Image: AP

The last time I dared scribe unflattering words about the keto diet, keto truthers hunted me down, flooding my inbox and DMs with demands to know which shadowy organization had put me up to spreading lies about keto. So let me assure you right now, this opinion is entirely my own: your pet does not need or want to be on the keto diet.

And because I am but a lowly doctor of English, let an actual doctor of animals, Dr. Katy Nelson, veterinarian at BellaHaven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, make it official:

“Keto diet is not safe long-term for humans, nor is it safe for pets. Keto diets include large amounts of heavily fatty meats, oils, processed foods, and dairy with little to no vegetables or fruits. It is much healthier for people, as well as pets, to eat a balanced diet with lean meats as protein sources, as well as vegetables, fruits and healthy grains. It has been hypothesized that a Ketogenic diet is useful in treating certain diseases, such as epileptic seizures and certain types of cancer, this is still being researched in humans and in pets.”

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Your pet’s body is probably beautiful just the way it is right now, but should the animal want to go on a diet, or should a vet advise it, an Atkins-like diet works best for cats, while a Whole 30-ish plan works best for dogs. Or ask your vet what the animal should eat and feed it that.