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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    Default Vegan diet for dogs?

    We just adopted a blind, approx. 7 year old pyr mix. We were well aware that he was blind, that he had had ear infection for a year, that he had had staph infection (ears and skin) and that he had been with his foster for a year (she is the one that found him dumped on college campus missing all his fur on lower back and rump, skinny as a rail, etc.

    WELL turns out she is vegan and she feeds her animals vegan dog and cat food. I had never heard of such a thing. She does foster and --heck, you can read the story under Hellow from Texas.

    Well, when she brought him (350 miles) we were surprised at how skinny he is and the lack of muscle tone. We feel that a lot of his ear and skin trouble stems from diet of vegan food (oats, rice, barley, some fruits and veggies and lots and lots of additives and side vitamins to make up for lack of meat.

    He is 67 pounds and my vet said he needs to put on about 20 pounds. We have him on grain free food and boiled chicken and occasional scrambled egg. We add a little coconut oil to his food and are going to start adding fish oil. He is on a very powerful antibiotic for his ear infection (his left ear looks good, right ear is a mess. We have only had him since sunday and it is going to take a while. However, we noticed he doesn't smell as bad as he did. Oh, my ve also put him on steroids for his ear but will only be on them a short time. we are hoping the grain free food will help with skin and ears.

    What do you all think about a vegan diet--unless it is medically necessary--for a dog or cat? I just can't get my mind wrapped around it.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    I wouldn't feed my pets a vegan diet only because, all of the people I know who are vegans themselves aren't in the best shape and I want my pets to live as long as possible.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Thank you for taking Shaggy into your heart & home! He is going to be a very handsome guy once you put some weight on him and his coat grows back.

    I am not in favor of having dogs on a vegan diet. Dogs are carnivores (though some argue they are omnivores because they will seek out & eat fruits in the wild) and thus their system is designed to process animal protein best and not vegetable protein. They can survive on a vegan diet but I think in the long run a vegan diet can weaken their immune system since they are unable to efficiently process their food and leave them less able to fight off diseases.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar

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    I can not wrap my head around it either. People are sure funny.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  5. #5

    Flock Guardian (Moderator) Chicag0_Red's Avatar


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    We are all "Vegan by Proxy" here.

    While these guys truly are omnivores and while Hank likes his fruits and vegetables he prefers them as the sides to his medium well steak not as the main course.
    _Red

    --Tutores Cavere --

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) odins mom's Avatar

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    There's a reason those beautiful pearly whites they have are called CANINES its for ripping and chewing meat not boiled cauliflower. If i may suggest adding good old plain yogurt to his diet to protect his stomach from the antibiotics and to rebuild the good bacteria needed for digestion.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    My one Irish Setter LOVED fruits and veggies. He would actually eat the tomatoes, green peppers and yellow squash right off the vines in my garden. Our youngest son played football and has several of his team mates, plus other friends that seemed to be at our house all the time. Also older son's best friend would show up at supper. We NEVER sat down to just us..always 3-4extra kids.

    One night I had made spaghetti/meat sauce, green beans, tossed salad an garlic bread. Had it on the table, soon took trash out and came running in yelling about a "huge rat" at the trash can. I suspected it was probably a possum, not a rat, but we all went running out to see it. When we came back in Boots was on the table eating----not the spaghetti sauce nor the noodles nor the bread or green beans but the tossed salad. Those boys laughed and laughed over that. Could't believe that big Irish Setter wason the table eating the salad.

    He was just past 12 1/2 when diagnosed with very, very aggressive bone cancer in rear leg. Options--operate that day, bring him back in in a week or so and send him to the Bridge or do nothing. At his age with already having arthritis, we totally ruled out amputation. and we would not allow him to suffer needlessly (my vet knew this). Well, even tho my vetthought a week to 10 days he would not be able to get around at atll---he had gone from limping on Friday to dragging the leg on Monday. We had thought til then it was his arthritis. We decided to give him a few good days and then let him go.

    He loved to go to the beach--either the real beach or just to the bay where we fished. I took him every day and by the 2ed day he had developed a sort of bunny hop. Without all the details, he loved to try to catch the shore birds, he messed with the crabs in shallow water, he swam. I had rod holders out in the water and he liked to swim out when I waded out to check them. One day heeven pulled a nice speck trout off my stringer. Another day I released an under size flounder in about 6 inches of water and he stuck his head in and came up with the flounder. Held it so hard he did kill it.

    Also, knowing his time was limited, we let him have all the tossed salad, cantaloupe, watermelon, banana, apple, green beans, carrots, etc that he wanted. and then the doggy no-no. What we had for dessert, so did he. I made him banana splits, strawberry short cake, apple pie with ice cream, even small pice of chocolate cake. I took him twice a week for my vet to weigh him and check him out (he didn't charge me for this) and each time he would say "I don't understand it. He should not be walking." But all good things come to and end and exactly 10 weeks after diagnosis he fell and such a struggle. The day beforeI had noticed he had spent more time in the shade than in the water and told myself he was just tired--we went fishing every single day--but I knew. So I let him go that day. I could have kept him a couple more days but he would not have been able to go fishing, etc. As it was, that 10 weeks had to be the highlight of his life. He had always been so loved and taken places, but those 10 weeks--fishing every single day, all the food he was not normal allowed, on top of all the usual attention

    Sorry, I guess I kind of rambled here, but talking about dogs eating vegan just reminded me of how much Boots loved fruits and veggies (he also LOVED the freshcaught fish I cooked for him all the time). He was sent to the Bridge July 9, l997

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    We never let the special ones leave our minds nor our hearts...you gave Boots the best from the start, to the last day....that's love & caring.
    My Pyr's.....Holly won't even eat a green bean, even if it's covered in gravy from beef stew! Rudy likes his veggies... in gravy tho!

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Espinay's Avatar

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    No. Just no. Dogs - from their teeth to their anus, are designed to eat and digest meat. They don't have the digestive system to deal with plant products adequately, nor to derive nutrition from them. Their intestines are short and smooth (unlike ours which are that of a true omnivore) designed for the best digestion of meat products and the fast extract of nutrients from meat (to reduce bacterial infection - by feding grains we can slow down digestion increasing the chance that bacteria takes hold). Ours on the other hand is longer with larger villi better adapted to eating plant matter. Herbivores (true 'vegan' animals) have even longer intestinal systems and often multiple stomachs to cope with plant digestion. While not technically obligate carnivores like cats (who can die fairly quickly if they don't get certain nutrients found only in meat products), as you have found dogs can survive on plant products but definitely do not thrive (including some plant products in an overall diet is NOT the issue here - most people will have dogs that like the odd bit of fruit or veggies etc - but that is not ALL we feed them or even something that makes up a high percentage of their diet). Lack of important amino acids found in meat for instance can cause them to become quite sick. I have no problem at all with people eating a vegan diet themselves and indeed spent several years myself eating a vegetarian diet. But it is far from natural - or healthy - to expect a naturally meat eating animal to do so.
    Espinay Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Australia) - putting the Breed before breeding

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  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    Shaggy is LOVING his food. I switched from chicken to lean ground turkey at my vet's advice, and make him a stew of of the turkey with a little frozen peas and carrots, slices of fresh sweet potatoes, chunkcs of apple and slices of yellow squash--mostly meat, tho. Add some to his food every meal. Oh, his favorite snacked is boiled sweet potatoes. I cut up chunks and boil them til they are soft, but not mushy. GREAT way to give him his pills.

    I actually googled to find vegan dog food and what was in it. I had never known such a thing existed until she said about feeding it to her dogs. It is almost as expensive as a good grain free , meaty dog food.

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