An animal expert has warned that pet owners who inflict their vegan views on their dogs and cats could be putting them at risk of fatal conditions.
TV and radio dog guru, Anna Webb, has issued the stark warning, after some pet food brands released vegan ranges claiming that it is nutritious to feed dogs and cats in this way, and helps to reduce their 'carbon pawprint'.
Anna has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT).
She said, “You would never give a rabbit a steak, and it’s the same thing. Dogs and cats are carnivores and by feeding them diets which don’t contain meat, instead of being ethical you are actually being very unethical, and putting your pets at risk of health issues overtime.
“All of these products are very processed, and just like humans are being discouraged to eat processed foods, the same logic applies so are our pets.
“Obesity related conditions like heart disease and diabetes in dogs is at record levels and that is because most ‘complete’ pet food is 30 to 70 per cent grains, which dogs cannot ‘metabolise’.
"These foods are bulked out with ingredients like rice, barley and beet pulp, which are all sugars. Not only bad for their teeth, these grain heavy foods pile on the pounds, evident with one in two dogs now considered obese or overweight in the UK ."
Anna advocates feeding dogs and cats a biologically appropriate raw food diet, and practices what she preaches with her own pet dogs, Mr Binks and Prudence, and her cat, Gremlin.
'Cats and dogs have to eat meat, and we don’t'
Anna, who is a vegetarian herself, said, “You should feed a natural diet to dogs and cats, ideally organic meat. Vegans think that they are giving a vegan diet to their pets because they love animals, but the irony is they are being unethical, even cruel to their own canine best friends.
In her new A Dog’s Life podcast, Anna discusses the stark truth about canine nutrition (Photo: Anna Webb)
“I cannot bear the thought of the unethical treatment of animals, and I’m not a fan of industrial farming. I choose to be a vegetarian, but I wouldn’t impose my diet choices onto my dogs as I understand that we’re different species.
“Dogs have to eat meat, and we don’t. Humans consume 75 per cent of the meat produced globally, so if every human became a vegetarian or a vegan we just might make a difference and save the planet.
“Meat is actually bad for humans, because it causes high cholesterol, but dogs - because they are carnivores - cannot get high cholesterol.”
Anna advises that, if vegans feed plant-based diets to their dogs and cats for long periods of time, the pets will lack key fatty acids and amino acids only found in meat and be prone to disease.
She said, “Cats in particular will die being a vegan because they are obligate carnivores and they need taurine in their diet, which they can only get from meat.
“You would think they were fine for a year, maybe longer but eventually they will begin to fall apart.”
A Dog's Life
In her new A Dog’s Life podcast, Anna discusses the stark truth about canine nutrition as well as a number of other subversive animal topics, including animal and owner telepathy, and the environmental impact of having a pet dog.
The podcast, which launched on 1 March 2020, features interviews with scientists and experts, and there will also be appearances from celebrity dog lovers as Anna explores all levels of modern dog ownership.
Anna also co-hosts the Barking Hour on BBC Radio London, and was a regular presenter on ITV1’s The Titchmarsh Show.