We had to share in the photo of happy, happy Wispy with not a care in the world! How we love the honesty of what Wispy’s Mum was treating Wispy to before she tried our homemade recipe –
“I sometimes add things such as bacon grease, or tuna, or grated cheddar cheese. We live in a zero carbon house. Wispy seriously offsets our carbon savings!”
Inspired by reading about the success of Cathy homefeeding Greyhound’s April and June, Wispy’s owner registered her to try our homemade recipes for Wispy’s health and as her owner explained so aptly, to reduce the carbon footprint of their family.
What about giving cheese as a dog treat?
When I ask clients what they use to feed their dogs their wormers/medication or supplements, 90% of them will reply that they use cheese (it is never confessed first – only if prompted, will they acknowledge how much their dog loves cheese and rushes to the sound of the opening fridge and rustle of packets in the cheese drawer!) We’ve all done it – I confess too to it before I turned vegan! Cheese and cheese snacks are addictive to humans and if we have been sharing our guilty secret with our pets, we have very easily turned them into little addicts too!
A mild lactose intolerance occurs in our dog’s digestion as although dogs are not completely deficient in the enzyme to digest dairy products, some dogs will react very strongly to milk protein with signs of diarrhoea, very itchy ears or generalised scratching.
Why is cheese and all cheese snacks so addictive?
What makes cheese so addictive is the extremely high concentration of the milk protein casein that, when digested, results in casomorphins. Casomorphins are opioids, belonging to the same chemical family as morphine and opium, inducing euphoric feelings and lowering pain. The combination of the salt, fat and these casomorphins in cheese make it an addictive product to satisfy all our cravings (and our dogs’ cravings).
What can be given instead to treat dogs on a vegan diet?
None of us want to deprive our dogs of treats. They are part of our family and deserve the very best! Here are treats that can be used that are high value and very palatable to most dogs (once they become familiar with them) –
Tofu can be given cooked or raw. To use it appears bland and tasteless, but to dogs once they become familiar with it as a food source, it is very tempting as they can smell the high amount of amino acids or proteins in it. Use small pieces of smoked tofu for particularly fussy dogs.
We just love the new range found at Tesco and Sainsbury called ALT that is made from pea and soya protein. If broken into small pieces (as they are not cheap), these offer high reward treats for your dog as again they can smell the nutrient content of the food, but they would need to be familiar with it and see you eating some enthusiastically from a familiar drawer in the fridge before they take to it:)
Peanuts and peanut butter
Something so basic and cheap to purchase. Dogs do not seem to suffer with nut allergies as humans do, so keeping some unsalted peanuts in your pocket as training treats or in a snuffle mat is ideal. Pure peanut butter (no added palm oil, sweeteners or sugar), is ideal to use to give fussy dogs their tablets. Restrict peanuts if your dog has ever suffered with pancreatitis as it contains saturated fats.
Nutritional yeast flakes
Dogs do find nutritional yeast particularly appetising. It can be sprinkled onto their food or our favourite is to lightly steam some kale, mix it with nooch and some oil and roast in the oven so goes crispy – an incredibly healthy food that we ALL enjoy as a family!
Again, this is only to be used as a very high reward snack as vegan cheese is not cheap…..but it is as delicious as normal cheese with the range that is available and usually made with coconut oil. Keep it to a minimum with the high salt and saturated fat content but it certainly can be given to your dogs to have the same result as dairy cheese!
Yet another high fat food that most dogs find irresistible which is why we use it in our high nutrient Umameo treats that we make. Tahini can be given in moderation on your dog’s food, and it is very nutritious as sesame seeds are high in calcium.