Virchew signalling – can dogs go vegan?

But first…

Photo: d. king

Let me preface this by asking – did you know that one of the oldest living dogs was a border collie named Bramble who was vegan and lived to be 25?

There’s a book “Bramble; The dog who wanted to live forever” that documents the care regime, diet and the people who looked after her. The book also demonstrates how to circumvent the pet food industry which in many cases contributes to greenhouse gasses and animal abuse via intensive farming.

I know I’ve been appalled at some of the ingredients I’ve noticed on many pet food packages, many of which are on the shelves for sale at your veterinarian. Kudos to anyone trying to improve the industry…but that’s not to say that I would jump in and rapidly change my dog’s diet, which I believe is pretty healthy as is.  As with almost everything else, you must do the research yourself.

Photo: d. king

Here’s what I found: Dogs can thrive without meat, but only if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. As is true with people who prefer vegetarian diets, protein or vitamin deficiency can occur in dogs who eat strictly vegetarian diets if they are not properly supplemented.

I also found: dogs are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and plant products. While it is theoretically possible, the British Veterinary Association does not recommend giving a dog a vegetarian or a vegan diet as it is much easier to get the balance of essential nutrients wrong than to get it right. Feb 1, 2022

Vegan diets are healthier and safer for dogs than conventional meat-based diets, according to the largest study to date, as long as they are nutritionally complete. The diet and health of more than 2,500 dogs were followed over a year using surveys completed by their owners. Apr 13, 2022

KEY WORDS: NUTRITIANALLY COMPLETE

Photo: d. king

Meet Laura Simonson. She’s a local entrepreneur and the founder of “Virchew,” a complete plant-based nutritionally balanced food (along with treats) for dogs.  Based in Vancouver, BC, Virchew is powered by trail-blazing veterinary nutrition programs – with a dogged focus on skin, digestive and preventative solutions. 

FAR FROM YOUR TYPICAL DOG FOOD.

Unlike most dog foods, Virchew is not a kibble.  Meals are a convenient dry blend that is jam-packed with clean, green proteins, essential fats (omegas and DHA), complex carbs, healthful fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and nutrients. You simply dish it up to your dog’s bowl, stir it up with warm water and serve it up! Complete ingredients are on the website.  They also deliver and ship to your door.

I walked by her shop a few weeks ago and got hooked by the colourful posters and ambience so went inside to check it out and ask a few questions. I left with some love bowl samples.  I like the idea behind the name and believe she’s concocted a healthy plant based formula, however I’m continuing to feed Layla a combo of meat + veggies as this is a new concept for us. We’ll continue with her regular routine. I always add several drops of a cellular formula called “rejeneril” (see link below) to her kibble in the morning. In the evening I mix either cooked ground turkey, chicken or wild salmon with mixed veggies (carrots, peas, green beans, a little squash or sweet potato) and rice. I add a tsp of coconut or ultra fish oil to the mix.  She never gets bored.  I also give her a bit of plain yogurt, but not everyday.

Let’s consider Laura’s story…taken from her website profile page:

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

One day in 1989, Laura went to a natural health bookstore in Saskatoon, SK. It was a highly unusual store for its time and so was a book she happened upon. The self-published book title eluded to “vegetarian dogs.” (The word ‘vegan’ was not yet mainstream).  Since she was a bona fide natural health foodie, competitive bodybuilder, athlete, passionate animal lover, and considering vegetarianism herself, Laura was intrigued and the idea stuck.”

Fast forward to 2001, now a vegetarian and after several years as a top-selling realtor and sales manager, Laura pursued one of her first entrepreneurial business ideas: to open the first health & fitness studio of its kind, supported by personal growth programs, and vegetarian catering. Laura created the programs and personally provided the catering each week. It was during that same year she found her dream dog, Shanti, a border collie.

“She had already planned Shanti’s vegetarian diet, and after consulting a veterinarian friend, she decided on a home-cooked diet combined with a veterinary, vegetarian formula. Shanti quickly became the studio’s living mascot as she delighted clients and friends alike with her boundless energy.”

Photo: d. king

“In 2008, through a fortuitous event, Laura met Gord Espeseth, an entrepreneur, innovator, and businessman who was also a vegetarian. With a background as a farmer, bush pilot, social worker, international food broker, owner of a food production company, and inventor of TRAK Kayaks (National Geographic dubbed TRAK the world’s ultimate kayak), Gord was the perfect match to play a support role for Laura’s next BIG idea: a vegetarian food company with a social venture foundation.” 

One day in December 2009, while assisting a friend with a food demo at a West Vancouver Whole Foods store, Laura took a break to walk down the dog food aisle. As she scanned the shelves and saw the absence of a vegetarian or vegan option, it was at that moment that the inspiration lightbulb went off! She knew what needed to be done and quickly linked this new idea all the way back to that moment in the book store in Saskatchewan and that glimpse of the vegetarian dog book.”

From that day forward, the idea was complete and Virchew was born.

https://www.virchew.com/aboutvirchew

So…food for thought – would you consider feeding your dog a completely plant based formula?

Veggie Dogs anyone?

Health MATTERS – anti-aging for PETS?

Brad & Kira
Brad & Kira

WHY NOT?  

If you could…..wouldn’t you prefer to improve the health and longevity of your pets?  After all, they are family members and deserve the best that life has to offer.  At least we think so!

KIRA now
KIRA now

Debbie & Jia Jia
Debbie & Jia Jia

Both dogs in the photos are 11 years young, still playful with several more good

Jia Jia models a Star Wars baseball cap.
Jia Jia models a ‘Yoda’ Star Wars baseball cap.

years ahead of them. Both dogs have been taking daily drops of Rejeneril FP® – which is the first Patented Anti-Aging Dietary Supplement for pets.

 

With animals aging at a much faster rate than us humans, we lose them way too quickly as is. And unfortunately, many of our pets experience degenerative conditions at younger ages, which greatly impacts the quality of their lives in later years. But, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Rejeneril FP® is comprised of a unique and patented antioxidant molecule along with minerals, vitamins and amino acids which are crucial to the health and longevity of one’s pet. The synergy of these nutrients is highly beneficial for all stages of a pet’s life.

Rejeneril FP® can help:

  • Younger pets build a strong immune system and set the foundation for a disease free life.
  • Adult pets recover quicker, maintain youthful energy levels and remain healthier for longer.
  • Senior pets rejuvenate and slow and/or reverse the negative effects associated with aging.

Rejeneril FP® works in three targeted ways to help keep your pet younger longer. Find out more at: http://www.myultimatepet.com/