Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat is one of the recipes in the Wellness Core product line. This recipe is claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes, pea fiber, tomato pomace, chicken liver, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavor, ground flaxseed, salmon oil, spinach, vitamin E supplement, broccoli, carrots, choline chloride, parsley, apples, blueberries, kale, sweet potatoes, taurine, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, beta-carotene, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, chicory root extract, yucca schidigera extract, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||37%||11%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||25%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient includes chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The next ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient includes 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 sixth item is dried ground potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The seventh ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
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 item is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat 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.
The tenth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat 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.
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 5 notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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 salmon oil, which 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.
We also 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.
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.
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 Reduced Fat Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Reduced Fat looks like an above-average dry dog food.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 30%.
Which means this Wellness recipe contains…
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical kibble.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, dried potato and flaxseed, this looks like the ingredient panel of a dry dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the recipe 5 stars.
Wellness Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Wellness. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- 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)
A Final Word
The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned and is not affiliated (in any way) with pet food manufacturers. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.
However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.
For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
12/09/2019 Last Update