We have 2 young dogs, both rescues. When we got Shanti, he was emaciated, frightened and had a very sensitive tummy. I went in search of dog food and found a great allergy food that was also vegan; Natural Balance. Both dogs have been eating this food for over a year,love it, and are healthy and happy. It makes me happy to know what they are eating.
Read the Ingredients
Dog food is another incredibly controversial topic. Many people feel it is cruel to feed a dog a vegan diet as they say, dogs are carnivores. I believe dogs are actually omnivores but that is neither here nor there. My mom taught me to read ingredients when I was young. That is probably what got me interested in studying Nutrition in college. Before you judge me for the cruel and unusual punishment of feeding my dogs vegan dog food, read this:
Natural Balance Vegan Formula
Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas, Potato Protein, Canola Oil, Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Vegetable Flavoring, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Spinach, Parsley Flakes, Cranberries, L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-2 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Okay, now let’s compare apples to apples shall we say. Here is the ingredients of another of the foods from this same company.
Natural Balance Lamb and Rice Formula
Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Rice Bran, Canola Oil, Lamb, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Okay, sounds pretty straight forward. However, I am curious what exactly lamb meal is so I go to good old wikipedia and here is what they say:
“Lamb meal is a popular ingredient in dog food. It is the dry rendered part from mammal tissues, specially prepared for feeding purposes by tanking under live steam or dry rendering. Though the meat has been cooked, dried, and ground, it is still meat, and has not had any blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach or rumen contents added to it.”
Okay, I am getting a bit queasy but at least there isn’t any blood, hair etc in it, but what is rendering? Again, wikipedia:
“Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, value-added materials. Rendering can refer to any processing of animal byproducts into more useful materials, or more narrowly to the rendering of whole animal fatty tissue into purified fats like lard or tallow. Rendering can be carried out on an industrial, farm, or kitchen scale.
The majority of tissue processed comes from slaughterhouses, but also includes restaurant grease and butcher shop trimmings. This material can include the fatty tissue, bones, and offal, as well as entire carcasses of animals condemned at slaughterhouses, and those that have died on farms (deadstock), in transit, etc. The most common animal sources are beef, pork, sheep, and poultry.
The rendering process simultaneously dries the material and separates the fat from the bone and protein. A rendering process yields a fat commodity (yellow grease, choice white grease, bleachable fancy tallow, etc.) and a protein meal (meat & bone meal, poultry byproduct meal, etc.).
Rendering plants often also handle other materials, such as slaughterhouse blood, feathers and hair, but do so using processes distinct from true rendering.”
Now I want to barf. Okay, so now you are thinking, you meany, you can still feed your dogs meat, you just have to buy it and prepare it for them so you know what they are eating. It is true, I could, however, I truly believe my doggies are happy and healthy and so does our vet! Wouldn’t it be the tiniest bit weird to have a vegan tearing apart raw meat to feed to her dogs?
Hope this gives you food for thought! Peace, Mimi, Shanti, and Mate’