Wellness Core Reduced Fat dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
According to the manufacturer, Wellness Core Reduced Fat meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes, pea fiber, tomato pomace, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), chicken liver, natural chicken flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene, niacin, D calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), biotin, folic acid], minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], choline chloride, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, taurine, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||37%||11%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||25%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient lists dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The seventh ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient lists tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The ninth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The tenth ingredient includes chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, this food also 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 Reduced Fat Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Reduced Fat looks to be an above-average dry dog food.
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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 30%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you account for the protein-boosting effect of the pea and dried potato ingredients, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
The unusual combination of both high protein and low fat in the same recipe is noteworthy — and also makes this product especially attractive to those seeking a quality low fat recipe.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat dog food is a grain-free kibble using a significant amount of turkey and chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Those looking for a more typical fat content in a grain free recipe may wish to visit our review of the full Wellness Core product line.
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.
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Notes and Updates
09/29/2011 Original review
04/03/2013 Review updated
04/03/2013 Last Update