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Don’t make your pet vegan, nutritionist says

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“Cats are carnivores," Dr. Valerie Parker said

(WYTV) – If you’re a vegetarian, should your pet be one, too?

Nutritionists say it’s a bad idea to apply some popular diet trends to your animals — pets are not people.

Dr. Valerie Parker has heard it all when it comes to alternative pet diets.

She says animals have vastly different nutritional needs than humans. Those who are meat-free themselves should not put their pets on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

“Cats are carnivores. Now that doesn’t mean that cats can’t tolerate carbohydrates and plant sources of food in their food, but they are designed to eat certain meats,” Parker said.

Others try to feed their pets a raw meat diet with the belief that dogs and cats should eat like their wolf and wild cat ancestors. Parker says no — our domesticated animals have evolved and need the right combination of meats and carbs.

Some pet owners may be tempted to make their own pet food, but most homemade pet food recipes just don’t contain the nutrients your pet needs and can cause severe health issues.

There is so much misinformation online that can make unhealthy pet diets seem like a good idea. Your veterinarian is the best place to go for advice.

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