James Wellbeloved is one of the many brands owned by mega-corporation Mars. They market the food as “Naturally Healthy”, with an emphasis on being good for dogs who suffer itchy skin and upset tummies.
So how “Naturally Healthy” is it? Let’s take a look at the ingredients of the Adult Turkey & Rice formula…
The first* ingredient is Turkey Meal. This is good to see, and “meal” is a dried form of meat dense in protein. Quite often we see something like “Turkey” as the main ingredient, which once cooked whittles down to around 20% once moisture is removed. The protein in the food is 22%, which despite being on the low side is good being highly-digestible meat protein instead of plant/grain proteins (corn, peas etc).
I stuck an asterix (*) after the word “first” as truth be told it isn’t the main ingredient. The bulk of the food is from the 2nd and 3rd ingredients, which are Brown and White Rice. If they used one or the other the label would read “Rice, Turkey Meal, Oats”, which doesn’t sound as good. They also have 0.3% more brown rice merely to put it above white rice in the ingredients as the healthier of the two. These are common tricks used by pet food manufacturers to make you believe you’re feeding a meat product when you’re not. Oats are the 4th ingredient, which although are an okay inclusion, really do make this food grain heavy.
The amount of fat in the food is very low at 10.5%. Dogs utilise animal fats much more efficiently than we do, using it for energy, wellbeing, and joint health. The other issue with a food low in fat and protein is it means the carbohydrates are higher. I estimate the carbs to be over 50% which makes it one of the highest carbohydrate foods available.
There’s some nice inclusions in the food such as linseed (flaxseed) for joint and heart health, as well as superfoods alfalfa and seaweed (in trace amounts). Turkey “gravy” is actually digest, a liquid broth skimmed off a vat of cooking turkeys. It’s in most pet foods, but they always try and cunningly disguise the true nature.
Overall it’s not a bad food. They could make it better by increasing the amount of meat (protein & fat), or if you feed this food you could supplement it with fresh meats.
Turkey meal (23.3%), brown rice (22.3%), white rice (22.0%), naked oats, whole linseed, sugar beet pulp, turkey fat (3.0%), turkey gravy (2.9%), alfalfa meal, pea fibre, seaweed (0.5%), sodium chloride, omega supplement*, potassium chloride, chicory extract (0.1%),calcium carbonate, yucca extract (0.02%). * From fish oils.