- Wellness Core Dog Food Review
- 1. Natural Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken
- 2. Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- 3. Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Reduced Fat
- 4. Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food
- 5. Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food
- 6. Rawrev Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- 7. earty Cuts Natural Wet Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Wellness Core dog food is one of the most trusted names in the pet food industry when it comes to protein-focused, grain-free, and premium-quality canine nutrition. However, sometimes you just have to face the facts. A number of Wellness Core dog food reviews aren’t actually singing the same tune when it comes to the overall quality of the brand with some speaking highly of it while others pointing out loopholes in the product line. Regardless, this underscores the need to be very vigilant and quite analytical especially when it comes to Wellness dog food ingredients. This is where we come in. We put the brand under our own meticulous scrutiny to give you a more objective assessment of the Wellness dog food brand so you’ll be able to make the correct decision related to your pet’s nutrition.
Wellness Core Dog Food Review
Calories per serving size: 421 per cup
Crude protein percentage: 34%
Crude fat percentage: 16%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 4% and 10%
Top 5 ingredients in list: real turkey meat and meal, real chicken meal, potatoes, and peas
Probiotics, prebiotics, beta-carotene, chondroitin, glucosamine, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals
Featuring a bevy of ingredients that puts turkey at the core of the formulation the Original Formula is one of the brand’s bestselling products. From the high-quality animal proteins right down to the inclusion of superfoods, antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids, this Wellness dog food is carefully formulated to give your pet the right types and amounts of nutrients for whole-body health. There’s also no need to fret about allergenic cereals since the brand has clearly made it a philosophy to never include such ingredients. If you’re looking to feed your pet something that is definitely more than just any meal, Wellness fits the bill spot on.
Calories per serving size: 417 per cup
Crude protein percentage: 36%
Crude fat percentage: 18%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 5% and 10%
Top 5 ingredients in list: real chicken meat and meal, real turkey meal, peas, and potatoes
DHA, beta-carotene, essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, probiotics, prebiotics
Puppies deserve to be started on only the best nutrition for their rapidly-growing bodies. This Wellness puppy food features the reliable protein-richness of chicken and turkey plus the DHA goodness of salmon oil to bring your young pet up to speed with its nutrition. Crafted with antioxidants for immune system functioning, optimal calories for energy and growth, and DHA for nervous system development, this probiotic-coated kibble is especially formulated for your growing puppy. The minerals contained in the formulation, especially phosphorus and calcium, are well-balanced to make sure your pup’s growth proceeds at a normal pace. Wellness dog food is not just another meal for your puppy. It’s its key to optimum growth.
Grain-free, high-protein puppy formulation
Right amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and DHA
Probiotics-coated kibbles in the correct size for puppies
Infused with superfoods like kale, spinach, and broccoli
Contains fish & flax omega health complex
Contains high glycemic potatoes
Some pet parents complain of diarrhea
Calories per serving size: 360 per cup
Crude protein percentage: 33%
Crude fat percentage: 10%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 8.5% and 10%
Top 5 ingredients in list: real turkey meat and meal, real chicken meal, peas, and potatoes
Beta-carotene, probiotics, mineral, glucosamine, chondroitin, essential fatty acids
If you find Fido’s belly wags almost as much as its tail you know that it definitely needs the Reduced Fat Formula of Wellness Core dog food. With a fat content that is 25% lower than other varieties of the brand, the Reduced Fat is perfect for pooches that are more predisposed to developing large flabs of fat on their bodies. It has higher fiber content, too which should be fairly helpful in clearing your pet’s gut and make it more efficient in removing wastes. Taurine has been added to help guard Fido’s heart as too much fat can really take its toll on this vital organ. Maintaining Fido’s correct weight has never tasted this good.
Protein-focused, grain-free, reduced-fat formulation
More meat in every kibble, supplying real nutrients
Packed with healthier greens, veggies, lentils, and fruits
Includes joint-, immune system-, and digestive system– friendly nutrients
Contains high glycemic potatoes
Some issues with diarrhea
Calories per serving size: 496 per can
Crude protein percentage: 12%
Crude fat percentage: 8%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 0.5% and 78%
Top 5 ingredients in list: real chicken, real turkey, chicken broth, chicken liver, and real chicken meal
Prebiotics, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals
Let’s face it! What could possibly taste better than sumptuous chicken stuffed in an equally delectable turkey? We should be thankful enough that folks at Wellness have a very clear understanding of canine taste buds. Utilizing the full nutrient-goodness and yumminess of turkey and chicken, this wet dog food variety is perfect for Fidos that are quite choosy in their meals or are having a really difficult time chewing on kibbles. It comes with salmon oil and flaxseed to get Fido’s immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems functioning at their absolute best. The minerals included are carefully regulated so your dog gets a well-balanced meal. If not, it’s always a great topper for kibbles.
Check out our guide on Dog Food Toppers.
Protein-rich, grain-free formulation
Carefully-balanced mineral levels for whole-body health
Contains salmon oil and flaxseed for balanced omega fatty acids
Sumptuous kibble topper or standalone gourmet meal
Packed with superfoods like broccoli, kale, and blueberries
Pricier than some wet or canned dog food brands
Can get easily spoiled
Calories per serving size: 411 per cup
Crude protein percentage: 31%
Crude fat percentage: 21%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 3% and 20%
Top 5 ingredients in list: deboned real turkey, deboned real chicken, peas, gelatin, and chickpeas
Taurine, choline, prebiotics, chondroitin, glucosamine, essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins
It’s moist and very tasty and is the perfect balance between the hardness of kibbles and the mushy consistency of wet dog food. The Tender Bites Wellness dog food features morsels of tender proteins sourced from the leanest turkey and chicken in their unadulterated form. It boasts of very minimal processing to lock-in all the flavors, aromas, and complete nutrition that you’d expect from an ancestral diet-inspired dish specifically made for your Fido. It also comes with taurine and choline, two amino acids that are essential for your pet’s overall health. The Tender Bites is again proof of Wellness Core dog food’s philosophy – that dogs deserve only the best when it comes to their nutrition.
Grain-free, tummy-safe, minimally-processed formulation
Contains 70% raw turkey and chicken
Contains nutrient-rich greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach
Versatile as a kibble topper or as a complete meal
Higher fat content than other brands
Some issues with package tampering
Calories per serving size: 387 per cup
Crude protein percentage: 36%
Crude fat percentage: 16%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 6% and 10%
Top 5 ingredients in list: wild game duck, real lamb meal, peas, chickpeas, and turkey meal
Glucosamine, essential fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics
Imagine combining the antioxidant- and nutrient-dense goodness of Wellness dog food high-protein kibbles with its ancestral diet-inspired raw bites made of pure, farm-raised lamb and you’ve got for your pet the RawRev. Mixed with a handful of superfoods, this interesting blend of wild duck, wild boar, rabbit, turkey and lamb is the closest thing Fido can ever get to the diet of its ancestors. It is perfect for pet parents who are craving for raw foods-formulated diet that is actually safe on their pet’s tummy. The thoughtful balance of nutrients following the principles of good canine ancestral diet highlights the supremacy of Wellness Core dog food when it comes to optimum nutrition for Fido.
Contains highly novel proteins like wild game duck, rabbit, wild boar, and lamb
Safer and more convenient way to introduce raw foods
Well-balanced ancestral diet for whole-body health
Gluten and grain free formulation
Definitely not for every dog as the taste may take getting used to
Contains pea protein
Calories per serving size: 348 per can
Crude protein percentage: 9%
Crude fat percentage: 3.5%
Crude fiber and moisture percentage: 1% and 82%
Top 5 ingredients in list: real chicken, broth from chicken and turkey, real turkey, and chicken liver
Linoleic acid, ALA, minerals, prebiotics, vitamins, inulin
Indulge Fido with cuts of chicken and turkey that are so tender you’d wish your favorite restaurant served you with the same level of fork-tender slices on your plate. Each can of the Hearty Cuts come in savory gravy that makes this variant a great Wellness puppy food substitute given its high protein content. You can rely on blueberries, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and spinach as well as other superfoods to nourish your pet inside out, taking good care of its immune system, digestive functioning, and cardiovascular and nervous system integrity. Mix it with your pet’s kibbles to improve the palatability of dry dog food. Or, you can do what most pet parents do – give the Hearty Cuts as a gourmet meal for your pet.
Protein-rich, grain-free formulation
Hearty, delicious meaty cuts in savory gravy
Sumptuous standalone meal or as a kibble topper
Packed with superfoods like broccoli, blueberries, and kale
Contains potato starch
Some issues with diarrhea
Wellness Core Dog Food Review
Wellness Core Dog Food Company Overview
With its modest beginnings making biscuits in Gloucester, Massachusetts, A. Hubbard and Sons Bakery was soon renamed Old Mother Hubbard in 1926. The small company was bought by Jim Scott, Sr., an animal nutritionist by profession, in 1961. The purchase moved the headquarters of Old Mother Hubbard from Gloucester to Lowell, also in Massachusetts.
By 1997, a team of animal nutrition specialists, food specialists, and veterinarians formed Wellness Pet Food and began producing premium quality dog food, one of which was Wellness Core.
In 2008, Old Mother Hubbard merged with Eagle Pack Pet Foods to form WellPet LLC. The company was then bought by Berwind Corporation.
WellPet LLC has its headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts and has a strong international presence especially in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
Why Wellness Core Dog Food?
Wellness Core dog food boasts of excellent protein profiles across its product lines. It’s a protein powerhouse, so to speak. It is, thus, ideal for pets that require exceptionally higher amounts of proteins for their muscles, immune system, endocrine system, and other vital organs to ensure optimum development and growth. Best of all, it utilizes only meats and meals as the source of its proteins and never meat, fish, and poultry byproducts. Moreover, the brand makes sure that its animal proteins are properly named unlike others that put “poultry meal” or “fish meal” or even “animal byproduct meal” in their labels. There really is no telling just what kind of “poultry”, “fish”, or “animal” is put into these dog food products.
The brand also does away with soy, wheat, and corn as well as other non-essential fillers that are quite common in other dog food brands. Not only will you ensure healthier tummies for your pet, you’ll also be giving them a powerhouse of other ingredients that come with a lot of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins necessary for whole-body health and function.
Whereas other dog food brands don’t include probiotics in their formulas, Wellness Core makes sure that every kibble is coated with these gut-friendly microorganisms for healthier and more efficient digestion, not to mention immune system. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also added in majority of the formulas. Most dog food brands only include such substances in specialty diets. Head over to our reviews of probiotics for dogs and dog vitamins.
Wellness Core Dog Food Recalls
While Wellness Core dog food is quite popular especially among pet parents who are looking for all-natural, premium-quality dog food, it is not without controversies. There have been instances of Wellness dog food recalls in the past. What you should understand, however, is that none of the recalls involved Wellness CORE dog food products.
- February 2011, millions of Wellness CORE Cat Foods were recalled because of inadequate levels of Vitamin B1 or thiamine.
- May 2012, WellPet LLC voluntarily recalled one of its Wellness Complete products for fear of possible salmonella contamination.
- October 2012, the brand withdrew from the market its Wellness Small Breed Adult Health dry dog food variety because of possible moisture contamination.
- February 2017, the company recalled 7 Wellness cat food products for possible foreign material contamination.
- March 2017, WellPet LLC voluntarily recalled a limited number of Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Beef canned dog food because of elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones.
These product recalls did not involve Wellness Core dog food products, but rather other products of WellPet LLC.
Wellness Core Dog Food Ingredient Analysis
There were 3 different classes of Wellness Core dog food products in our review: dry, semi-moist, and wet or canned. As such, analyzed the Wellness dog food ingredients based on these three classes of dog food, just as other Wellness dog food reviews did. This gave us the following findings.
Average to above average proteins
As expected, the wet or canned version of Wellness dog food contains the highest concentrations of proteins on a dry weight basis which was computed at 52.5% on average. This was followed by the semi-moist formulation with dry matter protein content of 38.75%. This was only slightly higher than the dry dog food varieties that came in with an average dry matter protein of 38.61%.
Overall, the protein content of Wellness Core dog food products are way better than other brands that only manage to chalk in 30% as their maximum for the dry food version and 40% for the wet or canned dog food varieties.
What is notable is the philosophy of Wellness Core putting emphasis on animal proteins as the main source of proteins for their products. This is unlike some leading brands that put rice and potatoes as the first ingredient in their dog food.
However, we did notice that pea protein was added in some of the products. While it is still protein, plant-sourced proteins can produce inaccurate measure of the actual amounts of animal proteins present in the formula. As such, for those Wellness Core products that contain pea protein, we cannot really guarantee just how much protein comes from the animal ingredients and how much will be coming from peas.
Average to above average fats
The average fat content of Wellness Core dry dog food is 16.67% as dry matter while its semi-moist formulation comes in at 26.25%. Topping the list in terms of dry matter fat content is the wet or canned dog food variety with 28.75%.
As far as fat is concerned, the dry dog food version of this brand is slightly lower than other brands in the market, although we cannot say the same for its semi-moist and wet dog food varieties.
The good news is that Wellness Core always includes its Fish and Flax Omega Health system, balancing omega-6 fatty acids with the ideal proportion of omega-3 fatty acids for greater health benefits for your pet. You may also like our article on the best fish oil for dogs.
Low to below average carbs
Most dog food products in the market contain more than 50% carbs. That’s not the case with Wellness Core dog food. The brand’s highest carbs content can be found in its dry versions with 44.72%. This is followed by its semi-moist products with 35% and then its wet dog food varieties with 18.75%.
What is worth noting is that the brand has clearly done away with the allergenic cereals and instead uses its own blend of superfoods that include kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as other nutrient-dense ingredients to form the backbone of its carbohydrates.
Sadly, we did notice some products containing potatoes which has high glycemic index. This may be bad news for dogs that are at risk for developing diabetes.
Probiotics and prebiotics are already considered as standard in many formulations of Wellness Core. The same is true with chondroitin, glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus. What is very interesting is that the brand states that it carefully balances its nutrient formulation so that none of its nutrients will be more than what dogs actually need.
Pros & Cons
- Moderate to above average protein content emphasizing on meat proteins
- Uses only named animal proteins as principal ingredient
- Includes novel, easily digestible animal proteins in the formulations
- Includes superfoods in the formulation in lieu of low-nutrient value ingredients
- Each formulation is carefully balanced with respect to its nutrient profile
- Doesn’t use meat, poultry, and / or fish byproducts in the formulations
- Doesn’t include allergenic cereals like wheat, soy, corn
- Dry dog food formulations always come with prebiotics and probiotics
- Formulations don’t contain artificial preservatives, coloring, and flavoring
- Exceeds the standards set by NRC and AAFCO
- Some formulas come with high glycemic ingredients like potatoes
- Some pet parents have complained of diarrhea in some formulations
- Some varieties contain pea protein which can give inaccurate meat protein content
- History of product recalls for some Wellness products, but not specifically Wellness Core
- A bit pricier than other dog food brands
Wellness Core dog food provides pet parents with the means to ensure that their pets will get the right nutrition for their growth and development needs. All formulations are well-balanced and guaranteed to contain the right levels of nutrients in a high-protein, grain-free formulation. Despite a history of product recalls involving other Wellness products, Wellness Core dog food remains strong.