So you’ve decided to get a dog. Well, congratulations you are about to open up doors for a truly wonderful and amazing life, but you are uncertain if you should get one or not because of your beliefs and diet. While it is true that dogs originated from wolves who are pure carnivores, and it is only logical to think of dogs being carnivores as well, however, they are omnivores; they eat both plants and animals. Don’t worry, you can still be a dog owner as some breeds are actually vegetarian.
Can Dogs be Vegetarian?
Before we even get to the list it is important to know whether it is possible or not. While dogs are fed vegetarian foods like bread, and vegetables they are often mixed with meat to meet their dietary needs, so it is natural to ask can dogs really stay healthy on a meatless diet? And the answer to that is yes, they can thrive on a vegetarian diet. It is thanks to the functioning of their body, they have the ability to convert certain amino acids into other forms even without consuming meats, this means that they can produce required proteins from a vegetarian diet as well. Additionally, eggs can be fed to them, eggs easily have a high protein value, are budget-friendly, and are easy to cook. Still, if you are strictly vegetarian, even a balanced diet with proper beans, legumes, and grains can provide the needed protein to your fur child. PetMD
Additionally, if you are currently feeding your dog a meat-rich diet, a sudden transition to a vegetarian diet can actually upset your pooch’s stomach, and they can end up having digestion issues. Instead, incorporate vegetarian foods slowly into the diet by mixing them with current food, and giving your dog’s body time to adjust to the new foods. If you are still unclear, simply ask a vet for help. Petkeen
Dog Breeds that are Vegetarian
Now that we understand that hounds can live on a vegetarian diet, however, if they are given an option to consume meat don’t stop them. Because at the end of the day, dogs originated from predators and would take protein-rich meat any day over grains. So with that said let’s take a look at these plant-loving breeds.
1. Bakharwal Mastiff: The first hound on this list, unsurprisingly, originates from a nation that has over 40% of its population vegetarian, India. Bakharwal Mastiffs are used as guard dogs by the Bakharwal tribe for their livestock in the Himalayas. These are large dogs, standing at 30 inches tall with a thick coat that can withstand harsh climates of the mountains. The true origin of this hound is unknown but it is said that it is being used for this purpose for over 300 hundred years, and it takes its job very seriously. While these are not particularly friendly dogs, as they can get aggressive towards other pets easily, they do love vegetarian food. Bakharwal Mastiffs do not like eating flesh, they prefer eating rice and milk rolls, plus, their favorite meal is maize bread mixed with milk. I mean, that’s everyone’s favorite, but this pooch loves it more than anyone. Unfortunately, this dog is on the verge of extinction, as the modern world is replacing its usefulness.
2. Rajapalayam: Another breed from India, this hound prefers solitude and loves spending time running around and chasing small prey. They are what can be said as introverts of the doggy world, as they only like one owner, and prefer not being touched a lot. Originally, these were bred to be used as hunting dogs to take down boars, and large game. Unlike the previously mentioned Bakharwal, these do eat meat, but if provided with enough milk and a protein-rich vegetarian diet, this dog is more than happy to be a vegetarian. It is often observed the people who own Rajapalayam dogs only feed them meat when they go hunting, which is like once or twice a month. As for their physical needs, these dogs prefer living in larger areas with fewer people and pets, these are not recommended to be around children. Sadly, just like the Bakharwal Mastiff, they are on the verge of extinction as well.
3. Pomeranian: This little goofball is truly a pooch that you will fall in love with instantly. Pomeranians have a smile that can even melt hearts made of stone, and good thing is that they smile pretty much all the time. If you know anything about these hounds, you will know that these are small dogs that only weigh at most 7 pounds. Though these are small, they are full of energy and love running around, however, their size makes them an ideal companion for the apartment lifestyle. As for their diet, it truly comes down to how you start feeding them from their puppyhood, if you feed them meat initially, and then expect them to be vegetarians, it is unlikely to happen or not easily at least. Even when they are vegetarian, it is essential that one must feed them cooked food. You can feed them low-sodium cheese in small amounts, and just like us, they need their bread.
4. Indian Splitz: One of the most beloved dog breeds in India, and often mistaken for Pomeranians, Indian Splitz are great companions. Originally, they were brought to India by Britishers and were more suitable for colder climates, but years of breeding led them to become adaptable to the hotter temperatures. These have also been a part of Bollywood, and thanks to such exposure, they were the go-to choice for dogs in the 2000s. Splitz is on the smaller to average side of the scale with a maximum height of 14 inches, and a weight of 44 pounds. They are highly intelligent and versatile pooches, they love being in open areas, however, they easily thrive in cityscapes as well when given the right amount of exercise. As for their diet, they are not fussy eaters and consume pretty much everything. Though they love cooked eggs and meats, they love fruits as well, feed them nutritious vegetarian food, and they will love it.
5. Labrador Retriever: The most popular breed of pooches in the United States, and the easiest recommendation to the first-time dog owners, labs are affectionate and caring dogs. They originated in Canada and were used in duck hunting, where they would run in the bushes and retrieve the game, hence the name. These are easy-going dogs, and love being part of a family, and if you happen to have a large family, even better as labs love to socialize. Similar to Pomeranians, if you start feeding them vegetarian food from their puppyhood, they will love indulging in it. While labs love white meat, they can be raised on a vegetarian diet.
6. Golden Retriever: Similar to labs, these can be raised on a vegetarian diet as well. The thing about goldens and labs is that they are very similar on the inside, just like labs, Golden Retrievers love to be around people, and if you’re having a pool party make sure you are inviting them because they can’t get enough water play. These originated in Scotland, where a yellow lab was crossbred with now extinct, Water Spaniel to make these loving pooches. Just feed them cooked protein-rich vegetarian food, and they will grow big and happy.
Ultimately, the only true vegetarian dog on the list is the Bakharwal dog, however, when done properly, the other five dogs can easily adapt to a vegetarian diet. It should be noted that if you are planning to make your current dog vegetarian, you must consult a vet first, and must follow their professional advice. Once they give your dog a green signal, only then it should be done.