Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
For those of you who may not be familiar with these brands, Wellness is a popular dog food brand that prides itself on using high-quality, natural ingredients in their recipes.
Acana, on the other hand, is a newer brand on the market that focuses on using fresh, regional ingredients to provide dogs with a diet that mimics what they would eat in the wild.
So which brand is the right choice for your furry friend?
In this Wellness vs Acana dog food comparison, we look at 6 important factors that will help us determine the right one to choose.
Keep reading to find out!
- Overview: Wellness vs Acana Dog Food
- 1. Brand Reputation
- 2. Ingredients
- 3. Key Nutrients
- 4. Range of formulas
- 5. Product Safety and Recall History
- 6. Price
- In Conclusion: Wellness vs Acana Dog Food Comparison
Overview: Wellness vs Acana Dog Food
⚠️ Consider the following when choosing dog food:
- Life stage
- Size of dog
- Grain-inclusive or grain-free
What’s most important in choosing the right type of food for your dog is understanding its breed (activity levels) and any existing allergies.
If you need more help, consult your vet or find a veterinary nutritionist at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (AVCM).
Wellness and Acana are two popular brands in the dog food market, well known for the balanced and complete diets that they offer to dogs around the world.
One of the reasons why these brands are popular among dog owners is their commitment to using high-quality ingredients.
They source their ingredients from trusted farmers and suppliers, and their recipes are free from fillers and artificial additives.
Both companies also place a strong emphasis on using fresh, real meat as the main protein in each formula, and this has immense benefits for dogs feeding on this diet.
Take note: This comparison guide is meant to give you a big-picture view of the two companies and the selected products. There are other products that have different specifications which might suit your needs better.
The sections below will focus on the following factors:
- Brand Reputation
- Key Nutrients
- Range of formulas
- Product Safety and Recall
1. Brand Reputation
Wellness is a well-known and reputable brand in the dog food industry.
Founded in 1926, the company has been providing high-quality, natural dog food for over 90 years.
What I really love about Wellness Pet Company is its commitment to using natural ingredients.
You will not find artificial ingredients or useless fillers that do not provide any benefits to dogs.
The company has won praise for its commitment to making high-quality and safe products that are free of chemicals and preservatives.
When you look closely, the ingredients they employ reveal the company’s commitment to excellence.
Overall, Wellness has built a strong reputation for providing dogs with nutritious, natural dog food.
Their commitment to using only the best ingredients and offering a variety of formulas makes them a popular choice among dog owners.
Alberta, a province in Canada that is well-known for its agriculture, is where Acana was established.
The company’s reputation for excellence has grown over time, and it now makes the claim that its dog chow is the greatest in the world.
Although we are unable to confirm it, we can tell you that they are reliable and produce high-quality feed.
Currently, they make all of their products in professional kitchens in Auburn, Kentucky, and Edmonton, Alberta.
Despite its relatively shorter history, they are currently among the top manufacturers of dog food on the market, with its goods being distributed in over 60 nations.
One of the achievements includes being the National Best Brand Winner in American Choice Awards.
⚠️ A few points to note about the product label
Product name – tells you the percentage of the main ingredient
- “Chicken” – at least 70% of the product.
- “Chicken entree”, “Chicken platter”, “Chicken dinner” – at least 10% of the product.
- “With chicken” – at least 3% of the product
- “Chicken flavor” – less than 3% of the product
Ingredients – The first few items listed are the most important and make up the majority of the product (determined by weight).
Meat-meal – Can have much more protein than actual meat. To further understand, refer to this guide by AAFCO.
In this comparison of Wellness and Acana dog food, we will focus on the following dry food product from each company:
The production of dog food from natural components without the use of unnecessary additives or fillers is one of the company’s guiding principles.
Among the various ingredients used in the preparation are real meat, salmon, and other foods high in protein.
The dog food line also contains a range of vitamins and nutrients, such as zinc sulfate.
Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular dog food we are discussing today:
- Deboned Chicken
- Turkey Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate)
- Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
- Brown Rice
Acana never freezes the meat they use, and they don’t use any preservatives either.
The fresh local meats used are processed the same day they are received, unlike many other commercial pet foods.
This has a big impact on Acana’s extraordinary palatability and feeding capabilities.
The protein sources in Acana Dog Food are easily digested, absorbed, and biologically accessible, all of which are essential for a dog to grow a robust immune system, have enough energy, and have healthy muscles.
Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular kibble we are discussing today:
- Deboned pork
- Beef meal
- Oat groats
- Whole sorghum
3. Key Nutrients
Every pet food label is required by AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) rules to include a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients.
Strict guidelines must be followed for a product to be full and balanced for dogs.
As mentioned in the “guaranteed analysis,” this implies that the diet provided by dog food businesses must contain the absolute minimum of each nutrient needed by dogs.
The analysis must validate the minimum crude protein and crude fat percentages as well as the maximum crude fiber and moisture percentages.
You can see the data from the two brands in the tables below.
Take note: When comparing dog food nutrients percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it a more even comparison.
This is also referred to as calculating its dry matter basis (use this calculator).
This approach is a more accurate way to understand the true nutrient contents of dog food, instead of just relying on the number on the label (which is an ‘as-fed’ basis).
3.1 Wellness vs Acana dog food nutrients comparison
|Dry matter basis
|Dry matter basis
For a dog’s diet to be healthy and well-balanced, protein is essential.
Their bodies require it for a number of processes, including the growth and upkeep of muscles and other structures.
Along with other things, it is necessary for the development of new skin, muscle, and hair cells.
It also helps in the synthesis of enzymes and hormones, two vital physiological components.
Like carbs, it increases immunity and releases energy.
Dogs can synthesize about half of the 22 amino acids required to make proteins, but the other half must be received through diet, thus it’s crucial to choose a food that has the right nutrients.
From the table, you can tell that Wellness Core Digestive has the advantage here, providing a higher amount of protein in each pack.
Both do not exceed 40%, which some consider to be too high a number for regular dogs.
A balanced diet for dogs must include fats and oils.
For average, healthy adult dogs, an optimum diet should contain 10% to 15% fat (a minimum of 5%).
Only when dogs are allowed to ingest excessive amounts of calories and fat (from additional snacks and table scraps, for instance), without getting enough activity to make up for it, is fat in the diet an issue.
Wellness has got its formula right again, falling well within healthy levels. For Acana, this number is considered to be acceptable too as long as your dog gets an adequate amount of activity.
Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and aids in the development of strong, well-formed stools by adding mass and absorbing extra water.
Additionally, fiber promotes intestinal pH equilibrium, which prevents the development of harmful bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.
They feel satisfied, which aids in controlling their appetite, and their digestion is improved, which may also help in preventing overeating.
The optimal amount of fiber for dogs is between 3 to 6%, and both these brands have done well here.
4. Range of formulas
Although not a deal-breaker, a wide range of formulas allows a dog owner to cater more accurately to a dog’s needs, whether they are in a specific life stage or they have special dietary requirements such as sensitive stomachs.
In addition to using high-quality ingredients, Wellness also offers a wide range of formulas to suit the needs of dogs at different life stages and with different health conditions.
Their product line includes puppy food, adult food, and senior food, as well as formulas for specific health concerns such as weight management and sensitive stomachs.
Here’s a quick look at their product lineup:
- CORE Digestive Health
- Complete Health
- Complete Health Grain Free
- CORE RawRev
- CORE Wholesome Grains Dry
- CORE RawRev Wholesome Grains
- Simple Grain Free
Acana also has a range of products that cater to different life stages, and you can also find grain-inclusive and grain-free options.
Similarly, they offer both dry and wet versions, and also have freeze-dried options.
- Acana DOG
- Acana Highest Protein
- Acana Wholesome Grains
- Acana Single LID (singles limited ingredients)
- Acana Freeze-dried Food
What’s great is that they have formulas for dogs with hip and bone issues, weight management needs, and even for skin and coat improvements.
5. Product Safety and Recall History
You should always be aware of the safety and recall history of your pet’s food.
This is especially important as you want to know that your money isn’t going to a company that has had any major issues in the past.
And obviously, we need to know what we are feeding our dogs is safe!
Wellness has had a couple of recalls in its history, with the most recent one being in 2017 for its Beef Topper for Dogs product.
This was due to possible high levels of beef thyroid hormone, which can affect metabolism and cause issues such as weight loss, thirst, and restlessness.
There has never been any Acana dog food recall.
The price of dog food can play a big role in your decision to choose it. For many owners, buying dog food is an ongoing expense that can add up quickly, especially so if you own more than one dog or if you are operating on a tight budget.
Not only that, the price of dog food can vary significantly between brands and product categories, making it harder for you to choose.
That is why comparing pricing and figuring out which choice offers the greatest value for your money may be challenging.
In all our dog food comparison posts, we try to update you with the latest price per pound, so you can calculate your expected expenses easily.
|Price per pound
In Conclusion: Wellness vs Acana Dog Food Comparison
As you can see, Wellness Core Digestive Health does seem to be better than Acana, at least from a nutrition point of view.
However, Acana is no slouch either and holds up well against most competitors.
Both are highly respectable companies that you ought to consider.
My personal choice? I would go for the Wellness Core Digestive Health. That said, I have actually switched to Ollie now. They are an excellent company that does fresh human-grade dog food which my dogs love.
The differences are subtle differences and your final choice between them should depend on your specific needs and budget.
Always consider your dog’s breed, activity levels, and allergies (if any), and this should put you on the right track.
Wanna read about other brands? Check out our other comparisons too!
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.