/' http-equiv='refresh'/> Vegan Outreach Lincoln and East Midlands: Vegan Dogs


Vegan Dogs

We (Ruth and Marcus) live with two rescue dogs, Lilly and Molly, a mother and daughter pair, they're fantastic and we absolutely adore them. They have more energy than we have,in fact we wouldn't be surprised to find that Lilly (the mother) has more energy than any dog in the world. They first came to live with us as the animal sanctuary at which I (Ruth) volunteered (will go back soon) found out that they were about to be put down having been in a private kennel for eight weeks. They were dumped there by their previous owners who not only had obviously abused them (Molly is scared of strangers, especially men until she knows them) but then deserted them in a flooded house! The neighbours called the RSPCA who contacted the owners who then took them to these kennels and abandoned them.

When they arrived they were dirty, had very matted hair (they have long coats that need brushing and trimming) and Lilly had a corneal ulcer on her left eye which was long overdue treatment lest the entire eye be removed. Extra medical costs for a pair of black (unpopular fur colour in rehoming) dogs unlikey to be rehomed aren't taken lightly.

The animal sanctuary didn't really have room for them as the woman who runs it does it all on her own, has over 23 Dogs, 20 + Horses, Geese, Rabbits, Cats etc. So we agreed to foster them. I (Ruth) have rescued/fostered/snuck into my bathroom non human animals since I can remember (so that's A LOT of animals) and I've loved and cared for them all but have found other homes for all but one (who lives with my parents in HK).

It is probably pertinent at this point to mention that 1) Marcus is allergic to excessive dog fur 2) Lilly and Molly have two of the worst coats for shedding I've ever seen being Belgium Shepherd Collie crosses with big undercoats.  Anyway despite this issue, we fell in love with them within seconds, despite all they had been through they very quickly came to trust us, they never left our sides, Molly now hides behind Marcus whenever she's nervous (an impressive achievement for a dog who wouldn't come our from under the table if he was in the room for the first week). 

Lilly at the Beach

Molly at the Beach
Before we agreed to even foster them though we had a conversation about what they would eat. We knew that as vegans we couldn't pay for one set of animals (those made into food) to be used and abused so another (the girls) could eat. I'm very fortunate in that my degree included units on animal nutrition as well as access to professors to discuss dog nutritional needs with. We both did a lot of research including reading this free ebook on vegan dogs. We saw no reason that they shouldn't be healthy and happy on a vegan diet so that's exactly what they've been fed for the last 22 months.

We tried them on v-dog flakes initially which they didn't like then tried v-dog nuggets which they love. They also get some extra cooked food now and again which could be anything from potatoes, kidney beans and olive oil to whatever we had the night before (no onions, dogs are allergic).  They also adore carrots, seriously, we can't peel one or say the word without them being at our heels! Not only that but they took to nicking cabbage out the pots where we were growing them, cute initially but much more destructive than cabbage fly!

It's not just our opinion that they're healthy, according to the vet at their last check up about 6 weeks ago she said "They're in fantastic shape, the right weight and are very healthy. Keep doing what you're doing!". Now that's high praise from someone who peddles Iams. The other dogs vets are seeing are increasingly overweight (sometimes obese!) and listless apparently.

We knew that it was vital to us that the dogs were vegan, we couldn't justify the speciesism of feeding them other animals so we were willing to try everything and I think that is very important. Try lots of different foods, in the UK alone there's V-dog flakes,V-dog nuggets, Ami dog (hypoallergenic), Benevo,Yarah and vegedog which is a supplement powder to put on cooked food if you choose to go that way. What we're trying to say is there's so many options to try that with a bit of patience you will find the one that suits your companion/s.

We know there are those reading this who will think we're very odd and that dogs aren't vegan in the wild so shouldn't be fed vegan. You're right, dogs are natural omnivores (not carnivore as many believe) and scavengers. However post-domestication they eat whatever humans choose to give to them and the fact is that every essential nutrients required in a dog's diet can be met without any animal product whatsoever.

Every single essential amino acid, fatty acid, carbohydrate,vitamin, and mineral can be provided properly and so it can be absorbed. Therefore feeding dogs a traditional dog food with other animals and/or animal derived ingredients is certainly causing unnecessary suffering.

Finally it is vital that the dogs you rescue are spayed/neutered, there are already 120,000 dogs a year  abandoned  in the UK and 7551 are put down for no reason other than a lack of a home. With so many unwanted animals already, bringing more into existence increases competition for the few homes there are.

Helpful links below and remember email us/leave comments on the facebook...

Lembas - where we get our dog food,a wholefood seller in Sheffield
Veggie Pets - Labels which foods are vegan
Cerea dog chews at veggie pets although we find them everywhere,dogs adore them


  1. Naomi and Rolo the dogJan 8, 2012, 11:49:00 AM

    Wow I never thought about feeding Rolo a vegan diet,i'm going to go order some v-dog nuggets now from veggie pets! Thank you so so so much for making me think about this. I'll do half the new food and half his old stuff until it's finished then go all vegan. Is there a vegan dog wet food?

  2. I also meant to say your dogs are so pretty!! They're soo lucky to have such a lovely family now. If i'm in the area (i'm from Birmingham) we'll have to all meet up with my rescue Sheepdog Rolo.

  3. Hi Naomi, That's fantastic, do let us know how Rolo likes v-dog nuggets. Lilly and Molly really love it especially with a bit of gravy now and again (not to often due to salt content). Do let us know if you're in the Lincoln area :).

  4. Hey, my landlord has a vegan dog which i look after, Faith, she gets more cooked food then biscuits, usually a third of grains (lentils/buckwheat/quinoa etc) and third of veggies (brocci, sweet potatoes, normal potatoes, carrots, celery, coliflour) and a third biscuits and she seems to love all of it (well maybe not the biscuits so much) but they're soy free becuase she got issues with that, and she's always full of energy too :)

    1. Sounds good Richard, here is a collie that lived to the near oldest recorded age ever of 29 on a similar diet of lentils, rice and vegetables: http://dogsinthenews.com/issues/0209/articles/020918a.htm

  5. Now you can read about the diet and care regime of the dog who at the time of her death was the worlds oldest bitch. Its also rescue collie Brambles life story and suggests new ways of relating to the Animals in our care. Read about promoting longevity in your dog and Brambles adventures with her friends in Somerset.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ABGW8KS/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_7cnTqb0C067GYIm hoping this is easily acccessible because people have had trouble finding it on thier kindles..