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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Food

More pets being told 'eat your veggies'
Some 40 percent of pet parents in the United Kingdom feed their companions up to three portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
A report, done by insurer Liverpool Victoria, found that health concerns have led many owners to change their pets' diets and swap meat for vegetables and fruits. The most popular vegetables being given to pets are carrots, potatoes and peas. Just one in four of the UK's cats and dogs now eat a meat-only diet.

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The study found:
  • 42 percent of pet owners who have increased the number of vegetables in their pets' diet say they have done so to improve the health of their animal.
  • 16 percent say they simply follow government nutritional advice for humans, such as eating five portions of vegetable and fruit a day, and apply it to their pet.
  • 12 percent say a vegetarian diet costs less.
  • 13 percent of pets are given vitamin or vegetable supplements daily.
"There are thousands of cats and dogs consuming vegetables in their diets without any problems," Emma Holyer, a spokeswoman for Liverpool Victoria stated in a media release.

Pet owners thinking of putting their pets on a vegetable only diet should check with their veterinarian, Holyer said. "Cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet and will need specialist supplements, and although dogs can survive, a sudden change in diet is likely to cause problems. Animals are just like humans in that they need a mixture of minerals and vitamins to keep them healthy, and cutting out whole food groups, like protein, can seriously damage their health."


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