I recently invited you to my vegan dog kitchen and shared my experience of preparing Lotti’s food.
As promised, here are my tips and learnings for you!
There are many situations out of the ordinary. Especially here, your dog’s diet should be practical.
For on the road
When I don’t have much time to cook or when I’m spending the night with Lotti at a friend’s house, I also use ready-made food. “Pauline” and “Greta” are among Lotti’s favourites.
To save time, I like to use canned lentils or peas and carrots from a jar as ingredients. But of course, fresh is always better!
You can also freeze meals. Unfortunately, I have a small freezer. That’s why I’m currently trying my hand at canning daily portions. If you’d like a post about that too, feel free to let us know in the comments!
In stressful situations
Since licking and chewing help to reduce stress, Lotti gets her licking mat, which I spread with her pureed food, for example when we have visitors. In summer, these can also be frozen.
Sometimes I also fill the Kong with the puree. It keeps her busy for a really long time and it’s really healthy for her teeth. You can also freeze the Kong. Lotti’s favourite recipe for the frozen Kong is a mixture of soy yoghurt, coconut oil and peanut butter. By the way, Lotti still has snow-white teeth at the age of 11! We are very proud of that.
Between, have you ever heard of conditioned relaxation? Lotti gets an aroma oil on her pillow in very relaxed situations. I also apply it to myself in bed, for example, then massage her a little and give her some coconut oil to lick. This way she associates very positive, calm situations with the oil. I can also highly recommend relaxing dog music on YouTube! Lotti always lies next to me drooling. CBD oil is also great, e.g. “Curly“.
For in between
As a reward or for search games, my dog gets joint sticks with rose hip powder. They are easy to crush because they are very soft. Lotti really likes them and they help with her arthritis. For in-between meals, she thinks “Lorelai” is scrumptious!
At the moment I’m trying to find something perfect to fill the cone with. And we haven’t yet found something great to chew as a substitute for pig’s ears or beef rumen. But everything has its time!
Speaking of time!
This brings us to my learnings, which I would like to share with you
- Please don’t stress yourself! Don’t forget that cooking should be fun for you.
- You don’t weigh the ingredients for your own food and you are certainly still fit! However, keep in mind the approximate amount you weighed at the beginning.
- If your dog doesn’t like to eat a lot at the beginning, don’t despair. Dogs are creatures of habit – just like humans. Conventional food often contains flavour enhancers and old fryer fat from restaurants1. Your dog may have to get used to this.
- The first impression is through the nose. To make the meal attractive, you can warm it slightly, add some salt or vegetable broth and use a good-smelling oil such as sesame or coconut oil.
- Especially at the beginning of the transition, use flavour-enhancing foods such as smoked tofu, peanut butter, yeast flakes, vegetable broth, nori seaweed, spirulina powder and vegetable oils.
Believe me: the routine comes quickly and so you will also become faster and faster.
Maybe you have some tips and experiences for me? Feel free to write anything you can think of in the comments. That way we can support each other!