Wellness Core Reduced Fat (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wellness Core Reduced Fat product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Wellness Core Reduced Fat

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 37% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 42%

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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis33%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis37%13%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%29%38%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 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 fourth 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 ingredient 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 ingredient 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 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 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 four 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. 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.

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
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Reduced Fat looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 37%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 36%.

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 peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wellness Core Reduced Fat is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the recipe 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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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

07/20/2017 Last Update

  • anon101

    Routine lab work. Early Dz Det CBC/profile, and whatever else is recommended.
    Even more important for seniors.
    Once a year is recommended by my vet.
    Some vets don’t recommend labs be done this often.
    But, honestly, you can’t tell by looking…..
    PS: Are you feeding to much? Cut down the amount and see what happens.

  • nemtulea

    I give that food before for my dog, when he was maybe 5-10lb’s over, and yes i did give him exactly measured cup’s per day based on their specs, and no other snacks, etc… and after months i have not seeing any changes,so i went to vet and he said ,that the dog was fine just a bit over weight , and said to give him Iams brand, i think was : Iams® ProActive Health® Adult Dog Food https://www.petsmart.com/dog/food/dry-food/iams-proactive-health-adult-dog-food-3467.html , we did that for a while and still not much signs of loosing weight! And i do 1 time a day walks with him and Fri-Sat-Sun 2 times a day , long walk…
    Now for a Husky he is really mellow dog, he does stuff , play but he is not really hyper as other huskies.
    I was thinking to get him to the vet and do other tests to make sure he is fine, but i must call and find out , what other tests are. Like so they can tell me if he is okay , maybe a blood work to check some stuff, not sure. Any suggestions on that? Thanks!

  • nemtulea


  • anon101

    If you are serious about getting the weight off (your dog)
    I would go with: Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie Dry Dog Food
    Two meals per day, measured amounts (add a splash of water) no snacks, increase activity, more walks.
    Assuming medical causes for the weight gain have been ruled out via vet exam.
    Often people think they are doing “research” when all they are doing is looking at opinions.
    We recently had a poster reveal she was 10 years old.
    So, I would go by the recommendations of a vet that has examined the dog, not the internet.
    Good luck.

  • haleycookie

    Not sure why one would be more allergenic than the other. If anything wellness has more protein options in it to be allergic to. They both have chicken high on the list as well which is a high allergen. But wellness is good so like I said can’t go wrong with either really.

  • nemtulea

    Yes, from my research , i may go with Wellness Core, i have found some info about the Merrick somewhere that some dogs may be allergic to it.

  • nemtulea

    I was kind going with Wellness too. Will just get the 4 lb bag from Petsmart and see if my boy likes it. Thanks! for your input.

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree, both are reputable brands. I would tend to lean towards Wellness being more consistent with their quality. Good luck!

  • haleycookie

    They’re both good quality in my opinion. So you can’t go wrong. Just look at things like price point, which your dog likes better, which is more accessible to you. Or maybe even rotate between the foods.

  • nemtulea

    Was researching to get new dry food for my three years old Husky witch is about 20-25 lbs overweight. I have done some research and came up with this food:

    Wellness Core Reduced Fat (Dry)

    Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe (dry)
    Any advice on this will appreciate witch will be better to get.
    Thank you for your time replying.

  • Cindy Hannant-Steffler

    I was wondering what the calories are for Wellness. My vet wants my boys below 360 calories and it has to be gluten-free due to allergies, not just grain-free. Wellness sounds like such an excellent choice, if it can fit the vet’s parameters.

  • Lulu3333

    Thanks, Sandy. You’ve been really helpful and I appreciate it. I will give it a try as you suggested.

  • ChrissyW

    I do the same,have 2 or 3 bags open at once,give them a little variety,they love it.We wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday!

  • sandy

    Since you’ve been feeding the same food for so long, I’d recommend a very long transition. You’ve probably heard or read suggestions on transitioning food as quickly as 10 days, but I doubt that would be the case for you. It could take a month or two and even more. Start by picking a food that is not too different from your current food and only use 10% of the new food and don’t progress until bowel habits are good/stable (no diarrhea, mushy poop, excess gas, etc). I’ve fostered nearly 280 pugs and a good food to start them out with has been Pro Pac Ultimates Grain Free and Nutrisource Grain Free Lamb. These foods are not “low” or “high” in protein or fat, just around the middle. It even agreed with the fosters that came with a bag 1-star food.

  • Lulu3333


  • Crazy4cats

    It really does depend on your dog. Dogs with medical conditions and/or allergies often do not tolerate it very well. I, lately have been switching flavors and brands after every bag. I would probably feed a new brand for three or four months before switching to a new brand in order to really know how your pup does on it. Sometimes I think I’m doing this for my own enjoyment as much as for them. Lol! It does make it nice to be able to buy various brands from various stores when they are offering special deals though! I also rotate toppers. Take it slow when you first start, but try to get through the bag in at least a month to prevent the food from going bad. Good luck!

  • Lulu3333

    Thanks for the insight. I suspect my dog would be ok with it but I guess I won’t know until I do it.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Lulu-

    The question of rotational feeding isn’t so cut and dry like many on here would have you think. Can some dogs do well being fed different brands rotationally? Yes. But not all dogs do well with this.

    To play devils advocate here, I used to feed one of my dogs and my cat a rotational diet and it was a disaster for both. My animals prefer routine and consistency. But I didn’t know that until I tried a rotational diet.

  • Lulu3333

    Thanks Sandy. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me with helpful information. I’ve need using the same brand and formula for the past three or four years. Never knew about rotational feeding. Just assumed it wasn’t healthy for my boy. He’s a spoiled rotten Golden doodle :l

  • sandy

    I change with every bag and sometimes have two bags open at once, one flavor for breakfast and another for dinner. I buy the medium size bags. And I also buy different brands of treats.

  • Lulu3333

    Thanks for your response. How often do you switch? Every four weeks? Every 6-8 weeks? There wasn’t anything clear in the person’s message to tell me the frequency.

  • ChrissyW

    As a matter of fact,scroll down on this thread,you’ll see him explaining it to me!

  • ChrissyW

    Yes! it’s good for them! i learned it on this board from theBCnut 🙂

  • Lulu3333

    Is the rotational diet healthy for dogs? I’ve never heard of it before. I assumed switching dog foods brands consistently would be harmful over time. I can see rotating formulas within one dog food brand but not switching brands continually. Please advise. Thanks.

  • ChrissyW

    My pugs love this food! and the Core grain free.

  • Metka

    I used to fed her I And Love and You Dehydrated Raw Chicken formula. She loved it and I loved it too, simple straight forward ingredients. Made my dog very healthy. Also low in fat, only 8-11%.

    She was on hill’s for about a month and a half now and I decided to switch her from that food(vet approved as long as it’s low fat). Since her old food was low in fat I started to slowly transmission her back, but it seems like it made her feel sick.

    I talked to many vets and they don’t recommend raw diet.

    I just want the best for my dog. I just want to find the best low fat food for her I possibly can.

    I did look at Acana Light&Fit, Wellness Core, Fromm, Annameat Lean, …

    With her old food I was confident she was getting healthy food and I could see it because she was happy and spinner in the circles to get fed in the morning. Now she eats but she hates Hills so much. I don’t want that for my dog. I want her to be happy to get meals again.

  • theBCnut

    This is an old reply I made to someone else.
    “Think of kibble as being a cereal bar, complete and balanced. Which cereal bar would you be ok with eating day in and day out for a life time and actually believe you had gotten everything you needed. The science of human nutrition changes all the time. That means we don’t know everything we need to know about human nutrition. We know a lot less about canine nutrition than human nutrition. There is no kibble, no commercial food of any kind that I believe is perfect. When has man ever made anything that was perfect. So I rotate through different brands and different kinds of food, as well as feeding homemade, to make sure my dogs get as much variety as I can.”
    I have used Acana and was very happy with it until their new plant in Kentucky opened up. They changed the ingredients in the food that my food sensitivity dog can have, so he can’t have it anymore, and a lot of people were complaining about how their dogs were doing on the food from the new plant. I think things have gotten some better. Have you looked at The Honest Kitchen Zeal? I wouldn’t use it long term, but I would certainly use it for a while as part of a rotation.

  • Metka

    I was just wondering…why do you switch your dogs food so often? Also wanted to know if you ever fed your dog Acana? My pup had pancreatitis and they gave her prescription food that has horrible ingredients so I’ve been looking at wellness core and Acana fit&light. Before she got sick she ate dehydrated raw food.

    I have a 3 year old min pin. My sister has 9 year old min pin and they both got pancreatitis at the same time.

  • SpiritSaige49

    I love this dog food. My 3 1/2 year old Pit Mix is a little chubby, and while she already lost 6 lbs while cutting her calories, I found her old food had too much fat for my liking. I do feed a rotational diet for my two dogs, (the other is a 9 year old bichon), but I could never find high quality low fat foods. It was always 13%, 15%, and the one I did Find with about 8% fat had a butt load of carbs. I did try it, it is Fat Dogs by Natural Balance, Saige wasn’t a fan.
    The thing about kibbles, is Saige didn’t eat them on their own. This is the first dry dog food I’ve found she will readily gobble up, if I spill a couple, or if I give it as a treat. That is very exciting for me.
    While it’s too early to tell if she will lose weight from the food or how she will benefit from it, from the ingredients and nutrients alone I would recommend this food. Not to mention the delicious taste!
    It is important to note that both of my dogs are fed a mix of wet and dry dog food, sometimes dehydrated and boiled chicken. They do not live on kibble alone, but adding it definitely helps us to afford high quality foods on a budget.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my review!

  • theBCnut

    I do.

  • ChrissyW

    Wow! thank you for sharing.You must feed quite a few brands.

  • theBCnut

    No, I switch every single bag. When I was just starting, I took a month to transition fully to the new food, then immediately started the slow transition to the next food. After about three transitions, I was able to switch faster and faster. It took six months before I could just switch her food without a transition, but now she eats something different every single meal.

  • ChrissyW

    Wow,thank you so very much! i’m so happy to be on this site & learning so much.I think it’s great 🙂 I did get the Wellness reduced tonight & she loves it.So you rotate every other bag of food now,but how about starting out like i am? just as if your starting a new food? my Pugs are 9 & 1.You have been a huge help to me! i lost one Pug last year,she just turned 10,no idea what happened,but i vowed to pay more attention to the food & switched vets!

  • theBCnut

    You can use the foods within a brand to rotate, but since they usually use the same vitamin/mineral supplement and a lot of the exact same ingredients within a brand, it’s best to change the brand too.

    When I started rotating foods, I started switching very slowly, because I had a dog with a very sensitive stomach. But over time, I was able to start switching faster and now, I go cold turkey from one food to the next. My dog that had a sensitive stomach never has had issues again.

    I, personally, have never had a dog have an issue with green tea, but there are certain things I get for my dogs that I make sure don’t have green tea in them because those particular items would have a much higher level than what you would find in this food.

  • ChrissyW

    Thank you SO very much! i wish i got an email telling me you replied.If i’m trying to get her to lose 3 or 4 pounds? would the same brand be a good rotation food? i’ve never rotated my 2 pug’s food.I appreciate your reply so much! 🙂 I take it the green tea which is now being questioned if it comes from China or not,falls into this category as well? It is the last ingredient in this food.I’ll have to learn how to rotate,i always start them out slow on any new food.

  • theBCnut

    Most of the regulars here feed a rotational diet. So since we switch foods very regularly, we don’t worry about some ingredients that we wouldn’t want to feed long term. For me, potato fits in that category.

  • ChrissyW

    Did anyone ever have any concerns about the potatoes in this dry food? it has 5 stars,i would love to get it for my 9 year old Pug,she needs to lose a few pounds,but i am reading so many different opinions on white potatoes for dogs.Thank you 🙂

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Sunflower1880:
    She sounds like one lucky girl!!

    You may not have to switch foods unless your budget requires it. I would take a look at the calories in the treats you give. Some are packed full of them and can contribute to weight gain. Treat calories should not exceed 10% of her daily caloric intake. More calories in and less burned leads to weight gain.

    The best dental care you can provide is brushing her teeth. I know some aren’t very receptive, but it’s really worth investing the time, however gradual it might be, in training her to accept brushing.

    I use Wellness Core reduced fat too along with Annamaet lean, Nature’s Variety Instinct Healthy Weight, and Pro Plan Focus weight management.

    I feed both grain free and grain inclusive. I normally find grain inclusive recipes are more budget friendly. You may find some recipes that fall within your budget in my current rotation from Nutrisource, Precise, Fromm, Annamaet, Infinia, Exclusive, or Beyond.

    Some other budget friendly brands are Victor, Pro Pac, and Eagle Pack.

  • Azul

    Take a look at 4health Grain Free. It’s pretty low in calories, so you might still be able to feed 1/2 cup. It’s a Tractor Supply exclusive.

  • Sunflower1880

    I have an 8 yr-old Schipperke female, 17.5 lbs, should be 15 lbs. She gets 1 Greenie stick at bed time, and one Hills t/d Dental Care “cookie” mid-day. I have been feeding her 1/2 cup of this dogfood morning and evening for 9 months. No weight loss; she is still very active but not quite like our 4 yr-old Schipp. She has no health issues, so I am loathe to change her food….. however, now at PetSmart it has gotten so very expensive that our budget is creaking. Can anyone recommend another quality dog food that is not so expensive…..doesn’t have to be weight loss food; perhaps I could then try her on 1/3 cup twice a day. She was a rescue (breeder finished with her) so she ate ProPlan her first 7 yrs. Sweet dog – please consider breeder “finished with” dogs, this one can’t get enough love after not having much for her first 7 years.

  • Georgiapeach

    Check into Annamaet Lean. It’s a good kibble for many dogs prone to pancreatitis, as well as for weight loss.

  • rcrm

    Wellness brand use to be something else–can’t remember the name–( I want to say Mrs somebody or other) and started out as supposedly healthy snacks. I’m going back a number of yrs now.
    It was great until I ordered several bags at once that smelled of petro-chemicals. The odor was so intense, I just threw them away –never to buy that brand again. Next thing I knew, they’d changed their name. When I got the two dogs I have now, my Vet was recommending this food but it still left a bad taste in my mouth– pun intended –so I never put them on it.
    Now, I’m looking for a really good quality ,high protein, low fat, no grain, non-GMO, no artificial anything, high in vegetables & some fruits, preferably certified organic food.
    I’ve been feeding my dogs Kirkland Signature Puppy kibble, although 8 yrs old now because it was lower in fat and higher in protein. My vet’s been ok with it. Plus every night: fresh spinach and my fish oil squeezed from the capsules. They’ve also been getting an antioxidant vitamin 2 x week crushed because they hate the taste, between a tablespoon of organic non-fat greek yogurt & organic unsweetened applesauce.
    They also get what ever other vegies I may be having including fresh tossed green salad vegies like red cabbage, red leaf lettuce & carrot, plus bites of melon, blueberries, bananas, apple and mango when I have them. They’re very healthy but I’d like something better than their present kibble because of the grains and unknown where everything’s sourced and manuf.
    I wouldn’t trust Wellness and these comments about dogs getting sick on it, only reinforces that.

  • Pitlove

    Hi M.E.W- Glad your girl is recovering and you found a food that works for her!

  • M.E.W.

    I was feeding my 11-yr-old doxie Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight for several years until she began vomiting frequently. I recently switched her to Wellness Core Reduced Fat and for the past three weeks she has not vomited once. She seems to love this food and I love the ingredients (and that they stay in her belly!). Her coat was great before but it seems even softer and shinier now. This food is still affordable and easy to find in PetSmart. Definitely keeping this food in her rotation.

  • Bobby dog

    I contacted Ainsworth yesterday to ask them what recipes they manufacture for Tractor Supply Company under the 4Health brand. I received an e-mail response from Ms. Boca at Ainsworth Pet Nutrition this morning. They currently manufacture the Grain Free Beef & Potato dog food, Grain Free Turkey & Potato dog food and the Grain Free Whitefish & Potato cat food.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Susan:
    You need to read how DFA rates food to get a better understanding of the rating system:

    If you want a more in depth review of foods, such as manufacturers, pre-testing of ingredients, post testing, you can join the Dog Food Advisor’s Editors Choice.

    Every dog is different and will need a diet that they do well on, your dogs are no different. Why worry about a star? I use DFA as a starting point when researching foods for my dog. The star ratings are not that important to me, however I am grateful for this site. I have my own criterion for choosing the pet foods I feed.

  • Susan C. in VA

    I, rather my dogs, had problems with a new bag of Wellness reduced fat Core in December 2014. Blood in stool kind of problems. Not Good!! Yet Wellness keeps getting top ratings. I don’t get it. There are many, many complaints throughout DFA where a lot of people have some serious complaints about Wellness Dry Dog foods. What I am confused about is the Tractor Supply 4health Duck and Pot GF can’t even compare to the Whitefish & Pot one. The Duck and Pot GF has such better ingredients, etc. Plus, the Duck and Pot is made by Ainsworth, not Diamond, so how can they even be in the same category.. The Duck and Potato is awesome. My 3 dogs are doing great on it,

  • Susan Care

    When I was checking out Diamond I wanted to know which independent sites could also confirm their improvements that have been made to Diamond Pet foods processing procedures since 2012. Well, here are two:
    http://www.petmanianc.com/diamond-recall-update and
    Also, Diamond themselves have quite an impressive video on their site where you can see what they have done to greatly improve their standards. Probably better than a lot human food processing places now!! Apparently some decision makers from Pet Mania Stores saw this first hand on a tour they went on and thought the changes warranted it good enough to bring Diamond foods back into their stores in NC. (their customers were requesting it, apparently)
    Again, I have NO allegiance to any company, just trying to find a very good dry dog food at a reasonable price. Since the two 4health dry foods I am referring to are relatively new, I just hope that they will get the thorough review by DFA that I believe they deserve. Again, they are:
    1. 4health dry Grain Free Chicken and Vegs, and
    2. 4health dry Grain Free Duck and Potato
    A caring mom of 3 dogs,
    Susan C. in VA

  • Bobby dog

    Hi again:
    The Duck recipe is rated 3.5 stars, you can find review here:

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Susan:
    Here is the form to use for requesting a review:

  • Susan Care

    The Tractor Supply private brand “4health” have a few relatively NEW, GRAIN FREE FOODS.

    DFA, PLEASE evaluate, rate, and put in the “DFA” site specifically, the two I MENTION, as they appear to be a couple of the best ones:
    1. “4health GRAIN FREE CHICKEN & VEGETABLES” manufactured by DIAMOND. (has great ingredients + Probiotics, Glucosamine and Chondroitin)
    2. “4health GRAIN FREE DUCK & POTATO” manufactured by AINSWORTH. (no chicken, has sweet potato, garbanzo beans, fruits, etc)
    Not sure WHY they use TWO DIFFERENT FACILITIES TO MANUFACTURE SOME OF THEIR DRY DOG FOODS, BUT THEY DO. I found this out while doing some research on the 4HEALTH BRAND. A Veterinarian with Diamond called me back to answer some of my questions that the Customer Service girl didn’t know, and that’s how I learned that Diamond doesn’t manufacture all of the 4health dry foods, even tho’ they would like to, like the Duck and Potato, by Ainsworth. I believe MANY consumers, LIKE ME, would GREATLY appreciate KNOWING this. Also, DIAMOND HAS APPARENTLY GREATLY IMPROVED THEIR PROCESSING AND TESTING PROCEDURES since 2012. THEY say this and SHOW you on their site, AS WELL AS OTHER INDEPENDENT SITES that CONFIRM this. Important to know!! Diamond may be one of the best now!! I have fed my dogs the expensive Wellness CORE for years, and, have even returned a few of those bags, through the years, because they were making my dogs have tummy issues. I would try other 5 star brands in the interim, but always went back to the CORE, thinking it must have just been a bad batch, or something. So, I guess any company, even the best, can have a blunder from time to time. I don’t work for any of these companies, I am just a concerned dog owner, trying to find the best food, at the best price for my very much LOVED rescued babes. I hope the two “4health” dry foods I mention above may just be it. It’s almost 1/2 the price of the expensive brands!! AND, MY DOGS LOVE THE 2 FLAVORS I MENTION ABOVE, AND HAVE DONE VERY WELL ON THEM, AND, BY WHAT I CAN SEE THEY ARE 2 OF THE BEST IN THE “4HEALTH” BRAND. THANKS in advance for checking this out in your thorough way!!
    Susan C. in Virginia

  • theBCnut

    Most dry foods are very heavy in carbs anyways, so adding more calories that are carb heavy isn’t the best idea for an overweight dog. But adding some veggies that are low carb is an excellent idea. If what you are doing is working for you, then obviously for your dog, it’s OK. A lot of people think that adding any veg is helping, when it might not be, because they don’t realize how much they are increasing the calorie count.

  • Dori

    How much is his optimum weight suppose to be for his physique? Is it possible that you’re just feeding him too much? In calculating the amount to feed him calculate for what his weight should be, not for what he actually weighs. That might help also.

  • Ruth Kaempf

    I do measure the food and my dogs get regular exercise at least twice a day. On weekends they walk between 1-2 hours on the beach. The sweet potatoes are only an occasional treat.

  • Ruth Kaempf

    Well don’t we all love carbs 🙂 My dogs have no health problems and their backs are strong. Maxwell is the oldest at 18yrs.

  • Ruth Kaempf

    I have three doxies, the wirehaired kind and the middle one tends to gain weight easily. His best weight is 12# but he is more like 14#. I put him on the Wellness Core Reduced Fat a few months ago and he GAINED weight. So I stopped this food. He is gradually but slowly losing weight on regular grain free foods, just a little less than he used to eat. I switch brands around every couple of months or so between regular Wellness, Canidae, Zignature, Taste of the Wild. They also get fresh raw or cooked veggies like green beans or carrots plus the occasional sardine in olive oil. My old guy will be 18 next week and in excellent condition.

  • Robin Garner

    Interesting the comments posted about their dogs experiencing gastric upset when they started a new bag of food. My Doxie has been eating Wellness Core reduced fat dry for about 2 years with no problem . Last month, I opened a new bag and she began having diarrhea and bloating. I have another Doxie who is still on Puppy food, but they eat the same canned (innova low-fat) and get the same treats. He was just fine. After 3 days, I finally made the connection, and stopped giving her the Wellness. I gave her pumpkin, brown rice, and boiled chicken to calm her system – she was back to normal in a day. I called Wellness to see if there were any complaints, but there were not. They told me to throw out the bag (they got all the info on it).
    Switched her to Fromm since this is the second problem I have had with Wellness. A couple of years ago, my senior Doxie got very ill after I opened a new bag of his Senior Wellness, requiring vet care.

  • Bob K

    Measure the food, don’t guess, cut down on treats and people food and most of all, get some exercise in. You and the dog. Cut out the sweet potatos.

  • theBCnut

    Carrots and sweet potatos add a bunch of carbs to the food.

  • Ruth Kaempf

    Sounds familiar. Last spring I put my slightly overweight tweenie doxie on this food and he GAINED weight. Unbelievable. Since that experience he is back on the same food as the others and hasn’t gained any more, although he hasn’t lost either. He should be 12lbs but he hovers just under 14. Of course he acts as though I starved him, always hanging around the fridge and my feet when I prep food for myself. 1/4 cup twice a day with carrots, or green beans or sweet pots. mixed in.

  • trixiesmama

    I meant to say I give him a total of 1/2 a cup a day. 1/4 in the morning and 1/4 at night. I admit he needs more exercise too.

  • theBCnut

    How much should he weigh. One cup seems like a good amount for a 20 lb dog, but a bit much for one that should weigh 15. I would try 3/4 cup for a while. My very active 45 lb Border Collies eat the equivalent of about 2 cups.

  • Bob K

    Many people eyeball the food which is very different than an accurate measurement. Also treats count too, of course everyone needs exercise.

  • Cyndi

    I’ve seen this food recommended quite a few times on here for dogs that need to lose a few pounds. You could also try feeding just a bit less and try exercising him just a bit more.
    Good luck! 🙂

  • trixiesmama

    Adopted an obese min pin last year, and even after 6 months on Canidae Grain Free (1/2 cup in am and pm). He hasn’t lost a pound. Am going to switch him to this. Hopefully it helps him, he’s currently 19lbs!

  • sue66b

    Im finding, while my boy is on Boiled Chicken, Pumkin & sweet Potatos he’s fine, as soon as he has his kibble he gets his pain & isnt himself, real quiet, so maybe the dry kibble irritates their tummy & upsetting their pancreas, where the Boiled chicken is easier to digest..

  • Jody

    I bet your dog has an allergic reaction to chicken and all poultry. Look at the first ingredients and then some. I finally switched to a lamb base, grain free dry food. No poultry at all. Good luck,

  • Anca

    Hi Maxie Moo..sorry for such a late response. I didn’t get a notification that a response was posted. Anyways, I was told and through research that this fat content is ok. Compared with the other foods out there that are a bit lower, overall the other ingredients far surpass in quality IMO. Jax has done wonderfully on it! What I do is I also buy the canned I/D GI Restore Low Fat and I coat his kibble with a spoonful. He LOVES the mix. I fed Jax 6 small meals for 4 months and then slowly went higher to his normal 2 a day. Again he’s doing amazingly well. No issues at all, thank god!

  • Anca

    Hi Antares. So sorry for such a long time to get my answer. I didn’t get an email that there was a comment and just saw this today.. Anyways through a lot of research I stuck with this one. Jax loves this food and my vet highly recommended it. I agree with you 100%, it’s very hard when your dog is sick to make sure you’re giving him/she the best possible out there. I know that what I found from research and what my vet said this is wonderful for a him. It’s high in protein and low in fat which is what he needs. Jax used to always have tummy issues (very soft poo, and diarrhea very often) since he’s been on this food his poo is great! Also when transitioning Jax I followed Wellness’s “recipe” for transition : they have it on their site and it went smoothly.

  • Anca

    Thank you for your response Robert, sorry it’s taken so long for my answer. I didn’t get an email saying you responded and just saw this today. Anyways, I have had Jax on this Wellness Core Reduced Fat for the past 7 months and he’s doing wonderfully on it! Our vet was enthusiastic about putting Jax on it and again we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Jax gained the weight he’d lost when being in the hospital and he’s maintained his normal 55lbs ever since. Besides it being a 5 star rated food, he LOVES it which makes me happy.

  • Nepheline

    About 4 months ago I started my parent’s two springer spaniels on wellness core reduced fat (dry) because one, Pandora, had become very overweight on food we admittedly did not know was a very bad choice (Purina beneful). The other dog, Gwen, was not as overweight but still could stand to lose. They have both done great weight loss wise and Pandora has become more active, but Gwen started having trouble with incontinence and recent blood tests came back with “elevated kidney levels.” Not high enough to say that she definitely has kidney disease according to our vet but something they want to monitor for the next month.
    Given the timing of the onset of her problems, could there be a link between the food (current or past) and her problems? Both dogs are 12 years old, so I assume age is the major factor, but I want to cover every possibility for preventing future problems or worsening of current ones. Is the food change something I should ask my vet to consider in determining what is wrong?

  • RR Lover

    Interesting that you mention a bad bag of food – I was searching to see if Wellness changed the formula for the reduced fat. My kibble looked lighter in color and my dog’s glossy coat dulled. She is also being a little finicky with the kibble which doesn’t normally happen. I do not have the bag anymore to note the codes. Bad food or formula change?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Gas smell has to do with the type of bacteria living in the intestinal tract. The fact that the gas has gotten better means the microflora have balanced for the food you are now feeding. Many of us feed a rotational diet, hoping to keep the gut microflora, AKA probiotic, at an optimal level at all times because they are a major part of the immune system.

  • Katie

    Thank you so much for your response. I stuck it out and the gas stopped one day. This food is awesome. I would recommend it highly.

  • Maxie Moo

    The Wellness Core Low Fat supposedly has just a tad bit more fat than a dog with pancreas issues should have. I have a min schnauzer who had pancreatitis not long ago. I am giving a mix of wellness core grain free low fat

    and adding some baked cod to it to decrease the percentage of fat in each serving. My vet also has recommended that that i feed the dog in 6 small feedings a day. Reducing the amount of food per meal also lowers the stress on the pancreas.

  • Mikki

    I realize your question was posted 2 months ago, but I’m going to post an answer incase someone else is having this same issue. DO NOT BE TOO QUICK TO SWITCH! I switched my bull dog mix over to Wellness Core in the hopes of getting some poundage off of him. He had terrible gas issues prior to this switch, that sulfur rotten egg smell, and it got worse the first 2 weeks on Wellness Core. We were ready to switch him to something else when it suddenly stopped. I can now tell when my hubby has snuck him some table scraps because the gas is almost immediate. He really hasn’t lost much weight (69 down from 75), but he is no longer my little methane cloud.

  • InkedMarie

    if you are giving her canned as well as this dried food, make sure you are giving her less dry. I’d honestly go no canned to get her to lose weight but that is jmo

  • CathyandLucy

    Just gave this with a little of her old food and some of the wellness turkey stew and some pumpkin (just to settle her tummy with the new food just incase and to add some extra flavor) and she ate it! It’s hard to get her to eat her dry food unless mixed with some liquid or now wet food because she doesn’t like to chew hard things much. But I’m excited for this new food to hopefully help her loose about 7lbs. Thanks for all the info and comments let’s see how it works!

  • guest

    That is great information. Whenever I’ve had a dog with an upset stomach, I’ve always only ever heard of chicken and rice. Definitely going to try the potato and/or pumpkin instead. Thanks again!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Instead of rice, try a sweet potato or canned pumpkin. Those are both good non toxic carb sources that have a slower impact on blood sugar and also don’t readily feed intestinal yeasts.

  • guest

    Thanks for the reply. I returned the bag of food and went to another store to buy another bag, making sure the numbers on the back of the bag were different. I’m going to put him back on chicken and rice for a day (more chicken than rice, though – he’s normally fed grain-free so I don’t want too much rice). He’s just as happy as can be – wants to play, wants to eat, barks at the mailman! You’d never know he has been throwing up. Hopefully it’s just a very temporary thing. I appreciate the help.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Try a different bag for sure. If a new bag doesn’t make him sick, then you should return that old open bag and let them know it made your dog sick. Record the barcode and date code and any other identifier on the bag and send Wellness an email to let them know too.

  • guest

    Hi folks,
    My little guy has been on Wellness Core Reduced Fat for about 3 years now. Prior to being on this food, he was lethargic and just not himself. He ended up in the hospital with stomach issues and exploratory surgery that just showed “angry insides” according to the doctor. No diagnosis – maybe gastritis and/or pancreatitis. Fast forward to this week. He began throwing up a few days ago. I put him on a bland chicken and rice diet. He did fine, no vomiting. I gradually started reintroducing the Wellness yesterday in the chicken and rice and this morning he vomited again. I’m wondering if maybe he just got a bad bag of food? He seems fine otherwise – happy, playful, wants to eat… Any suggestions? I’m not in a hurry to rush him to the vet. Thanks so much for the help.

  • Antares

    Did you find another brand of low fat food that your dog is doing well on? My dog is also on Hill’s GI Restore due his LPE disease. He’s doing very well on that diet and I’m afraid to change it for something that might not agree with him. I know it’s not a good food for a healthy dog but when you have a dog with digestive illness then you have to be very careful not only of the ingredients but the interactions between them ie., high protein + low fat but not too much fiber etc..Dealing with a sick dog forces you to look at food from a completely different prospective other than just nutritious. Any suggestions?

  • robert

    Prescription , as used in dog food is a trade name / marketing ploy to sell inferior dog food with the help of vets to provide credibility and maximize profits. Don’t be fooled, no dog food requires a “prescription’ , check the ingredients and recalls before you buy.

  • robert

    The word prescription in hills dog food is a trade mark and has nothing to do with prescriptions for medications or any thing else . Vets have an agreement to sell this junk exclusively to try to give it credibility . It’s all about ripping us off. Look at the ingredients . Either your vet is a ripoff or he/she is very, very misinformed , too lazy to check out what he is promoting and jeopardizing the health of pets he is supposed to be helping . Very disappointing.

  • robert

    Hills is a 1 star out of five stars dog food. One of the worst dog foods on the market. Above average price , below average nutrition. Look it up on your computer , garbage . Check this site for four and five star foods , don’t jeopardize your dogs health Robert

  • Katie

    My rotti mix has been on this food for about a month now. He loves it but it gives him awful gas. Could this be because it has such a high protein content?

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    Yes the Simple Solutions is not Core, it is just Wellness, but it is Grain-Free and is for sensitive stomach, so I got it for his pancreatitis. He hasn’t vomited and his skin allergy is better, so we are happy!

  • Storm’s Mom

    And Core has waaaaaaaaaaay more protein than Simple Solutions!!

  • InkedMarie

    I believe you are speaking of their Simple Solutions….til you wrote the above, I didn’t realize they had a gf. It is not Core though, two different products. The Core is grainfree but is not one marketed for allergies

  • Anca

    Hi Pam 🙂 Thanks, Jax is better! He had the acute attack one month ago and he’s finally back to normal! I bought the Wellness Core Reduced Fat. It too has pro-biotics, is grain free and has Glucosamine and Chondroitin because he has hip dysplasia. The vet wanted him on the prescription low fat food still but I did not like the rest of the ingredients on there as opposed to this one with seems healthier while still being low fat. I was a tad nervous because he’s SO picky with his food but he loves it which is awesome!

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    Thank you Anca! What kind of Core Wellness did you buy? I found that they also have a Core Wellness Simple Grain-Free brand and it is for allergies and food sensitivities. I got the Grain-free Turkey and Potato Formula, and he is eating it very well. It also has pro-biotics, so it fits all his needs.I hope your dog is better too!

  • Anca

    Thanks Pam! I just bought our first bag of Wellness Core and he loves it! I hope your dog is doing better after pancreatitis!

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    We also tried Grandma Lucy’s and he liked it at first and then quit eating it. I think that he likes the dry food better to munch on, rather than the Grandma Lucy’s which was more like an oatmeal.

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    Our 90 lb chocolate lab was just diagnosed with pancreatitus also.The Core Wellnes Reduced-Fat is the lowest kibble that I have found so far and my dog likes it, so I am sticking with it for now. Our vet said 10%-12% fat is not bad.

  • Anca

    Thanks Eldee! I’ll check it out

  • Eldee

    have a look at Annamaet Lean and Fit

  • Anca

    Thank you for your response. Yes, as I’ve said it is most important how they handle the situation. I agree that many companies have recalls though there are some good ones that have not. After such a severe attack I want to make sure Jax is getting the best; safety and nutrition wise.

    I was informed by Marie that THK can mail me a booklet with more information. I will take that to Jax’s vet to get his opinion. I want to make sure that Jax gets the low fat he needs and ALL ingrediants needed in his diet.

  • Anca

    Hi Marie,
    Thank you for your response! I will call them, did not know about the booklet. I did look on their site and am impressed with the ingredients. Once I get the info I can bring that to Jax’s vet and discuss it with him. For now we have to stay on the prescription food but if/when we are able to be off I want to make a well informed decision for Jax.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m actually signing up for the consierge (sp) program today for Zeal for Boone; auto ship, free shipping, get a discount plus other goodies! Zeal is one THK I can’t always find locally.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Anca, I’ve fed THK for years. As others have saidm they handled the recall wonderfully. Their website is very intensive, lots of links from links…they also have a neat little booklet about the food & the company. Give them a call, they’ll send you one. They are completely transparent about where they get ingredients from and are one of only two dog foods that can call themselves human grade food.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I agree with Patty about Zeal. The Honest Kitchen is produces some of the highest quality, if not the highest quality commercial pet food products available. They are the only pet food company that can label their food as certified human grade – they use all human grade raw materials and manufacture their food in a human grade manufacturing plant. Yes, they had a recall – however if you eliminate any company that’s had a recall from your potential foods list you’re going to be eliminating many of the best companies. Recalls can happen to any company at any time and what’s important is not whether or not a company has had a recall but the frequency of recalls, what the recall is for and how the company handles the recall. Heck, Ben and Jerry’s has had a recall – that’s not going to stop me from eating Ben and Jerry’s. THK had a lot of integrity to handle the recall the way that they did because most companies (especially companies with no recall history) would have not recalled the product and waited until someone (or some pet) got sick before they recalled so as to avoid tainting their reputation.

    If you’re really adverse to feeding THK some other foods to look into would be Annamaet’s Lean formula, Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Chicken and also many of the Addiction foods have 12% fat or less (they have kibbled, dehdyrated and canned options). To my knowledge none of these companies have ever had recalls or at least not in the recent past.

  • Anca

    Hi Betsy,
    I understand, and again, how they handle a recall is paramount. The reviews do seem to be very positive and Zeal does have the fat content we need. and looks like very healthy choice.
    I will check with the vet to make sure it has everything he needs diet wise. Thanks for the help!

  • Anca

    I understand where you are coming from and I agree 100% that how a company responds is key. It does have a very low fat percentage..I’ll check with my vet and check to make sure he would get all he needs nutrient wise.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Of course it is your choice, but I want you to know that as far as recalls go THK did everything right. They used human grade parsley, which ended up testing positive for salmonella. They had not distributed much of the food when they found out, but they immediately issued a recall, out of an abundance of caution. They never had any of their food test positive, but they put the welfare of their customers pets and customers peace of mind ahead of profits. I personally don’t think you can ask for better than that. Due to the nature of the food chain, any company can have a recall at any time. How they handle a recall is what’s important.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Anca,

    Personally, I’m picky about companies who’ve had recalls myself and I know Patty is too; but THK handled their recall very well and I wouldn’t hesitate to use their products. In fact, I recently ordered several THK things including the Zeal Patty mentioned and I know I can use them with confidence.

  • Anca

    Hi Patty,
    Thanks for your response. I had not heard of them but looking them up just now I saw they had a recall this past year. I’m so paranoid now with Jax, I’m trying to find a brand that has not been recalled.

  • Anca

    Hi Betsy,
    Thank you for your quick response! I have looked at that page, the problem is most have a fat level of over 12%. His weight was/is fine but we have to keep his fat content very low to make sure he doesn’t have another “episode”. This one seems like the best choice comparing ingredients to the others 🙂
    Thanks again!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I know that the Honest Kitchen Zeal is very low fat, but good quality.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Anca,

    Yes, it’s a real good choice. : )

    Also, if you haven’t already, take a look at this page for some additional information on low fat diets: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/suggested-low-fat-dog-food/.

    I have no experience with pancreatitis, but lots of people here have and will no doubt share their experiences with you.

    Good luck!

  • Anca

    Just curious if this would be a good food for my boy Jax, who had a bout of acute pancreatitis not long ago. We are now on Hills Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat GI Restore. I know he will need to be on a low fat diet for a long time, if not, forever .. and for now we have to stay on this prescription food

    I just am researching other brands that may we may be able to switch to down the road.

    Looking at the ingredients of both foods this kibble has a fat level a bit higher (11% as opposed to 9%) and it also has a higher protein level (37% as opposed to 20%). The prescription kibble has prebiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. I looked at this food because it got 5 stars but Is there any food that is comparable/close to the prescription food that while has a lower fat content still provides Jax with the necessary nutrients?


  • Toni

    This is the only dog food that both of my dogs like. One of my dogs is picky but she will eat this. I have tried numerous different foods. No issues whatsoever with reduced fat wellness core. 🙂

  • Shawna

    Sorry for the multiple posts but I had an aftertought. You state “Please do some research and understand that animals in the wild DO become sick from raw food”

    Kibble (if you are a kibble feeder) is not immune to making dogs ill… Most of the salmonella recalls thus far this year have been kibbled diets. Also kibble is a cause of cancer per vet Dr. Demian Dressler of the Dog Cancer Blog.

    “Dog Food: Is There a Cancer Risk?

    First, high temperature cooking of meat or fish, or the creation of their extracts can produce nasties called heterocyclic amines… These little guys have been shown to promote tumors in lab animals. Do dogs eat food that has been exposed to high temperatures? The truth is: yes.

    Another carcinogen is polyacrylamide, again from high temperature cooking, this time of sugars in starch…

    So what does this mean? Well, we don’t want to go around saying that every dog who eats dog food in a bag (and pressed through an extruder at high temperatures) will get cancer. That would be irrational and untrue.

    However, there are genetic differences and lifestyle differences and carcinogen exposure differences, all from one dog to the next.

    Since we know that cancer is created by many separate hits to the system, in certain dogs diet might be the thing that tips the scale.” http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-food-is-there-a-cancer-risk/

    For the record, Dr. Dressler recommends a home prepared and lightly cooked diet for dogs that already have cancer.

  • Shawna

    Meg Smart is a vet and taught nutrition for over 30 years. Here’s her diet recommendation.

    “So what should you feed your dog?

    This may shock you. Variety is the key. Kibble, whole foods, raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, and healthy table scraps can all be included on the menu.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html#more

    Vet Dr. Karen Becker lists a complete and balanced RAW diet as her most recommended food.
    “The List of Best-to-Worst Foods

    1. A balanced, raw, homemade diet is the best food you can feed your dog or cat.” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/07/21/13-pet-foods-ranked-from-great-to-disastrous.aspx

    Vet Dr. Martin Goldstein also lists a balanced raw diet as his most recommended food.

    “Ideal – Healthiest

    1. Hunted, raw prey (not realistic in modern society)

    2. Fresh raw meats, bones, organ meats with very small amounts
    of fresh vegetables. Include a well-rounded vitamin/mineral mix and omega 3 essential fatty acids (salmon oil). You can prepare your own raw diet using meat/bone pieces and parts, or you can use pre-prepared ground products such as Bravo! and Nature’s Variety.” http://www.drmarty.com/feeding.htm
    I could list 20+ more nutritionists and vets that recommend raw (off the top of my head). Ones that could be verified online — like Monica Segal and Kymythy Schultz or Dr. Amy Nesselrodt and Dr. Tom Lonsdale.

    PS — what health conditions could be made worse by a raw diet? My pup has had kidney disease since birth and has been on raw since weaning. Dr. Martin Goldstein works A LOT with cancer dogs etc.

  • LawofRaw

    Who’s personal choice? The owner’s or the dog’s? Place an apple, berry or say broccoli or kale on one corner of a room, then place a piece of raw meaty bone (Any herbivorous species) and witness what the dog (Any mentally stable dog) heads to, before you could blink twice!

    With regard to bacteria, e.coli and salmonella, such are no match for the acidic pH stomach levels of a generally healthy dog. Nor is it a match for their somewhat naturally antiseptic tongues, as per discovered in 2 notable university studies, one in 1975, and another in 1990 at the University of Davis California. That’s why the parents of a canine newborn offspring can and do lick all over the pup to provide a protective antibacterial barrier as well as clean off any present same.

    For some more in-depth education on why feeding a raw carnivorous diet to our domestic dogs, helps improve their coat, skin, teeth, breath, eyes, and every other possible fact of health imaginable, read Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s “Work Wonders”, and “Raw Meaty Bones”. Read Steve Brown’s “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet”. Read the following pages of rawfed dot com / myths. Read the literature and watch the video clips of Dr. Karen Becker at the pages of healthypets dot mercola dot com. Read Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s “Give a Dog a Bone, and his other 2 books. Read the pages and literature of Dr. Kim Bloomer at aspenbloompetcare dot com. Read the articles written by Dr. Chris Collins, Dr. Bruce Symes, Dr. Peter Dobias and countless of other expert testimonials, on just why raw feeding is truly the only way to ensure your dog and cat for that matter are at their absolute healthiest!

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Theresa Bennett

    try dick van pattens natural balance.
    low protein and fat.

  • Theresa Bennett

    Dogs very rarely contract salmonella and e-coli. their digestive tracts are short for this purpose and the flora in their gut prevents this. (the very reason they can get away with eating a week old decaying squirrel found in the backyard and only end up with soft stool if anything!)
    Also, in terms of digestibility, amino acid profile and nutrient bioavalability raw out performs every other type of food. hands down. offer me a standard processed kibble that competes
    digestibility average:
    raw 95<
    canned <85
    kibble <70
    source: 2 separate holistic vets I consult with.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s true that canned food typically contains less calories (due to high moisture content) and is closer to the ideal diet than kibble, however as a general rule it’s not true that it’s lower in fat. On average canned foods contain nearly 50% more fat than kibble (remember the fat levels on the can are not on a dry matter basis, you must convert to dry matter for comparative purposes). The higher fat content isn’t a bad thing and it’s one of the reasons canned foods are more species-appropriate – most kibbles are much lower in fat than the ancestral diet.

  • Theresa Bennett

    canned is usually from 1/2 to 1/3 (sometimes even less) the fat and calories of kibble. this is a common misconception and I hope it helps as canned is far more digestable and closer to an ideal diet than processed kibble is (of course depending on brand)!

  • Wolves eat fruits, vegetables, etc. Wolves also become ill from the raw foods that they consume due to parasites and bacteria (e coli, etc) – and they do die from this. Please do some research and understand that animals in the wild DO become sick from raw food – just as humans do. Domesticated dogs have been adapted to different diets from their ancestors – guilting people into believing RAW is somehow the best for dogs is the wrong approach. It is a personal choice that should be discussed with a vet — because some health conditions could be made worse by a raw diet – or the risk that it poses. Just as we carefully eat sushi or steak tar tar, so should our pets be careful with the RAW diet plan. Hope this helps.

  • Have your dog’s thyroid checked – but know that false negatives are common, so re-testing is often necessary.

  • This food disintegrates into a fine powder. When my dog vomited this food (must not have been feeling too hot), it was nothing but a paste. Stool output was not well formed. I wanted to love this food. I wanted it to “fit” our need, so I kept using it. Weightloss did not occur, although quantity was greatly reduced to well below half of the suggested amount on the label. The food easily breaking down into a dust-like substance was simply troubling, and I could not get past it. For reliable weightloss in dogs who have medical conditions that enable weight gain (thyroid in our case, as well as kidney), I would try Science Diet Veterinary Weight Loss R/D (with Chicken) to get a leg up on the weight loss (or weight loss maintenance food) – then – look for a weightloss food that has a higher fiber content (to help dog’s appetite feel satisfied, and healthy stools), low k-cal, somewhat high protein (40 is too high in my book), and high vegetable content. Supplements are helpful as well as fish oil caps. Good luck.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Elevated liver enzymes could be because she came into contact with something toxic that was a temporary problem. That could be why her liver enzymes are back to normal now. If her enzymes are fine, she doesn’t need to continue on the prescription diet and it is probably better for her to be off it. You may want to have her enzymes checked again in a month or so to make sure that she is still not having a problem, just for your peace of mind.

  • Just bought the Wellness Core reduced fat for my chubby girl, Dixie. I was previously feeding her the Blue Buffalo Freedom, and even tho she was doing well on it, I decided it was time to try something new. My question is, my other weim, Sophie had elevated liver enzymes last summer, but we were never able to determine the cause. Subsequent blood work has shown that her enzymes are back to being normal and I am wondering if it is okay to feed her the Wellness Core. She has apparently decided that she does not like the prescription food that the vet had her on and has refused to eat it. I caved after 2 days of her refusing to eat and gave her Dixie’s food. She refuses to eat anything but that. She wasnt acting sick at all….just stubborn! She seems to be doing okay eating it….no change in her poo or anything. Any advice????

  • Dr. J.

    i am feeding our senior dogs the Orijen Adult, since it is higher in proteins, just a bit. In fact all the orijen products are similar to one another and our puppies are getting orijen Adulat as well. must be working since the male puppie (malamute and lab) is about 80 pounds at age 6 1/2 months. this guys will be a monster dog….she is a mere 57 pounds and looks tiny compared to him, but is still on course to end up at 90 plus pounds….I need to find a re-mortgage option at this rate.

  • Ah ha! Thanks, Patty!

  • Pattyvaughn

    The iodine in it supports the endocine system, which controls metabolism.

  • sharron

    Hi Betsy and thanks a bunch
    i’m going to give the orijen senior a try and see how that goes
    thanks again for your all your help and support

  • That’s great news, Sharron!

    It sounds like you’re doing the right things. I’d suggest just watching portions and keeping up with the same exercise she’s used to at this point. Keep her diet high protein and watch the carbs. I’d probably stick with a grain and white potato free food for her since she, like my Cavalier, gains weight easily. If you prefer a kibble, have you tried the foods that have a lower glycemic index ~ such as Nutrisca, Orijen and Horizon? If you find one that you both like, but you feel the size of the kibble is too big, you can always give it a whirl in a chopper or coffee grinder and mix in a bit of warm water.

    You obviously are a very loving doggie mom. Keep up the great work!

  • sharron

    Hi again – need to add to my last posting – she won’t eat the wellness core reduced fat so i can’t use that as a maintenance food, she likes the royal canin yorkie but since giving it to her yesterday she is scooting across the carpet alot – wondering if i should put her back on the acana regionals again but concerned about weight gain again – i never feed what is suggested on the bag it is always less.

  • sharron

    Hi – thought i would give an update – just back from the vet for a weigh-in – lexee is now 9.6lbs. – yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    now i have to learn how to maintain this weight.
    thanks to all for help – greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LabsRawesome

    Very true. My 55lb Springer eats the exact same amount as my 72lb Lab. The Springer just has a higher metabolism.

  • Hey Patty,

    Just curious, how do you think the seaweed supplement will help in Sharron’s case and potentially dealing with a slow metabolism?

    I use, sporadically, Solid Gold Sea Meal in both Sam & Bella’s food. Originally, I started with it in an effort to improve Bella’s coat, but she is now a little “fluffy” and I need to reduce her portion size. So, I’m wondering if using the Sea Meal a little more consistently well help.

  • As I said last year, Lexee might just have more muscle mass since she gets exercised. If she looks good – abdominal tuck, tapered waist, ribs easily felt – then she doesn’t need to lose weight. Just feed her to keep her in good body condition. You should post some photos of her – top view and side view while standing up. And if she has fluffy hair, wet it down for the photo so we can see her true silhouette.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Reducing body fat and increasing muscle boast metabolism. Adding a seaweed supplement may help, if she will eat it. She is small enough that if you could get her to play in a kiddie pool, it would be great exercise. I can put a toy on a stick and get one of mine to chase around me to try and get it.

  • InkedMarie

    Dogs are like people. We all can’t eat the same amount of calories in the same form and weigh the same. You need to adjust for your dog.

  • Dr J.

    try swimming…..or teach her to cycle

  • sharron

    is there anything that can kick start her metabolism besides intensifying her walks?

  • Pattyvaughn

    If your vet still insists she needs to lose weight, then listen to your vet about that much at least, but you don’t have to change foods. Just feed a few pieces less each meal and speed up her walks. That should help keep her happy and healthy.

  • sharron

    thanks again patty for your help
    i felt lexee’s ribs – they’re not hard to find – i don’t have press hard to feel them – i went back to royal canin yorksire terrier – she really does like this food – i don’t have to add water or warm it up or add can to it like i have to with other dry foods to get her to eat it – i know it’s not the best but to feed her just can food is something that works out to be too expensive since my husband and i are both retired.

  • Pattyvaughn

    PS You may need to walk faster. She may need the intensity of her workout increased.

  • Pattyvaughn

    She may have a slow metabolism. My 14 lbs Jack Russell Terrier only gets 1/2 cup a day, and for an 11 yr old, she is very active.
    You don’t judge whether or not they are over weight by how much they eat, you judge by how much cover they have over their bones.
    This is an excellent description of how to judge their weight that Purina(I think) put out. Close your fist and feel your knuckles with the fingertips of your other hand, that is how ribs feel on a dog that is underweight. Now, open your hand and feel your knuckles on the palm side of your hand, that is how ribs feel when a dog is overweight. Now, feel your knuckles on the back of your open hand, that is how ribs should feel when a dog is in correct weight.

  • sharron

    Hi – i’m starting to wonder if lexee is overweight. How can a dog get chubby eating 3/8 cup/day which = to about 170 calories and gets 4 – 20 min each walks/day
    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Thanks again to all who have helped me in the past

  • It is recommended because for a “diet” food it is high in protein and still low in fat with fewer calories than the usual diet foods. If you look at other “diet” foods or “weight management” foods you will find alot of them have low meat and more filler and carbs than Core Reduced Fat. And since it is a kibble it does have to have a certain amount of carbs to keep it’s shape. You can find lower carb foods in canned goods and raw foods.

  • InkedMarie

    good idea Patty!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Without personal experience with your dog, I can’t say how much will make her gain or lose, but raw is good. I can’t tell you how many dogs I have seen lose weight when they went to a higher meat protein diet. Conversely, my very thin dogs put on a lot of muscle when I started feeding some raw and a high protein kibble. I feed half kibble and half raw and have been able to maintain all 3 dogs weight very well, including my JRT who I used to say gained weight when I carried food past her.
    Have you determined how many calories you should feed Lexee to lose weight?

  • Guest

    Hello sharron. Beg my pardon, but if I may also answer your question re raw, all you need do, is return to basics and ask your self what do wolves eat in the wild, and is Nature then in error? So raw by way of raw meaty bones, offal, whole fish, etc, is really the definitive and conclusive way to go re feeding your dog to live on a diet as close as Nature had intended. And yes if feeding your dog such a raw diet in proportion to its weight. (Don’t know about the medallions you mention, but sounds manufactured), then yes it can lose weight and regain a naturally appropriate weight. Kangaroo and turkey meat a must in the rotational raw diet to assist in weight reduction accompanying an active daily routine such as walking and playing fetch etc.

  • sharron

    Good Morning Patty – what about raw?
    I have a bag of nature’s variety chicken medallions – if i feed lexee 3/day will she lose the extra weight or gain more?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Soak the dry food until it will mush with a fork then stir in a little canned for flavor. I had a coffee grinder that I used to use on dog food when the need arised.

  • sharron

    Hi – because she won’t eat dry dog food – she doesn’t even eat it with canned mixed in – she picks out the dry and eats the wet – she did this morning

  • InkedMarie

    Why do you have to add canned? I could be wrong but I always thought that canned was higher in calories and fat but am not sure. If you have to, I’d use the Wellness Core canned. It’s a supplemental one, I believe, nice & smooshy, makes it easier to mix in.

  • sharron

    Hi – well i switched Lexee over to the wellness core RF from acana light and fit – she likes it as long as i mix wet food with it – she has to lose 1 lb – 1 1/2 lbs – now my question is – what is an appropriate wet food to mix with it – should i be concerned about the amt of fat in the wet food and should it be grain free?
    ps: for those who don’t know – Lexee is a 4 yr old
    yorkie/chihuahua X

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Chrissy –

    Weightloss is dependent on the amount of calories your dog is consuming and the amount of calories your dog is expending. As long as your dog is burning more calories than it’s consuming it will lose weight regardless of the protein, fat or carbohydrate levels in the food. My recommendation would be to just find a high quality 4 or 5 star food and feed a small enough portion size that will result in weightloss. Dehydrated foods (when rehydrated), raw foods and canned foods contain a very high moisture content and are therefore, generally, less calorically dense than dry foods – for this reason I think it’s best to feed one of these options over a dry food so the dog can eat a larger volume of food for the same amount of calories in comparison to a dry food, it can help the dog feed less deprived.

  • Chrissy

    I have been reading up on the articles about how to get your dog to lose weight. In the comments I have seen this food mentioned a few times and after looking at the info for this food I dont know why it was recommended because the carbs are higher then the protein. Isn’t it suppose to be high protein low carbs? am I correct or am I just not getting this? Thanks

  • Lauren

    Hi Sandy –

    Thanks so much for replying. I’ve done a lot of research and will look at the link you’ve sent me as well. I’ve found it difficult to find a food with low fat and low protein that is grain free. I was hoping I could mix the Core Reduced Fat with the BB Grain Free Basics – that would give a nice protein percentage and lower fat percentage – perfect numbers for my little one. But I don’t want to upset his tummy by mixing 2 different foods.

  • I mix a variety of foods. But if you want something with medium protein and lower fat without mixing there’s Great Life. When I fed this I bought it from PetFlow. Look at the Great Life Rx/Dr. E’s and the Pioneer Naturals on their website. doctorsfinest(dot)com. Have you looked at the low fat foods list here on DFA?


  • Lauren

    Hi Everyone –
    I posted on the Blue Buffalo board as well, hoping to gather as much info as possible. Long story short, I’d like my little guy to be on a food with a little less protein. He needs a lower fat food because of his previous stomach issues/pancreatitis. He’s done very well on the Core Reduced fat, but I’d like a little less protein because of a possibility of recurring bladder stones.
    What do you think about mixing 2 different foods together? I was just
    thinking, since I would like something with a little bit less protein
    but maybe not as low at the BB Grain Free Basics… Could I mix the
    Wellness Core Reduced Fat (33% protein) with the BB Grain Free (22%
    protein)? That would give a nice percentage of protein, not too high,
    with still a lower fat percentage, which he needs for his stomach.
    Thoughts? Thanks so much.

  • Lynn

    huge fiber number!!

  • Melissaandcrew


    I have used the En canned foods during initial after care of a bout of pancreatitis, and for up to 10 days after while taking the meds. My chronic gal ate foods such as Wilderness low fat. You won’t know what will work for yours, until you try, but I always recc the lowest fat possible, even if the food is not what you ultimately want to feed-and then increasing the fat until you figure out what food will work that is your end goal.

  • loriandmojo

    my italian greyhound had what we thought was pancreatitis, but came up on the test neg 2X..it can be poss. and come up neg. I read. He was on Wellness for years(in the beginning we gave him some people food we should’nt have)..the super 5 mix complete health..but the vet had me switch to purina EN gastro. ..I see it is mostly corn products, I’m wondering if the wellness reduced fat would be ok or not..it just has better ingredients..I’ve always had him on better grade food, and after reading what’s in the purina I am grossed out.

  • Jens

    It is just like in humans, you loose weight if your eat less calories that you need or burn more than you take in. In older dogs you simply reduce the food intake, since they are a lot less active. In terms of weight loss it does not matter if you eat your calories in pure fat, carbs or proteins. However, in terms of health it does matter that you have a balanced diet.

  • Sandy

    Beagle mom,

    All my pugs, personal and fosters, over the past 4 years all lost weight eating low carbs, above average protein, and mod fat, including seniors. Over the years I’ve used Core, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Nutrisca, Brothers, and even canned foods like Wellness stews, Addiction, and Merrick. My latest 8 yr old pug has gone from 35.5 to 28 lbs in 2 months just eating mostly canned food with some raw foods. Now he can go get his dental done and finally get listed for adoption.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    BeagleMom –

    Most “senior” or “low fat” foods are too high in carbs and too low in protein – the meat is replaced with grains and starches to reduce the fat content. There’s no reason an overweight dog needs to be on a low fat food. Pick out a high quality food and just feed your dog less. Weight loss is based on calories in/calories out not how much fat is in a food.

  • BeagleMom

    I should add the tubby beagles are 8 and 11.  The Super 5 mix for Seniors has a bad rating as well.  I am perplexed!

  • BeagleMom

    I am currently feeding my tubby beagles Wellness Super 5 Mix Healthy Weight blend. I just noticed it’s not so good 2.5 star rating.  I’m wondering if I should switch to the CORE Reduced Fat blend.  They are tubby.  Of course my vet swears by Science Diet. I switched to Wellness when my boy beagle had horrible black nastiness in his ear.  He has not had it since going on Wellness.  Still tubby though.  I am not happy paying $30+ for food that is 2.5 stars though.

  • Tnert79

    My Yorkshier Terrier also has pancreatitis and has been eating Wellness Core Reduced Fat food for the last year with no more flare ups.

  • Drtkkt

    We have a mixed breed and we have been feeding her a prescription canned dog food Hills i/d canine. She has pancreatitis and had lost a lot of weight and mussel. Lately she gets 2/3 can of food with 1/3 ground turkey. Best of luck Dan

  • Junehogan1

    What can I safely feed my geriatric pug who is vomiting her RX ID. which is supposed ti be good for allergic dogs?

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hollehel –

    After a bout of pancreatitis, I would keep the dog on the low fat rx diet for a short period of time. I have several dogs prone to this condition, and honestly, have not had any major flareups in several years when I kept them on a lower fat diet. Only when I got a little crazy did I have a problem, lol.

    Personally, for my crew, I find that most foods under 15% work well for them. If she is underweight, I would search for low fat, but with the most kcals per cup I could find : )

  • I was happy to find a 5 star weight control kibble at my local grain store. My Pomeranian had a little trouble with the size of the Wellness Core, I added a little warm water. Is this the proper food for him, he’s almost 9 and overweight? I’ve only had him a few months.

  • Hollehel

     Thanks, I think so too. The Royal Canin only has 20.5 % protein.

  • BryanV21

    I think a higher protein food would be better, especially for an active dog. Although I don’t know your pup’s medical history, so perhaps there’s another reason why your vet wants you to stay on this. I’d definitely look for an alternative though, that’s for sure.

  • Hollehel

    Thank you for your help! I just don’t feel she is getting all she needs from the Royal Canin because she is so active; however the vet says she should stay on it long term. Mom knows best right!! lol

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Wellness Core Reduced fat would be a good choice. Here’s a list of 4 and 5 star low fat dog foods: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/suggested-low-fat-dog-food/ – off this list THK’s Zeal would probably be my top pick. The Addiction canned and Weruva canned have some great low fat formulas that would make good toppers too.

  • Hollehel

    I am looking for a safe, good food for my 4 yr old GSD that has pancreatitis. Right now she is on Royal Canin GastroIntestinal Low fat but it only has a 3 rating. She is really skinny as she is very active so I certainly don’t need weight control. Any suggestions?? I was wondering if the Wellness Core  Reduced Fat would be a better fit.

  • Andrea,
         Some dogs are a little gassy naturally. I have a mutt I adopted years ago and no matter what food she is on in her rotation she can still clear a room from time to time.

  • Andrea

    I have a male and female both 3YO and they are currently on Wellness Super mix. I am thinking of changing to WRF due to the comments the female is a little overweight, but the male seems to have a lot of gas issues where he hunches down.  The vet stated it was probably his food but I dont like the food they sale which has a lot of chicken by product any suggestions?

  • InkedMarie

    If your dogs don’t need to lose weight, look at the other two Core products: their adult and their fish

  • Core Ocean has high fiber and is not low fat.  Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Dogswell Nutrisca also have high fiber.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Neil Hartupee: I’m not sure if your vet gave you a specific fiber % to look for, but the Wellness Core Reduced Fat formula a lot more fiber than the other Wellness formulas. I think it would be a great option for weight loss as well because it’s low in carbohydrates and high protein.

    Edit: To boost fiber you could also consider adding a spoonful or two of plain canned pumpkin to the food.

  • Neil Hartupee

    Hi,  My Vet told me my dogs need a high fiber food.  Core was my choice, however my dogs do not need to loss weight!  Your opinion please.  Neil

  • deeka

    Our ACD/BC mix rescue was very malnourished when we got her as a pup. She refused to eat much of anything until she was around 7 moths old when we discovered wellness puppy. At age 1, we switched her Wellness CORE and she loved it. It’s great for her since she runs agility, swims and takes long daily walks. We rescued a very small 8# min pin mix a year ago and he switched himself to CORE the second day we had him (he picked out the pedigree and left it laying beside the bowl!). He now eats Wellness CORE reduced fat and his weight is perfect. We will try the new CORE small breed when it is available. This libble has dome wonders for both dogs!

  • Carolyn

    Thank you Krissy for checking on this with Wellness.  I will check again with other distributors in our area & if not to be found will try the Blue Buffalo as you have recommended.

  • This is the email response that I just got from Wellness.  So it looks like it’s an issue with their distributor rather than they are actually discontinuing the formula.   Maybe you can order online instead if you can’t get it locally.   Either that or switch to something else that is similar in fat, protein and calories that you can find locally.

    Thank you for taking the time to write about Wellness® CORE Reduced Fat Dry Dog Formula.

    The product is still available and does not have any production issues.  There may be difficulty with the local distributor causing some of the problems but I can not specify the originator of the issue in your area.

    Thanks again for contacting us. 
    Michelle Sullivan
    Consumer Affairs

  •  If it is being discontinued then maybe Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight would be a good alternative.  http://www.bluebuffalo.com/dog-food/wilderness-healthy-weight-chicken

    They are similar in their crude fat percent, but the core has a little more protein, while the blue buffalo has a little more calories per cup.

  •  I just used the “contact us” link on the Wellness website to ask them if this line is being discontinued.  I’ll post their reply when I hear back from them.

  • Carolyn

    I tried two stores, one in Orillia & one in Bracebridge & both said they could not get it anymore.  I truly hope this is not the case.

  •   I hope not!  We just switched to using wellness core reduced fat for our overweight golden retriever!  

  • Carolyn

    Hi, I live in Ontario, Canada & have been told by Petvalu that Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat Formula is no longer available.   Has anyone else heard this?  My 5 yr. old yorkiepoo “Sassy” was doing really well on it & it is very difficult to keep her weight down.  She seems to be allergic to the grains so try to keep her away from them & this food was ideal & fed with the confidence of good quality food. 

  • Shawna

    Hi Kitty ~~ I TOTALLY agree with the others.  No fat (or even diets too low in fat) are going to cause as many issues as the diet may resolve (vitamin A, E and D deficiencies as an example).  These “fat soluble” vitamins REQUIRE fat for transport and utilization..

    Also a diet of turkey only is going to cause even more dietary deficiencies putting a major strain on his little body..

    I would agree with the others — Melissa has a great recommendation of Grandma Lucy’s.  Honest Kitchen also makes Zeal which is 9% fat a white fish based protein.  Preference is 6% and when added to a low fat meat makes a complete diet. 

    Adding a small amount of coconut oil to an already low fat diet can help too.  Coconut oil is mainly digested by enzymes in the stomach (about 75%) sparing the pancreas from having to secrete all the lipase necessary to digest it.

  • melissa


    Do you mean your dog has pancreatitis issues? Why is he on a “no fat” diet?  I would look for foods that are low in fat. If you do not want a kibble, perhaps Grandma Lucy’s chicken pureformance dehydrated will work.

  • No fat diets aren’t healthy.  He will not get the fat-soluble vitamins he needs.  You can ask your vet or maybe someone will chime in for some supplements to help with digestion. I’m not sure if a regular digestive enzyme supplement you can get OTC will be enough but it might help. Core Reduced Fat kibble is a little large for a mini dog.


  • Eve’sHumanMom

    What about chicken breast?  White fish meat?  Ostrich and kangaroo, while probably a little harder to find are also low in fat.

  • InkedMarie

    Everyone, including dogs, need some fat. Wellness Core reduced fat is a very good food, it is lower in fat and would be a great food for your dog to eat

  • Kittytcoconut80

    I have a 2 year old mini dachshund that is on a no fat diet because he does not process fat well. I have been giving him boiled turkey breast but recently he has been refusing to eat it. Would this food be ok to give him since I  can not get him to eat his turkey

  • ~ Dana

    Hi Kris,  I just switched my friend’s chihuahua’s over to Wellness RF.  They were getting Science diet, and since I’ve done lots of research for a little rescue Yorkie in my life who has had lots of gastro-intestinal issues, besides seizures – quality food is everything!  (Hoping my friend won’t be mad at me, but their bag of SD was now empty and I couldn’t bring myself to open up the new one they left.) One of her little chi’s is over 8 pounds – she’s a chubby sexy girl, and the other is at ideal weight.  But the chubby chi has terrible respiratory issues and the drugs on hand (just in case are pretty scary powerful – can also be prescribed for humans – drugs! 

    The kibble size was a bit of a concern for me, too, because, it is not tiny “small bites’ which i do prefer for the smaller breeds – but the RF kibble is not overly large.  What I do is mix some warm water with it and stir it around making it a broth – which also softens the kibble very quickly/easily.  It takes the chubby chi a bit more time to eat as she is now not ‘wolfing’ down the food like a vacuum – and a bit of crunch is good for the teeth.  For the other chi, I add a little extra water so it’s a bit softer for her – they both love it!  It only took me 2 days (4 feedings) to transition them.  With the little chi I gave her a choice of the SD to the WRF and she snubbed her nose up at the SD which was a relief, because I want her to also be happy.  I’ve been taking them both out for about 1-2 hours in the morning to the park where we run/walk and explore and then for about an hour in the evening (same place). 

    The chubby chi & the little one too, are seeming to be both happy and having good energy & thank goodness I’ve not yet had to administer any strong meds for the chubby one’s breathing.  She seems to be working everything out and I’m noticing she’s regulating herself quicker these days (probably due to our workouts).  Her parents return next week from holiday.  The SD is so misleading and if people aren’t educated about ingredients – it’s an easy mistake thinking you are getting something ‘healthy’ for the dog when it is not.

  • What’s the kibble size of the Wellness Core reduced fat kibble? 

  • Lolita’s Mom

    I’ve been feeding Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dry to my little Chiweenie for 2 years along with Merrick 5-Star Canned Food as a topper…she is VERY healthy and everyone (including the vet) compliments her on her soft and shiny coat and bright eyes….she has no digestive or urinary problems whatsoever and her breath is so sweet, never stinky …I think this is the BEST food combination one can give their dogs. 

  • Maccabeus

    I put my two year old English Springer Spaniel girl on this food and she lost the weight the vet said that she needed to lose.  I have tried other dry foods, but they all put weight on her if the fat content is anywhere near or above 15%.

  • Ask your vet about adding Vit C daily to acidify his urine.  That’s what my vet did for my last adopted pug. She was 9 yrs old at that time. Now she’s 10 and still no problems. She’s actually been able to lose weight on non-low fat foods too. I just keep it low carb, not necessarily low fat.

  • 360 per cup

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Not all manufacturers list the caloric content of their food. But it’s easy to find out by googling the name of the food with “kcal/cup”.

  • Janet Wexler

    The calorie content is not mentioned in this report. Can someone provide that info? Thanks

  • Mataviam

    That sounds terrible. I’m not an expert. But I think the ash content from the fish can cause issues too. You should try maybe contacting the company. Hope this helps. 

  • Emily

    I have been feeding my dogs wellness core reduced fat for about 9months now. My one dog, who has always had a weight problem, is a schipperke-poodle mix and was 21 pounds when I started him on it. He lost 5 pounds in three months and now he has reached an all-time low weight of 14.5 lbs. But now we are having problems with him urinating all over the house. I work at an animal hospital and had a urinalysis done- turns out he has struvite crystals and a ph of 8. I was just curious in finding out what the acidity of wellness core reduced fat is? I have implemented cranberry supplements into his diet, and would really like to avoid switching his food…

  • Marie22ecw

    We adopted a typical height sheltie who should have weighed in the 24lb mark but was 43.7 lbs. She also had arthritis and hip dysplasia. I wanted her on a grainfree food but needed one with lower fat to help with the weightloss. Core’s reduced fat did the trick!

  • Lauren

    Hi Julz –
    I love this food for my dog.  It has made such a difference in the health of my little guy.  I will let you know that this food has some powder in the bag, too.  It bugs me as well, but I just use a strainer to get rid of it.  He doesn’t like to eat the powder.  Good luck with the switch – I think you’ll be happy with it.

  • JulzPalmer

    hi there, i have fed my 14 yr old dachshund – 15lb precious girl the Wellness Just For Seniors but I see only three stars! so i am thinking the Core reduced fat might be the way to go and slowly change her to that.  I splash her food with hot water and add no sodium green been pieces..she loves it and eats all of it.  1/3 C morning and nite is it; no human food other than green beans. Also the JFS food has a ton of food powder in the bag; that bugs me so I hope the Reduced Fat is better …great to find this site.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Hi…I used to feed Core Reduced Fat.  The pieces are not too small at all.  It’s an adult food, so it your Bulldog is an adult, he might do fine with the size of this kibble.  It should also help keep him in a good weight, as it’s higher protein and lower fat and pretty low in carbs.  It does contain potato but that never bothered my dogs.

  • Edixon008

    This food sounds like a good choice for my dog however, how is this for a large breed, specifically an Englisht Bulldog?  I tried another brand where the store said would be OK for a large breed but the pieces were so small that he digested it so fast and his stool was way too soft and there was no nutritional value.

  • lexee’smom

    Hi Sandy

    thanks for replying to my question – very helpful
    will keep lexee on the wellness core for awhile longer.

  • lexee’smom

    Hi Lauren:

    thanks for your reply – very helpful

  • Lauren

    Hi lexee’smom –
    A lower fat food is easier for a dog to digest.  I just saw my vet the other day and asked him what I should do if my dog loses too much weight on the wellness core reduced fat because I don’t want to go to a higher fat food.  He said to simply increase the amount of food if he loses too much weight, but I don’t need to change the food itself.  If he doesn’t want to eat the food anymore, I would suggest adding just a touch of the wellness core canned wet food.  Hopefully the flavor will entice him to eat the food.  Hope that helps.

  • sandy

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness has a small breed formula now as well as a Healthy Weight formula.  And Amicus has a lower fat formula and the kibble is tiny.

    Just wanted to mention also that when I put my fat fosters dogs on a diet, they get regular foods but reduced portions. Regular meaning – Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Core Ocean, foods that are grain free and high protein regardless of fat content.

  • lexee’smom

    have a 3 yr old yorkie/chihuahua who has been on wellness core r.f. for the past month. she has about 3 oz to go to be at 9 lbs. my question is: she is getting tired of the wellness core and was wondering if i should switch to a regular dry food and take her off “diet” type food. My concern is that the fat level is high in most of the grain free foods and also she is very particular about dry foods, the only ones the she prefers are orijen, acana – but i have been told that these foods should be fed to high active dogs, working dogs etc. her active level is moderate. i take her out 4 x a day and she doesn’t get treats.
    I’m concern about her gaining weight again.
    Can anyone give me any suggestions?

    lexee’s mom

  • Lauren

    Hi Cindy –
    I have a small dog as well – he’s 14.5 pounds now, but was close to 18 pounds a few months ago.  He is at a perfect weight now.  I attribute his good health to this food.  I feed him a little more than 3/8 cup of food in the morning and the evening and he gets carrots as treats a few times during the day. 

  • Abby’s mom

    Thanks Jan-Mom2Cavs, I appreciate the info. I think I’m looking for a new vet as last time we were there she advised me to put her on PEDIGREE. That’s when I started looking into dog foods and found this site, thank God. Thanks again, Abby’s mom.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Abby’s mom, I really don’t think a multi-vitamin is necessary if your dog is healthy.  It won’t hurt to feed one, though.  AND, I do recommend, if you feed one, that you use a product that uses whole foods to acquire the vitamins and not one with synthetic vitamins.  A good site to go to that might help is http://www.dogaware.com.  They will give some product examples under the diet heading, I believe.  I have 3 senior dogs and 1 adult and I do not use a multi-vitamin atm.  I am using enzymes and probiotics to help them digest all the foods they eat so that they can use all the nutrients in the food better.  I have used whole food supplements in the past, though.  Also, I have used an herbal supplement to boost my oldest Cavalier’s immune system.  One of my favorite whole food, green blend, supplements is Solid Gold Seameal.  It has vits/mins and enzymes in it.  It uses kelp, which contains lots of vits/mins, and prozyme for the enzymes.  I also like Wholistic Pet Canine Complete.  There are other goods ones out there, as well.  But remember, if your dog is healthy, with healthy blood test results, and you are feeding quality foods (which it seems you are) in the appropriate amounts then your dog should be okay without a multi-vitamin supplement.  Also, remember to run it by your vet.

  • Abby’s mom

    I meant to say MIXED with a little Merricks and I don’t trust to ask the VET anymore. Abys senile mom.

  • Abby’s mom

    I feed my dog wellness core moved with a little merricks canned. Does anyone know if I still need to give her a supplement multi vitamin? I don’t trust to ask the ver anymore. THANK GOD FOR THIS SITE AND ALL OF YOU WHO GIVE US SUCH GOOD INFORMATION, thanks, Abby’s mom.

  • Cindyaudubon

    Hi  Victoria,  How much did you feed your dog?  I have a small dog and she needs to loose a couple pounds.

  • sandy

    Angel’s Mommy,

    This company has sample sizes that you can get (either from the retailer or by emailing the company). The Core Reduced Fat is larger than the Core Ocean. I think it would be too big for a pom/chi. I’ve used both of them before for pugs. If you’re looking for tiny kibble and reduced fat, look into Amicus or Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight or Wilderness Small Breed.



  • Gordon

    Angel’s mommy – I personally don’t know what the size off this kibble is, but I believe that they do make them smaller now so as to accommodate a wider range of dog breeds, big and small.

    You can always squeeze a kibble to the corner of an unopened bag, to get a feeling of its size, if your local pet store carries this brand.

  • Angel’s mommy

    Can someone tell me if this kibble can be fed to small breeds? I’m looking into rotating my pomchi’s food but she won’t eat something if it’s too big. Thanks.

  • ron

    Hi Denise, wellness core orginal is a great product,i have a lab, who has had ear infections, and did change her diet to this and so far so good it’s been over a year!!and she has never looked so good she was prone to skin problems as most labs are..Ron

  • sandy

    Hi Denise,

    Have you looked at this list? http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-grain-free-dog-foods/best-grain-free-dog-foods-dry/comment-page-5/#comment-39757

    I would definitely put them all on a grain free diet. Just my opinion!

  • Hi Denise… Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, I cannot provide customized product recommendations for each reader. For more help, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Denise

    I am just learning about the pros and cons of different kibbles and didn’t realize the effects and results some kibble can have. I have 4 dogs – 5 years to 11 years; small and big; and I have always mixed 3 Eukenuba foods together; weight; small breed and maintenance. I now find that this food is only receiving a 2 star rating. Two of my dogs seem to have developed respiratory issues as well (almost like an asthma attack) and have been treating for a few months with our vet. I am wondering if this could be the result of a food allergy. I started feeding the Lamb and Rice formulas a while back. I am educating myself to make an informed decison about what foods to try in the hopes I can find one kibble that will fit all their needs. My main specific question is that I have 2 Springer spaniels who have continual ear infections. I have heard that certain foods can really help overcome these issues and I am wondering if there is a recommendation that can be made on this issue? I seem to recall that I may have read that a food with high yeast content ironically helps. I am also looking at Lifes Abundance and several other kibbles. I prefer to only feed dry kibble. Thank you for any suggestions. I will need to be ordering food in about 7 to 10 days.

  • Gordon

    Lauren – I’m not surprised to your story, after changing from some food like Nestle’s Purina Pro Plan (confectionery junk food).

  • Lauren

    Thank you, Sandy. Learn something new everyday. Appreciate the clarification.

  • sandy


    The 37% is on a dry matter basis, the moisture has been taken out. It is 33% on the bag with moisture of 10%.

  • Lauren

    Just noticed something. The protein reading on this review is 37%. On the bag of food I have, and on the Wellness site, it lists protein as 33%. Has something changed? Thanks.

  • Lauren

    I didn’t realize there was a review specifically for Wellness Core Reduced Fat. Glad to see it. I posted the following on the other Wellness Core review – posting it here in case anyone is interested:
    My dog is only 3 now, and since he was a puppy, he was always too calm for my liking. Not that I don’t like a calm dog, but didn’t seem normal for a young, small dog – he wanted to just lie around and sleep a lot. A few months ago, he began vomiting. Was hospitalized, he couldn’t keep food in, was very sick. They did exploratory surgery and there was no blockage, but they said his insides were very angry. Through much research, especially on this site, I decided to change his food from Pro Plan to Wellness Core Reduced Fat. He is a different dog completely and I have to thank you for your help. He is thriving like never before. He is energetic and active and hasn’t been sick to his stomach since I switched his food. Be well.

  • Victoria

    Pretty good food, helped my dog shed excess weight without putting him on carb heavy weight loss formula, although I wouldnt feed this long term due to low fat content.