V-Dog (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

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

The V-Dog product line includes 2 dry 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • V-Dog [M]
  • V-Dog Mini Bites [M]

V-Dog was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

V-Dog

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 55%

Ingredients: Dried peas, pea protein, brown rice, oatmeal, potato protein, sorghum, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, suncured alfalfa meal, brewers dried yeast, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseeds, millet, calcium carbonate, lentils, peanut hearts, quinoa, sunflower chips, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, dried carrots, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate), dl-methionine, dried parsley, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D2 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hyrdochloride, biotin, folic acid), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), preserved with citric acid, preserved with mixed tocopherols, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried celery, Yucca schidigera extract, dried lettuce, l-carnitine, dried watercress, dried spinach, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%10%55%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%23%52%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 52%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The second 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.

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 meat content of this dog food.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The fifth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

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

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.

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 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.

After the natural flavor, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item 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 five notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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.

In addition, we find lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, 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 27%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 55%.

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

Near-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 pea and potato proteins 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.

V-Dog 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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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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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.

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Notes and Updates

01/08/2018 Last Update