Finding the right dog food for your companion can be difficult, especially if your dog has health conditions or food allergies that limit your options. Some dogs may require a raw diet with little fats and carbohydrates, while other dogs need to avoid common filler ingredients. Also, other dogs can be picky, making it even harder to find the right dog food. Thankfully, there are alternative dog food brands that offer different recipes, giving your dog a tasty, nutritious meal without causing discomfort.
Vegetarian and vegan dog foods are somewhat new alternatives to the dog food industry, often being overlooked for meat-based products. Regardless of the controversy of feeding vegetarian foods to canines, there are some dogs with serious health conditions that require meat-free diets, which can be challenging. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of plant-based dog food brands to choose from, ranging in ingredients, protein sources, and price. If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan dog food, here is our list of Best Vegetarian Dog Foods and their reviews:
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 10 Best Vegetarian Dog Foods
1. Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food is a meat-alternative dog food designed for dogs that need a meat-free diet. Natural Balance uses a complete and balanced recipe with essential nutrients your dog needs, with the same vitamins and minerals as their meat-based recipes. It’s completely plant-based, with a fiber blend to help aid in digestion. It’s made with no meat or dairy products that may trigger certain health conditions, including protein allergies.
This recipe contains vital fatty acids with Omegas 3 and 6, which helps support your dog’s coat and skin. Another great feature of this brand is that it’s relatively inexpensive for a specialized diet, which is often much more expensive than regular dog food. The only issue with this dog food is that it may cause indigestion in some dogs, even with the fiber blend. Except for this, we recommend trying Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog food if you’re looking for the best vegetarian dog food overall.
2. Wysong Dry Vegan Dog Food — Best Value
Wysong Vegan Formula Dry Dog Food is a vegan dog food that can be fed to both dogs and cats. It uses a natural, plant-based formula with no animal by-products, which can be found in some vegetarian and non-vegan dry dog foods. It is also made with a flaxseed blend for essential fatty acids, giving your dog an animal-free source of Omega-3 and Omega-6. This vegan kibble also contains vitamins B-6 and B-12, two crucial vitamins for normal brain and nervous system function.
One great benefit of Wysong compared to other brands is that it’s inexpensive, so you won’t have to spend more than you’d like for a vegetarian diet. However, the big problem with the kibble is the lack of other essential nutrients, so you’ll have to feed your dog an additional protein source. Another issue we had is with the unnecessary corn and soy filler ingredients. Due to these two factors, we kept it from our #1 spot. Aside from those two details, we recommend trying Wysong Vegan Formula with another protein source as the best vegetarian dog food for the money.
3. Addiction Zen Vegetarian Dry Dog Food — Premium Choice
Addiction Zen Vegetarian Dry Dog Food is a premium vegetarian kibble for dogs that need a meat-free alternative for certain health conditions. It features an all-natural blend made with oats, vegetables, and fruits, with no artificial ingredients like flavoring and food coloring.
This kibble is a complete diet with balanced nutrition, so your dog will get all the essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health and nourishment. It doesn’t contain any dairy or meat ingredients, making it an ideal option for dogs with animal protein allergies and dairy sensitivity. It’s also made with a natural source of fatty acids using canola oil, which helps nourish and soothe your dog’s skin and coat.
Addiction Zen is on the expensive side compared to other vegetarian brands, especially if your dog is bigger than 25 pounds. Picky dogs may also refuse this brand, so we recommend trying Natural Balance if your dog’s palette is selective. Pickiness aside, we find Addiction Zen Vegetarian Dry Dog Food to be a great premium option for your dog.
4. V-dog Dry Vegan Dog Food — Best for Puppies
V-dog Vegan Dry Dog Food is a vegan dry dog food designed for to provide an eco-friendly, meat-free kibble for your dog. It features a natural blend of vegan-approved ingredients, made with peas as the main protein source. Another great feature of this dog food is the lack of fillers like dairy, corn, and soy, while also steering away from any animal products or byproducts.
This kibble is also a complete and balanced diet, so it’s made with all the essential nutrients your dog requires on a daily basis. However, it’s is expensive compared to other brands, comparable to the prescription diets offered by veterinarians. Another issue with this kibble is with the flavor, so pick dogs may refuse to eat this kibble. V-Dog also has been known to have inconsistent quality control between batches, which can be a health and safety concern for your dog.
For these reasons, we decided to keep it from our Top 3 picks. Otherwise, V-Dog Vegan Dry Dog Food can be a good option if you’re new to vegan and vegetarian dog diets.
5. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food is a vegetarian kibble that can be used as an elimination diet for dogs with animal protein allergies. It uses a soy-based protein meal blend instead of multiple protein sources, lowering the chance of allergic reactions to it. It’s made with natural ingredients and vitamins for a balanced diet, which are sustainably sourced for a greener, eco-friendly product. It also contains fish-free sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are vital for healthy skin, coat, and immune system.
While this kibble seems great on the surface, it has a slightly strong chemical smell that can be unpleasant for you and your dog. It also wasn’t too popular taste-wise with picky dogs, which is probably due to the artificial odor. Another potential issue is that it can cause indigestion in some dogs, so you’re better off skipping this one if your dog has a sensitive stomach. If your dog new to vegetarian diets, we recommend trying other brands to lower the chances of stomach or allergy issues.
6. Halo Vegan Dry Dog Food
Halo Vegan Dry Dog Food is an alternative to feeding your dog a traditional, animal-based dry kibble. It’s made with a protein-rich blend of natural ingredients, all made with sustainably sourced, non-GMO ingredients. This dog food is a complete and balanced dog kibble that provides your dog with the daily required nutrition, so you won’t need to add an additional protein source to this kibble. It also doesn’t contain any meat, corn, or dairy products, so it’s an option for dogs with food sensitivities.
The first thing we noticed with Halo Vegan Dry Dog Food is that it can cause excess gas and other stomach problems, causing unnecessary discomfort in your dog’s digestive system. Another problem we encountered is the flavor of this kibble, with some dogs not liking this flavor and refusing to eat it. Lastly, Halo Vegan dog kibble is an expensive, premium dog food, so it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a good value. For high-quality ingredients without the premium price, we recommend trying Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food first.
7. Wild Earth Vegan High Protein Formula Dry Dog Food
Wild Earth Vegan High Protein Formula Dry Dog Food is a plant-based dry dog food for dogs that may need a meat-free diet. It’s made with sustainably sourced, natural ingredients, following the ethical guidelines of vegan diets.
This kibble has a higher protein content at 31% than other vegan and vegetarian recipes, which rarely have a protein content of 25% or lower. It also doesn’t contain soy, corn, dairy, or animal products, making it a possible option for dogs that can’t have those ingredients. While it does have some good features, Wild Earth Vegan Dog Food is one of the most expensive vegan dog food brands and not recommended for medium or large dogs for this reason. It’s also not a popular flavor, with some dogs disliking the “umami” flavor this brand has.
However, the biggest issue we found with this food is with the yeast-based protein, which can cause an allergic reaction over time. If you’re looking for a well-rounded vegetarian diet for your dog, we recommend trying Natural Balance or other protein-rich blends first.
8. PetGuard All Natural Wet Canned Food
PetGuard All-Natural Wet Canned Food is a vegetarian wet dog food for dogs that can’t depend solely on a kibble-based diet. This canned food is an alternative to regular wet foods, which are almost always made with meat-based protein. The recipe contains an all-natural blend of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, giving your dog multiple vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. It’s also made without any meat, dairy, or animal-derived ingredients, with ethically sourced, lightly processed ingredients.
However, the first few ingredients of PetGuard are soy and cornmeal, which may cause allergic reactions or minor digestive issues. It also has a slightly strong chemical smell, regardless of the all-natural aspect of this recipe. But the biggest issue we found is that it’s very expensive, especially compared to traditional wet dog food.
PetGuard All-Natural Wet Canned Food may be an option if you need wet dog food, but there are vegetarian dry dog food options that are a better value.
9. Purina Veterinary Diets Vegetarian Dry Dog Food
Purina Veterinary Diets Vegetarian Dry Dog Food is a prescription vegetarian dry dog food. It’s designed with limited ingredients and nutrient sources for dogs with multiple allergies, with no artificial flavors or ingredients. It’s made with a single hydrolyzed, plant-based protein, so it’s easier to absorb and reduces the risk of an allergic flareup. It’s also made without meat or dairy ingredients, which can also cause reactions like itchy, red skin.
The problem is that Purina Veterinary Diets is expensive and requires a vet prescription, so it’s not something that is readily available. It also contains corn and soy ingredients that some dogs have reactions to, so you’ll have to skip this product if your dog has sensitivities to both of those filler ingredients. Lastly, some dogs simply didn’t like this flavor, which is rare for Purina brand dog foods.
If your dog needs the limited ingredients and you’ve tried everything else, this might be an option. However, there are vegan and vegetarian brands available that may be better for your dog instead.
10. Petcurean Dry Recipe Vegan Dog Food
Petcurean Vegan Recipe Dry Dog Food is a vegan dry kibble that provides an eco-friendly, plant-derived diet for your dog. It’s made with a single source of pea-based protein source, with no animal products or by-products that can cause itchy skin and other health issues. It’s also made with flaxseed and sunflower oil blend to provide your dog with Omega-3 and Omega-6, which help improve and nourish your dog’s skin and coat.
However, Petcurean Vegan Dry Dog Food has potential issues that outweigh any benefits. The first initial problem is that most dogs don’t like the flavor, so you may not even know if your dog can benefit from this specific vegetarian diet. Another potential issue is excessive gas, which can be a dealbreaker for breeds that are already prone to gassiness. This kibble also has a strong artificial potato smell, even though it’s an all-natural food that shouldn’t have anything artificial in it.
Lastly, it may not be the most expensive food, but Petcurean is still somewhat pricey compared to most meat-based dog foods. We recommend trying one of our Top 3 picks if you’re looking for consistent results and a better value.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Foods of the Year
After carefully reviewing and comparing each vegetarian dog food, the winner for best vegetarian dog food overall is Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food. It’s a high-quality dry kibble made with a complete and balanced diet, with no animal-derived products. For Best Value, the winner is Wysong Vegan Formula Dry Dog Food. While it does need an additional protein source, it’s still much less expensive than other vegan dog food blends.
Hopefully, we have made it easier for you to find the right vegan or vegetarian brand for your dog. We looked for the best vegetarian dog food products with your dog’s safety and health in mind. Remember, it’s always important to talk to your veterinarian before switching your dog’s protein source. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your vet for advice and recommendations for transitioning your dog to a plant-based diet.