4.4

out of 5

Review

high meat content

High meat content

hypoallergenic

Hypoallergenic

natural

Natural

clear ingredients list

Clearly labelled

Pets at Home are the UK's biggest pet shop. Their various own brand pet foods have grown enormously in popularity over the years and none more so than their super premium natural range, Wainwright's. Wainwright's was brought out in response to the rapid growth of the natural pet food scene in the UK and originally closely resembled the James Wellbeloved range, both in terms of recipe and branding. Nevertheless, as the years have passed, Wainwright's has come into its own and the Grain Free range, which was added in 2011, has left many of their competitor brands standing.

So, let's look at the ingredients. The first, and therefore most abundant ingredient in meat, which is always a good sign. Although we would prefer a definitive percentage for the meat rather than the "Lamb (42%) (Lamb Meat Meal, Lamb Gravy)", since the lamb gravy is unlikely to make up any more than 5% of the total, that still leaves a thoroughly respectable 37% meat.

As you might expect, Wainwright's Grain Free is... you guessed it... grain free. Although not all grains are a bad thing (in my opinion at least), this does rule out the presence of more problematic grains like wheat and maize which will be great news for owners of dogs with cereal intolerance.

The carbohydrate portion of the food (which is necessary in any dry food) is instead made up of 30% sweet potato, 8% white potato and a small proportion of pea starch. As far as we're concerned, carbs don't get any better than sweet potato so that is a big tick from us. The nutritionally vacant white potato and pea starch do take off a little of the shine but certainly not enough to be concerned about.

One point that could possibly be improved, though, is the rapeseed oil. Also called canola, rapeseed oil is often cited at a healthy source of mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3's but it has also attracted some criticism due to its relatively high content of the known toxin erucic acid. In general, we prefer to see named sources of animal fats and fish oils rather than vegetable oils in pet foods.

The remainder of the ingredients list is made up of a good range of natural, nutritious additions to boost the food's overall nutritional profile including carrot and tomato, seaweed, cranberry and several culinary herbs.

As you would expect, Wainwright's Grain Free doesn't contain any artificial additives, derivatives or by-products or any ingredients that are commonly linked to allergies making all 4 varieties completely hypoallergenic.

Price-wise, Wainwright's Grain Free is very economical on a per bag basis but when you factor in that the bag is just 10kg and that the recommended feeding amounts tend to be a bit higher than a lot of similar foods, the price per day ends up slightly above average, at least compared to other natural, British, grain free, 4-5 star foods. Even so, the Wainwright's Grain Free range is undeniably very good and I think Pets at Home should be acknowledged for bringing ever better foods to a lot of pets that might otherwise be eating supermarket brands.

Conclusion: Not the cheapest food in its class but excellent ingredients, plenty of meat, natural, hypoallergenic and grain free to boot!

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