The Truth About Commerical Dog Food
By Ryan Jones
Everything around us these days has a price, the biggest profit margins are squeezed out of every lousy idea and dog food is no different.
When we adopted Nomad off the street we naturally went to the local store and found some imported dog food, dried and tinned food. For about 3 days Nomad was eating this, as a street mongrel who’s life had been scavenging for scraps anywhere he could, this was a dream to him. One day I started reading the back of the tin, this led me to a simple internet search about what’s really in commercial dog food? I’d like to say I was shocked, I wasn’t… maybe a little at how bad it really was. As an individual who refuses to be part of any sadistic cruelty of an innocent animal, where every avenue is being explored to make more money of their misery, why would this be any different. Nomad cannot make this concious decision but I do know that feeding him meat that is ”scraped up off the floor” or has spent its entire life locked up in misery cannot be a good thing, and this doesn’t even touch on the fact that my money is supporting this industry, I’ll just hope that my dog supports me on this one, if not I will bribe him with bananas and I’m definitely going to get his support that way.
I’m not a vet and I wouldn’t expect most vets to give a shit either, they would probably be the first to tell you your crazy, just like the doctor who falls off their chair and wants to give you an emergency blood test when you tell them your vegan, or the dentist who thinks the chemical formula of Colgate toothpaste is acceptable to push upon kids. My only goal here is too plant a seed to anyone reading, and to encourage you to look for yourselves.
As an individual I am fascinated by wolves, reading books on wolves over the years we assume the wolf only feasts on dead flesh, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In history wolves have been forced to eat many other fruits, berries, plants to survive in the wild because of this their bodies have developed in this way. Your dog will live a long healthy life on a vegan diet, and is a real kindness we can show our companions on a daily basis. Please don’t mistake this for me claiming a dog cannot live a healthy lifestyle eating meat, I’m just trying to make the distinction between commercial dog food and your dogs health. Dog food legally contains 4-D meat – dead, dying, diseased and disabled. Pretty much every dead animal they can scrape of the factory farm floor, all that disease, artificial hormones, drugs and faeces can still be sold; capitalism overlooked the ethics of this one. If this wasn’t bad enough, most of the meat is ”meat by product”, this is the companies way of telling you ”tonight your dog will be eating, feet, beaks, bone, lungs, spleens and intestines”. They don’t need to tell the consumer this though, all the consumer needs to read is that its chicken flavour. Please don’t fall into the trap of buying organic dog food either and believing its any different.
There are endless vegan dog food companies now selling affordable food for your dog, I’m not going to lie, some I would not recommend as half the ingredients consists of wheat and corn as fillers, but most can be nutritious when used alongside fresh food for your dog. If I ask one thing, google ”the truth about commercial dog food” and take some time to find out for yourself. This isn’t just a vegan community thing where the ‘mainstream arses’ now have more ammunition to call us weird, people everywhere are waking up to the truth about dog food. Many years ago stacking supermarket shelves was my job, I cant tell you how many packs of pet food got incinerated due to worms, magnets etc…. FEAR NOT though fellow humans, your not missing out, they are in your meaty snacks too, the food agencies just do a better job of hiding it… now eat up!!!
Below are some snacks the grumpy sailor makes for Nomad, as good as they are, they will still never come close to Nomad’s OBSESSION with bananas. We make Nomad fresh food every 3 days, using James O’Heare’s recipes but also adding a lot of raw fresh veg before serving and adding a lot of super food’s. As snacks throughout the day we give him fruits and fats in his kong.
Look into the story of vegan dog Bramble who held a record for oldest living dog at 27 years old, but this is irrelevant because I’m not trying to sell anything to you here, just an idea.
V-Dog – Incredible new vegan dog food on the market
Veggie Pets – UK online store for veggie/vegan pets
Vegan Dogs PDF – Excellent vegan dog nutrition guide by James O’Heare (highly recommend reading – free download)
Below is the recipe for the mini Carob Training Treats I make for Nomad. This recipe makes around 75 little balls about 1cm across. It takes a few minutes to roll so many, so feel free to half the recipe. I like to do a big batch in one go and then store then in the freezer. Nomad goes crazy for these little things, especially when we play hide and seek with them and he is running around the ship trying to sniff them out. They have definitely been the key to training him… and they are not just for puppies, he’s not one.
Make sure you only use carob powder as cocoa is poisonous for dogs. The same goes for the suggested nut butters… nuts like macadamia and walnuts and some others are also not safe for Dogs.
Please also check out the fundraiser we are running for Si Ma Bo Animal Association, here in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde. Without them the dogs and cats on this island would have no hope. They have also been absolutely amazing in helping us get all the paperwork and blood work sorted for Nomad so he can start his new life in England with us this summer. Silvia was also incredible when we came home on Christmas Eve to find Nomad had climbed up on the table, sniffed around and found a tasty bag of raisins and devoured the whole bag! Raisins are ridiculously poisonous for dogs and can cause renal failure and death. We got him to vomit, and then Silvia was one the phone to vets in Italy to tell us what to do! When you search online the advice is always to take them straight the to vets… but here in Cape Verde there is nowhere that specialist to take sick animals… except Si Ma Bo. All we could do was set him up with a drip and wait it out. Two very sleepless nights later and a cancelled Christmas and he seemed Ok… has the tough stomach of a street dog I guess.
If you can spare anything… even a few dollars or pounds… please help to support Si Ma Bo and visit our fundrasier page. Learn more about them Si Ma Bo and watch a short 2 minute video we put together here.
- 1/2 cup natural almond/peanut butter with no added sugar (don’t replace with other nut butters as some are not safe for dogs)
- 1/2 cup carob powder (don’t replace with cacao or cocoa)
- 1 ripe banana
- 6 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- 6 Tbsp desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 fresh dates, stones removed
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Alternatively if you don’t have a food processor, mash dates and banana in a large bowl, then mix in other ingredients by hand or with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Break off small chunks of the mix and roll up into little balls about 1cm across. Roll in coconut if you like.
- Store in the freezer in a ziplock bag or sealed container and use when needed, they will keep really well.
- We use them for training treats or stuffed inside Nomads Kong with mashed up banana and dog biscuits.
Makes approimately 75 treats