When Health Expert Nityda Coleman told us she wanted to blog on the dangers of commercial pet food, we said yes, PLEASE! After reading “The Nature of Animal Healing : The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat” by Martin Goldstein D.V.M. we completely shifted the way we feed our pets. Not only did it make no sense to us to feed one animal another animal, we want healthy and happy pets who live lovely long lives! Here at GirlieGirl Army Headquarters, 3 cats and 2 large dogs (all rescued, of course!) share our lives. Our dogs now eat mostly vegan and organic food (they love the V Dog Brand particularly, but PetGuard Organic Vegan Entree Canned Food is another wonderful option if you don’t want to cook for them) and noshing on veggies and sweet potatoes and Boston Baked Bonz Organic Dog Cookies as snacks. This book (and subsequent expose’s) have proven once again that everything you assume should be questioned. Don’t just trust that the major commercial pet food manufacturers care about your pets life – they care about making money. It’s been proven that even higher end pet foods contain “downer” farm animals, euthanized dogs and cat (yep!), and even sawdust and remnants found on the floors of their factories. This is all perfectly legal. Before you go screaming “WTF?!?!” into the afternoon sky, educate yourself by reading the above book, this short blog, and making sure your furry babies are happy from the inside out!
An email that I received from my cousin Khristee the other day truly touched my heart. For just a moment, Khristee let her closest friends and family into the life of her companion, rest his soul, her Black Labrador Retriever. She described the later part of Magic’s life as being filled with suffering and trauma, attributed to brain tumor-induced seizures and diabetes. Then Khristee began to tell us about Shadow, her other dog, and divulged the atrocities of his recurring ear infections and skin problems. Problems so severe that he would scratch and bite himself endlessly, looking like a “mad dog.” About two months ago Khristee had her “ah ha!” moment. Several years ago, Khristee found that she has an allergic reaction to wheat gluten and no longer includes it in her diet. She put the two together and realized that perhaps it was her dog’s diet that was making him ill.
Through careful experimentation with a variety of natural ingredients, Khristee found that Shadow has an allergy to dairy, and an allergy to wheat gluten, just like she does! She has been making him homemade, all natural meals and treats using whole foods for the past two months. “He doesn’t get ear infections like he used to and his skin is clearing up. His hair is growing back. He smells great. His coat is gorgeous. His skin is soft. Most importantly, he doesn’t bite or scratch himself nearly as much anymore.” My cousin was overjoyed to have her vibrant, energetic puppy back and her mission is to inform fellow pet owners of the harm behind commercial pet foods. If you dare, learn about the commercial pet food recalls here.
IF YOU WOULDN’T EAT IT WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOUR PET WANTS TO?
Dogs are omnivores, and can be extremely successful on a vegan diet as long as you are making sure that your pup is getting all the right nutrients. For more information on veg dog nutrition see here.
This recipe uses whole wheat flour, yeast extract and nutritional yeast. Yield: Makes 48 medium dog treats
I N G R E D I E N T S
9 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast extract
3 cups water
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare cookie sheet lined with parchment/baking paper
Mix first 4 ingredients. Add approximately 3 cups water, 1 cup at a time until dough pulls together. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead into a pliable dough. Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Alternately you can grease the sheets if you wish.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until firm and browned. Leave in oven to cool overnight or for at least 8 hours so the treats become hard and crunchy. Make sure to store in a tightly sealed container or zip lock bag. You can also freeze most treats in zip lock freezer bags. Allow to thaw completely before use. **This recipe is courtesy of Gourmet Sleuth. www.gourmetsleuth.com
WHAT ABOUT CATS?
There is a little more controversy surrounding a vegan diet for our feline friends, but there is plenty of evidence that it can be done healthfully. Helping Animals gives you the scoop here or learn more at vegancats.com and find meatless cat treat recipes at www.nocans.com.
Food for thought:
Nityda Coleman is a nature perusing, animal loving, vinyasa yoga teacher and Holistic Health Counselor (HHC) of The American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP) based out of NYC. She enjoys reading and writing about everything vegan. Weakness: Goldie’s Premium carob bars: “How are they so deliciously smooth and creamy?!.” Check her out at www.theblissbodyinyou.com.