WellPet LLC is a cat and dog food company formed by the combination of Eagle Pack Pet Foods and Old Mother Hubbard, after both had been purchased by the investment firm Berwind Corporation. In October 2007, Eagle Pack was sold to Berwind Corporation for an undisclosed amount. Between 2008 and 2009, Eagle and OMH were merged into a single entity called Wellpet LLC.
Wellness has a fairly good reputation and the only recent recall was in October of 2012. That recall was not serious and no illnesses or deaths were reported. They focus on high meat-based products and offer a number of grain-free products. Since grain free pet foods are becoming more popular, so is this brand.
In the article below, you will see a full list of ingredients for this product and a full breakdown of the top 10 ingredients in this food. Please let us know what you think by rating this cat food and also posting your thoughts about this product below in the commenting section.
List Of Ingredients In This Cat Food
Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Meal, Turkey Liver, Dried Ground Potatoes, Natural Chicken Flavor, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Chicory Root Extract, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Niacin, Sodium Selenite, d-Calcium Panthothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
Chicken is a very popular ingredient for pet food and in this case, they are referring to whole chicken. This is a very high quality meat source and we are pleased to see it listed. However, whole chicken loses about 80% of its content during the cooking process since the majority of whole chicken is water. After the cooking process is complete, the amount of whole chicken remaining is substantially reduced. Therefor, while whole chicken is a great source of meat protein, this ingredient alone is not enough to provide sufficient levels of meat protein in a cats diet.
As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.
While chicken broth does not add much nutritional value to the food, it does add flavor and is considered to be a better alternative to water. The main reason for adding this ingredient is simply to add moisture.
Here is another ingredient you probably wouldn’t want to see on your own dinner plate, but most cats seem to enjoy the taste of liver. Uncooked liver, or liver in very high quantities, can actually be toxic to cats. However, in this food, it is clearly provided well within safe limits. In fact, this ingredient is a pretty high quality ingredient overall. It provides a good source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients your cat can benefit from.
Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Many pet owners feel that chicken is a superior ingredient to chicken meal. It would seem logical that feeding a pet a whole, non-rendered chicken would be good. However, whole chicken still contains its moisture content prior to cooking and since whole chicken consists of about 80% moisture, after the cooking process is over there isn’t much left. With chicken meal, the moisture was removed prior to cooking. That means, chicken meal actually has a much higher protein percentage and provides far more beneficial nutrients to your cats than whole chicken. Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet. It’s also important to note the quality difference between “chicken by-product meal” and “chicken meal.” While we do take exception to chicken by-products, chicken meal is actually a very high quality and nutritious ingredient. We are happy to see this listed.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
In the wild, cats almost always eat the liver of their prey. It is a rich source of vitamin A which cats must obtain from their food since they can’t make it in their bodies. This is also a good secondary source of protein. If cats consume too much liver, it could cause toxicity, but the amount needed for liver to become toxic to cats is very high. Liver is provided in safe quantities in this cat food blend.
Dried Ground Potatoes
Potatoes provide a lot of carbs and unfortunately, cats do not digest carbs well and it can also lead to weight gain. Potato based ingredients are becoming more popular in “grain-free” cat foods because while potatoes are not grains, they serve much the same purpose by acting as a non-nutritious filler. In this case, since it is in the form of flour, it is probably used to aid in the cooking process. The good news is potatoes are complex carbs. These complex carbs are easier to digest than whole grains and also don’t spike blood sugar levels like the simple carbs do. But, anyway you cut it… carbs are carbs and cats don’t need them.
Natural Chicken Flavor
As you might expect, this ingredient is simply the extracted flavoring of chicken. We usually don’t like “flavor” ingredients, but in this case, the animal is named. This ingredient isn’t going to add any nutritional value to the food, but it may make the food taste better.
This ingredient is also sometimes called guaran. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder. This ingredient is mostly used to thicken the food and give it more texture. It is an FDA-approved, all natural GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient used by the food and cosmetic industries. It also is used to improve the shelf life of the food and helps lower the glycemic index of food. Many cat food companies claim this ingredient also aids in digestion and weight loss. There is some minor debate about the benefits of this ingredient with some claiming negative impacts, but in general, this is thought to be a relatively non-nutritious yet safe ingredient.
This is an additive extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products. There is still much research being done on this additive and while it is generally considered safe, there is room for caution as carrageenan has produced intestinal damage and ulcers in some animal studies. If you would like more information about the ongoing research of this ingredient, you may reference this research study.