A woman who feeds her pooch the same plant-based meals she eats reckons every pet owner should do the same.
Rebecca Nadler, 26, began feeding her podenco mix dog Ella, three, an entirely vegan diet two years ago, shortly after she went vegan herself.
The student, from Munich, Germany, prepares all of Ella’s meals from scratch, cooking up dishes including chickpea wholewheat pasta with coconut oil, lentils with sweet potato and flax seeds, and fruit smoothies.
She says her dog is perfectly healthy and loves her vegan diet – and adds that she saves more than £20 a week by making the dog food from scratch.
‘My dog doesn’t like eating the same thing every day and by preparing her food myself I can change the meal every day,’ says Rebecca.
‘It’s all made by hand so it’s of a very high quality and I think that’s why she prefers it.
‘She loves smoothies and I usually give her some of the smoothie that I have every morning.
‘It’s a way of ensuring she’s getting enough water because often dogs don’t drink enough.
‘It’s a lot cheaper to cook vegan food from scratch with lentils or potatoes, rather than buying meat or vegan kibble.’
Rebecca says she did extensive research before switching Ella to a vegan diet and gives her a multivitamin supplement to ensure she’s getting the essential vitamins that store-bought pet food is usually fortified with.
She makes sure every vegan meal has plenty of protein, with lots of lentil and chickpea based dishes.
Ella’s favourite vegan snack is carrots but doesn’t seem to be a fan of fruit.
Rebecca said: ‘Today for breakfast she had lentils, carrots, courgette, sweet potato and some flax seeds.
‘In the evening I might give her a whole wheat pasta with mashed chickpeas and broccoli and some coconut oil
‘You have to boil or steam a dog’s food a bit longer than you would for yourself so that they can digest all the nutrients.
‘If I’m cooking pasta for myself, I just take my part of the pasta out early and let hers cook for longer.
‘She doesn’t like most whole fruit except bananas and mangoes, but I tried watermelon on her the other day and she loved it.’
Before she adopted Ella, Rebecca owned another dog who she fed a meat-based diet.
It didn’t occur to her that dogs could be vegan until she ditched animal products herself.
Now, Rebecca shares the dishes she cooks up for Ella on the dog’s dedicated Instagram, hoping to inspire other pet owners to make the switch to a plant-based diet for their pooches.
She does get some backlash, but sticks by her decision to keep her dog entirely vegan.
Rebecca said: ‘It’s normally from people who’ve never researched about veganism and dogs before.
‘They say things like dogs need meat and that I’m starving her.
‘The truth is dogs need protein but that doesn’t mean they need to get it from meat.
‘Ella sees the vet once or twice a year and she never has any problems.
‘I would recommend every dog owner to keep a vegan dog.
‘A completely vegan diet doesn’t harm other animals and in most cases it’s far healthier.’