Wellness Super 5 Mix Dry Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Wellness Super 5 Mix product line includes 11 dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, seven for adult maintenance and one for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Chicken Recipe
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Large Breed Adult Health
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Large Breed Puppy Health
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Just for Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Healthy Weight (2.5 stars)
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Just for Seniors (2.5 stars)
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Whitefish and Sweet Potato
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Lamb, Barley and Salmon Meal
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Small Breed Adult Health (4.5 stars)
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Small Breed Just for Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Wellness Super 5 Mix Small Breed Healthy Weight (4.5 stars)
Wellness Super 5 Mix Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Super 5 Mix Chicken Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, ground brown rice, tomato pomace, rye flour, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomatoes, rice bran, whitefish, natural chicken flavor, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, ground flaxseed, ground millet, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamins [beta-carotene, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin D-3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B-12 supplement], minerals [zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite], choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (added to preserve freshness), taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, chicory root extract, garlic powder, Yucca schidigera extract, green tea extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||25%||14%||54%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||30%||48%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third 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 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 brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient includes 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 seventh item is rye flour, a finely-ground product obtained by milling rye. Rye is a cereal grain nutritionally similar to barley.
The eighth ingredient lists 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.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, a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.
The tenth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The next ingredient is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, 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.
In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, 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 Super 5 Mix Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Super 5 Mix 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Wellness Super 5 Mix dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Those looking for a comparable wet food from the same company may want to check out our review of Wellness Canned Dog Food.
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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Notes and Updates
11/19/2009 Original review
06/20/2010 Review updated
06/03/2011 Review updated
12/22/2012 Review updated
12/22/2012 Last Update