We had to share in the photo of happy, happy Wispa with not a care in the world! How we love the honesty of what Wispa’s Mum Jo was treating Wispa 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. Wispa seriously offsets our carbon savings!”

Greyhound Wispa on her back lounging on the sofa

Inspired by reading about the success of Cathy homefeeding Greyhound’s April and June, Wispa’s owner Jo registered her to try our homemade recipes for Wispa’s health and as Jo 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?

heartNone 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 makes a tasty treat for vegan dogs

Tofu

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.

ALT protein from Tesco and Sainsbury can be used as a high value dog treat

The unbelievable ALT

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 can be used as high nutrient treats for vegan dogs

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 for dogs

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!

vegan cheese can be used as a treat for dogs

Vegan cheese

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!

tahini paste

Tahini

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.

Just be kind vegan dog food logo

Another good investment in the health of your dog is to buy a dehydrator to make healthy snacks.

Simply add chopped pears, apples, peaches, beetroot, chickpeas, edamame beans, kiwi etc to the dehydrator and leave overnight to dry – couldn’t be easier or healthier!

The healthy treats below use ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen cupboard for a quick and easy snack that your dog will love (and maybe you will too!)

Banana oat cookies

1 cup oats

1 mashed banana

1 cup dessicated coconut

1/3 cup ground almonds

Mix together and place in small balls on non stick tray using 2 teaspoons

Bake at 180C for 15 minutes

Coconut flour balls

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 tbsp coconut oil melted into half a cup water or almond milk

Handful fresh mint and parsley blended or 1 banana if prefer

Mix together until there is a dough like consistency (add more flour or water as necessary)

Bake in a silicon treat tray at 180C for 20 minutes or 25 – 30 minutes if in a full tray

Sweet potato treats

Ingredients

• 2 sweet potatoes

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 150C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Use a knife to cut the sweet potato into slices peeled before use (as the skin contains solanine). Slice into coin sized-pieces if your dog is small, but if you have a bigger dog you could slice them lengthwise for larger chews. You don’t want the pieces to be too thin, or they will just get crispy and not chewy, so make sure they are no thinner than 1/2cm. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours flipping once half way through until they are shrunken, dried out, and some pieces are a bit crispy, while others are a bit chewy. Let cool, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge for about 3 weeks.

Alternately place them in the dehydrator overnight instead of the oven.

Oats and peanut butter treats

Ingredients

•  1 1/2 cups uncooked oats

•  1 large banana

• 1/2 cup pure peanut butter (no added Xylitol)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cook for 15 minutes and you can use a cookie cutter to shape these treats:)

Chickpea blend

Remembering that dogs respond to the smell of protein and amino acids in foods, these treats are protein packed –

Blend a tin of drained chickpeas with oats and pure peanut butter. Roll into little treat balls. These can be fed as they are or cooked.

Carrot frozen ice lolly

Use a raw carrot and half dip it into pure peanut butter and freeze. On a warm day these make ideal ‘doggy ice lollies’!

Oat and peanut butter biscuits

Mix peanut butter, mashed banana or applesauce, oat flour, and water.

Proportions are flexible as long as you add enough flour to make a stiff dough.

1 part peanut butter, 1 part water, 1/2 part banana or applesauce, and then oat flour until the dough is stiff enough to roll out.

You can cut these into dog shapes of your choice or just in squares – your dogs won’t mind!

Benevo cake mix

 

We do love Benevo’s Benevo cake mix to treat your vegan dog on its birthday!!

The cake is made of Organic Brown Rice, Organic Carob Powder (4%), Baking Powder, Organic Cinnamon Powder (1%), Xanthan Gum, and the frosting is made of Organic Corn Flour, Organic Coconut Flour (1%), Xanthan Gum – all fine to treat your dog on a special occasion!

Just be kind vegan dog food logo
Never use the word VEGAN!

Never use the word VEGAN!

Only by convincing vets that it is the way forward, will we together have any success as plant-based feeders of ensuring that it becomes a very viable and superior option to feeding our dogs

Sweet Breta survived cancer

Sweet Breta survived cancer

We asked the top vet oncologist in the country and owner of gorgeous labrador Jumble for her opinion on whether a vegan diet could protect our dogs from cancer

just be kind vegan dogs

Just Be Kind Dog Food Ltd
Stapleford Estate Saxby Road
Melton Mowbray LE14 2SB
Reg No: GB208RO 2162
LCC Trading Standards Service