Review of Wellness Core Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Wellness Core product line includes the 12 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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Recipe and Label Analysis
Wellness Core Original Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Wellness Core Original Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal (source of glucosamine), chicken meal (source of chondroitin sulfate), peas, dried ground potatoes, lentils, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, ground flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salmon oil, taurine, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, chicory root extract, spinach, broccoli, carrots, parsley, apples, blueberries, kale, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||18%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||37%||31%|
The first ingredient in this recipe is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% 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 next ingredient includes 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 meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is dried ground 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 have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The next ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is 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 listing 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.
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 Wellness product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find salmon oil which is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.
Which means this Wellness product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, dried potato, lentils and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Wellness Core Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core is a grain-free dry dog food that incorporates a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Those looking for a wet grain-free product from the same company may want to read our review of Wellness Core Canned Dog Food.
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Has Wellness Brand Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Wellness.
- Wellness Dog Food Recall of March 2017 (3/18/2017)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall October 2012 (10/30/2012)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall May 2012 (5/5/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Wellness Brand Reviews
The following Wellness dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core 95 Percent Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Bowl Boosters Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Chunky Centers Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Core Digestive Health Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core RawRev Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Six Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Casserole Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Grain Free Shredded Medley Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Mini Filets Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Simple Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Stews Dog Food Review (Canned)
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
06/13/2021 Last Update