Updated 18 Sep 2014
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James Wellbeloved Grain Free Adult

Type of food Dry extruded complete
Dog types Pet dogs
Breed sizes
Suitable for toy breed dogs
Adult weight 1-4kg. e.g. Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier
Suitable for small breed dogs
Adult weight 4-10kg. e.g. Beagle, Dachshund, Jack Russell
Suitable for medium breed dogs
Adult weight 10-25kg. e.g. Border Collie, Staffie, Springer, Vizsla
Suitable for large breed dogs
Adult weight 25-45kg. e.g. Boxer, Labrador, Greyhound
Suitable for giant breed dogs
Adult weight 45kg+ e.g. Bernese, Great Dane, Mastiff
Dog ages From 12 months to 7 years
Pack sizes 1.5kg & 10kg bags
RRP 10kg bags = £43.95

Nutritional rating

67%

At a glance

Natural: Free from added artificial preservatives, antioxidants, colourings, flavourings or other controversial synthetic ingredients
Not high in meat: Contains less than 30% meat (on a dry matter basis) or meat percentage is unspecified
Hypoallergenic: Free from all ingredients that are regularly linked by veterinarians to food allergies and/or intolerance in dogs like wheat, maize, dairy products, soya products and artificial additives
Not clearly labelled: It is difficult to tell exactly what is in this food due to a lack of labelling clarity

Price per day

£
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Nutrition

Ingredients List

Total Lamb 26% (Lamb Meal, Lamb Fat, Lamb Gravy 2%), Total Peas 26% (Pea Starch, Peas, Pea Protein), Potato Flakes (min 20%), Tomato Pomace, Whole Linseed (4%), Sugar Beet Pulp, Alfalfa Meal (1%), Natural Seaweed (0.5%), Carrot, Chicory Pulp (0.1%), Omega Oil Supplement, Potassium Chloride, Parsley (0.1%), Nettle (0.1%), Chicory Extract, Sodium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Glucosamine (0.02%), Chondroitin (0.02%), Yucca Extract (0.02%).

Typical Analysis

Protein 21.0%, Crude Fibre 4.8%, Fat Content 10.5%, Crude Ash 8.9%, Vitamin E 150mg/kg, Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1%, Omega-6 Fatty Acids 1.3%. Nutritional Additives Per Kg: E672/vitamin A, 15.000 IU, E671/vitamin D3, 2,250 IU, Trace Elements: E1/iron, 40mg, E2/iodine, 2mg, E4/copper, 5mg, E5/manganese, 25mg, E6/zinc, 100mg, E8/selenium, 0.2mg.

Dry weight nutrients

Above average

Average

Below average

* NFE carbohydrate level (i.e. not including fibre). Level estimated from available data.

Pricing

10kg bags RRP

£43.95

Grams per day

0g

Cost per day

£

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Company

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Company info
Made by: Crown Pet Foods Ltd
Company HQ: Somerset, UK
Parent company: Mars
Sister brands: Cesar11 Cesar foods listed
Chappie22 Chappie foods listed
Frolic22 Frolic foods listed
Greenies44 Greenies treats listed
Pedigree1111 Pedigree foods listed1111 Pedigree treats listed
Royal Canin3232 Royal Canin foods listed
Techni-Cal1111 Techni-Cal foods listed
Manufacturer's product description

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Nutritional rating

67%

Review

hypoallergenic

Hypoallergenic

natural

Natural

James Wellbeloved's grain free range is specifically marketed for dogs that are prone to dietary intolerance. In common with the rest of the James Wellbeloved range, the 'with vegetables' varieties are free from all of the ingredients commonly associated with dietary allergies and intolerances (like wheat, soya and dairy) but uniquely, they are completely cereal free. For dogs that have difficulties digesting grains this can be a real advantage.

As we have seen with their standard adult varieties, James Wellbeloved certainly know how to make the most out of the ingredients list but the cereal free range takes things to the next level. At first glance, you've got a food with 26% meat as the first ingredient, some vegetables and a few healthy supplements. All very good but by digging a little deeper it's easy to see that not all is quite as it seems.

First off, the 26% meat includes 2% gravy and at least 4% fat making the maximum content of actual meat just 20% which would move it down the ingredients list to 3rd place. The new first ingredient would then be pea starch which is just... well... starch and which, apart from supplying calories, does very little for the dog.

After that comes 20% potatoes - another very starchy ingredient. Just as a side note, if you are comparing this food with other grain free foods, it's also worth noting that 20% potato flakes (which are dried before being added to the mixture) would equate to roughly 60% fresh potatoes.

So, what we're really looking at is a food with over 40% starchy ingredients and a composition more closely resembling:

Pea starch (~22%), potato flakes (20%), lamb meal (<20%)...

You don't have to be a canine nutritionist to see that this is a pretty disappointing start for a top-dollar dog food.

After that things do pick up with the addition of several good quality vegetables including tomato pomace, whole peas, alfalfa and carrot (although the latter 3 only make up a maximum of 3.5% between them). Unfortunately though, due to the fact that the true meat content is relatively low, the protein levels have had to be topped up with cheap pea protein which is a poor substitute for real meat proteins.

James Wellbeloved cereal free also contains a number of supplements including nutrient packed seaweed, essential oils and joint supplements but this silver lining regrettably also has a cloud, this time in the form of added salt (listed as sodium chloride). 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 as a flavour enhancer. Unfortunately, excessive salt has the same health implications in dogs as it does in people and should therefore generally be avoided.

Price-wise, James Wellbeloved's cereal free range is very expensive. The price of a bag seems about average but when you realise that the bag is only two-thirds the size of most other brands and that the suggested feeding amounts are not particularly low, the price per day becomes very high, especially for medium to large dogs.

Conclusion: A 3.4 star dog food at a 5 star price with added salt and a slightly disingenuous ingredients list.

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