James Wellbeloved was amongst the first of the natural dog food producers in the UK and has long been established as the biggest. Their extensive range has grown over the years to include numerous different adult varieties but their 'with rice' range continues to be their most popular. In fact it has been so successful that a lot of other dog food producers have tried to emulate it resulting in a whole swathe of very similar foods but often at a lower price than the original.
The rice/meat meal foundation is very widespread among dry, British, natural dog foods and for good reason: it is very versatile and easy for most dogs to digest. James Wellbeloved Adult is roughly made up of one half grain, one quarter good quality meat meal and one quarter other ingredients. Ther are 4 varieties to chose from, all very similar but each with a different meat source to add a bit more variety to your dog's diet.
Although the first ingredient listed in James Wellbeloved Adult is meat, that's only because the rice content has been cleverly split between white and brown rice, making each percentage small enough to push them down the ingredients list and give meat the top spot. In fact there is almost twice as much rice in James Wellbeloved Adult as meat and then there's also an unspecified amount of barley as the forth ingredient. All of this makes JWB a fairly grain rich food which, although not necessarily a bad thing, isn't quite what you might expect after a quick glance at the label.
The grain element, although pretty large, will be problem free for most dogs as it doesn't include any of the main problem causing grains but since barley gluten is very similar to wheat gluten, it may not be suitable for dogs on a gluten free diet. The nutritionally dense brown rice is a welcome addition but since it is offset by a similar amount of starchy, nutritionally poor white rice, it doesn't give too much to brag about.
As for the other, non-meat, non-grain ingredients, there are a few nice additions like seaweed, alfalfa and fish oils but otherwise there isn't a lot to write home about. The disconcertingly vague 'gravy' never inspires too much confidence and salt (listed as sodium chloride) is one of the additives we recommend steering clear of wherever possible. While salt is a necessary mineral, it is generally present in sufficient quantities in the raw ingredients of pet foods. However, as dogs, like humans, enjoy the taste of salt, extra is sometimes added to make foods more appealing. Unfortunately, excessive salt has the same health implications in dogs as it does in humans so too much should certainly be avoided.
As far as price is concerned, James Wellbeloved Adult is not a cheap food and with so many other natural options on the market these days, you can certainly get more bang for your buck elsewhere.
Conclusion: a good dog food but not good enough to warrant the hefty price tag and with unnecessary added salt to boot.