Vegetarian versus meat-based diets for companion animals.

Knight, Andrew and Leitsberger, Madelaine (2016) Vegetarian versus meat-based diets for companion animals. Animals, 6 (57). ISSN 2076-2615

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Abstract

Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves, and their companion animals. But are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing nutritional soundness of these diets are reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent study are provided. Additional reviewed studies examine the nutritional soundness of commercial meat-based diets, and the health status of cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian and meat-based diets. Problems with all of these dietary choices have been documented, including nutritional inadequacies and health problems. However, a significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy, including those exercising at the highest levels, and indeed may experience a range of health benefits. Such diets must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, however, and owners should regularly monitor urinary acidity, and should correct for urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if it occurs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgments: Our survey of the 12 manufacturers who supplied the 24 diets examined by Kanakubo et al. (2015) [37] was funded by a University of Winchester research grant, and the Article Processing Charges were paid by the University ofWinchester. No other funding was received to support this study. Author Contributions: Andrew Knight conceived this study, assisted with the literature review, conceived the survey of the 12 manufacturers who supplied the 24 diets examined by Kanakubo et al. (2015) [37], analysed the responses, and wrote the paper. Madelaine Leitsberger conducted the initial literature review, designed and implemented the survey above, and assisted with authorship of the paper. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Uncontrolled Keywords: vegetarian; vegan; cat; dog; Felis catus; Canis lupus familiaris; Canis familiaris
Subjects: D Veterinary sciences, agriculture & related subjects > D327 Animal nutrition
D Veterinary sciences, agriculture & related subjects > D328 Animal welfare
Departments: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Theology and Religious Studies
Depositing User: Andrew Knight
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 08:30
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 14:00
URI: http://repository.winchester.ac.uk/id/eprint/304

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