Wellness Simple (Canned)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes four 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 Simple LID Duck and Oatmeal [M]
  • Wellness Simple LID Turkey and Potato Grain Free [M]
  • Wellness Simple LID Lamb and Oatmeal (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Wellness Simple LID Whitefish and Potato Grain Free [M]

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato Grain Free recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 32% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, carrageenan, guar gum, ground flaxseed, potassium chloride, chicory root extract, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%32%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%56%17%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 56% | Carbs = 17%

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

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

The second ingredient is turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

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

The fifth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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 three 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, 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 Simple Limited Ingredient Diet
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet looks like an above-average canned 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 36%, a fat level of 32% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 81%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 56% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% 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 Simple Limited Ingredient Diet is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


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.

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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.

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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

10/28/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  • sue66b

    Hi Ellie, I know this is 4 years old but rice isnt good for IBD, the rice can irratate the bowel causing diarrhea & wind, my boy can have grounded rice but cant have boiled whole rice…His vet said this is common with IBD dogs…I found Oatmeal excellent for stomach & bowel…

  • David Moore

    Our female Bichon Frise/Poodle mix was a tough cookie when it came to figuring out her diet. We tried numerous grain-free foods, which she liked; however, all proved to be hard on her stomach. The Wellness – Simple is a God-send. Although I personally don’t care for the make up of it (it contains guar gum, a gelling/thickening agent found in many wet pet foods), it apparently does offer a notable amount of all the needed amino acids, proteins, and dietary fiber. What’s important is our dog eats every meal and has no more noticeable digestive issues, and her stool is as it should be. All I am able to find as far as flavors are turkey/potato and salmon/potato.

  • aimee


    I have found very few studies regarding body composition and fat level in the diet. Here is an abstract. Not sure if it is what you are looking for.

    Influence of Dietary Fat and Carbohydrate on Food Intake, Body Weight and Body Fat of Adult Dogs1

    Romsos 1978

    Adult female dogs were fed ad libitum for 25 weeks a high-fat diet (51% of energy from fat) or a high-carbohydrate diet (59% of energy from carbohydrate). Dogs fed the high-fat diet gained more body weight than did dogs fed the high-carbohydrate diet. In both groups of dogs 78-80% of the increase in body weight was fat. The high-fat diet may have been utilized more efficiently for body fat gain than the high-carbohydrate diet; alternatively, it is possible to explain the increased body fat accumulation in dogs fed the high-fat diet on the basis of the small observed difference in energy intake. Dogs fed the high-fat diet consumed slightly more energy (13%) which resulted in the accumulation of more than twice the amount of fat accumulated in dogs fed the high-carbohydrate diet during the 25 week study.

    I too would like to see the study Rizzod206 reported.

  • Shawna

    Rizzod206 ~~ I agree completely but have never been able to find research such as what you are discussing.  Do you remember what the name was or anything about the research so I can find it?

    They are now starting to come out with info/research showing that carbs (not fat) produces the same affect on humans–weight gain..  The Swede’s (I think it was) have apparently already made the switch from carbs to fat and are having great results.  The M.D. who wowns the linked website has a great video on it — I think I watched it on Ted TV but may have been Yahoo. 

  • Rizzod206

    Fat content and dog obesity don’t exactly match up the same way that they do with humans. A study was done on dogs where they fed them 100% fat diets and they were able to metabolize it maintain their weights. It is the introduction of unusual grains and starches that cause weight gain in dogs (In addition to things like exercise). Anyway I hope that was what your concern was indicating. 

  • Jackson

    Any idea how this new reformulated Wellness limited ingredient compares to the old stuff? I had been using the duck and rice and now see it has been changed to duck and oatmeal. Looking at an old can, the fat content was listed as “minimum 5.0%” but the new stuff lists “minimum 8.0%” fat. That’s a big difference and I really needed the lower fat content. Any idea why they switched from rice to oatmeal?

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  • haveneselover

    Are there any 5 star allergy canned foods? 

  • Hi Maria… When present, ethoxyquin is typically found in rendered fish meals and thus, dry dog foods. It’s only rarely found in fish meat used to make wet (canned) products.

  • Maria

    Sometimes, fish formulas contain euthoxins. ( i know im not saying that right)…..Does this one appear to? I’ve noticed in some reviews you specify and in others you dont……..Thanks!

  • Hi Ellie… Grains (especially whole grains like oatmeal) contain fiber. And some of that fiber is “fermentable”… which means the dog’s normal intestinal germs have the ability to convert some of that fiber into gas. A reasonable amount of fiber can be a good thing for most dogs… but it may or may not be appropriate for yours because of the IBD. Hope this helps.

  • ellie

    mike; i understand
    i am just trying to find out if the oatmeal can cause gas and burping; or the white rice.
    i am not familiar how these carbs are digested and how they affect the fat content in the food.
    thank you for your help.

  • Hi Ellie… I can certainly understand your concerns for your dog’s inflammatory bowel disease. However, the main purpose of the Dog Food Advisor is to review and rate dog foods and not to recommend a particular product for a specific health issue.

    I wish I could help you more, but since I’m not a veterinarian, I haven’t been properly trained to provide you with the kind of sound professional advice you’re looking for.

  • ellie

    my dog has IBD and we tried the Rx diets; iams low residue, purina ha and purina en. she couldn’t tolerate any of them.
    so i put her on homemade ground turkey and oatmeal. over 3 weeks ago i started introducing the wellness simple duck and rice canned. i am still adding a little oatmeal only since duck and rice is high in fat and didn’t want to feed her too much of it. this week she started having gas, burping and stomach gurgling noises. what could be causing this.
    is it the rice in the wellness food; or the oatmeal. however she did fine on turkey and oatmeal alone; so it has to be the wellness duck and rice.
    lastly what food do you recommend to control ibd. something simple and not too high in fat or protein. thank you and sorry for the long comment.