Bramble’s secret to living over 25 years!
Have you heard about Bramble, an amazing border collie who lived over 25 years and is known as one of the oldest dogs in the world? Bramble lived in the UK and held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog at the time. What’s the most amazing thing about this story is that Bramble actually lived on a vegan diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains (no meat, eggs, and dairy). Bramble is a proof that dogs can not only live on plant-based diets, but also live long, healthy lives being completely vegan.
We are sharing an interview of bramble’s mom, Anne Heritage, a dedicated, animal rights activist and vegan, taken by an American organization V-dog.
First, how did you get started down this path of a 100% plant-based diet for Bramble?
Yes, it’s great to speak with you! I went vegan after receiving leaflets about the horrors of the dairy industry. I began to research plant-based nutrition for myself and for my first rescue dog Floyd. I read books like Diet for a Small Planet. I learned that all food can be broken down into chemical components. I ultimately found that my dogs could not only live on a 100% vegan diet, but really thrive on this type of food.
Exactly how old did Bramble live to?
Bramble lived to just over 25.
How old did Bramble’s dog friends live to?
The average of a Collie is 14. I’ve had seven dogs – three of them lived to 19-years-old, one lived to 20-years-old, and then Bramble lived to 25-years-old.
Did all of those dogs eat a vegan diet?
Yes, they did.
What did Bramble mainly eat? What was her favorite food?
Bramble’s diet was made from 100% vegan ingredients. Her diet consisted mainly of lentils, different types of vegetables and rice. This type of meal is nutritious, I’d cook up a base of organic brown rice, red split lentils, vegetables, and some additional ingredients like herbs etc. Her favorite food was…everything! She loved meal time.
How could you tell she loved her vegan food?
She was like a little bulldozer. At feeding time, she would run at the food and stuff it all down. All of my seven dogs loved meal time, but Bramble was always extra keen on her meals.
In feeding your dogs a vegan diet, what did you see as the main benefit?
I was really able to enjoy my dogs much longer – we were able to enjoy each other – due to their plant-based diet. I believe you can extend your dog’s years given the right care plan and food. Bramble got a lot of exercise and we tried to reduce stress on her for improved health. Feeding the dogs vegan also reduces the environmental strain a flesh-based diet imposes on the planet. And of course no animals need to be abused and killed through agribusiness.
Are there any additional reasons, besides ethics and health, that you choose a vegan diet for yourself and your dogs?
Plain and simple, our desire to feed ourselves and our dogs flesh foods is destroying the planet. It’s really become catastrophic and we need change. A plant-based diet for dogs saves a ton of valuable resources like water and land as compared to a meat-based diet. (See Cowspiracy)
Is there a story you can cite about how you could tell Bramble was thriving throughout her life?
Bramble was always very active – this was something I made sure was a part of all of my dogs’ lives. Up until she passed away she loved to walk and swim. She walked over two hours daily. All of this activity really built up her muscles and endurance. Bramble’s vet also said she had the best teeth she’s ever seen. Her teeth were white and strong.
What is your reaction when people say “vegan dogs don’t thrive?”
I’d ask, “What research have you based this on?” My dogs absolutely thrived on a vegan diet and Bramble’s story of longevity is now very well-known.
What would you say to people who insist on feeding their dog meat?
Just because someone is feeding their dog flesh, they tend to think there’s some magical ingredient in this flesh that’s keeping their dog healthy. Dogs need protein, but protein is not exclusively found in meat. It is made from amino acids and plants provide plenty of these building blocks and nutrients for dogs.
Additionally, the only reason their dog is getting these amino acids is because the animal that they’re feeding to their dog (the cow, chicken, etc) ate plants. Most animals killed and used for meat-based dog food are fed antibiotics and medications throughout their life. This all ends up meat-based dog foods. Much of the meat in the dog food industry is deemed unfit for human consumption. They use the meat that is diseased and sitting around. These animals are also stressed before they are slaughtered, so the stress hormones end up in the flesh that your dog eats.
Want to learn more about bramble and her story? Check out Anne's Book: Bramble; The Dog Who Wanted to Live Forever.
We at Freshwoof use 100% plant-based and human-grade ingredients to power our complete and balanced dog food, providing you a way to feed your pooch healthy, sustainably & ethically!