Sportmix Premium Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Sportmix Premium product line includes eight dry dog foods.
Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Sportmix Premium Puppy Small Bites
- Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Chunk
- Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Mini Chunk
- Sportmix Premium Lamb Meal and Rice (3 stars)
- Sportmix Premium Stamina Adult Mini Chunk (1.5 stars)
- Sportmix Premium Energy Plus Adult Mini Chunk (1.5 stars)
- Sportmix Premium Maintenance Adult Mini Chunk (1.5 stars)
- Sportmix Premium Hunter’s Select Adult Mini Chunk (1.5 stars)
Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Chunk Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Chunk
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, ground yellow corn, meat meal, ground wheat, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, fish meal, flaxseed, 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%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||20%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||40%||36%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (conventional meat).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The second ingredient 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 third ingredient is 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 item could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized pets.
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 fourth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
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.
The sixth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The seventh ingredient includes fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 to help with digestion.
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 Premium Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Sportmix Premium Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.
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 27% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
However, the higher fat-to-protein ratio associated with certain recipes may not be appropriate for every animal.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Sportmix Premium is a plant-based dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product or generic meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
05/16/2010 Original review
03/30/2014 Last Update