START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

Vegan Dog Lives to 189 Years

Vegan Dog Lives to 189 Years

Have you heard about the veggie-eating dog who lived to the ripe age of 27? That’s 189 dog years!

The dog, Bramble, a blue merle Collie, lived in the UK and held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog at the time.

What’s most amazing about this story is that the dog actually lived on a vegan diet of rice, lentils and organic vegetables.

She ate once a day and exercised a lot.

The owner of the dog, Anne Heritage, was a vegan herself. She just fed Bramble a big bowl of vegan dinner every evening. She explains that Bramble “is an inspiration and [he] just goes to show that if you eat the right things and keep on exercising you can extend your life”.

Seven Human Years for Every One Dog Year

The age of 189 years comes from the common usage of counting 7 human years for every one dog year. This method is sometimes debated, but any way you count it – Bramble lived a long life.

There have been long living non-vegetarian dogs also. For example, an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey who lived to 29 years and five months old.

Aren’t dogs carnivores?

Some experts say that dogs are scavenging carnivores, meaning they are naturally meat eaters but can sustain themselves on other protein sources.

Other experts say that dogs are omnivores, animals that can live on a diet composed of meat, fruits and vegetables. Their systems are capable of digesting and combining various forms of proteins in just the same way a human’s system can. Everyone agrees that cats are different. Cats really are complete carnivores.

Experts say if you are thinking of switching your dog’s diet to vegetarian, it’s best for their health if you start young. That way, there’s no need for their bodies to adjust.  The people who do this are usually vegetarians or vegans themselves.  You might be a vegetarian for health reasons, for humane reasons or for environmental reasons.  A medium sized meat-eating dog, for example, has more of an environmental impact than a gas guzzling SUV due to the amount of land and water that meat production requires.

I’m not an expert on dogs but I do know we have tested a small sampling of them with our Vital Health Testing. This testing, which normally tests humans, has also been used by concerned pet owners. Vegetarian dogs did NOT test as protein-deficient, even when tested alongside meat-eating dogs.

This story or information does not prove your dog SHOULD be vegetarian or vegan. It does show that dogs CAN thrive on such a diet.

What About Humans & Vegetarian Diets?

A major portion of the world population lives quite nicely on a vegetarian diet much like Bramble’s, especially when you consider Bramble’s dinners mostly consisted of rice, beans and vegetables. That’s exactly what has sustained most Asian cultures for centuries.

At Real Food For Life, we don’t say that everyone has to be vegetarian or vegan, but many people would be healthier eating less meat, or eating meat with better combinations of other foods. We TEACH people how to plan and prepare exactly such a meal as Bramble’s  in our weekend web BootCamps. Sometimes the focus is on alkaline balance,  sometimes weight loss and sometimes gluten-free cooking.

Carnivores traditionally live the shortest lives across the board in nature. Vegetarians outlive many of their meat-eating neighbors. If you look at a dog’s teeth structure, the jaw structure and the digestion system of a dog, it’s pretty clear that dogs are more physically adapted to eating meat than humans.

If humans are more suited to a vegetarian diet, there is a very good possibility humans can live long and healthy lives eating LOTS of vegetables and fruits. We encourage you to do so!

If a dog can live 189 years, maybe you can too?

Are YOU a vegetarian? Is your dog?

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington of Real Food For Life.

4 Dog Food Allergy Myths
Can’t Change the Facts: Cats Need Meat
10 Safe “People Foods” For Your Dog

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Health, Pets

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


+ add your own
5:32PM PDT on Oct 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

10:55PM PDT on Oct 9, 2014

I knew this blog post was existed someplace. Thanks to post such articles. Will unquestionably be using it very soon. (source)

1:05AM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Oh, fascinating and intriguing, I had missed the previous comment from last year.

Syd H commiserated at 5:13am PDT on Jun 27, 2013:

"Oh, this is going to bring out the Dianes, the Dales, and the Marilyns! :D"

How so very perceptive of you. Yes, I do object to feeding an unnatural diet to animals that have evolved to eat meat as part or most of their diet. It does appear that there are some vegans and some vegetarians who want to turn their companion animals into 'mini-humans' by ignoring what other animals happen to eat naturally. So, yes, I am here. Deal with it because plant-based diets are not natural for dogs or cats, no matter how many times people try to gloss over evolution. What's next, why stop at changing domestic pets into vegans or vegetarians, how about some 'visionaries' attempting to turn lions, tigers, wolves and polar bears into herbivores? Knock yourselves out with that project. There are even Utilitarian philosophers so upset that lions kill zebras that some of them believe it is our 'moral obligation' to ease all wild carnivores into extinction because their prey animals feel pain when captured. Introducing...drum roll...the vegetarian lion. Who feeds the lion?

1:03AM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Thankfully, many vegans and vegetarians are not adverse to the fact that dogs and cats are not humans and feed them what Nature intended. Interesting fact, this: "Bramble, a Border Collie from the UK, is often used as an example of a dog that lived to be 25 years old on a vegan diet. What is often times left out in her story is that Bramble was a farm dog that was able to run free daily. I can only imagine that Bramble loved the porridge her owner gave her, but she was also opportunistic and spent much of her free time foraging for small rodents and rabbits."

Karen B stated: "Dog lives to be 27 years old, and some people on here STILL think
she actually needed to eat meat . . . . .Just sayin' "

Karen, the dog was allowed to run freely on a farm, just what do you think that the dog chased and caught when outdoors...rabbits and other small animals. Just saying. Bramble, a 'vegan/vegetarian dog,' eye! Rofl!

1:01AM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Thank you for your logic, Julie D! Lori B, the topic of the thread is feeding dogs a vegetarian diet and an example was given, this really is not about what people happen to eat. It is not as if we don't have endless threads trashing omnivores for daring to eat the 'demon meat'. Mine is not from a factory farm, which is the best kind of meat for human omnivores or dogs (omnivores) and obligate carnivores, cats.

Talking about seasonings on meat making it taste good is bemusing, considering that we often put herbs and spices on apples and other fruits, not to mention some veggies. I cook squash with maple syrup, blueberries, cranberries and spices along with walnuts. Try again. I like the flavour of chicken and potatoes and you happen to be describing a well-balanced diet, aka, mostly veggies and a small amount of meat plus legumes, etc. Congratulations, there are some omnivores who know something about nutrition!

12:26AM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Since dogs are scavengers it does seem likely that Bramble may have rambled a bit. Veganizm is definitly not a natural or normal diet for canids and while the vegan diets have been formulated to maintain minimum standards, minimum standards rarely create the right environment for very long lives. There are exceptions to any rule, but not what you would call a common exception.

I REALLY don't understand why people would even adopt an animal just to force them into unnatural diets. There are fantastic pets that are native herivores and fructivors. Not just hampsters and rabbits, but several bird species like fruit bats and Macaws. When there are great pets to had there is no reason to choose one that must be forced into something like this.

11:27PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Robin Rae S said: "Dale O.: Dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores, which mean they can live very well on a vegetarian/vegan diet. Cats are carnivores, so they need to eat meat. I have had cats for over 20 years, and I have been vegan myself for almost that long, so it's been difficult for me to give them meat. I have been making my cats food at home for a few years now... sometimes makes me wish I could have dogs so I could feed them vegan too."

Dogs are omnivores that happen to eat a great deal of meat and if in the wild, they won't be eating much in the way of a plant-based diet. By definition, omnivores also include meat in their diets, otherwise, they would be vegans or vegetarians. O-m-n-i-v-o-r-e! Cats are obligate carnivores. If it is difficult for some to give obligate carnivores meat, Nature's diet for cats, one wonders why some don't have rabbits instead if some refuse to give cats meat, for example. It sounds as if you do give your cats some meat. Just because a few dogs can live on a vegetarian diet, doesn't make it either healthy or natural. If one wants to alter the basic natural makeup of an animal simply to suit a vegan philosophy, one has to wonder why one cannot simply accept an animal as Nature created the animal and not what some wish the animal can be shaped into to suit a human philosophy?

11:26PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Jude A pontificates: "We are responsible for animals that have been domesticated which means that they are dependent on us. We are the ones who feed them and if you want to feed your dog the best meat diet, that would be so called human quality from an organic butcher which would mean that you are killing other animals to feed your dog, that is immoral and speciesist. V-dog is an excellent and affordable commercial gmo free vegan dog food."

Jude, a dog is a dog is a dog, an omnivore that eats meat. Stop trying to create dogs in a vegan image. It is immoral speciesist nonsense to attempt to turn a dog into a veganized human because some refuse to accept an animal for how Nature intended the animal to be.

11:26PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Jessica G said: "I believe any omnivore can be vegan and will more than likely benefit from veganism. If you truly love animals, make the switch!"

There is really nothing like wide-sweeping over-generalizations about omnivores, as if the only people who love animals are vegans only. Many omnivores are involved in TNR, plus a variety of other animal welfare endeavours of all kinds. This is a thread about a dog that happened to be fed a vegetarian diet, however, one has to wonder if all dogs were fed a vegetarian diet, just how healthy they would all be? I doubt if a lot of them would thrive over a period of years. This is an exception to the rule. As for your belief that omnivores can be vegan, there are people who are not suited to the vegan diet either, which is why some former vegans have gone back to eating meat because they became ill on a vegan diet. Some people do well on a vegan diet, but not everyone does. If I have a dog or a cat, they will have meat in their diet. I am not afraid of what a dog or a cat was intended to be by Nature. I would no more feed a dog or cat a vegan/vegetarian diet than I would tell a rabbit or a hummingbird to eat meat.

6:16AM PDT on Sep 23, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks Diane for sharing Mr. Wilder's challenge and tips.

Hi to everybody, here everyone is sharing such knowledge, so it’s fastidious to see this site, …

Such a beautiful story.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.