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Wenaewe Dog Food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Wenaewe product line lists three dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wenaewe Adult
- Wenaewe Puppy
- Wenaewe Vegetarian (2 stars)
Wenaewe Adult Formula Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wenaewe Adult Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic uruguayan beef, organic brown rice, organic canola seed, organic flaxseed meal, organic sunflower seed, organic buckwheat seed (soba), organic barley, organic millet, organic carrots, organic red beets, organic broccoli, organic high-oleic sunflower oil, organic canola oil, sea salt, organic oregano, organic garlic, ascorbic acid, propolis, vitamins (vitamins A, B12, D3, C, E, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, pantothenate, niacin), minerals (chrome, sodium selenite, iron, copper citrate, zinc sulfate, cobalt)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||22%||13%||56%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||20%||29%||51%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is organic beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 item is organic brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is organic canola seed. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its raw material source. Yet readers are reminded the company claims its recipes contain “no genetically modified products”.
And current thinking suggests the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1
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.
The fourth ingredient is organic flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
The fifth ingredient is organic sunflower seeds, a good source of plant-based fatty acids that and are also rich in vitamins. minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is buckwheat seeds, a carb-heavy fruit similar to rhubarb and notable for its gluten-free seeds.
Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a true cereal grain.
The seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The eighth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The ninth item includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
Next, we note the inclusion of canola oil, an ingredient with nutritional features similar to canola seed (previously discussed).
Then, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Wenaewe Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients are produced under controlled government standards — standards which greatly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wenaewe Dog Food appears to be an average kibble.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a limited amount of meat.
Wenaewe Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of beef as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
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
11/13/2014 Last Update