Amazon Wag dog food’s nutrient content analyzed, rated

Amazon launched their own private label pet food on their website on May 2.

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screen image from Woof Whiskers website
screen image from Woof Whiskers website

Amazon’s private label dog food, Wag, ranked highly on Woof Whiskers, a dog food and products review website. The website included a mathematical estimate of nutrients in Wag Beef and Lentil with Wild Boar dog food.

“On a dry matter basis, we found the Beef and Lentil recipe to have 38.9 percent protein, 16.7 percent fat, and 39.4 percent carbs,” wrote Derek Gaughan, co-founder of Woof Whiskers, in an email. “The other flavors are very similar.”

“In my experience analyzing dog foods, I would say this nutrient breakdown ranks very highly,” he wrote. “It's very rich in protein. AAFCO recommends 22 percent or more protein for adult dogs. For the ingredients themselves, the only concerning item is the inclusion of ‘Natural Flavors,’ which has no real definition and could be literally anything!”

About Woof Whiskers dog food reviews

Gaughan and others at Woof Whiskers reviewed 119 dog food brands on the website. They also estimated the nutrient content of 1,386 dog food formulas and used an algorithm to rate the products based on nutrient content and the first ten ingredients. Dog foods with ingredients deemed questionable were removed from the list of top ranked products. They interviewed veterinarians to confirm the top ten dog foods in their rating, which appear on the website.

Amazon follows trends in launch of private label dog food

Amazon launched their own private label pet food on their website on May 2. Amazon’s Wag brand currently includes only dry dog food in several varieties. Wag dog food is available only to Amazon Prime subscribers, a service that offers two-day shipping and other perks.

Amazon Wag dog food marketing

Both in packaging and formulation, Amazon’s private label dog food follows popular trends in the wider pet food industry.

The imagery used on Wag puppy and adult dog food bags suggests active lifestyles, human-pet interaction and natural environments. The adult dog food formulation bag features a young person with their dog by their side. The pair overlooks a bay surrounded by mountains. The puppy formulation depicts a running puppy carrying a tennis ball through a grassy field.

The Wag dog food formulations themselves follow pet food trends including no-grain, meat as first ingredient, high protein, involving veterinarians and made in the USA.

For example, Wag Dry Dog Food Lamb and Lentil Recipe is marketed on Amazon.com as:

  • Real lamb as first ingredient; sourced from Australia
  • No grains added
  • 35 percent protein
  • Formulated with the help of veterinarians
  • Made in the USA with US and imported ingredients

Amazon takes pet food market head on, launching own line

No doubt Amazon used data from robust sales of pet foods on its platform to incorporate some of the best-selling features and claims into its own dog food: grain free, meat as the first ingredient, high protein, formulated with the help of veterinarians and made in the USA (though also including imported ingredients), wrote Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, in her blog.

Phillips-Donaldson wondered how much Amazon thought through the name of its new dog food, Wag. Considering the number of similarly named pet-related companies and brands out there — for example, the Wag N’ Wash Food & Bakery retail franchise or Wagg Foods, a pet food company based in the UK — you would think the name might create confusion in the marketplace, she wrote.

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