Wellness Complete Health canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Wellness Complete Health product line includes 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 Just for Puppy
- Wellness Complete Health Duck and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Lamb and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Senior Formula (3 stars)
- Wellness Complete Health Turkey and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Venison and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato
Wellness Complete Health Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Turkey and Sweet Potato Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, ground barley, sweet potatoes, carrots, tricalcium phosphate, ground flaxseed, canola oil, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, 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 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 sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.
The eighth 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.
The ninth ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.2
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.
The next ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
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 Complete Health Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Complete Health looks like an above average canned 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Wellness Complete Health food is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
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Notes and Updates
11/20/2009 Original review
06/20/2010 Review updated
06/07/2011 Review updated
12/22/2012 Review updated
12/22/2012 Last Update