12 July 2012

TDIV Q&A: Is your dog vegan?

I became vegan in an overnight freak out health scare two years ago and I never expected my dogs to understand what that was about. So, when the ethical side of veganism and hatred of factory farming caught up with me, I began researching the possibility of having my dogs join me in my plant powered existence.

First stop, the vet. Dr. Rowe, my guru in all things canine, told me that “dogs are omnivores and can eat both meat and plants or either.” She said this as she was sitting on the floor examining the huge flakes of dead skin rolling off the back end of my male greyhound, Phantom. His latest skin condition was confounding her expertise and he and I were trying to get some answers. His skin was red, itchy, hot to the touch and full of bumps.

Steroids, skin creams and oatmeal baths still left him looking like a moth eaten pashmina. The only thing left to tackle was his food. If being vegan made me feel amazing, boosted my immune system and was also responsible for my shiny, gleaming hair and skin, why wouldn’t it work for Phanny? Dr. Rowe was unconvinced.

I began searching on the internet and found that there are many vegan dry and wet dog food options so I brought home four and all four of my dogs scarfed them down...including the 14 year old queen-of-the-pack standard poodle. Getting them to give up meat was not going to be an issue. I settled for Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Formula at about $45 a bag which had the very same ingredients as the movie star brand (Dick Van Patten) at $60 a bag.

In less than a week, Phantom was flaking at least 50 percent less and after 2 weeks, the scaliness was practically gone. His hair was back and the patches of missing fur were ancient history. No longer was he embarrassed and hanging his head on walks around the hood. He was once again a sleek black muscular machine that raced around the backyard and leaped in the air with unbridled dog joy. Dr. Rowe was thrilled.

All of my dogs are vegans now and thriving and I’m just happy that all living beings in my house are now super healthy. The fact that they are also living within my ethical belief system is just a bonus!

Kathryn Lorusso | O'Neill 365 | Twitter | Blog | Bio
Dallas, TX Kathryn is a former journalist and English teacher who now counsels and mediates teenage drama on a daily basis in the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex. Time away from school is spent cooking up new macrobiotic/vegan specialties, writing various blogs and newsletters and taking as many bikram yoga classes as possible. She gives vegan cooking classes at the Arlington Bikram Yoga studio, mentors a vegetarian/vegan student group and has just been chosen as one of six fitness icons for O’Neill Clothing Company.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/fontplaydotcom