Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Core Puppy with Wholesome Grains [G]
- Core Ocean with Wholesome Grains [M]
- Core Original with Wholesome Grains [M]
- Core Small Breed with Wholesome Grains [M]
Wellness Core Small Breed with Wholesome Grains was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wellness Core Small Breed with Wholesome Grains
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal (source of glucosamine), chicken meal (source of chondroitin sulfate), barley, oatmeal, ground flaxseed, quinoa, tomato pomace, chicken fat, natural turkey flavor, salmon oil, chicory root extract, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, taurine, spinach, broccoli, carrots, parsley, apples, blueberries, kale, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, 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) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||17%||35%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||35%||31%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The next ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth inclusion is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The sixth ingredient is ground flaxseed, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.
Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial item, 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 fat. This item is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Wellness product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find salmon oil. This ingredient 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.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
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 with Wholesome Grains Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains looks like an above-average dry dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Which means this Wellness product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and quinoa, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a generous amount of meat.
Wellness Core with Wholesome Grains is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a liberal amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Wellness Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Wellness. If there are no recalls listed here, we’ve not yet reported any events.
- Wellness Dog Food Recall of March 2017 (3/18/2017)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall October 2012 (10/30/2012)
- Wellness Dog Food Recall May 2012 (5/5/2012)
A Final Word
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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.
Notes and Updates
06/17/2020 Last Update