I’ve made no secret of the fact that I keep my glorious mutts on a plant-based diet.
In my book The Kind Life I wrote;
“First things ﬁrst: God didn’t create some special, diﬀerent, dried food just for animals to be dropped down from Heaven in big bags. Conventional pet food is basically junk food, only worse: It’s chock full of animal byproducts (intestines, bones, brains, and other lovelies), preservatives, chemicals, and ﬁllers. Is it any wonder pets these days routinely die of nasty conditions like cancer and kidney failure? The only thing sadder than that collection of ingredients is the fact that your furry friend can’t yell, “Stop!” Your animals deserve real and fresh vittles—just like you—so please consider giving them a kinder diet. You guessed it: grains, beans, and vegetables! You see, a vegan diet works really well because pet dogs don’t live in the wild; let’s face it, they’re sorta couch potatoes. They take a walk every day, maybe follow their humans around a little, and not a lot more, so a plant-based diet is just ﬁne for most dogs’ energy requirements. My dogs favorite snacks? Carrots and corn cobs. Since starting to eat this way, they’ve stopped getting ﬂeas, hot spots, and their coats look great. People always think they’re younger than they are, so they’re getting a little vain!”
Not much has changed since I wrote this, especially the propagation of the (incorrect) concept of people food being bad for dogs. What’s bad for dogs is most conventional dog food. But people’s food – if not full of sugar and too salty or fatty – is as excellent for dogs as it is for us!
No foods go unused in my home. Broccoli stalks and kale stalks are blended and added to the doggy dinner deliciousness. Then – to make it irresistible – I sometimes add peanut butter, molasses, seaweed, and chia seeds. I even add a supplement on occasion to make sure they are getting all that’s needed, and when I truly don’t have time – I give them my favorite commercial dry dog food which is currently Gather.
I saw a lot of discussion in my Instagram comments on a photo of my dog Pinto Bean in front of a plate of carrots, which was just a cute photo opp, not his actual dinner! I started giving my dogs a vegan diet about 20 years ago. I lived with 7 dogs before this new bunch, and they were all huge dogs. I’m talking 50 pounds and bigger, and each of them died around the average age of 16 (it’s very unusual for big dogs to live that long given mainstream diets.)
Not only is it healthy and okay for my dogs to be vegan, (hence the huge vegan dog food market.. google vegan dog food – there are endless brands) but my dogs thrive on it.
You can call me crazy, or say I’m evil, but I rest in confidence knowing I have the healthiest dogs on the block. Seriously! My last batch of 7 dogs outlived all the dogs I have ever known and they had perfect blood work.
But let’s get to that. In terms of scientific data, according to this article, Dr. Andrew Knight does a great job of documenting all of the current evidence on his website. One of the most notable studies done on sprint racing Huskies showed that those fed a meat-free diet fared just as well as those on an animal based one over the course of 16 weeks. The study focused on red blood cell counts, but the dogs received regular vet checkups throughout.
Ethically, I just can’t justify killing one animal to save or feed another. I’m not god – so deciding that one life is more worthy than the other doesn’t sit well with me.
Also some dog parents, like the one in this article, almost lost their pets to e-coli outbreaks from animal-based pet food, and then choose a vegan diet for their furry loved ones. Some may say feeding their pets a non-vegan diet is the dangerous choice – not the other way around.
And YES, I know that some animals in the wild eat other animals, but these domesticated dogs are dependent on our feeding them…and if it isn’t necessary, why do it? If it causes less harm to animals, and helps them thrive, it’s a no brainer for me! I’ll stick to a vegan diet for my doggies. You do you, and I’ll do me.
V-dog brand dog food has an exceptional wealth of answers on vegan dog food on their website, as well as vegan dog bones and more!
Here’s my recipe – I don’t always include every one of the supplements in my puppers bowls daily – but they all make the rounds every few days.
Alicia’s Vegan Dog Food Recipe
- Beans (lentil, garbanzo, mung, etc)
- Grains (oats, quinoa, millet, brown rice, barley, farrow)
- A nice mixture of about 3 different kinds of raw vegetables (carrots, beets, broccoli, kale, cabbage, green beans)
- Hemp Oil (1t-1tpsn in each meal)
- Spirulina (1t-1spn in the big mixture itself, not per meal)
- Kelp or dulse
- Supplement Veg-e dog
- Veg soup or miso broth
- Hemp seeds
- Chia Seeds
- 1 tbspn peanut butter
- 1 tbspn molasses
- 1 tbspn coconut oil
- ½ cup canned or fresh pumpkin
- misc. ground seeds
- nuts seed milk
Make sure what you use is organic and non gmo!
Also: Carrots makes a nice snack for a teething puppy – it soothes his teeth, keeps him busy munching, and nourished with vitamins!