Wellness Core

Last updated date: December 7, 2018

DWYM Score
9.6

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We looked at the top 1 Dry Dog Food and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, BestReviews and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Dry Dog Food you should buy.

Overall Take

Wellness Core has lots of protein plus other super-healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed. This grain-free food is generally well-tolerated, and they offer special formulas for different dietary needs. In our analysis of 129 expert reviews, the Wellness Wellness Core placed 1st when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 20, 2019:
Checkout The Best Dry Dog Food for a detailed review of all the top dry dog food.

Expert Summarized Score
9.7
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.3
1,801 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
- Dog Food Advisor
This is basically what you’d expect out of a top notch company. Tons of animal sources, high protein percentage, and all quality ingredients. No fillers, no by-products, nothing you wouldn’t feed your dog personally. Not only that, but it is rich in vegetables and fruits, provides for high levels of Omega fatty acids, and has a lower carb level than most foods.
- PetFoodRatings.org
Plus: - Contains flaxseed – health promoting ingredient. - This pet food contains several animal protein sources – chicken, turkey, salmon.
- Petsumer Report
The CORE line of foods is grain free, high in protein, and low carb. This line of foods includes seven recipes including a reduced fat formula for dogs that need to lose weight or who can’t tolerate a lot of fat. It also has a fish variety called Ocean.
- Dog Food Guru
According to Wellness dog food reviews, many dogs are able to eat Wellness brand dog food formulas without problems. Though some dogs with specific protein allergies (such as chicken, beef or fish) may not be able to eat specific Wellness formulas, the variety of formulas is expansive. Wellness even has a line of dog food called “Wellness Simple Food Solutions”, which is designed especially for dogs with allergies.
- PetFoodTalk.com
October 25, 2018 | Full review
Made with fresh chicken and chicken meal, includes whole grains for digestibility, fresh fruits and veggies for natural sources of vitamins and minerals, supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics, free from meat by-products and artificial additives, added sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, supports healthy skin and coat
- Business Insider
August 28, 2018 | Full review
Free from preservatives, additives, and fillers, this is what clean eating for dogs look like. Contains impressive meat content with high levels, healthy carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit, and a balanaced profile of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Live probiotics and zero grains encourage optimal digestive health, making it great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- BestReviews
October 1, 2018 | Full review
This is a grain free food and it’s also gluten-free. It does contain several sources of carbs. The next three ingredients are Peas, Potatoes, and Dried Ground Potatoes. Potatoes (and dried ground potatoes) are frequently used in grain free foods to provide carbs and good dietary fiber. They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals such as iron and potassium. Peas are problematic for some dogs and can be hard to digest.
- Dog Food Insider
December 12, 2014 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Minus: - This food does not appear to contain probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet). - Supplements can be sourced from China; risk of poor quality control. - Many mineral listings do not read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption). - Contains copper sulfate, supplement recently linked to liver disease. - Contains Sodium Selenite – potential risk form of selenium. - This pet food lists salt high in the ingredients, contains more salt than some food ingredients.
- Petsumer Report
And while Wellness uses high-quality ingredients for the most part, in some recipes, they use peas as a carb/protein substitute for grains, which we are not a fan of. We also do not recommend another ingredient Wellness uses – flaxseed. It has many of the same properties as soybeans and can interfere with a dogs’ hormones.
- Dog Food Guru
Owner reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with the only complaints being about the price of the food. Because the company uses the highest quality ingredients, Wellness dog food can be more expensive than other brands.
- PetFoodTalk.com
October 25, 2018 | Full review
May trigger allergies in dogs sensitive to grains, some dogs are allergic to chicken, some dogs developed gas or upset stomach
- Business Insider
August 28, 2018 | Full review
A bit pricey, but most owners the overall health benefits are well worth it.
- BestReviews
October 1, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken Recipe is healthy, 100% natural grain free dog food for adult dogs made with turkey, chicken, salmon oil and fruits and vegetables to help support your dog's optimal health and fortified with antioxidents, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, including fish and flax omega blend for healthy skin and coat. Wellness CORE grain free dog food formulas are based on the nutritional philosophy that dogs thrive on a diet mainly comprised of meat. Each grain free, nutrient-rich formula provides high quality protein for your dog with no meat by-products or fillers, grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Combination feeding: If feeding with Wellness wet food, reduce dry amount fed by ⅓ cup (38 g), for every 6 oz (170 g) of wet food. Every dog is a little different, so optimal feeding amounts may vary by age, size, activity level, breed and environment. Please use feeding guidelines as an initial recommendation and adjust as needed.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Wellness Core
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 8
2. Orijen Tundra
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 9
3. Taste of the Wild Grain Free
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 8
4. CANIDAE All Life Stages
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 8
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 7
6. American Journey
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 3
7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Fromm Classic
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Horizon Dog Food
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 5
10. Natural Balance Dog Food
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 7
11. Nature’s Recipe
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 8
12. Iams ProActive Health
Overall Score: 6.2
Expert Reviews: 6
13. Royal Canin
Overall Score: 6.0
Expert Reviews: 7
14. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog
Overall Score: 5.8
Expert Reviews: 8
15. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Formula
Overall Score: 5.6
Expert Reviews: 6
16. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive
Overall Score: 5.5
Expert Reviews: 4
17. Pedigree Adult Complete
Overall Score: 5.3
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Dry Dog Food

Dogs are like members of our families, so of course, we want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. The foundation for that is proper nutrition. A consistent, high-quality diet is the key to keeping your dog looking and feeling great. Feeding your dog the best dog food will keep them functioning at their best and can ward off chronic diseases, leading to a longer life. Dry dog food is very common and convenient, as it does not require refrigeration.

There’s a ton of different types of dry dog food out there, so the choices can be overwhelming.  You should look for dog food that is labeled as “complete and balanced,” which means the food contains the minimum amount of all the nutrients necessary for dogs. This standard is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Keep in mind that buzzwords like “premium” and “immune supporting” are not regulated and should not carry much weight in your choice.

Just as with human food, you want to make sure your dog is eating a diet with real, whole foods and one that is free from artificial preservatives and additives. Make sure your dog’s food contains a high-quality animal protein source, like lamb, chicken or turkey. Leading brands, such as Orijen Tundra, contain multiple protein sources, including chicken, turkey, flounder and egg.

Many veterinarians recommend avoiding dog food that contains grains like corn, wheat and soy, as dogs do not need these starches. Although many healthy dog foods contain carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables, brands like Taste of the Wild tout their grain-free recipe.

Other healthy ingredients include probiotics, which benefit the intestinal and immune systems, and minerals. Minerals should be chelated or proteinated for maximum absorption.

Some dogs need special diets, and diets should be adjusted for puppies and senior dogs. The right dog food for your pet will meet all of their needs and come at an affordable price.

DYWM Fun Fact

Dogs have been humans’ companions for more than 30,000 years. In the beginning, man’s best friend’s diet did not get the consideration it does today. Dogs generally ate the scraps that were left over from their humans. Around 1860, businessman James Spratt introduced the first commercially prepared dog food. Official nutritional requirements for dogs and cats were established in the mid-1980s. Dry dog food, or “kibble” as we know it today, became popular in the 1950s.

As of 2017, commercial pet food was a $26 billion industry. These days, a lot of pet parents are turning to online retailers like Amazon and Chewy to get their dog food delivered straight to their door.

The Dry Dog Food Buying Guide

  • Make sure to feed your dog the proper amount. Overfeeding your dog ups their risk of obesity and associated health problems. There are some formulas to determine how much you should be feeding your dog depending on their size and breed, and your veterinarian can also provide you with guidance.
  • Puppies need small, frequent meals, while adult dogs can eat just one to two meals per day. Some dogs are grazers, meaning that they will eat small amounts throughout the day, but many more will eat all the food that is given to them at a time, which is why it’s important not to overfeed them.
  • Price is an important factor in dog food, as it’s one of the major ongoing expenses associated with being a pet owner. A higher price tag does not necessarily translate to a superior product. A moderately priced brand such as Nature’s Recipe scores high marks for its quality.
  • To keep your dog’s food fresh, make sure it is sealed. Some brands come with resealable tops, or you can put it in an airtight container, preferably made of glass or stainless steel. Make sure you keep your dog food in a cool, dry place. Moisture and heat can compromise the food’s safety and quality.
  • Just like human food, dog food has an expiration date. Dry dog food is generally good for one year. Never give your dog food that smells or looks spoiled.
  • It’s important that the food you choose is a good fit for your dog. If your dog rejects a food or it makes them sick, it may not be the optimal choice for them. Consult with your veterinarian to find the type of food that’s best for your pet.
  • Make sure you wash the bowls your dog eats and drinks from regularly, ideally every day. Once a week, they should be sanitized with a bleach solution. Stainless steel bowls are the easiest to keep clean.