Wellness Core Dog Food Review

Wellness Core provides dogs with the right kind of nutrition that helps optimize their growth and development potential. True enough, Wellness Core dog food is one of the trusted names when it comes to well-balanced, nutrient-complete canine diets. It has consistently earned high marks because of its insistence on using high quality animal proteins, unique grain-free formulation, and the thoughtful addition of other health-giving nutrients and substances. In this Wellness Core dog food review, we’ll take an inside look at why the brand is considered one of the best, if not THE best.

Company Information

Wellness Core is a brand of dog food that is manufactured and distributed by Wellness Pet Food which is under the umbrella organization of WellPet LLC. WellPet believes in the wellbeing of pets being at the heart of what the organization does. It is for this reason that the organization, as a group, strives to provide the pet-loving world only the best, healthiest, and most natural pet products.

In 1997, a team of food scientists, veterinarians, and animal nutrition experts established the Wellness Pet Food, the company behind Wellness Core. By 2004 the brand is already recognized as the leading dog food brand when it comes to pet food in independent veterinary specialty retailers.

Wellness Core boasts of grain-free formulation, utilizing only the best and highest possible quality of natural ingredients in all of their meals, toppers, and treats. They are best known for their exceptionally high protein formulations and a really delicious flavor that no dog has ever turned down yet. The company, unlike some leading dog food brands, strongly believes that the key to a healthy pet is the presence of hearty animal proteins in their diets.

wellness dog foods

In May 2012, however, WellPet LLC voluntarily recalled its Wellness Complete Health Super 5 Mix for fear of salmonella contamination. In October 2012, the company again voluntarily recalled its Wellness Small Breed adult dry dog food formulation because of higher-than-usual moisture content. Recently in March 2017, it voluntarily recalled its 95% Beef canned dog food because of elevated levels of thyroid hormones. The good news is that these voluntary recalls are for other Wellness Pet products and not its Wellness Core.

Why Choose this Brand?

One of the best attributes of the Wellness Core dog food products is its high protein formulation. This underscores the brand’s clear understanding of the need of pets for high-quality animal-based protein diet which closely mimics what Mother Nature has programmed them to consume. Of course, there’s carbs, too. But given the preeminence of high quality animal proteins in the formulation, Wellness Core is simply the best for almost all types of dogs except those that may not benefit from a high-protein diet.

Another thing that should inspire you to get Wellness Core is the amazing array of animal proteins included in each formulation. The brand isn’t content with just giving you a single animal protein. They strive to provide a variety of meats and poultry to make sure that your pet receives the best mix of nutrients delivered by these ingredients. Whereas other dog food brands typically include more plant proteins than animal proteins, Wellness dog food always emphasizes the supremacy of animal proteins.

And if you’re wary of so-called allergenic grains such as soy, wheat, and corn, then you can doubly rejoice as Wellness Core dog food doesn’t contain any of these. Instead, they use wholesome grains and lentils like peas and chickpeas. Apples, blueberries, carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, and other healthy veggies and fruits are also added to provide for a more complete and more nutrient-rich formulation.

There are probiotics and joint-friendly substances as well. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids abound, although the ratio is a lot better than other dog food brands.

Ingredient Analysis

Wellness brand dog food is well-known for its exceptional use of high-quality ingredients that not only complies with current AAFCO canine dietary recommendations but also takes into consideration the evolutionary and ancestral diets of man’s best friend. Unlike other dog food brands that put a lot of carbs as fillers into their formulations, Wellness Core insists on focusing more on high quality meats for its ingredients. Here’s a look at the nutrient profile of Wellness dog food.

  • High protein content

A typical Wellness Core dry dog food will come with crude protein content of about 35%. When this is computed to account for its dry matter weight, you get 43.75% which is definitely higher than AAFCO’s minimum of 18% for maintenance and 22.5% for growth, development, and reproduction. This is way higher than dog food brands that can only manage to squeeze in a maximum of 27% in dry matter basis.

Its canned and wet dog food formulations contain even higher proteins. Its wet dog food formulation has a protein content of 9% while its canned dog food is rated at 12%. When these are adjusted to consider only the dry matter weight, its wet dog food translates to 50% dry protein while its canned dog food comes in at 54.5%. It is quite rare to find another dog food brand that can provide such levels of proteins.

But there is another story to this. Unlike other dog food brands that utilize plant proteins to increase the protein content of their formulations, Wellness Core strives to put only premium-quality animal proteins in its main ingredients. In some formulations novel proteins are also used or serve as the principal ingredient.

This can have significant implications in its grain-free formulations. The point about going grain-free is to minimize upsetting the tummy and triggering food allergies. Using novel proteins addresses both. And while many Wellness dog food products do contain chicken, most of these put chicken as secondary.

Moreover, many of its products contain more than 2 animal proteins in the ingredient list’s first 5. This puts the products as a real meat-based diet for dogs; not plant-based.

  • Moderate to high fat content

Except for its canned dog food, Wellness Core products come with an average of 16 to 17 percent of fats when its dry matter weight is considered. If it’s the canned dog food variety that you want to give to your pet, you’re going to give it about 36.36% fats in terms of its dry matter weight. AAFCO puts the minimum at 5.5% and 8.5% for maintenance and growth-reproduction requirements, respectively. This puts Wellness dog food well in the moderate to high fat categories.

The good news is that majority of the fats that are present in the dog food are those that are healthier versions such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as well as essential fatty acids. In cases where optimum DHA and EPA levels are required, fish oil is often added to augment the need for beneficial essential fatty acids.

The formulation also provides flaxseed and other sources of omega-6 fatty acids, but this is quite minimal compared to others where the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is unusually high. Wellness Core strives to achieve a near-ideal 4:1 ratio of these essential fatty acids.

  • Low to moderate carbohydrate content

Taking the protein and fat composition of Wellness Core dog food in relation to its moisture content, we can say that the dry dog food formulation is composed of about 60% proteins and fats. Since dry dog food contains 10% moisture, this means that only 30% is geared for carbohydrates.

The same is true for its wet formulation with a combined percentage of fat and proteins at 67%, making the carbohydrate content as only 33%. As for its canned formulation, Wellness Core dog food has a combined protein-fat composition of 90.86% leaving only 9.14% for carbohydrates.

In addition to its low to moderate carbs, it also strives to use only wholesome, healthier fruits and vegetables including lentils and wholesome grains instead of allergenic ones. The mere fact that carbohydrates roughly comprise only a third of its dry matter content is enough to speak of the quality of Wellness Core dog food products.

  • Micronutrients

One can always count on Wellness Core to deliver the right amounts of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc, among others to complement its vitamin formulation. Whenever appropriate, the formula also includes substances geared for optimum joint health such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. Since its major composition is meat-based protein, one can also expect the completeness of the essential amino acids.

wellness food for dogs

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Exceptionally high protein content with moderate amounts of fats and carbs
  • Uses only high quality animal proteins as its main ingredient
  • Uses a variety of novel animal proteins in its 1st5 ingredients
  • Doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, and other potentially allergenic grains
  • Exceeds AAFCO requirements for nutritionally-balanced, complete dog food
  • Contains lactobacilli and other probiotic strains
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin in many products

Cons

  • A bit more on the expensive side
  • Voluntary product recalls for other Wellness Pet Food products

A number of Wellness Core dog food reviews consistently rank the brand in the top spot of the growing number of commercially available dog food. This Wellness Core dog food review reinforces this evaluation of the brand by underscoring its principal strengths that include use of high quality animal proteins, grain-free formulation, delicious taste, and completeness of its nutrient composition.