Wellness Core Chunky Centers (Cups)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Wellness Core Chunky Centers Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wellness Core Chunky Centers product line includes six wet recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Core Chunky Centers Tuna, Chicken and Kale [M]
  • Core Chunky Centers Lamb, Turkey and Kale [M]
  • Core Chunky Centers Salmon, Tuna and Spinach [M]
  • Core Chunky Centers Turkey, Duck and White Sweet Potato [M]
  • Core Chunky Centers Beef, Lamb and White Sweet Potato (4 stars) [M]
  • Core Chunky Centers Chicken, Chicken Liver and Spinach (2.5 stars) [M]

Wellness Core Chunky Centers Lamb, Turkey and Kale was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wellness Core Chunky Centers Lamb, Turkey and Kale

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken, lamb, turkey, kale, potato starch, chicken liver, egg, natural flavor, locust bean gum, carrageenan, guar gum, tricalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium carbonate, salt, xanthan gum, magnesium sulfate, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, niacin, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement], choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis7%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%33%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%58%9%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 58% | Carbs = 9%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

The fourth ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2

Both chicken and lamb are naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient is turkey, another quality raw item.

The sixth ingredient is kale. Kale is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. This dark green vegetable is especially rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, vitamin K and calcium.

And like broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a natural chemical believed to possess potent anti-cancer properties.

The seventh ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The eighth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The ninth ingredient is egg. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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 two notable exceptions

First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Wellness Core
Chunky Centers Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Chunky Centers 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47%, a fat level of 33% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 18% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

However, with 58% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 34% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Wellness Core Chunky Centers is a grain-free, meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of chicken or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Wellness Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Notes and Updates

10/03/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  • hanoverboxer

    Petsmart has all 6 flavors for $2.30 each. Yeah they’re a giant, faceless corporate entity but sometimes you just gotta save money where you can.

  • Susan

    We have just got the Wellness Core Chunky Centres in “Pet Barn” the ingredients look good & the fish flavours only have 2% min fat but they cost $3 each if you buy 3 or more, so they will cost more then $3… a bit expensive when you have a 18kg dog, I’d need about 4 or more a day…. I think it’s works out cheaper to cook, Chicken Broccoli potato & carrot…