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Wellness Pet Food

Important recall information appears below.

Wellness pet food recalls

A sailor threw a biscuit to a dog, who promptly gobbled it up — and a company was born. Starting out as A. Hubbard and Sons Bakery in Gloucester, Massachusetts, making biscuits, the company was renamed Old Mother Hubbard in 1926.


Jim Scott Sr., an animal nutritionist, bought the company in 1961 and moved its headquarters to Lowell, Massachusetts. New dog recipes were added in 1997 and cat recipes in 2000.

Wellness Quick Facts

Brand line includes: Wellness Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe for Dogs, Wellness Lamb & Barley Recipe for Dogs, Wellness Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe for Dogs, Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Recipe, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wild Game Formula, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Kitten Formula
Cost: $$$
Where to buy: Latest deals on Wellness pet food
Company: WellPet LLC
Headquarters: 200 Ames Pond Drive, Tewksbury, MA 01876-1274
Contact info: 1-800-225-0904, emailwebsite

Has Wellness Ever Been Recalled?

Yes, Wellness has issued at least 5 recalls in the decade-plus that our research team has been tracking recalls.

Most recently, in March 2017, certain dates of Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs, in 13.2 oz. cans, were recalled because of possible high levels of beef thyroid hormone.

According to WellPet, “Elevated levels [of this hormone] may affect a dog’s metabolism and can be associated with increased thirst, increased urinary output, restless behavior and weight loss.”

The company added: “Even though the chance of a dog being affected is remote, we are voluntarily recalling this recipe and only these 3 ‘Best by’ dates as an extra precaution.”

During the previous month, February 2017, a number of canned Wellness cat food varieties were recalled because of the potential for foreign material.


A company rep explained in the comments section on this page:

“When our quality team learned that a small amount of metal was found in non-WellPet products made in the same facility, we decided to take the conservative step of voluntarily recalling a small amount of our 12.5 oz. cat recipes with certain best by dates to ensure the well-being of cats and to put our consumers’ minds at ease.”

In October 2012 and in May 2012, Wellness issued recalls: one because of apparent moisture problems, and the other because of the possibility of salmonella.

Finally, in February 2011, inadequate levels of thiamine was listed as the reason for a recall of a large amount — 21.6 million cans, according to an FDA enforcement report — of all flavors and sizes of canned Wellness cat food manufactured within a certain date range. Wellness CORE was included in that recall.

Tim Callahan, CEO of WellPet, said at the time of the 2011 Wellness cat food recall, “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”

The full list of Wellness pet food recalls follows.

List of Wellness Pet Food Recalls

March 2017

Cause: Potential for elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Announcement: WellPet voluntary recall report dated March 17, 2017 (archived here). What was recalled: 13.2 oz. cans of Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs with “Best by” dates of Feb. 2, 2019; Aug. 29, 2019; or Aug. 30, 2019.

February 2017

Cause: Potential for foreign material. Announcement: WellPet voluntary recall report dated Feb. 10, 2017 (archived here). What was recalled: 12.5 oz. cans of the following Wellness cat food:

  • Chicken & Herring, best by Aug. 4, 2019
  • Chicken, best by Aug. 3 or Aug. 4, 2019
  • Chicken & Lobster, best by Aug. 4, 2019
  • Turkey & Salmon, best by Aug. 5, 2019
  • Turkey, best by Aug. 4 or Aug. 5, 2019
  • Beef & Chicken, best by Aug. 5, 2019
  • Beef & Salmon, best by Aug. 5, 2019

Note: Here’s what the labels look like.

October 2012

Cause: Possible moisture contamination. Announcement: Company announcement on Facebook, Oct. 30, 2012 (archived here). What was recalled: Wellness Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food, 12 lb. package with “Best by” date of Aug. 18, 2013.

May 2012

Cause: Potential for salmonella. Announcement: FDA report dated May 4, 2012 (archived here). What was recalled: Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy, 15 lb. and 30 lb. bags and 5 oz. sample bags with “Best by” dates of Jan. 9–11, 2013.

February 2011

Cause: Inadequate levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1). Announcement: FDA report dated Feb. 28, 2011 (archived here). What was recalled: The following canned cat foods and expiration dates:

  • Wellness canned cat food (all flavors and sizes, including CORE) with “Best by” dates of April 14–Sept. 30, 2013
  • Wellness Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with “Best by” dates of either Nov. 10, 2013 OR Nov. 17, 2013

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About Petful

This content was written by the lead research team at Petful®, led by publisher Dave Baker, a longtime advocate for pet food safety. Our team has been tracking pet food recalls for 10-plus years, and we spend countless hours combing through databases and news archives going back 40 years or more to bring you the most accurate pet food information possible. Tens of thousands of safety-conscious pet parents are subscribed to our free recall alerts, and Animal Radio has called Petful’s list of pet food recalls “the best, most complete list” online. Learn more about Petful, or explore our Pet Food Recall Center.