Is a vegetarian diet right for my dog?

This same question is asked by pet owners across the nation but often the answer is very different. Before you make a decision regarding a vegetarian diet for your dog, let's look at the finer points.

First, we all know that dogs are descendants of wolves and while modern dogs have become more omnivorous due to human domestication, they still bear certain genetic characteristics akin to their meat-eating lineage. This includes the dog's pointed canine teeth and a naturally short digestive tract designed to digest meat products. Dogs also have a higher pH balance in their saliva which helps them break down meat to prepare it for that short digestive tract.

So can a dog be a vegetarian? It's not impossible.

Because dogs are omnivores, there are pet owners and veterinarians who recommend a vegetarian diet. But dogs on vegetarian diets struggle to take in the 18 percent protein their diets require, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Research has also found that dogs on a vegetarian diet are more prone to urinary tract infections and a form of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy which has been linked to a lack of the amino acids L-carnitine and taurine.

Instead of pushing your dog towards a vegetarian diet, the best choice to match your pet's genetic requirements is a raw food diet that provides these natural omnivores with the right mix of grains, meats and plant-based materials. The raw meat included in a diet like Wysong's Archetype returns dogs to their natural, healthy diets. You can learn more about a raw food diet and other supplements for your pet at wysong.net.