UK dog owners could face jail if they make their pet eat veggie diet

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Brit pet owners have been warned against making their dogs vegetarian or vegan as it could end up soon being against the law.

The UK's Animal Welfare Act says that people must make sure pets get a "suitable diet" and "meet all of your dog's nutritional needs".

In the 2006 piece of legislation, it doesn't mention anything about the specific contents of the food you can give to your canine.

But, Daniella Dos Santos from the British Veterinarian Association, says people have to be very knowledgeable when thinking about changing what goes into the dog bowl, LADbible reports.

"In the UK, under the Animal Welfare Act the owner has the obligation to feed the animal an appropriate diet," she said.

"If your personal belief system means you don't want to eat any animal protein, that's fine, but that diet is not designed to meet the welfare standards of your pet."

She added: "It is theoretically possible to feed a dog a vegetarian diet, but it's much easier to get it wrong than to get it right.

"You would have to do it under the supervision of a veterinary-trained nutritionist."

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Dogs can potentially suffer a great deal of harm if they don't get the correct nutrition, which is why UK law has a provision to ensure people don't mess with their diets too much.

In addition to this, owners are also required to ensure their pet lives in a suitable environment, exhibits normal behaviour patterns and be protected from pain, injury and disease, under section nine of the act.

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Any owner that's caught breaking the rules could face a fine of up to £20,000 or even a jail sentence.

An increasing number of owners are putting their pets on a veggie diet, a study released two years ago found.

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Some dog breeds struggle to eat a plant-based meal because they find it difficult to digest high-fibre foods.

As dogs have short guts, the food takes longer to extract all the nutrients compared to meat so the animal would have to eat a lot more of it.

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