Study Finds Horse and Other Unlabeled Meat in Pet Foods

As food allergies and other health concerns persist in dogs and cats, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of seeking out high-quality foods for their pets. A recent study, however, found that many pet foods were mislabeled and contained animal species not listed on ingredients panels. If we can't trust the ingredients list, how can we be sure our dogs and cats are receiving proper nutrition from reliable sources?

Researchers analyzed European pet foods that contained either novel or hydrolyzed protein (both commonly prescribed for pets with food allergies). Of the 40 products analyzed, a mere 10 contained only animal protein sources that matched the label. Genetic traces from horses, cows, chickens, ducks, fish, goats, geese, pigs, rabbits, sheep and turkeys were found in foods that did not list these animals on their labels. 

The researchers concluded that producing uncontaminated pet food is possible, since 10 of the products did actually match what was listed on their labels. However, since 75% of the foods tested were mislabeled, pet parents should be wary about using foods that advertise novel or hydrolyzed proteins to diagnose or treats allergies.

So what is a pet parent to do? The researchers of the study recommend a home-cooked elimination diet to have full control over the ingredients your pet is consuming. Vegan diets for dogs are another solution to both the allergy conundrum and the "mystery meat" issue. Made with 100% plant-based nutrition, vegan formulas like v-dog work wonders for dogs with any animal protein allergy.

Learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet here

Still convinced your pup needs meat? Check out hundreds of testimonials from thriving plant-based dogs here.


V-dog is a San Francisco-based company dedicated to improving the health of your pup with a nutritionally complete, animal-free diet. Our kibble is AAFCO approved, veterinarian recommended, and free of common allergens, making it a great fit for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Read hundreds of stories from our happy, healthy canine customers on our testimonials page, and check out our FAQ page for more info about what we do.

Ready to upgrade your pup's diet? Learn more below!

Ask the Vegan Vet: Does my dog need meat?

Top 5 Vegan Dog Myths and Facts

Senior dogs thriving on v-dog

Sources: Pet Food Industry; BMC Veterinary Research


  • Lots of protein in plants.

    Debra on
  • You canot trust food companies that murder animals. They will do anything to make money, animal wellbeing is not their concern, it is not in their vocabulary. Where can we find v-dog in Montreal?

    Denise Inkel on

    Mariette Grobler on
  • Who are the researchers who tested the Euro pet foods?
    Why haven’t US produced pet foods been tested; or if they have where is the research published?

    joanne clark on
  • I’m sure you will look into this and do something to stop this from happening right away.
    Please keep us updated, thank you

    Dolores on

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