Sportmix Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Sportmix Original product line includes three dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Sportmix Bite Size
- Sportmix Chunk Style
- Sportmix High Protein
Sportmix Chunk Style Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Sportmix Chunk Style
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, meat meal, ground wheat, soybean meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of natural vitamin E), salt, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, choline chloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, calcium iodate, copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, magnesium oxide
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||9%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||21%||56%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The second ingredient includes meat meal, “the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices”.1
Since in this case the source animal is not known, this meat can come from anywhere. Road kill, dead zoo animals, diseased or dying livestock — even (although unlikely) euthanized cats and dogs.
On the brighter side, however, meat meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh meat.
Although this item does contain all the amino acids a dog needs, we do not consider meat meal a quality component.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The fourth ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal is relatively useful by-product — what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.
Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Sportmix Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Sportmix Dog Food appears to be a below-average kibble.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical dry dog food.
In addition, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soy meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.
Sportmix Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using only a modest amount of generic meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
05/15/2010 Original review
12/15/2010 Review updated
09/11/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩