V-Dog (Dry)


Rating: ★★½☆☆

V-Dog Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The V-Dog product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.


Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Dried peas, brown rice, pea protein concentrate, oats, sorghum, lentils, canola oil, peanuts, sunflower hearts, potato protein, brewers dried yeast, alfalfa meal, flaxseeds, natural vegetable flavor, quinoa, millet, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, vegetable pomace (carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress & spinach), taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D2 supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), choline chloride, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite & calcium iodate), dl-methionine, l-lysine, l-carnitine, parsley flakes, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), dried cranberries, dried blueberries, preserved with citric acid and mixed tocopherols (form of vitamin E)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%10%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%22%53%

The first ingredient in this dog food is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber. Dried peas also contain about 27% protein.

The second 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 third ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

The fourth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber. Lentils also contain about 25% protein.

The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The eighth ingredient is peanuts. Peanuts are not true nuts but rather legumes similar to beans and peas. They are rich in mono-saturated fats and dietary fiber.

The ninth ingredient is sunflower hearts. Sunflower hearts consist of the hulled kernel of the whole seed. They are rich in omega-6 fatty oils, vitamins A and E as well as dietary fiber.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

V-Dog Dog Food
The Bottom Line

V-Dog is by design a meatless product.

So, although we recognize the need for some dog owners to feed a meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.

That said, and before we assign our final rating, it’s still important to compare the amount of plant-based protein present with other dog foods.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

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

Bottom line?

V-Dog is a meatless plant-based dry dog food that uses peas and pea protein concentrate as its main sources of protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not 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.

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.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

01/25/2015 Last Update

  • Polo And Cody

    I get it is not the best food for your dog according to the comments and everything, but really I give V-Dog props. It’s trying to make vegan dog food and imagine if you were a vegan and had to still feed your dog poultry,beef,pork, etc. wouldn’t it break your heart? Plus there aren’t many vegan dog foods out there (the only other one I’m known of is halos vegan canned).

  • theBCnut

    There is NOWHERE on this site where Dr. Mike claims that dogs are carnivores. There is a large difference between having a carnivorous bias and being a carnivore.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It says carnivorous bias, meaning they would eat more meat than plant based protein. Many of the prey diets mimic what they would eat in nature: Approx. 80% animal – 20% plant.
    Of course, you are free to feed whatever you choose.

  • Becca Pearson

    There is no way this site will ever be un-biased. Their fundamental premise, that dogs are carnivores, is simply FALSE. I too have seen countless large muscular dogs thrive on V-dog.

  • DogFoodie

    That’s absolutely awful. Do you have no respect for the life of a human child?

  • Esme DeVille

    Next time you to take your dogs around the block go ahead and put a leash on that limp carrot in your refrigerator. Then lets talk.

    Oh, and FIY: Pigs are smarter than dogs AND human toddlers. #eatthekid

  • Esme DeVille

    V-dog is free of corn, wheat and soy.

  • Esme DeVille

    “Meant” is an overstatement. Your dog is as far removed from wild wolves as your cat is to a lion. Over centuries they have become entirely different species with entirely different needs and abilities. Homeless dogs do not survive long outside of cities because there is no human trash to eat. Go to underdeveloped parts of Europe and Asia. All homeless animals live in cities. Dogs survive on human food, not on their wolf-like hunting abilities. Why? Because MOST dogs suck at it. Sure, a dog can go chase down chickens or lamb in captivity, but in the wild? Forget about it.

    Stop thinking of your dachshund or mastiff as a wolf. They’re nowhere close to wolves.

  • Esme DeVille

    And yes, I am vegan for environmental and ethical reasons.

  • Esme DeVille

    Are you kidding?? “there is no pressure on the meat industry”? Are you living under a rock?! Factory farming, pollution, water consumption — all mainstream agendas directly against the meat industry.

  • theBCnut

    We have the teeth of an omnivore. Our front teeth are not flat, and quite frankly, our back teeth aren’t very flat either.

  • franklin

    Interesting. The human digestive tract is long and our teeth are those of an herbivore. We are herbivores with an ego that makes us think that we are carnivore.

  • tartmuffinsmom

    LabsRawesone is obviously not able to have an independent thought so he assumes PETA must do your thinking. The things people feel the need to say to make them feel superior about their poor choices would be close to funny if they had any wit at all. The animals surely appreciate your thoughtful choices.

  • tartmuffinsmom

    Aggressive? By advocating compassion and freedom she is aggressive to you. The would be chicken jokester without any wit.

  • LabsRawesome

    Because Popeye’s Chicken is awesome.

  • A.Outrage

    Good for you. Protein is protein, whether it comes from a dead animal carcass or plant-based. So if one can get the protein from a plant, why kill another living being to harvest that which can be harvested with no suffering involved? It’s a no brainer to me.

  • vegan mary

    Hi A Outrage

    Vegans save the lives of thousands of animals just by living a vegan lifestyle. Vegans who adopt dogs and feed them a vegan diet save the lives of the dogs they adopt and the thousands of animals that they don’t sacrifice for the sake of their dogs

    I have lots of friends who call themselves animal lovers while they continue to eat meat and fish and poultry. They are really specists who only care about some animals while happily eating, wearing and sacrificing thousands of other animals.

    My friends and neighbors can’t believe I feed my dogs vegan. They can’t allow themselves to believe that a dogs can thrive on plants. They must perpetuate the lie that dogs neat meat to thrive, otherwise they might have to admit that they aren’t really animal lovers at all.

  • Shawna

    Thanks Dori,
    I just edited the OP by adding that now Canola is GRAS in infant formula when omega 6 Linoleic Acid is added at a 6:1 to 16:1 ratio.. I thought current recommendations for humans was 1:1 to no higher than 3:1? Maybe it’s different in infants?

  • Dori

    Thank you Shawna. The history of canola oil is fascinating and your explanation made it easy for me to understand.

  • Shawna

    Canola is a tricky one. Canola is now genetically modified in the same way that corn and other crops are but there’s a deeper history to Canola. Canola itself is a genetically altered plant. It’s parent plant is rapeseed but rapeseed is toxic to humans. Some data on rapeseed oil – “Rapeseed oil was a monounsaturated oil that had been used extensively in many parts of the world, notably in China, Japan and India. It contains almost 60 percent monounsaturated fatty acids (compared to about 70 percent in olive oil). Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the mono-unsaturated fatty acids in rapeseed oil are erucic acid, a 22-carbon monounsaturated fatty acid that had been associated with Keshan’s disease, characterized by fibrotic lesions of the heart. In the late 1970s, using a technique of genetic manipulation involving seed splitting,2 Canadian plant breeders came up with a variety of rapeseed that produced a monounsaturated oil low in 22-carbon erucic acid and high in 18-carbon oleic acid.

    Before LEAR oil could be promoted as a healthy alternative to polyunsaturated oils, it needed a new name. Neither “rape” nor “lear” could be expected to invoke a healthy image for the new “Cinderella” crop. In 1978, the industry settled on “canola,” for “Canadian oil,” since most of the new rapeseed at that time was grown in Canada. “Canola” also sounded like “can do” and “payola,” both positive phrases in marketing lingo. However, the new name did not come into widespread use until the early 1990s.”

    Skipping ahead in the linked article to the health benefits of Canola

    “These studies all point in the same direction–that canola oil is definitely not healthy for the cardiovascular system. Like rapeseed oil, its predecessor, canola oil is associated with fibrotic lesions of the heart. It also causes vitamin E deficiency, undesirable changes in the blood platelets and shortened life-span in stroke-prone rats when it was the only oil in the animals’ diet. Furthermore, it seems to retard growth, which is why the FDA does not allow the use of canola oil in infant formula.19″ http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-great-con-ola/

  • A.Outrage

    Btw, as a man I am mortified by the many comments on that other thread. Quite frankly, it was shocking. It made me ashamed of my gender.

  • A.Outrage

    My absolute pleasure.

  • WhenYoureReady

    Thank you for your comments this morning on the NP article. I know this is an unrelated thread…I don’t want to enter the discussion there (the editor eventually took it off the page because people were so horrible) but wanted you to know how much your words meant. It has been a miserable day, reading all those comments, but yours really helped. Thank you for speaking up.

  • Crazy4cats

    Here is the link that describes his rating system. You can choose to use your own rating system using the information on this site.


  • A.Outrage

    (“Amish J is based in India and has a vested interest in suggest a vegan agenda”) So, one could then argue that you, Bob K, are from the U.S. (or some western jurisdiction based on your avatar name), and thus have a ‘status-quo’ or ‘meat agenda’. What a ridiculous argument to make.

  • A.Outrage

    This is one of the most shameful examples of independent, nutritional analyses I’ve ever read. The author makes repeated references to the fact they do base their assessment on the “meat content” of the food. Furthermore, and I quote: “And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.” How can you judge the “meat content” of a vegan product? It’s an oxymoron. Clearly, the author has a ‘meat-bias’ which to any reasonable person reveals a tainted assessment from the get-go. Plus, if this author knew anything, he/she would know that dogs are not obligate carnivores.

    Then this so-called expert goes on to say, “Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.” So let’s carefully look at what he/she says, it has on average the same protein level as other foods (presumably with meat – a good thing), less fat (a good thing), and more carbs (which could be either or depending on the natural energy level of your dog, plus as we all know “carb-ing” is used by endurance athletes to great benefit). So why the “not recommended”?

    Then the author says, “The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.” One of the principle marketing messages of V-Dog is that their food “DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY GMO PRODUCTS”. Clearly this author didn’t read the nutritional material provided by the manufacturer, nor did they even read the package in which the food comes in. Nonetheless, the author should have made reasonable efforts to clarify this with the manufacturer and some of the other fallacious claims made in this article.

    Also, the author of this ‘analysis’ makes no mention of Quinoa which is listed early on in the ingredients list (rather than those further down which he/she seems to think are of little import). If this author knew anything they were talking about, they would know that Quinoa is one of the single, best sources of protein on the planet for either human or non-human animal – it contains ALL the essential amino acids one needs (be they human or non) to make their own protein rather than that which immediately begins to decay in the flesh of animals once they are slaughtered. This author skims right over this.

    And lastly, this author say, “So, although we do recognize the need for some dog owners to provide (for whatever reason) a completely meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.” So on one hand you recognize the “need” but then make a dismissive comment like “(for whatever reason)” – which is it? Do you recognize it or not?

    And further to the point, has it ever occurred to this author to at least understand why this food is vegan? Does he/she even understand the ethical principles behind veganism? Has it ever occurred to him/her that there might be a well reasoned, moral dilemma with killing a whole group of other species to simply feed one species (canines) that we as humans chose to domesticate thousands of years ago? To a vegan, there is no moral difference between a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, lamb, dog, cat, etc. To propogate, confine, transport and kill one group of species to help feed one lucky, privileged species is indefensible. What morally relevant criteria does a dog possess that makes them more worthy of moral consideration than any other animal? This is the height of speciesism. Has the author ever stopped to examine the environmental degradation associated with animal agriculture? The pollution of ground water, lakes, streams, aqua-firs, etc. due to run-off or the breach of waste lagoons in factory farms? Has he/she ever stopped to think about the massive doses of anti-biotics and rGbh that is used in farmed animals in the U.S.? All of which ends up in not only your food but dog food as well? Plus, is the author aware that meat-protein’s affect on the blood of humans and non-humans is made acidic once consumed and increases the level’s of IGF-1 (a hormone that regulates the discarding of old, dying cells and the regeneration of new ones). An environment that is hospitable to developing cancers in people and dogs. Which also causes the calcium and phosphate in our bones to leach out to counter the acidic balance in our blood much to the detriment of our dogs bone mass and density?

    I have been feeding V-Dog to my Great Danes and Rhodesian Ridgebacks for several years. Their stools are better on V-Dog than meat based diets. They have no skin allergies (which meat-protein’s can cause). They are of perfect weight and well-defined muscle mass and tone. Their endurance and energy level rivals any dog on a meat-based diet. They live no more, no less than other dogs fed meat-based foods. However, I can tell you that while they are alive they have fewer health issues and symptoms than I have experienced when I used to use buy meat-based foods.

  • yidaki_mark

    Uhh, no. The oldest dog was a 29 year old Australian Kelpie named Bluesy. Look it up.
    The Daily Mail reports Britain’s oldest dog was a pedigree papillon called Fred who died at the age of 29 in 2000. The world’s longest-lived dog was an Australian cattle dog, Bluesy, who lived to be just months older than Fred.

  • Esther Grossman

    my vdog is is turning 17

  • Esther Grossman

    My oldest dog i ever had was a 17 year old vdog. youngest was a 10 year old purina dog. The only dog that came close to my 17 year old was a 15 year old blue buffalo lab.

  • Esther Grossman

    This is what I feed my dog, and she is 16 years old, turning 17 January 20th. can’t believe how great she looks. (she is a German shepherd/Dobbie mix) I also have a Pitbul who eats this, who is 2 years old, and is doing awesome. I’ve have a 16 year old lab/bernese mountain dog who ate this…as a matter of fact, the youngest dog that I had die on me was a lab/retriever mix who ate Purina He lived to be 10. My purebred lab ate blue buffalo and lived to 15…good age but not as good as my vdogs That is a stupid rating