Hello, I have two wonderful dogs that I feed on Iams dry kibble right now. Do you have any good vegan dog food recipes that I could make myself? I like the Iams kibble because it is easy to stock and I don't want to pay a lot of money for fancy kibble that I have to travel miles to get. But I think that the quality of Iams has gone downhill and I would like to feed my dogs healthier stuff. Are there any kibble recipes out there?
Oh, please, whatever you do, if you are truly interested in the health of your dogs, STOP feeding Iams! I think my dog's nutritionist said it best, "Oh, Iams is crap! I wouldn't feed that to the raccoons that live in my backyard!" I'm not sure what kind of quality Iams used to be, but I can tell you that in the 6 years I've had my dog, they have been complete crap!
Iams is made mostly of grains, artificial flavors, and other things that dogs' systems can't process. For really great information on the subject, please check out the book "Foods Pets Die For" by Ann Martin. For a brief run-down, see below:
Quality pet foods should contain the following: 1. Superior sources of protein (whole meats or single-source meat meal). Dogs do not process vegetable and legume protein correctly, so using that as a primary (or only) source of protein is not acceptable and will, in the long term, cause them serious health issues. 2. A meat source as one of the first two ingredients (chicken or chicken meal, for instance) 3. Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods (rich in nutrients and enzymes)
Quality food should NOT contain: 1. Meat by-products (produced through the rendering process) 2. Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin) 3. Artificial colors 4. Sweetners 5. Propylene glycol
Finally, avoid soy, wheat, gluten, and corn in the primary diet. If the dogs are not allergic to these items, an occasional treat with these things is okay, but they should not be in the primary diet.
This is a subject about which I am pretty knowledgable (lots of research and a pet nutritionist backing me up) and very passionate. If you would like more information, please send a pm. I can recommend some great foods. However, if you want someone to tell you how to make your dog vegan, it won't be me. Just so you know.
Hey duesergirl! Since you've done a bunch of research on this subject I was wondering if you happened to come across any good healthy food tips for cats? Right now I am feeding my kitty Purina kitty chow which is definitely made with meat by-products(major problem!) but like Natalie said, it's also a matter of convenience and cost.... Anyway, just wondering if you've got any tips for what exactly should and should not be in kitty food! Thanks!
Bethany, Hugs to your kitty! : ) Yeah, I'd say Kitty Chow is way high on the crap list! ; ) The kitty food do's and don't's are basically the same as what I posted above, with a few exceptions. Kitty food should have some ash content in it; this is very healthy for them. Also, kitty food should, ideally, have a superior protein source for the first 3 ingredients, not just the first one. Kitties are obligate carnivores, and need even higher protein levels than dogs. Finally, kitties need higher moisture content than dogs. Kitties do not have the same thirst mechanism that we (and dogs) have. Their bodies are designed to get 85-90% of their water from their food.
The first thing I would do for your sweet kitty is to find a canned food that meets the above requirements. Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul has some really good canned foods and should be available at most pet stores. If you have any specialty stores around, you might also watch out for Evo, Innova, and California Natural brands. If you have your cat on a set feeding schedule, it should be pretty easy to phase in the canned foods at the normal feeding time.
If your cat is used to having food out all day long, you might want to keep dry food available, then feed canned at special times, such as before you go to work and when you get home. Very quickly, kitty will show a preference for the canned food. Good kitty canned food should be a bit stinky to human noses, but will probably cause kitty to get the "deranged" look: eyes very wide and mouth open! This is a happy kitty face, as they are "smelling" the food with all senses.
Good dry foods include the Chicken Soup and California Natural brands again, as well as Orijen, Taste of the Wild, and Fromm's brands. Basically, if you can get it at Walmart, you don't want it! These cost more at first, but kitty will eat less in the long run since they can use more of the nutrients, so they are worth it. Good luck! : )
Great info! Thanks! I usually stop feeding her wet food in the winter because she doesn't like to go outside in the cold and instead sits around getting fat... but she's been going outside again for about a month now so I suppose she should be okay! And if kitties get so much of their water from their food I'd better get on it! Do you suggest wet food once or twice a day? Right now I just feed her dry food in the morning and she snacks on it throughout the day. I think I saw Orijen brand food at the pet store a while ago... I'll go check for it!
We feed our cat 1/4 can per feeding, with anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of warm water added to help make it soupy, depending on how moist the food is to begin with. You don't want to mix it until it's runny, it should be stirred up, but still somewhat chunky. We feed this wet mix twice per day, once in the morning and once around 5pm. Before bed, he gets 1/4 cup of the dry food, so he has something out to munch on at night (also so he won't wake us up in the middle of the night if he decides he's hungry!).
Now, your cat may need more, depending on her starting weight and activity level. Ours is a bit tubby, and quite sedentary due to past injuries with his back legs (he used to like jumping off things he shouldn't, before we could stop him). Your kitty, being indoor/outdoor, may need as much as 1/2 can at each feeding. One way to know is to start with 1/2 can and see what is left when your cat walks away for the first time. If more than half is left, you are probably over feeding. Drop back to 1/3 can and try again. If kitty leaves lots, she may not like the food itself, so you may have to try a different food.
As far as not feeding wet food in the winter, the wet food is not likely to cause her to get tubby. If you are keeping food out all day long, regardless whether it is wet or dry, that is likely what is causing the weight gain. Since she has food available all the time, she is eating all the time, since she has nothing better to do. Having a set feeding schedule will help with this. Be aware, though, that cats show a lot of similarities to people on the Autism Spectrum. Once you start a schedule, be prepared to get yelled at if you veer from it! : )
Another great site for cat feeding information is www.catinfo.org which is run by a very knowledgable vet and tells pretty much anything you could ever want to know, think to ask, and more about feeding cats! Good luck!
Hi, Just joined the site. I am totally onboard with feeding my dog vegan, he loves it( usually he licks the bowl clean and moves it half way across the room!), I was wondering about the supplements that alicia talks about in her book, Taurine and L-Cartinine (spelling!!) where has anyone found these that are what she was talking about? Also of the vegan dry dog food any suggestions? Thanks!
I feed my dog Nature's Recipe because it is the top rated vegetarian dog food. You canget it at http://petco.com for a pretty good price. Another option ( because I'm all about options) is Evolution. I've heard really good things about them. Actually, I'm waiting to receive cat food from them today. Yeah, I'm gonna take the plunge and see how they do. I had a vet tell me that properly supplemented vegetarian cats are the healthiest they ever saw. And the cats were trying to eat the dog food, so here goes!!!