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Wellness Complete Health Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: June 10, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Wellness Complete Health Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wellness Complete Health product line includes the 13 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken and Oatmeal Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken and Oatmeal Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

26.7%

Protein

13.3%

Fat

52%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas, ground brown rice, chicken fat, tomato pomace, ground flaxseed, tomatoes, carrots, natural chicken flavor, potassium chloride, choline chloride, spinach, vitamin E supplement, taurine, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, chicory root extract, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, Yucca schidigera extract, garlic powder, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, 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%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 24% 12% NA
Dry Matter Basis 27% 13% 52%
Calorie Weighted Basis 24% 29% 47%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient 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 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 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 sixth ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The next 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.

The eighth 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 ninth item 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 Wellness product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

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, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

We also find sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium in this recipe. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Complete Health Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

Which means this Wellness product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Wellness Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Wellness through July 2024.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Wellness Grain-Inclusive Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 5 stars.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1: Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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