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my vegetarian dogs just ate raw meat, will they get sick?

I transitioned my dogs back onto a vegetarian diet at the beginning of April. They have been staying at the foster family/boarders house and when I get the chance to see them they look fantastic and healthy and wonderful...the boarders have not had any problems with them really in terms of behavior (accept Guinevere keeps getting into their kitchen trash can---Im going to buy them one of those ones with the flip lid that you step on and the can is heavy. I hope that will help. Those suckers are mad expensive!)

Anyways, the girl just called me to tell me that between my two doggies, they scarfed down THREE packages of raw meat! I don't know what type. I'm scared they are going to get sick now. I told her to watch for signs of illness and that if she noticed any to call me. I expect it would be diarrhea...and I would give them diluted pepto bismal...I am also going to replace the meat that they ate for the family (which I really really hate for obvious reasons) What do you think? Can a little doggies stomach handle being bombarded by meat after that many weeks? I feel like I would be worried about them even if they had not been on a veg diet before this... :-\

Well, my instinct is to say: they're DOGS! They'll be fine!

But I'd keep an eye on them if I were you. If they look like they're getting sick, or bloating a lot, I'd call a vet to see if you should give them something.

Just remember that dogs are domesticated garbage-eaters. They can  handle it ... in fact, they probably enjoyed it!

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I think their body would most likely handle it by either rejecting through throwing up or diarrhea....the hydrochloric acid in the stomach will also kill a lot of bacteria too from the get-go...so I wouldn't be *too* worried...

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Thanks blackrabbit and Dalida, Im such a worry wort about my babies, I feel like its worse when im cant be there to watch them!  But yeah, dogs are pretty efficient garbage disposals! I have heard of people feeding their dogs raw meat on purpose, so I hope tjhey will be okay...like you mentioned about the acid in their guts, that should kill bacteria, I hope!

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They're lucky they have such a nice mommy!
I'm sure they'll be fine ... and it sounds like you have a couple back-up plans just in case.  :)>>>

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i would maybe some newspaper about in case they get sick while on a rug, etc... they'll make it  ;)

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My two are not veg, but at times they eat random things that make them ill, do they ever learn? no.

In most cases they will be fine. I typically rush home and not leave them unattended for too long to make sure there are no accidents in the house. Dogs are scavengers, they are adept to consuming just about everything, weather they can digest is another story.

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Ancient dogs ate raw meat, and it's true their stomachs can kill bacteria that cause food poisining in us, such as samenella (sp?).  When I adopted my dogs they were in a rescue that provided a total raw meat diet.  They are just as healthy now (if not healthier judging by their soft coats) being vegan. 

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I'm sure they'll be fine, VHZ. Dogs are amazing.

This thread reminded me of a "Get Fuzzy" strip in which Satchel the dog who has spent a couple of days trying to eat random objects (like the TV remote) tells his owner "A lot of things are edible that aren't actually food."

And I immediately thought of the SAD diet....

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I have 2 Great Danes that are on a raw diet.  When they first transitioned they had some diarrhea.  If your dog has loose stools,  give some canned pumpkin, it will help settle the tummy and firm up the stool.

Out of curiosity, why would you give a carnivor a vegitarian diet?  The dogs body is not made to digest grains and veggies, they don't get the nutrients that they need.

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Ancient dogs ate raw meat, and it's true their stomachs can kill bacteria that cause food poisining in us, such as samenella (sp?).  When I adopted my dogs they were in a rescue that provided a total raw meat diet.  They are just as healthy now (if not healthier judging by their soft coats) being vegan. 

Wow, a rescue feeding a raw diet?  That is awesome!

They will probably be just fine VHZ.  I feed all my animals a raw meat diet and they can handle the naturally occurring bacteria a lot better than we can (why you don't see wolves BBQing their dinners ;)  ).  They may just have a little upset because they aren't used to eating it and that's A LOT to eat in one sitting (even my guys would get sick from eating that much at a time and that is their primary food source).  I second the pumpkin idea, but be careful about any anti-diarrheal medications since some dogs (particularly those of herding breed decent) can have extreme reactions to drugs such as Immodium.  You can also just fast them for a day and let their systems settle down (do water only or some low-sodium broth).

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I have 2 Great Danes that are on a raw diet.  When they first transitioned they had some diarrhea.  If your dog has loose stools,  give some canned pumpkin, it will help settle the tummy and firm up the stool.

Out of curiosity, why would you give a carnivor a vegitarian diet?  The dogs body is not made to digest grains and veggies, they don't get the nutrients that they need.

It probably isn't a good idea on a veggie board to get into the meat eating diet vs. vegetarian diet for dogs.  We've been there and done that and it usually doesn't end well.  

But I am one whom always respects another person's opinion and can discuss the matter without flames.  But to answer your question, modern vet science has allowed humans to forumulate vegetarian food that meets 100% of the animals nutritional needs, it's absorbed and digestable.  My dogs do amazingly well on it, have soft coats and are energetic.  My elder dog is now 14.5 and hasn't slowed down a bit.

As to why?  The answer lies in why some of us are vegan in the first place - health, the environment, and the inherent creulty in factory forms whom provides scraps to go into dog food.  I can not say to my dog "this animal was tortured so you can eat your "natural" diet" when I know I don't have to.  

As far as dogs being natural carnivores, that's not an issue with me. Dogs were carnivores a long time ago and still have that body.  But my dogs are domesticated non-hunting dogs.    Me being the caretaker, I decide what they eat, and they gobble it up.  It's a win-win situation for the environment, the animals and their wellbeing.

I'm sure you feed your dogs a very healthy raw food, and perhaps organic free range, diet and your dogs thrive on it.  

Thanks for listening.

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Out of curiosity, why would you give a carnivor a vegitarian diet?  The dogs body is not made to digest grains and veggies, they don't get the nutrients that they need.

We feed our dog vegan dog food, because the meat they put in commercial dog food is nasty. In my opinion, that is one of the reasons so many dogs get cancer, and I wanted to prevent that, if I could. We used to get a holistic dog food that had a bit of organic chicken in it, but it was too expensive for us, and went against the whole VEGAN thing, and to tell you the truth, it's been years, and she's still the same, no health problems.

VHZ, my dogs eat dead rotted squirrels and cats and such, and occasionally throw up, or something, but haven't died. I'm sure if it were packaged meat for the family, it's safer than the things they find in the woods. They'll be fine. And if it were me, I would replace the meat. or at least give them a gift certificate to get it themselves. Good luck!

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I have 2 Great Danes that are on a raw diet.  When they first transitioned they had some diarrhea.  If your dog has loose stools,  give some canned pumpkin, it will help settle the tummy and firm up the stool.

Out of curiosity, why would you give a carnivore a vegetarian diet?  The dogs body is not made to digest grains and veggies, they don't get the nutrients that they need.

I so agree about the carnivore comment.  Dog and cats are not vegetarians, they are carnivores.  My hedgehog isn't either.  Feeding Hannah Rose a vegetarian diet would most likely kill her.  They are high protein creatures that need protein from animal sources, not vegetarian sources.

This has been a topic that has been hashed out on this board over the years.  It never gets resolved and sometimes ends in a heated debate.

Feeding a diet that appears good doesn't necessarily mean feeding the optimum diet for the animals health and true well being.

I switched to pet food 8 months ago after home cooking for about 15 years.  I did it to see if it would make a difference in my rescue dog that has suffered illness from her beginnings. 

What I found is she needs to get back on home cooked.  I have never had my pets on a vegetarian diet.  I also notice the cats aren't looking as good as they did on home cooked.

My home cooked dogs lived 16 and 18 years.  My 3 home cooked cats all lived past 20.  All eating meat.

The one exception is Isabela who was a very ill street dog that I brought home from Mexico.  She only shared her life with me for 3 1/2 years.  Although she was probably 9 or 10 when she passed.  I got her through heartworm, babesia, and every parasite pretty much known to mankind.  Sadly due to her horrible first many years living on the street, she developed aggressive pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver.  None the less, she enriched my life and I hers.  She had 3 1/2 years of not being hungry, being warm and very much loved.

So, this week, Cali starts on home cooked again.  Although she will get some raw organic meat.  I will wean the cats back on to home cooked as I still have a couple of weeks cat food left.  Cats are far more picky when making changes.  The loved their home cooked.  Now they love their cat food.

It was an 8 month experiment.  One I wish I hadn't done.

My holistic vet also told me that dogs that are on a raw or homecooked diet can eat many things that dogs can't eat if on a processed food diet.  Processed foods don't only hurt humans, they hurt our pets too.

So glad you are feeding your Danes the way they should be fed! As well, thanks for the pumpkin tip!

Well, I better shut up now as I am often the one that pisses people off in this debate.  :)

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Thank you all for the comments and thoughts. I am particularly grateful for the comment about the pumpkin for an upset stomach and the info about some herding dogs having reactions to certain meds. My dogs are both herding dog crosses (Australian cattle dog or Queensland heeler as they are sometimes called) I think I will write this down to discuss with our vet...

My dogs seem to be doing okay though. Nothing at all to report, which is how I prefer it ;)

(readers digest version in bold)
As for the question of my choice to feed my dogs a vegetarian diet (and actually this one is vegan except for the lanolin) I have to say something along the lines of what Tweety said....Dogs are on the carnivore side of the spectrum (although much closer to "omnivore" than say, cats or paranas.) Human intelligence and modern science has made it possible for me to feed my dogs a healthy, balanced and complete diet that also happens to be vegetarian. I'm very grateful for this because my little D'Artagnon seems to have sensitivities to most meats in commercial dog food and indeed, most meats in general. (I was not concerned about him having a sever reaction to this because of his allergies but because of the type of food and the fact his allergies are things like loosing hair, losing weight, red eyes, itchy skin, depression, etc.-in other words, nothing immediate) I was afraid that much meat in a system that doesnt usually process it would be bad bad bad...like, if I were to eat meat, I'm quite sure I would get sick. The truth is, I was trying really hard to feed my guys a responsible, natural diet (I even went so far as to cook for them from scratch- including meat  :( ) But I was very unhappy having to feed them this way as it as really against my values as a compassionate person....but I did do it because I wanted to do what was best for my dogs...However when D'Art started showing so many signs of allergies, I had to start elimination diets with him...and he cannot handle wheat corn pork beef...I at first turned my attention to finding foods that "okay" for him, but quickly gave that up because many of them were too costly and the search itself made me feel really sad (animals less likely to cause reactions include fishes, deers, buffaloes, lambs and sheep, rabbits and ducks my guy also seemed to handle chickens okay) ... I was also running a chicken rescue at the time and my dogs were FRIENDS with the chickens...I dont think that, if my dogs were able to make an informed choice--if they had the ability to reason out the choice, would elect to eat their friends relatives...I also had a very hard time BUYING dead birds to feed my allergy inflicted dog when I was working so gosh darn hard to rescue them! It was at this time that I returned to the idea of vegetarian diets for dogs with a more open mind- Id initially said "nope, dogs are carnivores, I wont do that to my babies." But the more research I did, the more I learned that it really could be a viable option. I gave it a shot and my dogs were in GREAT shape, not only did they prefer the vegetarian kibbles to both the commercial-grade dog food and the natural, high-end meaty dog food, their health was so so much better too. There was a member here who used to say to set out the two options in a bowl and see which one your dogs go for-- that was the right, natural diet for them (he meant raw meat vs vegetarian dog food) and I kinda did that....I mixed in the vegetarian stuff WITH the other meaty dry dog food I had and they dumped their bowls out and only ate the veggie kibbles....I didn't want to give them more because I didn't really have a lot of extra $$$ to spend on dog food and I wanted that other stuff to be eaten....but they went on a hunger strike until I finally put down more veggie kibbles. the rest of the stuff went uneaten until I got in a few rescue dogs who would eat anything....

Ultimately, I made the choice based on what was best for my family, morally, financially, and based on medical considerations. I am really confident in my decision and I know I made it with the best interest of my WHOLE family, and I believe that is exactly what everyone here wants to do: whats best for their dogs and themselves. Which is why I really really hope this does not turn into a debate.

And if it were me, I would replace the meat. or at least give them a gift certificate to get it themselves. Good luck!

and this...good thinking...i was considering giving them cash...but this is also a good idea. I'll ask what they prefer...

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I didn't mean to cause an issue, my question was from curiosity.  I know why I feed my dogs the diet I do, I have never been able to ask someone who feeds their dogs veggie, why they do it. 

Di...."Feeding a diet that appears good doesn't necessarily mean feeding the optimum diet for the animals health and true well being."  ;)b

We feed our dog vegan dog food, because the meat they put in commercial dog food is nasty. In my opinion, that is one of the reasons so many dogs get cancer, and I wanted to prevent that, if I could. We used to get a holistic dog food that had a bit of organic chicken in it, but it was too expensive for us, and went against the whole VEGAN thing, and to tell you the truth, it's been years, and she's still the same, no health problems.

VHZ, my dogs eat dead rotted squirrels and cats and such, and occasionally throw up, or something, but haven't died. I'm sure if it were packaged meat for the family, it's safer than the things they find in the woods. They'll be fine. And if it were me, I would replace the meat. or at least give them a gift certificate to get it themselves. Good luck!

NMPixie...You're right, the things in commercial dog food are BAAAAD, and cause many many health issues.  Which is why I decided to change my dogs diet.

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Human intelligence and modern science has made it possible for me to feed my dogs a healthy, balanced and complete diet that also happens to be vegetarian.

I like this part a lot.

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From wikipedia:

Diet
See also: Dog food

Despite its descent from wolves, the domestic dog is an omnivore, though it is classified in the order Carnivora. Unlike an obligate carnivore, such as a member of the cat family with its shorter small intestine, a dog is neither dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill its basic dietary requirements. Dogs are able to healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet. In the wild, canines often eat available plants and fruits.

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I didn't mean to cause an issue, my question was from curiosity.  I know why I feed my dogs the diet I do, I have never been able to ask someone who feeds their dogs veggie, why they do it. 

It's a reasonable question to ask and you didn't "cause an issue".  I only wanted to remind you where you are:  a veg*n board primarily with vegans whom are passionate about animal rights and welfare.  It's natural that if possible we'd feed our companions a compassionate diet.  But sometimes these conversations can get out of hand and I appreciate that you and Di (whom has learned the hard way...LOL) have been respectful of our choices. 

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Yeah, both of my dogs are happy, healthy vegetarians.....and actually, my eldest dog Harry has only had one seizure since I switched their food.....he used to have them every month, like clockwork....I'm crossing my fingers that eventually he'll be seizure free!

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I was also running a chicken rescue at the time and my dogs were FRIENDS with the chickens...I dont think that, if my dogs were able to make an informed choice--if they had the ability to reason out the choice, would elect to eat their friends relatives...I also had a very hard time BUYING dead birds to feed my allergy inflicted dog when I was working so gosh darn hard to rescue them! It was at this time that I returned to the idea of vegetarian diets for dogs with a more open mind- Id initially said "nope, dogs are carnivores, I wont do that to my babies." But the more research I did, the more I learned that it really could be a viable option. I gave it a shot and my dogs were in GREAT shape, not only did they prefer the vegetarian kibbles to both the commercial-grade dog food and the natural, high-end meaty dog food, their health was so so much better too. There was a member here who used to say to set out the two options in a bowl and see which one your dogs go for-- that was the right, natural diet for them (he meant raw meat vs vegetarian dog food) and I kinda did that....I mixed in the vegetarian stuff WITH the other meaty dry dog food I had and they dumped their bowls out and only ate the veggie kibbles....I didn't want to give them more because I didn't really have a lot of extra $$$ to spend on dog food and I wanted that other stuff to be eaten....but they went on a hunger strike until I finally put down more veggie kibbles. the rest of the stuff went uneaten until I got in a few rescue dogs who would eat anything....

It is interesting that when dogs are around cows, pigs and chickens they don't attack them thinking "dinnertime".

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