Nutrition - 8/10
Ingredients - 8/10
Wellness Core – Ocean Formula is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides significantly above average proportions of protein and below average proportions of carbohydrates.
It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients including a variety of fish ingredients such as Whitefish and Salmon Meal. It also contains Peas which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. The formula also makes use of Potatoes which are less desirable but are not considered low-quality.
Wellness Core – Ocean Formula contains a large range of vegetables and a variety of fish ingredients, this means it may not be suitable for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.
High-Quality Fish Ingredients
Slightly Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
A Full review of Core – Ocean Formula by Wellness
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 33% of Wellness Core – Ocean Formula calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and starch content of this dog food. This includes Peas and Potatoes. These ingredients will be discussed later on. This is a satisfactory proportion of carbohydrates but could be slightly lower to mimic a dog’s natural diet. To add to this vegetables like Peas are considered a high-quality source and this an overestimate.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 34% of Wellness Core – Ocean Formula calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a more than sufficient proportion of protein for the majority of dogs including those who are more active. This protein appears to be mostly sourced from a mixture of fish ingredients which are high-quality sources. However, some of this protein is from the range of legumes present. Plant-based protein such as that from Peas is not quite as optimal as animal protein but given the already high levels of protein, it is less significant.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 33% of Wellness Core – Ocean Formula calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the fish ingredients such as Whitefish and Salmon Meal which are an ideal source. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of most dogs including those who are more active. The level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in this formula are above average and could provide some health benefits.
Wellness Core – Ocean Formula contains on average 3,630 kcal/kg or 417 kcal/cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Wellness Core – Ocean Formula
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 34.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 7.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.00%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.80%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Herring Meal
- Salmon Meal
- Menhaden Fish Meal
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Wellness Core – Ocean Formula contains four sources of meat or fish.
The primary fish source present is Whitefish. Whitefish is considered a high or average quality source of protein. Whitefish contains high levels of phosphorus and the Omega Fatty Acids. Unfortunately, just as with meat, Whitefish contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Whitefish. However given that Whitefish is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Herring Meal is considered a high-quality source of fish. It is a concentrated form of Fish that has already had most of its moisture removed. Fish Meal tends to be highly rich in protein which is ideal for a dog’s diet.
Another fish source present is Salmon Meal. Salmon Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Salmon Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Whitefish but in higher concentrations. This includes Vitamin B12 and Selenium.
Another fish source present is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is considered an average-quality source of fish. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish that are not fit for human consumption. The oil is removed from these fish and the leftover flesh is turned into fish meal. This fish meal is high in protein. Unfortunately, as most of the oil has been removed Menhaden Fish Meal is not high in the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids like other fish.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Peas are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a dense source of complex carbohydrates. Also, Potatoes can provide fiber and a surprising number of minerals and vitamins such as Potassium, Copper and the Vitamin B6. Sadly, Potatoes are considered an average-quality ingredient as they provide minimal nutritional value beyond their carbohydrate content.
Canola Oil is derived from a modified version of Rapeseed. Canola Oil is most commonly added to dog food to supplement the levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. These Fatty Acids are crucial for a dogs skin, coat and brain development. While Canola Oil is not the ideal source of the Omega Fatty Acids, it does have a high ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Sources with high ratios, such as Canola Oil, are considered superior. However, Canola Oil can be a controversial ingredient due to the fact it is genetically modified.
A noteworthy ingredient present in this formula is Tomato Pomace. Tomato Pomace is made up of tomato skin, seeds, and pulp. Its most beneficial feature is that it contains very high levels of soluble fiber which can aid and regulate digestion. Those high levels of fiber are the primary motivation behind this ingredients inclusion in most formulas as Tomato Pomace has little nutritional value.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Wellness Core – Ocean Formula
Whitefish, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace, Natural Fish Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, 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.