Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 10/10
    10/10
  • Ingredients - 8/10
    8/10

Summary

Wellness Core Puppy is a high-quality dry puppy food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides significantly above average proportions of protein and fat. The formula contains well sourced high-quality ingredients with a focus on poultry including Chicken and Turkey. It contains Peas which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition to this, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. The formula also includes Potatoes which are considered an average-quality ingredient. The fantastic nutrient profile and quality of ingredients make Wellness Core Puppy a fantastic food for a puppy as they grow and develop. Wellness Core Puppy’s wide range of vegetable and meat ingredients may make it not suitable for puppies with dietary allergies or sensitivities.

Overall
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Pros

Very Satisfactory Nutrition Profile High-Quality Meat Ingredients No Grains

Cons

Contains Potato Protein Unimpressive Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A Full review of Core Puppy By Wellness

Wellness Core Puppy Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

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.

Wellness Core Puppy Calorie Breakdown Chart

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 27% of Wellness Core Puppy 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 significantly below average for a Puppy Food.

The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and starch ingredients of this puppy food. Vegetables such as Peas are considered high-quality and will be discussed in more detail later on. There is also a large portion of Potatoes which are considered an average-quality carbohydrate ingredient. This is a satisfactory level of carbohydrates but could be even lower to better reflect puppies natural diets.

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 35% of Wellness Core Puppy 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 Puppy Food.

This will be a more than sufficient amount of protein for the vast majority of puppies, including those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from a range of poultry ingredients which are considered high-quality sources and contain the full range of amino acids required.

It is likely that a small proportion of this protein is plant-based protein from the range of vegetable ingredients. While this is not the optimal source, given the very high levels of protein in Wellness Core Puppy, this small amount of plant-based protein is not 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 38% of Wellness Core Puppy 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 significantly above average for a Puppy Food.

The fat present in this puppy food appears to be sourced from the poultry ingredients which are a natural source. This low estimate of the fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active puppies. In addition, this fat content will help make Wellness Core Puppy more enjoyable and palatable for puppies.

Calorie Density

Calorie Density is essential to understand as it determines the portion size of food your dog will require per day or meal. Calorie Density is commonly measured in calories per kg or per cup.
Dog food formulas with high-calorie densities can be more cost efficient to purchase while recipes with lower calorie density can be advantageous to dogs attempting weight loss or who are relatively inactive.

Overall Wellness Core Puppy contains an average of 3,792 kcal/kg or 417 kcal/cup

Disclaimer

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 Puppy

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) – 36.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 17.50%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.5%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 1.2%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.5%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.6%

 

Ingredient Analysis

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.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Turkey Meal
  • Peas
  • Flaxseed

 

Low-Quality Ingredients 

  • Potato Protein

 

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

 

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 Puppy contains three sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present in this formula is Chicken. Chicken is the most common meat ingredient used in dog food and is considered a high-quality addition. Chicken can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat. In addition to being an excellent protein source, Chicken has high levels of some vitamins such as Niacin and Vitamin B6.  Whole Chicken contains a high concentration of water. This water will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving behind a lesser portion of Chicken. Given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient of this formula, there should be a significant portion remaining once its water content has been evaporated.

The secondary meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat 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. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.

The tertiary meat source present is Turkey Meal. Turkey Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat 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. Turkey Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

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.

Wellness Core Puppy contains Peas. Peas are a member 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 essential for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains 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.

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.

Salmon Oil is a reliable source of the Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids. In fact, Salmon Oil is particularly high in the Omega 3 Fatty Acid which is considered to be the more beneficial of the two. The Omega Fatty Acids are essential for an extensive range of reasons. They can help maintain a dogs skin and coat, they can reduce inflammation and they can help fight heart disease. The full list of potential benefits of the Omega Fatty Acids is far too numerous to list.

Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.

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 Puppy

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Ground Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Bananas, 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, 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.