Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Wellness Simple product line includes 6 dry 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 Healthy Weight Grain Free [M]
  • Wellness Simple Lamb and Oatmeal (3 stars) [M]
  • Wellness Simple Duck and Oatmeal (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato Grain Free [M]
  • Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato Grain Free [M]
  • Wellness Simple Small Breed Grain Free (4.5 stars) [M]

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

Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes, tomato pomace, ground flaxseed, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural turkey flavor, dicalcium phosphate, chicory root extract, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, taurine, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc proteinate, zinc 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, 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) = 6.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%14%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%30%44%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 44%

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 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 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 fifth 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 sixth 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 seventh 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.

The eighth 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 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.

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 two notable exceptions

First, 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wellness Simple 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 29%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-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 moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

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

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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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Notes and Updates

04/07/2017 Last Update

  • Susan

    Hi Sharon,
    Look on the kibble bag it tells you how much to feed or go onto Wellness web page & find the formula you’re feeding, all kibbles have different Kcals per cup so different amounts are needed to be feed TOTW is lower in Kcals per cup under 370Kcals per cup & Wellness Simple Grain Free formula’s are higher in Kcals per cup over 400Kcals per cup so you’d less of the Wellness kibble to feed…
    Have a look at “Canidae” Pure range, Canidae has limited Ingredients, smaller sized kibble & Canidae is easier to digest then the bigger size Wellness Simple kibbles, here’s the Canidae site
    scroll down a bit look to your right & click on “View All” & click on pages 2 & 3 that’s the start of Canidae’s Pure grain free range, page 4 is the start of Canidae’s Pure Petite Small Breed range, Canidae also makes All Life Stages (ALS) formula’s, I have feed the Pure Wild Boar, Pure Land Lamb, Pure Meadow & the ALS Platinum, it’s lower in fat but has grains, I also feed TOTW Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb it has the least ingredients out of all the TOTW formula’s, you might have been feeding one of TOTW formula’s that had a few different meat proteins instead of just the 1 meat protein….
    Have a look at “Ziwi Peak” it’s an New Zealand brand really good air dried ingredients, excellent for dogs with allergies, sensitive stomach & bowel… https://www.ziwpets.com/

  • Sharon Claffey

    My Maltese seemed to be allergic to our previous dog food (Taste of the Wild) (constant paw licking, drippy eyes. We made the switch to Wellness Brand Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato he seemed better. We fed him the same amount we fed with the other food. He started acting strange. Not content. Always searching for food. Do we switch brands or increase the amount of food? Wellness seems to have slightly less protein and fats than the other.

  • Marcy Blankenship

    Our lab mix was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma this past February. He is about 12 years old. He was also given a few weeks to months to live. We also opted not to do chemo. We are feeding him much the same diet you fed your Golden. It is now August, and so far so good.

  • Chris Wong

    I started feeding my dogs Wellness Simple’s salmon formula about 9 months ago. I made the switch because my 12 year old coonhound was scratching her neck raw due to allergies. My vet put her on Apoquel, which took the edge off, but didn’t resolve the issue. Since making the switch to Simple, she doesn’t scratch anymore and her coat is thicker than every.

  • Piper Thomas

    You’re probably thinking of castor oil. That’s the healthy smelly stuff we used to get by the spoon-ful. Strange you say you can smell the Canola Oil… it is an odorless oil. Maybe your bag is rancid. That might explain the pup’s reaction.

  • Katherine Harris

    My german shepherd jack was fed that his whole life every other food gave him runs he had a lot of issues….sometimes he didnt like it but i put something in it to make him lol