The reason for this is the formula feels more balanced and more digestible than other vegan dog foods. Let’s walk through those ingredients so you can decide for yourself if V-Dog is right for you and your dog.
Let’s take a good look at Californian brand V-Dog:
My thoughts on vegan diets
If you read about the Griffith University study I linked to earlier, then you will have a really good base of understanding vegan dog foods. If anything, science shows they can be healthier than the average grain-based kibble.
For this reason, it’s possible for a dog to be healthier on a vegan dog food than a supermarket dog food.
My belief is dogs can live a far healthier life if not fed those grain-based or budget dog foods, and you should too – ultra processed junk.
The main ingredients of V-Dog are peas and pea protein, so essentially a double-whammy of peas.
There are health concerns with dogs fed too much pea, but as an ingredient in a vegan dog food they’re readily available, sustainable, and (for the benefit of the manufacturer) cheap. If you’re concerned about your dog consuming too much pea then rotate between other brands – problem solved.
The benefits of peas are they’re rich in protein, and dogs tend to do better on protein-based foods rather than carbohydrate or starchy foods.
Considering the amount of peas in V-Dog, and how cheap peas are as an ingredient, you would expect the food to be cheap. It isn’t, because most vegan dog owners are willing to pay a premium for an ethical product.
The next set of ingredients are carbohydrates, and although science suggests dogs are omnivores (a “fact” very convenient for the producers of grain-based dog foods who fund and instigate scientific studies), carbs are harder for your dog to digest.
The reason is also scientific, as the short digestive tract of a dog is closer to that of a cat than us of a human. This can make carbohydrates hard to process in the time it takes for the rock hard nuggets of kibble to pass through the system and out the other end.
This set of ingredients is a combination of brown rice, oatmeal, potato protein (okay, not a carb, but you get my point), and sorghum.
Like peas, these are also relatively cheap ingredients. Especially when compared to meat ingredients. Do you think this is reflected in the price?
The fat content of V-Dog sits around 9%. That’s low, and suggests another problem which is lots of carbohydrates. Protein is 24%, and by my calculations that means almost 50% carbohydrates – that shows the emphasis of potato, oatmeal, and sorghum to peas.
Dog’s utilise fats very efficiently for energy.
Canola oil isn’t the best choice of oil, but being a vegan food they can’t use anything like fish oil as a better source of omega fats.
Other ingredients offer much needed omega 3 and 6, including flaxseed and sunflower chips, but these are so far down the ingredients list you have to wonder how beneficial they are. In fact, when you consider most of these ingredients are likely 1% or less of the formula, you have to wonder if they’re included because they look good on the label?
Other ingredients really highlight this as a vegan food – lentils, quinoa, alfalfa – which may add some benefit. The fruits and vegetables listed right at the end of the ingredients, after the vitamin and mineral inclusions, we can assume are nothing more than specks.
To wrap up, there are no added probiotics to aid digestion, and none of the minerals are chelated – just regular inclusions. Given this is a vegan dog food product, backed by dubious science, it would be nice to see more absorbable chelated minerals to ensure your dog gets what they need.
Price wise it’s very expensive per kilo if you consider there’s no meat content, and the ingredient inclusions are relatively cheap. It’s also very low in fat, and dogs utilise fat (animal fat) for energy.
Overall for a vegan food it’s better than others reviewed. Dare I say it, but if you add raw meat to this you’ll be offering your dog a decent diet.
Where to buy
Vegan dog food is generally harder to source, sometimes being limited to a select few retailers.
Ingredients of V-Dog dog food:
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, Marine Microalgae (source of DHA), Potassium Chloride, Dried Chicory Root Inulin, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid), Dried Carrots, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), DL-Methionine, Dried Parsley, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), preserved with Citric Acid, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Dried
Celery, Dried Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Beets, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lettuce, L-Carnitine, Dried Watercress, Dried Spinach, Rosemary Extract.
The guaranteed analysis of V-Dog dog food:
|Crude Fibre||(max) 5%|
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 49%|
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When compared against other vegan dog foods, and also some supermarket or budget brand grain-based dog foods, V-Dog comes across a little better. I wouldn't feed it to my dog, but if you're looking for the best vegan dog food then this might be the best you can find.
- Good choice of ingredients for a vegan food
- No meat (it has to be said)