My Vegan Dogs

As an adult I have been a guardian of five dogs.  When I went vegetarian about 20 or so years ago and announced to my then husband that we were going vegetarian one of the first things he mentioned was the dogs.  Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to go vegetarian if we were still buying meat for the dogs?  Yes, I answered hence why even the dogs went vegetarian.  Amber & Topaz took to a vegetarian diet without a problem. And vegetarian back then and even now can be expensive as compared to meat-like dog food.  I say meat like because one never knows what is really going into commercial dog food (more on this later).

Now many people might be inclined to say that it’s not right for dogs to be vegetarian/vegan because in nature they eat meat.  That is correct in nature, out in the wild a dog would be a predator and would eat smaller animals, much like wolves and foxes do.  But my dogs do not live out in the wilds of nature.  They live in doors.  They have doggie beds out in the family room and in the evening Missy sleeps with me on my bed and my little ones sleep on a twin bed, courtesy of grandma, in a smaller bedroom.  They get healthy treats all day long. They get chewable toys and are even allowed to sit on the chaise in the living room.  They do not live a natural life but rather a pampered pooch spoiled life.

That being said dogs are not just carnivores.  No , dogs are omnivores.

“Thousands of generations and selective breeding that made domestic dogs more adaptable to life with humans was responsible for the evolution that today differentiates dogs from their ancient ancestor.  Among the most prevalent difference between dogs and wolves that resulted is gastrointestinal physiology and how it impacts overall gastrointestinal and other organ health.  In the process of canine domestication, humans essentially their early more wolf-like canine companions what they ate, and over successive generations, the species adapted to a more omnivorous diet.” [1]

I went Vegan in Jan 2013.  Missy was my only dog that did not take to a vegetarian diet.  When I got Missy at 3 months old she turned her nose up at vegetarian food.   She would only eat meat based foods so although I was vegetarian I gave her meat, albeit fish or chicken I went as low as possible on the food chain.  But when you go vegan what the dogs eat begin to weigh on your conscious. I had a dilemma as I fully embraced my veganism–what do I do about my dog’s diet?  In March of 2013 I got my two puppies so I had three dogs to feed and was quite torn about what to do.   So again I went low on the food chain and fed my dogs fish and sweet potatoe dog food both canned and kibble.  And every time I feed them my vegan brain and heart felt conflicted.

I was finally pushed over the edge to feed my dogs vegan after hearing Gary Yourofsky’s ( my vegan hero/warrior) speech at Georgia Tech University.

He was asked by one of the student’s isn’t it hypocritcal to tout a vegan diet and yet feed your dogs meat? It was his answer to that student that finally convinced me that my dogs would be healthier on a vegan diet.

Mr. Youofsky talked about the practice of  meat rendering plants.

“A rendering plant is a processing operation where dead animals are recycled into products such as human food, pet food and industrial materials. They accept and collect animals condemned at slaughterhouses (diseased or dying livestock or poultry with ID tags still attached), slaughterhouse waste, road kill, euthanized cats and dogs from animal shelters and veterinarian offices (including their flea collars containing toxic pesticides, ID tags and a variety of powerful drugs), horses, dead animals from farmers, dead zoo animals, rats, mice, spoiled and unsold grocery store meat still in their plastic and Styrofoam wrappings, butcher shop trimmings that the butcher did not see as fit to sell and even used restaurant grease. The dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals are classified in the trade as 4-D meat.” [2]

So in essence when you read any of the following words; meat meal, bone meal, animal fat, tallow, animal digest, digest, poultry by-product meal and poultry by-products there is a very good chance that you are feeding your dog dead ground up dogs and cats from the pound.

Mad cow disease came about from feeding cows dead cow parts.  Need I say more?

And all the reasons mentioned above is why my three dogs are vegan, even their treats.

In following posts I will go into details as to their exact diet and the types of treats I buy for them.


8 thoughts on “My Vegan Dogs

  1. Your story mirrors mine very closely. Five dogs and veg more than 20 years ago (around 25 for me I think – too long ago to remember). As I’ve said on your other post, feeding them vegetarian/vegan in the UK was easy, here it is harder. And while I don’t agree with feeding them a complete food containing chicken, they seem pretty happy with it, and healthy, touch wood. Finding veg, let alone vegan treats and food here is just impossible 😦

    • I am not sure where you live now, but I live in Podunk, Ohio and I have successfully found many vegan treats for my dogs. I find them at places like BigLots and TJ Maxx and Tractor Supply Company. They are “accidentally” vegan treats like sweet potato fries, Fruitables dog treats, and Chiplets-Carrot biscuits. I have also bought horse treats for my dog– made with oatmeal, apples, cinnamon– and various types of dried fruits. Of course, they also like many fresh fruits and veggies that can be used as treats.

      • I live in Gibraltar and Spain. Friends in US have sent me brilliant treats as presents. Organic and vegan. The vanilla ones were delicious. I joke not, yes I tried them. Superb with coffee.

  2. My dogs are also vegan and they love it. The one dog I raised from a 3 month old puppy (now she is almost 7 years old) and she will not eat meat, even if offered to her (as evidenced by the fact that she snubbed the steak my father tried to feed her). The other dog is 8 years old and I have only had her for a year, but she transitioned easily (luckily) and she really enjoys her morning banana bite and any veggies I give her. Her health has improved a great deal since she began living with us too. The main part of their diet is V-Dog (, which I supplement with fresh veggies and fruits, our unwanted leftovers, and scraps.

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