Dog Food “Disclaimer”
Since I’ve started to blog recipes for dog food and treats with increasing frequency, I thought it might be wise to compile the following caveats on one page, rather than trying to include them in every single post. It’s nothing serious – really, “disclaimer” makes this page sound so much more ominous than it is – just a few notes on how and what I feed my dog-kids, foods and ingredients to avoid, and the like.

Please note that I’m not a veterinary expert or canine nutritionist, nor do I play one on the internets.

2006-10-01 - SecondDayHome-0029

A rare photo of all five of my dog-kids, all lined up on the couch and recliner, (mostly) all gazing out of the front window in one collective territorial display.
Left to right, we have: Kaylee, O-Ren, Jayne, Peedee and Ralphie.
Follow them on Twitter and Flickr, kay?

2011-09-07 - Five Plus Two Equals SEVEN! - 0023

Dogs #6 and 7, Mags and Finnick (and Kaylee in the background), on the day we brought them home. Don’t worry, the icky leather dog collars have since been replaced!
(Though not thrown away! I’m a sentimental sucker.)

“My” Vegan Dogs, “Your” Vegan Dogs

Currently, I am a guardian to five seven dogs: four six rat/fox/Jack Russell terrier mixes and a dachshund. (We welcomed dogs #6 and 7, Mags and her son Finnick, into our home in September 2011!) All are in good-to-excellent health: Ralphie suffers a slew of allergies, all of them related to environmental allergens and kept at bay with the help of regular antigen injections; Kaylee has some dental issues, the combination of poor genetics and neglect at the hands of her previous “owners,” as well as a heart murmur; and Jayne was just recovering from heartworm when we adopted her, so it’s unclear what issues, if any, this might cause down the road.

We also have one cat, Lemmy, a stray who unexpectedly appeared on our doorstep one cold January night. He’s the lone meat-eater in the house. Before Lemmy was Ozzy, my “step-cat kid,” whom my now-husband adopted before we started dating. Ozzy also consumed a non-vegan diet. (Rest in peace, buddy.)

Because I work from home, I have the luxury of feeding the dogs three small meals a day, with two snacks in between app herunterladen youtube videos. (Why three? Well, they love to eat – naturally – and three meals gives them a little something extra to look forward to.) For breakfast, they eat dry, commercial, vegan kibble. At lunch and dinner time, I usually serve them a roughly 30/70 mix of dry kibble and “wet” homemade food. In other words, their diet breaks down thusly: 80% commercial kibble – which, just like meat-based foods, must meet or exceed the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) – and 20% homemade food, which alone may or may not be nutritionally adequate. So, while I try to create the healthiest, most nutritional homemade meals possible, I do not recommend that readers rely solely upon the recipes featured here to meet their dog-kids’ needs. I don’t.

In addition to the above, I also indulge the dogs with two “treats” a day: namely, specially made “peanut butter balls.” The base ingredient, of course, is peanut butter, blended with a mix of nutritional yeast, wheat germ, quick oats, and/or TVP in order to give it a dough-like consistency. I also add some nutritional supplements and occasionally any “superfoods” or probiotics that I have on hand. (My father works as a buyer for a natural foods department in a chain store-that-shall-remain-nameless, and is usually buried in product samples!) I roll the dough into little balls by the tea- and/or tablespoonful, and serve them to the dogs in the late morning, halfway between breakfast and lunch, and at night before bed.

The balls serve two purposes: they supplement the homemade food, and also make a great place to hide pills if need be. Indeed, the four “senior” dogs – Ralphie, Peedee, Kaylee, and Mags – receive a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement, to help with their joints and mobility. It’s derived from shellfish, which means that these guys are not vegan (though I’m currently in search of a vegan substitute). Aside from the occasional gelcap medications, the other three dogs are all vegans, at least in the dietary sense of the word.

Occasionally, I also make the dogs homemade treats; because it’s so quick and easy, I rarely purchase commercial treats anymore. And then there’s the added bonus of knowing exactly what’s in your kid’s snacks. Treats need not be specific to dogs, either; they enjoy many of the same (healthy!) snack foods as humans: raw, dried or frozen carrots, celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, cranberries, blueberries and strawberries make for yummy treats, as can some cereals, such as (generic) Cheerios and Chex. (Scroll down to the next section for a list of foods to avoid.)

In regards to commercial kibble, we used the Nature’s Recipe® Healthy Skin & Coat Vegetarian Recipe for many years – seven, give or take – without any problems. Indeed, we actually switched to the Nature’s Recipe® vegetarian formula on the advice of our veterinarian. At the time, our recently-adopted Ralphie had begun to exhibit skin allergies, and the first course of action was to rule out any dietary causes – hence the vegetarian food. Although a skin patch test eventually revealed that he’s allergic to a number of environmental irritants, we decided to keep him on the vegetarian kibble nonetheless herunterladen. As Peedee and O-Ren (and later, Kaylee and Jayne) joined the pack, we also fed them vegetarian kibble and homemade food.

In early 2010, I decided to transition the dogs from a vegetarian to a vegan kibble (having abandoned the use of eggs and dairy in homemade dog food the year before). According to the Vegan Dog Nutrition Association, the Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian formula is not vegan, as the vitamin A is derived from retinol and the vitamin D3, from lanolin. My first choice of vegan kibble was V-Dog, which the dogs initially tolerated. However, after several months on V-Dog, I noticed a large uptick in the frequency of vomiting (usually bile, usually at night) in all five dogs – even Kaylee and Jayne, who have stomachs of steel (probably from years spent scavenging for food due to “owner” neglect and/or abuse). In May, we switched to Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance@ Vegetarian Formula (available on Amazon with free shipping) – which is vegan – and the vomiting quickly ceased. More than two years later, and the dogs are thriving on Natural Balance (and their mum and dad could not be happier or more relieved!).

The Finger Troll on Flickr

“The Finger Troll”: A gray stone forest troll gleefully flips the camera the bird.
CC image via .m for matthijs on Flickr.

Please do not harangue me about “my” vegan dogs!

Over time, this page has become a sort of troll magnet. Thus, I’ve decided to reiterate my comment policy, just to make it crystal clear.

Comments are great; obnoxious comments get deleted.

I consider pro-exploitation comments extremely obnoxious, whether the exploitation in question is species-, sex-, gender-, race-, sexual orientation-, gender identity-, size-, age- and/or nationality-based.

Concern trolls, save your breath: I have no interest in hearing how I’m an idiot and/or animal abuser because “OMG dogs are omnivores and need meat and you are killing your pets you evil wench you!!!1!” All such comments will be summarily deleted.

Look. I love and respect “my” dogs – more than you do your own, most likely (assuming you’re an omnivore who sees nothing wrong with “owning” other sentient beings). Prior to changing my dog-kids’ diets – be it from meat-based to vegetarian kibble, from vegetarian to vegan kibble, and/or from strictly commercial foods to homemade meals – I did a ton of research and reading. (Okay, not a literal ton, but certainly pounds worth.) These are not decisions I made lightly. My dog-kids are dependent upon me for their care and well-being, and I give more though to their health and nutrition than I do my own google document herunterladen. (To give you an idea how attentive a guardian I am, I keep a health file for each animal, logging everything from medications administered to meals missed.)

Anyhow, back to that research. What I discovered is that even the most skeptical, speciesist, anti-veg veterinarians and nutritionists will concede that (most) dogs can survive and even thrive on a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet. Dogs are opportunistic omnivores; while many dogs certainly like the taste of meat and may hunt, kill and/or consume other animals when given the opportunity, animal-based proteins are not necessary to a healthy, nutritious canine diet.

(And don’t even get me started on what’s “natural.” Is lounging in an air conditioned house during the summer months “natural”? How about sleeping on an elevated mattress indoors? Or how about being fed one’s meal in a ceramic dish at regular intervals throughout the day? And these questions are equally applicable to humans as well as canines. “Natural” is a subjective, largely unquantifiable category that’s oftentimes used to justify and/or romanticize a state of being we’ve most likely evolved beyond.)

Remember, I have been feeding my dog-kids vegetarian/vegan kibble and homemade food for ten years now (for Ralphie, this translates into ten years of vegetarian/vegan eats; at the low end, Mags and Finnick have been vegetarian/vegan for less than a year, with everyone else falling somewhere in the middle). Not one of them has developed a chronic, diet-related illness. As I mentioned earlier, Ralphie, Kaylee and Jayne do have some health issues – but none of these can be attributed to their diet. Over the years, we’ve had four different regular veterinarians, and seen at least as many specialists; none have expressed concern at our dogs’ health or diet. The senior dogs in particular receive a thorough blood workup every six to twelve months, and all of the dogs see the vet twice a year. (And it’s also worth noting that none of these individuals are vegans or animal rights advocates; indeed, we’ve mostly resided in rural areas and have seen correspondingly conservative veterinary professionals.)

In contrast, our lone cat-kid is a carnivore and does eat a meat-based kibble. This isn’t to suggest that some cats cannot thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet; rather, after doing some research into the issue, I personally decided that I would not be comfortable feeding Lemmy such a diet.

So no, I’m not a selfish asshat who is willing to sacrifice her dogs’ welfare in service of her own philosophical and ethical beliefs. Quite the opposite, in fact.

2008-06-02 - Peedee hearts Wolfrum - 0016

Stretched out in front of a wall of bookcases, Peedee the rat terrier peruses a copy of The Marriage of True Minds sciebo ordner herunterladen. He’s a sucker for romance stories set against the backdrop of animal liberation struggles, yo. Image via moi on Flickr.

Additional Vegan Resources

For those who’d like to learn more (or still insist on concern trolling), here’s a select list of additional resources.

Vegan Dog Nutrition Association |

VegePets |

Dr. Armaiti May, Vegan Vet |

Animal Person |

Dogs Can EAT Vegan Too!,” by M. Butterflies Katz

Vegetarian Dog Health Survey,” by PETA (.pdf)

Obligate Carnivore: Cats, Dogs & What it Really Means to be Vegan, 2nd Edition, by Jed Gillen (2008)

You can find an even lengthier list of links and books in the Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! blogroll category, as well as the Companion Care section of this site’s Recommended Reading list.

Pirate Cookies via Sweet! Cupcakes and Treats on Flickr

“Pirate Cookies”: A decapitated skull and crossbones wears a festive black eyepatch over one pink, heart-shaped eye. Totally cute, but also totally non-vegan.
CC image via Sweet! Cupcakes and Treats on Flickr.

Foods to Avoid

The following is a list of foods and ingredients that you should either avoid giving to dogs altogether, or should only use in moderation. As for sources, the list of “no-no” foods for dogs is a rather standard one. I compiled this guide by synthesizing a number of lists founds online and adding my own notations where appropriate. Sources are provided for direct quotes. Please note that this list is applicable to dogs only.

The foods appear in alphabetical order rather than order of importance.
Foods that are harmful or toxic to dogs include:

Animal Bones: In addition to the obvious (animal bones, not vegan!), you should not give your canine friends the bones of other peoples’ friends because 1) they pose a choking hazard and 2) pieces of the bone might splinter or break off, thus becoming lodged in your friend’s digestive tract. And that’s no fun for anyone, am I right? Stick to dehydrated sweet potatoes and peanut-butter filled Kongs, mkay sky ticket player?

Animal “Meat” & Eggs, Raw/Undercooked : “Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems.” And also: hello, “meat” and eggs aren’t vegan! (Source.)

Animal Milk: Also decidedly un-vegan, milk is a no-no for another reason, too: adult canines – like many (most?) adult animals – do not produce enough lactase to properly digest animal milks. Thus, “real” milk can cause indigestion and diarrhea in dogs, much like in their people. Plant-based milks (soy, rice, hemp, etc.) make a fine substitute when needed.

Avocado: “The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.” (Source.)

Caffeine, Chocolate, Coffee: “These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.” Used in moderation, carob powder and chips are an acceptable substitute for chocolate. (Source.)

Cat food: Because cat food is higher in protein and fats than dog food, it can cause indigestion and diarrhea. Plus, it’s cat food – duh!

Chives: Chives “can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities” of chives. (Source.)

Corn Cobs: Do not give your dog friend whole (or even partial) corn cobs to gnaw on teamviewer 14 herunterladen. If she breaks off and swallows a large piece, it could become lodged in her throat and cause choking, or in her digestive tract, causing an obstruction.

Fat: As with humans, a diet high in fatty foods does not a healthy dog make. Limit your friend’s fat intake to keep her healthy and happy. Forgo the fryer – steam, bake and broil homemade foods instead.

Garlic: Most sources recommend against giving garlic to dogs. For example, the ASPCA lumps garlic in with onion and chives: “[Garlic] can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.”

As with several “bad” foods, garlic is the subject of much debate among “pet” “owners.” I’ve included garlic in my own dog-kids’ food – in modest amounts – for several years with no problems. However, I’ve begun to move away from it in the past six months or so, on the premise “better safe than sorry.” Probably you’ll find garlic listed as an ingredient in some of my earlier dog food recipes, but it’s easily omitted.

Grapes & Raisins: “Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.” (Source.)

Macadamia Nuts: “Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.” (Source.)

Mushrooms: “Wild mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma, or death.” (Source.) “Mushroom poisoning occurs as a result of ingesting toxic mushrooms. Not all mushrooms are poisonous, but each type of poisonous mushroom can cause different signs of illness. Poisonous mushrooms are classified into four main categories, based on the clinical signs they cause, or into seven categories, based on the toxins they contain. The onset of clinical signs may occur anywhere from minutes to hours following ingestion.” (Source.)

The general consensus seems to be that store-bought mushrooms – such as shitaki, maitake and reishi – are generally safe, but wild-growing mushrooms should be avoided at all costs swr mediatheken. If your dog friend exhibits any of the following symptoms after ingesting mushrooms – even seemingly “safe” ones – induce vomiting and/or get her to the vet asap: diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, lethargy, jaundice (yellow skin color), seizures, coma and/or excess salivation. Never, ever allow a dog to eat wild-growing mushrooms; should you notice any growing in your yard (or anywhere dogs frequent), remove and dispose of them right away.

Nutmeg: “Nutmeg is reported to be a hallucinogenic when ingested in large doses. Nutmeg has been known to cause tremors, seizures and in some cases, death.” Before learning that nutmeg is a no-no, I included it in a few dog food dishes. Luckily, my dog-kids are none the worse for wear, but I no longer use the stuff. Additionally, I made appropriate notations in any published recipes in which nutmeg appears. Also note that commercial “Pumpkin Spice” blends contain nutmeg, along with ginger and cinnamon. (Source.)

Nuts, other than Macadamias and Walnuts: Nuts should not be given to dogs in excess, as the high phosphorus content can/may lead to bladder stones. (So sayeth the Internets!) Nor are they easily digested (but then again, neither are whole beans). I’ve had good luck with nut butters used in moderation, as well as fresh nuts, processed into small bits or powder. Ditto: sunflower and pumpkin seeds. They add a little extra protein and variety to cooked meals – but if you’d rather nix them from any recipe in which they appear, it’s an easy fix.

Onions: Onions “can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities” of onions. (Source.)

Pits and Seeds, i.e., present in fruits and/or vegetables: Pits, such as those from peaches and plums, can become lodged in a dog’s throat and/or digestive tract and cause obstruction. Seeds can also cause intestinal obstruction and/or irritation. Some seeds contain cyanide – really! Smaller dogs are at an increased risk of choking and obstruction due to their cute lil’ bodies.

Potatoes, Green: “Solanum alkaloids can be found in green sprouts and green potato skins, which occurs when the tubers are exposed to sunlight during growth or after harvest herunterladen. The relatively rare occurrence of actual poisoning is due to several factors: solanine is poorly absorbed; it is mostly hydrolyzed into less toxic solanidinel; and the metabolites are quickly eliminated. Cooked, mashed potatoes are fine for dogs, actually quite nutritious and digestible.” (Source.)

Sodium/Salt: “Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.” You can work to reduce the salt in your companion’s diet by purchasing fresh, frozen or dried whole ingredients and preparing them yourself. My Kaylee, for example, is on a low-sodium diet, so I’ve taken to cooking with dry vs. canned beans, as the latter contains moderate amounts of salt. This is also a good way to save a little extra money – and who doesn’t like that?! (Source.)

Spoiled Food: C’mon, really?!

Sugar/Sugary Foods: As with fats and sodium, sugar and sugary foods should be kept to a minimum. A diet high in sugar can lead to obesity, dental decay and possibly diabetes mellitus (“sugar diabetes”).

Tomatoes, Green/Under-ripe: “These contain atropine which can cause dialated pupils, tremors and irregular heartbeat. The highest concentration of atropine is found in the leaves and stems of tomato plants, next is the unripe (green) tomatoes and then the ripe tomato.” (Source.)

Occasionally, I include tomato paste or red, ripe tomatoes in a homemade recipe, and they’ve never caused a problem. You can omit them from any of my recipes if desired, or swap in a substitution (e.g., carrot or vegetable juice for tomato juice; a creamy nut butter instead of tomato paste; TVP, tofu or another vegetable in place of diced tomatoes; etc.).

Walnuts: “When dogs eat the seed hulls, they can get an upset stomach and diarrhea. The real problem is the fungus or mold that attacks walnuts after they get wet (from rain or sprinklers), which produces toxins. If the fungus or mold is ingested by your dogs, they can become very ill and possibly die. Signs that should alert you to walnut poisoning are vomiting, trembling, drooling, lack of coordination, lethargy, loss of appetite, and jaundice indications such as yellowing eyes and gums. Severely affected dogs can produce blood-tinged vomit or stools. Dogs can take several days to exhibit serious signs of illness.” (Source.)

Water, Stagnant or Toilet: “Stagnant water in ponds, bogs, small lakes, canals, seasonal creeks and other places where water sets still may contain harmful bacteria (Leptospira interrogans) and parasites such as giardia wedding cards for free. Toilet water with freshner or cleaners in the tank or bowl contain toxic chemicals.” An obvious one, but worth reiterating. (Source.)

Xylitol: “Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.” (Source.) Be sure to use toothpastes designed specifically for dogs – and never (ever!) give your dog candy or gum as a treat!

Yeast Dough: “Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.” (Source.)
Non-foodstuffs that are harmful or toxic to dogs include:

Alcohol & Illicit/Unprescribed Drugs: “Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.” Just don’t do it; getting your animal friends drunk or high isn’t funny or cool – it’s abuse. (Source.)

Iron, i.e., in human vitamin supplements: Excess and certain forms of iron “can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.” Do not give your dog-kid human supplements containing iron. (Source.)

Pimple Balls: Made by Four Paws, Pimple Ball dog toys have led to injuries – sometimes resulting in death – in at least several dogs. Pimple Balls only have a singe hole, rather than two or more; this can create a vacuum within the toy, with the power to suck in and trap a dog’s tongue. In some cases, the victim’s tongue swelled after becoming entrapped in the ball, necessitating surgery to remove the toy. In at least one case, the dog’s injuries were so severe that his tongue had to be amputated (e.g., see Chai’s story). At least several other dogs died after being injured by this – and similar – toys. Please check your dog-kid’s toy box and promptly remove any toys with a single hole and/or capable of creating a vacuum when squeezed.

String: If ingested, string can become stuck in a dog’s (or any animal’s) intestinal tract. Ditto: dental floss.

Tennis Balls: Standard-size tennis balls can prove dangerous to larger dogs; dogs with larger mouths and jaws have been known to (accidentally) swallow and choke on tennis balls. Always purchase toys that are the appropriate size for your dog-kid: not too large to fit in her mouth (i.e., that she cannot chew it), but small enough that it can’t fit down her throat can beed from instagram videos.

Tobacco: Tobacco “contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.” Also: are you out of your frakkin’ mind?! (Source.)

Toys (General): For a complete and up-to-date list of recalled dog toys, search the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) database.

Toys, Broken: Check your friend’s toy collection on a regular basis. Remove broken toys promptly, as dogs can ingest broken or chewed off pieces. These can cause irritation or injury to the digestive system or, in severe cases, choking or obstruction resulting in death.

Toys, Cat: If you live with or care for cats and dogs, be sure to keep any cat toys away from the dogs in the house. Cat toys are much too small for dogs, who may inadvertently swallow them.

The comments are open to corrections and suggestions, so leave ’em if you got ’em.
Last updated 5/23/12

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35 Responses to “Dog Food Disclaimer”

  1. Anny Says:

    Hello, I just stumbled across your website and love it. I have been vegan for 6 years and my rescue dog has been vegan for 3 (I’ve only had her for 3 years)

    I thought your might be interested in knowing that I’ve heard that Nature’s Recipe Allergy is not actually vegan. According to:

    According to them, the vitamin A is from retinol and the vitamin D3 is from lanolin.

    I don’t feed Nature’s Recipe because the last time I read the ingredients it contains Corn, and I personally would rather avoid corn when ever possible, since it causes gas in most dogs. No one likes a gassy dog.

    I feed my dog Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula For Dogs. I choice this food because I can buy it at most Petcos and any store that carries Natural Balance can special order it for you if they don’t normally carry the Vegetarian Formula.
    I’ve heard that some dogs will not eat this food right way, but mine LOVES it. And always has.

    I just though you might be interested in knowing. I look forward to reading more of your posts and trying some of your recipes, thanks for the great posts!!!

  2. Kelly G. Says:

    Hey, thanks for the heads-up, Anny! I’d heard of the Vegan Dog Nutrition Association before, but somehow missed their list of vegan/not vegan dog foods. (For anyone who’s interested, see: Vegan Dog Foods.) Will definitely try Natural Balance next!

  3. A hen is a mink is a dog is a boy.* Also: site updates and intersectionality links! » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] info and caveats. Possibly you noticed a new page link appear in the sidebar last week; the Dog Food Disclaimer includes details on how and what I feed my dog-kids, as well as a list of food and non-food items […]

  4. moot Says:

    It ended up being a very good guide

  5. chili sin carne, para los perros » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] This is a much, much milder version of Shane’s (award-winning!) Sweet and Spicy Chili. For the dogs, that is. (Yes, I feed my dog-kids a vegan diet. No, I’m not sacrificing their health and well-being at the alter of my own selfish ethics. For new visitors: you can find additional details and a disclaimer of sorts here.) […]

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    […] cook for your nonhuman kids, incorporate extra foodstuffs into their menu. Just be careful to avoid dangerous and problem foods, […]

  7. Just Says:

    Amazing post! Dog Food Disclaimer » V for Vegan: seriously makes my day a little bit nicer :D Continue alongside the outstanding posts! Best regards, Just

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    […] Please check out the Dog Food Disclaimer page before trying out any dog food recipes on this site! Be Sociable, Share! TweetFiled under […]

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  15. VeganMoFo, Day 1: Birthday Muffins for Kaylee & Jayne (& Ralphie & Peedee & Rennie!) » V for Vegan: Says:

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  16. Oatmeal Banana Cookies: Doggy edition! (And a big plate of lemon FAIL) » V for Vegan: Says:

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  17. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips (Dehydrated OR Baked!) » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] Pro tip: if you plan on sharing with your canine friends, avoid using nutmeg, as it can be harmful to dogs. […]

  18. Jenny Says:

    I love this disclaimer – it is tremendous! I feed my pooch vegan and advocate for a vegan doggy diet (though my long term partner chooses to feed her meat on occasion – he is not a vegan, so it’s tricky :/)

    Nevertheless I’ve had more online debates than I’d care to admit to, and made plenty of forum-based enemies in a community that is fiercely emotional about these things, to the point of highly inappropriate social behaviour!

    Anyway, I love your site! And all your poochy posts. I’ve been building up a small library of resources over on my own blog ( and am always scouring the net for more links/information.

  19. Vava Says:

    Thank you for the informative post. My dog child has been vegan for a while now (here is a post about it – ), but she loves begging for human food (looks like her idea is “everything humans eat is better than what’s in my bowl, period”), so I want to start baking cookies for her :) want to try some of your recipes.
    Also, do you have any idea why V-dog was causing vomiting? any ingredient in particular? I want to have dry kibble for the days she’s visiting friends, but don’t want her to get sick…

  20. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Hey Vava! I wish I knew what it was about the V-dog that didn’t agree with my dogs! I know a number of people who use it, and I seem to be the only one who’s had a problem. Maybe you can experiment with a small bag and see how it goes, so you have a tried & true option available for when you need it?

  21. Vava Says:

    Thanks, I ordered a month supply, let’s see how it goes:)

  22. vegdogdad Says:

    V-Dog has since completely changed their formula to be soy, corn, and gluten free, and my dog has been happily eating it for over a year. Not that he had a problem with their old formula. My dog actually had the vomiting problem with Natural Balance dry, though he still occasionally eats their wet food.

  23. LAvegan Says:

    Hi Kelly! Lovely pooches!

    Your dogs are not the only ones with the vomiting problem while eating V-dog. My dog started having intermittent episodes of bilious vomiting after being on V-dog for about two months. He did not have this problem before I started feeding him V-dog. I just started feeding him Halo Vegan Garden Medley, hoping that the vomiting will stop. Fingers crossed!

  24. Cathy Says:

    My fur-babies are very healthy…they eat just like me — organic/vegans. The best of water with no fluoride or chloride — only micro clustered. We don’t to vets either. My babies are very healthy just like their mom. Kudos to you!!!

  25. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Cathy – I think it’s great that you feed your kids organic/vegan food, but I hope you’ll reconsider about the vet. Regular checkups, vaccines, heartworm preventative, etc. are vital to an animal’s health. I’m sure you consider yourself attentive and attuned to his/her needs, but you can’t spot all potential problems with the naked eye, and laypeople lack the knowledge and resources to treat many problems that might crop up.

    Just to use one example from my life: if not for the annual bloodwork we have done on our senior dogs, we wouldn’t have discovered the tumor growing on Peedee’s lung until it was much more advanced than it was (and thus more likely to have metastasized). We found it early enough – well before he was showing any symptoms – that removal was possible. One surgery, two x-rays, and eight months later, and the oncologist considers him cancer-free. If not for the team of vets who helped us, it’s likely that his health would be starting to deteriorate at this point. Instead, he stands an excellent chance of living a full and healthy life.

    I’m no fan of our health care system – thanks in no small part to some pretty horrible personal experiences with doctors (one even had me in tears, after insisting that my problems were psychological; two specialists later, and I had a legit diagnosis of a possibly pre-cancerous skin condition) – but that doesn’t mean that regular checkups and screenings don’t have value. Even more so for our furry friends, who can’t tell us in so many words when something’s bothering them.

  26. Pat Says:

    Love the website. My two dogs have been vegan their whole lives and are very healthy. In case you don’t know about him, the longest lived dog (a border collie) who was a second place contender for the Guiness Book of world records is a vegan from birth. He lived to be 28.
    Ignore all the idiots who say dogs must have meat to be healthy. It’s probably the same group of ignorant people who insist that humans must have meat. I guess they don’t realize that there are entore cultures of millions of people who don’t eat meat and are perfectly healthy. Aagh!

  27. Katie V'Ar Says:

    I love your information! I love your commitment to living vegan, and your understanding that all needs can be met plant-based. I’m sure you get a lot of aggro, but it’s coming from ignorance and/or hate, so should be ignored. You’re awesome, and are not only making a difference in the lives of your companions, but also to the lives that are not taken to fuel misguided perceptions. ❤️💕❤️

  28. D Says:

    My dog was a puppy mill animal and is “forced” to be vegan because every single animal product makes her break out all over her body and itch non stop. So, with all your “trolls and idiots” what is your comment on that? Should I feed my dog “meat” and allow her to be disgustingly sick? You have no right to impose your stupidity and idiotic beliefs onto anyone else and if you are a licensed vet, then prove me wrong. I invite you to troll me, I eat trolls for fun.

  29. Paula Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the information. I can’t tell you how great it is to find intelligent thought on why this vomiting might occur since it has just started with my 5 dogs. I am thankful for the tip on the vegan commercial food. I am wondering if the vomiting is due to fermentation in the stomach. I do mix in dog stomach enzymes that are commercially available so they get more out of the food and also nutritional yeast which tastes good, is easily digestible, and has high B12 content so I am sure they they are getting all the recommended nutrients. I also add sunflower oil for vitamin E and because oil helps them extract the vitamin A from the sweet potatoes.

  30. Conchita Says:

    Obviously very late to the party but enjoying it none the less. Great post and has helped me with some doubts I had. Being in Spain it’s not so easy to get all the variety of Vegan kibble but I will try the Natural Balance you mention. So much great information, I love it and will come back many times to make sure I don’t forget. Thank you!

  31. Jeschaal Says:

    While I struggle to wrap my mind around the idea that canines are not being fed a true omnivorous diet (going vegan means they are now herbivores unless you are also feeding them bugs, etc in place of meat), I do applaud your defense and research. Even if I were to go vegan myself, I think I would struggle to deprive my dog of something that their ancestors ate on a regular basis. Coming from wolves, hunting is what they did primarily to survive- not rooting in the mud for truffles or plucking ripe berries from the vine.

    I’m just trying to figure out where the decision comes from to turn a canine omnivore (an animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin) to a full blown herbivore.

    “Dogs are opportunistic omnivores; while many dogs certainly like the taste of meat and may hunt, kill and/or consume other animals when given the opportunity, animal-based proteins are not necessary to a healthy, nutritious canine diet.”

    While this may be true, I still don’t understand where the decision comes from that canines, or any animal in fact, need to share the same beliefs as their humans. They don’t care that you don’t want to eat meat. I’m sure the stray dog we once owned would still be out in our front yard Easter morning eating the dead rabbit the coyotes left if we fed her a vegan diet.

    Who are we to decide non humanoids need to have opinions too?

  32. Erin Says:

    I love your disclaimer! I think it’s great that you’re dogs are vegan. I started feeding my 11 year old pit mix vegan food last year. She loves it and I’ll never feed her anything else. There’s no reason to feed her anything else since dogs, like people, can easily thrive on vegan diets. Also, I just wanted to I’d mention that I have several friends with healthy vegan cats. Great blog!

  33. Barbara Says:

    Thank you so much for all the good info! I just stumbled on your website today and you
    have really given me peace. I am a 66 year old retired widow and my dog-child is Harley. He is almost 8 years old. He could never digest dry dog food. He would just throw it up. Same with canned. My oldest son adopted him when he was a 5 lb. puppy and he’s now around 70 lbs. I wanted him to eat the food I eat for many reasons, but only if it doesn’t compromise his health. I have long-term food stored (yes, I’m a prepper) and the only thing we have bought for him is Fresh Pet for years. It comes in refrigerated rolls, contains brown rice, veggies, etc. It does have real meat and is cooked but is $14/#6 – 6 days. Since I am living on Social Security, it would help if he could go vegan with me. Do you think the “meat” (TVP) I eat would hurt him? I would mix it with rice and veggies.

  34. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Hey Barbara – I’ve given my dogs TVP (in moderation) for years without a problem. They also like tofu and lentils. :)

  35. bryash09 Says:

    My large lab mix is vegan, and has been vegan, almost his whole life. My vet has declared that his hips are those of a dog half his age. He’s sort, energetic and engaged. At the dog park, other owners are floored when I state his age. After endless prescription diets, allergy testing, raw diets, and $1,000s of dollars spent, switching to vegan is the best thing we ever did for him.

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