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Gay’s Homemade, Plant Based Dog Food for Max and Willie

January 23, 2023

I began making home made dog food for my sweet Riley after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. During that time I took a long hard dive into the ingredients that were going into his body via his commercial dog food. Long story short – after 6 months of veggies and a new vegan kibble, his stage 4 renal failure was at stage 2 and he went on to live 2 more years, to the ripe old age of 15 1/2. I still miss him.

{Riley – the best dog ever}

Currently I feed my two dogs Max and Willie  V-Dog Vegan kibble topped off with my homemade food. V-Dog is a nutritionally complete vegan dog food that contains all the vitamins and minerals your dogs will need.

I researched quite a bit before deciding on what ingredients to include in their homemade food, and I encourage you to do the same. There are some foods that are not suitable for dogs (natural peanut butter, Sugar substitutes, onions, nuts – for example).  I suggest having your dogs try the ingredients you want to include in small amounts individually first to see how it sits in their tummies.

If you decide to feed only homemade food, you will need to supplement. There are many websites available to help you choose the exactly what supplements they need. I feed my dogs kibble, which includes all the vitamins and minerals. so I do not  have to worry about supplementing.

{my big buddies – Maximo and Willie}

My dogs are 11 and 22 pounds. This recipe makes enough food for them for 4 weeks, using one tablespoon a day at feeding time. It freezes well.

Again, each dog is different and I encourage you to research on your own before deciding to home cook for your dog.  The veggies need to be blended well –  into a mush-like consistency – to aid in digestion.  I use a pressure cooker for fastest cooking (they get very soft which is great). Stovetop cooking works well too, as long as they are soft enough to mash like mashed potatoes.

 

Good luck and I would love to know what your dog loves and how you make their food!

 

{before mashing}

Here are a few links to aid you in your research to see if this is something you want to consider.  Also please check out Facebook for many more sources and groups you can join for information. Please contact me if you need  more information or advice – I am not an expert, just want my dogs to eat the best food they can.

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/dogs-vegetarian-diet-supplements/

https://vegworldmag.com/5-things-to-add-to-your-dogs-food-for-a-balanced-vegan-diet/

One of the most informative books on the subject, you can purchase through my Amazon store:

https://amzn.to/3iRG9Wk

{beautiful color when you include beets}

 

{recipe without beets}

Gay’s Homemade, Plant Based Dog Food for Max and Willie

Ingredients

6 small or 4 large sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise

2-3 zucchinis, skins peeled (skins do not soften up and do not mash well), cut in thirds

6 large carrots, cut in half

2-3 fresh beets, halved (You can also buy the freshly cooked beets. If using fresh, do not add to the pressure cooker)

1 cup lentils, canned or cooked

3 Tbsps. Creamy Peanut Butter (do not use natural – I use Skippy or Jif)

1 package frozen peas, cooked

Optional Ingredients:

Frozen spinach, cooked and finely chopped

One cup cooked rice

3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

Instructions:

For the InstaPot:

Place two inches of water in the bottom, add potatoes, zucchinis, beets, and carrots. Set to high pressure for 40 minutes. You can set to warm for up to an hour, Release steam and set aside.

Remove ingredients from the pressure cooker. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and beets and add to a very large mixing bowl.

Add the lentils. If you cooked them yourself, add about one cup. If you are adding canned, rinse them in a colander for a few minutes to ensure all salt has been washed off. If you purchased cooked beets, add them now, with the peanut butter and peas.

Using a potato masher or large spoon, stir and mash the mixture until you see no large lumps. Store enough in the fridge for the current week and freeze a the rest in worth in individual weekly containers.

A few notes:

The mixture in the fridge may become watery – this is normal when using zucchini. Just stir to incorporate.

I try to keep the recipe down to about 4-6 ingredients.

My dogs love broccoli and cauliflower but it is a bit hard on their tummies, so we avoid it.

Never use any artificial flavors, salt, pepper, spices, sugars, etc. All natural is best and healthiest.

5 from 4 votes
Gay’s Homemade, Plant Based Dog Food for Max and Willie
Author: Gay Van Beek for Canterbury Cottage Designs
Ingredients
  • 6 small or 4 large sweet potatoes sliced lengthwise
  • 2-3 zucchinis skins peeled (skins do not soften up and do not mash well), cut in thirds
  • 6 large carrots cut in half
  • 2-3 fresh beets halved (You can also buy the freshly cooked beets. If using fresh, do not add to the pressure cooker)
  • 1 cup lentils canned or cooked
  • 3 Tbsps. Creamy Peanut Butter do not use natural – I use Skippy or Jif
  • 1 package frozen peas cooked
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • Frozen spinach cooked and finely chopped
  • One cup cooked rice
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
Instructions
  1. Place two inches of water in the bottom, add potatoes, zucchinis, beets, and carrots. Set to high pressure for 40 minutes. You can set to warm for up to an hour, Release steam and set aside.
  2. Remove ingredients from the pressure cooker. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and beets and add to a very large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the lentils. If you cooked them yourself, add about one cup. If you are adding canned, rinse them in a colander for a few minutes to ensure all salt has been washed off. If you purchased cooked beets, add them now, with the peanut butter and peas.
  4. Using a potato masher or large spoon, stir and mash the mixture until you see no large lumps. Store enough in the fridge for the current week and freeze a the rest in worth in individual weekly containers.
Recipe Notes

The mixture in the fridge may become watery – this is normal when using zucchini. Just stir to incorporate.
I try to keep the recipe down to about 4-6 ingredients.
My dogs love broccoli and cauliflower but it is a bit hard on their tummies, so we avoid it.
Never use any artificial flavors, salt, pepper, spices, sugars, etc. All natural is best and healthiest.

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply Linda Manley September 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    How wonderful, Gay, that this diet improved Riley’s renal problem!! Thank you so much for this information. . .and recipe!

  • Reply Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage September 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    So glad this is helping make your sweet fur angel better. Those two are soooooo adorable. Hope all is well. Think about you often. Hope your daughter is doing well on her journey and also your son. Have a great Friday. Happy Weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kris

  • Reply Joan Morse June 20, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Have you tries baking this into a dry kibble treat? My 8week old puppy , Thai, will arrive next week. I want to start off right with her. Thank you for all your great information.

  • Reply Shonda Hector October 7, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I m glad that you found a way to extend Riley’s life. I feed raw meats in morning and vegan at night. (I’m vegan). I tried beans in a recipe before, but I think I was using too much because my dogs’ eyes were watering. (I HAVE 4 small dogs.) Never been a fan of those kibble and canned dog meats. Nice to meet you.

    • Reply GayVanBeek November 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you! You have a new follower on Facebook, Twitter and Insta!!!

  • Reply Violet January 29, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    What is a serving size here? I’m trying to switch my dog over to Whole Food Plant Based as he has been diagnosed with liver cancer and heart failure. After much research I’m convinced it’s the dog food especially as far as the liver cancer hoes. Anyways standard dog food always gives guidelines as to serving size and weight. I’m not seeing serving size on these homemade recipes. My dog is 10 lbs. Please suggest a serving size for a 10 lb 10 year old Chihuahua/Rat terrier mix.

    • Reply GayVanBeek January 29, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Violet! For such a small dog I would start with about 1/4 cup and add some rice to it. You can work your way up from there. See how it settles in his tummy. Thanks for suggesting a serving size – excellent advice and good luck with your little sweetie.

  • Reply Stacy February 20, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    So this recipe doesnt leave any deficiencies? I need to help my itchy dog. Shes 70 pound Staffordshire Terrier… miserablly itching all the time.
    Any advice be good. Thank u

    • Reply GayVanBeek March 2, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Hi Stacy! I am not a vet so I don’t feel comfortable advising you. I feed my dogs based on my advice from my vet. I recently added dried beets to my dog food as it helps a bit with itching.

  • Reply Carol Barrett May 23, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    My newly rescued dog is and will remain on a plant-based diet so as to not cause other animals to die to feed him. He is thriving on his plant-based diet as do all dogs (and cats, too , if synthetic taurine is added) when a variety of plants are used. Thank you for sharing this recipe. He loves it.

  • Reply Marjie Shires January 26, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for this recipe which I recently discovered. I have a schnauzer who scratched all the time no matter what I gave her to help the itching while I fed her regular high grade dog food. Canines on vegan food never made sense to me and was totally against the nature of canines in my opinion. However, my daughter encouraged me to at least try it for 3 months to see if it helped my dog as it had her dog. I reluctantly agreed. It worked! Not only did the itching stop (it took about 6-9 weeks), my dog is thriving
    Roxy, my dog, does need coconut oil, salmon oil, or avocado oil added to her food in the winter. Should I add this oil to the recipe after it is cooled or per serving? Thank you.

  • Reply Aisha January 27, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Thankyou for this recipe! I’ve been vegan for a long time and I’ve struggled with the idea of getting meat for my dogs/the can food at supermarkets is just terrible. I tried to put them on raw “free range” meat but my Italian greyhound hated it and it messed with her stomach, I moved them to a good vegan kibble which they love but they enjoy a bit of an extra bulk to their meals I guess so I started ordering expensive vegan canned foods online and wasn’t happy with the ingredients so I felt lost I’ve recently made this recipe for my two dogs but I added chia seeds for omega 3 and a healthy amount of “nutripet gel” a gel available that has all the nutrients a dog can need so I feel that they are getting everything and no need to feed them meat. They love this recipe and we’ve been making a big batch once a week very easy and stores well. Again Thankyou!

  • Reply Lucero G February 18, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you so much for these recipes! I’m very excited to get my dog switched from kibble and will add some supplements as well.

  • Reply Niti March 3, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. We are a vegetarian family so its been tough to give only dry kibble to our Charlie. He is 50lbs English Doodle. I want to switch him to vegan kibble with homemade food. Can you share any more recipes,?

    • Reply GayVanBeek April 22, 2022 at 9:02 am

      Hi Niti! I have started adding beets and broccoli to the veggie mixture. Beets are really good for skin allergies which my one dog has. I am working on a snack that, when perfected, I will share!!!

      • Reply Rana November 14, 2022 at 4:25 pm

        How do I know how much pf the food to give to my pet?

        • Reply GayVanBeek January 10, 2023 at 12:59 pm

          Hi Rana I combine my homemade food with kibble. I think it is usually done by weight and I would consult with your veterinarian as to how much food to feed them.

  • Reply Carol May 19, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I would like to try this for my pouch. The recipe calls for peas. Is this green peas or chick peas?

    • Reply GayVanBeek May 19, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Carol! I used green peas!

  • Reply Gilian December 3, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this easy recipe. I am 100% with you regarding commercially prepared dog food. Once I learned what was being used as ingredients I swore off of that forever. Everything off the slaughterhouse floor boiled to death (a second time). I add a supplement to my homemade food (that is also made of plants :)). I also feed my dogs, a vegan kibble. I like to mix it with their homemade food and it’s also good to have on hand in case I have fallen behind with my homemade recipes. Thanks again!

    • Reply GayVanBeek January 10, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      You are so welcome! It is amazing to think of all the bad stuff that goes into dog food – I would not eat so I won’t feed it to my dogs!

  • Reply Louann Dangelo January 3, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    This recipe sounds like one my chis would like. What type of supplements would I need to give them in addition to your ingredients, if any? Thank you!

    • Reply GayVanBeek January 10, 2023 at 12:57 pm

      Hi! As far as supplementation, you should look towards the experts for that. I combine my veggie dog food with vegan kibble so they get their supplements from that. There are many very helpful facebook groups that are a huge help with this.

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