Vegan Dog Food Recipe - Happy Herbivore (2024)

2021 Update: There are two great vegan kibbles I recommend for safety and ease: Vdog and Wild Earth .

Anytime someone meets my dogs (and they're aware I'm vegan) they ask if my dogs are vegan too. I would have thought the answer would be an obvious "yes" but most often, people seem surprised when I tell them, "yup, the whole family is veg!"

I get the question via email too, so I thought I'd put it out there that yes, my dogs are vegan and they are thriving.

If you're wondering if dogs can be vegan, the answer is yes. Dogs, like humans, don't need meat to survive.The pugs' vets in Boston, Los Angeles and New York City have all been supportive of their vegan diet and one even said she would recommend a vegan diet over anomnivorousone if she thought more dog owners would be open to the idea.

Although there are several brands of vegan kibble on the market (Nature's Balance, V-dog, Wenaewe, Pet Guard, Avo Derm, Natural Life, Evolution Diet and Wysong) I prefer to make vegan dog food myself.

It all started a month ago when we ran out of vegan kibble at home, and to make matters worse, the store was sold out, too. Obviously the pugs couldn't go hungry so I made them a plate of rice and beans. The next morning I made them a plate of peas and apples and that night, peas and beans. It continued on for days and by the time the store had called to say they had our kibble, I didn't bother to go buy it.

Of course, Scott was skeptical. He wondered how long I'd last at making fresh meals for our dogs every day, twice a day -- but a month later I'm still doing it!

I've noticed a dramatic shift in the pugs since we started on home cooked meals. Although they liked their vegan kibble, they were never excited about meal time. Really, they could take it or leave it. Now they bark and do circles -- they couldn't be more thrilled to eat their supper.

I've also noticed a change in their... bodily functions . The pugs were never constipated or anything, but we always had to walk them around the block a few times before they were ready to do their business. Now, they poop much quicker and with more ease. I'm convinced it's all the added fiber. There is little to no fiber in kibble, so it's not surprising they're going much more easily now.

I've also noticed a change in their urine. Quaid and LilyBean used to have deep yellow pee, which always made me worry they could be dehydrated. Now their urine is much, much lighter in color. I'm convinced its because they're getting water from their food now. Water is in the rice they eat and the beans I cook for them-- vs. kibble which is dehydrated.

By now you're probably thinking "This sounds great, but I don't have the time to cook two meals for myself, let alone my dog!" But I promise, you do -- and it will save you money! I'm spending a fraction of what I used to on kibble!

Here's how I do it: I cook an entire bag of brown rice once a week, storing leftovers in my fridge. I do the same with a bag of beans and I'll steam or bake sweet potatoes while I'm add it. Every day I'll put brown rice, beans and either a sweet potato or thawed frozen peas into their bowl. It takes seconds.

I've also recently started added chopped fresh apples and zucchini from my garden. I also keep a bag of puffed brown rice on hand, and a few cans of beans, just in case I run out.

When I started making my own dog food, I was skeptical I'd have the time or energy to keep up with it -- but it hasn't been a problem at all and now it's a habit. I'll put rice and beans on the stove when I'm watching a movie, cleaning the apartment or doing something else. An hour later I have all their food done for the week and I've been known to swipe some for myself, too.

I've also realized that I can thaw frozen peas under hot water in less than 20 seconds when I'm really desperate. (They really love peas!)

I can't recommend making homemade vegan dog food enough. The pugs seem to like every bean, vegetable and fruit I throw at them, but they're particularly fond of: corn, peas, sweet potatoes, black beans, kidney beans, black soy beans, tempeh, apples, bananas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, brown rice (they actually won't eat white rice), collard greens, kale, spinach, whole grain cereal and oatmeal.

Just be sure to avoid giving your dogs raisins, grapes, garlic, onions or mushrooms.

Perhaps my pugs are the luckiest dogs in the world, at least in terms of their food (they're still envious of dogs with big backyards!) but hopefully with this post I'll convince a few more dog owners tonurturetheir pets with natural, plant-basedfoods!

Update: we now live abroad where I have no choice but to feed the dogs home cooked meals. I start with a protein base -- beans or lentils, and then mix in leftover raw vegetables (chopped well), pumpkin (for Lily Bean's eyes) and any leftovers or leftover grains I have, like brown rice. We joke that the dogs are our compost bin. I always make sure to give them a mix and variety -- right now their food is a base of lentils, with bell pepper, cucumber, yellow squash, cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower, plus some leftover rice.

Supplemant : I use veg-e-dog supplement as a proactive measure. The company sends great dog food recipes with their vitamins which I love!

Vegan Dog Food Recipe - Happy Herbivore (2024)


What do vets think of vegan dog food? ›

From the veterinary profession's perspective, there just isn't enough scientific evidence currently to safely promote a vegan diet for dogs and cats.

Can dogs thrive on vegan dog food? ›

A growing body of research has shown that dogs can thrive on a plant-based diet—mainly because dogs are technically omnivores, so it all comes down to meeting their nutritional needs.

Was the oldest dog vegan? ›

Bramble lived in the UK and held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog at the time. What's the most amazing thing about this story is that Bramble actually lived on a vegan diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains (no meat, eggs, and dairy).

Is vegan dog food legal? ›

Feeding vegan diets to companion animals should be approached with caution; much of the research conducted has found that despite correct labelling, commercial vegan diets do not meet the legal nutritional guidelines putting pets at risk of diet-induced disorders.

Does PETA think dogs should be vegan? ›

Many vegan dogs and cats enjoy excellent health, and a vegan diet for your companion animal is ethically consistent with animal rights philosophy. Making vegetarian food for dogs is easy because dogs, like people, are omnivorous and usually hearty eaters.

Are vegan dogs less aggressive? ›

Many owners report a reduction in aggression between their dogs with some owners even going so far as to say that they possibly had to rehome one of their dogs prior to feeding a plant-based diet as their dogs were constantly fighting on a meat-based diet and this settled once they were both swapped to a plant-based ...

What is the best plant-based protein for dogs? ›

FACT: Dogs need protein, but it doesn't have to come from meat. Plant foods like peas, lentils, and chickpeas are high in protein and easily digestible for dogs. Dog food companies have been using these plant-based protein sources for decades, and dogs in India have been on meatless diets for centuries.

What should vegans feed their dog? ›

Look for a commercial vegan dog food that meets these minimum requirements. Instead of meat, check for high-protein plant ingredients like beans or legumes. Plant protein concentrates like potato protein, pea protein, or soy protein isolate can also help meet your dog's protein requirements.

How long can dogs be vegan? ›

Not only did vegan dogs have better health overall, but also they were found to live 1.5 years longer than non-vegan dogs. The study indicated that on average, dogs given plant based food lived up to the age of 14.1 years compared to dogs eating meat diets who largely lived up to 12.6 years.

Can a dog eat tofu? ›

Fortunately for Fido, tofu is not toxic to dogs. However, many of the extra ingredients and sauces we put on our tofu dishes are. So if you decide to share some tofu with your dog, be sure it's plain, cooked, and free of all extra ingredients.

What did people feed dogs 100 years ago? ›

Commoner's dogs would be fed meager diets of bread crusts, bare-bones, potatoes, cabbage, or whatever the dog could scrounge on its own. By the 18th century, farm and hunting dogs were being fed mixed grains and lard. These useful dogs had to be healthy to do their jobs.

What is the diet of the longest living dog? ›

The world's oldest dog survived until the age of 31 and his family owes his long life to his unusual diet of human food. Bobi the Portuguese mastiff only ate what his human family ate, soaked in water to remove any seasoning.

Can dogs eat eggs? ›

Eggs are nutritious for both people and dogs. They can be tasty treats or a hearty breakfast, whether they're hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or over easy. A cooked entire egg or yolk can be good for your dog, unless your pet has a pre-existing health condition like acute pancreatitis or diabetes.

Should vets be vegan? ›

Some authors say that in order to really fulfill the commitment to "ensure the health and welfare of animals," veterinarians should practice veganism, which has been characterized as a philosophy and way of life that rejects animal exploitation and cruelty. However, others believe that going vegan is a choice.

Is Wild Earth good dog food? ›

We give Wild Earth dog food a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Wild Earth is a newer brand of vegan dog food on the market.

Do dogs need meat to thrive? ›

Is Meat Required? Dogs can thrive without meat, but only if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. As is true with people who prefer vegetarian diets, protein or vitamin deficiency can occur in dogs who eat strictly vegetarian diets if they are not properly supplemented.

Can dogs digest plant protein? ›

Both dogs and cats were able to digest dietary plant protein, with protein digestibility in dogs unchanged as plant protein increased, while in cats, eating dry food, an increase in plant protein, was associated with increased protein digestibility.

What is the best pet for a vegan? ›

One of the ideal pets for vegan households are dogs. They do not need meat to thrive, despite popular belief. Dogs are naturally omnivorous and can receive many essential nutrients from plant nutrition, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. Dogs also have high protein requirements.

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