Vegan dog food

sweetpea
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Re: VEGAN dog food

Post by sweetpea » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:26 am

My dogs are fed a raw diet ,..the meat is sourced from a local organic free range farm ...we have known the family for years ....their animals are reared for meat but have the freedom of fields during the day and shelter with straw and home cut hay ...they have the best life they could have ...its an expensive way to feed our dogs but the best way ethically ....i wish all people would eat organic free range but they dont ...
I am open to all new diets if it is in the best interest of my dogs ...they have a varied diet inclusive of fruit veg and oats .....
We should all be able to have opinions without it becoming personal..... love4.gif

DorsetSarah
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by DorsetSarah » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:01 pm

I'm not sure it's an extreme view to say that I'm feeding my dogs on a vegan diet. It's just a fact. I now have 3 dogs on a vegan diet. When Precious arrived, she had a bad skin condition which I believe has been longstanding. It is now clearing up and she is coming off the very high dose of steroids she was on when she arrived. I will of course monitor the situation closely, but I believe putting her on a very high-quality, hypoallergenic diet has helped her.
My dogs used to be on a raw meat diet. I gave them raw meaty bones, tripe, organ meats etc. Having taken my own sheep and pigs to the abbatoir, and personally killed poultry myself, and reared a cow and her calf, I do know what farm animal welfare involves. I know what abbotoirs are like. I took my own livestock to the best abbatoir I could find, with the highest welfare ethic. I think long and hard about my ethical choices.
With my own dogs, I decided I was absolutely not going to feed them supermarket pet-food, from animals that have been raised often in poor welfare conditions and then slaughtered with indifference if not outright cruelty in a fast-moving commercial abbatoir where staff are often underpaid and overworked and have no time to ensure high welfare standards are kept. I love animals so why would I love my own dogs at the expense of other, equally precious, animals?
It seemed to me that I had two choices, if I wanted to do the best for my own animals and all other animals. Either I kept my dogs on a raw meat diet and fed them on rabbits which I would raise myself and kill myself, to ensure the rabbits had the best possible life before death ... or I would explore the vegan option.
I was highly sceptical that dogs could be vegan (for all the reasons already expressed on this thread). I believed that dogs are basically carnivores and it would be cruel to force them to eat an unnatural diet just because of a fad. When I looked into it, I was astonished to find healthy dogs (and even cats!) that have been vegan for many years. I bought a sample of Benevo vegan dog-food and tried it on the dogs. They really enjoyed it. They took to it much faster than they ever did with the raw meat (which really took some persuading before they wanted to eat it). I slowly transitioned them onto the vegan food. They've been on it now for over a year. They are healthy and happy, with shiny coats and full of energy. The vet recently did a full blood check with my dog Pebble, and said all his functions are great, and he has very clean teeth for his age. So I feel it is actually unscientific to keep stating that dogs cannot be healthy on a vegan diet, when the evidence is right in front of us that they can be.

sweetpea
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by sweetpea » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:35 pm

Nobody said it was an extreme way to feed your dogs ...it was the attitude to others feeding their dogs meat that came over as extreme

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Wander Woman
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by Wander Woman » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:59 pm

At the risk of repeating myself…

I do find the view that ‘dogs are vegans’ an extreme view. By extension, I find feeding dogs a vegan diet an extreme form of feeding, since there is no science to support that dogs are vegans. Dogs fed a vegan diet are fed that way because of their owners perceptions and ethics relating to animal welfare and meat production.

DorsetSarah said: “So I feel it is actually unscientific to keep stating that dogs cannot be healthy on a vegan diet, when the evidence is right in front of us that they can be.”

Science is a method; it is made up of verifiable facts and evidence using random samples/populations. Further, every successful science experiment can be repeated to get the same result.

DorsetSarah’s comment is anecdotal evidence, not science. There is also anecdotal evidence that dogs do very well on raw diets, and also on some commercial pet foods that we now know are probably not best for some of our dogs. Yet many dogs have lived full and seemingly healthy lives on some of these commercial foods. So this amounts to opinion, not science.

There is no science to support that dogs have evolved to be vegans/herbivores. There never will be during our lifetimes. There *is* science (I linked an article in my first post that explains it) to support that dogs are carnivores that have evolved to thrive on a more omnivorous diet of meat and other scavenged food, including plant based food.

The scientific question (for that is how all science starts out – to answer a specific question) of whether dogs can thrive on a vegan diet – comparable to dogs on a commercial diet or on a raw diet, for example, is different. If someone can post a link to a published scientific study (more than one would be better – and with verifiable sources and reasonably large sample sizes) that has come to the conclusion that dogs thrive on a vegan diet, better than on a commercial or raw diet, that would be proof that there is science to support that vegan diets are good for dogs.

The fact that dogs enjoy eating one food over another has no bearing on nutrition. Some dogs enjoy eating their own poo. That doesn’t mean that it’s good for them.

Not many people are in the position to raise their own meat to feed themselves and their dogs nor would they want to do so. That’s why we rely on schemes like the Red Tractor, guaranteed free range or organic foods, etc. I’m sure that there are criticisms of these schemes, but we can’t all ‘go it alone’. We have to trust some standards at some point.

Instead of rejecting a dog’s biological evolution, I would rather see people fight harder for ethics in farming/meat production. I am not pointing an accusing finger on this thread – I don’t know anyone personally on this thread – some of you may already be activists in this area. Personally, I think this would be far more useful than people feeding their dogs vegan diets.

As far as human/worker exploitation goes – the entire agricultural industry exploits cheap, often immigrant, labour. This is not limited to the meat industry. I agree, it’s a problem. Again, I think it would be more useful for people to agitate for change in this area rather than feed their dogs vegan food.

Along with poor quality dog foods, there are also very high quality commercial dog foods available now. I can accept that not all dogs thrive equally on the same diet, due to allergies, sensitivities, etc. But we really do have more choice than we ever did before to feed our pets in a healthy manner. A great website to investigate dog food quality is: http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk
There is a lot of info on this website about ingredients and nutrition. Dog foods are compared by ingredients and the nutrition that each ingredient/food offers. If an ingredient is deemed unacceptable, the website tells the user why that is.

I took a look at Benevo’s adult dog food ingredients. From their own website:
Composition: Soya, Corn, White Rice, Sunflower Oil, Peas, Brewers Yeast, Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace, Yeast Based Palatant, Minerals, Vitamins, Yucca Schidigera Extract (0.1%), Fructo-Oligosaccharides (Prebiotic FOS) (0.01%).
Analytical Constituents: Protein 27%, Fat Content 12%, Crude Fibre 4.5%, Ash 5.5%, Moisture 8%.
Additives per Kg: Nutritional Additives: Vitamins; Vitamin A (as retinyl acetate) 17,224 IU, Vitamin D2 (as ergocalciferol) 2,392 IU, Vitamin E 120 IU. Trace Elements: Iron (as Ferrous Sulphate Monohydrate) 159 mg, Zinc (as Zinc Sulphate Monohydrate) 133 mg, Manganese (as Manganous Sulphate Monohydrate) 105 mg, Copper (as Cupric Sulphate Pentahydrate) 45 mg, Selenium (as Sodium Selenite) 0.6 mg, Iodine (as Calcium Iodate Anhydrous) 1.5 mg, Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 6.46%, Linolenic Acid (Omega 3) 0.09%. Amino Acids: Taurine 910 mg, L-Carnitine 480 mg

It looks like the major components in this food are grains. Many dogs have allergies to grains. It is also questionable whether dogs ate grains at all during their evolution. Grains are usually used as ‘fillers’ in dog food because they’re cheap and low in nutrition. Many people now feed their dogs cereal/grain-free diets because of this. This dog food has loads of additives and supplements in it. This is because dogs cannot get the species appropriate nutrition from the grains and veg that make up the ingredients of this food. It has to be supplemented in order for it to provide the nutrition a dog needs to survive.

Marketing is being used here to guide a buyer to this food choice. The statement that cats can thrive on a vegan diet is driven by marketing and vegan ethics, not science. Cats are obligate carnivores.
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

Shen2
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by Shen2 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:07 am

When we rehomed little Dougie on 7th Jan he had a rash and scabs under his belly, along his legs and down his tail. His skin was dry and flaking. His eyes looked sore and he'd have gunk every morning coming out of his eyes. His breath stank. Now his breath does not smell and his skin and coat are healthy. His coat is shiny and soft. His rash and flaky skin are gone.
Dougie and my other dog Kichi adore home cooked vegan food. Yes we supplement their food. If you look at the processes of the meat industry, taurine is taken out of pet food, only to be replaced later on. As I said right at the start of this post, I only ever wanted to show dog owners that there is another option which is kinder for all animals and the planet. There is enough violence, suffering, destruction and death in this world. When I learned I could feed my dogs a vegan diet and that they would flourish, i was initially sceptical. But they did flourish and they do love all the vegan treats I purchase from Veggie Pets or when we make our own treats for them. To a carnivore we seem extreme. But to us, it is the right thing to do. Vegans tend to be portrayed as hippies, fanatics and extremists. We are non of these. In fact, I work freelance as a nurse in acute care and I trained as a nurse years ago before I became vegan. You can understand my anxiety in administering medication that I know has been tested on animals. However, as a nurse, it is obligatory that I must only use evidence based research to provide nursing care to my allocated patients. Wanting to become vegan took many years to eventually live that lifestyle.
I watched the PETA videos, watched Earthlings, watched Cowspiracy and other animal welfare film documentaries to include Blackfish. As did my partner before me.
I finally found the support to become vegan by joining the London Vegan Meetup Group.
If animal rights comes across as being seen as extreme it is simply this: We are angry, shocked, distraught with the way animals are treated in the food, clothing and entertainment industries and in animal experimentation and we want to do something about this.
My partner and I volunteered at Soi Dog in Thailand. This charity is at the forefront of attempting to end the dog meat trade. Many people are shocked, angered, disgusted, heart broken to know dogs are tortured and killed. Yet it is the same hellish existence that billions of farm animals suffer before being killed. A dog in Thailand gets boiled alive to apparently improve the taste. In China and other parts of the world, dogs are skinned alive to produce cheap fur and leather goods.
Similarly and no less horrific, a pig in the UK gets boiled alive due to inadequate training or fast production processes in the slaughterhouse. They may have experienced severe abuse by being kicked, punched, stabbed, thrown and electrocuted by handlers. It is also a well know fact that a significant number of workers who used to work in slaughter houses suffer with post traumatic stress as a direct consequence of killing sentient beings. If we can make a difference by becoming vegan and ensuring our pets are vegan (those who can be) then we have played a part in preventing more suffering and deaths.
The end result is that being vegan not only saves lives, it reduces the negative impact on climate change as meat IS the number one cause of detrimental climate change.
Vegans want a kinder world and 2017 is proving that there are more and more people, just like us, who have decided to go vegan too for similar reasons as stated above.
I find it ambiguous when people talk about feeding dogs a natural diet. My opinion is that it is not natural to have animals as pets. In doing so, they are taken out of their environment and live in human homes where natural dog behaviours are frowned upon and trained/disciplined out of them, or at the very least, restricted. Even if dogs have evolved over the centuries, living with humans is not natural for a dog. That's why we only rescue our pets rather than buy them. Better to live a life as full as can be possible within limitations of a human environment than to have no life at all.
dougie beauty 2.jpg
Dougie the vegan dog

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Debbie(tarakisha)
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by Debbie(tarakisha) » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:15 am

Lovely photo of Dougie :thanks.gif: for sharing :cool.gif:

xxlynne
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by xxlynne » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:56 pm

What do people want us to do with this post leave it open? locked it for reference? or hide it?

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Wander Woman
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by Wander Woman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:03 pm

Personally, I would rather see it remain open for now, as there are a couple things in the above post I would like to comment on (but do not have the time at the moment.) I don't think it should be hidden, as then no one can look at the different opinions laid out here, or the links involved, to help them make their own decisions.
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

sweetpea
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by sweetpea » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:34 pm

I would say lock it as i find some of shen2 s post offensive ....and its getting nowhere

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Wander Woman
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Re: Vegan dog food

Post by Wander Woman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:35 pm

Did you know that there is evidence that dogs and humans co-evolved? The evidence for dog domestication goes back 32,000 years. That’s a long time. So to say that a dog’s natural state is not connected with humans is a statement that would have criteria going back an awful long way. Almost to the dawn of modern humans. I think that a case can be made that dogs and humans belong together and have been since the very early days in our evolution. I can agree that a wolf’s natural place is not alongside humans. Wolves are not dogs, though. Here are just a couple articles on this. You can find loads on the internet:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... e-science/
http://www.livescience.com/31997-dogs-a ... ether.html

I know that many PETA members do not believe that humans should keep pets. That is one reason I consider them an extreme group. It’s certainly someone’s prerogative not to have pets - and maybe that’s better if they don’t believe in that sort of thing. Did you know that there is evidence that PETA shelters in the US have a very high euthanasia/kill rate? No kill shelter proponents do not support their ethics in this regard.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/0 ... 12490.html

The pig boiling example described above is, of course, horrible – I’m sure most people would agree. But I honestly do believe that this particular example is the exception, not the rule. What they were doing was illegal (rightly so) and was halted. As far as dog consumption goes, you could get into all sorts of cultural stuff here; you could do that with horses too, as many cultures eat horse meat. There are all sorts of threads people could start on this forum relating to dog and animal welfare.

The topic of animal rights is a sort of perception continuum. What one person may find unconscionable, another will not. If a person does not agree with a vegan lifestyle, does that make that person unethical or evil in some way? Because I do not agree that dogs should be fed on a vegan diet because I think it is biologically inappropriate, does that make me a terrible person? Judgmentalness works both ways.

One of the reasons I posted the ingredients of the vegan dog food above, was to show that it is made up of exactly the components that many nutritionists complain about. I don’t think it’s fair to say that there are a lot of terrible dog foods out there and then offer this one as superior, when it is comprised of many components that are deemed to be problematic to a dog’s diet.

I find it interesting that a medical professional who is trained in and understands the scientific method would reject science in another area of life. But that’s certainly any individual’s choice. I understand that in this particular case, for some people, personal ethics override science.

I can see that Shen2 is a very passionate vegan. The response above proves my point in a way though, because it addresses the ethics behind veganism. But it does not address the science supporting the biological evolution of dogs. We could talk all day long (and have) about the ethics of meat production. But what about the ethics of feeding a biologically appropriate diet to our dogs? That’s an ethical question too – it is for me anyway. That’s why I choose to feed my dog a biologically appropriate diet.

Dougie is very handsome. He reminds me of my Luna. I’m sure most of us on this forum could post photos of our healthy dogs – who are probably fed a range of different diets/foods.

Whatever people feed their dogs, I hope they look into the ingredients and balance that with a dog’s nutritional requirements, cost, and of course, some will consider ethics. As said before, it’s likely everyone on this forum loves their dogs. Let’s keep loving and doing the best we can for them.
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

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