VeRUS Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

VeRUS Canned Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The VeRUS product line includes seven canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • VeRUS Garden Select Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Lamb and Rice Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Beef and Barley Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Fish and Potato Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Duck and Potato Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Chicken and Rice Formula [U]
  • VeRUS Turkey and Veggie Formula [U]

VeRUS Beef and Barley Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

VeRUS Beef and Barley Formula

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, pearled barley, brown rice, dried kelp, calcium sulfate, salt, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, garlic, choline chloride, betaine, taurine, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%23%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%44%26%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 26%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is dried kelp, a dehydrated form of seaweed also known as alginate. Kelp is most likely used here as a thickening or gelling agent.

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, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

And lastly, 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.

VeRUS Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, VeRUS canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 36%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed contained in some recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

VeRUS is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

VeRUS Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

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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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

11/09/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • OhBichonPlease

    I got the Garden Select and am very happy with it! It was so thick that I had to pry it out of the can, practically. No excess liquid, very firm even consistency. Beef liver [and egg] are the sole sources of animal protein and it definitely seems like a very high-quality product. No odor to speak off. Dog seemed to like it very much!

  • OhBichonPlease

    The Pet Pantry carries the Garden Select Formula. I live within their free delivery zone and plan on trying a few cans with my first order. I have high hopes for this, even though I wish the protein was higher/carbs lower. I’m getting in mainly for supplemental feeding anyway, so I will just have to try to balance it with dry cat food.

  • Barry Collier

    Ive been lookiing into this food and want to try it but cant find it anywhere. Anyone know more about how their dogs are reacting to the food?

  • FTLOD

    I’d much rather buy and support Verus then Blue Buffalo or the like. I trust the ingredients that Verus uses. But when other big named brands can’t guarantee where their ingredients are coming from it makes you wonder.