Our two-year-old pup Oliver has become an important member of our family – he is our kid 😉 Before bringing him home we had many discussions on how we will feed this little guy. We are sharing this article so you can be confident in creating plant-based recipes for dogs.
We believe in the power of plants and have been eating a balanced whole food plant-based diet for over two decades. Naturally, we wanted to ensure that whatever we feed our four-legged friend would also fit with our values. So we wondered – could dogs also thrive on plants just like humans do? It turns out that, YES, dogs can eat a plant-based diet and thrive.
Dogs have evolved alongside humans over thousands of years to become omnivores. That’s right – dogs are omnivores, which means they derive all of the essential nutrients from both plant and animal sources!
With that said, dogs have nutrient requirements, not ingredient requirements. As long as your dog is getting all the essential amino acids and other nutritional requirements, there is no physiological difference between whether their nutritional needs are met from plant or animal sources.
Animal Vs Plant Protein
Why consider a plant-based diet for dogs over an animal protein diet? For all of the same reasons, we humans thrive by eating more plants and less meat.
Animal-based diet leads to a plethora of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Our four-legged friends suffer from the same degenerative diseases as we do! By swapping plants for animal protein, you can ensure high-quality protein that is also sustainable and better for the planet.
Variety is the Key
Just like humans, the main focus of your pup’s plant-based diet is variety. You want to ensure that your dog is getting all of the essential nutrients, including amino acids, required.
While there are several commercially processed vegan foods and snacks for dogs available, most of them are
not nutritious. This is due to the fact they are made with additives and fillers that have little nutritional value. In the worst-case scenario, your dog could get sick or develop allergies to these foods, which is one of the reasons why we decided to cook Oliver’s food.
Cooking for your dog doesn’t have to be time-consuming, costly or complicated! You can easily improve your dog’s nutrition through the use of simple wholesome ingredients that are easy to prepare and more cost-effective than purchasing store-bought food.
Today we are sharing with you a great nutritious stew filled with plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids. To add a variety of nutrients to this recipe using different beans such as pinto, black or kidney.
About the ingredients
Black eyed peas
An inexpensive source of dietary fibre and valuable protein which is important for the health of your pup. Low in fat and sodium, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free, and an excellent source of vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
A great option for active dogs as they provide a highly nutritious source of carbohydrates. Also loaded with beta carotene and potassium which helps with recovery. Great source of vitamin A, C, and E as well as manganese which is essential for healthy muscle function.
Good source of Vitamin C and B6, contributing to healthy brain development and keeping the nervous system and immune system strong.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, providing a host of nutritional benefits to our pups. Beyond supporting eye health, it also assists in supporting a thriving immune system and healthy skin and coat.
Tofu contains at least 8 grams of protein in every 100-gram serving. These essential amino acids can help maintain our dog’s muscles while also ensuring healthy cell growth. Also, each 100-gram serving has 53 percent of the daily calcium needs of a human diet, which means it would supply even more calcium for a dog. Additionally, tofu is low in calories, making it an exceptional nutrient-dense food for dogs who have a bit of a weight problem and need a more balanced diet.
Raw as well as cooked spinach is an excellent source of iron. This powerhouse leafy green is especially good that are dealing with inflammatory, digestive and cardiovascular problems.
The iodine in Atlantic dulse can be very helpful for boosting your immune system. It also helps to keep the thyroid gland healthy. Including sea vegetables such as dulse into your dog’s diet can be a helpful cancer preventative.
Hemp Seed Oil
Contains the perfect ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 and all the essential amino acids. Including a clod pressed hemp seed oil will help with coat care, giving your dog rich, lustrous fur, lessening shedding and preventing dry itchy skin.
Homemade Plant-Based Dog Food- Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Tofu
- 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas soak the dry peas in water overnight or for eight hours
- 1 sweet potato cubed
- 3 regular potatoes cubed
- 4 carrots sliced
- 1 tofu shredded
- 1 cup spinach chopped
- 2 tbsps dulse flakes
- 2 tbsps cold-pressed hemp seed oil
- Add peas to 4 cups of water in a large pot or bowl and soak overnight. Drain peas and rinse. Place peas in a large pot with 6 cups of water and bring to boil on medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until peas are tender. If they are drying out before being tender then add extra water.
- Next mix in shredded tofu, potatoes, carrots and 2 cups of water. Simmer on medium heat for 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Then add the dulse flakes and hemp oil, and stir through until well combined.
- Leave to cool before serving.
You can store the leftover food in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze them and it’ll keep for up to 3 months. Keep in mind that this recipe includes no preservatives, so it won't last nearly as long as commercial dog food. Feeding Guidelines
It's difficult to prescribe the exact portion for your dog. The actual amount of food your dog requires depends on his/her activity, age, environment and breed. We monitor Oliver's appetite - it's a great indication to tell us how much to feed him. It varies depending on his activity level that day. Just to give you a rough idea, he is 32 lbs, gets 2-3 hours of exercise and on average consumes about 4 cups of food a day plus various energy-boosting treats on our walks. If we see him losing weight we simply feed him more.
Let us know in the comments if you would like to see more plant-based dog food recipes. Or what plant-based foods your four-legged friends like to enjoy.
Dedicated to your health & wellbeing,