Wenaewe Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

LATEST RESEARCH INCOMPLETE
UNABLE TO LOCATE CURRENT PRODUCT DATA

Wenaewe Dog Food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Wenaewe product line lists three dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

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

  • Wenaewe Adult
  • Wenaewe Puppy
  • Wenaewe Vegetarian (2 stars)

Wenaewe Adult Formula Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wenaewe Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 22% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 56%

Ingredients: Organic uruguayan beef, organic brown rice, organic canola seed, organic flaxseed meal, organic sunflower seed, organic buckwheat seed (soba), organic barley, organic millet, organic carrots, organic red beets, organic broccoli, organic high-oleic sunflower oil, organic canola oil, sea salt, organic oregano, organic garlic, ascorbic acid, propolis, vitamins (vitamins A, B12, D3, C, E, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, pantothenate, niacin), minerals (chrome, sodium selenite, iron, copper citrate, zinc sulfate, cobalt)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis20%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis22%13%56%
Calorie Weighted Basis20%29%51%

The first ingredient in this dog food is organic beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 item is organic 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 third ingredient is organic canola seed. 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 appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its raw material source. Yet readers are reminded the company claims its recipes contain “no genetically modified products”.

And current thinking suggests 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 fourth ingredient is organic flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.

The fifth ingredient is organic sunflower seeds, a good source of plant-based fatty acids that and are also rich in vitamins. minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is buckwheat seeds, a carb-heavy fruit similar to rhubarb and notable for its gluten-free seeds.

Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a true cereal grain.

The seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth item includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

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, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, we note the inclusion of canola oil, an ingredient with nutritional features similar to canola seed (previously discussed).

Then, 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 find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Wenaewe Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients are produced under controlled government standards — standards which greatly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wenaewe Dog Food appears to be an average kibble.

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 22%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 56%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a limited amount of meat.

However, Wenaewe Vegetarian Formula is (of course) a meatless product.

And although we do recognize the need for some dog owners to provide (for whatever reason) a completely meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.

For this reason, the highest rating awarded any vegetarian dog food found on this website can never exceed two stars.

Bottom line?

Wenaewe Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of beef as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

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, 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.

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

07/08/2012 Original review
05/12/2013 Unable to locate current product data
05/12/2013 Last Update

  1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    I agree!  I live just outside of a major metropolitan area and I order almost everything, too!  It’s more convenient to have stuff delivered and not have to go out shopping ~ for the most part, I hate shopping.  I’m a single mom with a crazy job, so having stuff delivered is way more convenient.  But, it’s starting to get a little embarrassing… my neighbors are probably beginning to think I’m a hoarder. 

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I use Wag.com all the time. i love the quick free delivery. 

  • Guest

    it is available on http://www.wag.com and they have a store locator on http://www.wenaewepet.com 

  • SCB

    This food is back out on the market! I have had great results with my bordie collie, his coat is incredibly shiny and healthy and his energy is way up. One issue is that he likes it so much that if i don’t measure it out, he will over eat and get a little sick. That was cleared up when i stopped free feeding as I did prior to this food. I guess he likes the taste so much? 

    Anyway – I found it in San Francisco but also on http://www.wag.com. 

    For what it’s worth, I think this food is fantastic. 

  • InkedMarie

    LOL!  I have 50lbs of Darwins come every 7 weeks….add whenever I get Honest Kitchen shipped, not to mention dog supplies, people things (I have a new pair of Keen sandals on the way!)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I think the UPS and FedEx guy’s probably get annoyed with me. My dogs have deliveries just about every week. Yesterday I had a 100 lb. order of frozen raw tripe delivered the delivery guy had to lug onto the porch. They probably see my address on their delivery list and go ohhh nooo.

  • melissa

     With the amount of foods I use, the UPS or Fedex guys would stop delivering, lol.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Ahhhh, gotcha. =)

  • doggonefedup

    no…no…Gentle giants is Burt Wards stuff! I don’t know who makes that Wanabe I mean Wenarewe, no, Wenaewe…food 

  • InkedMarie

    Wenaewe is produced by Burt Ward, too?

  • doggonefedup

    DFN,
     just an attempt at humor.
    Gentle Giants is a dry food(?) that seems to be the same um..stuff.. as Wenaewe and produced by Burt Ward. He was Robin from the Batman TV series. You should check out the GG thread and also the GG website. It is/can be informative, humorous, depressing, and a few more things I won’t say out loud…..;0) 

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Was that to me? What the heck is gentle giants?

  • InkedMarie

    I tend to order even if I can buy it locally because with some places, the free shipping makes it cheaper and I can sit and wait for UPS or FEDEX to show up!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    InkedMarie: I have the same issue, no where in my actual town to buy dog food (other than the gas station which carries small bags of Dad’s and Purina) and even when I “go into town” which is a 15 mile drive there really isn’t much Walmart, grocery store, tractor supply, and one independent home and garden store that does carry a few higher end brands (Inoova, Castor and Pollux, Merrick, Solid Gold, etc.) but no raw. I have to order everything online for my dogs.

  • doggonefedup

     Holy Canola Robin ! Are you saying they should replace this with your Gentle Giants Formula?

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I don’t care how organic this stuff is… It’s a bag of beef flavored rice. And canola seeds?? And flax?? Holy phytic acid, batman!! Good god, this food is a mess.

  • InkedMarie

    I always chuckle when people on various lists claim they can’t find a certain food, it’s not in their town. My actual town, where I reside, has no store that sells pet food, except for one deli that sells one Bravo roll, because the owner feeds it. I could travel five minutes, in two directions, to pet stores. Either they don’t carry any food I’d feed or I hate the store. So, I either drive 40min one way, at least, to buy dog food or I order it online. Alot of places have free shipping if you spend a certain amount (usually $50 or more) which is not hard to do when buying dog food.

  • BryanV21

    They have this nifty invention these days called the “internet”, and one thing you can do on this “internet” is buy stuff. Stuff that you can’t necessarily find around your home town. And they will ship the stuff right to your front door.

    Okay, sorry for the sarcasm, but I think I made my point. Yes, some of the foods at Dog Food Advisor are hard or impossible to find where you live, but they can all be ordered online. There might be a shipping cost, and it may take a few days, but it’s a viable option.

  • InkedMarie

    What do you mean? You can buy Wenaewe at non-box pet stores.

  • Roland

    U R better off trying to find a needle in a haystack than this food.
    How about sticking to reviews of food people can actually go out and buy?

  • InkedMarie

    Liz, this is the Dog Food Advisor, no supplements here.

  • Liza

    i feed my pitbull eukannuba& i give ur suppelments but now hes shedding much more wat can i do

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Sorry, Dr. Mike. I must’ve been typing my response while you were responding. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Terence,

    Both taurine and dl-methionine are amino acids.

    Taurine is a necessary addition in cat foods because it’s an essential amino acid for cats (meaning their bodies can’t manufacture it) and needs to be consumed in food. Most fresh raw meats contain taurine, with heart and brains being especially rich sources. The problem is taurine is destroyed very easily with exposure to heat to after processing it needs to be added back into cat foods. Dogs can manufacture taurine themselves through the use of other amino acids, however you’ll occasionally see taurine added into dog foods that are low in the amino acids required to synthesize taurine.

    Dl-methionine is an essential amino acid for both dogs and cats. Meats contain high levels of methionine, so you’ll see it supplemented in dog and cat foods that are especially low in animal proteins and that contain a lot of plant matter (in other words, foods that are not species appropriate). Another reason methionine is commonly added to pet foods is to increase palatability because (big surprise) animals have an appetite for meat. Methionine is also used to help support urine acidification in cats.

    So in short, if dogs and cats are eating a fresh species appropriate diet the addition of amino acids is not necessary. Due to the fact that kibbles and canned foods are so processed and often low in meat and high in plant matter, it is often necessary to add amino acids back into the food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Terrence,

    Today, many amino acids used in both human and pet food supplements are commercially synthesized.

    For example, nearly all commercially available taurine is chemically synthesized. And there are some who believe synthetic taurine (when used in energy drinks) can be linked to negative long term health effects.

    However, most research proves these claims to not be true.

    It’s important to recall that amino acids naturally occur in all foods. And synthetic amino acid supplements are most likely safe. Just the same, knowing which ingredients are man-made versus natural can be a challenge.

    Hope this helps.

  • Terence

    Hi Mike

    Recently it has come to my attention that taurine is a synthetic amino acid. But it has not been scientifically proven that it caused any harm to pets.  Is dl-Methionine another synthetic amino acid?  Do you know of any other synthetic amino acids in the pet food industry?