Wellness Ninety-Five Percent (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★☆

The Wellness Ninety-Five Percent line of canned dog food gets the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Wellness Ninety-Five Percent product line lists five canned dog foods.

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

  • Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Beef [S]
  • Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Turkey [S]
  • Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Salmon [S]
  • Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken [S]
  • Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Lamb (1.5 stars) [S]

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Formula

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Chicken, water sufficient for processing, natural flavors, cassia gum, carrageenan

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%27%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%51%22%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 22%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

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

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

After the natural flavor, we find cassia gum. Cassia gum is a plant extract used here as a gelling agent providing no nutritional value to this food.

The fifth ingredient is carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

We find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list.

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Ninety-Five Percent looks like an above-average canned dog food.

But being 100% meat, the product was never intended to be fed as a complete and balanced canine diet.

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent is strictly a supplement.

Because they probably lack some essential nutrients, supplements must not be fed continuously as the sole item in a dog’s diet.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 27% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and an average fat level of 32%. Together, these figures suggest an overall carbohydrate content of 26% for the full product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 92%.

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

With not enough carbohydrate ingredients present to account for the carb reading on the dashboard, one must assume the protein or fat content has been significantly understated on the label.

With no sign of any plant-based protein concentrates, this is the profile of a canned dog food containing an abundance of meat.

However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent is a grain-free meat-based canned dog food using an abundance of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars stars.

Highly recommended for supplemental feeding only.

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

10/09/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Carol

    My guys both have fairly sensitive digestive systems, and never had an issue with any of the Wellness 95% flavours. Just my 2 cents worth, but is it possible the kibble is the problem? Perhaps it contains soy? Or might they do better with a grain-free formula?

    The first dog my husband and I had suffered from terrible flatulence, and the cause turned out to be soy in the kibble.

  • Carol

    So sorry about your Pug and hope he’s doing better now. The company does say on the label that this is meant to be a supplemental food or topper. For my 22 lb guys I added 1-2 tbsp to their Acana Light and Fit morning and night. Unfortunately, due to health issues, the 14 year old Shih Tzu mix has now been taken off kibble entirely and put on prescription Royal Canin Weight Control. I’m concerned that I made a horrible mistake and that he was getting too much protein from the combo of Acana and Wellness 95%. Now walking a fine line trying to prevent congestive heart failure and kidney issues.

  • BGRoss

    I mean is says right on the front label “used as a mixer or topper”… I use this (and Core) to top off my 2yo – 75lb CBR’s Acana Regionals; its good stuff. Have used Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Weruva, Fromm and Eagle Pack as wet toppers and each is very good quality and a sold choice for your pet. As a guide: follow the recommended serving amount of the desired kibble and then mix in maybe 1/2 can a day. Thats the way I do it and the results are excellent. Feed my guy the chicken, turkey and salmon recipes. Works for us. I have a 13yo pug on the same routine and he thrives as well. Highly recommend giving any of the brands I mentioned a good look.

  • Alicia Li Lutz

    I wish it were clearer on the can that this was a supplement. Because my maltese has a hard time swallowing and needs his food soupy, the texture of this food was perfect. Little did I know it wasn’t actual food. This brand is all he’s eaten since May. He gained 28% of his bodyweight (from 7 to 9 lbs.), has developed arthritis from the weight,and his bloodwork came back today as having an extraordinarily high level of fats!! I am NOT a careless pet owner. In fact, I pay more attention to my dog than anything else in my life. (I haven’t been able to afford a haircut in over a year, but he goes to the groomer every six weeks.) Anyway, just saying, it should be a little clearer.

  • EC

    I’ve had my Westie on this for a couple of months now, two forks full mixed with Wellness Core Grain free dry food twice a day (alternating beef and chicken) He has recent had an upset stomach and has gone off the dry and wet food. I note the review and can refer to it as a supplement food – am I using it the right way by using it just to wet the dry food?

  • sharron

    i bought a can of this food tonight (first time), the turkey, now i am wondering if i should use it – i mix a tsp of wet with the orijen freeze dried, my concern is that this food is 95% meat and i am wondering if i am going to overload her with meat since the orijen is 90% meat protein – would a tsp of it be suitable and would it cause weight gain – i feed her 1 pattie of the freeze dried 2 x a day

  • Crazy4cats

    Chewy is amazing to deal with! I guess the dogs have spoken! LOL!

  • Barbara

    I read good reviews about this food. I have 4 recues, 14lb poodle/bichon, 40lb poodle/border collie, 60lb standard poodle and 120lb dane/mastiff. Regretfully NOT one of them liked this food, I tried beef, chicken and turkey. I used as a mix, only 1/2 can with 8lbs of dry, tried mixing some water in it too, nothing worked, they all would smell their bowls and then back away and look at me , as if I was being mean to them!! They all had horrible gas after eating it, I mean the gas was so bad it made your eyes water!!!!! I had to add shredded cheese just so they would eat. I finally called Chewy.com, I use them because they deliver right to my door, free shipping and the BEST customer service I have ever dealt with , anyway I called them this morning and explained what was going on and asked if I could return it. I spoke with Leonor, and she said they do returns on a case by case bases and this was my first request to return so she said my $99.72 for 3 cases would be put back in my account and for me to donate the rest of the cans I have left to a rescue or someone in need!!!!!! I cried and thanked her and am crying now, what a wonderful thing to do. I had been using the wellness stew, which they like , but I didn’t like because it was so “slippery” feeling, well I re-ordered it and will stay with it because the dogs like it, slippery or not 🙂

  • Crysta Perak

    Wild Calling and Wellness 95% are rotation diets. Go around and use the other flavours so the pup can get what he’s missing. Add some sweat potato for added carbs (depending on the dog)

  • Stacy H.

    I gave some of this to my dog once when he wasn’t eating good and also had to take some powdered medicine. Boy oh boy, did he love it!!!

    (Nowadays though, I use Pure Balance 95% at Wal-Mart as a cheaper option.)

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Sohel-
    It depends on how many calories per cup the dry food you are feeding has and how many calories are in half a can. For instance, I just take an average with my dogs. I calculate that most of the dry food that I feed is around 400 calories per cup and coincidentally most of the canned I feed is around 400 calories in a can. So if I were to give them 1/2 of a can with their kibble I’d feed 1/2 cup less of kibble. Now, I’m probably over estimating the amount of calories in the canned, but my dogs could stand to lose a little.

  • sohel

    How many cups of dry food do you take off for each half can? I haven’t bought the product yet but am interested in trying it out on top of the dry food I currently give them (Orijen).

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    My girls love it too. I feed mostly the Wellness stews.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Tonight I mixed a small spoonful of this into Lily’s dry food. She LOVED it. She was standing on her hind legs and sniffing for it while I got it ready, and she promptly licked up all the canned food, then ate the dry. We will definitely be keeping this in the rotation.

  • Pingback: Best Canned Dog Food: A Few Extra Years For Your Dog | Best Dog Treats For Your Happy & Healthy Dog !!()

  • Pattyvaughn

    That sounds great!

  • Melissa Westhouse

    He gets two cups of dry to two table spoons of wet twice a day. So I think it’s less 20% I switch the lamb and Turkey after each can is emptied which takes about three days he has been doing really well with it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as it’s less than 20% of his diet, that should be fine.

  • Melissa Westhouse

    I use it on his dry food just to encourage eating along with pumpkin.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I think that it has to do with the fat level. Without a can or label in front of me, I can’t say for sure, but this food is high fat as mentioned in the review, and I’m guessing that the lamb is even higher fat, which would be really high. Just as a side note, I wanted to make sure that you noticed that this food is for supplemental feeding only. It isn’t complete and balanced, so it is great as a topper(for a dog that doesn’t have issues with the fat), or as part of a rotation, but not as a sole ration.

  • Melissa Westhouse

    Hi I just wanted to know why the lamb is only rayed two stars while the rest are four with everything being the same but of course the different protein source.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Maybe look at the fat level on Wild Calling? Fat level should be 50% of protein level. Unrelated to rating, I wouldn’t feed Wild Calling if you paid me, if it came from Evangers. They are a VERY BAD cannery.

  • Andy, Spencer and Xedd’s mom

    I think the calories are on the tin? Divide by how many ounces are in the tin, and you will know how many calories/ounce are in the food. Then, weigh on a small food scale to make sure that you’re not over-feeding. It’s amazing, how easy it is to feed more than you intend to, if you don’t weigh it.

  • Andy, Spencer and Xedd’s mom

    I don’t understand why this canned meat food is enthusiastically recommended for supplemental feeding, while Wild Calling canned meat products, which seem to have the same criticisms, are given a much lower rating. Can someone clarify? I get why Wild Calling should only be used for supplemental feeding, and not as a main food, and it shouldn’t be marketed the way it is, as a good option to feed as a sole source food, but what is the difference between using it, and Wellness, for supplemental feeding? Can anyone help?

  • tsippi

    After a really bad experience with the Ziwipeak canned lamb and tripe (my dog ended up hospitalized for five days), I set out to find another topper for my allergic-to-beef-chicken-turkey-and-rice toy dog. I picked up a can of this, and she loved it! I gave her one teaspoon per meal and avoided all the gelatin. A can lasted a full week. Very happy I found this, as she actually likes it more than the expensive and labor-intensive real lamb I sometimes give her. Incidentally, her kibble is the Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. She’s not a huge fan, but I’m happy with the quality, and it keeps her healthy. I like using toppers, since I really want her to enjoy her meals, and she really enjoyed this.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The best way I know is to make sure that every time you feed, you measure everything, don’t eyeball it. In a couple weeks if your dog has started loosing weight then you guessed right, keep it up. If he hasn’t started loosing weight, cut back some more. Re-evaluate every couple weeks. Are you able to increase his activity at all? Adding muscle to him makes him burn calories even faster, as well as all the other health benefits. Just a fast walk is enough for him to start getting the benefits. With his long back, he really needs to keep his core muscles strong to avoid injury, especially as he tends to be overweight.

    Is he a standard or miniature dachshund? If he is a miniature, that sounds like a lot of food. Has the vet given you a goal weight for him? The directions on the bag should tell you the amount to feed for the weight you want him to be, not the weight he currently is.

  • olraya

    How can i figure his calorie count with this food? I give him 1/2 cup of wellness dry low fat with 1 tablespoon of the 95% lamb in the morning. I give him the same at night. He has no snacks through out the day. He only drinks water. How can i tell how many calories he is burning?

  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as you are feeding him less calories than he burns each day, he will lose weight. You can feed any food you want to, just feed less of it.

  • olraya

    Hi My male neutered doxie is 12 lbs overweight. I have switched his diet from BARF to Wellness Core Low Fat dry dog food. I also bought the lamb 95 percent as a topper. Does anyone know if this topper would hurt or prevent him from losing weight?

  • Mike P

    Hi anne.I do use wellness 95% and have never had a problem.I have started to use mericks 96% and it sems alot fresher and no geletin juck in it.You might want to give it a try.I only use 1/3 a can for 3 days in a week.The other days I use fresh food toppers.

  • anne

    I used to buy wellness 95% and my dogs loved it.  Until unfortunately upon opening and scooping out some of the Salmon flavor i found through out the can dime to quarter size pieces of blue rubber/plastic material which looked like stretchy balloon.  I called the manufacturer and to my surprise they this seemed to not only be anything new but of no concern to them.  they claimed that “this happens sometimes and it’s part of their filtering process”  apparently this is not only in salmon but all their flavors.  I still have the product in my freezer.  I will no longer purchase their products and i think it best this community is aware of this since when i looked it up on the internet i saw pictures which  others have found that looked the same in their cat food as well.  SHAME ON THEM!  This is a top of the line product and   they should hold themselves to a higher standard.

  • Leenie715

    DO you use the whole can as a supplement? or just half

  • Concerned

    Is carageenan unhealthy for my chihuahua? He’s picky so I mix this food topper onto his kibble.

  • Yenlengchia

    Hi! Is it possible to add into my dogs’ Royal Canine Renal &/or Gastro wet and can food everyday as supplement? Maybe like 1-2 tablespoonfuls daily to enhance the taste of the food they dont really like? Thanks.  

  • Hi Layla… It all depends upon what you mean by “pretty often”. If you feed this as a substitute every day for an entire meal (for example, 50% of a dog’s daily ration), I’d be inclined to avoid feeding diets intended as “supplements” (not as substitutes).

    However, if you’re using this occasionally (once or twice a week) or as a minor topper with on complete and balanced product, then I wouldn’t be overly concerned. Hope this helps.

  • Layla

    I noticed that under the supplemental feeding description it says not to feed a food that is meant for supplemental feeding long term. Is it okay to use it pretty often so long as you are mixing it with a kibble that is complete and balanced?

  • Angel’s mommy

    This is the only topper my pomchi likes. For awhile we were having problems with her not wanting to eat. I tried several different canned brands to top her Avoderm with and she chose this one.

  • Hi Rain… Regarding your dogs are carnivores, you make a valid point. However, this product doesn’t appear to meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient profile for growth and reproduction (puppies). So, there’s a reasonable chance this food could be deficient in at least one recommended nutrient. Because of this possibility and because puppies are so vulnerable, I’d suggest sticking with a dog food meeting the standards for growing puppies. Hope this helps.

  • Rain

    Is this a good food to feed a healthy puppy for say, breakfast, and then a balanced dry food for the rest of the day? Is there a benefit to this or is it just not nutritional enough? Because I though carnivore dogs were supposed to eat as close to only meat of possible.

  • The Dog Whisperer

    Oh I know, the list goes on & on. I’d just like a nice, friendly mutt from the local shelter here. Mutts need love, too! & they tend to be a little healthier than pures, depending on where you get a pure. Mutts are the way to go when you don’t know what you really want.

  • sandy

    Don’t forget to research dog breeds, too, not just dog food. Choosing the right dog to fit into your household is important as well. Temperment, health issues, size, trainability, exercise requirements, hunting dog, guard dog, lap dog….etc.

  • sandy

    Yes that’s the one. 16 to 24 flavors, something like that. If you use a good “base” kibble, I don’t see the need for a “95% meat” topper.

  • The Dog Whisperer

    Okay, thanks! I heard about the BB stews, but I didn’t know about the Merrick. Are those the canned that have like sixteen different formulas, all inspired by human foods? I read a review like that. I think I’m close to getting my next dog, crossing my fingers & hoping & praying. My mom wants a Doxie. I just want a dog:).

  • sandy

    Merrick has several grain free can foods I use as a topper. The consistancy is great for mixing with kibble. Not pate and not soupy with big chunks. Also Wellness has some grain free stews and blue buffalo has grain free stews.

  • The Dog Whisperer

    Ok, gotcha! I’d start with a “base” kibble, maybe NV Instinct or whatever my dog likes. Then, I will rotate between different formulas of that food, then start introducing canned toppers. I’ll most likely switch between this canned food, the canned version of whatever kibble I’m using, if there is one, & Wellness CORE canned, among others, for variety & supplementation. I may also give raw meaty bones, because I believe there’s a meat market nearby. I want to give my dog a great food, but my parents won’t let me feed cooked meals & I don’t want to break the bank. When I heard about the rotation diet & its benefits, I could’ve danced up & down the street! As I do not yet have a dog, I’m doing the research part, finding out about the best dry & canned foods, but the ultimate test will come when I get my next dog. S/he will determine which foods I buy. Thank you for your reply!

  • Hi Dog Whisperer… As long as you use a food like Wellness 95% as a topper (in other words not as the ONLY product in your dog’s menu) you’ll probably be OK. But it probably would preferable to “rotate” other balanced foods with it. Just remember, foods like Wellness 95% do not contain 100% of the nutrients required by a dog for good health. So, use them only as “supplements”.

  • The Dog Whisperer

    Hello all! Sorry Mike, I know you’re probably tired of answering this question but I just have to get this cleared out: You can use this canned food (Wellness 95%) as a topper only for a “complete & balanced” dry kibble, just as long as it’s not the only topper? I would switch to a different brand of canned food to ensure my next dog’s diet is “complete & balanced”, so no worries there.

  • Diane

    My 12 year old Dobie had a intestinal infection. The vet treated the infection, but my dog had lost her appetite and has lost weight. So to appease my dog, I bought some Wellness 95% Chicken. I liked the simple ingredients – Chicken!! She loves it, gobbles it up. I mix it with her dry kibble Orijen food. Well, I also gave a couple tablespoons of it mixed with their dry to my three pugs. And they love it. As a topper, it is a quality can of meat for dogs. I recommend it highly.

    Plus, one of my pugs has previously had stuvite bladder stones. She had the surgery to remove the stones. My vet of course sold me on the Science RX diet stuff, and he told me only feed her that. That food is crap. I read on the internet that the thing to push to refrain from a reoccurance of bladder stones, is encourage lots of clean fresh water, and eat moist meals. So this food is a great topper for Penny too. So, now I feed them all Orijen dry food, and between the Dobe and the three pugs I use one can a day. They all woof the food down. Lick the bowl too.

  • Hillary

    Thank you guys =)
    Yeah, the rat gets hers in a syringe and he gets it straight out of the jar so they shouldn’t be getting each others germs 🙂

  • melissa


    I frequently use chicken baby food(only chicken &rice) to mix in with foods for picky dogs or sick dogs. Its fine to get a dog started in eating. However, as Mike said, never share foods between a sick animal and a healthy one-you just never know what you could be spreading.

  • Hi Hillary… I have no problem with your sharing small amounts of baby food with your dog. However, if your rat is sick, why risk the possibility of spreading germs and possible infection to your dog?

  • Hillary

    Thank you for your fast reply! Theres two canned food he eats and one of them is this one and the other is Natures Recipe Farmstand Selects chicken one. He goes through phases and right now he will only eat the 95% chicken one. Although, I have an odd question. My pet rat is really sick right now and we’ve been feeding her babyfood which Peanut is crazy about! He always wants to lick the spoon empty. Do you think its okay if I mix a tiny bit in with his food to get his appetite started? If its human grade food it shouldn’t be bad for him as a topper right?

  • Hi Hillary… Since the 95% Chicken is considered a supplemental food, it’s probably OK to use it to “supplement” your dog’s kibble. However, it would probably be a good idea to also occasionally rotate the topper with other complete and balanced dog foods, too.

  • Hillary

    My Chihuahua Peanut is a very picky eater, I have to mix his Wellness small breed kibble with wet canned food or he will not eat it. Ever since I started mixing it with the 95% Chicken he eats ALL his food. My question is, he gets this mixed in with every meal. Is it okay for him to eat it for all his meals as long as I always have his dry food in it too?

  • Janice D. McCollam

    @Leenah, since you fed your dog salmon before, it could be something else in the can food that she’s allergic to. I don’t know anything about the Party Animal brand, but I do know that Wellness 95% does have carageenan in it and maybe a few other things (Idk?). It could be that she is reacting to something like that in the food. Remember I am not an expert. I hope you get it figured out!

  • Leenah

    Hi Jon and Mike!

    Oh yes, I’m completely aware that Wellness 95 is considered a supplementary feeding and should be used as a mixer 🙂
    So it was homecooked meal with that. Her kibbles were finished up 3 days back, and she was on Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream. I’m aware that kibbles are very deficient in moisture, so I bought a can of Wellness 95 Salmon and Party Animal Jammin’ Salmon yesterday.

    Yesterday, I fed her homecooked meal with a few tablespoons of Wellness 95 Salmon. Today, I fed her Wellness 95 Salmon & Party Animal Jammin’ Salmon. A few hours later, that’s when the scratching starts to kick in.

    I’m doubtful of whether both of the canned food which i bought caused her to itch, caused she was fine when I fed her salmon. Hmm…

  • Hi Leenah… It is quite possible your dog could be allergic to salmon. However, Jonathan is right on to remind you Wellness is not a “complete and balanced” product. And that it should not be fed as the sole food in your dog’s diet.

    If this is the only food your pet’s been eating, you may want to consider she’s showing signs of malnutrition (although itching is more likely related to an allergy). Also, feeding the same food repeatedly is considered by many to be an important contributor to the development of food allergies and intolerances.

    In any case, if things don’t clear up rapidly with an immediate dietary change, you may wish to contact your vet. Wish I could be more help.

  • Jonathan

    Are you feeding her anything else? or is the 95% Salmon her only food? If so, that is not a complete food! There are no added vitamins or minerals and she could be suffering from malnutrition! Wellness 95% is for supplementing extra meat on kibble. If you want to do all canned food, look at Wellness Core which is complete and balanced… but if you are mixing with a kibble, what kibble is it?

  • Leenah

    Hi! Firstly I would like to say thank you to Mike, and other people who made this website so valuable 🙂
    I fed my dog Wellness 95 Salmon. Would it be uncommon for a dog to be allergic to salmon or other fishes? She has been scratching her body non-stop, and big patches of rashes are developing everywhere on her body.

    She’s a lovely mix of Thai Ridgeback and GR.
    Pls advice? Thanks 🙂

  • Hi Manny… As long as your dog is an adult, you’re probably OK to feed Wellness 95% as a topper. However, since it’s only a supplement and because Core kibble is recommended for adult maintenance, I might be a bit more inclined to choose a product rated as “complete and balanced” for every day use. Hope this helps.

  • Gordon

    Of course you can manny! Canned is generally better than kibble anyway. So to add this high quality one to the Wellness Core kibble would be a bonus for your dog!

  • manny

    Can I use this as an everyday topper with Wellness core?

  • Hi Michael… I would tend to agree with your assessment, too. The carbohydrate figures are estimated by us and are based upon the government-regulated Guaranteed Analysis published on the Wellness website. And yes, it’s certainly possible the company may have misreported these figures. If you have any questions, you may wish to contact Wellness Customer Service.

  • Michael

    Looking at the ingredients and the protein-fat-carb ratings for each, I am sure persuaded to think the P-F-C data between Wellness Core and Wellness 95% were mixed up. It was said that the carrageenan and guar gum provided the huge amounts of carbs, yet CORE, which has more sweet potato in it than does carrageenan and guar gum yet only has 1 carb vs this product’s 28 carbs. CORE also has carrots, apples, spinach, parsley, blueberries, broccoli, kale, ground flaxseed, and salmon oil. That’s a lot of carb containing foods, yet with all that, it has only 1 carb and this has 28?

  • Hi Kristi… The average fiber content of a dry dog food is about 4.5% (dry matter). The 1% figure you’re looking for is unusually restrictive. Is that what your vet really wants? Please be sure to visit my library and read both of my articles on dog food fiber (Part 1 and Part 2).

  • Kristi Davies Turngren

    Thanks Mike. So, if I understand correctly, I can use Wellness canned Simple and Wellness canned lamb/swt potato as a base. Then, perhaps every 3rd day, use Wellness Core. For treats, I’m using Wellness jerky and Wellness Simple dry food. All this is portioned out to meet caloric requirements. Romeo’s weight is good, but I can see where the calories could add up pretty quickly with the higher quality of food. It would be so much simpler if I didn’t have to keep his fiber intake restricted. Most kibble is way over 1% so I can’t use it. Wellness Simple is 3% – I can use it for treats, but not his food. Make sense?

  • Hi Kristi… Again, a cautionary warning. Pure meat (like Wellness Core and store-bought canned salmon) are considered OK for occasional or supplemental feeding only. Feeding these foods exclusively without adding other vital nutrients can have serious long term consequences for your pet.

  • Kristi Davies Turngren

    I’m certainly impressed by the wonderful wealth of information on this website – I’d love to do raw feeding – but not yet knowledgeable enough. Will be studying up. In the meantime, I’m switching my little 14 year old Mini Schnauzer from his combo Hill’s i/d + homemade rice/chicken/pumpkin mix to canned Wellness CORE, Simple, & canned salmon. He has a problem with elimination due to compressed discs in his lower spine, plus he has the usual digestive issues common to his breed, so . . . I’ve maintained a rice/chicken/lamb/veggie diet up until the vet restricted his fiber intake to no more than 1% fiber. I have lots to learn and lots to “unlearn” – afraid I thought I knew more than I really do. Your website is a wonderful resource – even when the posters get on their respective “soapboxes” – it’s all worthwhile reading. Thanks!

  • Hi Kristi… In the case of Wellness 95% canned dog food, I see no scientific or nutritional reason why you couldn’t substitute a quality canned salmon or other fresh meat as a topper. However, long term, it’s still important for your dog to receive a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Foods like this will likely be lacking in various trace minerals and vitamins. Even in the wild, dogs would eat a variety of food sources (yes, even berries and raw vegetables). Not just meat.

    My recommendation… your dog should primarily eat a well-balanced natural raw diet or a commercial diet that meets AAFCO nutritional profiles for your animal’s stage of life.

  • Kristi Davies Turngren

    I am thankful for the information I have found through your website. I am in the process of choosing a better diet for my Mini Schnauzer (he’s been on low-residue Hill’s i/d). I am now beginning to use Wellness and am putting together an order right now (I live in a very rural area & need to order many supplies online). Question: is there any digestive/nutritional reason why I should use Wellness 95% canned meat versus simply purchasing canned salmon, canned white chicken? Is it simply a cost factor (meaning price per ounce is cheaper buying Wellness salmon/fish rather than canned salmon at the grocery store)?

  • Meagan

    Alright so thanks to Mike P I have gotten quite a few coupons for different 5 star canned foods! Going to add them as toppings rotation.

  • Hi Nancy… Yes, it’s possible that some of your dog’s dental problem can be related to consuming a soft diet. But it’s unlikely to be the primary cause. Dry food only removes soft deposits (plaque). Yet not from the all-important gumline area.

    Daily brushing is (hands down) the single best way to prevent dental disease. But with most dogs, it’s nearly impossible for most owners to do. The hard deposits (calculus) must be cleaned away by your vet (about once or twice a year).

    And many of our regular contributors swear by giving a dog raw (not cooked) meaty bones. For more information, you may wish to visit my article, “Dry Dog Food and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth“.

  • Nancy

    Please, someone, give me your opinion on this. After the IAMS scare, I switched my cairn to all canned Wellness (previously the IAMS given was half dry and half canned). Within three months he had three abscessed teeth. Can the dental problem have ANYthing to do with being on all canned food? My vet says yes.

  • Hi Peggy… Topping is almost always a great idea. To me, any time a food item is closer to “real” I don’t see how it could do anything but improve the quality of a meal. In any case, since each dog responds to a particular food in its own way and because there are so many varying amounts possible with the topper, it would be impossible for me to assure you specific results.

  • Peggy

    Mike thank you for this site. So much great info!! I have an female 1yr old Amer. Blldg/Pit mix who’s 2genes from albino, pink skin/white coat & a male 3mos Mini. Schnauzer. I’ve just transitioned her from Wellness Super5 Whitefish/Sweet Potato to BB Wilderness Salmon. After 2mos of unpredictable poop, from firm to soft serve any given day, it was time for a change. Plus we’ve been battling demodex for some time and I’ve read on a few holistic sites that the mites feed on yeast, so grain free we go. I’ve also added an immune booster supplement to her diet. The puppy is on Wellness Super5 Puppy mix. I top his kibble w/their canned puppy Super5. Can I top both of them with the 95% or will that be much protein/fat for either of them? I top at every meal & plan on rotating flavors of canned.

  • Hi Mike P… As long as your dog does not have a problem with grains, I see no problem here. The whole point of topping is to make the food more palatable (tasty) to your dog. I’ll be some 3-star canned foods will taste pretty good to your dog.

  • Mike P

    Sorry , I only use !/4 can topping per serving ,so I don’t know if that would be a biggie , if I go to a lower rated canned food …

  • Mike P

    Mike , the wife is starting to get a little tee’d at what i’m spending on food . Doing the topping thing with wellness 95% at $2.50 a can . I want to go grain free . Would cheaper 3 star brand toppers with grain, really screw up the grain free kibble? What to do ???

  • Hi Mike… As long as you feed the Wellness 95% as a supplement and not the sole food in your dog’s diet, you’re probably OK.

  • Mike P

    Ok, so now I’m confused again. Can I use the 95% every day as a topper ? Or should I use regular canned instead ? I’ve been using 1/4 can ,95% mixed in with her kibble .

  • Mike P

    Hi Mike I took your advice on the topping method. I added 1/4 can of wellness 95 % beef to her Merrick BG buffalo and [email protected]… I had to pick up the bowl half way through as she was eating like a maniac… She licked the bowl for 5 minutes after she was done eating !! Thanks Mike for your wonderful site and I will always be checking in …

  • Hi Carolyn… The answer to your question can be found on our FAQ page and in our article library.

  • Carolyn Leavitt

    My 2 oldster beagles love the 95 percent meats/toppers. I am trying to change their kibble to a ethoxyquin free variety and am in luck because their are many to choose from. I don’t see ethoxyquin mentioned in the 95% canned meats. Does this mean because there a moist food they don’t have this ingredient?

  • Isabel

    Thank you for the response. I will continue to do research on these topics.

  • Hi Isabel… High protein is a concern for many and can be the subject of controversy. Protein issues tend to focus on two questions: (1) Does high protein cause kidney problems in older dogs? And (2) does high protein cause hip dysplasia in larger breed puppies?

    First, to those who worry over kidney problems in senior dogs, recent studies find high protein not to be a contributing factor. That is, unless a dog is already suffering from advanced stages of renal failure. As a matter of fact, it has now been shown that a low protein diet is actually not healthy for most older pets. For a more detailed explanation, be sure to read my article about “Low Protein Dog Foods“.

    And lastly, although there are many who still believe high protein can be a health problem for puppies, more recent studies have confirmed the rapid growth which causes skeletal disorders in large breed dogs is now more specifically linked to the practice of overfeeding. In other words, feeding too many calories (rather than too much protein) is the leading cause of hip dysplasia. You can read more (including references and footnotes) about this timely topic in my recently updated article, “Best Puppy Foods“.

    Allergies are a direct function of your pet’s unique immune system and not usually a problem with the quality of the product itself. In other words, if your dog happens to be allergic to any of the ingredients in any particular food, he will likely develop an unfavorable reaction.

    And because food is only the third leading cause of canine allergies, your dog’s allergies may not even be related to diet in the first place.

    Since certain recipes have been intentionally designed to help you control or isolate these problems, you may wish to read my recent post, “Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods“. This article contains some of my best suggestions based upon information currently available.

    Regarding carrageenan…

    Carrageenan has been safely used as a food additive for hundreds of years. And so far, I’ve never found any scientific studies linking this common food thickening agent to serious health issues. So, we do not consider it a controversial ingredient.

    Hope this helps.

  • Isabel

    Hi, our story in a short version…
    Our dog tends to have allergies, and yeast issues. We have him on Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato & Fish formula. He seems to be doing well so far, and I’m happy with the true limited ingredients in the food. There are so many hypoallergenic foods out there that still contain grains and an extensive ingredient list. Since we’re trying to narrow down, this has been fine so far. I did notice, however, that this brand is not in your top choices because of the lack of high meat protein. Which I feel isn’t necessarily a reason to shoot it down to a three star. It’s ingredients are not in the red zone really. I then figured, I’d research more. It’s quite confusing what you’ll find, since some claim a high protein diet maybe doesn’t case health issues, but is just not ideal if your dog isn’t a working dog/highly active. (Which our dogs aren’t) It’s still a bit blurry to me personally… Now I thought, what if I try adding a solid meat source to the kibble? I considered Wellness 95% Salmon… And now I’m faced with yet another dilemma!: Carrageenan
    I had no idea what it was until I researched it. Why is it not under your controversial ingredients? Many claim this has proven to cause cancer, intestinal inflammation, and pain. Others claim it’s safe and been used for hundreds of years. Yet it is said to be inappropriate for human consumption. Which in my book, means it’s not good for our dogs.
    Opinions? Facts? Thanks.

  • Hi Bernie… Unfortunately, we don’t have the capability to track the calorie content of the thousands of dog foods in our database. Supplemental use means the products are lacking certain nutrients needed to make them “complete and balanced”. For that reason, supplemental foods must never be fed continuously. Hope this helps.

  • bernie b


    How many calories per cup is the wellness 95% chicken? and
    why is this for a supplemental use only?


  • Hi Susan… A dog’s taste preference is much like our own. What one may like the other turns his nose up at. With all the many choices recipes, there’s no way I (or anyone) can assure you a particular food will satisfy the tastes of any particular dog. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • susan

    have 2 bassetts , need info on what food ,that is not only good tasting dry more than canned , they are so picky and turn up there noise at everything , they are girl 2 and a boy3.i was feeling them blue buffalo but they would only eat the cannoed and no dry.

  • Jonathan

    Ahh. I gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. And thanks for telling people about good quality foods. I battle people’s misplaced trust in “major” dogfood manufacturers every day at the pet store. It’s nice to be able to jot down your website’s name as well as dogfoodanalysis.com for people so they can see for themselves. keep up the good work!

  • Hi Jonathan… There are a number of factors at play here.

    1. The company reports 8% protein using the “as fed” standard known as Guaranteed Analysis. This is the minimum amount of protein Wellness is willing to guarantee to be in every can. Wellness has been very conservative in its protein guarantee. If they had reported a higher (and truer) picture of the protein contents, the carb content would have been much lower.

    2. Although Wellness promises the food contains 95% meat, meat contains 70-80% water. In order to compare foods with different moisture contents, we routinely use math to remove that water.

    3. The thickener carrageenan contains 72% carbohydrates (mostly fiber) and guar gum includes about 85%. So, even though it is used only as a gelling agent, its carbohydrate must be accounted for in the final analysis.

    We use a simple proven process for estimating carbohydrate content of food. You can read about how we do it in our article, “How to Estimate the Hidden Carbohydrate in Any Dog Food“.

    In any case, you’ve been very observant. The amount of carbs are probably much lower in this case. But in our defense, we must use the only number the company is willing to share on its label with consumers. Hope this helps.

  • jonathan

    How does this food contain 28% carbs? I understand the math, but it’s 95% chicken. Chicken doesn’t contain carbs, now does it? so is there a flaw in your math? or am i completely off? Shouldn’t this have no carbs at all given the exclusion of grains all together?