Raw Vegan Dog Story
Hey! I'm new to the board, but just wanted to share the story of my dog going on the raw vegan diet because I've seen some posts about it. So I'm including EVERYTHING, the good and the bad, sorry it's so long.
My dog (a long haired chihuahua named Myoki) developed a mammary gland tumor at age 7, and when I found it, it was around the size of her nipple. I took her to the vet and they confirmed it was a tumor and suggested removing it via surgery to test whether or not it was cancerous. I personally have had some serious ailments greatly helped by raw food, so I decided to try attempting to heal her with food before going through any surgery/chemo.
I decided to try initially feeding her an all raw vegan diet fairly low in fat, but was prepared to switch her off of it instantly if she didn't do well. But she started doing amazingly! After around 1-2 months her tumor was just a tiny lump (maybe around 10-20%) of what it had been, and her energy level went way way up, and she had lost her extra weight. Her personality changed a decent bit- she was way more excited to meet other dogs, more loving to me, a little more brave about simple things (like climbing stairs and jumping on the bed), and just happier and more excited about things.
About 3-4 months into the diet she was still doing much better than before the diet switch and her tumor was still shrinking, but she started developing a lot of dandruff and started to seem just too desperately hungry, and was eating her poop more often. (She has always been a poop eater off and on whether eating meat or not.) So I increased the amount of fat in her diet, started giving her more nutritional yeast (sprinkled once a day on one meal), added another meal into the day, and a few days with this switch her dandruff went away and she stopped eating her poop and seemed less food crazy.
The diet she's on now is around 20% fat. When she eats nuts directly they come right out whole again, so the fat she gets is generally from fresh coconut, coconut oil, almond butter, a little avocado (I know there are some controversies over avocado but I learned about this after avocado became one of her favorite foods as a puppy and she has always been fine with it), and sometimes seeds/nuts blended with something.
6 months after she started the diet she's still doing really wonderful. Her tumor can really only be felt if you squeeze under her skin, and it's very nearly gone, often I can't find it. She doesn't have dandruff anymore (but she did have an allergic reaction to lychee when we moved to Hawaii!) , and she has a ton of energy.
One unexpected cool improvement has been her breath and teeth! When we started this she had 3 loose teeth in the front that needed to be pulled, but I was afraid of putting her through the surgery and compromising her immune system. Like dogs fed raw meat, her teeth have drastically improved! All of her teeth are firm and don't seem to cause her pain anymore, and she doesn't develop any tartar or build up like our other dog does. She still has some strange green slimey stuff growing that smells lower on her teeth (I don't know what this is, but she and our other dog both got it about a year ago). Her teeth firming up has been a more recent thing, they were still loose 4 months into the diet change.
I still let her chase and eat bugs whenever she wants to, she's also such a scavenger and loves hanging out under fruit trees, grazing on grasses, and occasionally eats dirt- we let her decide what to eat when she's roaming around. She eats far more calories and still stays lean than she did on a cooked diet. She does sometimes have whole food in her poop (nuts especially and also red pepper). But most of the time her poop is firm. When she gets too little fat or we haven't fed her enough she will start poop eating, but not when she's getting enough food. When we first switched her to this diet she had a lot of extra things in her poop, but now it's usually all brown and firm.
We feed her 3 large meals a day, and lots of snacks. Some of her favorite meals are:
- 3/4 of a mango with salad mix (chopped up) and wheat grass (chopped very fine and a little juicy)
- Tomato, cucumber, chopped greens, some nut yeast, and around 1/10th of an avocado
- Yam rice (yam, tomato, celery, beet, nut yeast, sea salt, raw nori, spinach) blended in a food processor.
- Salads with water/nuts/seed dressing, bean sprouts, and mixed berries
- Kale salad (massaged Kale with olive oil and miso)
Her favorite snacks are broccoli stalk, raw nori sheets, cherries, red pepper, coconut, sweet peas, some of my smoothies, and mango. But she eats a wide array of vegetables and fruits (no grapes and she hates carrots and zucchini!). We give her raw nori because it contains taurine so we don't need to supplement it! Taurine is necessary for cats to survive, not for dogs, but dogs not getting taurine can develop heart trouble in later years (though not as much trouble as SAD dog food dogs!) We also makes sure she gets nutritional yeast and wheatgrass daily, and she also loves those chewable chlorella tablets. I occasionally give her steamed broccoli when I'm too lazy to make separate snacks for both of my dogs.
Since her diet change I've had a lot more people ask me if she's a puppy because she's just so full of energy and enthusiasm. I personally believe that a vegan diet is better for dogs than the standard pet food diet (there has been a small study showing dogs living longer with lower risk of heart disease and cancer on a vegan diet), but that the ideal diet is a primarily raw food diet, whether vegan or meat based, but of course be prepared to keep an extra eye on your dog and make sure they are getting everything they need! Also I have no clue if I would be able to do this with a large dog- her food preparation takes up so much time and she eats a ton! I'm also lucky that she isn't a picky eater, I have another dog who is a picky eater and he is not completely raw, maybe 60-70%.
I also want to add to be careful with fat amount or at least fat via nuts- I think that's what makes or breaks a raw vegan dog food diet. I had quite awhile ago switched both dogs to a raw food diet when they were sick (from some pesticide or cleanser in a new rental) with a lot of veggie/nut blends and they did terrible- started acting afraid of their food and threw up- so that idea was thrown out the window immediately.
Anyhow, good luck! I just wanted to share my story! Please don't post anything about how terrible it is for a dog to be a vegan- I've known a ton of happy, healthy (compared to other SAD dogs) vegan and vegetarian dogs. One of the longest lived dogs was vegan, small studies have shown increased longevity, and my dogs certainly have a ton of energy (they weigh 4 and 6 pounds and go on 12 mile hikes with me despite one having a bum leg!) I do think the raw meat diet does extremely well for dogs too. As long as you care and pay attention then you're doing what you can. We're all clueless and test subjects when it comes to food these days, and pretty much any diet we give our dogs they wouldn't be getting in nature. I imagine my little Myoki out in the world and she would probably be mostly eating grasses, dirt, rotting fruit, rotting meat, bugs, on a rare occasion a mouse or something, and roots, and frankly I just don't think I can copy that exactly! But I try to make her as healthy and happy as possible, and luckily that seems to correspond with my ethics as well.
I realize this is a newer diet for her still, so I will update results honestly if desired. Hope this helps someone!
Apparently, we aren't supposed to give avocado to dog.
There is a list of food here, just look at the plant:
Blessings and love
-Raw Angel Mom
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
– Saint Maximilian Kolbe
ps: I was a lost sheep and i returned to the Catholic Faith. Please kindly discern any spiritual guidance by myself prior to October 1, 2012.
What a great story, sarahveggie!
It's inspirational! Thank you for sharing!
Now, if more humans would first do this for themselves and then for their pets just think what a wonderful world this would be!
Glad she is doing well but do be aware that because dogs (and cats) need the amino acids l-carnitine and taurine she would eventually have heart issues without these. I guess you could give them as supplements but I think you need to look at her diet from a nutritional standpoint keeping in mind they have a short digestive tract compared to ours and digest food differently. Please do some research for her sake. anne
Originally Posted by sarahveggie
I'm sorry I am so new here but I am quite confused as I know dogs are carnivores. So how does one feed them a diet thats not natural for them. There insides are not like ours and their teeth are made for ripping animals apart. Our pet dogs are basically wolves or wild dogs(think dingo's). I fed my dog a raw diet too but not what I ate. What was natural for them. Yes a whole raw organic chicken(organs, bones and all)she got other kinds of meats too ,but I never gave a complete diet of vegs. She sometimes got a carrot or some other vegs(even a fruit now and then) but that was it. Im not bashing just curious how one does that and not have an unhealthy pup.
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