Wellness Dog Food Reviews and Recalls – Top 5 Picks 2019

Wellness Dog Food Reviews

The average person isn’t going to spend hours sorting through the huge selection of Wellness dog foods.

Fortunately…we have!

We are obsessed with finding the highest quality dog foods available.

This is why we have conducted Wellness dog food reviews and research to determine the five best foods to feed your furry friend.

Below we’ll breakdown and review each of the five best Wellness dog foods, who makes them, and any recalls.

Top 5 Wellness Dog Foods

Wellness Dog Food Reviews

We selected the following dog foods by carefully analyzing ingredients, ingredient quality, and nutrient content. We placed a higher emphasis on the first ten ingredients as these ingredients make up a majority of the food.

1. Wellness CORE Wild Game Duck, Turkey, Boar & Rabbit

 Wellness CORE Wellness dog food reviewsWe selected CORE Wild Game Duck, Turkey, & Rabbit formula as the top Wellness dog food because it has a high amount of quality ingredients and practically no fillers.

This food has a high protein content of 34% and a fat content of 16%. We liked that the carbohydrates are from quality sources: chickpeas, peas, and lentils.

We also liked that named animal proteins dominate the first few listed ingredients, which indicates higher quality. The most common filler ingredient is dried ground potatoes. This provides very little nutrition for canines.

Overall, the CORE brand features formulas with high protein that are made of quality ingredients.

It also comes in three sizes: 4 lb, 12 lb, and 26 lb.

Other Formulas
    • Original Turkey & Chicken
    • Ocean Whitefish, Herring, & Salmon
    • Large Breed
    • Small Breed
    • Puppy
  • Reduced Fat

Ingredient Analysis (Wild Game Duck, Turkey, Boar & Rabbit)

Key: 
Beneficial Ingredient Low-quality Ingredient Neutral Ingredient

    1. Duck: A good alternative protein source.
    1. Lamb Meal: Despite being a “meal” this is a meat concentrate and actually contains a much higher protein content than fresh lamb.
    1. Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these are a nutrient powerhouse full of protein. They are a great source of  iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and dietary fiber, as long as it’s not cooked out.
    1. Peas: A healthy source of carbohydrates. Also a great source of protein and fiber.
    1. Turkey Meal: A meat concentrate with a higher protein content than regular whole turkey.
    1. Lentils: A great source of protein, fiber, and iron.
    1. Pea Protein: A source of vegetable protein.
    1. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): A quality ingredient that’s high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Mixed tocopherols are vitamin E compounds that act as a natural preservatives.
    1. Tomato Pomace: The leftover tomato pulp, seeds, and skin after the juicing process. Contains soluble fiber. Due to processing, nutrient quality is up for debate.
  1. Wild Boar: A good alternative protein source. Probably a small quantity since it’s not higher on the ingredients.

More notable ingredients include: rabbit, spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, parsley, apples and blueberries. However, being lower on the list these likely make up very little of the food.

The remaining ingredients are lower on the list and have little effect on quality. They are mostly mineral and vitamin supplements used to add nutrients.

Full Ingredient List
Duck, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Wild Boar, Rabbit, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Natural Duck Flavor, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Potassium Chloride, Kale, Vitamin E Supplement, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, 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, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, 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. This is a naturally preserved product.

Pros
    • High protein
    • Quality carbohydrates
    • Minimal fillers
    • Grain free
  • Large selection
Cons
  • Higher priced than less premium brands

2. CORE RawRevOriginal Turkey & Chicken

Wellness CORE Raw Rev Wellness dog food reviews This food is essentially the same as the regular CORE brand but with raw freeze dried meat added.

This dog food offers an impressive 36% protein and 16% fat. The high protein content is well suited for dogs that are very active.

We liked that much of the first ingredients are named animal proteins meaning most of the protein is likely coming from animal sources.

We didn’t like that both potatoes and dried ground potatoes are in the first ten ingredients. Dried ground potatoes are not a quality ingredient and it’s not desirable to have multiple forms of the same carbohydrate in a dog food.

There are four sizes: 4 lb, 10 lb, 18 lb and 20 lb.

Other Formulas
    • Wild Game Duck, Lamb, & Boar
  • Small Breed

Ingredient Analysis (Original Turkey & Chicken)

Key: 
Beneficial Ingredient Low-quality Ingredient
Neutral Ingredient

    1. Deboned Turkey: A quality alternative protein source. Good for dogs that tend to have meat allergies. Has less protein than turkey meal due to its moisture content.
    1. Turkey Meal: A meat concentrate with a higher protein content than regular whole turkey.
    1. Chicken Meal: This is considered a meat concentrate since the water is removed. It contains significantly more protein than fresh chicken.
    1. Peas: A healthy source of carbohydrates. Also a great source of protein and fiber.
    1. Potatoes: A carbohydrate/filler. Of little nutritional value for dogs.
    1. Dried Ground Potatoes: A cheap filler with little nutritional value for dogs.
    1. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): A quality ingredient that’s high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Mixed tocopherols are vitamin E compounds that act as a natural preservatives.
    1. Freeze-Dried Turkey: Excellent source of protein. Contains nutrients of fresh turkey but without the moisture.
    1. Tomato Pomace: The leftover tomato pulp, seeds, and skin after the juicing process. Contains soluble fiber. Due to processing, nutrient quality is up for debate.
  1. Chicken Liver: A source of flavor and nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, B vitamins, and protein.

More notable ingredients include: spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, parsley, apples, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. However, being lower on the list these likely make up very little of the food.

The remaining ingredients have little effect on quality. They are mostly mineral and vitamin supplements used to add nutrients.

Full Ingredient List
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Freeze-Dried Turkey, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin 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, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, 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. This is a naturally preserved product.

Pros
    • High protein
    • Raw freeze dried meat
    • Minimal fillers
  • Grain Free
Cons
    • Higher priced
    • Limited selection
  • Multiple potato ingredients

3. Complete Health Grain FreePuppy Formula

Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Wellness dog food reviewsAfter the Wellness CORE brand, Wellness Complete Health Grain Free offers the next highest quality dog food.

It lacks the higher protein of the CORE dog food brand but delivers quality food at a more affordable price.

We selected the Puppy formula to be analyzed and represent this brand. It’s one of the highest quality Wellness puppy food formulas. It has a solid 32% protein and 18% fat.

A good sign of quality is that the first two ingredients are named animal proteins. The carbohydrates are also from quality sources: peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

There are four sizes: 4 lb, 11 lb(small breed only), 12 lb and 24 lb.

Other Formulas
    • Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal
    • Whitefish & Menhaden Fish Meal
    • Lamb & Lamb Meal
    • Small Breed
  • Large Breed

Ingredient Analysis

Key: 
Beneficial Ingredient Low-quality Ingredient
Neutral Ingredient

    1. Deboned Chicken: It’s good to see animal protein as the first ingredient. However, chicken contains about 80% water and much of the weight is lost after cooking.
    1. Chicken Meal: This is considered a meat concentrate since the water is removed. It contains significantly more protein than fresh chicken.
    1. Peas: A healthy source of carbohydrates. Also a great source of protein and fiber.
    1. Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these are a nutrient powerhouse full of protein. They are a great source of  iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and dietary fiber, as long as it’s not cooked out.
    1. Lentils: A great source of protein, fiber, and iron.
    1. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): A quality ingredient that’s high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Mixed tocopherols are vitamin E compounds that act as a natural preservatives.
    1. Salmon Meal: A concentrated source of protein containing some fatty acids.
    1. Potatoes: A carbohydrate/filler. Of little nutritional value for dogs.
    1. Tomato Pomace: The leftover tomato pulp, seeds, and skin after the juicing process. Contains soluble fiber. Due to processing, nutrient quality is up for debate.
  1. Ground Flaxseed: A source of omega-3 fatty acids. May be lacking fat due to being ground.

Being lower on the list, the rest of the ingredients likely make up very little of the food content and have little effect on quality. They are mostly mineral and vitamin supplements used to add nutrients.

Full Ingredient List
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Tomatoes, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salt, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, 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. This is a naturally preserved product.
Pros
    • Above average protein
    • Grain Free
    • Minimal fillers
  • Large selection
Cons
  • Potatoes offer little nutrition for dogs

4. Complete Health Small BreedTurkey & Oatmeal

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Wellness dog food reviewsThis dog food is formulated to have a higher protein and fat content to support the faster metabolism of smaller breeds. The kibble is also designed to be small to better suit smaller mouths.

It has a respectable protein content of 28% and fat content of 16%

We chose Turkey & Oatmeal formula in particular because it has the most nutritious ingredient list compared to other formulas in the brand.

We liked that the first three ingredients are all animal proteins, indicating a higher quality dog food. These are complemented by quality fiber sources such as oatmeal.

A downside is that ground brown rice and barley are used as ingredients. They are carbohydrate sources that are often used as fillers. 

Depending on the formula there are four sizes: 2 lb, 4 lb, 11 lb and 12 lb.

Other Formulas
    • Whitefish, Salmon Meal, & Peas
    • Puppy
    • Healthy Weight
    • Toy Breed
  • Senior

Ingredient Analysis (Turkey & Oatmeal)

Key: 
Beneficial Ingredient Low-quality Ingredient Neutral Ingredient

    1. Deboned Turkey: A quality alternative protein source. Good for dogs that tend to have meat allergies. Has less protein than turkey meal due to its moisture content.
    1. Chicken Meal: This is considered a meat concentrate since the water is removed. It contains significantly more protein than fresh chicken.
    1. Salmon Meal: A concentrated source of protein containing some fatty acids.
    1. Oatmeal: A nutrient filled fiber that’s beneficial for the colon.
    1. Ground Brown Rice: Mostly a waste product and cheap filler.
    1. Barley: A whole grain with some nutritional value for dogs. A source of fiber and protein.
    1. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): A quality ingredient that’s high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Mixed tocopherols are vitamin E compounds that act as a natural preservatives.
    1. Oats: Good source of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.
    1. Tomato Pomace: The leftover tomato pulp, seeds, and skin after the juicing process. Contains soluble fiber. Due to processing, nutrient quality is up for debate.
  1. Tomatoes: Difficult to determine quality and nutrient value after processing.

More notable ingredients include: spinach, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, chicory root extract, and blueberries. However, being lower on the list these likely make up very little of the food.

The remaining ingredients have little effect on quality. They are mostly mineral and vitamin supplements used to add nutrients.

Full Ingredient List
Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Oats, Tomato Pomace, Tomatoes, Pea Fiber, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Apples, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, 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, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, 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. This is a naturally preserved product.
Pros
    • Small breed specific formula
    • First three ingredients are animal proteins
  • Higher protein and fat
Cons
    • Small bag sizes
  • Not grain free

5. Wellness SimpleLamb & Oatmeal

Wellness Simple Wellness dog food reviewsSimple is Wellness’s limited ingredient brand. It can be beneficial for dogs that have food allergies, a sensitive stomach, or for simplifying your dog’s diet.

We like that this brand uses limited ingredients, is grain free,  and uses a single protein source.

However, we can only recommend the Lamb & Oatmeal and Small Breed formulas as the other formulas are of lower quality.

The other formulas have dicalcium phosphate in their first ten ingredients, a potentially harmful ingredient.

It’s commonly used as a texturizer in pet food. It cannot absorb water and has been shown to cause calcification of soft tissue as well as kidney stones.

This dog food has a moderate amount of protein at 21% and a moderate amount of fat at 12%.

Depending on the formula there are four sizes: 4.5 lb, 10.5 lb, 24 lb, and 26 lb.

Other Formulas
    • Turkey & Potato
    • Duck & Oatmeal
    • Salmon & Potato
    • Small Breed
  • Healthy Weight

Ingredient Analysis (Lamb & Oatmeal)

Key: 
Beneficial Ingredient Low-quality Ingredient
Neutral Ingredient

    1. Lamb: Good alternative source of protein.
    1. Lamb Meal: Despite being a “meal” this is a meat concentrate and actually contains a much higher protein content than fresh lamb.
    1. Oatmeal: A nutrient filled fiber that’s beneficial for the colon.
    1. Peas: A healthy source of carbohydrates. Also a great source of protein and fiber.
    1. Ground Rice: Mostly a waste product and cheap filler.
    1. Millet: An excellent gluten free source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
    1. Ground Flaxseed: A source of omega-3 fatty acids. May be lacking fat due to being ground.
    1. Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): A source of fat. There are healthier alternatives such as coconut and olive oil.
    1. Tomato Pomace: The leftover tomato pulp, seeds, and skin after the juicing process. Contains soluble fiber. Due to processing, nutrient quality is up for debate.
  1. Natural Lamb Flavor: A vague description. Difficult to determine quality.

The rest of the ingredients are lower on the list and have little effect on quality. They are mostly mineral and vitamin supplements used to add nutrients.

Full Ingredient List
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Ground Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Fish Flavor, 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, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, 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. This is a naturally preserved product.
Pros
    • Limited Ingredients
    • Single protein source
  • Grain free
Cons
    • Lower protein content
  • Dicalcium phosphate in other formulas

Who Makes Wellness Dog Food?

Wellness dog food is made by WellPet LLC, a pet food company formed by the combination of Wellness Natural Pet Food, Holistic Select Natural Pet Food, Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food and Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Snacks. Wellness was purchased by Berwind Corporation in 2008.

Wellness Recalls

March 2017

Cause: Potentially elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone

Announcement: WellPet voluntary recall

Recalled Products

  • Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs – 13.2 oz

Best-By Dates of 02 FEB 19, 29 AUG 19 and 30 AUG 19, located on the bottom of the can

February 2017

Cause: Potential for foreign material

Announcement: WellPet voluntary recall

Recalled Products

12.5 oz cans of cat food:

    • Chicken & Herring, best by Aug. 4, 2019
    • Chicken, best by Aug. 3 or Aug. 4, 2019
    • Chicken & Lobster, best byAug. 4, 2019
    • Turkey & Salmon, best byAug. 5, 2019
    • Turkey, best by Aug. 4 or Aug. 5, 2019
    • Beef & Chicken, best by Aug. 5, 2019
  • Beef & Salmon, best by Aug. 5, 2019

October 2012

Cause: Possible moisture contamination

Announcement: Company Facebook Announcement

Recalled Products

  • Wellness Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food, 12 lb. package with “Best by” date of Aug. 18, 2013.

May 2012

Cause: Potential for salmonella

Announcement: FDA Report

Recalled Products

  • Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy, 15 lb. and 30 lb. bags and 5 oz. sample bags with “Best by” dates of Jan. 9–11, 2013.

February 2011

Cause: Inadequate levels of thiamine (vitamin B1)

Announcement: FDA Report

Recalled Products

    • Wellness canned cat food (all flavors and sizes, including CORE) with “Best by” dates of April 14 – Sept. 30, 2013
  • Wellness Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with “Best by” dates of either Nov. 10, 2013 OR Nov. 17, 2013

Final Words: Wellness Dog Food Reviews

After conducting our Wellness dog food reviews and research we have found that Wellness offers higher quality dog food when compared to the average.

To choose the top five dog foods we carefully analyzed all ingredients and selected only the foods with the highest quality ingredients and best overall nutrients.

Wellness CORE is our number one selection. It has excellent protein content and quality ingredients across all formulas.

Share the love

Leave a Comment