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Dry dog food has been a popular choice for pet parents since its introduction — and for good reason. It’s packed with protein and nutrients, easy to store and serve, and often much more budget-friendly than its canned dog food counterparts. However, with so many dry dog food options available, it can be hard to know what’s best for your pup.

And that’s where Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food stands out from the pack. In addition to providing premium natural nutrition that’s recommended by veterinarians, Wellness CORE kibble comes in formulas specialized to fit dogs of all sizes, ages, breeds, and health needs.

So whether your dog is a pup or senior, in perfect health or dealing with obesity, allergies, or digestive issues, there’s a Wellness CORE formula that’s designed to support their wellbeing.

To help you choose the kibble that’s perfect for your pet, here’s an overview of Wellness CORE, its dry dog food formulas, what makes them different, and the key benefits they offer.

What is Wellness CORE?

Wellness CORE dry dog food review

Wellness CORE is a line of premium natural pet food launched by the Wellness Pet Company in 2007. The Wellness brand has roots that extend all the way back to 1873, when A. Hubbard & Son Bakery was selling hard-tack sea biscuits to local fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The story goes that a sailor tossed one of these biscuits to his dog, who happily ate it up. Soon after, Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Treats were born. And in the 1960s, the company was purchased by Jim Scott, Sr., a visionary who would go on to build an empire founded on a mission to provide premium natural nutrition for pets – now known as Wellness Pet Company.

Wellness CORE furthers that mission by offering a variety of higher-protein natural pet foods made with hearty, nutrient-dense ingredients pets love. 

Veterinarians recommend Wellness, too. “Wellness CORE stands out as a premium pet food brand,”  says Dr. Carolina Domingues, DVM, who serves as Veterinarian, Diet Expert, and Head of Nutrition at pet tech startup, Maven.Pet

“The brand’s ingredient lists are remarkable, consisting of high-quality sources of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber,” says Domingues. Plus, Wellness is incredibly transparent, providing full nutritional analysis for all of their diets. “This policy goes beyond AAFCO’s requirements, which makes it easier for veterinary professionals to choose a suitable diet for specific dogs,” she adds.

What’s in Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food? 

Wellness CORE dry dog food review

Wellness CORE kibble is natural, high-protein dog food, featuring lean sources of animal protein, including turkey, chicken, seafood, and wild game, to provide lasting energy and support healthy muscles. 

These ingredients are paired with nutritious fruits and vegetables, including superfoods like blueberries, apples, kale, broccoli, and carrots, along with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients.

But premium, natural ingredients are only part of what sets Wellness CORE apart from the competition. Pet parents can choose from a variety of Wellness CORE formulas designed to fit dogs’ unique nutritional needs.

These include:

We’ll take a deeper dive into each of these formulas below to help you figure out which one is the best fit for your dog.

Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food Formulas to Consider

Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to dog food, Wellness CORE offers pet parents a variety of formulas to choose from. Each offers a different and perfectly balanced approach to nutrition, providing dogs with exactly what they need to thrive — whether that’s a diet free of grains or specialized to promote a healthy weight.

Here are the five main choices within the Wellness CORE dry dog food lineup.

Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food

This grain-free formula is chock-full of premium protein, which makes up at least 34 percent of the recipe. It’s based on the ancestral diet of canines in the wild, who thrived on a natural diet made up primarily of meat. The protein-rich formula also contains flaxseed, which provides Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat, and green peas for an extra boost of protein and fiber. 

This category has several options with different protein sources for both large and small breeds, as well as puppies and adults. Dogs that need to lose weight can benefit from the CORE reduced fat and Small Breed Healthy Weight formulas, depending on breed. 

Key Benefits 

  • Premium, protein-rich formula supplies energy, promotes healthy muscle development and lean body mass.
  • Optimal nutrition balanced with natural, nutrient-rich superfoods.
  • Contains no wheat, wheat-gluten, corn, soy, eggs, or fillers.   
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) to support brain development.
  • Adult formula is available in four flavor options: Original (turkey), Ocean (whitefish, herring, salmon), Wild Game (duck, boar, rabbit), and Lamb.
  • Also available in Puppy, Senior, Small Breed (Original, Puppy, Healthy Weight), Large Breed (Original, Puppy), and Reduced Fat formulas. 

Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

All dogs are different. And while some pups may thrive on a grain-free diet, Wellness CORE recognizes that other dogs may benefit from a protein-rich diet that also includes wholesome grains. 

Unlike dry dog food packed with fillers that add little to no nutritional value, Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains high-protein formulas are packed with natural, fiber-rich grains like oatmeal, barley, and quinoa to sustain your dog’s energy needs. 

According to Domingues, a diet including wholesome grains is beneficial for dog breeds prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that results in an enlarged heart. While seafood and grain diets can be helpful for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. 

Key Benefits 

  • Rich in premium animal proteins and natural, nutrient-dense superfoods.
  • Perfectly balanced with fiber-rich grains to fuel your dog’s active lifestyle.
  • Contains no wheat, wheat-gluten, corn, soy, eggs, fillers, or high glycemic ingredients. 
  • Adult formula available in two flavor options: Original (turkey & chicken) and Ocean (whitefish & herring.)
  • Also available in Puppy and Small Breed formulas. 

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food

If your pet is allergic to chicken or beef, or has regular tummy issues, you have several choices in this category. 

“Wellness CORE offers Digestive Health formulas with different protein sources, which makes them ideal for dogs with sensitive gastrointestinal systems and varying needs,” says Domingues. 

Designed for easy digestion, Wellness CORE Digestive Health dry dog food is crafted with digestive enzymes and beneficial grains, such as brown rice. And every piece of kibble is coated with probiotics to support a healthy gut.  

There’s even a plant-based alternative for dogs who may benefit from it. Wellness CORE Digestive Health Plant-Based formula is the first meatless recipe that has gone through AAFCO testing and is proven to support whole body health with a protein-packed formula featuring pea protein, dried egg, and oatmeal.

Key Benefits: 

  • Easily digestible formula is ideal for dogs with allergies and sensitivities or who are prone to gastrointestinal distress.   
  • Premium, protein-rich formula supplies energy, promotes healthy muscle development and lean body mass.
  • Probiotic-coated kibble pieces are crafted with digestive enzymes to promote a healthy biome.
  • Optimal nutrition balanced with natural, nutrient-rich superfoods.
  • Carbs are supplied by healthy grains, including brown rice and oatmeal. 
  • Contains no wheat, wheat-gluten, corn, soy, eggs, or fillers.   
  • Adult formula is available in three flavor options: Chicken & Brown Rice, Whitefish & Brown Rice, and Plant-Based with Eggs.
  • Also available in Puppy, Senior, Small Breed, and Large Breed formulas.

Wellness CORE RawRev Dry Dog Food

Is your dog a picky eater, or are you just looking for a safe, convenient way to introduce raw food into your pet’s diet? Then Wellness CORE RawRev dry dog food formulas could be the perfect, protein-packed pick for your pup. 

Wellness CORE RawRev combines nutrient-dense, grain-free kibble with freeze-dried raw meat morsels to create a delicious meal even the choosiest canines will crave.   

This diet is ideal for highly active adult dogs, says Domingues. However, she adds that these formulas have a high percentage of energy provided by fats, making them unsuitable for dogs prone to pancreatitis or liver problems.

Key Benefits 

  • Grain-free kibble plus freeze-dried raw bites made of 100% real meat.
  • Safely delivers all the benefits of a raw dog food diet without the mess or inconvenience of feeding raw.
  • Supports whole body health and longevity.
  • Adult formula is available in three flavor options: Original (with raw turkey), Ocean (with raw whitefish), and Wild Game (with raw lamb).
  • Also available in Puppy, Small Breed, and Large Breed formulas.

Wellness CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

For pet parents who want their dogs to reap the benefits of freeze-dried raw ingredients and wholesome grains, Wellness CORE delivers the best of both worlds in Raw Rev Wholesome Grains formulas. 

In addition to freeze-dried raw bites of 100% premium animal proteins, pups get filler-free kibble packed with easy-to-digest grains. So you can be sure your dog’s diet provides everything they need — nutritionally, calorically, and flavorfully.

Key Benefits 

  • Add raw to every meal with premium raw animal proteins, freeze-dried for your convenience and peace of mind.  
  • Kibble is crafted with wholesome grains like oatmeal and barley, not fillers like legumes and potatoes. 
  • Adult formula is available in two flavor options: Original (with raw turkey) and Ocean (with raw whitefish).
  • Also available in Puppy and Small Breed formulas.

Wellness CORE Kibble: Tips for Making the Right Choice 

When it comes to choosing the right dry dog food formula to fit your favorite canine, Domingues says, “It’s crucial to choose a diet based on a dog’s individual needs and health status.”

However, that can be difficult, especially if your dog has health conditions that require a specialized diet or possesses an incredibly picky palate.

Wellness CORE dry dog food review

“It’s always recommended to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to a pet’s diet,” Domingues notes. But if you want to narrow down the list before speaking with your vet, she suggests keeping these points in mind to ensure you select the perfect Wellness CORE dry food for your pet.

  • If your pet is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or skin rashes, consult with the veterinarian to get to the root cause of the issue before changing diets.
  • A diet with just one or two sources of protein, like Wellness CORE Grain-Free Lamb formula, is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • If your dog suffers from an inflammatory condition, look for formulas that contain Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids in a ratio between 2:1 and 4:1, such as Wellness CORE RawRev Wild Game formula.
  • For a healthy gut, consider diets with both prebiotics and probiotics, like Wellness CORE Digestive Health Chicken & Brown Rice.
  • If you have a picky dog or even a senior dog who needs a little extra coaxing to eat, you may want to consider adding a yummy meal topper to your dog’s bowl of Wellness CORE kibble. Choose from Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters or Bowl Boosters Freshly options to treat your pup to an extra helping of naturally nutritious flavor.

The author received compensation from Great Pet Care for their services in writing this article.