June 7, 2012

Making Your Own Vegan Dog Food



I don't think it's a secret how much I adore my Yellow Lab, Keeva. I'm so lucky to have her in my life. Lately my thoughts have been steered toward her diet and how healthy her food actually is for her, the animals, and the planet. After doing a ton of research - I've decided to transition Keeva to a Vegan diet. I've tried feeding Keeva a vegan diet a couple of times before, but I was always so nervous as to whether or not she was getting all of the nutrients that her body needed. So after about a year and a half of researching (as evidenced in this post) I finally feel comfortable going forward. I know vegan dogs can be just as healthy as their meat-eating friends!

Check out Bramble, the Chocolate Lab from the U.K., who lived to the ripe old age of 27! She became one of the oldest living dogs on record by eating a diet of rice, lentils, and organic vegetables. She ate once a day and got plenty of exercise! Or check out the story of Piggy who was rescued from the streets of the Dominican Republic and nursed back to health by eating a vegan diet!

I know a lot of people may be shocked that someone would choose to feed their dog a vegan diet, but it's actually not that extreme. Dogs are classified as a carnivore, but like humans, are technically omnivores. That means they can survive and thrive on a vegan diet just like we do! Although a dog's protein requirements are greater than humans - with a little careful planning you can be assured that your dog's diet will be healthy for them and gentle on the animals and the planet.

For the time being, I've decided to feed Keeva one homemade meal a day that includes the supplement Vegedog and have her other meal come from a high quality vegan dog kibble known as V-Dog. Vegedog is an amazing supplement that contains two essential nutrients that would be hard to find in a homemade vegan diet for you dog: taurine and vitamin B-12Deficiencies in these nutrients could be potentially dangerous. These nutrients are also found in her V-Dog kibble! I couldn't recommend these two products enough!

When switching your dog to a vegan diet, be sure to transition slowly. Any sudden change in diet may cause digestive upset in your furry friend. Make the transition gradually over 3-4 days.

Also - I'd like to state that I am not a veterinarian or a dog dietician. I'm only a concerned pet parent who has done their own research and came up with a way to feed my dog a vegan diet. If you have a question about your dog's specific nutritional or medical needs- please consult a veterinarian or dog nutritionist.

How Much To Feed Your Dog

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes so no one meal could possibly fit all. The general rule of thumb is to feed your dog 2%-3% of their total body weight. Puppies and more active dogs may need more while senior and less active dogs may need less.

To calculate, multiply your pup's weight, in pounds, by 16 to get his total body weight in ounces. Feed them 2-3% of that weight, daily. For example, Keeva weighs about 90 lbs...

90 lbs x 16oz = 1440 oz (her total body weight in ounces)

1440 oz x 2%= 28.8 oz or 3.6 cups (her total daily minimum food weight)

1440 oz x 3% = 43.2oz or 5.4 cups (her total maximum food weight)

Vegan food tends to be lower in calories than non-vegan food - so I feed Keeva 5 cups a day. That's 2 1/2 cups of food for each meal. She's a Yellow Lab with a voracious appetite and would probably eat 10 cups of food a day if I let her...Each dog is different so if you're dog is a finicky eater or tends to pack on the pounds more easily - then try feeding them on the lower end of the scale. You can always increase the amount you give them if you notice they're still hungry! Each meal should be comprised of beans/legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy oils. Save fruit for a mid-day snack!

Before creating a meal for your dog please take a moment to read this list of food for humans that may be toxic to dogs. Never feed your animal these foods!

When creating a meal for your dog you should always start with a protein base. One half of your dog's meal should come from a high quality protein source. Beans and Legumes are the best source of protein you can find. When bought in bulk - they're super affordable too. When cooking beans and legumes make sure they're cooked well until very soft and then mash or puree them. Always be sure to alternate between different beans and legumes to make sure your dog is eating a varied diet and is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need.

  • Black BeansAre very high in fiber, folate, protein, and antioxidants, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals. Black beans also contain a wide variety of both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which combat cardiovascular disease. 
  • Chickpeas - Are high in fiber, protein, and important phytonutrients. 
  • Lentils Studies have found that those who eat high fiber legumes like lentils have a much reduced risk of heart disease. The high levels of folate and magnesium in lentils also go a long way in protecting the heart.  Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, most notably folate and niacin (B3). B vitamins are important for the healthy functioning of the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
  • Other protein options include: Black Eyed Peas, Cannelini Beans, Great Northern Beans, Kidney Beans, Mung Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas
  • Feed sparingly: soybeans, tempeh, seitan, tofu, edamame, TVP

Whole Grains are a healthy source of protein and complex carbohydrates. They're also a great source of B-Vitamins. They also help with weight-maintenance for over-weight dogs.  One quarter of your dog's meal should consist of high quality grains. Always be sure to alternate between different grains to make sure your dog is eating a varied diet. Also - I tend to cook whole grains longer for Keeva so they're easier for her to digest. Just add twice as much water and cook the grains twice as long! I also run them through my mini food processor once they've been cooked. Anything to help the digestion process along!


  • Brown Rice - Is a great source of fiber, protein, manganese, selenium and other important phytonutrients. Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential to bone health. Just one cup of brown rice contains 21 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium.
  • Oats - Contain a special type of fiber that amps up the immune system and helps fight bacterial infections. It also contains a special antioxidant that protects the heart from free radicals and helps reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
  • Quinoa - Is one of the highest quality proteins on the planet. Technically a seed , it contains all nine essential amino acids and has a similar nutrient profile to milk. Quinoa is high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.
  • Other grain options include: Barley, Buckwheat, Kamut, Millet, Rye Berries/Flakes, Sorghum, Teff, Wild Rice
  • Feed sparingly: Cornmeal/Polenta, Wheat Berries, Whole Grain Pasta, White rice

Not only do vegetables add healthy antioxidants to your dog’s diet, they also are a significant source of soluble fiber and roughage which can promote intestinal health in your dog. Dark, leafy green vegetables are the preferred choice, but almost all vegetables are super healthy for your dog. One quarter of your dog's meal should consist of finely chopped, shredded, or blended vegetables that are part green vegetables and part red or yellow vegetables (listed below) Each vegetable contains a different set of special vitamins and minerals - so be sure to alternate between a wide variety of different vegetables. 


  • Asparagus - One of Keeva's favorite vegetables! Asparagus is high in potassium which helps detoxify the body and is also high in folate, which helps fight against cancer and helps reduce pain and inflammation. Asparagus is also high in Vitamin K which aids in bone formation and repair.
  • Broccoli One cup of broccoli contains the recommended daily value of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Like other leafy green vegetables - broccoli is high in calcium and Vitamin K which is important for bone health. Keeva can't get enough of her broccoli!
  • Green BeansTechnically a legume, green beans are high in protein and fiber and aid in digestion health.  They also contain considerable amounts of folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Green beans are also known for helping overweight dogs shed some pounds. If your dog needs to lose a little bit of weight - try replacing green beans for some their kibble to help them feeling fuller while feeding them less of the high calorie foods.
  • Kale - It's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities work together to prevent and even combat cancer. With over 192% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, and prevents urinary stones. Keeva loves to eat kale stems for a snack! Try adding them chopped to your dog's dinner!
  • Other options include: Beets, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Lettuce, Parsnips, Fresh or Frozen Peas, Pea Pods, Rutabaga, Spinach, Turnips, Zuchini
  • Feed Sparingly: Fresh or Frozen Corn, Potatoes

Orange or red colored fruits and veggies are excellent sources of different vitamins and minerals such as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a vitamin the body converts into vitamin A, is a powerful antioxidant that has been celebrated for its possible ability to fight cancer. Beta carotene is also thought to play a role in protecting cells and boosting the immune system. One quarter of your dog's meal should be from vegetables - half of which should be from an orange or red veggie!


  • Carrots - Are the richest source of beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, which is essential for good vision, especially night vision and helps prevent macular degeneration. They're also an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help protect the heart and prevent cancer.
  • Canned or Fresh Pumpkin The oils in pumpkin's flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer. Not only is pumpkin full of vitamins and minerals, but can also help your furry friend with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and an upset stomach.
  • Sweet Potatoes - One of nature's most perfect foods - it's super high in vitamins A, C, and B6 as well as a potent antioxidant that helps fight degenerative diseases like cancer and fights against the effects of aging.
  • Other Options Include: Red/Orange/Yellow Bell Peppers, Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, etc.), Yams, Yellow Summer Squash

Dogs can enjoy Fruit in small amounts - preferably as a small snack. Just make sure that you don’t feed your dog fruit too close to a high-protein meal. The enzymes are different and can cause digestive discomfort. One thing to be very careful of when feeding your dogs fruit is to make sure they are never fed seeds from fruit. Many of them contain cyanide and when fed over a long period of time will have harmful side effects. Some dogs may not take to every fruit you give them to try, but keep experimenting to find ones they like.

  • Apples - Many dogs enjoy the crunchy texture of apples, but that's not the only good thing about them. They're loaded with phytonutrients that help boost the immune system and aid in preventing certain forms of cancer.
  • Blueberries - Blueberries are rich in natural antioxidants which play a role fighting the effects of aging on the brain! Not only do antioxidants help slow the aging process they protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic degenerative conditions and aid in combating skin allergies.
  • Cranberries - Cranberries are a special addition to any dog's diet. They're rich in cancer fighting antioxidants like other berries, but they also help promote urinary tract health. Since a vegan diet alkalizes the body - cranberries (or a cranberry supplement) will help maintain a healthy urinary pH.  Recent research also suggests that cranberries may also help by removing harmful bacteria from the teeth, slowing the formation of plaque and reducing the incidence of gum disease.
  • WatermelonWatermelon is filled with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-1 and B-6, potassium and magnesium and is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. Watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature!
  • Other Options Include: Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Cantaloupe,  Honeydew Melon, Mangoes, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries

Adding Healthy Oils to a dog's diet will ensure they're getting all the required fats in their daily meals. The basis of each meal should be beans/legumes, grains, and vegetables, but oil plays just as important of a role. Keeva gets 1 tablespoon of oil at each meal. For dogs smaller than Keeva (90 lbs) try giving them 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon at every meal. Without healthy fats - your dog's skin and coat will become dry and flaky. Some oils also contain high levels of healthy Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids that aid in heart and joint health.

  • Unrefined Coconut Oil The lauric acid found in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil also improves the look of dog's skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
  • Flax seed Oil Low levels of Omega-3s can lead to skin and coat problems related to allergies, which are common in many dog breeds. Flax seed’s Omega-3s not only improve skin health in dogs, they help promote a shiny, soft coat. A more concentrated form of flaxseed without the fiber, flaxseed oil is especially recommended for dogs’ skin and coat health. It also aids in improved immunity, increased bone strength, and joint health.
  • Hemp seed Oil Hemp Seed Oil is a balanced source of Essential Fatty Acids that are required for optimum health. Omega-6 and Omega-3 and Gamma Linolenic Acid are often lacking in animal diets, resulting in a deficiency of these important nutrients. Hemp seed oil helps reduce inflammation and promotes joint function, cardiovascular health, digestive health, and will give your dog healthy coat!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - One of the more affordable options for your dog - olive oil is just as healthy for dogs as it is for humans. Not only will it give your dog a healthy skin and coat, but it also supports a healthy heart.
  • Other Options Include: Pumpkin Seed Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil
  • Feed Sparingly: Canola Oil

Seeds are a great source of healthy fats for both humans and dogs. They're a great substitute for oils or are a great addition to any meal. Too much fat in the diet will cause your dog to gain weight and may cause an upset stomach - so don't give them too much oils and seeds together. Some seeds have better or different nutritional values than others - so make sure you're rotating seeds in their diet for optimum nutrition.

  • Chia Seeds - Chia seeds are a true super food. Not only do they contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, they're also high in protein, calcium, and boron, which aids in absorbing calcium into the bones.
  • Pumpkin Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds are a natural source of unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamins C, D, E, K and most Vitamin-B's. They also contain calcium, phosphorous and potassium.
  • Unhulled Sesame Seeds - Always buy unhulled sesame seeds! They're an amazing source of calcium and also offer manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber.
  • Other Options Include:  Flax Seed Meal, Hemp Seeds, Peanut Butter, Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Butter, Tahini

People choose to consume different Herbs and Spices for taste or for medicinal purposes and dogs are no different. When creating recipes for your canine friend, try adding small amounts of herbs and spices to enhance flavor or to add special nutrients.

  • Cinnamon - Not only does cinnamon smell and taste great, it has many health benefits, as well. An anti-inflammatory, cinnamon is great for senior dogs struggling with arthritis. Don't feed them too much though. Excess consumption of cinnamon can cause liver damage in both dogs and humans.
  • Mint Mint is effective for indigestion, dog bad breath, canine flatulence and dog motion sickness. Never use extracts though. Only the fresh herb.
  • Parsley - Parsley freshens dog breath in addition to providing some great phytochemicals. It also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B vitamins, iron and something called limonene (an oil that kills bad mouth bacteria).
  • Other Options Include: Cilantro, Rosemary, Sage, Turmeric
  • NEVER Feed: Ground Pepper, Chives, Cocoa, Mace, Nutmeg, Onions/Onion Powder, Paprika, Added Salt

These next few things are fun Extras to occasionally add to a dog's meal to boost flavor and nutritional value.

  • Ginger  In small amounts, ginger can help prevent heart disease, colitis, bronchitis, and can also help your dog with motion sickness (car sickness), nausea, and inflammation problems like arthritis.
  • Kelp - an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iodine, selenium, and iron. Kelp helps strengthen the immune system, reduce arthritis pain, and fight infections.
  • Nutritional Yeast - adds a cheesy taste to meals and treats while adding additional B-vitamins.
  • Unsweetened Plain Vegan Yogurt - Active cultures known as probiotics help keep the bad bacteria away! Fortified vegan yogurt may improve gut function and contains a number of nutrients including calcium.
  • Wheat Germ -  Wheat germ contains high levels of B complex, which can boosts a dog's immunity. It is also high in vitamin E, which can help prevent against heart disease and cancer.
  • Wheat Grass - Wheatgrass contains enzymes that help digestion in dogs. These enzymes also help to metabolize nutrients. In addition, wheatgrass can also help prevent tumors from forming in dogs' digestive tract.

Some people choose to give their dogs certain Supplements to ensure they're receive all the vitamins and minerals they need. While the only supplement I give Keeva is Vegedog - I've listed some other great options that you might be interested in trying for your dogs.

  • Vegedog -  Vegedog is an amazing supplement that contains three essential nutrients that would be hard to find in a homemade vegan diet for you dog: taurineL-carnatine, and vitamin B-12. I would never make homemade food without this supplement!
  • Cranimals -  Cranimals is a whole-food anti-oxidant supplement for dogs that's made from organic cranberries, which contain proanthocyanidins which inhibit the bacteria Escherichia coli that is responsible for 80-90% of urinary tract infections. PAC’s may also support dental health by discouraging the growth of plaque on teeth and gums as well.
  • Digestive Enzyemes - Digestive enzymes increase the absorption of vital nutrients, including essential fatty acids, by up to 71%. This increased absorption provides natural relief for skin problems, digestive disorders, joint difficulties, allergies, bloating, lethargy, flatulence, coprophagia, immune disorders, dry or scaly hair and coat, excessive shedding, hairballs, and wound healing.
  • Green Mush -  Green Mush is unlike traditional multi-vitamin/mineral products as it is exceptionally absorbable and contains thousands of phytonutrients, protein, and amino acids.

Here's how an average meal for Keeva looks!

163 comments:

  1. great post! very informative! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jujuman -

      I do have cauliflower listed as a safe vegetable to feed your dog! Keeva loves cauliflower!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this post so much! Thank you for sharing!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. love this post.thank you for the detailed write up. i keep my pom some home made mush of grains, seeds and veggies and some of the vegan dog food. i need to pick u some supplements.
    I also started using some roasted sprouted beans and lentils for treats. he is crazy for some crunchy things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should try roasted beans and lentils for treats! I'm sure Keeva would love them!!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the info! I too have always been nervous about switching my dog to a completely vegan diet. She does get homemade food, but I am always conflicted when it comes to putting some type of meat in her food. Great links and recommendations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I know how nerve racking it can be. I really do think the food I'm making her is so much healthier than what she was eating before!

      Delete
  5. Holy Cow! Thank you so much for this post. Our pups are going to LOVE you. Three of them are vegan, one isn't. You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am SO excited I found this post. I'm in the transitional stages of becoming vegan, and realizing this is the direction I want to go in with my dog, too. I only have about $20 a month to spend on his food right now, so I'm thinking a mix of vegan dog food and some home cooked food is perfect for us. I love how you outlined it all!
    I do have a question, though, do you use any flea/tick/heartworm stuff on your dog? I'm not sure what my alternatives are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jess! I don't use any flea/tick/heart worm products with Keeva at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jess and Matthew - My sister and I are vegan and very conscious of the environment as well - we have been using a natural product called Wondercide Evolv Spray for our dogs and it works great for fleas and ticks. The person who developed it - did so b/c the traditional treatments were toxic to her dog and she wanted a healthy alternative. The Cedar scent smells great and the oil in it is moisturizing and not greasy. We've had very good results. You can go to Wondercide.com and see the spray and other products. ~ Cindi

      Delete
  7. Another question, you said your dog gets 4.5 cups of food a day - is that a total, as in, both her dry food and her fresh food combined? Or is that just the fresh food?
    I calculated for my dog's weight, and he will get 2 cups a day, but it seems like it's not much.. I'm wondering if that's just fresh, and if I should add some good quality dry as well.
    Any help would be much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4.5 cups a day would be if I was feeding her fresh food only. How much does your dog weigh?

      Delete
  8. what a well thought out and written post! i always say that our small pup wants to be vegan like me and my husband. she loves veggies so much that i've started giving her a mini "side salad" to eat along with her dinner. i always tell my husband that i want to transition her to a vegan diet but only after i've done extensive research to make sure i'm feeding her the best possible diet.

    this is such a great resource for me now. thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caitlin! I was the same way with Keeva. I didn't want to make any decisions about her diet until I did enough research. After about 2 years - I finally feel comfortable with feeding her a vegan diet!

      Delete
  9. My dog weighs about 75 pounds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you were feeding your dog fresh food only - you would have to feed him 3 cups minimum/4.5 cups maximum a day.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your help. I'm finally working on getting him to a vegan diet. I'm sick of all the bad stuff in dog food, and why not cook up extra beans, veggies and grains when that's the same stuff I'm already cooking for my family?
      I'm going to get the Vegedog supplement too.
      Thanks again for this great post!

      Delete
  10. I have three small dogs. They weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. I've been feeding the Vegedog supplement with a minimum of 1 cup of fresh food per dog each day. I am never sure if I am feeding too much or not enough. The 2-3% formula doesn't seem to be enough for smaller dogs. What are your thoughts? Also, it wasn't clear in your post if the veggies should be added cooked or raw. Thanks for all the great info!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Johanna! According to the 2%-3% rule - you should be feeding your dogs about 1/2 cup a day. If you look at kibble bags it usually says that for dogs between 5 and 10 lbs they should be eating between 1/2 - 1 cup of food a day. I wouldn't recommend feeding them more than 1 cup a day - they may start gaining weight! If 1/2 cup doesn't seem like enough, try 3/4 to 1 cup! Also - the veggies I give Keeva are mostly raw (unless it's pumpkin, squash, or sweet potatoes). I've heard smaller dogs have more trouble digesting vegetables - so I would recommend lightly steaming the veggies! Hope that helps!

      Delete
  11. Thank you for this spectacularly helpful post! Definitely re-posting as I continue my journey with my own vegan dog :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was under the impression that dogs are not meant to eat most dried beans/legumes, starches like rice and potatoes, nor grains. This was info from a naturopath vet. He said their systems don't digest these well and were never meant to be part of the dog's diet. He said carrots, green beans, pumpkin, other green veggies, sweet potato and some other veggies were good but definitely not parsley, raw garlic (because it causes anemia) and absolute NO wheat products (gluten). Gluten is apparently very, very harmful for dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Extremely helpful post! Our 15 year old dog has been primarily vegetarian for more than 5 years. Although we supplement her food on occasion with canned sardines, you've given me some great ideas to replace the sardines with. She loves coconut oil right out of the jar. In fact, when I'm coooking.....and she sees me reach for it.....she springs up. And her favourite snack is cucumber. Just TRY and make a salad in this house and NOT share with her!!! Thanks so much for doing the research and sharing the information— and our gorgeous hound Josie says thank you too!
    Sada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sada! I'm so glad you found the post helpful! Tell Josie I said "you're welcome!"

      Delete
  14. You forgot to mention that raisins (and I assume grapes) are very toxic for dogs. But, otherwise this sounds great! I will transition my dogs slowly to this diet by gradually adding it to what they are eating now, as I've found in the past that they can get very sick when changing their diet all at once. Thanks for the information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jerri! I actually included a link to a list of foods that are toxic to dogs right before I listed off the foods that are good for them. Raisins and grapes are on that list! If you ever have any questions - don't hesitate to ask!

      Delete
  15. What a great post. Ive been vegan about 18 months now & am at the point where I struggle feeding my dogs thier current home made meat plus diet. Your post will help me get my head around this next step. I'm wondering about two things, replacement for bones for teeth cleaning & any extra input for a dog with hip dysplasia. I have a 40kg ridgeback cross (hip issues) & a German sheppard. Both are around 8 years of age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading my post! I know how daunting it can be to start transitioning your dogs to a vegan diet - so if you ever have any questions - please don't hesitate to ask. As for a replacement for bones for teeth cleaning - my dog Keeva has a Zuke's edible dental bone every now and then and also gets her teeth sprayed with Petz Life Oral Care spray. I don't know much about hip dysplasia, but I do know that keeping your dog's weight in check is very important. Also giving them a comfortable and warm place to rest will help ease the pain. Supplementing with Glucosamine and Chondtroitin, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, MSM, or Hyaluronic Acid may also help your pup feel their best!

      Delete
  16. Thank you for this beautiful blog! I'm a 36-year vegan who was searching for new vegan dog food recipes for my 5-1/2 month old vegan Great Dane puppy and I came upon this great post! Well done! I especially appreciate the equation to calculate how much to feed your dog. I look forward to reading your future posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for visiting Vegan Heartland! If you ever have any questions - feel free to ask!

      Delete
  17. Thank you for this post. I'm currently looking into trying my dogs on a vegan diet and have bookmarked this for reference. Hope Keeva is thriving :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angela! Keeva's doing great! If you ever have any questions - just let me know!

      Delete
  18. What a great article! I am ditching the commercial dog foods after reading this. Thank you also from DJ and Molly, two hungry terriers who have been munching on my vegan leftovers for years :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura! I hope your pups love their new vegan food! If you ever have any questions let me know!

      Delete
  19. I have a pug that absolutely loves all veggies and a boxer that literally spits them across the room if I try to sneak them in his mouth. The pug then runs to pick up the poor dejected veggie and chomps it down.

    Have you ever put the rice and lentils into a slow cooker? And add the veggies half-way through? I'm thinking this might be an easy way to cook a couple of day's worth at a time.... What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never cooked Keeva's meals in a slow cooker, but I've wanted to give it a try. Usually her green veggies are raw, but I know cooking them helps dogs digest them easier.

      Delete
    2. So I've been using the slow cooker ever since. I make a week's worth at at time and keep it in the fridge for the week. This week it's pinto beans, quinoa, carrots, peas, zucchini, spaghetti squash, peas and corn. At the end I'll put in a heaping dollop of tahini paste, some nutritional yeast, and chia seeds. They love sweet potato, but I'm out this week....so this is what they get. It's never the same dish twice!

      Delete
    3. That sounds great! I'm sure Keeva would love it. I'll have to try the slow cooker method one of these days!

      Delete
  20. Thanks so much for this post. I am going to try it on my pup. I bought the vegedog supplement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Good luck on your journey with your puppy :) If you have questions - just ask!

      Delete
  21. Or check out the story of Piggy who was click here button rescued from the streets of the Dominican Republic and nursed back to health by eating a vegan diet!

    ReplyDelete
  22. In support of your knowledge, I can share that I talked to a homeopathic doctor after my beloved dog was diagnosed with severe arthritis. The homeopath said, 'take him off manufactured dog food immediately!'. I was giving him the expensive, 'good' manufactured food but I did as the doctor said and within days I could see a turnaround and it was obvious that my dog was no longer in pain!

    Reason? According to this homeopath, the pet food industry is in cahoots with the veterinarian industry to keep the animals sick by feeding them way more protein than they can handle!

    I've gone vegan recently and so will my dog, soon, thanks to your advice here. Thank you for the research work you have done and the sharing! Love and health to you and Keeva.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loa! I'm so glad your dog is feeling better. Unfortunately, I've had my suspicions about dry pet food and the some of the pet food companies. Most of them in are in the business purely for profit and don't care about their consumers. Obviously not all companies are like that though...they're are some really great dog food companies. They're also manufactured to make dog poop easier to clean up. That shouldn't be the main factor in creating a healthful food for dogs. I know Keeva is much healthier eating her homemade meals!

      Delete
  23. Thank you for confirming so much for me! :) I've been feeding my 3 small dogs vegan homemade food for about a year now. All of the sudden I'm getting nervous that maybe they are lacking something. I have them on Vegedog.. but of course if I take them to the vet they claim I'm still hurting my dogs. It just makes me nervous because I don't know if I'm doing it right or now. Sometimes my dogs seem kind of sore or they aren't jumping well all of the sudden, do I need to increase something in particular? I feed them vegedog about 1/4 a teaspoon once a day. Do I do it twice a day, one for each meal? Sorry for all the questions ha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I give Keeva her vegedog twice a day. I know how you feel though...when I first switched Keeva to a vegan diet I was paranoid about EVERYTHING. One day she was too skinny, the next day she was too fat. Maybe try to find a new veterinarian that is more on board with your dogs' diet. I was worried mine wouldn't, but the last time I took Keeva in - the doctor was totally fine with it! Good luck!

      Delete
  24. I felt sick feeding my dog food that i refused to eat. Suddenly i realised that i didn´t have to feed my pup animal based food, and that she too could join the rest of us in being Vegetarian and living a cruelty free life.

    Thanks for you awesome research and knowledge.
    Veronique

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad you like the post!

      Delete
  25. Hi Matthew,

    Sorry if somebody else has already asked this question, but I'm lazy and don't feel like skimming all the comments on this post as this seems to be a popular one. ;)

    I don't have a dog at the moment because our landlord won't allow it, but my husband and I do have a cat. I've been toying with the idea of switching him to a vegan diet for the past several months, but, like you, want to make sure I've done tons and tons of homework before I make the transition. Do you have any specific books, websites, etc., that you could recommend to me? I know there have been a couple books written on the subject but would like a "real life" recommendation.

    Thanks so much for the info and for all your wonderful recipes. I'm anxious to try them all! :)
    Nichole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Nichole!

      Nobody has asked that question yet - so don't worry! I've never had any experiences with vegan cats, but I'm told it's a little bit harder than having a dog on a vegan diet. Maybe check out the FAQ section of vegancats.com? I hope that helps!

      Delete
  26. I was loiking for something like this for ages! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you found it!

      Delete
  27. Are you still feeding v-dog brand food as well? I'm comparing store bought options. Are you happy with v-dog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I'm not. Keeva seemed to get small rashes on her belly when eating V-Dog. I'm assuming she was having some sort of allergic reaction. She now gets mostly homemade food with some Natural Balance Vegan Kibble.

      Delete
    2. I was interested in trying your idea of half V-Dog and half home prepared with Vegedog so went about getting it shipped to me here in Canada. Since then I have read about the controversial vitamin k supplement they add it scared me off from using the food. Now I'm on the hunt for another go-to kibble (if I home prepare all meals for 3 big dogs I will have to quit my job and do it full-time ... oh wait, then I won't be able to afford to feed us all ... but I digress ... :) Have you had any experience good or bad with Halo's vegan formula? It's getting slammed pretty good in the press but only because it doesn't contain meat - the protein sources and and ingredients look good to me.

      Delete
    3. Hey Wendy! Keeva loves Halo kibble too! The ingredients look really good too!

      Delete
  28. I'm very interested in switching my dog to a vegan diet. I have a 7 year old Bassett hound that has always had a sensitive stomach. It seems like 3 times a week I'm giving her pepto bismol to soothe her stomach. She rarely has a solid poop. I've gone to many vet's and they recommended many things. She is currently on science diet I/D which is for her gastro problem but it doesn't seem to be working. I can't stand to see my dog in pain any more. I was wondering if I can put a few bags of different beans in a crockpot with a few bags of vegetables and a bag of quinoa. Cook it up, then separate it into proportional tupperware then add oil and the vegedog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same problems with my 1yr old lab/boxer/mastiff mix. His poop was never solid, or he would be constipated, and he threw up all the time. I switched him to a vegan diet about two months ago and he is doing amazing. His poops are wonderful, it is easy for him to go, and no more diarrhea! He hasn't puked either. He is much more playful, always begging for attention. Plus his coat is shinier and thicker. I have been vegan for four years now, and I love it. So I decided to do some research and see if it would help my puppy. So far, he is doing fantastic!

      Delete
    2. Candice - You might be able to do that, but it sounds like you're not going to be giving her correct proportions all the time. Also - raw vegetables are a great source of nutrients and antioxidants which may get killed off if they're over cooked. Just something to consider!

      Delete
  29. Matt,
    So my dog has been on the vegan diet for a few weeks...and what a difference. I stopped giving her pepto (no need for it), her poops are solid you were right about the veggies so I make that fresh everyday. But for the beans and rice I cook about 5 lbs total then put then into individual jars and freeze and pull out 3 days worth in the fridge. Thank you for this website

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad your dog is doing well! I make large amounts of beans and grains for Keeva at the beginning of the week too. Not 5 pounds though! Thanks for the update!!

      Delete
  30. This is a really great blog Matthew. I am not sure about how much of what to mix to make for my Bostons. I have five. And do I add the supplements in the serving or the cooking? I know that is a lot to ask, but I have been looking for a vegan dog food. They are (3)9 years and (2) 11 year old's. I love them and want the best for them. I am so fed up with the necrovore attitude. Your Keeva is so beautiful. I love the name. How did this come? Thanks for all you do. Go vegan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marko! My sister actually named Keeva. She was originally her dog, but eventually became mine! Hopefully I can answer some of your questions.

      1. You add the supplements after the cooking process.
      2. How much you feed your dogs is based on their weight. Feed them 2-3% of their body weight every day. I have that written in the above post to help you figure that out.

      Delete
  31. Thanks for sharing all this information. I adopted a 9 year old shepherd mix from a rescue 2 months ago. They had written her off as having cancer with no tests, x-rays, etc. because she was losing weight and had chronic diarrhea. (She had lost 10 pounds in 9 months). I took her and fed her 2 - 3 times the amount of food she was getting and she gained weight in spite of the chronic diarrhea. X-rays, blood work and a few other tests came back ok, although x-rays showed slow digestion and lots of gas. Every food I tried gave the same results. After researching lots, I tried taking her off all dog food and giving her pasta/rice/potatoes/oats as a base with veggies. In 1 day her diarrhea started clearing up. Then I was afraid she was not getting the nutrition she needed so I tried limited ingredient dog food (Earthborn holistic). Diarrhea came back. I've tried the veggie starch mix the last 4 days with added ground turkey and it didn't work. Now, I'm going to try your suggestions.Thanks again! ~debbie heineman

    ReplyDelete
  32. I do have a question. I purchased ingredients today to start cooking the bean,brown rice and veggie mix. But it doesn't look like it would be enough calories. Rosie weighs about 50 pounds and from what I have gathered online, needs 937 calories a day. It looks like the mix would be about half that. Am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the recipe you came up with? I came up with a basic recipe of lentils, oatmeal, pumpkin, kale, coconut oil, and chia seeds. The calorie count was 981 calories.

      Delete
  33. I came up with black beans (1.5 cup and 140 calories), brown rice (3/4 cup and 150 cal), zucchini, squash and a bit of spinach (3/4 cup veggies and 30 calories). It is 2-3 cups a day for a 50# dog. Right? I bought extra virgin olive oil but did not add that to my calculations. The oil would be 120 calories per tablespoon. ~deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep that's right. I did 3 cups a day when I was calculating it. Also - I usually add chia or hemp seeds to keeva's meals to make sure she's getting her omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. That also adds calories!

      Delete
  34. I did not buy chia seeds and thought that was to be used if not using oil. ? The mix as is - is only 440 calories (140+150+30+120). ???
    Thanks, deb

    ReplyDelete
  35. Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Thanks for visiting!!

      Delete
  36. Matt, Here's what I've been doing for the last few days. I'm going by the calorie content instead of the quantity method. I'm giving Rosie the veggie mix I got from your suggestions for her lunch and dinner (2 cups each meal). In addition, I'm cooking her breakfast. Today she had 2 cups oatmeal with blueberries. Because she has had stomach issues going on for over a year (way before I even met her), I'm feeding her 3 times a day. Maybe I'll eventually get around to twice a day. I'm also giving her baked sweet potato slices for treats. I want to start her on a probiotic and probably some sort of vitamin. I'm researching that as far as which one is reasonably priced and still good quality. Thanks so much for your blog. It has been very helpful! When I have time I'm going to check out the people part too! My daughter is vegan. She's a senior at OSU! Again.... thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds good! Just make sure you're adding beans, lentils, or some other form of high protein food to make sure she's getting enough. I'm giving Keeva Plant Enzymes and Probiotics which you can get here: http://store.veganessentials.com/plant-enzymes--probiotics-for-dogs-and-cats-by-animal-essentials-p2064.aspx Also - I would strongly suggest getting VegeDog vitamin mix!

      Delete
    2. I'll check those out. Thanks a lot! ~deb

      Delete
    3. OK. So both the products you recommended are reasonably priced. Have you checked to be sure the products are good quality from a reputable company? My vet wanted Rosie on Purina FortiFlora. Each packet costs a little over $1 a day. If you've already checked these things out, you're saving me the time and stress! So.. ( I know I talk too much... my kids tell me) if you researched these products and compared and have heard good things, I'll order them today. :) Sorry I'm so difficult. This has been quite an ordeal trying to determine what to give Rosie because of her food allergies. Very stressful and tiring. Thanks again. ~deb

      Delete
    4. I did my research before giving them to Keeva - so I know they're good quality products. I guess I wouldn't recommend the Purina FortiFlora. First of all the first ingredient is animal digest....Yuck. Second of all - I don't think the product is all natural. I really don't want Keeva eating anything artificial. Third - the one that I recommended also contains digestive enzymes which help break down plant matter in the digestive tract and will help your dog get the most nutrition out of her food. Don't worry about asking too many questions! I'll answer as many as I can :)

      Delete
  37. I give Kyle acana as I'm too worried about him going completely vegetarian. He has cottage cheese and flaxseed oil a few days a week and chicken cooked in coconut oil with green veg and carrots the other days, mixed with acana. I may still carry on with the acana as I know he gets all the nutrients he needs, but after reading this I can give him a few whole vegetarian days.

    Thank you, this is really helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  38. This post is very informative. thank you for taking time to post.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'd been considering switching my dogs to a vegan diet and after reading this post, I'm convinced! Thanks for sharing your extensive research!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! I'm so glad you liked the post! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  40. Very thorough information! Thanks for posting...

    ReplyDelete
  41. very intersting article.. actually i have a question. I have a 6 month old boxer and i want to know if all the above said applies to a boxer's diet too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - although I think a puppies nutritional needs differ from adult dogs. However I don't know much about feeding puppies a vegan diet. Maybe someone at this group may know: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegandognutrition/

      Delete
  42. First of all...this information is extremely helpful,I can't thank you enough!! 2 days ago we adopted a 6 week-old Jack Terrier-Chihuahua mix puppy. We are Vegan and want to raise her Vegan as our child is being raised. I ordered a bag of V-Dog only to realize is for adults. My question is, how this information applies to puppies, I'm assuming is the same only adapted to her weight. But what about veggies, fruits, seeds, oils,grains and cooked meals...how should all this be given/introduced to her?...One by one...during several days?...Can I still give her tiny portions od the dry food,in this case V-Dog, although it's for adults? Right now we are so afraid introducing so many different foods may upset her stomach. Thank you so much for caring and helping each of us making this transitionan easier one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked my post!! Unfortunately I don't know much about raising a vegan puppy. There are some people who may be able to answer your questions here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegandognutrition/

      Delete
  43. Thank you so much for your post, I have a dog with inflammatory bowel disease, and any form of meat will make her turn tail and run. Lately all I have been able to feed her is green beans,rice, carrots and peas. I am going to try to mix up something from this post, and see if it will make her happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne! I hope your pup feels better!!

      Delete
  44. Why should it always be unhulled sesame seeds? Just wondering bc I have a big bag of the unhulled..
    I love this post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meghan!! They don't HAVE to be unhulled - it's just that the hull contains a lot of nutrients including calcium!

      Delete
  45. Hey Matthew,
    Thanks for the awesome post!
    As a vegan chef I can't wait to try out making my own organic, healthy and TASTIE meals for my dog.
    I thought I would try making big batches then freezing it in daily portions in zip lock bags.
    My question is what is the ratio you use the vegedog suppliment. Say I made 10lbs of food how much vegedog would you add to that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jeremy! The amount of vegedog corresponds directly to the weight of your dog. The directions should come with the supplement once you buy it! I usually add it to Keeva's food right before she eats it (not when I'm making it all up and freezing it!)

      Delete
  46. Thank you for your well rounded research!
    My dog is a approx 7 years old, I got him when he was 2, his a great dane + bull mastiff. I am a vegan and eat a majority of raw foods, I wanted him to experience the benefits I do and live as his intended, so his diet has been veggies and dry food, recently I changed from dry food - for ethical and health reasons, I have rescue horses - the main ingredient in many commercial dog foods :( to raw meat - from a self sufficient neighbour who I know treats his animals with kindness and respect from birth to death.
    Something really interesting and upsetting has began to happen.
    Bruno is a rescue, he was used in dog fights and possibly used for pig hunting. These ' people ' tried to kill him by beating him with an iron pole his head was split open, jaw, nose, 2 legs, ribs were broken and left for dead - he was in a coma for three weeks. He was 20kg underweight. The vets say these 'people ' only feed the dogs when the dogs made a kill, the feed was the wild pigs the dogs were used to hunt.
    Since feeding him the raw meat he seems to experience periods of what I would describe as post traumatic disorder. He does have some brain damage - mainly with his space association, his is a very happy, healthy dog :) - He loves the meat, but it seems to be effecting him deeply on a psychological level. It's very upsetting, he comes to me in pain and confusion, with nervous tricks and unstoppable salivation, scared to leave my side. I have now decided to feed him vegan. It is interesting and heartbreaking that after all this time there still seems to be a few triggers that touch some memory of his ' past life '. Sorry for the long comment, after reading your post and the comments above I felt safe to share. Maybe people have some helpful insights or shared experience. Thanks again for taking the time and really helping Bruno and I on this new path :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor Bruno :( Some people just need to be locked up and have the key thrown away! His PTSD makes total sense though. The meat is obviously a trigger for him that brings up AWFUL past experiences. I hope Bruno enjoys his vegan food!!

      Delete
  47. I have a 2 yr old male lab. I give him cooked broken wheat and moong and cooked oats in the afternoon. When you say 6 cups you mean cooked 6 cups. What should be the consistency of the food. Bruno seems to be hungry all the time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - 6 cups cooked. The consistency of Keeva's food differs depending on what the meal consists of. Does Bruno seem to be losing weight? If so - feed more or try giving him some high quality vegan kibble.

      Delete
  48. I may have missed it but do you have a specific recipe we could use as a guideline?? I'm very keen to put my baby girl (1yr old French bukkdog) on a vegan diet as I'm vegan! Also she has IBD so I think eliminating meat etc might help restore her gut!
    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a specific recipe to follow since your dog's meal is based on his or her weight. This post is a guildine to create your own meals based on feeding your dog 2%-3% of their total body weight! Hope that helps!

      Delete
  49. It is good to have the right food for your dog.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am so happy with all this information for feeding my four saved stray dogs here in Roumanian mountains.Romania has a big problem with the stray dogs,all coming from the uncaring of the people.Sometimes I think that if the people don't care for each other why should I expect them to care for the animals.But it is a long story.I became vegan since 6 month ,after being vegetarian for almost 20 years.You can imagine how difficult it is for me to go to the near by slaughter house to buy meat for my dogs to mix with rice and vegetables.I will try for sure a vegan diet,but living here it will be more difficult to find the supplements you are talking about.For sure an alternative I will look for.I feed them twice a day,dry quality food in the morning and rice+ in the late afternoon.When I have time I make them cookies,but I will try the baked sweet potatoes.They of course like crunchy treats.For cleaning their teeth,I give them bones once in a while,which they love.But if I switch to vegan diet,I read somewhere of a mixture of neem powder with baking soda for rubbing on their teeth .Thanks again for all this good info.Greetings to all the animal lovers.Simona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Simona! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

      Delete
  51. Thank you for the wonderful info. My boxer Brindy has many allergies and after trying every limited ingredient dog food on the market including the prescription ones, I decided to go vegan with her. It has only been 2 weeks, so she is still biting on her feet but not as bad as before. I just found your info and made a batch last night with pinto beans, yams, cranberries, quinoa, broccoli and some ginger and cinnamon. They absolutely loved it. They stood there drooling while I was cooking it. The male boxer Lil Boy also loves it. They tend to make a bit of a mess, but actually not as bad as with commercial food. They would scatter it all over the house. And one of the benefits of a vegan diet is that their poop does not stink and is easy to clean up. I most love the peace of mind that I know every ingredient that they are eating. I know that they are not eating ground up feathers and beaks, already dead animals and other disgusting stuff. They play like crazy and have tons of energy. Also, I noticed that after 2 weeks, the amount of food they consume per meal is decreasing or leveling off. At the beginning they were eating maybe 4 cups per mean,now we are down to about 2 per meal. And no gassiness at all. Thank you for your info, I have it all written out on a tablet that goes with me to the store. Thank you thank you,......Gayle, Brindy and Lil Boy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy your puppies love their new homemade food!! Thanks for sharing your story!

      Delete
  52. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  53. This seems like a good forum to ask this question - does anyone know of a vegan option for preventing heart worm disease?

    I'm not ready to just stop giving my dogs the preventative medicine but I hate that I'm choosing prevention of a disease for my companion pets over the slaughter of a beautiful creature that I never met...

    I'm pretty confident that the only two non-vegan items I still spend money on are my car tires and the monthly heart worm prevention medicine I feed my dogs... I'd really like to find vegan alternatives for those two things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take a look at this post!! http://sablessupper.blogspot.com/2008/04/heartworm-pills-for-vegan-dogs.html

      Delete
  54. Hi, Mathew. Could you please share why you have decided it best to feed tofu specifically sparingly?

    My understanding is that tofu is much more digestible for dogs than whole soybeans and other whole legumes and experience has been that dogs like it. Tofu is also very versatile to prepare different ways, either bland or easily taking on different flavors with different textures/firmness.

    The positives I know for it are

    1) tofu contains substances that are distinctively healing and soothing to dogs' digestive tract, and for this reason has been used by UC Davis Vet School nutrition center for dogs with gastrointestinal illnesses and recommended by DVM PhD Donald Strombeck (of UC Davis) in his book Home Prepared Diets for Dogs and Cats.

    2)tofu contains powerful anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer substances such as isoflavones genistein and diazidein, useful in not only reducing cancer risk but also dietary therapy treating active diagnosed or undiagnosed (such as internal) cancer.

    3)higher protein with fat than most other legumes, like lentils, making it easier for dogs to have a moderate to higher protein and fat diet composition for dogs that need it

    The negatives I'm aware of are either limited to GMO, non-organic tofu or the questions left by the survey study analysis of vegetarian dogs (sample of a few hundred) from PETA where vegetarian/vegan dogs consuming soy were found to be in lesser health than vegetarian dogs that did not eat soy products. From what I could see, there were several problems with deciding that soy was the culprit. First, at the time of the study, per PETA, the majority of vegetarian commercial dog foods contained soy, such that the vast majority of dogs in the study ate soy, whereas dogs not eating soy might have eaten homemade fresh foods diets. This is comparing apples and oranges, and raises the questions of whether it was the soy
    at issue or simply that homemade fresh foods diets contribute to better health than a commercial kibble, whether various forms of soy fed were the problem (e.g. we know dogs have trouble digesting whole soybeans and there are concerns with isolated poteins having excitotoxicity, much like MSG does), and whether non-organic toxic GMO and Roundup sprayed Monsanto style soy was the problem (there is evidence of severe carcinogenic and toxic effects on rats, other animals fed this vs. organic non-GMO soy).

    I don't think feeding excessive amounts of soy or relying on soy as the primary protein source daily is good idea. Like most things, I think moderation is probably a good idea with incorporating soy into our own diets and our pets'.

    But I am curious as to your reasons for placing it in the category of "feed sparingly" and not placing it in the list of protein sources to rotate through like any other.

    I'm interested in using the higher protein organic Sproutofu, Wildwood brand or Trader Joe's (which I believe is Wildwood), 14g protein per 3 oz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had hoped for a reply here . . . too bad.

      Delete
    2. Hey Cindy! Sorry about the delay, but I've been neglecting this post a little bit since I've been so busy with a few other projects. Thank you so much for the research you've done on feeding tofu to dogs. The things that I have read about feeding soy to dogs was to limit their intake. I'll have to do some more of my own research in the future and will possibly edit my post. Thanks again!

      Delete
  55. My dog just recovered from worms, she also just had 9 pups. She used to be a healthy 60 pound pit/lab mix but now she is 44 pounds and unhealthy. I need a recipe to make her gain wight and help her pups

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Haylee - Hopefully you've consulted your veterinarian on the best way to help your dog gain more weight. I'm not a veterinarian or a nutritionist so I'm unsure of which course to take.

      Delete
  56. My dog was recently sick...really not sure if he ate something that he shouldn't have or not, but naturally his body was getting rid of it. (throwing up all night)...Sadly, I took him to the vet and did bloodwork and he has really low blood level protein...low red blood cell count...the vet thinks he has an auto immune disease. BUT....i have fed him on a vegan diet w/ prozyme enzyme, vegedog, and everything else above :/ I don't blame that...i really believe he's struggling w/ something else...but I'm worried now on how to cure him naturally. I know you're not on here to be a "homeopathic vet", but do you think I'm doing something wrong? Or I can better him in any way? I'm studying everything I can. :( I'm just a little unsure on what to do...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure. What autoimmune disease does your veterinarian believe he has? Does he think it was caused by his vegan diet?

      Delete
  57. Hi:

    I just brought home a new puppy he received his last set of puppy shots today !!! My previous dog ( my soul mate ) was feed mostly vegetables and thankfully live along life we were very blessed. I was horrified today during my Vet visit. My Vet told me I would be putting my puppy in danger if I do not give him Animal Protein. I went to a local Whole Foods and found myself buying dry food organic brown rice and chicken...I cannot bring myself to open the bag. I don't eat any meat ...I do not feel right giving my dog this. Afterwards I went to the Pet Store scanning the shelves for vegetarian pet foods
    not able to find any because I was told Puppies will not do well without animal protein...
    I want to return the food I bought today...my Vet told me for the first year I must give animal protein or my dog can develop rickits...OMG and the speech he gave me about heart worm scared me silly. I know of vegetable diet saved my other dog . Should I stick with my veggies and give my new puppy the veggies and supplements. Tonight I have to admit I gave him a fish puppy food to ease my mind,,,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel bad about giving your new puppy a meat based meal. No one here is judging you - we're all here to support you. I have absolutely no problem with people who want to give their dogs meat. I think it's natural for dogs to have meat, but I know it's completely possible for them to thrive on a plant based diet. Most things I have read say that puppies should not be fed a vegan diet in their first year of life. I would listen to your veterinarian on this one.

      Delete
  58. I have been wanting to start my dog on a homemade, vegan diet for a long time but I hadn't made the time to research it yet. THANK YOU for this great bumch of info! I will be starting my dog on a healthier diet tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. Very innovative information wrote here. Especially the equation to calculate how much to feed for a dog.
    Dog food

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I'm glad you like it! I worked very hard on it!!

      Delete
  61. Thank you for such a wonderful article! I am looking to switch my dogs to a vegan diet after years of skin allergies. I don't see an actual recipe within your post. Maybe I missed it?? If not, would you please share an example of an exact recipe you would use? I want to make sure I get this right! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jen! The reason I don't have a specific recipe posted is because you need to create your own recipe based on your dog's weight. That's why I've included the calculation in the post to figure out the amount of food your dog should have based on their weight. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  62. I recently started making my own vegan dog food. It contains brown rice, lentils, red quinoa and a ton of veggies(broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, kale, carrots). I blend everything up so it's more easily digestible and before serving I add ground flax, nutritional yeast, vege-dog, digestive enzymes and a multi-vitamin). They love it but one of my dogs gets gas. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have been giving her about 1/2-1 apple per day in addition to 1-2 raw carrots. I did see your note about fruits so not sure if that's the issue.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure what the issue could be. Did your dog have issues with gas before you started feeding her a vegan diet? I know a lot of the foods you listed contain sulfur which, when broken down in the intestines, causes gas. It doesn't make it unhealthy...just unpleasant!

      Delete
  63. Hi, Matthew...I'm italian, thank you for your blog. I have had so many difficults to find something interesting and detailed about vegan dog food. Just some questions about. I converted my dog's weight from Kg. > Lbs (it weighs about 20 Kg > 45lbs) and then I calculated how much to feed it with your equation ( 2% = 6,42 oz > 182 gr - 3% = 9,52 oz > 270 gr). I'd like to feed my dog twice a day that means 100 gr (3.53 oz) of food for each meal but I have no idea about the right proportion of the different ingredients which compose this meal (f.e. how many beans or oats or quinoa?). The last question: is the supplementation of L-Carnitine and Taurine always recommended and how much? Thank you and I'm sorry for my bad english :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Simona! Here's a map of what your dog's meal should look like:

      Half should be beans/legumes
      1 quarter should be whole grains
      1 quarter should be green and orange veggies
      Plus any additional things you'd like to add (like seeds)

      The amount of l-carnitine or taurine you supplement your dog's diet with is going to be based upon their weight also. Check the label of the product you're buying - it should give directions on there!

      Delete
  64. Thanks for this article, Matt! I have gone back and forth so many times about switching my dog to a vegan diet - all those people talking about how dogs are wolves and all that. But I feel pretty strongly that I must do this and I think he will be fine. I'm gonna print the info out and put it up on the fridge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome Lisa!! Good luck with everything! Let me know if you have any questions!

      Delete
  65. Thank you so much for this post! I have been vegan for about a year and a half now, and was considering switching my puppy (his name is Tofu) to a vegan diet, but i wasn't sure if that would be ok for his tiny little stomach (he is a Maltese). This morning while I was drinking my morning Nutriblast green smoothie, Tofu wouldn't leave me alone - he wanted a taste! So I let him have a sip and now he wants more!! (don't worry, I didn't let him finish it for me) I don't know why but that made me so happy - He likes greens! (if only it were this easy to convert humans!) Tofu is turning 1 year old in a week, so i thought I should look into it and see what possibilities he would have. Your post has been so informative! I'm going to be referring back to it a lot! I may even have to print it out and keep it in my recipe box, or maybe I should make a recipe box devoted to my little Tofu! I cannot thank you enough!
    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Nneekers! Tofu is such a cute name for a dog!! Good luck with everything!

      Delete
  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi Matthew,

    Great post man.

    Just had a question, is there any alternate to yeast because here in India dont have similar products and the companies like V-dog dont ship out side USA-canada.
    Could there be any natural alternate way to extract B12?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Have you heard of this product? It looks like they ship to most countries!

      https://www.vegepet.com/vegeyeast.html

      Delete
  68. Hi Matthew,
    Thanks so much for your post! My husband has been vegan for over 22 years and myself for over 8 years...So, we just adopted a dog and this is perfect for her meals... :-) The only question I have is about the chia seeds: Should I just add them to her meal as they come in the bag, or should I powder them before? I heard that same as flax seeds, it is not recommended to give them seeds, but that they should be given like in a flax seed meal form instead...
    Please advise. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to the research I've done - you shouldn't have to grind chia seeds before consuming them. However - I usually grind them anyway just to make them easier to digest for my dog. Flaxseeds FOR SURE need to be ground before eating them. Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Yes, Matthew! Thanks so much for your quick reply and advice! We will grind the seeds as well :-)
      Please keep this blog going which has been a huge help for us and for so many people around the world! Thank you again!

      Delete
    3. Hi Matthew, reading all the posts above, i would like to ask you about my dog. She is a 5 years old doberman sufering from leismania for 3 years, do you think vegan diet would help her?

      Delete
    4. Hey Misha!

      I'm not really familiar with leismania and am not a doctor. If you have specific questions about your dog's illness I would consult a veterinarian or dog nutritionist!

      Delete
  69. I am BEYOND grateful to you for writing this post and for taking the time to answer questions. I have scoured the Internet for useful information about switching my dog to a vegan diet. Your post is by far the most helpful and resourceful. I read every comment and I am pretty sure that the two questions I have have not been addressed yet. First, you mention cranberries and how they help with urinary tract health. I looked at the Cranimals supplement and thought it looked good, but I can't really afford that extra expense right now. Do you feed Keeva cranberries or have her urine tested? Do you think this something that should be addressed only if my dog develops an infection? Second, you mention not to give seeds to close to a high protein meal. That confused me because I thought all of the meals are supposed to be high protein. What about seeds and oil? You said you give Keeva oil at every meal. Do you recommend that I skip the oil if I put seeds in a meal? Lastly, I am terrified that I'm going to poison my dog if I overdo it on the mint or parsley. Can you recommend a specific amount per meal or per pound of dog? Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Amy! Thanks so much for your kind words! I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can! I don't regularly give Keeva cranberries and I don't have her urine tested. I put that information in the post just in case any pet parents are concerned about pH balance and are looking for some ways to help their dogs. About the seeds - I don't think I said to not give them too close to a high protein meal. I did however say that about fruit. About the mint or parsley - I would only add it as a flavor enhancer occassionally if I had some in my fridge. I wouldn't have it as a regular part of my dog's diet.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  70. Fabulous information. Thanks ever so much.
    I have been home cooking for my 3 Papillons for all their lives - and they have done very very well on that, but lately I have been trying to go vegan myself, and started looking into vegan options for the dogs as well. Even if they only get 1 of their 2 meals a day in the vegan style, I am still making a difference for the animals raised for slaughter.
    Such a horrid practice.
    Are you aware of the work of Gary Yourofsky? Here is a link to his fabulous speech.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=es6U00LMmC4
    And this is the link to the Q&A session he mentions; it includes more detail about the abuse cows and calfs in the dairy industry suffer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=es6U00LMmC4
    Just another way to help spread the vegan word!

    Thank you ever so much for your detailed article! I too will be cooking vegan for my pooches !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your appreciation...and the links!

      Delete
  71. This is the best blog post on veggie dog nutrition I've seen! I currently feed my dogs either v-dog (when budget allows) or natural balance veg dog food (when money is tight.) My golden retriever has been veggie for about 3 years now. In fact, he breaks out in hot spots if he eats meat so this diet is better for him. I've recently converted my senior dog and my husband's dog to veggie as well. I do supplement their diet with green mush, enzymes and eggs from my neighbour's happy chickens. (Yes, I realize eggs aren't vegan.) But I'd like to make fully homemade meals. Thanks so much for all the information!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I honestly don't have a problem if people (or dogs!) want to eat eggs from their happy chickens. I'm sure your dogs love the occasional treat!

      Delete
  72. I'll echo the sentiments of many posters before me: This was the most thorough information I was able to find online about preparing vegan home cooked meals for a dog. Thank you very much! We just rescued a chihuahua and I was worried she would turn up her nose at a meal without meat. Her first dinner was of garbanzos, quinoa, asparagus and carrots with olive oil. She gobbled it right up! I have been making my own meals from the same ingredients (just more thoroughly seasoned). I think I might end up eating healthier just because I will be cooking for my chi :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I felt the same way when I started cooking for Keeva! I always seem to have more healthy ingredients on hand! I'm so glad your rescued chihuahua loves her homemade food!

      Delete
  73. Royal Canin is an excellent product. This food focus totally on the animal, with the aim of improving daily life and ensuring better health for dogs through nutrition.

    Royal Canin can offer unique nutritional answers that will guarantee :

    * An optimal digestibility and palatability
    * The proper nutrients and level of nutrients to meet the energy requirements
    * The proper nutrients and level of nutrients to maintain a healthy skin and coat
    * Adapted kibbles (textures and shapes) for the jaws of the dog to make them easier to prehend and chew.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I've gone back and forth making vegan home-cooked meals for our 2 dogs, using your guidelines for the past 2 years or so. I would feed one meal/day home-cooked and one meal V-dog. For the past several months, life was really hectic and I had to rely on V-dog. However, recently, one of our dogs was diagnosed with IMHA (an auto-immune disease). We're still struggling with it now (he's on a ton of harsh meds). I attribute the onset of this disease to allergies (he's had ongoing allergies since puppy-hood), so I recently had him tested for food sensitivities (something called Nutriscan). The results just came back and he's sensitive to so many things (rice, oats, meats, etc...) many of which are found in V-dog. So, now I'm back to home-cooking and using your post as my guide (trying to use only the ingredients that he's not sensitive to). Just wanted to say thanks and I'm hoping with a good diet we can get this disease under control!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully your little guy starts to feel better very soon!

      Delete