Unlike cats, who are carnivores, dogs are omnivores and can safely eat a vegetarian diet that contains the proper balance of vitamins and nutrients. By making a homemade vegetarian diet for your dog, you don't have to worry about his food containing preservatives and meat from potentially diseased animals treated with hormones or antibiotics. To ensure your dog's health, feed him a meatless diet that contains at least 18 percent protein from vegetarian sources including dairy, eggs and beans, according to the VetInfo website.
Soak 2 cups of lentils for a few minutes in a 4-quart pot. Strain and drain the lentils. Simmer them with 4 cups of water, covered in the pot for 1 hour.
Combine 2 cups of brown rice with 3 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes in a covered, 4-quart pot. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered for 10 minutes before mixing the rice and fluffing it with a fork.
Slice an eggplant, zucchini, squash and a potato. Add 8 ounces of cubed tofu. Cover the vegetable slices and tofu with olive oil and simmer them in a 3-quart saucepan for 20 minutes until tender. Mix in 3 eggs and reserve the shells. Sprinkle the mixture with basil, pepper and a pinch of salt.
Grind the eggshells with a mortar and pestle. Stir them into the vegetable mixture.
Combine the vegetables, tofu, beans and rice in a large pot. Mix in 4 cups of cottage cheese and 1 tablespoon each of yeast, wheat germ and ground flax seed.
Serve the food to your dog with shredded cheese on top to attract him to it and provide extra calcium and protein.
Speak to your veterinarian about feeding your dog a vegetarian diet, especially if he suffers from a chronic health condition.
Feed a vegetarian diet only to adult dogs, over 1 year old, not to growing puppies.
A vegetarian diet may not be appropriate for dogs that compete in agility contests or other sporting events. These dogs need at least 25 percent of their diet to contain protein from meats, according to VetInfo.
Eggs and cheese provide protein and calcium in your dog's vegetarian diet. Unlike vegan diets, these ingredients are allowed in a vegetarian's food sources.
If you plan to feed your dog a vegetarian diet exclusively, sprinkle a vegetarian powdered supplement containing the necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals over his vegetarian dog food, as recommended by the manufacturer. These supplements can be found in pet supply stores or online.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding your dog's dietary needs; a holistic veterinarian can give you advice on specific supplements your dog needs to stay healthy.
Some dogs who suffer from food allergies thrive on a vegetarian diet, with veterinary supervision, according to CNN Living.
Items You Will Need
- 2 cups lentils
- 4-quart pot with lid
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups brown rice
- 3 cups water
- 8 ounces cubed tofu
- Olive oil
- 3-quart saucepan
- 3 eggs
- Mortar and pestle
- 4 cups cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon yeast,
- 1 tablespoon wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- Shredded cheese
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Meatless Meals for Dogs and Cats
- Organic Pet Digest: Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes
- CNN Living: Vegan Diet for Dogs: A Question of Thriving vs. Surviving
- VetInfo: Five Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes
- VetInfo: Does Vegetarian Dog Food Provide Enough Protein?
- "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats"; Richard H. Pitcairn and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- chihuahua and dinner image by jonnysek from Fotolia.com