Wellness Complete Health (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Wellness Complete Health1 Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Wellness Complete Health product line lists 13 dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth (puppies) and ten for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Wellness Complete Health Seniors (3 stars)
  • Wellness Complete Health Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior
  • Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight (3 stars)
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Toy Breed (5 stars)
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Healthy Weight (4.5 stars)
  • Wellness Complete Health Adult Lamb and Barley (3.5 stars)
  • Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish and Sweet Potato (3.5 stars)
  • Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken and Oatmeal (3.5 stars)

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 12% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, whitefish, chicken meal, ground brown rice, oatmeal, ground peas, ground barley, tomato pomace, salmon meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavor, tomatoes, ground flaxseed, carrots, apples, spinach, sweet potatoes, 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, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, 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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%11%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%12%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%27%47%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.

The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fourth ingredient is ground brown 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 fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The sixth ingredient is ground peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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 ingredient is salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears3 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The tenth 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.

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 four notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, 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 Complete Health Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Complete Health Dog Food looks like an above average dry 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wellness Complete Health is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

11/19/2009 Original review
06/20/2010 Review updated
06/03/2011 Review updated
12/22/2012 Review updated
06/22/2013 Review updated
11/09/2013 Review updated
11/09/2013 Last Update

  1. New name for Wellness Super5 Dog Food
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Wellpet Customer Service, 06/19/2013
  • sue66

    Probably the Wellness is filling her up more, did you read how many cups to give per day My boy is on the Eukanuba Intestinal, & for his weight I have to give 3 cups but in the Wellness Deboned Chicken oatmeal, I had to give only 2 cups,

  • MommaB

    I just finished switching my Australian cattle dog over from Iams sensitive to the Wellness complete Senior. At first she would eat the Wellness before the Iams and now that we have completely switched I find she is leaving it in her bowl longer. I am not sure if she likes it anymore. Or could it possible that the Wellness fills her up more. Any ideas?

  • LabsRawesome

    My 3 love Victor. Here’s their site- victordogfood.com If you want 3 free samples go here. https://www.facebook.com/sportdogfood?ref=br_tf I pay $38.99 for 30lbs of GF Ultra Professional Formula. They have a dealer locator on their site.

  • Sami

    I am trying to find a dog food that will help with my dogs’ shedding and keep them healthy since they are both barely over one. One of them is a border collie/pit bull mix and the other is a maltese mix (I really don’t know what all he has in him), I know it is going to be difficult finding a dog food to fit both needs but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  • Jeannette Siukola Chwaliszwski

    I use the super 5 mix complete Health weight dry food.(healthy weight)

  • englishanne

    My Coton de Tulear snubs his nose at Wellness Super5/Complete, but gobbles up Wellness Core. I bought the Complete because it was on sale…we’re back to Wellness Core and he loves meal time.