As a vegetarian, you’d probably love to bring your faithful companion along for the ride. But beware! Not all animals can transition to a meat-free lifestyle without suffering severe consequences! Here’s a helpful primer when you’re considering chancing your pet’s diet over to a vegetarian one.
Of all the pets out there, you may be most surprised to learn that dogs can become vegetarians without any trouble. Dogs have a digestive system that feels content with pretty much anything, so replacing the usually protein-heavy meats with protein-heavy veggies is perfectly okay. It’s still important to check what your dog’s eating to ensure that he or she is still getting an adequate amount of nutrition, but after the initial step of research and learning the routine, they can join you in a meatless diet. Dogs just keep getting better, don’t they?
If you’re a cat owner, you may have to endure some bad news in this department. Cats, no matter how hard you try or wish it not to be true, cannot live without meat. A diet devoid of some sort of actual meat will result in the death of your precious kitty, no exceptions. This has to do with their digestive systems yet again. Unlike dogs and humans, cats do not have a digestive system that can strip out complex proteins from anything other than meat. Odd, but that’s just the way it has to be. You can reduce the amount of meat that your cat consumes, which is just a smart decision in general for a pet, but they can never be without it entirely.
However, if you want a pet that’s very similar to a cat and can (and loves to) survive off of only vegetables, then a rabbit is your best bet. Bunnies, despite the myth, don’t only eat carrots. They actually prefer the leafy greens more than anything else, so parsley, lettuce, and celery go great for them. They’re quiet like most cats and can be housetrained, plus they enjoy snuggling on laps and are extremely soft. And they just won’t eat meat, no matter what you try and feed them.
If you have a snake, you’ll have to feed them smaller mammals, otherwise they won’t survive. The sad truth is that most reptiles need at the very least a certain amount of bugs to stay healthy, which may not be a problem if you don’t count insects among those creatures worth fretting about, but can be trouble if you’d really prefer an animal that cares for everything, like you.
Mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs are like rabbits in that they eat primarily fruits and vegetables to stay alive and really never have the urge for meat or insects of any sort.
Before starting your pet on any diet, and especially before changing their diet entirely, do some research online or ask a veterinarian for some advice on how best to approach things. It is entirely possible to have a vegetarian pet, but that will still take a bit of planning before rushing into things.