Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet dry dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wellness Simple Duck and Oatmeal (3 stars)
- Wellness Simple Lamb and Oatmeal (3 stars)
- Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato Grain Free (4 stars)
- Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato Grain Free (4 stars)
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Oatmeal was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Oatmeal
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal, peas, ground rice, millet, ground flaxseed, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, natural lamb flavor, chicory root extract, 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, taurine, 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) = 5.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||14%||55%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||30%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The third ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (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 fifth ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The sixth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The seventh 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 eighth 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 raw material source.
Current thinking (ours included) finds the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1
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 ninth 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.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, chicory root is naturally 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.
Next, we note the use 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 Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, due to its apparently higher meat content, Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato formulation is entitled to a higher rating.
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.
To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.
Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.
Notes and Updates
11/21/2009 Original review
04/18/2010 Review updated
11/18/2010 Review updated
09/30/2012 Last Update