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VeRUS Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: May 15, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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VeRUS Dog Food receives the Advisor’s rating of 4 stars.

The VeRUS product line includes the 15 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
VēRUS Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Oats and Brown Rice 4.5 A
VēRUS Adult Maintenance Lamb Meal, Oats and Brown Rice 3.5 M
VēRUS Advanced Opticoat Menhaden Fish Meal and Potato 3.5 M
VēRUS Core Advantage Turkey Meal, Brown Rice and Oats 4 M
VēRUS Advanced Vitality Pork Meal, Brown Rice and Oats 4 M
VēRUS Puppy Advantage Chicken Meal, Oats and Brown Rice 5 A
VēRUS Senior Advantage, Brown Rice and Chicken Meal 2 M
VēRUS Active Advantage Chicken Meal and Turkey Meal 4.5 M
VēRUS Weight Management Brown Rice, Lamb Meal and Oats 2.5 M
VēRUS Small Breed Chicken Meal and Brown Rice 4.5 A
VēRUS Small Breed Turkey Meal and Brown Rice 4 A
VēRUS Small Breed Menhaden Fish Meal and Herring 4.5 A
VēRUS Large Breed Puppy Chicken, Lentils and Yams 4 A
VēRUS Life Virtue Chicken, Lentils and Yams 4.5 A
VēRUS Cold Water Fish Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal and Herring 4 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

VēRUS Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Oats and Brown Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

VēRUS Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Oats and Brown Rice

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

26.7%

Protein

16.7%

Fat

48.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken meal, ground oat groats, ground brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), rice bran, dried plain beet pulp, dehydrated alfalfa meal, flaxseed, natural flavors, tomato pomace, chicory root 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 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, choline chloride, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, betaine anhydrous, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 24% 15% NA
Dry Matter Basis 27% 17% 49%
Calorie Weighted Basis 23% 35% 42%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

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 next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 sixth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The next item on the ingredient list is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), it can be less common to find it in a dog food recipe.

The eighth 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.

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 VeRUS product line.

With 4 notable exceptions

First, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, chicory root 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.

In addition, this food contains 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.

And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, VeRUS looks like an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Which means this VeRUS product line contains…

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other kibbles.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

VeRUS Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to VeRUS through July 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of VeRUS Dog Food

VeRUS lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods that use a notable amount of named meat meals as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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Recommended

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

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