Vegetarian Dogs by Jean Roberts Albert


Going from Vegetables to Flesh, and then back to Vegetables, a St. Bernard Goes from Quiet and Sweet to Savage and Smelly, and then back to Playful and Mild

Smaller Dogs Go from Fretty and Nervous to Harmonious and Healthful


Vol. XXIV, September 1911, No. 405

Herald of Health title page

Title page for the September 1911 issue of The Herald of Health

On page 167 we find Jean Albert’s article, Vegetarian Dogs…

Vegetarian Dogs article

Vegetarian Dogs

by Mrs. Jean Roberts Alberts, Editor of “Vegetarian Magazine,” Chicago

When you decide that existence will be more worth while with a dog to love and make part of your life, remember that every rose has a thorn and that having a dog in the family entails much more than giving it a saucer of milk, a bone and a warm nest to sleep in.

A home without a dog is like a cream-jug without the cream.

There are as many kinds of dogs as there are kinds of people. Every dog has its place; a St. Bernard is not for the parlour, nor is the Pomeranian for the field.

For a household pet, an all-round canine, where love, devotion, gentle, aristocratic manners and  intelligence are required, no breed can compare with the English Toy.

In this class are the King Charles Spaniels, the Ruby, the Prince Charles and the Blenheims. All these have the same general characteristics.  They vary in color and in minor points of disposition.

The King Charles are always more tractable, requiring lies exercise and amusement than either the Ruby Spaniels or the Blenheims. The Prince Charles Spaniels are similar to the King Charles in disposition.

The Diet Cure.

House Dogs are liable to constipation. Give them plenty of seedless raisins (NOTE: In modern times, it is known that raisins and grapes contain a toxin which is poisonous to dogs), chopped California, black, sun-dried figs and dates, from which the seeds have been removed.  St. John’s bread (carob tree pod), finely ground, after the seeds have been removed, is another excellent food.  It is a laxative, and being sweet, the dogs relish it.

White potatoes never agree with grown dogs or puppies.  Spinach is a good food mixed with carrots, rice and similar edibles. Some dogs will eat bananas.  When they will this diet proves most excellent. It should always be mashed and the outer layer, next to the skin, scraped off.  This contains tannic acid and is difficult to digest; then beat the mashed banana lightly.

Thin and rickety dogs should be fed with plenty of olive oil or a good quality cotton seed oil, mixed with the vegetables.  As a rule dogs do not care for breakfast.  A light noon meal sometimes is relished.  The best meal is at night.

To take the place of bones to gnaw, which all dogs enjoy, and gnawing is beneficial to the teeth, the hard dog biscuits are most desirable.

Dogs can be easily kept in health by a proper meatless diet, plain, coarse food,  plenty of exercise and cleanliness.

Dogs are easily trained to regularity in exercise.  They must be accustomed to going for a run as soon as awakened in the morning, at noon, another one at night and the last thing before going to bed.  In this way house pets are kept healthy and maintain cleanly habits.

If they can be taken on long walks each day that greatly aids in preserving health.

The writer has had breeders live fifteen useful years, breeding each year and then die from poison.

One breeder lived to be eighteen years and was good to the last.  She was a  King Charles Spaniel.  This longevity and breeding ability was due to the care in diet and exercise given.

As these dogs grow older they are predisposed to fat.  This must be fought off with a more sparse diet, tid-bits never being given such dogs.

In reference to non-flesh diet for dogs, the writer has had practical demonstrations as to the change of disposition in dogs on a meat diet and vegetarian ration.

She owned a St. Bernard, whose disposition was quiet and sweet.  When three years old a change of residence made it impossible to keep the dog and he was sold to a man with a large area where the dog could enjoy outdoor freedom.

After being absent for two years she re-purchased the dog and found that he was quite savage.  It required persistent care to adapt the dog to a non-meat based diet after having been heavily fed on flesh for so long.  A year’s trial, however, brought the dog to a wholesome appetite for non-meat food.  Unpolished rice and milk, dog biscuits, stewed carrots and some corn bread made up his menu.  This removed the strong odour of his coat, which no washing could overcome, his disposition became mild and he was a changed dog.  He was lively, always enjoying a run and romp with anyone who would play with him.

Experiments have been tried with small dogs, which were fretty and nervous.  The non-flesh diet maintained a more harmonious and healthful demeanor.

May we not feed our dogs as sanely as we do ourselves?

While dogs belong to the carnivorous family, domesticated animals require different modes of living from the wild habits of the original species.

— Mrs. Jean Roberts Alberts, Editor of “Vegetarian Magazine,” Chicago, from the article Vegetarian Dogs, published in The Herald of Health, Vol. XXIV, September 1911, No. 405