Well Fed Dog frozen dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Well Fed Dog product line includes three cooked-then-frozen dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for all life stages (Beef and Sweet Potato).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Well Fed Dog Lamb and Vegetable Dinner
- Well Fed Dog Salmon and Pumpkin Dinner
- Well Fed Dog Beef and Sweet Potato Dinner
Well Fed Dog Beef and Sweet Potato Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Well Fed Dog Beef and Sweet Potato Dinner
Frozen Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, sweet potato, collard greens, beef liver, beef heart, apples, blueberries, carrots, celery, brewers yeast, flaxseed, parsley, ginger, cod liver oil, calcium citrate, wheat germ oil
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 16%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||28%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||52%||18%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The third ingredient is collard greens. Due to their notable vitamin and mineral content, collards boast a high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 81.
The fourth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With five notable exceptions…
First, brewers dried yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, we note the inclusion of cod liver oil, a named fish oil known to be rich in both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and D.
Next, wheat germ oil is a nutritious extract made from the germ of a wheat kernel. It’s exceptionally rich in natural vitamin E.
And lastly, we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list. We would assume these essential nutrients are provided by the food ingredients in the recipe.
Well Fed Dog Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Well Fed Dog frozen dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical frozen dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.
Well Fed Dog is a meat-based cooked-then-frozen product using a notable amount of beef, salmon or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
04/26/2012 Original review
11/15/2013 Review updated
11/15/2013 Last Update