Wholesomes dog food is a line by the well-known brand known as Sportsmix. I’ve personally heard great things about it, but you know that around here, we don’t believe in hearsay. Rather, we take a very scientific route of trying out everything ourselves and objectively putting every aspect of it to the test.
Wholesome dog food has four series of dog food, Sensitive Skin & Stomach, Whole Grain, Grain-Free, and Energy Series. I have chosen one dog food product from all four of these to see how they compare and get a complete picture.
|AAFCO Nutrient Profile(Life Stage)
|Grains Large Breed Chicken Meal & Rice
|For dogs over 50 pounds
|Grain-free Beef Meal & Potatoes
|Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Salmon Protein
|For dogs with food sensitivities
|All Life Stages
|26/18 High Energy Chicken Protein
|For highly active dogs
|All Life Stages
At a Glance: Wholesomes Dog Food
Here’s a general overview of Wholesome Pet Foods:
- Meat meals as the first ingredient
- Manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods
- It comes under the Sportmix dog food brand
- It can be bought both locally and online
- Donates to charities
About The Brand
- High-quality protein source
- 100% complete and balanced diet
- Naturally preserved formula
*We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Wholesomes Pet Food is a line by Sportsmix that comes under the manufacturer Midwestern Pet Foods.
The company regularly donates to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation as a good cause.
You may find both dog and cat food under this name.
The other thing is they have a loyalty program. So, when you’re loyal to them, they’re loyal to you. You buy 12 bags, and you get a 13th for free. They’re also offering two dollars off a bag.
Who Makes Wholesomes Dog Food In 2023?
The highly renowned Midwestern Pet Foods makes Sportmix Wholesomes Dog Food.
Midwestern Pet Foods was founded in 1926 as a small milling company and is now thriving in its fourth generation of family leadership.
Five-Factor Analysis of Wholesomes Dog Food
Welcome to the most interesting part of this review. Here I’ll individually assess recipes, ingredients, nutrition, price, and recall to do my best to bring you every insight you need.
1. Recipes | ★★★
Wholesomes has a lot of recipes in the dog food world, seemingly for every need you can think of. Here are 4 recipes selected from each of the series launched by Wholesomes dog food.
Grains Large Breed Chicken Meal & Rice
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- Balanced Omega 6 and 3
- With whole grain
- Chicken meal is the 1st ingredient
Wholesome’s whole grain recipes contain hearty brown rice and protein options such as beef, chicken, or fish. Unfortunately, all of them are meal-based recipes.
Large breed chicken meal and rice, in particular, is for when your dog weighs about 50 pounds. This dog food is for you. It is for your large breed dog who has reached maturity.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure large breeds require more protein to maintain their muscle. It is very strange that real meat has been replaced by chicken meat which is made from by-products. This sounds depriving.
Your large breed dog still requires protein when it has aged to its full size. And not only that, the protein needs to be easily digestible, in other words, high-quality protein.
Grain-free Beef Meal & Potatoes
- Balanced Omega 6 and 3
- No corn, wheat, or soy
Wholesome’s grain-free, gluten-free recipes include vegetables and fruits like apples, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, and spinach. It is also antioxidant-rich and fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Wholesomes claims that it is highly digestible, but I’ve got some doubts on that front. It doesn’t matter whether dogs have evolved to start eating fruits and vegetables; they are less likely to be able to digest them properly in comparison to meat.
Moreover, dog food can be good for your pal’s fur coat.
Sensitive Skin & Stomach With Salmon Protein
Does your dog have sensitivities? No, I don’t mean them licking your face as you cry. I mean food sensitivities. One of the symptoms is having stomach issues whenever they try new food. Wholesomes dog food has tried to resolve this using easy-to-digest proteins.
One of the things I want you to know about this recipe is that it’s chicken-free. It’s pre-lentil and legume-free, and there are some softer ingredients. Okay, that’s important to you because the reality is that when you have breeding dogs, peas are a form of estrogen, and those peas can change the cycle of a dog. These are great for dogs and puppies, so they can be fed throughout the life of the mother and through the life of the puppy.
For dogs that struggle with digestive health or troublesome skin and coat issues, consider Wholesome’s sensitive skin and stomach recipes. Free from peas, lentils, and legumes, each recipe helps support sensitive stomachs through easily digestible proteins and fiber from ancient grains. Omega fatty acids help keep their skin healthy and coats shiny.
Another thing about this dog food is that real meat is not an ingredient in this, but you get to see Salmon in a meal form.
26/18 High Energy Chicken Protein
- Joint health
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- Healthy grains
Wholesomes High Energy Chicken Protein dog food claims that it is made of high-quality chicken protein, which we never get to see or confirm in a chicken meal.
Like many other recipes by Wholesomes, this recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. There’s DHA in there for the proper development of eyes, and taurine supports your cardiovascular health.
We get to see some easily digestible and overall healthy grains such as brown rice, rice bran, and flaxseed.
2. Ingredients | ★★★
Ingredients are the heart and soul of any food. Some taste good, some are fancy, but only a few are good for health.
Meat meals in dog food are certainly not the most desirable ingredient to have.
You may read everywhere that a chicken meal contains 300% more protein than fresh chicken, and that is true.
Made from rendered by-products that may or may not contain the animals’ feet, beek, and intestines, it is impossible to determine whether the quantity of the protein matches the quality.
It doesn’t sound the most appetizing, either. In my opinion, it’s always best to have named meat as the first ingredient, which is not the case with any of the recipes for wholesome dog food.
So yeah, it’s “ruff” to consider this as a quality ingredient.
Every dog food needs a binder. An ingredient that makes all the other ingredients come together well, like flour in pancakes. Here, brown rice is our binder. I must say that this is a sophisticated grain.
Brown rice has a nuttiness and chewiness that most dogs appreciate in their dog food.
Whatever carbohydrates and fiber you can’t find in the first ingredient, you find in brown rice. I’d recommend brown rice any day over white rice.
Brown rice is rice without its outermost layer removed, which results in a chewy texture. The outer layer also contains B vitamins and dietary fiber.
Since brown rice is hypoallergenic, you can count on it to not cause any allergic reactions. It is great for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
We should talk about peas. Most dogs do fine when they have just some peas in their diet. But not all. Just last year, researchers at Tufts said this: “Peas are a leading ingredient in diet-associated DCM in dogs.”
Yes, the peas. Peas contain ingredients called phytates. Phytates can bind things in your dog’s intestinal tract. Maybe in that instance, your dog is not able to metabolize or absorb enough taurine.
This is not able to benefit the heart, ultimately resulting in heart disease, i.e., DCM. In other words, I just think it’s best to avoid the peas.
Dried Beet Pulp
Some of you might be wondering what dried beet pulp is and why it is in dog food. Beet pulp is an ingredient that is really rich in fiber & low in sugars, so it’s great for promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut and improving colon health.
Fiber is essentially indigestible plant matter that can’t be broken down and digested easily in the dog’s bowels. Now, while that might not sound very beneficial, it’s actually really important for healthy digestion– for both our dogs and ourselves.
Like everything, beet pulp should be fed in moderation. This is because, although it’s an excellent source of fiber, if too much of it is added to the dog food, they won’t be getting the essential fats and proteins they need.
Dried beet pulp is not very common in commercially prepared dog foods, but Wholesomes dog food has noted its benefits and added it to its ingredients list.
3. Nutritional Analysis | ★★★
Now it’s time to check out what all these ingredients in wholesome dog food entail in terms of nutritional value. Here’s a general nutritional chart of the brand overall:
First of all, we have protein at 27%, which is a moderate amount.
16% fat is ideal. It doesn’t overpower other nutritional values but provides a lot of energy.
50% carbohydrates is a lot. It means a significant portion of your dog’s diet will only be carbs. However, the carbohydrates type(simple or complex) can impact the nutritional value. It can change blood sugar levels significantly.
6.7 % fiber is a respectable amount. It’s not too much, but it’ll help in regular bowel movements.
4. Price | ★★★
All of these series have ranging prices. Overall you can buy a 40-pound bag for 50 dollars or less, which is a pretty sweet deal, in my opinion.
Of course, there have been cost cuttings in terms of quality ingredients, but for what it’s worth, it’s pretty inexpensive.
5. Recall History | ★★★
Although the parent company Midwestern Pet Foods and Sportsmix have been subjects of recalls many times, Wholesomes dog food has never directly been in conflict.
How Does Wholesomes Dog Food Compare to the Competition?
Wholesomes dog food tries to be the jack of all trades but ends up being a master of none. It has its strengths and weaknesses, but in all these categories, you can find dog foods that can give better options ingredient-wise.
Should You Buy Wholesomes Dog Food?
Honestly, yeah, it’s good to buy. It has seen good reviews and comes at a price point that makes it really attractive. The meat proteins may not be very transparently healthy, but you know that all grains that have been added are high-quality and made with careful consideration for dogs in mind.
- Omega-3 and 6
- No wheat, corn, or soy
- Great price point
- Fruits and vegetables
- Extensive range of dog food
- Good reviews
- No real meat
- Use of peas
- Use of beet pulp
Where can I buy Wholesomes Dog Food?
You can buy it online, or you can go to a local retailer. The thing about this dog food is that you won’t find it at regular grocery stores.
Does Wholesomes Dog Food meet AAFCO standards?
Yes, all Wholesomes dog food is designed to meet AAFCO standards and guidelines.
Does Wholesomes dog food test on animals?
Wholesomes introduces their dog food to animals on their own farm in a cage-free environment without a laboratory.
Before You Go
Wholesome helps sustain your pet’s energy and endurance for a healthy, active life. It also fits into any pet parent’s budget without compromising nutrition or taste. All recipes are made without corn, wheat, or soy, and many are enriched with taurine for heart health. Green-inclusive and grain-free recipes are available to satisfy all breeds of adult dogs and puppies.
When your work is done and the day comes to a close, refuel together by feeding Wholesomes. Your pet’s dinner will be full of healthy, familiar ingredients. Feel good knowing that you’re feeding your entire family great nutrition.
Ankita is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.