Pets Can Become Vegetarian – But Do It Wisely

Many are now trying to emulate the example of the famous actress Alicia Silverstone: she has four dogs, and all of them became vegetarians under her guidance. She rightfully considers her pets to be the healthiest in the world. They love broccoli, and also eat bananas, tomatoes, avocados with pleasure. 

According to experts in veterinary medicine, the advantage of a plant-based diet is that each animal synthesizes its own protein, which it needs at the moment. So, if animal protein enters the stomach, it must first be broken down into its constituent blocks, or amino acids, and then build your own protein. When food is plant-based, the operation of breaking down into constituent blocks is reduced and it is easier for the body to build its own, individual protein. 

Therefore, sick animals, for example, are very often “planted” on a plant-based diet. In general, when vegetarianism in animals is meant, we are not talking about eating bread or only porridge, but about consciously preparing food with vitamin and mineral supplements or using quality feed. Here are some expert tips for converting pet dogs and cats to vegetarianism. 

Vegetarian dogs 

Dogs, just like humans, can synthesize all the proteins they need from plant components. Before introducing your dog to a vegetarian diet, be sure to check with your veterinarian and monitor him closely afterward. 

Sample Vegetarian Dog Menu 

Mix in a large bowl: 

3 cups boiled brown rice; 

2 cups of boiled oatmeal; 

a cup of boiled and pureed barley; 

2 hard-boiled eggs, crushed (for owners who find it acceptable to eat eggs) 

half a cup of raw grated carrots; half a cup of chopped green raw vegetables; 

2 tablespoons of olive oil; 

a tablespoon of minced garlic. 

Store the mixture in the refrigerator in a sealed container, or divide into daily servings and keep in the freezer. When feeding, add a small amount of the following ingredients: yogurt (a teaspoon for miniature dogs, a tablespoon for medium-sized dogs); black molasses (a tablespoon for small dogs, two for medium-sized dogs); a pinch (the same as the salt or pepper you sprinkle on your food) powdered milk a tablet of mineral and vitamin top dressing; herbal supplements (depending on your dog’s needs). 

Pet stores sell dry seaweed – a very useful thing. 

The dog must be active!

In Russia, it is most realistic to find vegetarian dog food from Yarrah. 

Vegetarian cats 

Cats cannot build one protein – taurine. But it is widely available in synthetic form. The problem with cats is basically that they are very finicky and hard to get interested in new food smells or tastes. But there are examples of successful conversion of cats to vegetarian food.

Another serious point is the selection of foods that create (as well as meat) an acidic environment in the gastrointestinal tract of cats. The acidity of the stomach of cats is even higher than that of dogs, so when the acidity decreases, infectious inflammation of the urinary tract can occur in cats. Animal products provide acidity, and vegetable components should be selected taking into account the factor influencing the acidity of the stomach. In commercially produced vegetarian foods, this factor is taken into account and the components of the feed are involved in providing the desired acidity. This function is usually excellently performed by brewer’s yeast, which is also rich in valuable B vitamins. 

Arachidic acid is also included in cat food. 

When transitioning a cat to a plant-based diet, it makes sense to gradually mix the new food with the already familiar one. Increasing the proportion of the new product with each feeding. 

Elements that should be present in a cat’s diet 


An amino acid essential for cats and other mammals. Many species, including humans and dogs, can independently synthesize this element from constituent plant components. Cats can’t. In the absence of taurine for a long period of time, cats begin to lose their sight and other complications arise. 

In the 60s and 70s in the United States, domestic animals, in particular cats, began to go completely blind and soon after that died from cardiopathy. It turned out that this was due to the fact that there was no taurine in the pet food. In most commercial feeds, synthetic taurine is added, as the natural taurine degrades when made from animal ingredients and is replaced with synthetic taurine. Vegetarian cat food is fortified with the same synthetically produced taurine, no different from that found in the flesh of slaughtered animals. 


One of the fatty acids necessary for the body – Arachidic acid can be synthesized in the human body from linoleic acid of vegetable oils. In the body of cats there are no enzymes that carry out this reaction, so cats can get arachidine acid in natural conditions only from the flesh of other animals. When transferring a cat to a plant-based diet, it is necessary to enrich its food with Arachidin acid. Ready-made vegetarian cat food usually includes both this and other necessary elements. 


Cats also cannot absorb vitamin A from plant sources. Their food should contain vitamin A (retinol). Vegetarian foods usually include it and other necessary elements. 


Cats cannot produce vitamin B12 and must be supplemented in their diet. Commercially prepared vegetarian foods typically include B12 from a non-animal source. 

NIACIN Another vitamin necessary for the life of cats, when transferring a cat to a vegetarian diet, it is necessary to add niacin to the food. Commercial vegetarian foods usually include it. 


Many mammals synthesize this vitamin themselves – cats need to supplement it. 


The cat’s diet should contain a high amount of protein, which should be at least 25% of the amount of food. 

Websites about vegetarian animals 


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