In today’s article, we’ll be casting our expert eye over Wagg Puppy Food to find out whether or not it’s a healthy choice of food for your puppy and if it’s worth spending your hard-earned cash on.
To get this review started, we’ll head straight over to the manufacturer’s website to examine the ingredients in their puppy, what they’re marketing blurb says, and anything else of note.
Wagg Puppy Food: What’s In The Bag?
According to Wagg’s website, their puppy food has been “formulated to help give your puppy the best start in life”, containing vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 and a variety of extracts and nucleotides to boost digestive health, provide immune system support, aid healthy development, and reduce odour.
On the face of it, this seems ideal – but do the ingredients tell the same tale, or is it a case of creative and catchy marketing spiel (over)compensating for an inferior ingredient and nutritional profile?
Let’s take a look at the ingredient list to find out what’s in it.
Wagg Puppy Food is made up of 30% ‘Meat Meal & Gravy’ (minimum 4% chicken), Whole Grain Wheat, Maize, Vegetable Fibre, Maize Protein, 3% Chicken Fat, Beet, Salmon Oil, Minerals & Vitamins (which we’ll look at in more depth a little later on), Chicory Root, and Yucca, with no added sugar, artificial colours or flavours.
Analytical constituents: 28% protein, 11% fat, 8.5% crude ash, 3% crude fibre, 0.7% omega 3, and 1.9% Omega 6.
Is Wagg’s Puppy Food A Healthy Choice? Our Verdict
At first glance, Wagg’s puppy food does look to be heavy in cereals, grains, and other non-meat based fillers. While 28% protein is a decent amount for a growing puppy, a good proportion of this protein comes from the whole grain wheat and maize protein. While these aren’t ‘bad’ sources of protein and, when combined with the other ingredients, will no doubt cover all bases where essential amino acids are concerned, they’re not ideal, and we certainly wouldn’t describe them as ‘good’.
Primary sources of protein for puppies and adult dogs should come from meat-based sources, with additional amounts from other sources, such as grains. Therefore, from this perspective, Wagg’s Puppy Food doesn’t set the world alight. It’s not bad per se, but it’s not good either.
That being said, the Salmon oil is an excellent addition and does add healthy Omega-3 to the formulation (although a little more wouldn’t go amiss as the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is around 2.4:1, when it should be closer to 1:1). Chicory root and Yucca are also nice additions, but whether the dosages included have any discernible health effects remains to be seen.
Moving onto the vitamins and minerals, we can see that all bases are covered, making this is a ‘complete’ puppy food with no need for any other additions, i.e. your puppy will survive perfectly well on Wagg’s puppy food alone. Additional vitamins and minerals are always good to see and will provide your tiny four-legged friend with the micronutrients they require, even if they are ‘added’ as opposed to occurring naturally in the ingredients themselves.
But is Wagg’s Puppy Food a healthy choice?
Wagg’s puppy food is unlikely to be unhealthy, that’s for sure. It contains a high amount of protein, albeit from seemingly not ideal sources; has a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals and extracts, and added Omega-3, all of which can help to promote health and vitality. However, it is full of grains and common ‘fillers’, which, although they aren’t unhealthy, are certainly not the most optimal of ingredients and may cause digestive issues in some dogs.
We’d class this is a middle-of-the-road puppy food that’s neither the healthiest nor unhealthiest food you can feed your pup. It is relatively inexpensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, there’s absolutely no harm in buying this food for your puppy. Luckily, it comes in 2kg bags, meaning you can try it out before committing to a larger bag purchase (12kg).
In the interests of fairness (and to furnish you with as much information as possible) let’s take a look at what other dog owners say about Wagg’s puppy food.
At present, Wagg’s puppy food has 556 Amazon reviews at an average of 4.4 stars, which on the face of it, is impressive.
Having scanned through most of the reviews, it’s apparent that the majority of dog owners who have used Wagg’s Puppy Food deem it to be good value for money (which it certainly is) and say that it has helped their puppy to grow well (which we can assume means growing at the expected rate). At the end of the day, if your puppy is growing well and you’re not spending vast sums of money, it’s hard to complain, isn’t it?
While there’s no doubt that Wagg’s Puppy Food has its shortcomings, it will certainly ‘do a job’, i.e. help your pup to grow. Ultimately, it’s inexpensive, and there are most definitely worse puppy foods available on the market.
Alternative to Wagg’s Puppy Food
If you’re looking for a higher-quality alternative to Wagg’s puppy food, then we’ve identified several complete puppy foods that fit the bill.
Pooch & Mutt Complete Dry Puppy Food (Grain-free)
Available in: 1.5kg, 3 x 1kg, & 7.5kg bags.
We’re big fans of grain-free food, and this offering from Pooch & Mutt certainly doesn’t disappoint. One glance at the ingredients, and it’s easy to see why we – and many, many others – rate this puppy food so highly. Almost half (48%) of the formulation is made from chicken (36% dried chicken, 8% chicken fat, and 4% chicken gravy), with potato, sweet potato, and pea starch accounting for the bulk of the remaining ingredients. Furthermore, it has a wide array of added vitamins, minerals, extracts, prebiotics, and other goodies to boost all-round health.
Although it contains the same amount of protein as Wagg’s puppy food, the protein sources are of much higher quality.
While we are, of course, stopping short of saying this is the perfect dry puppy food, it is without question one of the best currently available on the market today.
James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Puppy Food (Grain-free)
Available in: 1.5kg
Flavours: Fish & Turkey.
Another firm favourite here at Barf Pet Foods is James Wellbeloved’s Grain-free puppy food. Containing 35% turkey (25% turkey meal and 9.5% turkey fat), in addition to potato flakes, pea starch, and pea protein, this grain-puppy food is packed full of high-quality sources of protein (30% vs Wagg’s 28%) and carbohydrates. Moreover, it has added vegetables (peas and carrots), in addition to a myriad of vitamins, minerals, extracts, and the like. Ultimately, this a dry puppy food that is healthy and outperforms Wagg’s on every level.
AATU 80/20 Dog food for Puppies (Grain-free)
Available in: 1kg & 5kg bags.
Our third choice is AATU’s grain-free dry food for puppies. This is by far and away the most expensive puppy food on this list, but it is worth every penny given the quality of its ingredients. Containing a whopping 85% salmon (44% salmon, 40% dehydrated salmon, 1% salmon stock), this puppy food is jam-packed with protein and healthy fats. The remaining 15 comprises sweet potato, chickpeas, peas, and a wide array of vitamins, minerals, extracts, supplements, and other health-boosting goodies.
AATU use a single protein source to minimalize allergic reactions, in addition to ensuring no GM ingredients or artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives are used in their foods. They also contain no grains or gluten. Sure, this dog food is expensive, but it really is worth every penny.
With so many different brands and options available on the market, it can often be a challenging (and puzzling) task trying to find the best puppy for your four-legged friend and your wallet.
Ultimately, your budget will dictate which food you opt for, which means it’s essential to know the different options available to you. Although Wagg’s is at the lower end of the spectrum where price is concerned, its quality doesn’t match its price, i.e. it’s really not that bad of a choice if you’re on a strict budget. While there are certainly plenty of better options out there, Wagg’s dry puppy food provides everything your puppy requires to grow into a fit and healthy adult dog.
They also offer a range of treats specifically formulated for puppies and junior dogs, which again are exceptional value for money and well worth checking out if you’re looking for treats that won’t break the bank.