Wellness Core Dog Food Review


Wellness CORE Dog Food Review — Is The Chow Worth the Hype?

Whether your pooch is big or small, we are sure they have a healthy appetite. You may find yourself buying dog food by rote just to satisfy their voraciousness. If so, we feel you. It is easy to get caught up in the wheel of constantly buying the same chow for your furry companion.

If you are anything like the majority of dog parents we know, the chances are you’ve gravitated towards a Wellness CORE bag more times than you can count. But is this the right kind for your pup? Should you be trying something different the next time around?

Although Wellness CORE has become a household name across the U.S., you may still be in the dark as to what they owe their popularity to. TheDogDigest strives to answer that question. We are not sponsored by affiliate links and do not promote one dog food brand over the other. Our mission is to give you our honest opinion about everything dog-related — including the good, the bad, and the ugly — only to help you take the best possible care of your fuzzy fellow.

What Is Wellness CORE?

Wellness CORE is more than just your go-to dog food brand. Along with Complete Health, CORE is what Wellness pet food brand is best known for.

Wellness is a big player in the dog food industry, and all their products are generally received with acclaim. Their CORE line is rather expensive but comes with fantastic features and loads of different recipes. It revolves around protein-focused nutrition that supplies your pooch with enough energy for all their activities.

Wellness CORE dog food is made of natural ingredients and comes in grain-free and wholesome grains versions. The main idea behind this line is that dogs thrive on protein-rich nutrition that has an alluring taste that all dogs love sinking their teeth into. The CORE food includes:

  1. Kibble
  2. Canned meals
  3. Toppers and mixers
  4. Treats and snacks

Here’s a glimpse at the entire Wellness CORE dog food assortment.

Wellness CORE Recipe Types Wellness CORE Product Lines
Dry recipes
Wet recipes
Mixers and toppers
Snacks and treats

Wellness pet food has been making food for cats and dogs for almost a 100 years. Such a long-standing tradition surely accounts for their popularity, but have they really managed to keep their products both delicious and nutritious for nearly a century? Here is how we set about the task of finding that out.

What We Looked For in Wellness CORE Dog Food 

Your pup needs plenty of grub to be strong and healthy, and they burn lots of calories during their daily workouts. It is only natural that they need a diet to match. If you’ve browsed our best dry dog food pieces, you’ve surely noticed Wellness CORE is a frequent mention. That is why we decided to do these Wellness CORE dog food reviews.

We want only the best of the best for our pooches, and we feel yours deserves the same. Proper canine diet has to be:

  • Loaded with proteins that turn into energy for mighty hounds and miniature tricksters alike
  • Made from real, named meat (not by-products) that is the source of high-quality protein 
  • Moderate in carbs that do keep pooches full and energized but aren’t essential for their wellbeing
  • Rich in fats, especially Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, that boost the immune system
  • Packed with leafy veggies that supply the food formula with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Delicious so that doggos gobble their meals down voraciously every time!

How We Selected the Categories for Our Wellness CORE Dog Food Reviews

Wellness CORE has such a wide assortment of products that we had to enlist expert help to assess and single out the best items from the bunch for review. We made sure to include info gathered from:

  1. Veterinarians
  2. Pet store workers
  3. Online reviewers
  4. Our own goggies

We talked to four vets from a reputable local pet clinic about the nutritional needs of our furry companions. They were kind enough to give us the guidelines mentioned above as well as to explain the differences between formulas for various stages of a dog’s life. That is how we were able to select the best Wellness CORE puppy and senior food blends.

Next, we had a chat with several independent and chain pet store employees who gave us valuable insight into what the best-selling Wellness CORE products are. They also told us what CORE blends their customers reported to be the most satisfied with. This was particularly relevant for our analysis as we wanted to cover the products you serve to your dogs most often.

Our team browsed through unbiased online reviews for more intel on the brand. We looked for comments by identifiable people with names and profile photos, who are active contributors to this day. That is how we discerned the legit reviews from the fake ones that are potentially aimed at building up or tarnishing the reputation of a brand that may not deserve it. We also inquired about the official recalls this brand has issued to check what to look out for (however, there were none for CORE).

We were particularly curious about what our own pooches’ personal favorites would be. How could we ever recommend something that our furry, selective judges didn’t approve of first-hand? We fed them only on Wellness CORE for two months straight, which was more than enough time to check if they had any adverse reactions to those formulas and if they enjoyed munching them or not.

It is safe to say that we thoroughly covered all our bases. After reading through our Wellness CORE reviews, you won’t have to wonder if going for this brand is a sound choice ever again.

How We Made Our Top Choices

We made sure to test items from all Wellness CORE recipe types. They had to meet the rigorous criteria laid out above to make the cut and be included in our reviews of the best:

  1. Dry food recipe
  2. Wet food recipe
  3. Puppy formula
  4. Senior dog formula
  5. Treats and snacks
  6. Mixers and toppers

We referred to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommendations and analyzed the Wellness CORE dog food ingredients to see what nutritional value their formulas bring to the table. We also monitored how our doggos liked the flavor of their meals. That is how we singled out the best of the bunch. Without further ado, let’s delve into our top picks!

TheDogDigest Picks Recipe Rating
Best dry food CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains, Ocean + 100% Raw Fish 4.9
Best wet food CORE Hearty Cuts with Turkey & Duck 4.9
Best puppy formula CORE RawRev Puppy, Puppy Original + 100% Raw Turkey 4.9
Best senior dog formula CORE Senior Dry Dog Food 4.9
Best snack or treat CORE Marrow Roasts with Beef 4.8
Best topper/mixer CORE Simply Shreds Mixer or Topper with Chicken, Chicken Liver & Broccoli 4.8

Best Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food Recipe: CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains, Ocean + 100% Raw Fish

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains, Ocean + 100% Raw Fish is an innovative, poultry-free, fish-based dry food recipe. It takes the original Ocean formula to the next level because it has chunks of 100% raw, freeze-dried whitefish sprinkled in with the kibble. Freeze-dried raw meat has a long shelf life, and it retains the essential enzymes and vitamins that are usually destroyed when the meat is cooked.

This formula could very well be a dog’s dream come true. We loved it because it is packed with protein and Omega fatty acids. Proteins ensure that our woofers have enough energy and that their tissue is healthy, while Omega acids render our fluffers’ coats soft, shiny, and worth showing off.

This dry food recipe contains easy-to-digest wholesome grains, such as oatmeal, barley, and quinoa, which makes it safe for doggos allergic to wheat, corn, and soy. It is also legume- and potato-free, which means that it is well-suited for pups that need to be on a low-carb food regimen.

This RawRev formula also exists in the grain-free version for pooches that have food sensitivities or need to shave some pounds. 

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 36%
Crude Fat min. 15%
Crude Fiber max. 4%
Moisture max. 10%
Calcium max. 1.9%
Phosphorus max. 1.4%
Vitamin A min. 25,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E min. 400 IU/kg
Taurine min. 0.20%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 3.25%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 2.25%
Glucosamine min. 1,200 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate min. 800 mg/kg
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms min. 80,000,000 CFU/lb

Ingredients: Whitefish, Herring Meal (source of Glucosamine ), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Oatmeal, Barley, Canola Oil, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Quinoa, Potassium Chloride, Natural Fish Flavor, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, 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.

Best Wellness CORE Wet Food Recipe: CORE Hearty Cuts with Turkey & Duck

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

CORE Hearty Cuts is the type of food that any doggo would devour in a heartbeat. What could be more scrumptious than thick, juicy cuts of meat, doused with delicious veggie gravy?

This canned food comes in four recipes:

  1. Chicken and turkey
  2. Turkey and duck
  3. Beef and venison
  4. Whitefish and salmon

Our goggie’s favorite was the turkey and duck blend, but from what other dog parents report, all of the above are equally delicious. Apart from meat, this formula is enriched with superfoods, such as broccoli, flaxseed, and sweet potatoes. Veggies ensure that your pup eats enough fiber for a healthy digestive system with each meal, and flaxseed provides Omega-3 oils that nourish your furry baby’s skin and coat.

Wet food contains a lot of moisture and fills your dog’s tummy quickly, so they are unlikely to overeat on it. That may not work for your pooch if what they need is to gain an extra pound or two.

Another potential downside is the relatively high cost of this wet food, especially for owners on a budget or those who have giant-sized dogs that can gobble up a lot in a single serving.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 8%
Crude Fat min. 3.5%
Crude Fiber max. 1%
Moisture max. 82%

Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Chicken Broth, Turkey Liver, Duck, Dried Egg Whites,  Potato Starch, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Guar Gum, Carrots, Apples, Blueberries, Broccoli, Kale, Parsley, Spinach, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Canola Oil, Inulin, Calcium Carbonate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Salmon Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tricalcium Phosphate, 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, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Best Wellness CORE Puppy Formula: CORE RawRev Puppy, Puppy Original + 100% Raw Turkey

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

Puppers have special dietary requirements and need nutrient-packed food that will help them grow into strong, healthy adult doggos. CORE RawRev Puppy, Puppy Original + 100% Raw Turkey meets those needs to a T.

While grown-up pooches need at least 18% protein, whelps require much more — 22.5% or more, that is! This Wellness CORE blend contains no less than 38% protein, so you know that your pupperino will develop strong, lean muscles and have enough energy to take the world by storm!

RawRev formulas combine kibble with chunks of dehydrated raw meat, which is a safe way to serve raw food to your dog without risking contamination that can happen with home-cooked meals. There are numerous benefits to including freeze-dried raw meat into your puppy’s diet:

  • Shinier coat
  • Healthier skin
  • Smaller stool
  • Stronger teeth

This is one of the Wellness CORE grain-free dog foods, which allows the primary energy source to be protein from the meat instead of grain-derived carbs. It also has a recommended calcium-phosphorus ratio, which ensures healthy bone and teeth growth.

This formula’s main ingredients are turkey and chicken, which makes it quite tasty. If your yapper is not particularly fond of poultry, you can offer them some of the other flavors in this line, such as fish and lamb. Alternatively, check out our other best puppy food brands.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 38%
Crude Fat min. 17.5%
Crude Fiber max. 5%
Moisture max. 10%
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) & Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) min. 0.1%
Calcium max. 1.5%
Phosphorus max. 1.2%
Vitamin A min. 25,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E min. 400 IU/kg
Taurine min. 0.2%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 3.5%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 1.2%
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms min. 80,000,000 CFU/lb

Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Ground Potatoes, Turkey Liver, Turkey Hearts, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Shidigera Extract, 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. 

Best Wellness CORE Senior Dog Formula: CORE Senior Dry Dog Food

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

CORE Senior Dry Dog Food is an old doggo take on the all-time favorite CORE Original formula and undoubtedly one of the best senior dry dog food options out there.

CORE Senior meets all the special dietary requirements for dogs that are over seven years old. It is a grain-free recipe that prevents them from overeating on non-essential carbohydrates and putting on excess weight due to decreased activity in old age. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which support your grandpa-dog’s sensitive hips and joints.

This formula will keep your elderly pooch in top shape, boosting their immune system with plenty of minerals and vitamins. In a similar vein, Omega fatty acids will provide nutrition to their coat and skin. The blend is free from fillers and artificial ingredients that are typical of the worst dry dog food.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 32%
Crude Fat min. 12%
Crude Fiber max. 6.25%
Moisture max. 10%
Calcium max. 1.3%
Phosphorus max. 1.1%
Vitamin A min. 25,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E min. 400 IU/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 3.25%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 1.25%
Glucosamine min. 275 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate min. 200 mg/kg
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms min. 80,000,000 CFU/lb

Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Dried Ground Potatoes, Peas, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Chickpeas, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Taurine, Sweet Potato, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate    , Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, 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, Biotin, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, 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.

Best Wellness CORE Treat or Snack: CORE Marrow Roasts with Beef 

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

CORE Marrow Roasts with Beef are delectable treats for any pooch. Those are tiny, crunchy biscuits that have real cooked bone marrow in their center, making them a real delicacy in any canine’s book.

What we liked the most is that they are completely grain- and gluten-free and contain no artificial colors or flavors. What we didn’t like as much is that they contain a questionable preservative, tocopherol, and, quite frankly, the somewhat hefty price tag.

In case your pooch has a taste for poultry, you can get them an equally nutritious snack with a turkey flavor. For more mouth-watering ideas, check out our guides on the:

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 14%
Crude Fat min. 10%
Crude Fiber max. 5%
Moisture max. 22%

Ingredients: Beef, Ground Peas, Vegetable Glycerin, Chickpea Flour, Tapioca Starch, Ground Flaxseed, Cooked Bone Marrow, Sweet Potatoes, Caramel Color, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Vinegar, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Best Wellness CORE Topper/Mixer Recipe: CORE Simply Shreds Mixer or Topper with Chicken, Chicken Liver & Broccoli

Credit: Wellness Pet Food

Toppers and mixers can be added to any dog food or served as a meal in their own right. We like them best poured over plain ol’ kibble as an effective way to cure the ever-so-familiar dry dog food boredom!

CORE Simply Shreds Mixer or Topper with Chicken, Chicken Liver & Broccoli is made from diced veggies and shredded meat. Our favorite ingredient here is chicken liver, which is a prime source of vitamin B that is vital for your pooch’s nervous system and brain development.

Another fantastic thing about this product is its simplicity. It is made with only five natural ingredients and without fillers, such as rice, corn, by-products, and hulls. It is protein-packed and grain-free, which makes it a perfectly balanced topper or snack for your pooch!

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 10%
Crude Fat min. 0.5%
Crude Fiber max. 1%
Moisture max. 90%

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken Liver, Broccoli.

The Digest of It All

Our Wellness dog food review showed that their CORE line truly lives up to its reputation. The detailed analysis we made proved that this dog food brand supports our pups’ whole-body health, providing them with balanced diet options and delectable formulas, regardless of their size or age. 

If you were mulling over getting a Wellness CORE blend for your pooch, now you know exactly what you could go for. If you have used it already, and your dog adored it, feel free to continue because now you know they’ll get only the best, most nutritious chow with this brand.

Although some of the products may not suit everyone’s budget, they can certainly enter the equation as occasional rewards for our furry friends. 

Also, check out our reviews of Dog For Dog Food and the Nutra Thrive dog food supplement, and feel free to get more delicious dog food ideas from our guides on the best dry dog food for small dogs and the best large breed dry dog food.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_food
  2. https://www.quora.com/In-your-opinion-what-is-the-best-kind-of-dog-food
  3. Cargo-Froom, Cara L, et al. “Apparent and True Digestibility of Macro and Micro Nutrients in Adult Maintenance Dog Foods Containing Either a Majority of Animal or Vegetable proteins1.” Journal of Animal Science, vol. 97, no. 3, 2019, pp. 1010–1019., doi:10.1093/jas/skz001.
  4. Brown, Steve. Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the Abc Way. Dogwise Pub, 2009.

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