Dog has been an inseparable “friend of man for many thousands of years. So the relationship with man seems to have started when primitive men adopted orphaned wolf cubs. Then initially the wolves were welcomed in first human communities because they inspired tenderness. At the same time, subsequently primitive men were conquered by the intelligence and sociability of these beautiful animals. Living with men they became a middle ground between carnivorous and onnivorous.

In fact they were pack animals like man and they adapted well to coexistence and collaboration with our ancestors .So wild are carnivores but “domesticated” ones have slowly adapted over the generations to a more varied diet that did not only include meat. They became a middle ground between carnivorous ana onnivorous. Of course, meat was in fact a very precious product. Then it is so because it was difficult to find so it was not given much to domesticated wolves which slowly evolved into dogs.

FROM WOLF TO DOG Obviously the wolf fed exclusively on approx rne because it was obtained from hunting expeditions made with the herd. Then the dog instead lived in contact with man in the first human communities composed mainly of hunters, breeders or farmers. The wolf became a middle ground between man and wolf according their nutritional habits,

So the man has selected the wolf, exalting the most useful characteristics for living with our ancestors. A crossings between wolves were made by choosing the most intelligent and most docile subjects. In fact the selective pressure produced remarkable changes in this species from the point of view of the physical and character aspect. Then it happens also from the metabolic point of view.

The invention of agriculture produced enormous advantages for primitive men. In fact, it was possible to produce much quantities of food compared to the past. So this abundance of food allowed many men to be able to live in confined spaces. In fact few square kilometers of cultivated land could feed thousands of individuals while the same thing was not possible with hunting).

Then concentrating thousands of individuals in confined spaces allowed the birth of cities and therefore of covility. So after centuries of living together with humans, the dog has evolved by feeding on typical foods of our diet such as cereals and legumes. Then, a good combination of them can provide the dog with all the nutrients it needs.

Happy vegetarian dog


This thing, however, cannot be based on improvisation. Then it must be the result of a collaboration with a nutritionist veterinarian. After all the reason for the need for an expert opinion lies in the fact that the dog can be considered a middle ground between carnivorous and onnivorous. Then an excess of cereals can beharmful as well as an excessively protein diet. In fact, using only meat as an energy source as well as a protein source for plastic purposes can produce serious damage to health.

Such damage consists in an excessive accumulation of antibiotics in the dog’s body due to the presence of these substances in the organism of animals. Then too many cereals in dog nutrition can also be harmful. In fact the dog’s metabolic system has not forgotten that it has been a carnivore in the past.


As a result, his pancreas and the cells of the Langherans islands in particular are not very efficient in responding to glucose peaks with rapid insulin production. So my experience as a nutrition veterinarian has taught me that it is not healthy at all to overdo it with cereals in dog nutrition. In a word there is a risk of causing obesity, diabetes, inflammatory states, intestinal problems. In fact dog is a middle ground between carnivorous and onnivorous

Man is an omnivore therefore he can, very carefully, use a vegetarian diet. So it can be based on cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, dairy products, eggs. Then it has been shown that using such a diet produces great benefits. Finally they are not only from an ethical point of view but also from a health point of view. It produces significant reductions in the level of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure are noted.


When you formulate a diet for any animal you must always start by calculating its metabolic energy needs and knowing its protein needs. You have to think that the dog can be considered middle ground between carnivorous and onnivorous So the protein content of the food to be administered to a dog must be 18% for an adult dog and 22% for a growing dog. Then this value of the protein content is one of the fundamental elements to consider in the formulation of a diet. A very important value is the energy content which can be calculated using a simple formula.

The metabolic weight of the dog must be calculated first. So the following formula is applied using a calculator: dog weight raised to 0.75. So we multiply by 133 if we are facing an average active dog. Multiply by 100 if the dog we are looking at is underactive and by 160 if the dog is hyperactive. We must also evaluate the dog’s ingestion ability.

In short if we know that he eats 400 grams of food per day we must prepare a ration of 400 grams with a suitable energy and protein content. So, to make this concept clearer I want to expose a practical case of rationing a vegetarian preparation for our dog. Let’s assume we want to prepare a vegetarian ration for a medium-sized dog (25 kilograms) on average active who has cholesterol problems and therefore the vet advised us to reduce the amount of meat in the ration.


With the help of a calculator, we raise 25 to 0.75 and obtain the value of 11.2 kg which represents the metabolic weight of the dog. Then. now, if we are evaluating an average active dog, we multiply this value which is called metabolic weight by 133. So the result obtained will be the amount of calories necessary for our dog to live in good health conditions, so we multiply 11.2 (metabolic weight) for 133 and we get the value of 1489 kilocalories.

At this point we must prepare a ration of 400 grams containing an energy quantity equal to 1489 kilocalories and a protein percentage of 18%. In fact if we want to prepare a complete meal that allows a dog to enjoy good health, we must introduce the right amount of protein into these 400 grams of food containing about 1500 kilocalories (we talked about 18%).

A vegetarian food must not contain meat but can use eggs and milk as sources of high biological value proteins, branched amino acids, mineral salts and B vitamins. Then these vitamins are essential for a correct regulation of the metabolism, for a good functioning of the system nervous Then vitamin B12 is essential for the erythropoiesis process (production of red blood cells).


Then we use rice, soy, carrots, fennel, chard, milk, an egg, olive oil as the basic ingredients. 150 grams of rice contain 530 kilocalories and 10 grams of protein, 150 gr. organic and GMO-free soybeans contain 480 kilocalories and 53 grams of protein. 150 grams of mixed vegetables (carrots, spinach, broccoli) contain about 50 kilocalories and 5 grams of protein, 100 grams of lactose-free milk (we use this type of milk to avoid intestinal problems) it contains 80 kilocalories and 3.5 grams of protein, A boiled egg (you have to cook the egg to eliminate anti-nutritional factors such as avidin) contains about 100 kilocalories and 6 grams of protein. Finally 30 grams of olive oil contain about 260 kilocalories.

So adding these ingredients we obtain a meal with an energy content of 1520 kilocalories and a protein content of 78 grams therefore in a portion of 400 grams we will have a protein content of about 19% and an energy content of 380 kilocalories for one hectogram. Then this content is excellent for providing the dog with good health while not using meat. This thing is possible because dog has characteristics between carnivorous and onnivorous. After all I must also say that the vegetables that make up this recipe are also a good source of vitamin C which promotes the absorption of the iron contained in soy.

dr. Massimiliano MangafĂ 

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