While humans are omnivores and benefit from a wide range of foods, we can also tolerate more types of food which means it’s easier for us to find a substitute protein source to replace meat.
Some pet owners are repulsed and disgusted by meat, while some don’t eat it as a stand against cruelty in the meat industry, but does that mean you should force your beliefs or preferences on your pet?
Dogs are Omnivores Too
Dogs love to eat meat, but in truth they are also omnivores and can eat a range of non-meat foods, but they need a good source of easily-digested protein and meat provides that for them.
Whether you feed your dog a vegetarian diet is ultimately up to you, and some breeds of dog can live long, healthy lives without meat, but they do need to take supplements, and they have trouble digesting high fibre plant matter.
Cats: True Carnivores
Cats are true carnivores, meaning they must eat meat to survive; it’s an essential part of their everyday diet.
Meat provides cats with the specific nutrients and amino acids, particularly taurine, they need. Without it they will develop devastating health problems and eventually die.
In some countries it’s considered an act of cruelty to feed your cat a vegetarian diet and owners can be prosecuted.
Made to Eat Meat?
One look at the teeth of any animal, including humans, can tell you what sort of diet they’re designed to eat.
Herbivores such as sheep, cattle, deer and horses all have large flat teeth for eating grass and other plants. Carnivores have sharp, pointed teeth for tearing flesh and cracking bones.
The gut of herbivores is long and complicated, with several stomachs to digest plant material and extract the nutrients.
Dogs and cats have a shorter, more simple gut for digesting meat because it’s easier to digest and needs less time in the digestive tract.
Sydney Animal Hospital and Specialist Vet
Sydney Vet Specialists is dedicated to providing quality 24 hour veterinary care for your pets, as well as specialist services for a wide range of conditions.
To speak to one of caring, professional team members about your pet’s diet and health, call us on 02 9197 5800, or contact us online.