Review of Wellness Core Digestive Health Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core Digestive Health Dog Food earns The Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Wellness Core Digestive Health product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Core Digestive Health Chicken and Brown Rice||5||M|
|Core Digestive Health Whitefish and Brown Rice||5||M|
|Core Small Breed Digestive Health Chicken and Brown Rice||5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Wellness Core Digestive Health Chicken and Brown Rice 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.
Wellness Core Digestive Health Chicken and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), rice, barley, oats, chicken fat, flaxseed, tomato pomace, pumpkin, brewers dried yeast, cranberries, natural chicken flavor, salmon oil, apples, pomegranates, potassium chloride, choline chloride, chicory root extract, hydrolyzed yeast, taurine, calcium chloride, papayas, blueberries, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin A supplement, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, dried Lactobacillus delbrueckii fermentation product, dried Streptococcus thermophilus fermentation product, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation product, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||13%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||29%||41%|
Wellness Core Digestive Health Ingredient Analysis
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 rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth ingredient is barley, 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 fifth ingredient includes oats, which are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
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 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.
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 pumpkin, a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene 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 Wellness product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, brewers yeast, can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and 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.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% 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, 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.
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.
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, Wellness Core Digestive Health 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 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.
Which means this Wellness product line contains…
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and yeast, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Wellness Core Digestive Health Dog Food
Wellness Core Digestive Health is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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Has Wellness Core Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Wellness.
- Wellness Dog Food Recall of March 2017 (3/18/2017)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall October 2012 (10/30/2012)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall May 2012 (5/5/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Wellness Reviews
The following Wellness dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core 95 Percent Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Bowl Boosters Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Chunky Centers Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Core Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core RawRev Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Six Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Casserole Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Grain Free Shredded Medley Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Mini Filets Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Simple Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Stews Dog Food Review (Canned)
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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.
04/12/2021 Last Update