Sugi’s Vegan Gluten Free Dog Pancakes


  • Lesson from Sugi: Dogs like to eat things that taste good!
  • Sugi says, “I love these special pancakes made with love”

For some dog reason lately, Sugi has been very picky about his food. Things he used to love—squash, buckwheat noodles, rice noodles, azuki beans—don’t interest him right now. It can be frustrating offering  food and him turning his head away! I tried to entice him with various foods including goat dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, and tofu. But after a week of these, I noticed he developed itchy ears and congested breathing, so I’m thinking he’s  allergic to dairy and soy products.

On a weekend over the holidays, I tried this vegan oat pancake recipe from Guten Free Vegan Girl for myself. These pancakes are delicious! They are even better cooked as waffles! Oats, the type of flour used in the recipe, are one of the most protein-rich grains with 17% protein compared to rice which is 7%.

I adapted the above recipe for Sugi by substituting the apricots (too sweet for him) with banana and adding some veggie puree. The pancakes do not have any sweetener, and they are full of protein, fruit, veggies and omegas so I believe they are a nutritious meal:

  • 1 1/3 cup organic oat flour
  • 1tsp. baking powder
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1/4 cup pureed cooked organic yam and carrot
  • 2 tbsp organic hemp or flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 1 1/3 cup unsweetened organic coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious brand)

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix up the flour with the baking powder. Put the other ingredients (except the coconut milk) together in a small bowl and mash until smooth. Add the mashed ingredients to the dry ingredients. Then add the coconut milk, whisking until smooth, until you get the thickness you want. Add more if you want. Use a spoon to put a dollop (about 1/8-1/4 cup) of batter onto an oiled pan. Cook until dry on the up side. Flip and cook the other side, just like you would regular pancakes! You may have to add a bit of coconut milk as the batter sets while you’re cooking.

You will see in the picture that I’ve cooked them as small (about 3″) grittle cakes on a special grill that spans two burners. Once done, I let them cool on a rack. Sugi (20 lbs.) eats about 6 of these per day (in addition to other lovely treats…). He seems satisfied and is not losing any weight, so I’m happy… Delicious!


Sugi likes bananas


  •  Lesson from Sugi: Dogs like fruit
  • Sugi says, “in the evening, after a long day, I like to have a snack of banana cut up into bite-size pieces”

Sugi’s pretty fussy about his food. He’ll just sit and look at me with disdain if I give him a bowl of food he doesn’t like. Recently, I’ve discovered that he likes an evening snack of banana. I cut up a whole banana into slices and share it between Tom and Sugi. They love this in the evening before bed. We now have a special “banana time!” that they have come to love and expect each evening.

Banana is a good ‘cooling’ food according to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) that will cool you down if you’re having too much heat. This is good for Sugi when he’s hot after coming indoors from an evening walk.


Tom Zen Nap


  •  Lesson from Tom: Dog’s like a cozy place to sleep
  • Sugi says, “sometimes I like to get small!”

I like to photograph Tom and Sugi when they’re napping. Like humans, dogs can seem more vulnerable when they’re asleep. Inspired by my recent interest in Zen (I think there’s a connection but not sure what it is yet…), here Tom is trying to make himself small.

Beet tops for dogs

beet tops

  •  Lesson from Sugi: Dogs like freshly cooked veggies
  • Sugi says, “I’m growing to like a variety of veggies, who knew?!.”

Every wondered what to do with those beet tops attached to the fresh beets you’ve just  bought from the farmer’s market? Sometimes the beets come with the full leaves attached (which are good to eat stir fried with some garlic), or they come with a little of the leaf stem attached. I discovered that I can steam these stems and cut them up to put into Tom and Sugi’s food. They like them! They taste like beets and are nutritious…

Sugi likes a cuddle


  • Lesson from Sugi: Dogs need loving kindness too!
  • Sugi says, “When I’m feeling safe I can relax into a cuddle.”

Lately, Sugi has been less fearful (of flies, noises, etc.) and this seems to coincide with his ability to be happier and more relaxed. When he’s feeling this way he even asks for affection! Sometimes, he even comes over and rests his head on my leg while I’m working at the computer, in this way asking to be picked up in my lap.