Wellness Dog Food Review
Wellness Core Six Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Wellness Core Six product line includes the 4 limited-ingredient dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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Recipe and Label Analysis
Wellness Core Six Free Range Lamb and Chickpeas was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Wellness Core Six Free Range Lamb and Chickpeas
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, peas, chickpeas, pea protein, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, ground flaxseed, natural lamb flavor, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, calcium carbonate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, ascorbic acid [vitamin C]), taurine, choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, 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) = 7.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||17%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||35%||34%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The third ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 3 notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Next, taurine is an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Core Six Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.
Which means this Wellness product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, chickpeas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
Is Core Six a Good Dog Food?
Wellness Core Six is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.
Readers interested in Wellness dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…
Has Wellness Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Wellness.
- Wellness Dog Food Recall of March 2017 (3/18/2017)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall October 2012 (10/30/2012)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall May 2012 (5/5/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Wellness Reviews
The following Wellness dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core 95 Percent Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Bowl Boosters Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Chunky Centers Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Core Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Core RawRev Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Casserole Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Grain Free Shredded Medley Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Petite Entrees Mini Filets Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Wellness Simple Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Wellness Stews Dog Food Review (Canned)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
09/29/2020 Last Update