects and assorted other things he will no doubt scavenge out on walks anyway!
Chris:
What is motivating you to feed your dog a vegetarian diet? Health or ethics?
DJ
I didn't notice your saying "Thank you for the reference. I now accept that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet".

Well, I don't accept they do thrive, especially a highly active dog like a collie. You put up one reference, I can counter it with many more if I did a quick google.

I can counter the claims with my own experience. My dog is a Blue Heeler, a medium sized dog breed that is a magic animal for working with cattle. He is about ten years old, maybe more. I bought him from an animal refuge who acquired him from the RSPCA who took him from his stupid hippy owners who were forcing him to eat a vegetarian diet. He was under weight, anaemic, weak, his coat was lank and patchy, his breath was putrid and he had loose teeth.
He now eats rabbit, kangaroo, table scraps which include bones, fat, and some vegetables. He is now sleak but not fat, his coat shines, he has enormous reserves of energy, as would be expected of a dog that can typically herd cattle for up to ten or more hours each day. His breath now smells like a typical healthy dog, something like warm toast.
One of his hippy owners claimed to be a vetinarian surgeon. So much for feeding a dog with a vegetarian diet. If you want to kill your dog, do it humanely and shoot the pooch, don't starve him to death.
Chris: What is motivating you to feed your dog a vegetarian diet? Health or ethics?

Dogs are omnivores and can be equally healthy on a vegetarian diet as on a non-vegetarian diet. It's ethics. Same reason I won't be letting him bite kids in the local park.
Chris
Well, I don't accept they do thrive, especially a highly ... it with many more if I did a quick google.

I can counter the claims with my own experience. My dog is a Blue Heeler, a medium sized dog breed ... diet. If you want to kill your dog, do it humanely and shoot the pooch, don't starve him to death.

o( Not much consolation but at least he's got a second chance at life now.

I'm glad there are still some people left with common sense.
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