Why We FINALLY Switched our Dog to Plant-Based PET Food
Here's the thing: we've been vegan for a long time, but we weren't vegan when we adopted our sweet girl Maddie nearly 9 years ago. So when we started buying her dog food we made sure it was organic and grain-free (she struggles with skin rashes), but always bought protein-heavy puppy kibble for her. And for a long time, that was okay. More recently, alongside just getting older, Maddie tore her ACL in her back right leg. This led to a super expensive surgery that she's now about halfway through recovering from. (You can read alllll about what happened, what kind of surgery we chose for her, and get healing updates here.) We've still got four weeks until we can start taking her on walks and working to strengthen her joint again, so we've been laying very low at home. While prepping for her surgery, the Vet informed us that Maddie was also starting to get some small bladder stones, and would need to come back for a second surgery once she eventually heals from her first. This was devastating news. Our poor girl was just through a really tough, pricey surgery - and she was about to need ANOTHER one?! We started exploring our options, reading as much online as we could about the connection between the two problems she was experiencing; As someone so acutely aware to eating with intolerances and allergies, I knew that her body starting to break down at just 8 years old was a problem. Even with regular exercise, she was experiencing a lot of issues and inflammation. So we decided to completely overhaul her diet!
We didn't know at first what to do; there is so much info online for making your dog's food, but for a 65 lb pup it seemed like a lot of food prep that I barely did for myself. We started researching plant-based dog food brands since too much protein can cause problems for older dogs, and found some great kibble versions online. This way we could transition her to a new food while keeping a similar texture to the food she was already eating - we hoped maybe she wouldn't notice! We tried a brand called GATHER Endless Valley by Petcurean. Made from organic ingredients and sustainably produced, this dog food is also totally plant-based and vegan. And Maddie freaking loves it!
Seriously - she's never been the type of dog to perk up that much at mealtime unless you're giving her literal food scraps but the day I brought this bag inside and opened it up, she went nuts. She was sniffing all over the bag, curious about what was inside. I opened it up and she stuck her face right in the bag. She couldn't wait to try it - she fell in love at first bowl. We had a week or so period where I lapsed and didn't order her any more food before she ran out of her first bag, so she was stuck eating her old brand of kibble...and she damn near starved herself all week avoiding it! She totally turned her nose up to it now that she had a better option. Plus this new food was comparably priced to the food we had already been buying her, so no hangups there.
GATHER Endless Valley is packed with actual real food ingredients that I can pronounce and feel good about feeding out old girl. She's been eating it for just two months now, and the doctor has marveled at how quickly her leg has healed post-surgery and that her bladder stones have actually gotten smaller since then. I always knew a plant-based diet was better for humans, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize it could be beneficial for pets, too!
The secret, for dogs anyway, is that they consume sufficient protein containing all the essential amino acids, and complementary ingredients that provide complete and balanced nutrition. That’s what you’ll find in Endless Valley; certified organic pea protein and other pure and natural ingredients in a recipe crafted especially for dogs with vegan appetites. And Maddie would be the first to tell you - she loves it! Even better? GATHER food comes in bio-based plastic bags produced from sugarcane, a sustainably-produced and renewable raw material - so you can feel good about serving your pet AND can recycle the bag afterwards, too!
Want to try out a bag of GATHER Endless Valley for yourself? Head to petcurean.com/pawsome and enter coupon code PS135ZW997 for $5 OFF your first bag!