VeRUS Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The VeRUS product line includes five dry dog foods. 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.
- VeRUS Adult Maintenance
- VeRUS Advanced Opticoat
- VeRUS Life Advantage (4 stars)
- VeRUS Puppy Advantage (4.5 stars)
- VeRUS Weight Management (2 stars)
VeRUS Adult Maintenance was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
VeRUS Adult Maintenance
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb meal, ground oats, ground brown rice, rice bran, flaxseed, ground grain sorghum, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), chicory extract, sun cured alfalfa, kelp, natural flavors, salt, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, l-carnitine, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, choline chloride, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, betaine anhydrous, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||25%||11%||56%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||26%||51%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The second ingredient is ground oats. Oats are naturally rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and low in gluten.
The third ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The fourth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The fifth 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.
The sixth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is chicory extract which is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
The ninth ingredient is alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is more commonly associated with cattle feeds, it can still provide healthy nutrients to any dog food.
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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, VeRUS appears to be an above average dry dog food.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
VeRUS Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
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Notes and Updates
08/18/2010 Original review
05/26/2012 Review updated
12/06/2013 Review updated
12/06/2013 Last Update