My almost 6 year old Irish Terrier pup, Cooper has been a vegan in training for the past 9 months. Luckily, he took to the V-Dog brand, so I didn’t have much challenges with that. He’s always been a spoiled pup and likes his dry food mixed with some heated up, fresh food. This is a plus for my V-Dog budget since I can stretch out his stash, while saving money making his fresh food at home.
I usually buy a 30 pound bag every 3 months and give him one cup per day (half a cup for breakfast and half a cup for dinner). He gets half a cup of dry and half a cup of the homemade food twice a day. His fresh food varies from a potato or rice base with mixed veggies. Since our family is plant based and we try to cook whole plant based foods more often than not, I just bump up the portions of whatever we’re having for dinner and set some aside for Cooper, unseasoned. Although there are plenty of safe seasonings for pups, I only use nutritional yeast for him at the moment. I do have a goal to start making his fresh food more in bulk instead of relying on family dinner leftovers. Perhaps once I get into this habit, I’ll dress up his fresh food with some different spices.
I’ve been more cautious on his treats also being plant based. I have luck sometimes at Wal-Mart and Target finding accidentally vegan biscuit treats. I invest in V-dog long lasting bones (pictured above) when there’s a great deal to buy in bulk.
Of course there is always Pinterest as well, to get some homemade vegan dog treat recipes. Some non vegan treats slip through the crack when my husband buys them. I know that if I kept up with the treat supply, he wouldn’t take it upon himself to buy any, so I try not to nag him for it.
I advise anyone who is thinking of transitioning their companion animal to a plant based diet to do their research. There is plenty of evidence in favor of a plant based diet for dogs since they are omnivores (can eat both plants and meat). Cats are a bit more tricky since they are ultimately carnivores, but there are plenty of supplements and plant based diets that cater to cats needs and at the very least, worth looking into further.
Regardless, there are plenty of resources that mention just how un-fresh meat intended for pet food is. They literally separate the rotting corpses of these once beautiful, innocent beings and whatever they deem isn’t “suitable” for human consumption, is then sold to pet food companies. If you knew just how un-fresh pet food really is, trust me you’d explore better options for your furry family members.
At the end of the day, living a vegan lifestyle in a non vegan world will have its challenges. The transition can last months and sometimes even years for people and companion animals. As long as you make sure you’re doing your best while not being too hard on yourself, your and your family’s vegan journey will be more successful and enjoyable. One day and one treat at a time!