V-Dog vegan dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 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
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, menadione sodium metabisulfite complex, 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) = 10.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||5%||61%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||13%||62%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
Peas consist of mostly primarily carbohydrates. Yet they do contain about 25% 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 is lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber. Lentils contain about 25% protein.
The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1
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 lists 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 includes 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 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, 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.
And lastly, this dog food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
V-Dog Dog Food
The Bottom Line
V-Dog is — by design — a meatless product.
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.
For this reason, the highest rating awarded any vegetarian dog food found on this website can never exceed two stars.
That said, and before we determine our final rating, it’s still important to estimate how much plant-based protein might be present.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 20%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
V-Dog is a plant-based meatless kibble that uses peas, pea protein concentrate and lentils as its main sources of protein, thus earning the brand 2 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.
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Notes and Updates
11/18/2012 Original review
11/18/2012 Last Update