Wellness Complete Health canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Wellness Complete Health product line lists eight canned dog foods, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, five for growth and adult maintenance and one for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wellness Complete Health Duck and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula (3 stars)
- Wellness Complete Health Turkey and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Wellness Complete Health Venison and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Lamb and Sweet Potato (3 stars)
Wellness Complete Health Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Complete Health Turkey and Sweet Potato Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, ground barley, sweet potatoes, carrots, ground flaxseed, carrageenan, canola oil, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, tricalcium phosphate, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||23%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is turkey 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 third ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The fifth ingredient includes 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 sixth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The seventh ingredient is carrageenan, 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.
The eighth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
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 one notable exception…
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 Complete Health Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Complete Health canned 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 36% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Wellness Complete Health is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
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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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
07/18/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩