Tag Archives: healthy dogs

DIY Vegan Dog Food Part Two


Hi Again,

This is the second part of my friend Lotte’s letter to me on making my own vegan dog food for my sweet little pup, Pippa. Here’s Pippa with gravel on the nose from our trip to the beach. Pippa is a huge veggie lover!

A funny side note: Pippa will bark at me for snap peas and beg for carrots. She loves red cabbage and English cucumbers. What’s funny is that a friend had bought her a raw bone when he was watching her and she would have nothing to do with it. That’s my girl! 

Pippa with gravel nose

I plan to start making food for Pippa. Dogs, like humans, can also get Cancer and tumor growth and I’d like for Pippa to live the best life possible and hopefully avoid that!

Hi Nina,

This is going to be a long recipe, and I will have to finish it tomorrow. I want you to understand the background because it will save you some of the trials and errors we went through.

We have been making dog food for Ruby now for the last 8 out of her 10 years. We started her on kibble, and we decided early on that she needed to eat three smaller meals instead of one or two bigger ones. RR have a tendency to get a turned stomach, so you don’t want to overfeed dry food which expand in the stomach – a very painful way to die that killed our family German Shepard dog Jaco.

Still both of us thought it was weird to feed your dog the same food 3 times a day- cereal for breakfast, cereal for lunch and cereal for dinner, and the same cereal. It was convenient – no question about it – but 100% processed and devoid of natural enzymes and vitamins.

The first step in introducing live and raw foods was when Brian bought raw meat patties at the local dog food store. For some reason we thought you have to buy her food at a pet store. It was really expensive too. She absolutely hated it. It smelled weird and chemical. Who knows what was in it. She would leave it sitting on the plate for hours and really struggled to eat it. After a few weeks we gave up on that.

Then my friend Garth came by one day and gave me some dog food he had made for his dog to keep the dog from having seizures. It had raw turkey meat, oatmeal, canned tuna, ground flax seed, veggies. Ruby really loved the sample, so then we started making her food with a combination of raw beef and raw turkey, boiled eggs, potatoes, green peas, green beans, zucchini, olive oil, sweet potatoes and rice –and gradually weaned her off the kibble. We did this for quite a while but as we went vegetarian we had a bit of an issue with the meat in the recipe although she kept eating meat a while after we stopped.

The first thing we cut out was the beef. We substituted with grain and more beans. We did this for some months. Then we cut the turkey and we substituted the rice for quinoa which has more protein and seemed to work better for Ruby. Then we cut the tuna and finally we cut the eggs, and Nothing Bad Happened!

I admit I was worried as we have been told that it is tantamount to dog abuse not to feed your dog meat – and mostly meat- and raw at that. When you think about it, it is really quite nuts. Dogs have adapted to human diets and meat was a real luxury in most cultures and still is. I think it is unlikely you would feed your dog meat when you could eat it yourself on those rare occasions if at all. People used to feed their dogs table scraps and dogs used to live to 16 -19 years of age. My guess is that dogs mostly ate vegan food scraps and maybe some raw bones.


It has been 7-8 years of continually altering and modifying her foods as we learn how to feed her by observation. At some point we added turmeric to control the fatty tumors which are prevalent in Rhodesian Ridgebacks. We also cut the processed junk food treats to limit her exposure to additives which we believe causes fatty tumors as the body tries to encapsulate the chemicals it cant expel in fat.   When she started to get too skinny, we cut the rice and added quinoa, and that seem to make the difference so that she is now a healthy weight, but this was just one of several adjustments. I think the key is to observe and find out how much you need to feed your dog based on maintaining a healthy weight, sparkle in eyes, clean ears, clean teeth, lots of energy, joy. We take Ruby to the vet and they think they are looking at a dog half her age and she is almost 10 years old.   Ruby has had one teeth cleaning at 8 years old, when she had to have a tooth extracted because she probably broke it on a bone. Her gums are pink and healthy and her teeth are white. Her breath is great and she smells very clean despite the fact that she hates to be washed so we only wash her once every couple of years.

Where we are today is this:

We take out two frozen foods of prepared food every day, of the size I gave you. We feed her one of them for breakfast. Then we make a bowl of oatmeal for ourselves with some left over and we feed her half oatmeal and half of the second bowl for lunch and dinner with the second bowl of food.

In addition we now give her vegan kibble as snack during the day . We also give her a peanut bone or a meat bone every day. I use the marrow bones that do not splinter. I boil the meat bones after she finish them, fill them with peanut butter and freeze them. I give her frozen meat or peanut bones and she loves it. (She prefers the meat bones J.)

We add rice milk, soy milk or potato/veggie cooking water to her drinking water and she will not drink any water unless I add that.

Your dog is half Ruby’s size, so you could probably get away with one to one and a half container of the size I gave you. (I gave you this container so it would be easier to explain the amount J).

So I felt I had to explain this to you so you know how we got to where we are today. I think that the key to good vegan nutrition is:

Organic vegetables and grains

Some raw and some cooked

Some mashed and some chunky

Great variety – hit all the bases

Add supplements like flax, turmeric etc.

Observe and adjust

Mix it up. No one want to eat the same thing 3 times a day.

Feed 3 smaller meals instead of 1 big meal. (dogs love to eat-spread out the love)

Feed healthy food scraps as a snack or part of the meal–it adds variety to the diet

Forget about the “people foods for people only”. People food is dog food.

Tomorrow, the most recent recipe.


Again, a HUGE Thank You to Lotte for sharing!

DIY Vegan Dog Food


Hi There Dog Lovers, 

My awesome vegan Danish friend Lotte has so graciously shared her vegan dog food recipe with me and all of you! Plus extra tips and a bit of story that, if you’re a dog lover will most certainly appreciate! Here’s a photo of Lotte and her sweet dog/child, Ruby from this winter!


Here’s what Lotte wrote and shared with me:

Hi Nina,

OK so a little time again to finish the recipe saga for you.

We typically shop at Trader Joe’s for best deals on organic produce for Ruby and we make food for an entire months- so approximately 60-65 of the glass sizes I gave you, plus we got a small freezer just for her food.  I expect that number one, you would need to only make 30 –40 for a month supply for Pippa because she is quite a bit smaller. Ruby is 70 pounds.  I also expect you don’t have as much room to store her food or all the containers you would need, so I will give you the recipe for what I would think is the smallest amount you would want to make at a time.

We don’t add salt to Ruby’s food. We buy all organic and get everything at Trader Joe except the oatmeal, dried beans and lentils, the flax and the turmeric which we buy at PCC.

The starches:

One  5 pound bag of TJ organic potatoes – cooked and diced (we don’t peel) – save cooking  water (See tip #1)

One 5 pound bag or TJ sweet potatoes – Cooked and diced (We don’t peel) – save cooking water

One bag of TJ Quinoa – use potato/sweet potato cooking water to cook

1 – 2 cups brown rice – optional but economical– use potato/sweet potato cooking water to cook

4 cups of dry oatmeal – use potato/sweet potato cooking water to cook (See tip #2)

5-6 cans of beans or similar amount soaked and boiled beans. – mashed (See tip #3) (we use combination of kidney and black beans)

1 cup Red lentils –optional –  cooked and blended/or mashed

The veggies:

One bag of green peas – defrosted and mashed

One bag of frozen green beans- lightly cooked and cut into smaller pieces

3-4 zucchini- raw and grated in food processor

1 bag of broccoli florets (the tips) – lightly steamed and chopped.

Juicing pulp- if you juice. – optional (see tip #4)

The supplements:

3/4 cup of flax seed – freshly ground up – for omega 3 (we use Vitamix for grinding)

1/4 cup turmeric (we use because it should help against fatty tumors and potential inflammation conditions.


#1 We found that Ruby loves to drink the cooking water from potatoes and sweet potatoes, so we either mix it into her drinking water or we use it when we cook the rice, oatmeal or quinoa. This way we don’t lose the vitamins etc. that boiled out into the water.

#2 We found oatmeal really easily digestible for Ruby and it sits well with her.  It has a lot of protein. To save space in the freezer, we make the base food without the oatmeal, and then we cook up about a 1/2 cup dried oatmeal a day and mix it into the de-frosted food. (we cook oatmeal for ourselves so we just make extra) . Oatmeal is also a very economical ingredient and I think a really good way to introduce whole foods to a dogs diet when you first start out. You could simply start by giving Pippa a bowl of oatmeal each day- possibly adding flax to it.

#3 Ruby can not break down the skin of the beans and lentils so they come out whole unless we pre-mash the. You could blend them too.

#4 I try to juice carrots right before we make Ruby’s food so I can save the pulp by mixing it into her food. Dogs can not break down these harder veggies – but they can digest pulp and will benefit from the fiber and vitamins left in that.  If you juice regularly, leave the pulp out of her frozen food and add some of it to her food whenever you juice so it is ultimately fresh and nutritious.

OK this is it finally. Let me know how it goes. Remember to transition her unto this food over a period of at least a couple of weeks so her body develops the necessary enzymes to digest it.

Take care,


***Also See Part Two of Lotte’s Letter!


Here’s a link of the containers that Lotte freezes Ruby’s food in:


Thank you so very much, Kære Lotte! You Rock!