Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dog Food Review: Wellness

This is the third of the dog food review series I'm doing.

Wellness Super5Mix Complete Health Lamb, Barley, & Salmon
Dog Food Advisor rating: ★★★★☆
This food is AAFCO approved for adult maintenance.

The bag
Ingredients: Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Rye Flour, Tomato Pomace, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Salmon Meal, Rice Bran, Tomatoes, Ground Millet, Natural Lamb Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic Powder, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products, Rosemary Extract.

Items in italics will be discussed later. 

Bag's recommended daily feeding instructions for a dog 66-85 lbs:  2 1/2 - 3 cups
Crude Protein: minimum of 22.0%
Crude Fat: minimum of 12.0%
Crude Fiber: maximum of 4.0%
Moisture: maximum of 11.0%
Calorie content: 405 kcal/cup, 3,550 kcal/kg
Calculated amount to maintain Ebon's ideal weight (82.5 lbs): 4.12 cups or 0.47 kg (1.034 lbs)
Price per pound when buying the largest bag (30 lbs at $47.99): $1.599
Estimated cost of feeding Ebon per year on this food: $603.73 (12.58 of the 30 lb bags)
Ebon receives slightly less than the calculated feeding amount to allow for his daily treats
Ebon's overall health on this food: Rather good. Energy level moderate to high. Coat shiny but smelly. Poop usually rather loose.

The kibble
I started transitioning from Ebon's old food on March 20th, and I started transitioning him off of this food yesterday. The kibble itself is rather pale and a rounded pyramidal shape. It smells quite fishy, which isn't surprising thanks to the heavy use of fish. Some nice things to see in this food: chelated minerals and probiotics. Chelated minerals are believed to be more easily absorbed and used by the body than non-chelated minerals, and probiotics/microorganisms help maintain good gut flora to provide for better digestion.

As with Taste of the Wild, I was surprised and disappointed by some of the changes Ebon went through after transitioning to this food. If anything, his poop consistency was even worse than on TotW, never fully firming up. Often it would start out relatively firm, then turn very soft by the end of each movement. He also had some terribly smelly farts, which is quite unusual for him as he usually doesn't often pass gas. As I've mentioned before, Ebon's tendency to have stress-induced loose stool means the firmer stool, the better. I was lucky that he didn't get stressed while on this food. If he had, he would probably have had diarrhea.

Another change that I wasn't fond of was how smelly Ebon got on this good. He smelled extremely fishy, and not the good kind of fishy. Not only was this smell on his breath, but it also seemed to constantly waft from his fur. I think it was due to the inclusion of so much fish, possibly in combination with some of the other ingredients. He has eaten fish-heavy food before, but this is the first time the fish smell has gone beyond his breath.

I was also a bit disappointed in the labeling of the food. It's described as "Lamb, Barley, & Salmon," but this is not a good reflection of the major ingredients. Based on the order of ingredients, there is more oatmeal than barley and far more menhaden than salmon.

Overall, this food didn't really show any benefit to me. I was quite disappointed as Ebon has done perfectly well on foods with very similar formulations before. Perhaps it was just this formula. I doubt the fishy smell would continue if I chose to feed him a food that has little or no fish.

Will I change foods? We'll see. More reviews are to come. Next up: Castor & Pollux. 


  1. Hello
    nice blog, good work
    I added your blog to my blogroll
    Would you do the same?
    If you like

  2. I left the Super5Mix out of my kibble trial because I didn't like how many carbs are in it. Everything else looked okay, but Conker has never done as good on high-carb foods as he does on low-carb, so I went with the CORE variety of Wellness's food lines since it has the lowest carb content. I haven't finished the Nature's Variety yet but as soon as that's gone I'm going to switch him to the CORE and see how it goes.

    1. If I continue on and try out any more foods, I'm probably going to throw a bag of CORE in there.