VeRUS Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The VeRUS product line includes eight dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- VeRUS Life Virtue
- VeRUS Adult Maintenance
- VeRUS Advanced Opticoat
- VeRUS Large Breed Puppy
- VeRUS Life Advantage (4 stars)
- VeRUS Cold Water Fish (4 stars)
- VeRUS Puppy Advantage (4 stars)
- VeRUS Weight Management (1.5 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, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, salt, 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) = 4.7%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||11%||57%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||25%||52%|
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 includes 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 sun-cured alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
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 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 includes 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 Dog Food looks like an above-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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Near-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 in this recipe, and the lentils, chickpeas and peas in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
VeRUS is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
VeRUS Dog Food
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.
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Notes and Updates
11/27/2016 Last Update