Meet Datsun, my loveable, energetic 80-pound mutt:
He's not vegan. He typically eats Pet's Promise Daily Health kibble, which is made without any animal by-products. All the information I've read leads me to believe that dogs can lead a healthy life as a vegan since they're natural omnivores (like humans). But honestly, vegan dog food is expensive. Considering that I also have six kitties to feed, packaged vegan dog food isn't really an option. Plus, I get nervous about messing with Datsun's nutrient intake ... even if it is completely safe to feed him a vegan diet.
Then, a few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Book Publishing Company (the publisher of many great vegan titles, like The Uncheese Cookbook, Tofu Cookery, the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook and more). They asked me to review a few of their titles, one of which was The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book by Michelle A. Rivera:
This cute little volume is loaded with information on what dogs can and cannot eat (no to onions and chocolate, yes to brown rice and pumpkin). And it's filled with recipes for creating delicious home-cooked vegan meals, treats, and special occasion cakes for your pooch.
I've decided that, rather than switch Datsun to a totally vegan diet, I'll feed him his Pet's Promise kibble in the mornings and a home-cooked vegan meal every evening. The recipes in Rivera's book make large quantities (and I'm even doubling those cause Datsun's a big guy), so you can freeze individual portions for quick weeknight meals.
So far, we've only tried one recipe — Snoopy's Great Pumpkin, Rice, and Beans:
It's simply canned pumpkin blended with red beans and brown rice. Since dogs don't need salt, it has no added seasoning. But I sampled the dish before passing it on to Datsun and it was pretty darn tasty. As you can see, Datsun agreed:
He licked his bowl clean and then begged for more. Even the cats (who are definitely not vegan) were totally jealous. They inspected his bowl after he finished eating, hoping for a crumb or two.
I'll be posting dog food dishes that I try from the book pretty regularly. Next on the agenda is a big batch of dog biscuits. Datsun and I will let you know how that goes.
Update: So one of my very observant commenters (thanks Susan!) noticed that my link to the Pet's Promise website pulls up a letter from the company stating that their products will no longer be available after January. Suck! Since I'd like to feed Datsun kibble at least once a day to supplement his vegan meals, anyone got any suggestions on a good natural dog food that doesn't cost a million bucks? And preferably is available at Whole Foods?