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Are dogs carnivores? We clarify!

Are dogs carnivores? We clarify!

Are dogs carnivores?

Our dogs have been close companions of humans for centuries and their diet plays an important role in this. A question that many dog ​​owners ask is whether dogs are naturally carnivores. In this post, we will get to the bottom of the question and examine whether dogs are truly carnivores or whether their diet can also consist of other food sources. In this article you will find out whether your dog is really a carnivore.

Carnivore or Omnivore?

Dogs are carnivores whose digestive system is primarily designed to process meat. However, due to their adaptability, they are able to digest plant food and can therefore be described as omnivores. However, a balanced diet should always be tailored to your natural nutritional needs.

Some scientists disagree and call dogs carnivores. And why? Because dogs have long canine teeth that they can use to tear meat. In addition, dogs have a shorter gastrointestinal tract compared to other omnivores and herbivores. Dogs also do not have the enzyme amylase in their saliva, although other omnivores do.

Regardless of whether dogs are classified as carnivores or omnivores, most veterinarians agree that dogs' digestive systems have adapted over the centuries to allow them to eat, and even require, a more complex diet than the wolf.

Do dogs need meat in their diet?

Like many other dog lovers, you too may have wondered why dogs need meat in their diet. With vegetarianism and veganism on the rise, many pet owners are asking themselves this question, excited about the possibility of a meat-free diet for their dogs. Many also believe that dogs on a vegan diet live longer than others. While it's true that dogs are omnivores, some dogs have adapted to a vegetarian diet along with their owners. However, the vegan diet is far more controversial than the vegetarian diet.

A meatless or vegan diet for dogs is controversial and there are divided opinions about whether this is really suitable for the animals. It is important to note that dogs are carnivores and require meat for a balanced diet. Meat is rich in essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. A meat-free diet should only be followed under veterinary supervision to ensure the dog is receiving all the necessary nutrients. However, a purely vegan diet for dogs should be avoided as it does not take into account the animals' natural nutritional needs and can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Balanced diets for dogs

A balanced diet that meets a dog's nutritional needs consists of meat and plant foods. Provided that the food consists of high-quality ingredients and contains the necessary proteins and fats.

In developed countries, diet-related diseases are rare in dogs and cats, especially when fed high-quality, commercially available, complete and balanced foods. Nutritional problems often occur when dogs and cats are fed unbalanced, home-made food. Dog or cat food or home-prepared foods that only consist of a single food item are inadequate. For example, feeding dogs primarily meat or even exclusively hamburgers and rice can lead to calcium deficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism.

Dogs need certain essential amino acids in their diet, and some proteins are more valuable than others. Meat provides all of these amino acids, but many plant proteins do not. However, a diet consisting exclusively of meat products does not cover all of your dog's needs.

Is raw meat safe for dogs?

If you're a proud dog owner, you may already know that raw food diets are on the rise. The reasons for the popularity of such a diet are many: Most people claim that raw meat is similar to the diet of dogs in the wild.

On the bright side, most dogs can eat raw meat without complications. Some veterinarians claim that raw meat promotes the health of dogs, giving them more energy and healthier skin. Additionally, proponents of the raw meat diet say raw chicken or beef benefits the digestive and immune systems.

Can dogs eat pork?

Are dogs carnivores?

There are some concerns and myths about pork tolerance for dogs. But dogs can generally eat pork because it is a good source of protein and rich in nutrients. However, there is a risk that pork can transmit deadly diseases such as Aujeszky's disease to dogs. That's why it should always be cooked well. However, you should avoid feeding raw or half-cooked products; it is also important to take the dog's individual tolerance into account.

In summary, dogs can eat pork as long as it is cooked well to minimize the risk of disease transmission. However, it is important to consider your dog's individual needs and tolerances. If you are unsure, it is best to speak to a veterinarian to ensure a balanced diet for your dog.

Can dogs eat beef?

Are dogs carnivores?

Yes, dogs can eat beef. Beef is a good source of protein and also contains important nutrients such as iron and zinc, which are important for a healthy diet for dogs. However, it is important that the beef is raw or cooked and not seasoned or prepared with ingredients such as onions or garlic, as these can be harmful to dogs. It is also advisable to choose lean beef to reduce the risk of obesity and other health problems. Overall, beef can be part of a balanced diet for dogs when fed in moderation and with proper preparation.

Can dogs eat chicken?

Are dogs carnivores?

Yes, chicken is a common source of meat in a dog's diet and can be a good source of protein. However, care should be taken to ensure that the chicken is cooked well to minimize the risk of bacteria and salmonella transmission. Chicken bones should never be fed as they can be dangerous and can cause blockages or internal injuries to your dog. It's also important to consider your dog's individual needs and tolerances. If you are unsure, it is best to speak to a veterinarian to ensure your dog is receiving a balanced diet.

Overall, chicken is a safe and healthy source of meat for dogs as long as it is prepared in moderation and in the right way. It's important to take proper precautions to ensure the chicken meat is safe and healthy for your dog. If you are unsure about giving your dog chicken, you should always consult your veterinarian first.

Can dogs eat lamb?

Are dogs carnivores?

Lamb is an excellent source of protein, B12 and essential amino acids that your dog needs to thrive. For some dog owners, lamb is an excellent option because their dogs may be allergic to other meats such as pork or chicken. Additionally, new canned and wet dog foods often contain lamb, making it a good option for your dog's diet.

The risk of bacterial contamination from E.Coli is the same for all raw meats, and lamb is no exception. Even though raw lamb is fine for some four-legged friends, the risks still outweigh the potential benefits. That's why the best lamb for dogs is the one that's been cooked without added sodium or spices. Lamb bones provide little nutritional value and the risk of them splintering and damaging internal organs is relatively high. Therefore, consider chewing bones, which are less risky to your dog's health and guarantee a long chewing experience.

Can dogs eat duck?

Are dogs carnivores?

Duck is not the most popular meat for human consumption, but it is safe for dogs and contains important nutrients such as protein and omega acids. Some manufacturers also offer canned duck meat that is easy to prepare and feed.

However, there are no differences between raw duck meat and other types of meat; it can also contain bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli. Boiling the meat is therefore always the best option to serve your dog a healthy and balanced meal.

Duck bones, like bones of other types of meat, are dangerous for your dog and can splinter easily. If you have your dog's well-being in mind, you should think twice about feeding him duck bones. In this case, it is recommended to buy a chew toy.

Can dogs eat turkey?

Are dogs carnivores?

An unseasoned, bite-sized turkey is a solid source of protein and B vitamins. This meat contains riboflavin and phosphorus, two important nutrients that your four-legged friend needs. Make sure you offer it cooked and unseasoned. In this way, it brings all its health benefits without any risks.

While cooked turkey is safe for dogs, eating raw turkey is highly concerning because raw turkey can put your dog at risk of bacterial infection. Like all bird bones, including turkey bones, they are prone to splintering. Because of their fragile nature, it is not advisable to share them with your four-legged friend, so do not leave these bones near your dog.

How much meat can dogs eat?

The amount of meat a dog should eat depends on various factors such as age, size, weight, activity level and health status. In general, dogs should consume about 2-3% of their body weight in food per day, with about 50-70% of this being meat. However, it is important that the diet is balanced, varied and contains all the necessary nutrients. Too much meat is unhealthy for dogs. It is recommended that you choose a diet specifically designed for dogs or coordinated with a veterinarian to ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts.


In summary, dogs are carnivores by nature and require a diet rich in animal protein and fat. While dogs can digest plant-based foods, a balanced diet that includes meat is the best option. A diet with too much or too little meat can lead to health problems, so it's important to consider your dog's needs and tolerances and speak to a veterinarian if necessary. It's also important to make sure you cook the meat properly to minimize the risk of illness. Overall, a balanced and species-appropriate diet is crucial for your dog's health and well-being.