Despite being omnivores, dogs often eat very high diets of meat. There are also owners who feed their four-legged vegetarian friends. Dog expert Martin Rotter has long been highly critical of this.
In light of climate change, many think not only of their diet, but also that of their four-legged family members. There are now ways to feed dogs a plant-based diet, but opinions differ on whether it is healthy or not. Prominent dog trainer Martin Rotter has spoken out against a vegetarian diet for dogs until recently. Now the expert changed his mind.
Study comparing dog diets: vegetarianism comes out on top
Martin Rotter has been on Vox “Der Hundeprofi” since 2008. Since the beginning of 2021 he has been publishing a podcast called “Tierisch mensch” with science reporter Katharina Adek. In a recent episode, the two highlighted the topic of vegan dog nutrition, among other things.
There was one recently about it New study Featured, which was discussed by Rotter and Adick as part of the episode. The experiences of dog owners from Europe, the United States and Australia were evaluated. They have over 2,500 dogs too Traditional, vegetarian or exclusively raw meat Feed and provide information about their animals’ health status – eg, how often dogs have had to go to the vet. The study came to the conclusion that traditionally fed dogs tend to be the least healthy. Dogs on a well-balanced plant-based diet performed best, considering various factors.
Professional dog criticizes traditional dog food
The same study sees canine professional Martin Rotter critically. He explains in the podcast that he can’t judge whether a vegetarian dog is healthier. The expert points out that the ingredients in vegan dog food should ideally be “scientifically designed”. Therefore the important components of meat must be replaced.
According to Rotter, the fact that a conventionally fed dog did worse in the study was not because the food consisted of a mixture of “meat and non-meat,” but because conventional food was “greatly bad food.” He claims that the result would be different if only high-quality feed products were used in the study.
Martin Reuter has changed his mind about plant-based nutrition
Regarding a plant-based diet for dogs, Rotter used to be highly critical of it: “You’ve mocked the vegan dog diet very loudly and forcefully‘, he admitted. It seemed to him that feeding meat and carnivores a vegetarian was ‘completely stupid.’
But the dog specialist is currently working extensively on insect-based dog food and plant nutrition – and he thinks it’s important to address this topic.
Above all, he argues with the ethical aspects: for those dealing with the topic of “climate” or “factory farming,” a purely vegetarian diet makes perfect sense. “By owning a dog myself, I also support factory farming production. Because this traditional fodder usually comes from factory farming and this increases the suffering.”
It refutes the argument that dogs need meat to keep it in a species-appropriate manner: in order to keep a dog in a species-appropriate manner, one must “let it run away, it must chase three deer, it must attack the dog next door and it must have its own piece.” So he concludes: “We cannot keep a dog in a species-appropriate manner.”
Utopia says: The best way to learn how to feed your dog is to enlist the help of experts, such as your vet. The market for high-quality products has grown significantly in recent years: you can now also buy organic dog food, for example. You can find a comparison of the different options here: Best animal feed: organic, vegan, or homemade?
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