Biased Review of Vegan Dog Food

At v-dog, we take the health of your dog seriously. Our kibble was formulated by a team of experts to meet AAFCO guidelines, and is recommended by veterinarians who specialize in plant-based nutrition. We want you to feel as confident as we do that our kibble is the healthiest, kindest dog food on the market. It's important, of course, to do your research when selecting the best food for your pup.

Meatless = inferior?

Dog Food Advisor is a website that provides reviews of various dog foods, written by dentist Mike Sagman. Dog food formulas are awarded up to 5 stars based largely on Sagman's personal opinion, and v-dog in particular is given a rating of 2.5 stars simply because it is meatless. Sagman does reference Axelsson et al.'s research on domestic dogs' ability to digest starch-rich foods, but does not reference any science to back up his own claim that dogs' digestive systems are not built for starches.

Sagman does not rate "prescription" dog foods for the following reason: "Since we tend to favor dog foods rich in meat, it would be inappropriate for us to assign a star rating to such meat-restricted prescription food products." He follows by stating that no one on his staff is a veterinarian.

Although he claims his reviews are "unbiased," Sagman makes it very clear on his website that he and his team are automatically biased against any vegan dog food formula. "We shamelessly favor dog foods rich in meat," he states.

What about byproducts?

At v-dog, we're proud to say that our formula is free of byproducts, fillers, and common allergens, unlike many of the dog foods that receive high ratings on Dog Food Advisor. Sagman indeed fails to point out the byproducts in his reviews of meat-based foods, and chooses not to highlight them as "controversial ingredients." Many of these foods also test on animals.

Sagman's unresearched review of v-dog is disappointing to us at v-dog because we're so passionate about providing a healthy, cruelty-free dog kibble that breaks the cycle of factory farming. Our formula is AAFCO approved, veterinarian recommended, and completely safe. We have thousands of happy, healthy canine customers who utterly live for v-dog meal time. Their experiences speak for themselves: check out our testimonials page for tons of stories about allergy relief, healthier digestion, improved energy levels, and more. 

Want to see the science for yourself?

Check out some of the studies on vegan dog nutrition below:

"An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs." - British Journal of Nutrition 

"The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet"  - Nature

"Amylase activity is associated with AMY2B copy numbers in dog: implications for dog domestication, diet and diabetes" - Animal Genetics 

"Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals" - Animals


V-dog is a vegan owned and operated dog food company that makes 100% plant-based kibble and treats. We make animal products without animal products because we believe that our pets deserve the best, which means leaving meat, byproducts, and fillers off the menu. Learn more about v-dog at and check out the resources below to get your pup started on a healthier, kinder diet. 

Is it Less "Natural" to Feed your Dog Plant-Based?

"I'm Vegan, but Would Never Force that on my Dog"


  • Thank you for this. I also just read a thumbs-down review of Natural Balance Vegetarian/vegan, which similarly presents quasi-facts (notes that dogs are not obligate but doesn’t like the protein content—not ‘quality’ enough). (And I do occasionally also buy Halo Vegan and Natural Balance Vegan.) I hope that V-Dog some day can be successful enough to sponsor an actual feeding trial. Years ago, I was working on a still-unfinished essay on vegan food and spoke to someone at UC Davis veterinary hospital. She was not dismissive of vegan foods, except to mention that all nutrients needed to be absorbed for health—that would be the only worry (e.g. the folic stuff etc.). She did, however, state that vets and AAFCO recommend folks judging foods based on actual trials, not just on the stats. As a small-time dog-biscuit baker, I would love to join with other vegan dog food makers to start a fund for carrying out a vegan dog food trial. What do you think? Thanks for V-Dog and for making other good products! (Though I wish the biscuits and chews still came in compostable packages!)

    Alexandra Yurkovsky on
  • My puppy’s love VDog! I have a hound lab mix that is in incredible shape thanks to VDog. We recently got a 3 month old lab mix that won’t stop eating lol. I recommend VDog for all dogs. Other dog food out there is made up of meat that is labeled “not fit for human consumption” aka mystery meat aka disease filled meat. Is this what you want to be feeding your doggies? Meat that’s not even good enough for disgusting ass hot dogs! Choose VDog!

    Zack Garcia on

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