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Comparing Dog Foods – James Wellbeloved – Grain-free Turkey

Following on from last week’s post where we analysed Asda’s Hero – Chicken, rice & vegetables, today we break down another high-street favourite: James Wellbeloved – Grain-free Turkey

The packaging says the following:

We’ve taken a handful of nature’s nourishing ingredients and combined them with flavourful turkey for highly digestible, quality protein. Then, using all our knowledge and experience, we’ve added all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs to stay happy, healthy and full of life.


Turkey meal (25.5%), pea starch (25.4%), potato flakes (24.4%), turkey fat (5.2%), tomato pomace (5.1%), whole linseed, turkey gravy (2.9%), peas (2.7%), alfalfa meal, carrots (0.5%), seaweed, chicory pulp, pea fibre, fish oil, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, parsley (0.125%), nettles (0.125%), chicory extract (0.1%), calcium carbonate, glucosamine (0.045%), yucca extract (0.02%), chondroitin (0.005%), green tea extract (0.003%), pomegranate extract (0.001%), rosemary extract (0.001%).

Additives per kg:

Vitamin A: 15000 Iu, Vitamin D₃: 1400 Iu, 3A370/Taurine: 1000 Mg; Trace Elements: 3B103/Iron: 40.0 Mg, 3B202/Iodine: 1.6 Mg, 3B405/Copper: 6.0 Mg, 3B502/Manganese: 25.0 Mg, 3B607/Zinc: 100 Mg, E8/Selenium: 0.19 Mg.

Analytical constituents (%):

Protein: 21.5;

Fat Content: 10.5;

Crude Ash: 7.2;

Crude Fibre: 4.3;

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 1.0;

Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.7;

Vitamin E: 150 Mg/Kg.


• Turkey Meal – Made with 100% natural turkey.

• Balanced Nutrition – Balanced blend of dietary fibres.

• Yucca Extract – A natural deodoriser, for less smelly poos.

• Omega 3 & 6 Oils – To promote healthy skin and a glossy coat.

• Prebiotics – Natural inulin from chicory, helping to maintain healthy gut flora.

• Antioxidants – Natural antioxidants from pomegranate, green tea and rosemary to support the immune system.

Our Analysis:


The first ingredient is Turkey meal at 25.5% – although it could be good quality meat, if it has the word ‘meal’ in it, it could also have some of the poorest quality meat.

Rendered products often have the term “meal” listed in their titles.

This meal can be comprised of many unglamorous parts of an animal, for example, offal, brain, and spleens. It also could include meat from animals that were sick, as well as expired meat from retailers.

Because the contents of rendered products can vary, the nutritional quality can be low, so we would avoid anything with ‘meal’ in the ingredients as it doesn’t represent a high-quality ingredient.


Pea starch is remarkably high at 25.4% and although it is a good source of protein, dogs cannot digest plant proteins as well as meat protein.

Further, pea protein is not as complete in amino acids as animal proteins are, and its biological value is not as high.

Subsequently, your dog will not be able to use all the protein within the peas.

It has risen in popularity as an ingredient in many cheaper grain-free pet foods – it can be used to boost the protein content of the food cheaply and is usually because the manufacturer is trying to make up for a lack of meat-based protein.

In essence, vegetable protein, in this case, peas, should not take the place of a good meat protein – it should complement it.


Potato Flakes 24.4% – potatoes seem to have taken the place of grains here, and although a good source of carbohydrates, these are then turned into sugars when digested.

Unfortunately, while whole potatoes contain a range of healthy nutrients, pure potato starch contains… well, pure starch!

Many nutritionists still have doubts over whether dogs can digest significant amounts of starches efficiently.

Next time we’ll be looking at our very own – Chicken, sweet potato & herbs – more on that soon..