Ask The Vegan Vet: Starches & Grain-Free Diets for Dogs

"What's the story on grain-free diets for dogs? Is it true that dogs have trouble digesting grains?" -Michelle C.

Some individuals (and very few vets) think dogs need a grain-free diet.  They think dogs digest protein well and grain (carbs) poorly.  Most carbohydrates in dog food come from starch.  My experience with dogs eating plant-based, grain-containing food is that they thrive.  

A 2008 study tested 6 different starches in dogs, including pea flour.  All were at least 98% digestible!

None of the 36 dogs had any clinical signs of indigestion.  What’s more, peas and legumes did not have a blood sugar spike after eating, which corn and rice can cause.  V-Dog kibble's first ingredient is peas. Improved glycemic (blood sugar) control is especially important for obese and diabetic dogs.

Rest assured that dogs can indeed digest carbohydrates.  Like humans, dogs can successfully digest a varied diet including plant-based food.

All the best,

Dr. Lorelei Wakefield, DVM


V-dog contains 100% balanced plant-based nutrition for your pup. Our products are expertly formulated, veterinarian recommended and meet/exceed all AAFCO standards. We've seen countless dogs experience health improvements on our easily-digestible, healing formula -- including those who were previously prescribed a grain-free diet! Read their stories here or learn more about v-dog on our FAQ page!

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