Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pet Food

Wow I've just been slacking in my posts these last few months.
  Hello all I hope you are having a good autumn day.  It's been quite cold and foggy these past couple of mornings.  We are pretty lucky it clears up mid morning to a beautiful sunny day.

Just when I think I'm starting to deal with controlling my emotions regarding the loss of our dog Cleo we receive a cremation certificate from Oak Hills Memorial Pet Care.  It brought up all of my emotions again but at least I know she was treated with care.  I'd like to share with you a bit of what the card said. 
"You may be assured that your beloved pet Cleo was treated with dignity and consideration during our special process.  We have placed your pet's cremains beneath a stand of great trees in a serene country setting."  I feel now I can truly move on knowing she is at peace and was taken care of.

Regarding pet food, I've always tried to feed my animals the best food while not breaking the bank.  When Cleo got cancer I took another look at her food.   Researching all of the sites on canine cancer I found when it came to feeding dogs with cancer they all mention getting off store bought pet food and making your own. sounds like with  humans, fresh whole foods are just healthier.  It totally makes sense!

The first dried biscuit for dogs was processed in 1860, right after World War II bagged and canned pet food became popular in the U.S. because it was more economical.  Before that time dogs ate table scraps, vegetables etc.  You can read about the history of commercial dog food all over the internet or at   History of Dog Food  Like with people, the more processed food you eat the unhealthier you become.  Also the more organic ingredients the better as well.

If you can't feed your pet a completely fresh diet try to feed a higher quality kibble then add fresh veggies to it like I've been doing.  You can mix all kinds of veggies, omega oils, etc.  Wheat, corn and soy are the biggest allergens for dogs.  Wheat especially is not good for dogs.  Sweet potatoes are alot better than white potatoes which are real starchy.

  This is a mix of kale, swiss chard, carrots, peas, quinoa and a bit of barley.  Ace loves this stuff!

Some of the research I've done has been on finding companies that also use organic ingredients. I've e-mailed quite a few regarding their ingredients. I'm surprised to find that Halo the one Ellen Degeneres recommends, doesn't use hormone free chicken or eggs from small farms.  There are a couple of companies that carry dehydrated food which is made using very low heat but enough to kill pathogens.  Here are a couple of those-  Dr. Harvey's  you would add a protein to it.  Alicia Silverstone has been feeding her dogs for years using this food and for a protein she adds lentils, beans or tofu to it and her dogs are healthy as can be.  You need to add an omega oil to this food as well as l-creatine and taurine if no meat is used.  Then there is The Honest Kitchen , one of their food items is all veg.  This food is alot pricer especially if you have a bigger dog like our 80lb Ace dog.  Carna4 is a  newer line of baked kibble from Canada.  They had a great response when I emailed them regarding where their chicken came from.  They say they choose the freshest like they do for themselves. You can truly see that the owners care about their pets.  Now while I'm vegan I don't believe in factory farming but most of the meat in dog foods come from factory farms. So when even buying a kibble that has some meat in it I prefer organic ingredients.   Petguard Organic Pet Food  is good and they have a vegetarian option as well.  

Amongst my research I found that Natura Pet food brand which includes EVO, Innova, California Natural and Karma( 90% organic)was bought out to Proctor and Gamble.  Here is a company that was supposedly a high quality pet food yet they sell out to a company like Proctor and Gamble.  It's also interesting that there was a class action lawsuit against them filed regarding their claims regarding the description of their dog food.  It's always good to research a pet food before you purchase.  I also don't get the addition of cottage cheese in some of these dog foods because just like people alot of dogs can have an allergy or be lactose intolerant.  Milk is for babies is what I say.  If you feel you want to give your pet yogurt because it contains probiotics then add a capsule or two of probiotics.

All in all when it comes to your pets, fresher is better.  If you have a question regarding a product e-mail the company they always reply rather quickly.  
What do you feed your dogs?


  1. Sorry about Cleo, but glad you have some closure now. We just got a dog a couple weeks ago, our family's first pet! I've been feeding her what the rescue gave me when we got her, which is Merrick Turduckin. Your post came at a perfect time because her food is getting low and I really want to start her on something healthier. I like the idea of making my own like you are doing, but I may buy some kibble also if I can find a good vegan/organic variety that isn't too pricey. Do you feed Ace any meat now or just the veggie-quinoa mixture? If you're feeding him all vegan now do you use any supplements? Thanks for sharing all this info! :)

  2. VegWhoHateTofu-congrats on your new dog! Right now I feed Ace kibble along with the mixed veggies. If I made all of his food I would add lentils, beans, and or sprouted tofu along with supplements to the veggies and grain mixture. My husband is only vegan at home so if we have company and he makes any kind of meat I would give it to Ace if there is some left over. Cost is a concern for most of us so if you can find a good organic dog kibble and then add as much fresh veggies and greens to it then it makes it that much better for the dog.

  3. i was driving home from class last night and something reminded me of jasmine and i just burst out crying. sometimes you've just gotta let the emotions run, ya know? that's really nice of them to send you a card along with the certificate - i agree, it sounds like Cleo is at peace, JoLynn.

    right now we feed julie the petguard organic food. it is pricey (it's worth it though!), but i looked into the "buy frozen and defrost organic raw diet" and it would be about $265/month for us to feel her this and at the moment with me going back to school and paying monthly tuition it's not going to happen, but it could once i graduate - that's for sure! so i'm thinking we'll start adding in fresh food to her kibble, just like you're doing - and maybe i'll look into buying 1/2 the raw food when her kibble runs out and use those raw patties in combination with the fresh food. i like that the petguard is wheat, corn, and soy free - as julie doesn't do well with all three (especially soy - she vomits). she does loooove sweet potatoes and she adores most beans & cooked carrots and such, so i'm thinking we'll start mixing in yummies we eat as early as this evening! i'm thinking a little cooked sweet potato & brown rice might be kinda nice mixed in with her kibble.

    thanks so much for sharing, JoLynn - you are too awesome, my friend! and give Ace a big bear hug for me!

  4. Ahhh Jessy! Crying while driving is one of the worst combo's, sorry about that. It's just so crazy how a loss of a pet can affect us many months/years later.
    Thanks for sharing your dog food routine too! I do love that Petguard doesn't have all the main allergy foods in it unlike other veg dog foods. I'm not sure if Ace is allergic to soy but I wouldn't be giving him lots of it anyways. Dogs seem to love sweet potatoes and now that its winter all of those sweet winter squashes will be a treat for our dogs to eat.
    Hugs to you Jessy!

  5. Wow- if only I could get my dogs to like veggies! So sorry for your loss- it's always hard to say goodbye to a beloved pet because they're so much a part of the family. My heart goes out to you!

  6. It really is so worthwhile to make real food for your beloved furry companions... I wish I could more often, but definitely do make an effort when I can. It's just flat out scary what ends up in commercial dog food.

    At the very least, I always make sure I include one dog treat recipe in every cookbook I write!

  7. I'm so very sorry about Cleo. It's hard to lose a furry baby. I still miss the ones I've lost and carry them in my heart at all times.

    Dogs can eat vegan, but it's up in the air with kitties-- an ugly grey area with no easy answers.

  8. Urban vegan- I agree that dogs can eat vegan but with any diet for these animals you have to make sure they are getting all of the nutrients they need. Eating a high quality kibble that isn't vegan though it's good to add fresh veggies/greens. Cats don't do well on a veg diet, too many health reactions to grains. We can't change the true diet of a cat which is still an avid hunter. If a dog is left on the streets you probably won't find them hunting after birds or rats to eat where as a cat would.

  9. you have an award on my blog.