Wellness Stews Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Wellness Stews product line includes six canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wellness Turkey Stew
- Wellness Lamb and Beef Stew
- Wellness Beef Stew Grain Free
- Wellness Chicken Stew Grain Free
- Wellness Venison and Salmon Stew
- Wellness Turkey and Duck Stew Grain Free
Wellness Turkey Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Turkey Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, water sufficient for processing, turkey liver, barley, egg whites, carrots, potato starch, celery, guar gum, oat fiber, eggs, sodium phosphate, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride, rosemary, sage, thyme
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||22%||25%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||44%||21%|
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 water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The ninth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
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, we note the inclusion of eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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.
Wellness Stews Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Stews looks like an above-average wet 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 44% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Wellness Stews is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of assorted named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
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, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.
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Notes and Updates
07/11/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩