In light of the UK’s National Vegetarian Week, the controversy over feeding pets vegetarian diets has come into focus once again.
Consumers question the treatment of animals used in meaty petfoods as well as the environmental impact of producing petfoods with meat, according to a recent article, but the real question is: Are vegetarian pet diets healthy and nutritious?
A 2006 study by Nestlé found that the 34 vegetarian cats it examined were healthy. However, a main concern that stems from vegetarian feline diets is the risk of taurine deficiency, which most meaty cat food has added back during the production process.
Dogs may also struggle to get the nutrients they need from vegetarian petfood. Top lacking nutrients for canines include taurine and L-Carnitine.
Whatever route owners decide to go, the authors of the article recommended they talk to their veterinarian first to ensure their pets’ proper nutrition.