A London based entrepreneur is hoping the launch of her new product will plug a gap for ethically minded pet owners. Lucy McKinna, a qualified vet and vegan from New Malden, struggled with the fact she didn’t eat meat but did feed it to her dog.
“I had fully embraced a vegan lifestyle but I couldn’t find anything on the market I felt confident would provide my dog with everything she needed to stay healthy.”
Lucy set about solving this ethical dilemma herself. She started to create her own vegan dog food, initially just for her and her veterinary clients’ dogs.
After several trial runs, Lucy found a recipe which she was not only happy with, being ‘complete’ (that is to say that it had everything in it that a dog needs to stay fit and healthy), but that her dog loved too. The latter due to the fact Lucy used the superfood nutritional yeast, to give the food an irresistible cheesy flavour.
The feedback she got from her clients was so positive Lucy decided to turn her idea into a business, and Noochy Poochy was born. ‘Nooch’ being a vegan term for nutritional yeast.
The brand has already had great success; launching at the back end of 2021 in health, pet and vegan stores across the country, including zero waste stores – which Lucy provides bulk product to. But things haven’t all been plain sailing…
“Initially we couldn’t find a vegan source of a key vitamin in dog food, Vitamin D3, normally derived from sheep’s wool. After months of searching, and running our own tests to make sure it was stable throughout the cooking of the recipe, we managed to source the vitamin D3 from algae and could finally get the fully vegan seal of approval.”
As hoped, Noochy Poocy has gone down extremely well with vegan dog owners, with Lucy’s first run of product selling out in days. Lucy’s next challenge is to convince non-vegan dog owners to give the food a try.
“In the past there has been a lot of scepticism out there about feeding dogs a vegan diet, but now with recent supportive studies and a ‘complete’ food available, the plant-based dog market may well start to mirror the human food market. A lot of people worry a vegan dog food will be lacking in things like protein, certain fats and amino acids but Noochy has a 28% protein content, higher than many meat based foods, alongside an impressive omega fatty acid 6:3 ratio of 4 to 1, and supplemented L-carnitine, DL- methionine and taurine.”
With many UK households looking to cut down on their meat consumption and more and more of us engaging in plant-based initiatives like Veganuary and Meat Free Monday’s, there really couldn’t be an easier way for owners to switch their dog’s food over too.”
For more information visit www.noochypoochy.com