Gerry will have his first birthday next month, meaning that I've owned him for 6 months now. Time has flown and he's a pleasure to have around!
The only thing is..... veganising his diet is not going to plan at the moment. It's not worrying me too much, but it's still annoying. Especially as the only obstacle is money. I work part time and the cheapest place I can get vegetarian kibble from charges €72.00 for 20kg. That's a lot of money for food which would only last about 2 months tops. I am currently in the process of changing him over from Red Mills to Happy Dog, which is only €48 for 30kgs and is described as: "dog food containing no chemical colourings, flavours or preservatives, no animal meal and no soy."
I was recommended Happy Dog by a German girl who works in Maxi Zoo. I mentioned to her that I fed Gerry Red Mills and she told me that it wasn't very good quality, and that it was still full of sugar even though it wasn't listed plainly in the ingredients, as Irish advertising standards do not require that you do this. I don't know if this is true, it sounded odd to me, but I took it on board anyway. When I got home I checked the ingredients and the pack actually said "animal and meat derivatives" on it....... last time I checked all it said was "chicken" and a certain percentage, which I was happy about as I was avoiding foods that just vaguely listed "meat and animal derivatives" as an ingredient, for obvious reasons. I have no idea if the ingredients suddenly changed, or the way they listed them changed, but I clearly remember not seeing this before. So I decided to get the Happy Dog, which is apparently made from the best raw ingredients, and actually seems to list everything concisely on the package. I want to know that the meat he does eat is pure and not any kind of disgusting off-cut unfit for human consumption.
It still sickens me to think that I'm failing with this, but what else can I do? I simply cannot afford Yarrah Bio-Vegetarian. If anyone out there can recommend a site where I can get vegan kibble at a more affordable price and cheap or free shipping to Ireland please let me know! The other alternative is, of course, to make meals from scratch for Gerry. But I worry about my own health and nutrition on the best of days, and vegan canine nutrition for a naturally carnivorous animal is even more complicated to cater for, not to mention costly.
I don't know where to go from here. I guess it all depends upon me getting full time work, but I am happy where I am at the moment and if I were to change jobs it would mean I'd be around far less for Gerry.
Also, if anyone could recommend a vegetable based oil that I could feed Gerry to improve his skin and coat that would be great. Greyhounds are prone to getting BTS (Bald Thigh Syndrome) where they lose their hair on their bums and back legs. Gerry has this now to some extent and it's a cosmetic condition, rather than medical. It doesn't bother him in the slightest but it still is rather irritating to have to deal with. I've had to temporarily start feeding him salmon oil to improve his coat and give him the extra fatty acids and Omega-3 that he needs. If there's a vegan alternative out there I'd certainly be using that instead.... Would coconut oil have the same effect and similar amounts of Omega-3? HELP!!