Herbivore in me

Makes me smuggle plants and herbs into my dogs’ diet πŸ™‚

my little huntress

I do know dogs eat meat and fish. I aim at around 70% of their diet to be protein and fat: mostly lean meat and fish but also some fatter cuts of meat. However, I also use lots of vegetables (green, leafy ones in every meal), a bit of fruit and quite a lot of herbs in my cooking. Each dog is different, so, as in everything, we try and find the ones that we think are best (me: from nutritious perspective, Lily: taste-wise).

Lily’s not a fan of fruit (some of my dogs were) so she mainly eats her veg with meat. She seems to like carrots and parsnips a lot. Then spinach, chickpeas, celeriac, salsify, beetroot, runner beans, broccoli and cauliflower.

meat, yum!

I often add some ground flax seeds or spirulina powder to her food. And herbs: I don’t use salt when I cook for dogs, but apparently, with various herbs some dishes are good enough even for a human palate.

If you fancy some cooking for dogs, you can safely use: turmeric, oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, alfalfa, kelp, chickweed, marjoram, nettles, aniseed and peppermint. Some less common plants (well, herbs, really) that are also beneficial for dogs include burdock root, chicory root, cleavers, celery seeds, chamomile flowers, marigold petals, milk thistle seeds, rosehips, caraway seeds, passion flowers, echinacea and aloe vera. I’m sure there are more, but if you’re not sure if the plant is safe for your dog, don’t use it and check with your vet (or google, as we do). I don’t use garlic or cinnamon as the opinions about them are divided. So I simply decided it’s easier not to- Lily’s diet is pretty varied as it is.

vegetables are only edible with meat…

At times I do add some fish/cod liver or coconut oil but I generally don’t overdo anything-and I don’t follow fads. My dogs seem to thrive on a diet with almost no grains, but they eat lots of plants instead. I often use frozen vegetables-the ones that are not in season are always frozen, I hate the taste of plastic-fantastic creations found in supermarkets all year-round.

My diet influences what my dogs eat entirely because, as I generally eat plants only, I know quite a lot of them and possibly about them. I don’t intend to have vegan dogs.

I cook because I like to show my love in any possible way (and I like cooking). I’m also controlling more what really goes into my dogs’ bellies. As cooking for dogs is simple, I use it as yet another way to make them happy. Whenever they express their joy, they do it in such an uninhibited manner that I have to smile. It’s easy to be happy when you have a dog.


19 thoughts on “Herbivore in me

  1. Love this. I am also guilty of sneaking a lot of veggies into my dogs food along with his meat. I get mostly good results, however if I try to sneak in any peas he will always find them and leave them in an otherwise polished clean bowl!

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  2. You knew I’d love this post! I’ve heard that dogs are not supposed to have garlic, but back in the 70’s it was supposed to be a good condition addition for them…funny how fashions change. Erin does eat a few grains, like rice and barley, she will eat carrots and sweetcorn too. Mum has to vary a home-cooked diet with “Taste of the Wild” kibbles for her, or she starts getting bored and picky. I must say, though, Lily looks the picture of health and happiness on what you feed her! Excellent post with great information, thank you!

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    1. Lily likes sunflower seeds. She’s my first dog who likes them. I’m not evangelical about ‘no grain’ diets, but since I’ve noticed the coats of my dogs look better without them, they seem to be leaner without being skinny and have lots of energy I decided they have enough plants and I don’t add grains (though rice and barley are definitely not toxic or anything- I actually love barley- yes, I know it’s about dogs, but I generally tend to digress). Mum’s cooking is ALWAYS best πŸ™‚ Lucky Erin πŸ™‚

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    1. Lily likes spinach, watercress and beetroot leaves (young ones) and, surprisingly nettles (young as well). Ardbeg loved pretty much all vegetables and fruit (he wasn’t quite normal, I think). My friend gives raw carrots to his dog- I’ve never managed that…

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  3. Erin also eats broccoli, I’m working on the spinach, I love it but I’m the only one! I’ll have to get some nettles, I’ve heard they’re supposed to be good for people too. Erin also likes Quorn…it was unintentional how we found that out, she swiped a sausage off my son’s plate when he wasn’t looking!

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    1. Haha! Erin sounds like Ardbeg: he really enjoyed Quorn that he’d stolen from my sister (I’m more vegan than vegetarian, I just don’t really like to definitely declare myself as such, so Quorn is quite rare in my house). Dogs ‘meaty’ (or ‘umami’) taste buds are spread all over the tongue so they crave this savoury flavour. Quorn is very ‘umami’ and basically protein, so some dogs might just find it perfect. Ardbeg loved broccoli too… and cauliflower and green beans. He was, naturally, a fart factory πŸ™‚ I love spinach πŸ™‚ And nettles, which I think are a bit similar.

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  4. Our dog Molly refused to eat apples until this one day when we took her hiking with us. I sat down to take a break and started eating an apple I had brought with me. She saw I was eating, so of course she wanted some, and when I offered some to her, she ate it. Then she let out a loud belch, haha! The funny thing is, she still won’t eat apples; it was just that one time. Guess she must have been hungry.

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    1. Dogs are often attracted to what we eat πŸ˜‰ Maybe Molly wanted to introduce the ‘an apple a day keeps the vet away’ saying into dogs’ world, but decided it wasn’t worth it πŸ˜‰ Lily doesn’t like apples, but Ardbeg adored them. He’d help himself to them without waiting for my permission (my fruit bowl was actually his fruit bowl) and eat the flesh, cleverly spitting out the peel. Many dogs like very sweet fruit like bananas or pears, but I’ve never had a dog with these preferences.

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  5. Years ago, I had a dog whose name was Benny. Benny loved zucchini pancakes I used to make for my son who was about 5 at that time. He would actually sit on a chair at the table next to my son and eat pancakes topped with sour cream from his own plate. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pics of them eating together.

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  6. The Dog LOVES chickpeas, and when he first came to us he lived secretly in our garden for almost a week, eating strawberries, flowers, chickweed, mullein, mints…….He’s perhaps the TEENSIEST bit spoiled now and seems to think that whenever Mommy’s at the stove it’s all for him. Sometimes it is! Anyway this has given me some good ideas, and I also thank you for the book recommendations this week! High five paws!

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  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Our dog (Yopi, a staffy) absolutely loves sweet potato (the orange one) and if we are roasting it she sits by the oven until it comes out and then waits anxiously for it to cool. She also really enjoys grapes and bananas. πŸ™‚

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    1. Don’t give her grapes, though – they are toxic for dogs (though it’s not known which substance in them is toxic). Stick to sweet potatoes and bananas πŸ™‚ Some dogs absolutely love sweet fruit (and veg with the hint of sweetness)

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