Review of Wag Dry Dog Food
Wag Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4.5 stars.
The Wag product line includes the 10 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Wag Chicken and Lentil Recipe||4||A|
|Wag Beef and Lentil Recipe with Wild Boar||4||M|
|Wag Salmon and Lentil Recipe||4||A|
|Wag Turkey and Lentil Recipe||4||M|
|Wag Lamb and Lentil Recipe||4||A|
|Wag Beef and Sweet Potato||4.5||A|
|Wag Chicken and Sweet Potato||4.5||A|
|Wag Salmon and Sweet Potato||4.5||A|
|Wag Chicken and Brown Rice||4||A|
|Wag Salmon and Brown Rice||3.5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Wag Chicken and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Wag Chicken and Sweet Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, dried yeast, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, egg product, natural flavor, salmon oil, flaxseed, salt, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid (preservative), vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||17%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||35%||34%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is dried yeast, which can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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.
The next ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The eighth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 Wag product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, 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, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Wag Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Which means this product contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other kibbles.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, dried yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Wag Dry Dog Food
Wag includes both grain-free and grain-inclusive dry dog foods that utilize a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Has Wag Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Wag.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
06/12/2021 Last Update