Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wellness Core Hearty Cuts product line includes 4 canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

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Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Turkey and Duck was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Turkey and Duck

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, chicken broth, turkey liver, duck, dried egg whites, potato starch, sweet potatoes, green beans, guar gum, carrots, apples, blueberries, broccoli, kale, parsley, spinach, salt, sodium phosphate, ground flaxseed, natural flavor, potassium chloride, canola oil, inulin, calcium carbonate, Yucca schidigera extract, dried kelp, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt proteinate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%19%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%39%24%
Protein = 37% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 24%

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 next two ingredients are turkey broth and chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

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 duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.2

Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient lists dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The seventh ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The ninth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

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 four 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, this recipe includes canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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.

In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Hearty Cuts dog food 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wellness Core Hearty Cuts is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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.

Wellness Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

01/28/2018 Last Update

  1. 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
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition