The following is an article specially written by Carol Pan of SGVeganGrrrls. Carol shares with us how her beloved pet dog, Debbie, turned vegan due to a skin allergy issue that occurs frequently in Maltese dogs. After turning vegan, Debbie was a happier dog as her skin condition improved and she does not look her age. Read more below if you would like to find out Debbie’s actual age!
My dog Debbie, a female Maltese, had been with me since year 2000,she was only two and a half month when I first got her. She was a very loving and adorable one as she loves to lick people (which I called it ‘kiss’) whenever she sees someone ever since she was that young.
She’s a very playful and active dog, enjoys the human company very much. I even took her with me to work daily in my retail showroom many years back. I’d placed her in a basket, together with her favorite toys, a ‘Hello Kitty’ pouch that carried her dry food and some treats in her Tupperware. She stayed with me for the whole solid 9-hrs at my workplace, of course in the mid I’d let her out for some space in my counter where others don’t get to see her. I dislike the idea of leaving her alone at home as I knew she’s like any other humans, would definitely get so bored and sad if she’d to always be left home alone. So I tried to bring her wherever I go, otherwise my nanny’s place so that they both get to accompany each other. For the whole of 11-years of her life, even till now, she’d never been left alone for more than 3 times!
I fed her dry food; she used to take the fish and potato meal from Solid Gold, every morning about 8am and evening 6pm. In between will be her favorite treats like biscuits or jerky meat strips and before sleep she drank little milk at night. She’d not been having any big problem with her health except for a very common problem found in Maltese, skin allergy.
Once a while she’d get swollen ear, around the eye areas and her paws and she’d scratched all over during her sleepless nights. I had to bring her to the vet if things are getting more serious. Her vet gave her injections, antibiotics for oral consumption and some cream for application as well.
This problem continues on and off till her recent checkup on her dental 4-years back. Most of her back teeth had decayed and so was advised to have them removed before she gets too old for anesthetic. I was very reluctant as I knew it has certain risks involved for dogs to undergo surgery. But because I was told germs and bacteria will penetrate her gums if problems persisted and were not removed, as bad as lung infection too if worse come to worst. Thus I gave in and she had a total of 11 teeth being extracted. I was so upset that she’d to undergo such pains for I understand that they are voiceless and they won’t know what are the best for them, I had to admit I was responsible for all her well-beings.
The vet suggested to me that I should feed her with vegetables and fruits, allowing her to adapt to a plant-based diet. That will automatically improve her skin allergy and dental problem. Most important of all, to stop giving her milk, or any starchy foodstuff like rice or biscuits as they’ll cause tooth decay easily and faster.
From then till today, I cooked vegetables like cabbages, carrots, potatoes and some tofu at times to go along for her daily breakfast, in between with little organic blueberries treats and her vegan dry food by Natural Balance for dinner, her supper will be some apples at about 8.30pm,lastly a total stop to milk as advised. I was also told that fruits like apples, pears, guavas or papayas are very beneficial for dogs’ digestive system. Debbie loves them all!!
Another added reminder is to avoid grapes at all times as it can cause acute kidneys failure in some cases. It is also advisable not to overfeed them especially at their older age to prevent heart diseases. They will NEVER know what is enough or what is the BEST for them, as THEY ARE WHAT WE FEED THEM!
So far Debbie is still a healthy, active and strong dog. She can jump around high and low when we play with her. She has very white and clean fur, bright eyes, her skin complexion is very pinkish in color. Almost all people who keep dogs compliment that she doesn’t look like her actual age, coming 12 this July. I strongly believe that this has very much to do with her overall diet, the love and attention that we had provided her.
Most people will start questioning about dogs and cats are born carnivores so how can it be possible to feed them anything without meats? Well… It really depends on how we look at this. Usually people only tend to follow things accordingly to what are being brought down since ages ago. How about a little change, or trial to see if things are getting any better if they are worked otherwise? I don’t think my dog is eating unhealthily, in fact she’s still as happy and healthy as before, her skin allergic on her body hasn’t been causing me much problem since she has converted to a vegan diet.
We are very blessed living in such an advanced environment now where we can find many other choices of different foods to replace the nutrients loss of not consuming any meats.
Pets will take after the habits and characters of their owners, so if you are a kind and caring one, I trust that your pets will want to be like who you are, not choosing to eat their own kinds or voiceless friends as well.
I’d always whispered the same thing to Debbie:-
IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW LONG YOU LIVE, BUT HOW WELL YOU’D LIVED.
I’m pretty sure she gets me… 🙂