Nancy is an 18 year old vegan Border Terrier Cross with a devoted Dad who has researched her diet fully. He contacted me 2 years ago and sent these details about Nancy and she is still going strong as he buys her the correct supplements and continues to homecook for her.
🌱 His words are so wise and helpful to all of us –

“If you are not using a commercially prepared complete vegan dog food, with a formal analysis that you can check for nutritional completeness, be very careful that you are meeting a dog’s nutritional requirements.

Months after starting to feed Nancy on home-cooked meals without a supplement (and thinking that we had researched and understood her nutritional requirements), she started to become unwell.

She had increasingly worrying cognitive and physical symptoms that could have been put down to her age (doggy dementia). It turned out that she had insufficient Vitamin D in her diet, causing her to have problems with processing of available Calcium (which WAS already present in her vegan diet in sufficient quantities).

18 year old Border Terrier Nancy on a vegan diet

Tested calcium levels in her blood samples were worryingly low. Some of our misunderstanding about Vitamin D was thinking that it was present in things such as tofu (it’s not, in the UK, unless fortified).

With Calcium supplements (tablets) and adding more Vitamin D into her diet (sun-exposed mushrooms, fortified vegan plain yoghurt and fortified soya milk, etc.) she recovered completely. From this point on, we have always added a supplement to her meals.”

Hi Arielle,

Good to hear from you!

I am pleased to say that Nancy is still going strong. Her back legs sometimes give way, she is totally deaf and she has some level of cognitive impairment (interestingly, nothing compared to what she experienced when she was calcium deficient). 

She can still run when she chooses to, but usually running only happens when she is returning from a walk and heading towards a potential meal 🙂 

Thank you so much for all that you are doing!


Dr Steve

Nancy's Dad

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