Vegan dog food in the UK has a fascinating history and such an exciting future!


Happidog original name of V-Dog

The first commercially produced and marketed vegetarian dog food in the UK was “Happidog”, founded in 1980. The Happidog brand was later changed to “V-dog” due to a trademark dispute. V-Dog is a very popular brand originally made from wheat and soya. In 2022 they changed their recipe from soya to pea protein.

In 2003, a vegan-family business in Hampshire launched Benevo which has been the most popular vegan brand in the UK for all these years. It is exported to 40 countries now and we commend this company for its success, however, they have not changed their recipe since it was first formulated by them (not a vet nutritionist) in 2003. Our main concern with Benevo, is that they sell a tinned dog/cat food. The nutritional requirements of both these species varies so considerably so one of them or both of them are going to lack essential nutrients if fed this diet.


Solo Vegetal from Vetruus

Veterinary-based dermatology company Vetruus started selling Solo Vegetal towards the end of 2018 (Vetruus now owned by Nextmune). It was initially brought in as a diet for dermatologists to use in exclusion trials as all the other diets were still animal based and didn’t guarantee helping diagnose food allergy as 40% of dogs still react to hydrolysed animal protein diets. As far as they saw it, it was the only vegetable based veterinary diet so realised it was quite unique and may offer a useful alternative for skin cases. Dr Sue Paterson was the first vet to recommend it on her website Virtual Vetderms.

The enormous popularity of 100% balanced Solo Vegetal has grown substantially over the years, as owners choose to feed their dogs solely with this food who are perfectly healthy and suffer from no skin allergies as the food is so palatable and so well balanced.

In November 2020, one of the very first corporate pet food companies Lily’s Kitchen brought out a vegan range of tinned food, closely followed by a second flavour Burrito Bowl in 2022. (Lily’s Kitchen is now owned by Nestle Purina). Both flavours are proving very popular and according to Purina, are one of their top sellers.

As the popularity of plant-based nutrition has grown, as well as the research into the health benefits, so too has the demand for so many new products. Since 2022, we have seen an explosion of nutritionally sound plant-based dog foods on the market and they continue to grow.

Give A Dog A Bean

In 2023, we had the launch of the very first vegan dog food that is nutritionally complete without the addition of pea, soya or lentil protein. Give A Dog A Bean is the most natural of all the dog food diets that dogs with sensitivities can digest as it contains protein from dehulled faba beans, hemp and quinoa, digestive enzymes from papaya and pumpkin seeds,  increased natural prebiotics from psyllium husks and kale, and Omegas from Algae for heart health.

Plant-based dog nutrition continues to grow at an exceptional rate and we are reminded that it is not a new concept by dog lover Elaine Avery from Cornwall who has fed her own dogs vegan diets for the last 30 years –

“In my 30 years of experience as a dog owner, I have seen so many significant benefits and improvements to chronic and severe health problems of the 9 dogs in my care and the many more I have known and helped over the years.

Including allergies and intolerances, digestive disorders, skin conditions, and all kinds of inflammatory diseases and the mobility issues overcome are outstanding.
It may only be anecdotal evidence but it can’t be disputed, while more recently studies are beginning to show less vet visits, improvements in overall health and longevity so science is catching up.”

– Elaine Avery (currently owns Raz, Missy and Holly)

Well done to Damien Clarkson and Judy Nadel from The Pack for adding to this really informative and very positive article about what will happen to Vegan Dog Food in 2024!! 🙌 🌱


BVA Review of Vegan Dog Food

BVA Review of Vegan Dog Food

It has been over a year since the BVA said it was launching a review about vegan dog food in light of all the positive health benefit studies that have been published over the last 2 years

Who is MARS Petcare?

Who is MARS Petcare?

How did they go from producing Snickers, Mars, Bounty bars, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas to be the fourth largest privately held company in the US?

The Great Protein Debate – Beef or Beans?

The Great Protein Debate – Beef or Beans?

Dr Sue Paterson, RCVS President and Senior Vice President of the European Society of Veterinary Dermatologists interviews Dr Arielle Griffiths about Sustainable Pet Foods

Plant Ingredients in Dog Food

Plant Ingredients in Dog Food

An enormously positive article about the use of plant-based proteins in pet food written by PhD Veterinary Scientist Jelena Suran in February 2024