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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Formula is a good quality dog food at a high price. This product has 1 controversial ingredient, but no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. It has a below-average amount of carbs compared to protein and fat content, thats great, and uses an excellent quality of meat and fat. It is important to know that Wellness has an above average number of recalls but was extremely transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog labs recommends this product.Read the Full Review Below
This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 50.00%
Min. Fat 29.55%
Min. Carbs 11.36%
Max. Fiber 2.27%
Max. Ash 9.09%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 12.0%
Min Fat: 8.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 0.5%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 78.0%
509 Calories per Can
This product has an above average amount of calories for wet food. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. Keep in mind, puppy food, like this one, usually have much higher calories per cup than other foods.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Turkey Broth, Herring, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish, Turkey Broth, Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ground Dried Peas, Herring, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Carrageenan, Menhaden Fish Oil, Guar Gum, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 1 controversial ingredient called Carrageenan which we give some detail on below.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
This food is made in the United States. That’s good, because the U.S. has strong quality and food safety laws in place for dog food.
Meat & Fat Quality
The meat and protein list for this food is quite long and varied: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Herring, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish, Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Herring, and Chicken Meal. All of these clearly show which animals they’re sourced from, that’s great. The same goes for the added fat, Menhaden Fish Oil.
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Formula contains no controversial preservatives. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.
No artificial colors are used in this food, really great.
There are also zero artificial flavors. They’re unnecessary (dogs like many food flavors) and a potential health concern.
Wellness has an above average number of recalls, compared to other dog food brands. Here is an overview:
We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company-
Wellness responded quickly to the first email, only 2 days. There was a round of follow up emails to clarify some of the questions which were also responded to quickly and completely.
Does Wellness have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
We do have a PhD Animal Nutritionist on staff. His name is Dr. Mark Fink.
Its great to know exactly who the professionals are working on the product.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
We have a product development team that consist of food scientist, a DVM and our Animal Nutritionist.
(Follow-up email answer)
The name of our Animal Nutritionist is Dr. Mark Fink and our DVM is Albert Townshend. The rest of our product development team is a group that typically do not deal with the public.
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
Since we follow AAFCO nutritional guidelines AAFCO feeding trials are not required. We do our own feed testing for digestibility, stool output, skin & coat, and palatability.
What country are your products manufactured?
WellPet Operations: Mishawaka, IN
CJ Foods: Bern, KS & Pawnee City, NE
Bio Biscuit: St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada (TruFood)
Mountain Country Foods: Spanish Fork, UT (CORE Tender Bites)
Sojos Farm Fresh Kitchens: South St. Paul, MN (Make it Fresh)
Wellness Can Dog
Simmons Pet Food: Pennsauken, NJ, Emporia, KS & Toronto, Ontario, Canada
IPB (Thailand): CORE Chunky Centers, CORE Simple Shreds, CORE Mini Meals, and Petite Entrees
Bio Biscuit: St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
Mountain Country Foods: Spanish Fork, UT
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
Our manufacturing facilities are not open to the public.
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
Please visit this link to learn about our Quality Assurance Program: https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/our-philosophy/our-standards-our-promise
Does Wellness own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
We own our dry food facility, WellPet Operations, located in Mishawaka Indiana. Co-manufacturers are listed above in question above.
Do any parts of your product come from China?
Our Wellness ingredients are primarily sourced from North America. WellPet has one of the most strict sourcing criteria of any pet food manufacturer. All ingredient suppliers, whether domestic or international, need to meet certified nutrient levels and be manufactured in quality audited facilities. While there are many high quality ingredients available in the U.S., in some cases there is not a readily available U.S. supply. For example, our Venison, Lamb, Rabbit and Salmon Meal are sourced internationally from New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Chile respectively. Specifically for Chinese ingredients, we do source our Green Tea Extract, Mixed Tocopherols and may source some our vitamins and minerals from China. We feel that we have the appropriate quality programs in place at all our vendor locations and feel safe and secure with all the ingredients we source, whether they are sourced locally or globally.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.