VeRUS dry dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The VeRUS product line lists five dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two for all life stages (Puppy and Life Advantage Adult).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- VeRUS Adult Maintenance
- VeRUS Advanced Opticoat
- VeRUS Weight Management
- VeRUS Life Advantage Adult
- VeRUS Puppy Advantage (4 stars)
VeRUS Adult Maintenance dry dog food was selected to represent the others 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 meal, ground grain sorghum, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate), chicory pulp, alfalfa meal, kelp, natural flavors, salt, yucca schidigera extract, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, ascorbic acid, riboflavin supplement, dl-methionine, niacin, calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate
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 whole oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The third item 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 fourth ingredient lists 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 meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
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 lists 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.
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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, chicory pulp is what remains of chicory root once all the healthy inulin has been extracted.
This agricultural by-product is more typically associated with cattle feeds and is most likely used here for its digestible dietary fiber.
And lastly, this food does contain 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 Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, VeRUS Dog Food looks to be an above-average kibble.
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.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.
In any case, because of the VeRUS Puppy’s 30% protein and 18% fat (implying a higher meat content), we feel compelled to award that product a higher rating than the other products in the line.
VeRUS dry dog food is a grain-based kibble using only a modest amount of assorted meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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 Last Update