Dog owners face jail and $27,000 fines for putting pets on veggie diet.
Feeding your pooch plant-based meals could come back to bite Brits who want to switch up their animals traditional diet.
But adapting your dogs dinner to a vegetarian diet could land you in big trouble with the law.
Canines must be fed a “suitable diet”, according to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 – and you could be prosecuted if it is deemed you are not doing so.
The Blue Cross explains that UK dog owners have a legal duty to provide for their welfare needs.
All domestic animals have the legal right to: live in a suitable environment; eat a suitable diet; exhibit normal behavior patterns; be housed with, or apart from, other animals; be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease, under section nine of the act.
Although the guidelines do not specifically mention vegan or vegetarian diets, their food intake must “meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs.”
Owners who fail to comply could be slapped with a large fine, end up in court, or even behind bars.
They could also have their pets taken away from them or be banned from owning animals ever again.
Discussing the issue of dog’s dietary requirements last year, the president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said owners are required to fulfil their dogs food needs.
“In the UK, under the Animal Welfare Act the owner has the obligation to feed the animal an appropriate diet,” Daniella Dos Santos 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.
“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,” she continued.
“You would have to do it under the supervision of a veterinary-trained nutritionist.”
A lack of protein in their diets can lead to serious health problems for dogs, such as an amino acid imbalance and vitamin or mineral deficiencies.