Wellness Dog Food Review 2024

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Written by Wag! Staff

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/10/2023, edited: 02/22/2024

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The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Overview


Wellness is a respected dog food company founded in 1997 that offers a massive range of recipes for both dogs and cats. Their recipes offer a balanced diet for dogs of different sizes, life stage and special health requirements. Whether you're in the market for grain-free, high-protein, hypoallergenic, or joint-supporting foods, Wellness has something for your pet!

In this guide, we’ll break down Wellness’s dog food recipes to help you decide whether it’s right for your pet.



Wellness product ranges and flavors

Wellness offers a wide variety of dry and wet foods for dogs They currently offer a whopping 53 dry food recipes, and 42 wet food recipes. Let’s take a closer look at the flavors and variations.


Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health ranges

The Complete Health dog food range provides a wholesome, balanced diet for dogs of all ages, shapes, sizes, and nutritional needs. It’s full of the nutrients your dog needs for a lifetime of well-being.

  • Complete Health:¬†Complete Health dog food contains all of the vitamins, minerals, and¬†antioxidants¬†your dog needs to stay playful and active. This product range includes 13 dry foods and 12 wet foods in pat√©s¬†and stews, with varieties for puppy, senior, small breed, and weight management.

  • Complete Health Grain-Free:¬†These tasty recipes are formulated with a balanced blend of proteins,¬†grain-free¬†carbs, and select fats, providing the energy your dog needs to thrive. There are 6 dry food formulas, including for puppies, seniors, and small and large breeds.

  • Complete Health Small Breed Petite Entrees:¬†Petite Entrees were created just for¬†small breed dogs. There are 10 wet food foods, and each recipe features all-natural chicken, beef, or turkey and wholesome vegetables in tasty sauces. Your little guy will drool over it!


Wellness CORE Dog Food

Wellness CORE Dog Food

Wellness CORE ranges

The Core product range is a protein-focused natural dog food with bark-worthy recipes your canine will thrive on.

  • CORE:¬†The Core product range features 12 dry food flavors and 3 subranges of canned wet food. The dry food is grain-free and full of premium protein along with nutrient-rich superfoods and nutritional supplements. It includes flavors like Wild Game and Ocean, and formulas for puppies, weight management, and small breeds. The canned wet food includes 5 Core Pate flavors, 3 Core Hearty Cuts flavors, and 3 Core 95% flavors.
  • CORE Wholesome Grains Dry:¬†Core Wholesome Grains is a high-protein food packed with premium meat along with nutrient-rich superfoods and nutritional supplements. Their 4 dry food recipes include Original with chicken and turkey, Ocean, Puppy, and Small Breed.
  • CORE Small Breed Mini Meals:¬†This food is ideal for small but mighty dogs. They come in a single-serve pouch packed with shredded meat and gravy. There are 6 flavors for your little friend to choose from including proteins chicken, beef, lamb and tuna.

  • CORE Digestive Health:¬†The 3 varieties of canned dog food in this line is a highly digestible pat√© crafted with prebiotic fiber and superfoods to support digestive health with flavors in chicken, beef, and lamb.¬†It also comes in 7 dry varieties with prebiotics and probiotics to support gut health.
  • CORE RawRev:¬†Core RawRev offers the convenience of dry dog food with the taste of raw your canine craves. High-protein, grain-free kibble is combined with 100% raw meat pieces to create a savory, nutrient-rich meal. Some of the proteins include fish, lamb, and turkey. They have 6 recipes, including foods for puppies, weight management, and small breeds.

  • CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains:¬†This dry dog food has the same raw taste and protein that will help your dog thrive, formulated with easy-to-digest, wholesome grains like oatmeal,¬†barley¬†& quinoa. They have 4 flavors to choose from, including one for puppies and one for small breeds.


Wellness Simple Dog Food

Wellness Simple Dog Food

Wellness Simple ranges

These natural, limited-ingredient diet dog food recipes keep it simple with a single source of protein and no extra fillers or additives, and are pawfect for those pups with certain food allergies.

  • Simple Limited Ingredient:¬†These grain-inclusive recipes feature 2 dry food and 3 wet food flavors containing easily digestible carbohydrates from oatmeal. Both dry and wet food flavors include Lamb and Oatmeal, and Duck and Oatmeal

  • Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free:¬†These grain-free recipes will fuel your dog with a single source of protein and easily digestible carbs from potatoes. There are 4 dry food variations, Salmon and Potato, Turkey and Potato, Small Breed, and Healthy Weight. There are also wet food options made with Whitefish and Potato, and Turkey and Potato.


Wellness Mixers and Toppers Dog Food

Wellness Mixers and Toppers Dog Food

Wellness Mixers and Toppers

Supercharge your dog’s kibble with a boost of extra flavor and nutrition. Whether you need a topper with the most simple ingredients or one tailored to your dog’s specific health needs, Wellness has it.

  • Bowl Boosters FRESHLY:¬†Quality ingredients are selected at the peak of freshness and then frozen. Simply thaw, serve, and watch your pup devour every morsel. Its four recipes include Chicken and Butternut Squash, Beef and Carrots, Turkey and Sweet Potatoes, and Turkey and Rice for Puppies.

  • CORE Bowl Boosters Functional Toppers:¬†These functional toppers are crafted with supplements and nutrients to help support your dog's specific needs. The four topper varieties include Digestives Health, Heart Health, Joint Health, and Skin and Coat Health. Nutritious and delicious!

  • Bowl Boosters Simply Shreds:¬†This grain-free, filler-free boost of pure protein is perfect for topping or snacking. Each of the four varieties is made with only four, simple, natural, ingredients.

  • Bowl Boosters Tender Toppers:¬†Tender Toppers are an easy way to add a boost of flavor and protein to your canine's meal. The tender texture is great for puppies, adults, and aging dogs. It comes in two flavors: Turkey and Chicken, and Lamb and Salmon.

  • CORE Bowl Boosters BARE:¬†It doesn‚Äôt get more pure than with the BARE toppers: each recipe is crafted with just 1 ingredient: raw, freeze-dried meat. It comes in two flavors: 100% Beef, and 100% Turkey.

  • Ninety-Five Percent Mixer or Topper:¬†Each can of Wellness Ninety-Five Percent is packed with all-natural, grain-free meat and not much else. It comes in 5 varieties: Ninety-Five Percent Chicken, Ninety-Five Percent Turkey, Ninety-Five Percent Beef, Ninety-Five Percent Lamb, and Ninety-Five Percent Whitefish.



Wellness Treats

Wellness has a whopping 19 different all-natural treat lines. With dozens of different dog biscuits, jerky, dental chews, and soft treat recipes, they have something for almost every pup! Let's take a closer look at these lines, shall we?

Wellness treat line has 3 different treat lines:

  • Their¬†Crunchy WellBars¬†are natural dog biscuits that come in two plant- and dairy-centric recipes: Peanuts,¬†Honey, & Yogurt, Apples, & Banana. Peas and chickpeas are the leading ingredients in these biscuits, so you may want to feed them sparingly due to recent¬†studies on the link¬†between legumes and¬†dilated cardiomyopathy¬†in dogs.¬†
  • The¬†Rewarding Life¬†offers 5 meat-flavored training treats: Beef & Turkey, Chicken & Lamb, Chicken & Venison, Lamb & Salmon, and Turkey & Duck. We love that real meat is the first ingredient and that they pack a healthy dose of omega 3s without any corn, wheat, or soy. They DO contain chickpeas.¬†
  • Complete Health Puppy Bites¬†come in two DHA-rich recipes: Crunchy Chicken & Carrots and Soft Lamb & Salmon. We love that the soft treats are the perfect size for rewards when working on obedience training!

Wellness Core has 4 signature treat lines:

  • Wellness Core Tiny Trainers Tender Treats¬†are grain- and preservative-free training treats that are currently available in two versions: Lamb & Pomegranate and Turkey & Apples.¬†
  • The¬†Power Packed Jerky Treats offer a¬†chewy jerky texture with flavors like Beef, Beef & Venison, and Chicken. We love that these treats feature real meat as the main ingredient and use spearmint, rosemary, and green tea in place of artificial preservatives.¬†
  • Wellness's¬†Brainac Puppy Treats¬†are soft-baked training treats that offer the DHA puppies need to support their growing brains. These treats come in a single flavor, Beef & Turkey, along with antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies like blueberries, apples, and sweet potatoes.¬†
  • If you have a senior or large breed dog, their¬†Healthy Joints¬†treats come in one flavor (Beef & Chicken Meal) and feature real meat, glucosamine & chondroitin, and fatty acids to support muscle and joint health. These bite-size biscuits have a crunchy texture to help combat tartar, as well.¬†

Wellness Good Dog has 3 treat ranges:

  • The¬†Happy Puppy Treat line¬†comes in two flavors: Crunchy Chicken & Carrots and Soft Lamb & Salmon. These treats can help meet your pet's DHA and vitamin needs with their "Triple Puppy Care" blend of vitamins and nutrients. Since these are bite-sized, you can use them throughout puppyhood as your baby's first treats and as training treats as they get older.
  • Once Fido ages out of puppyhood, you can transition them to¬†Training Rewards¬†treats, their adult training treat line. These are about the size of a small cracker but can easily be broken down into smaller morsels for training little pups. These come in two pawsome flavors, Chicken & Venison and Turkey & Duck. Like all Wellness products, these are free of fillers and artificial ingredients.¬†
  • The final treat line in the Good Dog subrange is the¬†Drool-Worthy Jerky Bars. Unfortunately, this line is currently only available in one recipe, chicken, but we're hoping they will expand their offerings in the future.¬†

Old Mother Hubbard by Wellness Treats

Old Mother Hubbard, now part of the Wellness brand, is one of the oldest dog treat manufacturers in existence, dating all the way back to the 1920s. Nowadays, the brand has 7 different treat lines with over two dozen recipes. 

Old Mother Hubbard by Wellness treat lines:

  • Old Mother Hubbard's¬†Wholesome Indulgences¬†is a line of adorable heart-shaped soft-baked biscuits that are available in two flavors ‚ÄĒ Bacon, Oats, & Maple, and Peanut Butter& Banana. We love that these are high in whole grains, which means plenty of fiber for your pooch!
  • If your dog paw-fers an even chewier consistency, their¬†Soft & Chewy¬†biscuits¬†might hit the spot. These feature whole wheat and oatmeal as the first two ingredients and come in fun flavors like Bark'n Beef, Kick'n Chicken, and Pleas'n P.B. Bacon.
  • The¬†Solutions¬†line come in a Fresh Breath recipe featuring spearmint, parsley, and fennel and a Hip and Joint version with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to help promote joint health. These both feature whole wheat flour and oatmeal as the primary ingredients.¬†
  • Training Bitz¬†are bite-sized crunchy training treats that are sold in a single assorted pack with a mix of flavors like chicken, liver, and veggies. These treats are just 2 calories each, making them paw-fect for pooches who are watching their diet.¬†
  • Old Mother Hubbard's¬†Classic Dog Biscuits¬†are similar in the recipe to their Soft & Chewy treats, but have a crunchy texture. These come in 10 different options, including Chicken Pot Pie, P-Nuttier, and Liv'R'Crunch. We love that these come in multiple different sizes to suit every woofer!¬†
  • Classic Grain Free Biscuits¬†steer away from their traditional formulas (which are primarily wheat and oat-based) in favor of grain-free potato and peas-based recipes. These come in 3 flavors: All The Fixins, P Nuttier'N'Nanners, and Pick of the Patch.
  • The final line in the Wellness' treat offerings is¬†Wellness Whimzees. These dental chews come in a variety of sizes and shapes, like antlers, hedgehogs, alligators, sticks, and toothbrushes, to name a few.¬†

Wellness also has seasonal offerings within their treat lines for different holidays, like their Halloween-themed dental chews and heart-shaped Bitz for Valentine's, so keep on the lookout!




Why Wag! likes Wellness

Wellness dog food is known for its high-quality ingredients, making it a popular choice among pet owners. The brand emphasizes using real meat as the primary ingredient in their recipes, and this commitment to ingredient quality sets them apart from many other dog food brands on the market.

Another advantage of Wellness dog food is its affordability. While it’s still considered a premium brand, Wellness offers a range of options that can fit many different budgets. Pet owners can find a variety of formulas, such as grain-free or limited-ingredient diets, allowing them to choose the best option for their dog's specific needs without breaking the bank.

Transparency is an essential value for Wellness, and the brand is dedicated to providing pet owners with detailed information about their food processing practices. They have an open and honest approach, sharing information about their ingredient sourcing, manufacturing processes, and quality control measures.

Wellness dog food has also received awards and recommendations from veterinarians. These endorsements validate the brand's commitment to producing high-quality, nutritionally balanced meals for dogs.

Pet parents can feel confident in their choice to nourish their dogs with Wellness!



Concerns & considerations

While Wellness has generally maintained a good reputation, they have experienced recalls in the past. They will be considered further in this article. It's important for pet parents to stay informed about any potential recalls and pay attention to the brand's response to these situations.

Although Wellness has a broad range of products, some of the products are more on the expensive side. When choosing which dog food to try, this is something that every pet parent needs to consider.

It may seem like Wellness’s dog food options are endless, but they only have one food for toy dogs and no special formulation for pregnant or nursing dogs.



What pet parents say about Wellness

‚ÄúI ordered Wellness core for my dogs on the advice of my [veterinarian]. She said it was one of the best food for dogs because it is made from human-grade ingredients. I have been feeding it to my dogs for many years, and they are doing well. They like it too, and eat it all up.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI was giving this to my dogs for years and felt like it was time to switch it up [...]. I am switching back to Core because I know my dogs love it and it will not cause issues for them. I would 100000% recommend this food. I do lots of research on the food I give my dogs and this checks all my boxes for them.‚ÄĚ

Read more reviews on Chewy.



Wellness history

Wellness is a pet food brand of Wellness Pet Company, the company that also manages pet food brands like Holistic Select and Eagle Pack. Wellness is a well-known and trusted dog food brand that has a fascinating history that spans over several decades that was founded in 1997 by a passionate and devoted dog lover named Jim Scott. 

Jim's own dog, a Golden Retriever named Sadie, was diagnosed with various health problems, including allergies and digestive issues. Determined to improve Sadie's quality of life, Jim began researching and experimenting with different ingredients and formulations. Through extensive trial and error, he eventually developed a recipe that provided optimal nutrition and helped alleviate Sadie's health issues.

With a strong belief in the power of natural ingredients, Jim founded Wellness Dog Food to offer a premium line of dog food that focused on wholesome, nutrient-rich ingredients. The brand quickly gained popularity among dog owners who shared Jim's commitment to providing their furry companions with the best nutrition possible.

At the brand's headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, a dedicated team of experts and professionals works tirelessly to ensure the highest standards of product quality and innovation. Wellness Dog Food takes pride in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, which are strategically located throughout the United States to ensure efficient production and distribution of its products.

Wellness Dog Food remains dedicated to its founding principles, continually striving to provide the best possible nutrition for dogs and promote their overall well-being. With a commitment to quality, innovation, and the happiness of dogs everywhere, Wellness Dog Food has truly made its mark in the world of pet nutrition.



Wellness recalls

Wellness dog food has had three dog food product recalls since the brand was introduced in 1997.

March 2017

The most recent recall was in March 2017, certain dates of Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs, in 13.2 oz. cans were voluntarily recalled because of possible high levels of beef thyroid hormone. They were cans with the Best-By Dates: February 2, 2019, August 29, 2019, and August 30, 2019.

Wellness stated that ‚ÄúElevated levels [of this hormone] may affect a dog‚Äôs metabolism and can be associated with increased thirst, increased urinary output, restless behavior, and weight loss. Even though the chance of a dog being affected is remote, we are voluntarily recalling this recipe and only these 3 ‚Äėbest by‚Äô dates as an extra precaution.‚ÄĚ

October 2012

In October 2012, Wellness withdrew one of its dry kibbles because of moisture contamination. This only applied to Wellness Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food in the 12 lbs package bearing a ‚ÄúBest By‚ÄĚ date of August 18, 2013.

According to a statement on their Facebook page, ‚ÄúA small batch of the product with this specific date code was found to be higher in moisture than our recipe calls for. High moisture may cause food to mold before its expiration date, but poses no health risk.‚ÄĚ

To remedy the situation, they assured their customers: ‚ÄúWe want you and your pet to be completely satisfied, so we are asking those who may have this limited supply of food to contact us for a replacement.‚ÄĚ

May 2012

In May 2012, Wellness voluntarily recalled dog food after being notified by Diamond Pet Foods regarding the presence of Salmonella in Diamond Pet Foods’ Gaston, South Carolina facility.

The recall applied to Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy, 15 lb. and 30 lb. bags and 5 oz. sample bags with best-by dates of January 9, 2013, through January 11, 2013.

Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Tim Callahan, chief executive officer of WellPet, responded: "As a pet parent myself, I know how important peace of mind is when it comes to the health of our pets, and that is why we require that all of our products undergo testing for Salmonella, among other things. All of these lots tested negative prior to being released for sale. We are voluntarily taking this additional step to further safeguard our dogs and to put our customers’ minds at ease."

The company also claims it ‚Äúno longer purchases any products from Diamond Pet Foods‚ÄĚ.

Keep in mind that a product recall can happen at any time, so it’s important to stay up to date! To make sure your dog’s food is safe, check the FDA’s pet food recall website.




All product images from Chewy. Copyright Wellness Pet Company.


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