My dog eats vegan dog food. Have I lost my mind? Am I forcing my beliefs on my poor dog? Not at all! Let me explain.
Frankie is an 11-year-old rat terrier. Ever since I adopted him when he was five, I was interested in feeding him the healthiest food I could find. I started with a high-quality, human-grade, fish-based food, thinking I’d be avoiding factory-farmed meat. But fish is often factory farmed too. And the oceans are being depleted, so wild-caught is just as bad. Fish are sentient beings and I couldn’t justify it.
Later, I made Frankie homemade vegan meals, to which I added Vegedog, a powdered supplement especially made for dogs. Frankie loved it, but planning his meals was a lot of work. Besides, Frankie will eat anything. Cheap kibble, human food, garbage, cat poo. I felt like my culinary skills were being taken for granted.
Then I found V-Dog, a cruelty-free kibble. It’s free of wheat, corn, soy, fillers, GMOs–and of course animal products. Frankie loves it. He has lots of energy, and “clean up” is better too (by which I mean, good in, good out).
As for me forcing my beliefs on Frankie, here’s how I see it. In the wild (well, dogs are domesticated, but you know what I mean) dogs wouldn’t be eating prepackaged food. They wouldn’t be chemical-laden, not-fit-for-human-consumption castoff meat bi-products from factory farms. Reality is, most commercial dog food is crap. The parts of the animals that people don’t eat are sent to rendering plants for pet food. The diseased animals, the ones with tumors, even roadkill and euthanized cats and dogs, can end up in dog food.
In the wild, Frank would be a scavenger, an omnivore. He loves watermelon, but he won’t turn down meat. For him it’s not a moral issue. For me it is. I had a hard time aligning my vegan values with the fact that I bought him meat-based food. Heck, some pet food companies even test on animals. Luckily with V-dog, I don’t have to compromise.
There are other vegetarian dog foods on the market (like Evolution, Ami Dog, and Natural Balance vegetarian formula) and if you have a dog, I’d encourage you to try a few and find one that suits him or her best. I chose V-Dog because it’s a vegan-owned business and is recommended by a host of organizations, from veterinarians to animal sanctuaries.