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Amazon Wag Dog Food Review: What’s The Scoop With This Kibble?

Gather ‘round, dog lovers. We’ve got some big news to share: The internet’s leading retail site has entered the dog food game. That’s right – Amazon has released their own dog food brand, appropriately called “Wag.”

Below, we’ll break down the five recipes they currently offer and explain everything you need to know to make an informed decision for your pooch.

Quick Picks: Best Wag Dog Food Kibble

History & Background of Wag Dog Food

Unless you’ve been living in a Tibetan cave under a rock for the last 15 years, you’ve probably heard of Amazon.com. 

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the Seattle-based company started as an online bookstore. And shortly after dominating the book-sales business, Amazon branched out and began offering movies, music, and other types of media too.

But that was just the beginning, and the site quickly became a one-stop shop for everything you could possibly want to buy. Need a new set of kitchen knives? Need a toy for your kid’s birthday? Need a new minivan? Amazon’s got you covered. There’s not much you can’t buy there.

Amazon also markets a number of different products under their own brand labels (such as AmazonBasics, among others), and dog foods are one of their most recent additions (their foods became available for purchase in May 2018).

Note that Wag is only available for members of Amazon Prime, but that may change in the future.

However, even if you decide Wag isn’t right for your pet, you may still benefit from this new product line.

Amazon’s unparalleled buying power means that they can produce dog food for less than many other brands, which allows them to slap a pretty reasonable price tag on the product. This will likely have trickle-down effects throughout the dog food market, resulting in lower prices for everyone.  

Amazon’s Wag Recall History

Given that Wag has only been on the market for a matter of weeks, there are no recalls in the product’s history (that’d be pretty embarrassing). We’ll monitor the food’s entry into the market and update this section as appropriate.  

Wag Dog Food Formulas & Recipes

There is currently only one formula offered under the Wag brand name, but there are five different recipes available:

The recipes are all quite similar, and the only substantive differences between them involve the primary proteins used in each. They all meet the AAFCO’s guidelines and feature similar nutritional profiles. Accordingly, you can just choose the recipe you think your dog will find most palatable.

Nevertheless, we’ll look at each one in greater detail below.

Wag Recipe #1: Salmon & Lentil

Wag Dry Dog Food Salmon & Lentil Recipe (30 Lb. Bag)

Many dogs love salmon and, because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it is a great protein to include in dog food.

Percentages

Wag’s Salmon & Lentil Recipe is formulated to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including large-breed puppies.

  • Crude Protein: 35% Minimum
  • Crude Fat: 15% Minimum
  • Crude Fiber: 5.5% Maximum
  • Moisture: 10% Maximum
  • Zinc: 150 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Selenium: .35 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Vitamin E: 150 IU/Kilogram Minimum
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 2.5% Minimum
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 0.4% Minimum
  • Total Microorganisms: 2,000,000 CFU/Pound Minimum
  • Calorie Content: 3700 kcal ME/KG (346 kcal ME/cup)

Ingredient List

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Yeast, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Wag Recipe #2: Beef & Lentil with Wild Boar

Amazon Brand - Wag Dry Dog Food Trial-Size Bag, No Added Grain, Beef & Lentil Recipe With Wild Boar, 5 lbMany four-footers love the rich taste of beef, and this particular recipe also includes wild boar to make it even more palate-pleasing.

Percentages

Wag’s Beef & Lentil Recipe is formulated to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for adults.

  • Crude Protein: 35% Minimum
  • Crude Fat: 15% Minimum
  • Crude Fiber: 4.5% Maximum
  • Moisture: 10% Maximum
  • Zinc: 150 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Selenium: .35 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Vitamin E: 150 IU/Kilogram Minimum
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 2.5% Minimum
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 0.4% Minimum
  • Total Microorganisms: 2,000,000 CFU/Pound Minimum
  • Calorie Content: 3700 kcal ME/KG (346 kcal ME/cup)

Ingredient List

Beef, Beef Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Peas, Egg Product, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Yeast, Wild Boar, Potato Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Wag Recipe #3: Lamb & Lentil

Wag Dry Dog Food Lamb & Lentil Recipe (30 Lb. Bag)Lamb is another rich meat that many dogs love, and it may even serve as a good novel protein for dogs who are allergic to chicken, pork, or beef.

Percentages

Wag’s Lamb & Lentil Recipe is formulated to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including large-breed puppies.

  • Crude Protein: 35% Minimum
  • Crude Fat: 15% Minimum
  • Crude Fiber: 5.5% Maximum
  • Moisture: 10% Maximum
  • Zinc: 150 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Selenium: .35 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Vitamin E: 150 IU/Kilogram Minimum
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 2.5% Minimum
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 0.4% Minimum
  • Glucosamine: 750 Milligrams/Kilogram Minimum
  • Chondroitin Sulfate: 250 Milligrams/Kilogram Minimum
  • Total Microorganisms: 2,000,000 CFU/Pound Minimum
  • Calorie Content: 3700 kcal ME/KG (346 kcal ME/cup)

Ingredient List

Lamb, Lamb Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Yeast, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Wag Recipe #4: Turkey & Lentil

Wag Dry Dog Food Turkey & Lentil Recipe (30 Lb. Bag)If your dog loves poultry, he will probably prefer Wag’s Turkey & Lentil Recipe over all of the other options.

Percentages

Wag’s Turkey & Lentil Recipe is formulated to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for adults.

  • Crude Protein: 35% Minimum
  • Crude Fat: 15% Minimum
  • Crude Fiber: 4.5% Maximum
  • Moisture: 10% Maximum
  • Zinc: 150 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Selenium: .35 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Vitamin E: 150 IU/Kilogram Minimum
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 2.5% Minimum
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 0.4% Minimum
  • Glucosamine: 750 Milligrams/Kilogram Minimum
  • Chondroitin Sulfate: 250 Milligrams/Kilogram Minimum
  • Total Microorganisms: 2,000,000 CFU/Pound Minimum
  • Calorie Content: 3700 kcal ME/KG (346 kcal ME/cup)

Ingredient List

Turkey, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Yeast, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Wag Recipe #5: Chicken & Lentil (Puppy)

Wag Dry Dog Food For Puppies, Chicken & Lentil Recipe (15 Lb. Bag)Wag’s Chicken & Lentil Puppy Recipe is designed to provide your growing puppy with everything he needs to grow into a healthy adult. It does exhibit a few nutritional differences from the other recipes (such as containing a tiny bit more protein), but the differences are relatively minor.  

Percentages

Wag’s Chicken & Lentil Puppy Recipe is formulated to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including large-breed puppies.

  • Crude Protein: 36% Minimum
  • Crude Fat: 16% Minimum
  • Crude Fiber: 5.5% Maximum
  • Moisture: 10% Maximum
  • Zinc: 150 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Selenium: .35 Milligrams/Kilograms Minimum
  • Vitamin E: 150 IU/Kilogram Minimum
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acid: 2.8% Minimum
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 0.4% Minimum
  • Total Microorganisms: 2,000,000 CFU/Pound Minimum
  • Calorie Content: 3700 kcal ME/KG (346 kcal ME/cup)

Ingredient List

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Yeast, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Primary Differences BetweenWag Recipes

Because these recipes are all so remarkably similar, we’ve listed the primary differences between them below to save you some time.

The Turkey & Lentil and Beef & Lentil Recipes contain 1% less fiber than the other three recipes do.

The Turkey & Lentil and Lamb & Lentil Recipes provide nutritional data relating to the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate present. However, this does not necessarily mean that these nutrients are absent from the other recipes. It’s honestly a bit perplexing that they leave this information off three of their recipes. This is particularly strange as the Chicken & Lentil Recipe likely has a roughly similar amount of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as the Turkey & Lentil Recipe.

The Beef & Lentil Recipe does not contain salmon oil. Nevertheless, according to the nutritional information provided on the bag, it provides just as many omega-3 fatty acids as the other recipes do.

The Chicken & Lentil Puppy Recipe contains slightly higher omega-6 fatty acid content than the others do.

The Beef & Lentil Recipe contains egg product, which is missing from all of the other recipes.

First 6 Ingredients

The first half-dozen ingredients or so in a dog food are the most important ones to scrutinize when picking a food for your pup. Each Wag recipe is very similar, and, aside from the proteins used, they are essentially identical. That said, we’ve analyzed the first six ingredients in Wag’s Salmon & Lentil Recipe below.

  • Salmon – You always want to see a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list, and each of the five Wag recipes satisfies this criterion. All of the recipes feature a high-quality protein at the top of the ingredient list, and the differences between them are not terribly consequential for most healthy dogs.
  • Salmon Meal – As long as they are properly identified, meat meals are fantastic ingredients to include in dog food. They’re full of protein and nutrients, and dogs typically like the way they taste. In each recipe, the meat meal used is derived from the primary protein (for example, the Beef & Lentil Recipe features beef meal).
  • Lentils – Lentils are legumes, somewhat similar to peas. They’re used in place of corn, wheat, and other grains, and they provide better nutritional content than most of these ingredients.
  • Pea Protein – Pea protein is comprised of the byproducts left behind when peas are processed. While perfectly safe, it is somewhat controversial among some dog owners (see discussion below).
  • Peas – Most dogs love peas, and they’re full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so they’re typically a welcome ingredient in most dog foods.
  • Chicken Fat – Animal fats are not only tasty to dogs, they are essential for proper health. As with meat meals, it is important to avoid those that aren’t properly identified (you want “chicken fat,” rather than “poultry fat” or “animal fat,”) as well as those that are not naturally preserved.

Controversial Ingredients

By and large, Wag recipes are made with very high-quality ingredients, and they don’t contain very many troubling items. However, like most other dog foods, they do contain a few items that may give some owners pause. These include:

  • Salt – Salt isn’t a “bad” ingredient; in fact, it’s necessary for life. The problem is that few dog foods – including Wag’s various recipes – disclose the amount of salt included in their recipe. Excessive amounts of salt can cause health problems for dogs.
  • Brewers Yeast – A byproduct of the beer-making process, brewers yeast is actually quite nutritious. However, some owners worry that it can trigger allergies or cause yeast infections. It will only cause allergic reactions in dogs who are sensitive to the ingredient, and there doesn’t appear to be any empirical data to support the contention that it causes yeast infections.
  • Beet Pulp – Beet pulp is typically included in dog foods to increase the fiber content and serve as a bulking agent. Some owners view it as a cheap filler, but it actually helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Pea Protein – Pea protein is certainly not a hazardous ingredient, but it is relatively devoid of nutritional content aside from the protein it provides. Therefore, some owners prefer foods that provide protein via other, more nutritious ingredients – like whole peas.

Wag Dog Food Special Notes

Note that while the Salmon & Lentil and Lamb & Lentil Recipes are appropriate for all life stages, the Beef & Lentil and Turkey & Lentil Recipes are designed for adults. The Chicken & Lentil Recipe is designed for puppies.

In any case, each of the five Wag recipes provides nutrition that exceeds the requirements set for all of the categories listed on the bag. For example, the AAFCO recommends crude protein content of 18% for adult-maintenance diets and 22.5% for growth-and-reproduction diets; Wag provides protein levels of 35% or more.

Similarly, each Wag recipe contains at least 15% fat, whereas the AAFCO’s recommended minimum fat content is only 5.5% for adults and 8.5% for puppies and reproductively-active females. Each Wag recipe also contains more Vitamin E and Zinc than recommended by the AAFCO guidelines, and they satisfy the Selenium requirements too.

However, Wag foods do not indicate the content of many other vitamins and minerals, including Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, and others. This may not be unusual – relatively few dog foods provide all of the nutritional information owners may like – but it is unfortunate, and we’d like to see Wag (and all other brands that fail to do so) address this issue moving forward.

WAG DOG FOOD PROS

There’s a lot to like about the five Wag recipes available. Some of the most noteworthy characteristics of the recipes include the following:

  • All Wag foods are made in the USA.
  • Each recipe meets the AAFCO guidelines.  
  • Each recipe contains a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list.
  • Every Wag recipe contains at least 35% protein.
  • Each of these recipes is grain-free (although Wag uses the language “No added grains,” which is curious).
  • Five probiotic strains are included in each recipe.
  • Each recipe is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Wag foods are more affordable (sometimes significantly so) than comparable recipes produced by most other manufacturers.

WAG DOG FOOD CONS

While Wag’s recipes appear to be very well-conceived and made with plenty of nutritious ingredients, there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Aside from peas and lentils, there aren’t any whole fruits or vegetables included in the recipes.
  • Each of the recipes, aside from Beef & Lentil, contains salmon oil, which may be problematic if your dog is allergic to salmon or doesn’t like the taste.
  • Each recipe includes a few controversial ingredients, which may be concerning to some owners.
  • The recipes and brand are very new, so there isn’t a long track record to consider.

Final Thoughts on Amazon’s Wag Dog Food

We’re quite excited about Amazon’s entrance into the dog food business. Wag recipes appear to be very nutritious and comprised of high-quality ingredients, and they all exceed the minimum AAFCO nutritional guidelines.

They each contain a delicious whole protein at the top of the ingredient list, and they all contain five different probiotic strains to help ease your dog’s dietary transition and promote intestinal health. We could quibble about the lack of blueberries, cranberries, and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, but that’s a relatively minor concern.

It’s always wise to consider the track record of a dog food brand before purchasing it for your dog, but that’s not possible in this case. However, Amazon has typically excelled in most avenues they’ve pursued, so we’d consider this to be a low-risk gamble.

Always consult your veterinarian before making a significant dietary change for your dog, but we’d bet that most will agree that Wag appears to be a very attractive option, which should provide your beloved bestie with the nutrition he needs and deserves.

Have you tried Wag yet? We’d love to hear about your experiences, so tell us what you think in the comments below.

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author Ben Team

Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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