Note: This article was updated in June 2023.
Things have come a long way in recent years in terms of the quality of vegan dog foods. Something that may have seemed strange a few years ago, and perhaps even irresponsible, is now perfectly legitimate and healthy for your dog.
Whilst we don’t advocate for any diet in particular at Bring The Pooch – we think you should find what works best for your dog – we can certainly confirm that vegan dog food brands are now well balanced, and actually of a lot higher quality than many off-the-shelf brands you’d find in typical supermarkets. They don’t tend to be packed with harmful fillers and low quality ingredients, and are carefully researched and nutritionally balanced.
Again, we’re not here to advocate for or against any particular diet plan for your dog. What is agreed by experts, however, is that a dog can live and thrive on a nutritionally balanced vegan diet. Plenty of dogs have done well on vegan diets, including Bramble, the world’s fifth longest living dog who lived for over 27 years whilst consuming a plant-based diet.
Unlike their distance ancestors, wolves, dogs produce the enzyme amylase, which is present is the human digestive system (including our spit) and allows us to digest carbohydrates. This is a result of thousands of years of evolution in conjunction with humans. For millennia, dogs have been fed human foods, such as scraps and leftovers from meals, and have thus evolved the ability to digest carbohydrates from plant-based foods.
We are going to list a few brands we’ve tried with our dog. She’s enjoyed and done well on them all. As with any dog food, we highly recommend slowly transitioning by maintaining their current diet whilst mixing in some of the new food, increasing the amount steadily. We will separate the different brands into both dry and wet foods.
V-Dog is one of the longest running vegan pet food brands, having been serving up veggie dog food for decades. Their formula has come a long way in recent years and it’s one that we can more than recommend. Packed with a full spectrum of nutrition, as well as antioxidants, superfoods, omega fatty acids, and probiotics. It also helps that our dog seems to LOVE this stuff! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to trial as it only comes in MASSIVE bags.
This is an Italian brand, and the food is a bit different with these guys. The kibble is much smaller than other brands featured here. They look like small rice puffs, but rest-assured they’re nutritionally complete, even containing vitamin D3. These work really well for older dogs who are missing teeth, or small dogs who struggle to swallow larger kibble. You can also mix this one with some water for a wetter, mushier food.
Tailored by vets and scientists to be potentially the best dry vegan dog food on the market at the moment. This one is based on potato protein, making it highly digestible and low on lots of typical allergens. The OMNI team put focus into optimising their food for a dog’s microbiome, making it fantastic for their guts. They have also sought approval from vets, meaning this dog food carries high recommendations.
Another one where the D3 is possibly from animal sources (we haven’t been able to confirm yet), but the food is otherwise vegan, so it’s 99.9% plant-based. Greenwoods are a trusted brand in dog food, serving many other varieties. Here’s their veggie edition, made using sweet potatoes and pea protein. Our dog LOVES this one… it might be her new favourite.
This one uses hemp as its primary protein source. There are plenty of benefits to be had here. Firstly, it is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for doggies with sensitive tummies. Secondly, hemp is a complete protein and highly digestible. It has a high bioavailability, meaning it is an optimal protein source.
Hemp also carries lots of omega 3 fatty acids with it, meaning your dog will get plenty of additional healthy benefits when they consume Hownd’s vegan dog food.
Overall, we were really impressed with the attention to the superfoods that were included in this mix. Lots of amazing healthy ingredients to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Loaded with organic whole food ingredients as well as soya protein. We found our dog went mad for this one – we would pour a little over the top of her standard food and she would devour the lot in seconds. Some nice added ingredients such as rosehips which care for overall health and vitality.
We’ll be adding more vegan dog food brands to this list as and when we try them out. For now, let us know what your dog thought of the ones we’ve listed. As mentioned, transition your dog slowly to their new food. Remember, you don’t have to have a 100% plant-based dog either… that’s not what this is about! But adding some good quality plant-based sources of food to their diet can reduce their impact on the environment and may be better for their health too.
Oh, and we’ve now collated our list of some of the best vegan dog treats.