V-Dog Blog

This rescue dog has been VEGAN for 16 years!

Tara is a 17 year old doggie who hasn't had meat since she was rescued over 16 years ago. 

According to an article on Mirror, "Ever since Ann Boyce, 66, and her husband Gary, 67, rescued her when she was six months old, they have not fed her a single meat morsel."

Ann and Gary have been vegan for two decades, so it made sense for them to explore a similar diet for their lovely companion. 

Added plus? In addition to not needing to kill other animals to feed Tara, Ann notes the incredible health benefits her dog has experienced eating a meat-free diet. 

She told the Sunday People : “Tara has never been ill and we’ve never really had to take her to the vet. I have had insurance and it has been a waste of money."



Here at v-dog, we've seen thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on a plant-based diet well into their golden years.

duffy testimonial

To learn more about vegan dogs, visit our FAQ page here! 

Even more information:
What do veterinarians think of v-dog?

Are dogs carnivores?

Do vegan dogs actually thrive?


Got questions?  Email us anytime at support@v-dog.com







featured photo: SWNS

What A Vegan Diet Did to my Senior Dog: Photos

There's a lot of uncertainty swirling around the topic of switching dogs over from a more common meat-based diet (raw or cooked) to a 100% plant-based diet.

You might think: 

"Dogs can be vegan...but is it the most sustainable diet, health-wise, for my dog?" Or, "Is it ok to feed my dog a (complete) vegan diet long-term?"

Here, we take a trip down memory lane (aw!) for Riley the Whippet so you can get a first-hand look! 



Riley 2008, 1 year old 

Cutie puppy boy longuin' on the couch! 

riley april 23 2008


Riley 2010, 3 years old 

Posin' with a pumpkin.

riley vegan dog with pumpkin.JPG 


Riley 2011, 4 years old 

Vogue-ing with the flowers. 

riley 2011



Riley now (2016)

10.5 years old after 5 years on a vegan diet 

riley side screenshot

riley 2016 2


Puppy...or senior?!

Here he is again last month (October 2016)

"How old is your dog...10...you mean 10 months?" #everytime 

riley scrnshot vegan dog park 


Loving life at the beach in San Francisco!

Riley in November 2016 at 10.5 years old, enjoying sprinting around Baker Beach! 

 riley vegan dog baker beach scrnshot


See him in action here!

"Senior Whippet SPRINTS at Baker Beach"

senior whippet sprints at beach 


What did this diet do to Riley?

As you can see in the photos and video, Riley is a fit, energetic 10.5 year old dog. Riley continues to show off his boundless energy and happy puppy looks into his 'senior' years. His parents feel extremely confident that his energy and vitality are thanks to this plant-based diet. Riley's favorite special "human food" treats are chickpeas, strawberries and broccoli and he thoroughly enjoys meal time. Another plus? Riley's veterinarian gives him a glowing checkup every year. This year, the vet was especially amazed at his oral health (thank you, breathbones!).  Riley jumps in and out of the car with ease, bounds up and down stairs, goes on long runs/hikes, and has no trouble keeping up with the puppies at the off-leash parks. 


To read more senior vegan dog stories, visit our testimonial page. 


 Here at v-dog, we've seen thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on a plant-based diet well into their golden years.

duffy testimonial

To learn more about vegan dogs, visit our FAQ page here! 

Even more information:
What do veterinarians think of v-dog?

Are dogs carnivores?

Do vegan dogs actually thrive?


Got questions?  Email us anytime at support@v-dog.com




How to Go Vegan: Dog Edition


It happens to most of us. We go on, day to day, eating our leaves and twigs (that's what vegans eat, right?)



And then all of a sudden, we think...what about my dog? 


Can my dog eat like me? Is it healthy? What would I feed them?



That's where we come in. 


V-dog provides a high-quality, cruelty-free dog food with everything in it your dogs needs,


vdog bag and dog


Without harming any animals! 


So, what's next? 

1. Research! 

Do vegan dogs thrive? Ask the Vegan Vet

Vegan dog FAQs

Top 3 Studies on Vegan Dogs

Tons of testimonials from healthy, happy vegan dogs. 

Can vegan dogs live a long, happy life? Senior vegan dogs


2. Purchase your dog's new food

Shop here


3. Wait for the food to arrive...


...and enjoy!



Since 2004, V-dog has seen dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on our nutritionally complete plant-based kibble. We are a vegan owned and operated family business and manufacture the kibble in southern California with high quality standards and zero product recalls to date. Hooray for healthy, cruelty-free dog food!



Email us any time at support@v-dog.com


Happy World Vegan Day!


Who We are:

A team of dedicated animal lovers and dog parents on a mission to change the world through vegan food for dogs. We work hard to ensure your dog can obtain all of the nutrients (and happiness!) they need from our plant-based products. 

 video screenshot 1


What We Make:

100% cruelty-free, complete kibble and treats for your dog. 




What  You Can Do:

Learn more about v-dog here

Or check out some of our favorite pages to get active for the animals, learn how to eat healthy, and why vegan is important for our planet:

Vegan Outreach

Mercy for Animals

World of Vegan

Plant Based on a Budget

Cowspiracy: The Sustainablity Secret

San Francisco Vegan Dogs Meetup




"Some people think the plant-based, whole-foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme." -Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

Learn more + delicious recipes: Forks over Knives


Dear Animals,

We're trying.





Beckett is a vegan dog. How does his dad ensure he gets the best nutritiotion?


beckett banana screen shot 

cover photo credit: mashable 

V-Dog Senior Spotlight: Kelsey & Molley

Vegan dog mama Yvonne Parker shared with us the incredible story of her two v-dogs, Kelsey and Molley. Check it out here!

Yvonne started her dogs on v-dog kibble when Kelsey was 10 and Molley was 6. Molley is now 10, and still thriving on v-dog! Unfortunately, Kelsey recently passed away from an autoimmune disease at age 14. Yvonne says, “Both my husband and I feel that v-dog helped keep her liver and kidneys from damage. Her bloodwork was amazing, and that was due to v-dog!”


Yvonne explains that while Kelsey did have to be on medication for her whole life, switching to a vegan diet allowed her to cut her meds in half due to her improved bloodwork results. After switching to v-dog, Kelsey’s weight stabilized right away, something she had struggled with in the past due to her health condition.


“We love that our dogs love V-dog, but we really loved that it gave Kelsey a better quality of life,” Yvonne says. “She was less sick and had great energy.  We will never use anything but V-dog for our dogs!!  It is truly the best gift we can give them. We have always been grateful that V-dog was one of the cheapest dog foods we used for our girls, yet it gave the best results! Thank you!”



Check out more testimonials here!

Interested in trying out a vegan diet for your pup? Check out our products here!


Does Your Dog Understand What You’re Saying?

Ever wonder how much your dog understands when you talk to them?

In a new study published in Science, dogs were found to interpret both words and intonations, suggesting that dogs and humans process linguistic information in a similar way.


In this study, researchers trained 13 dogs over the course of 3 months to remain still in an fMRI scanner. The dogs listened to recordings of their owners speaking in 4 different ways: a praising word in a praising tone, a neutral word in a praising tone, a praising word in a neutral tone, and a neutral word in a neutral tone.


Neuroimaging results found that the left hemisphere of the brain responded to the word itself, while the right hemisphere responded to intonation. Furthermore, the dog’s reward center was activated only when a praising word was combined with a praising tone!


Other studies have also explored the extent to which dogs understand and communicate with us. Results have found that dogs can read facial expressions and display complex emotions such as jealousy and empathy. These people-like traits were likely picked up during their evolution alongside humans over many thousands of years.

And communication similarities aren’t the only thing dogs developed from interacting with humans! Click here for more info on their dietary evolution.

For more info on our vegan dog products, visit: www.v-dog.com




mediate.com; sheknows.com; news.nationalgeographic.com; zastavki.com

Ask the Vegan Vet: Phytic Acid

"I have a question regarding phytic acid, which is said to inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients (e.g., iron, calcium, etc) from foods. The phytic acid content is particularly high in grains and legumes. Since the first/main ingredients in your kibble are dried peas, brown rice, pea protein concentrate, oats, sorghum, and lentils, how do you address this point?" 

Dear Jamie,

That's a very insightful question. Phytic acid minimally inhibits certain mineral absorption but should not be eliminated from the diet as it is a powerful anti-oxidant. Specifically, it can mildly decrease zinc and iron absorption, but bacteria naturally growing in the intestinal tract tend to break its mineral bonding. In fact, studies show phytic acid may help prevent certain types of cancer in humans - and thus likely in dogs as well. Since V-dog is a well-balanced diet, phytic acid should not have a significant effect on mineral absorption but likely has multiple beneficial effects as shown in the most recent studies on the subject.


All the best,

Lorelei Wakefield, VMD, for V-dog

[Learn more about Dr. Wakefield on our vegan vets page]



Have a question for our vegan vets? Email us at AskTheVet@v-dog.com


Ask The Vegan Vet: GI tracts, dog physiology and decline on vegan diets?

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your inquiry about vegan dog food. Please see my below responses. 

1.) Because of the short GI tract of dogs, their jaws, and other physiological adaptations to consume meat, how do you rationalize feeding them in a vegan way? It seems their design is that of a facultative carnivore.

That is an excellent question. Dogs are part of the order Carnivora, however they are physiologically omnivores. This is largely because after thousands of years of evolution alongside humankind and eating our food, their bodies have adapted. Studies show that during early domestication, dogs developed key genetic changes that allowed increased starch digestion relative to wolves. Thus they now have the ability to digest carbohydrates better than their wild counterparts.

Dogs in India have largely been vegetarian for thousands of years and we have not seen any systemic illness as a result. Modern day canines often have obesity, food allergies or diabetes - most of which can be prevented and sometimes cured with vegan diets.

2.) I have heard that dogs on vegan diets do well for a while, but over time they do not do as well. It seems to be challenging in my mind to provide a species appropriate diet while honoring their genetics. How do you see this?

That is interesting. I'm not sure where you heard that but I have never seen a scientific report to that effect. It is challenging to provide the best species-appropriate diet that honors genetics as well. Let's take human diets for example. One year they told us avoid fat, yet the current dogma is to eat fat and avoid carbs. Unfortunately, we still don't know what the ideal diet is for humans nor do we know this for animals. What we do know is that most dogs can be maintained on a vegan diet and live normal, healthy lives.


I hope that has addressed your concerns. We certainly appreciate and welcome your thoughtful questions.


Lorelei Wakefield, VMD, for V-Dog

[Learn more about Dr. Wakefield on our vegan vets page]



Have a question for our vegan vets? Email us at AskTheVet@v-dog.com



More from our blog:

Do Dogs Need Meat to Thrive?

How to Transition your Dog to a Vegan Diet 


To learn more about a vegan diet for your dog, please visit our websiteFAQ page, or say hello at support@v-dog.com. 




SHOP NOW for your pooch!

vdog bag and dog

3 Studies on Vegan Diets for Dogs

Since 2005, v-dog has seen dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on our nutritrionally-complete food for dogs. A recent comprehensive study in Animals journal (July 2016) by veterinarian Dr. Andrew Knight highlights the science on vegan dogs. 


"A significant and growing body of population studies and cases suggest that cats and dogs may be successfully maintained on nutritionally sound vegetarian diets long-term, and indeed, may thrive. Such diets have been associated with benefits such as improved coat condition, allergy control, weight control, increased overall health and vitality, arthritis regression, diabetes regression, cataract resolution, and decreased incidences of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites). Deviations from normal ranges within blood test results do occur, but are uncommon, and rarely appear associated with clinical signs of disease." -Dr. Andrew Knight


Study by Semp (2014) 

"Semp studied companion animals in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Owners were sourced using notice boards in veterinary practices, articles in various Facebook forums, and word of mouth. They were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience feeding their...dogs a vegan diet, which was followed by a clinical examination and blood tests on 20 dogs...that were randomly selected. The standardized clinical examination included assessments of general appearance, body condition, skin and coat, lymph nodes, vital signs; cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems; and defecation. Haematological (complete blood count) and biochemical (liver, kidney, and pancreatic) parameters were assessed, as well as levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, total protein, folic acid, vitamin B12, and carnitine.

174 dog owners [completed the questionnaire]. Animal participants were required to have eaten an exclusively vegan diet for at least six months...Participating dogs had eaten vegan diets for six months to seven years, with a mean of 2.83 years. Thirty-nine percent of participating owners used only commercially-available diets. Nine percent used only homemade diets, and the remaining 52% used mostly commercially-available diets (but regularly mixed these with homemade ingredients). Thirty-eight pet owners independently reported healthier and shinier coats after transitioning to vegan diets. Some animals, previously prone to scaly or oily coats, no longer showed signs of dermatological problems. Sixteen owners described improved odours of their pets. Some also noted increased stool volumes and improvement of stool consistency.

During standardized clinical examinations, no abnormalities were detected that were associated with diet...When considering blood test results, serum total protein of all 20 dogs...studied were within normal ranges...No significant differences were evident in any of the tested parameters, compared to the dogs fed a conventional diet. In particular, lower levels of iron and vitamin B12 in vegan dogs were not observed. Not even the 10% (2/20) dogs fed a homemade supplemented diet showed any significant deviations."





Study by Brown et al. (2009) 

"It is difficult to envision any companion animals placed under greater physical demands than sprint-racing Siberian Huskies. During sprint races, these dogs run fast through snow, while hauling sleds, for much of the 30-mile race duration [53].

In 2009, Brown and colleagues [52] reported the results of a study of 12 sprint-racing Siberian Huskies fed either a commercial diet recommended for active dogs (n = 6), or a meat-free diet formulated to the same nutrient specifications (n= 6). The commercial diet contained 43% poultry meal, which was replaced by maize gluten and soybean meal in the meat-free diet. The dogs were fed these diets for 16 weeks, which included 10 weeks of competitive racing.

Health checks were conducted by a veterinarian blinded to the dietary regimens. All dogs were assessed as being in excellent physical condition, and none developed anaemia or other detectable health problems."



Study by PETA (1994) 

"In 1994, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported results of a systematic survey of the health of 300 vegetarian dogs sourced from 33 states within the U.S. and Canada via PETA’s newsletter [54,55]. Dogs ranged in age from young puppies to 19 years old, and included a wide range of breeds, males and females, both neutered and entire. Of these, 65.3% (196/300) were vegan, with the remaining 34.7% (104/300) simply vegetarian. They had been maintained on these diets for anywhere from less than two, to over nine years, with an average of 5.7 years. The precise diets used, and their level of nutritional adequacy, are unknown. Twenty-eight deceased dogs were included in the survey, with the median age of death being 12.6 years...Over 80% of dogs maintained on vegan or vegetarian diets for 50% to 100% of their lifetimes were reported as being in good to excellent health." 

begging pup



We want the best for your dog. We also want the best for all animals and for this planet we all share. This is why we make 100% complete nutrition for dogs that has all of the healthy, sustainable stuff your dog needs (like clean pea protein, quinoa, lentils and blueberries) without any of the stuff they don’t (animal products, fillers, corn, soy, wheat).  If we can feed our beloved fur babes a food they love without harming other animals in the process, we ask the simple question: why not? 

To learn more, please visit our website, FAQ page, or say hello at support@v-dog.com. 



V-dog Spotlight: The Greenebaums’ Vegan Journey

We recently got the chance to catch up with Hilary and Howard Greenebaum, V-dog customers of 11 years! Their doggie family has been thriving on a vegan diet since the year V-dog was born. Here is their inspirational story!


In 2005, Howard had a heart attack. To make matters worse, he experienced bad reactions to all his medications and developed severe rhabdomyolysis, which caused him pain in his entire body. These complications led him to ditch artery-clogging foods and go vegan along with his wife, Hilary. The couple had so much success on a vegan diet that they created the website www.howtoescapeheartdisease.com to teach people how and why to make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Howard is now 86 years old and thriving!


Howard decided it was time to try out a vegan diet for their two dogs as well. He found a magazine ad for V-dog and called in, striking up a friendship with Dave Middlesworth. And with that, Howard and Hilary were self-proclaimed V-doggers for life!


“Our big dog, Shasta was about 9 years old in 2005 when we transitioned to plant based foods,” Hilary says. “He was a 135 pound malamute and the smartest most interesting dog we have ever had. Shasta had his own dog, Birdie (she wasn’t very bright but was a good dog and very sweet). Both thrived on V-Dog! I’m convinced that our big guy lived to be 16 due to his excellent diet. Sadly Birdie got hit by a car and we were devastated. We got Kenzie in 2006. Now Kenzie is 12 and going strong! In 2012 Jack joined our family and he is now about 8. Both Jack and Kenzie love their V-Dog!


"Kenzie and Jack have a great life. They walk daily, have tons of attention and love--hey, it’s a dog’s life! Their diet is obviously excellent. They have done a good job of training Howard to give them a breathbone every night around 8 PM. Somehow that seems to creep earlier and earlier…. they gather around him and shove their noses under his arm, look at him with pleading eyes, and howl the way sled dogs prefer to talk. They love their breathbones! Both dogs are in great health, their fur is shiny and thick, they don’t have any allergies (Jack did when we first got him) and have a ton of energy. The vets find us quite boring.


"What I love about V-Dog is that I can trust it to be clean and safe for my fur babies. Can you tell that I love our dogs and am quite besotted with them?! The idea of any of our food containing animals makes my stomach turn. As a vegan for 11 years now, I cannot abide the thought of eating other animals. How could I allow Kenzie and Jack to eat polluted, antibiotic riddled, dead carcasses? Not to mention the environment and how animal-based foods are ruining our planet. Feeding my dogs V-Dog relieves me of that stress. Moreover, I am so grateful to the staff at V-Dog who always help me with ordering and getting my subscription right. Everyone is such a pleasure to work with! Thank you V-Dog!”

We can’t thank Hilary and Howard enough for their never-ending support and their commitment to educating others about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Here at V-dog, we truly have the best customers!

Check out more testimonials here!

Interested in trying out a vegan diet for your pup? Check out our products here!


The World Needs More Vegan Vets: Dr. Randall Cannon’s Story

Vegan veterinarian Randall Cannon caught up with Vegans are Cool to talk about his experience going vegan and share his perspective as an animal advocate working in a medical field.


Cannon admits that he turned a blind eye to animal exploitation for many years before making the switch to a vegan lifestyle. When he entered veterinary school, he still viewed animals as a source of entertainment and personal enjoyment, focusing on the joy they provide humans. Having been trained in the livestock industry, he was well aware of the violence and unethical treatment inflicted upon certain species. He finally realized the hypocrisy of dedicating his career to saving dogs and cats, yet going home and eating a steak for dinner.


So why aren’t there more vegan vets? “As with most people,” Cannon explains, “veterinarians are able to wear blinders and ignore what they know goes on in the livestock industry.” And despite overwhelming evidence for the benefits of a vegan diet, many vets remain stuck in the status quo. As Ecorazzi points out, “Many veterinary jobs are entirely dependent on working hand in hand with unethical businesses such as animal agriculture, dog and cat breeding, and laboratory work.” Perhaps these professionals are more desensitized than the average consumer.


For all the pet owners out there, Cannon offers his advice: “Seek out a vegan veterinarian…they will always have the animal’s best interests at heart.  Give your pet plenty of love, exercise, and fresh foods.  Learn about their diseases and problems.  Well-educated pet owners have healthier pets.”

We agree! Here at v-dog, we know how important it is to check up on the health of our furry friends. Interested in speaking with a vegan vet? Check out Dr. May at http://veganvet.net/

For more info on our vegan dog products visit: www.v-dog.com


Images: Vegansarecool.comnorthwestwisconsinveterinary.com;


Carrageenan: New Peer-Reviewed Research Surfaces

[via foodnavigator-usa.com]

Carrageenan, a stabilizer and thickening agent extracted from red seaweed, has long been a topic of debate within the scientific community regarding its safety in foods. Certain studies have identified the substance as a possible cause of inflammation, while others have deemed it safe for consumption. A new study, published by James McKim in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, set out to investigate the issue by replicating past studies conducted at the University of Chicago. These Chicago studies had previously concluded that carrageenan triggers intestinal inflammation.


McKim was unable to replicate the results of the Chicago studies when performing laboratory tests under the same conditions. Instead, he found that carrageenan is not broken down in the gut, and therefore doesn’t enter the body. Because the ingredient isn’t able to interact with other organs, he concluded that it should be safe to consume. His findings were in agreement with the bulk of existing scientific literature, which has also found carrageenan to be harmless to the body.


This new evidence may have an effect on the US National Organic Standards Board’s decision this November to potentially reapprove the use of carrageenan in organic food. While many peer-reviewed studies have pointed to its safety, it still remains controversial to consumers due to its attention in the media.


At v-dog, we stand behind the concept of "food as medicine" for dogs. Since 2005, we've seen countless dogs experience life-changing turnarounds related to allergies, arthritis, diabetes and even seizures after switching to v-dog kibble. Check out their stories here. Our family company is run by a team of dedicated vegans and our (wheat/corn/soy free) formula is healthy, hearty, tasty and meets all AAFCO standards for adult dog nutrition. At meal time, you can rest assured your pup will thrive on the healthiest dog food on the market. Learn more about v-dog here.


For more pet industry news related to animal welfare, health, plant-based diets and more, check out our Dog Blog here!

More info on V-dog products.

Can dogs be vegan? Read more.


Images: marinalg.org; foodsciencematters.com