Vegetarians in Paradise regularly presents informative articles by guest contributors on subjects of interest to vegetarians and vegans.
This month we feature Marr Nealon who is sharing her experiences with pet resources.
Marr is a vegan educator who was president of Voice for a Viable Future from 1996 to 2001. She served as chairperson of EarthSave Los Angeles form 1994 to 1999.
Vegan/Holistic Pet Resources
By Marr Nealon
Dogs are omnivores, thus are very easy to feed vegetarian. Some of the vegan dog foods have been on the market for well over 20 years. Cats are true carnivores, but with food or supplements that contain plant or synthetic forms of nutrients they mandatorily need like Vitamin A, taurine, and aracidonic acid, they can be healthy vegans.
Cats are harder to switch to a vegan diet because they are usually pickier eaters. Dogs will like most all vegan "people" food. Cats usually like avocado, cantaloupe, watermelon, peas, corn, oatmeal, and seitan ( a fake meat substance made from wheat gluten that should be chopped into very small pieces).
If you choose to feed meat to your companion animal, you would provide a healthier meal by adding fresh, raw, organic meat to fresh vegetables and grains or to vegan commercial pet food.
Rendered products go into the majority of meat-based pet foods. Rendered ingredients will be listed on the label as by-products or -meal (meat by-products, chicken by-products, bone meal, fish meal, etc.). As stated in the book Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat by Howard Lyman, the following items go into the "blender" at the rendering plant: ground-up dead horses, euthanized dogs and cats (from pounds and vets' offices), pigs, chickens, turkeys, and the blood and fecal matter of cows and chickens. This mixture goes into farm animal feed as well as into pet foods.
It's great to give our pets as much organic raw veggies and fruits as they want. They don't chew their food well, so it's smart to blend it in a food processor or Vita-Mix. You can soak almonds overnight in water (or for just a couple hours), rinse well, and then blend them into a mix of romaine, celery, carrots, and broccoli, or any other veggies you discover that they like.
Dogs usually love many types of fruit: pear, apple, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, banana, papaya, and mango. To facilitate your pet's digestion and assimilation, you should mash the fruits or chop them finely. In my experience dogs do better on veggies than on fruit, so I only give fruit occasionally rather than daily.
It became apparent to me that my dog had to be allergic to the wheat in the dry food and dog treats. His skin became very dry, and he was constantly itching (somewhat common in small long-haired dogs). The skin problem ended a month after he was placed on whole, fresh, 100% organic blended produce.
Because it's hard to know whether they are absorbing enough nutrients from their food,
you may want to consider adding one of the supplements below.
COMMERCIAL VEGAN DOG/CAT FOOD
Evolution vegan dog, cat, and ferret food http://www.petfoodshop.com
287 East 6th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: Dr. Eric and Lynn Weisman at 800-659-0104
Wet and dry vegan cat and dog food. Cats seem to love the dry. Dogs love both.
Only available by mail. Cheaper in bulk. You may want to order with a friend. Also available at
http://www.vegancats.com. Please mention code #z9924sid3.
My Pet Naturally http://www.mypetnaturally.com
Sells Evolution Diet for dogs, cats, and ferret as well as holistic and earth friendly pet products.
12001 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
Pet Guard wet and dry vegetarian dog food
Available in all health food stores. Features canned Vegetarian Feast Dinner and Organic Vegetarian Adult Dry Food.
VEGAN DOG TREATS
Boston Baked Bonz http://www.bostonbakedbonz.com
Vegan dog treats handmade with organic whole grains baked fresh daily and sent right to your door. Offers a full line of gifts from local artisans that celebrate the bond between people and their dogs. Always vegan. Always organic. Always inspiring tail wagging!
Buddy Biscuits http://www.cloudstar.com
P.O. Box 14437 San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
Available at all Trader Joe's. Shaped like gingerbread men, they are packed in a plain brown, recycled box.
Doggy Delights by Vegan Delights http://www.vegan-delights.com/vegan-dog-treats.html
Healthy and organic treats that freshen your dog's breath. Available on-line.
Emma's K9 Kitchen http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5537231
Homemade, mostly organic, vegan dog treats made to order. Wheat-free or any special dietary requests honored. Packaged in biodegradable cellulose bags. Owner donates 10% of proceeds to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.
Joyful Hands organic, gourmet handmade biscuits by mail http://www.joyfulhands.com
Phone: 619-440-4361 or 619-933-2664
Kitty Treats, Doggie Donuts and Pet Birthday Cakes
Just Vegg'n biscuits http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com
Old Mother Hubbard
Made with oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples. Available at Petco
Mr. Barkey's (made by Pet Guard)
Available in a large bone-shaped box at health food stores. They now have a whole-grain variety. Box has a hound dog's head with a hat on.
VEGAN PET SUPPLEMENTS
F & O Alternative Pet Products http://www.vegancats.com
11252 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98133
Carries Harbingers of a New Age Vegecat, Vegedog, and Vegekit supplements. Mention that you heard about them from vegan educational non-profit Voice for a Viable Future, (code #z9924sid3) and they will donate a portion of the proceeds to VFAVF. You can also order Evolution and Natural Life pet foods, Mr. Barky's biscuits, hemp dog collars, leashes, and other natural products at this site.
Fat Cat Happy Dog http://www.fatcathappydog.com
Manufactures and sells an all natural vegetarian dog food supplement called Eat Your Veggies made from 100% human grade dehydrated vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots, potato, peas, broccoli and green beans along with 4 digestive herbs. Eat Your Veggies contains essential vitamins and minerals and is free of preservatives, chemicals and coloring agents. Dehydration is the best method of preserving the natural nutrients in food, making this the best choice, over frozen or canned vegetables, for natural healthy eating.
Joyful Hands http://www.joyfulhands.com
Phone: 619-440-4361 or 619-933-2664
Carries 100% organic Cosmic Greens, Customized Hip/Joint Care, EFA, oils, herbal "antihistamine" powder, anti-itch spray, enzyme shampoo, flower essences, ear treatment
Tell Angela "Boo" sent you. (Boo is Marr's animal companion.)
Missing Link pet supplement, vegetarian formula.
Available at many health food stores or through http://www.vegancats.com
Please mention code #z9924sid3
HOLISTIC PET SERVICES
For holistic pet services in the Los Angeles area see http://www.vegparadise.com/yellowpages.html
Pedan, James, Vegetarian Cats and Dogs available at
re-Bow,Verona and Jonathan Dune, Vegetarian Dogs available at
Disclaimer: I am not a vet. I am a vegan educator. I am simply sharing 17 years of experience in seeking out the above foods. Use this list at your own discretion. I claim no responsibility. In my experience, the results have been extremely positive. If you have questions, contact Marr Nealon at Respect for Life Productions: 818-509-1255 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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