In part four we looked at the ingredients of a popular vegan kibble called Petaluma.
In part five, we are looking at one more brand of vegan kibble. V-Dog. Their list of ingredients is also long with many things I have never heard of. They do not list any ingredient as organic. This food is also highly processed. For me, one of the most glaring claims vegan dog food companies make is that dogs have evolved to eat plants and they are omnivores. My question then, why do you want to feed them as an herbivore. Even if your dog is an omnivore, omnivores need meat too. But I digress.
Again, I looked at their FAQ’s to get an idea of their food.
Our Kind Kibble Ingredients:
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, Potassium Chloride, 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.
Wow! That is quite a list. The first ingredient I have a problem with is Canola Oil. This oil is a very new creation that came out of Canada in 1974 created by genetically modifying the rapeseed. It is a GMO product that is very high in omega 6 fatty acids. that are rancid from the processing. Rancid oils are very damaging to the body. However it is being touted as a very healthy oil. Back in 1910, a new fat was introduced to Americans called Crisco. A vegan product. It was marketed as clean to cook with and much healthier than lard, tallow and butter. It took 80 years for the truth about trans fats to become public knowledge. Lets hope the truth about canola oil does not take that long to come out.
“Soy, corn, cotton, safflower and rapeseed (for canola oil) plants are grown (mostly GMO and heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals) for vegetable oil. Once the plants are mature, the seeds are harvested from the plants. Next the seeds are heated to extremely high temperatures, oxidizing the unsaturated fatty acids, and creating harmful byproducts. Then the seeds are processed with a petroleum-based chemical solvent such as hexane, which maximizes the oil that can be extracted from the seeds.
More industrial chemicals are added to deodorize the terrible smell that this chemically extracted oil contains. The deodorizing process yields trans fats (yes, the ones that can kill you). Lastly, the oil has even more chemicals added to it to improve the color. All of this very UN-natural processing creates a high calorie, nutrient-poor, inflammatory GMO oil with leftover pesticides, chemical residue, trans fats and oxidized byproducts.” 
Next is natural flavors. Natural flavors are chemicals folks. Alfalfa is mostly GMO and they don’t say the alfalfa is organic. I am not sure why they are putting in Vitamin C as dogs can make their own. There is B12 & Vitamin A which only come from animal sources. So these have to be synthetic. As in the Petaluma food, we see D2 in this food. Synthetic and toxic. I talked about D2 in part 4 here. Your Dog Is Not A Vegan: pt 4 Vegan Kibble – Joyfully Healthy Pets The sourcing of the ingredients is CA but I have been unable to find anything that says any of it is organic. Last one, flaxseeds. Why add these. They are extremely sensitive to heat and kibble is processed at high heat. They also go rancid very quickly after grinding. Flax needs to be treated very kindly and NEVER given whole.
Let’s look at some questions they have gotten.
1. Can dogs be vegan?
Yes! (I say no!) Due to thousands of years of evolution alongside humans, dogs are omnivores (not carnivores!) and have adapted to digest plant-based foods. Dogs can easily get all of their nutrients from vegan sources. Some of the benefits of feeding your pup a vegan diet can include elimination of allergy symptoms, better oral hygiene, improved skin/coat, and weight management……(P.S. Did you know one of the Guinness Book of World Records’ oldest dogs, Bramble the collie, was a vegan?!)
In this line they say, “Dogs are omnivores not carnivore”
I say: “Then why do you want to feed them like an herbivore? Omnivores need meat too.” Dogs are carnivores that can tolerate small amounts of plants.
They say better dental health. I don’t believe any dog on a kibble diet will have better dental health than a dog who gets to eat a raw meat and bone diet.
They say that it will eliminate allergy symptoms. Until the root cause of the allergies is found and remedied the dog will always have problems. (more about allergies below)
I will counter Bramble with Maggie, (and many other dogs that lived longer than 25 on a meat diet) a kelpie from Australia. She lived to be 30. She was a farm dog who ate raw beef, raw lamb, raw bones & 1 cup raw milk everyday. She also ate still born calves and when Momma cows gave birth, she would eat the afterbirth. (That is the placenta which I give my girls too.) There is also Chilla who lived to be 32 on a home made farm diet and Bluey who lived from 1910-1939 and ate kangaroo and emu his entire life.
2. Is V-Dog Kibble a complete diet for my dog.
Yes! V-dog kibble is formulated to meet or exceed all guidelines for adult dog nutrition per AAFCO standards, so you can feel confident that it will meet your dog’s needs.
Still not a great answer. AAFCO standards are sub par in my opinion.
4. Is V-Dog Veterinarian Approved?
Yes! We work with a team of vets who support and endorse a complete and balanced vegan diet for dogs.
In my experience, most veterinarians don’t know much about canine nutrition. So that is not really a great endorsement for me.
5. What if my Dog Has Allergies or a sensitive Tummy?
Since 2005, we’ve received incredible feedback from customers whose dogs are allergy-prone, have sensitive stomachs, and/or suffer from skin/coat issues. …….Since v-dog is a pure plant-based dog food with no corn, soy or wheat, it is easily digestible and tends to help with allergy-related doggy ailments.
If a pet owner is switching their dog from a kibble that they get at the grocery or pet store, then the owner may see an improvement in their dog. Those brands are mostly made with some meat along with a lot of corn, soy and wheat. True allergies are not as common as people think. However, sensitivities are very common and can be confused with allergies. My biggest concern re: a dog with allergies and sensitivities is what is the root cause of those allergies/sensitivities. I want to know how the dogs gut is doing? If he had a healthy gut he would have much less chance of developing allergies or sensitivities. So yes, taking them off of kibble with high levels of some of the most allergenic and irritating foods out there, and putting them on anything else, would make their symptoms better. This however, does nothing to heal the gut of the dog. Allergies and sensitivities in dogs are wide spread and can be rooted in many things. However switching from one highly processed kibble to another highly processed kibble is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is not a long term solution.
My biggest concern with vegan diets, are other substances that only come from animals. We talked about taurine, B12, Vitamin A. and vitamin D3, but many other substances only come from animals. For example, Collagen and cartilage are critical for joint building, joint health, ligaments, fascia and all connective tissue. Fascia and connective tissue are what hold the body together and help keep your dog running pain free much longer. The best and only sources are animal. Trachea being very well studied and is the best source for these nutrients.
I hope that this series has given you some food for thought if you have been considering a vegan diet for your dog. I applaud your desire to make healthy choices for yourself and your dog. If vegan is what works best for you, that’s great. However, please choose a species appropriate diet for your dog.
I am going to end this series with this quote from a woman in my Healthy Dog Gut Group.
“My dog nearly died because of his vegan diet! He was eating V-dog and had
vitamin deficiencies, no gut bacteria, and constantly had bloody diarrhea.
We switched him to locally sourced pasture raised all meat diet formulated
by an animal nutritionist and he is super healthy now. Dogs are not meant to be vegan!”
Amen sister. I could not have said it better.
 Cat Ebeling, RN, MSN-PHN