Saturday, March 19, 2016

Should Makana Dog go Vegan?

This is Makana's Food Diary - after she got sick a few days ago

Have you seen the movie, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? Well I don't want that for myself as well as my Makana, so I'll be keeping a log of her and her food journey to better health.

Fat Dog?

Makana not feeling so well
Makana has had what seems a life long issue with her weight, hmm sounds familiar. It's not that she's been overfed, although at times it was the fact with pet sitters or confused pet parents who thought one of the other didn't feed the poor pup. But that's besides the fact, we now have that straight, and of course Makana could refuse her food when she had just ate and another human put more food in her bowl, of course she obliged and ate that up.

Makana loves carrot stick treats!

But that's besides the point. This is a log of what occurred when I (Makana's mom) decided to take some action and put her on a vegetarian but vegan formula dry kibble dog food called, Natural Balance Vegetarian, after a bout of sicky all over the new carpet, not pretty but hey that's what happens when you have a dog and carpet. (Even though she could have barfed on the tile a few steps away or on the floor covering just a few more steps in the other direction, but then momma's digressing. In addition, Makana's had issues with allergies, snoring, and for over a year and multiple vet visits, antibiotics - UTIs and arthritis in the knees - we need a change!

Makana's Goes Vegan - For Health Reasons First

Natural Balance has various flavors that include meat products but one Vegetarian but Vegan Formula. I guess they didn't say Vegan dog food straight out cause many people don't know the difference between Vegetarian and Vegan.
Day One: Makana ate the new food eagerly when she was first offered a few pieces of it. This came about after having a barfing spree about 2 days ago.

The Natural Balance Vegetarian kibble is smaller than a dime, great for small dogs but I read that large breed owners feed it to their dogs with no problems.
I had her on her 1st bag of another brand of 'high end' food called Fromm's Lamb and Lentil. I had her try a sample bag before buying a whole bag and she did fine (about 2 servings). When she first started on the bag, no problems, about a week into it, dunno if she ate something bad in addition to the food but barfed up mostly dark liquid and 2 halves of a peanut - from somewhere not sure, but she eats peanut butter with her holistic arthritis pill so that shouldn't have been an issue if she ate peanuts.

Anyway, she didn't want to eat after being sick for most of the day, by late evening I gave her cooked sweet potato, which she ate a few small pieces of and then I made her rice noodles cooked in veg broth (vs Chicken Soup and Noodles which I used to give her when she got an upset stomach) and sliced ginger in the broth. She ate the noodles. She seemed dehydrated with dark urine and if I remember correctly the day before didn't have regular stool until late in the evening. At times stool was loose and thinner than normal. Her routine is usually med brown color and at least twice daily in the morning and later in the afternoon or after dinner.

We'll see how Makana does on this diet, she ate one bowl last night and since it was vegan I offered her another 1/3 cup, bag says up to 10 lbs can be 1 cup daily, since she's 12 lbs and needs to lose weight - I'll give her the 1/3 scoop and a bit more, twice daily which is the amount she's been on with other foods she's eaten over the past year. (3/18/16) She did eventually eat the second serving.

Next morning 3/19/16 - Makana's feeling good this morning and ready for breakfast. However when I offered her the new food, she looked at the food, which I also put a small half scoop of doggie probiotic powder (I'll post more on what she takes later) that she's been taking with her other dry food and walked away.  I read that if I added a small amount of nutritional yeast that I got at Whole Foods yesterday, to the dry mix, it might entice her. Well she went back as I was added the nutritional yeast and sure enough that was enough to get her to eat it up and lick the bowl - but then again, Makana does love food and usually eats pretty much anything you offer her.

We'll see how this goes, since she had gotten sick a couple days ago, I'm hesitant to give her a gradual food change with the Fromm's food - which still has a mix of her other food which was the Prescription Diet Metabolic Formula dry dog food that was prescribed for her to lose weight. Since she has been on that food for probably a year, with no real changes - she might lose a little and then gain it back (like humans), I want to give her food that is good for her health as well as possibly help with her weight.

Human Plant-based diet and Canine Plant-based diet

Since I'm doing the Starch Solution - plant based foods and juicing, it's possible that a Vegan dog food that is dry for our convenience and balanced for her nutritional needs, I hope that it works for her system as it's easy to get the Natural Balance Vegan dry food, about the same price if not a couple dollars less than the Fromm and Prescription Diet foods - this is good all around. If this doesn't work for some reason, she doesn't want to eat it later or gets sick again - barfing etc, then I'll look into making her food per recipes online for vegan dogs and purchasing additional supplements that a canine needs. I'm sure she'd like that but at this point it's easy and probably more cost efficient to purchase the dry kibble. Time will tell how she does on this bag of 4.5 lbs. -

I'm including photos of the back of the Natural Balance Vegetarian - Vegan formula package in case you're curious what's on it. Seems Natural Balance is also easy to get at most pet stores vs needing to go to a specialty health store or pet shop like some other specialty dog foods.  If you want to try a bag please click on the link on the right column of Makana's blog, it's several dollars cheaper then what I paid in the store locally - buy on Amazon with free Prime shipping. -- Makana's Mom

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