Natural Balance VS Wellness

We all want the best for our dogs, including their food. When it comes to this topic, among the brand names that emerge are Natural Balance and Wellness.

Both claim to have the healthiest options, complete with all the necessary nutrients that can be sourced from meat as well as fruits and vegetables. 

Having been around for a good amount of time, they are also already established names when it comes to quality control and research. 

But what should be the pick for you? 

Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the things you should consider today in our focus on Natural Balance VS Wellness. We will start with a list of the most desirable qualities of each brand and then compare and contrast the two in a few categories.

Criteria for Choosing Dog Food

Brand History

Both Natural Balance and Wellness have been around for decades. As with most companies, the length of time they have been around is to be viewed favorably as this can translate to satisfaction from customers as well as brand credibility.

Natural Balance is a tad older than Wellness. It was established in 1989 by the actor Dick Van Patten who has been fond of animals since he was a young boy. 

The brand promise to contain no corn, soy or wheat is an advice the actor followed from a friend who happens to be a veterinarian. It is now a subsidiary of Big Heart Pet Brands by the J.M. Smucker Company.

Meanwhile, Wellness Pet Food began eight years later, in 1997. It was a joint endeavor of veterinarians and nutrition experts. Like Natural Balance, it also began offering more products for other animals in its later years.

Wellness is now owned by WellPet. The brand’s parent company is the Berwind Corporation.

Tastiness for Dogs

Veterinarians are often united in the opinion that everything your dog needs is in a pack of processed dog food. 

While dogs are often not discerning about what they eat, that does not guarantee that they will always like what is served in front of them; they can be just as picky as us.

Natural Balance has a good record in the tastiness department for dogs. Even those who are picky eaters reportedly fare well with Natural Balance. 

And ingredients like venison, duck, flaxseeds and garbanzo beans are not only tasty but also healthy, so it’s a win-win!

Meanwhile, Wellness has a good repute for health but not much is spoken about its tastiness. That does not mean they aren’t very enticing for your pooches, but this quality may not be consistent across its different products.


Made with experts’ advice, Natural Balance uses nutritious formulas for your pets. The ingredients are varied across products, but they are guaranteed to be both healthy and tasty.

If you have a sensitive dog, Natural Balance is good for you. It stays aways from common causes of food allergies for pooches [1], such as corn, soy and wheat. You won’t find refined grains and many artificial ingredients, true to the brand’s name.

If we have a quibble, it’s the inclusion of potato which comes in significant amounts across recipes, too. While potato is not harmful, it has not much use for your pup. There is also canola oil in some picks, which is not a pure product.

The ingredients in Wellness products are generally very ideal for your pooches as well. 

There’s plenty of hormone-free meat, such as turkey and chicken, as the brand acknowledges that dogs were primarily meat eaters in its history. Choices may have animal oil or plant oil, both of which can be good for your pets.

Like the competition, Wellness also steers aways from common allergens. There’s gluten-free options as well as grain-free.

But there are also plenty of sources of carbohydrates in its selection, such as potatoes. 

Wellness products are still nutritious but moderation should be observed to keep your dogs from gaining unnecessary weight and suffering from complications caused by the weight gain.

Variation of Choices

Both Natural Balance and Wellness have a variety of choices for your dog, including specific lines to address different needs. These come in both dry and wet food.

Natural Balance has its Original Ultra line that supposedly considers the general health of your dog. There are high protein choices in its Wild Pursuit line, which differs from the rest by including raw meat pieces. 

For the more sensitive dogs, the L.I.D. line is available and is essentially made to avoid upset stomachs.

Meanwhile, for Wellness, there’s Wellness Complete Health, Wellness CORE, Wellness Simple and Wellness Trufood. 

Complete Health offers different products across different ages, some of which are grain-free. CORE is Wellness’ answer for Natural Balance’s Wild Pursuit line, but the products are also all grain-free. 

The presence of taurine and fiber promotes cardiac health and better digestion, respectively.

Wellness Simple is meant for those who come with many food allergies. There are six picks in this line. Lastly, Trufood are slow-baked recipes that are high in protein and other nutrients.

Appropriate for Different Ages and Sizes

The brands we’re comparing today do not only have a variety of choices, they also have available products for different ages as well as sizes. 

Your furry animals will need different products depending on their age and their size. Small dogs should have a different diet than bigger breeds. Puppies also have different needs than adults or senior dogs.

Effects on Dog Health

In putting Wellness VS Natural Balance, it is worth highlighting that both products undergo rigorous research and testing so that your dogs can benefit the most from their products. 

These US products both adhere to national and international standards.

The small effects matter, including how smooth and shiny your dog’s hair is, but also more immediately noticeable things, like their strength and activity. 

It is notable that tummy issues are also a non-issue for both Natural Balance and Wellness, although it is more emphasized for the former.

History of Recalls

The history of both products is not as clean as we would have hoped.

Natural Balance products have been recalled five times in the past, the latest of which was in 2012. There were corrections for salmonella, botulinum and melamine contamination. 

In 2007, there was a nationwide recall for venison products as the presence of melamine was discovered and consumption could lead to kidney failure in pets.

Wellness has had the same amount of recalls, with the last one being in 2017. A thyroid hormone, albeit natural, was discovered and could cause different problems such as thirst, increased urination and weight loss. 

In the past, lack of thiamine and increased moisture in products were also reasons for recall.

It should be noted that these are not applied to all products but just a few from their selections. Recalls are also important to correct products as knowledge on pet nutrition continues to change and broaden.

Conclusion: Natural Balance OR Wellness?

Both Natural Balance and Wellness pet foods are offered in a variety of products and are available for all stages of a dog’s life and sizes. 

They both claim to be highly nutritious as well, and we can trust their history of strict adherence to standards and rigorous testing for this.

Natural Balance is best if you have a picky pooch who just won’t eat anything that they are served. 

The brand is highly known for its tasty products. Dogs with sensitivities are also covered as Natural Balance generally does not cause stomach problems.

Meanwhile, Wellness is best if you want your furry baby to consume as much protein as healthily possible. It also serves a market that wants to keep ingredients natural. Wellness products are packed with antioxidants as well as probiotics.