Ivet Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

iVet Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The iVet Dog Food product line includes seven dry recipes. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • iVet VetBasics Energy
  • iVet Healthy Gourmet Adult
  • iVet Healthy Gourmet Senior
  • iVet VetBasics Maintenance (3 stars)
  • iVet Healthy Gourmet Reduced Fat (2 stars)
  • iVet Healthy Gourmet Small Breed Puppy (4 stars)
  • iVet Healthy Gourmet Large Breed Puppy (4 stars)

iVet VetBasics Energy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

iVet VetBasics Energy Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground whole grain corn, barley, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), and citric acid), corn gluten meal, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), flaxseed, natural flavors, fish meal, dried egg product, dried brewers yeast, minerals (potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, salt, zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (a source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%17%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%35%40%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural flavor, we find fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.

But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.

We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.

Without knowing more, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

iVet Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, iVet Dog Food looks like an average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, flaxseed and brewers yeast in some of the recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

iVet Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/23/2010 Original review
02/06/2012 Upgraded from 3 to 4 stars (removed menadione, lower fat)
08/06/2013 Review updated
08/06/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Mr Gus

    Our Weimie Gus was getting pretty fat because his owner was lazy, so when our vet recommended ivet we said why not. Gus lost 15 lbs in 2 months and has never been happier even though he’s a decade old now.
    Well worth the half hour drive to the only vet that sells it.

  • emar

    I’ve been using ivet for our 5 dogs for 6 months. Allergies are down to non-existent, they love it, they look healthier, and overall I’m pleased. Their vet check ups seem be indicative of the same. However, I cannot advocate the low fat formula. My dogs refused to eat it, and when they did, they would throw it up. My vet took it back & refunded my money, they stood behind their guarantee. They range in age from 2-11 years old, and they are all larger breed dogs.

  • siggy2321

    I have used the I Vet trial bags, one for Boxer puppy who is a little over a year old and seems to relay like the food…..and weight control for my 9 year old boxe who weighs 92 pounds whom is obese…….He does not eat as much and seems more active and appears to have lost weight just on the trial bag…. I will update when I go through a whole bag……will probably switch
    to I vet food and leave diamond dog foods……my dogs act better with the other food.

  • Churchilldad

    We feed our English Bulldog, named Churchill, iVet food. He does very well on this food. Our Vet suggested we use this food and it has worked extremely well for Churchill. He has no allergy problems and people comment on how good he looks and the softness of his coat. He has 2 regular bowel movements a day. It doesn’t take much food to keep him satisfied. Great food. Great Dog!

  • Twirleytab

    As per my vet’s recommendations, I started feeding my dog iVet. He adjusted fairly quickly and did very well. My vet decided to discontinue the iVet brand as they were carrying some IVet and some Science Diet, and went all to Science Diet. I then switched to Science Diet. I have to put my baby back on iVet because he has went back to eating his poop and is vomiting stomach acid through the night. He is on the reduced fat version because he is a little overweight, but now is not getting something he needs. I give iVet two thumbs up!

  • Invsblqstnng

    We get this from our vet and have used it since we got our former fox red lab pup, now big dog 2 years ago.  Her is very shiny and she is a super healthy dog.  I have recommended this dog food to others.  Absolutely no complaints.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Mcpiano,

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a problem with the vet clinic you mention in your comment.

    Unfortunately, though, you are describing a problem unrelated to the objectives of this website (which is to review and rate dog food only).

    Please contact the manufacturer regarding this issue. Hope this helps.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Mcpiano….fyi this is not the ivet dog food page.  This is Dog Food Advisor which rates and reviews foods for you.  Sorry, but you will have to email the company site for ivet dog food and relate this info. to them.

  • Mcpiano

    My poodle, Ebony, saw our Vet on 12-22-11. In the waiting area I noticed a sign advertising a free trial bag of I-vet.  I was promised the bag when I checked out.  The receptionist when checking out said that I would have to buy a large bag of food before I received the trial bag.. I’m sorry but the advertisement did not state this!  The receptionist refused.  Is this false advertising or a problem with the clinic?  The office is:  Aminal Clinic, 504 Fruitvale Ct.  Grand Junction, Co. 81504.  Ph 970 434-4094.  Please advise. 

    Sincerely,
    Marie Crutchfield, 3133 Summit Meadows, Grand Junction, Co.   970 523-0208.  Thank you!

  • Kystuk

    Ya the same thing with our Bkack Lab with loose stool but not eatin it, so we went BACK to Iet and have no problems since.

  • Kat

    I use to feed Blue Buffalo to my 2 yorkies and shih tzu . They would have regular stools one day and loose the next. What was worse, they started eating stools. My vet recommended Ivet small breed puppy food. He gave me a sample bag. Their stools became solid and they stopped eating crap. The price is reasonable and one bag lasts almost a month with 4 small breed dogs. I would recommend Ivet.

  • Mike

    I purchased a pitbull puppy from a local woman for $50 about 5 or 6 months ago…the price was so low because the dog was obviously malnourished…i mean u could see literally EVERY rib and its entire spine. I took it to a vet that recommended iVet food and within a month or two the dog was visibly healthier. Id recommend this food to anyone with a dog considering mines wasnt even expected to live to see his next vet visit.

  • Deni Pelas Treigle

    After dealing with many health/skin issues with our 4 yr old large mixed breed dogs, at the recommendation of our veterinarian, we switched to the IVet brand. After about 3 weeks we could see a significant improvement in both dogs overall appearance and both are were much more active! They’ve been on the food about a year now and it is amazing to see the difference from 1 year ago. We were feeding our dogs a good quality dog food but our vet believes they developed allergies to the soy products that are in so many brands. To sum it up, we love IVet and so do our dogs!