Sport Dog Food Elite Series (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Sport Dog Food Elite Series receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Sport Dog Food Elite Series product line includes four dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Sport Dog Food Elite Series Beef Formula [A]
  • Sport Dog Food Elite Series Chicken Formula [A]
  • Sport Dog Food Elite Series Venison Formula (4.5 stars) [A]
  • Sport Dog Food Elite Series Whitefish Formula (4.5 stars) [A]

Sport Dog Food Elite Series Chicken Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Sport Dog Food Elite Series Chicken Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, yams, freeze dried sweet potato, freeze dried chicken liver, freeze dried pumpkin, freeze dried red clover sprouts, freeze dried blueberries, bok choy, zucchini, squash, kale, freeze dried papaya, inulin, cranberries, parsley, probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, Lactobacillus casei fermentation product dehydrated, Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product dehydrated, Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product dehydrated, Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product dehydrated, Enterococcus faecium fermentation product dehydrated, Bacillus subtillus fermentation product dehydrated), kelp, artichoke, salmon oil, herring oil, vitamins (dl-methionine, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, niacin supplement, folic acid, biotin), minerals (calcium pantothenate, selenium, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis30%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%16%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%33%38%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes yams. In much of North America, the word yam can be used interchangeably with the term sweet potatoes.

So, assuming this item is indeed sweet potatoes, it can be considered a good source of complex carbohydrates. In addition, yams are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.

The third ingredient is freeze dried sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The fourth ingredient is freeze dried chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is freeze dried pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is freeze-dried sprouts, a low-glycemic, plant-based carbohydrate item containing about 20% protein.

The seventh ingredient includes freeze-dried blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, we find both salmon oil and herring oil. These oils are naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on their level of freshness and purity, salmon and herring oils should be considered commendable additions.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Sport Dog Food Elite Series
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Sport Dog Food Elite Series looks like an above-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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Sport Dog Food Elite Series is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Sport Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/11/2016 Last Update

  • Jack Dorich

    Very good food,I have been feeding this for a few months now.The only problem is Chewy is out of stock often,I have one female nursing and one ready to welp any day and now I have to switch foods.Until they can keep in stock I will be using a different food.To Bad I really like Sport Dog Food as does my pack.

  • Sue


    My experience with Sport Dog Food has been excellent. I, too, was able to communicate with an owner of the company. He was informative and helpful. I had to suddenly change diets because the high-end foods I’d been feeding my search dog contained ingredients (peas/legumes, flax seed) that I could not continue to feed once I’d bred her. shipped it to me immediately. I’m grateful that there is a dog food formula with quality ingredients that does not include phytoestrogens.

  • Dan

    I would be more than happy to print out the entire dialogue I had with one of the owners of the company on Facebook messenger, including my responses to her. I even attempted to order through the instant messenger by providing my address and was still told they would not ship to me. My family and our dog live in Hawaii. Help me to understand how a company who provides their product through Amazon where I have ordered it now for her since we rescued her will not ship to us? Their product is no longer available there either. So now I will need to wean my girl off this food and onto Core Wellness grain free salmon. The fact that they wouldn’t ship even through their own website after providing my address proves this company has little to no focus o the customer nor the well being of their pets.

  • InkedMarie

    Should you want to continue to feed this, you can order directly from SportDogFood dotcom

    I’m very surprised at their service. I used to order Farmina from them and always had good customer service.

  • Dan

    I loved this dog food for my Siberian husky pup but their customer service and ability to distribute their product is abysmal. So I am going to copy verbatim from the Facebook instant messenger page their reply to my inquiry about selling through Amazon where I ordered my food. ” I just saw your second message. “We would suggest you look for a new brand.” “Unfortunately at this time we cannot guarantee when amazon will have to dog food again” ” I think you would be better off with a more seasoned company who has better relationships with Amazon” “We are sorry it didn’t work out with our brand.” Period end of story…not that they would ship me a supply, not that they would ensure I could wean her off the kibble she had since birth, just you are on your own. They want to do an IPO for their company with that type of service and wanton disregard for a dogs consistency in food source….best of luck.

  • disqus_Mi1WslSR64

    I have a 70lb bully breed and a 9lb mini dachshund. Both are on the elite series beef and doing fantastic. This product is pretty amazing in my opinion. I have searched through 100s, literally 100s of brands and types of dog foods and have found only one that provides such specific ingredients to meet my personal standard for my dogs. This company is incredibly helpful and personable, and has assisted me multiple times with polite and knowledgeable information.

  • Erin Arvin

    I messaged them about it in the fish formula and they told me it was the screening they use that breaks down and sometimes it happens before they catch it. Now I’m using the beef and I see it in that also. I just bought a bad of acana singles and will see how that is.

  • Sarah Greene

    That’s gross! My dogs have been on a lot of foods containing meals and I’ve never seen anything like that. If my dogs were not doing so well on this food, I’d take them off it. It’s odd that a pet food company avoids all direct questions regarding their formulas.

  • Marlise

    I contacted them through Facebook and she said the kernels could be the red clover sprout seed that somehow made its way into the food bag. ( I found one the other day inside a kibble, and last night found two more , not in the bag, but in the kibble again) and she said that the hairs are animal hair. The exact response I got was “ Because we use meals in our products, you can often find hair from the animals hide in the meals. Some hair does go through the screens into the kibble but this is completely safe to feed and somewhat inevitable since the hairs are so small.” I took pictures and sent them to them too. It wasn’t just one or two hairs, it was hairs sticking out of the kibbles and then free hairs just in there. They were small but I still noticed a bunch. Is this normal? I never noticed this in any other brand of food. I also get it from Chewy, Maybe it was a bad batch…I’m thinking I’m going to try to find a different food.

  • Sarah Greene

    Don’t hold your breath waiting to hear from this company! They eventually responded to a Facebook inquiry, but did not and will not answer any specific questions regarding the formulas. I was just told that the Venison Formula is a “limited run formula” and I should check out the Beef formula as it is a limited ingredient diet. The Venison formula contains beef. Their website does not give a very detailed analysis of their formulas, so my questions were never answered. My dogs have done very well on the Venison, no more loose poop, and I only had 2 days to phase them over from Pioneer Naturals Venison before we ran out of the latter (no longer available). I have not noticed any hard kernels or hairs in the food. Maybe you got a bad lot? I get my Sportdog food from and have had no problems. Try contacting the company through Facebook, regarding the hairs and hard kibble. I’ll be interested in their response.

  • Marlise

    I don’t know the answer to your question I’m sorry , did the company ever get back to you? .. I was wondering if you gave the venison formula to your dog and if he/she did well on it? I really liked the ingredients so I started my dog on it and he eats it fine no problem but he seems to be getting constipated from the food I think. Also I found kernels hard as a rock in a bunch of the kibble , and yesterday and today , little black hairs in some of the kibble ? Don’t know if I should still feed this food. I also wrote to the company , hopefully they will get back to me !

  • Stephanie Ward

    I have German Shepherd’s and I’m having the same problems. My dogs generally have stomachs of iron. I wanted to feed this food so bad. I transitioned super slowly and I still have four of them with diarrhea. Extremely frustrating. And this has been going on for close to three weeks now since I started this food. I went to and you can pick what you want to eliminate from foods and find foods that will work. There are other foods that have little to no phytoestrogens

  • Willow Wind Labs

    Just had my first two litters on Sportdog. Pups came out super healthy hungry and lively couldn’t be happier with this food 🙂

  • Sarah Greene

    Does anyone know the as fed or maximum calcium and phosphorous in the venison formula? The Elite line lists selenium, but does not specify whether it’s derived from sodium selenite or selenium yeast. I’ve contacted the company, but they are not getting back to me. I thought this venison food would be a good alternative to Pioneer Naturals Venison food, out of stock everywhere, maybe for good. My dogs with tummy issues have done great on Pioneer Naturals, but it troubles me that there’s no website and no way to get detailed nutritional info. I thought Pioneer Naturals was taken over by Texas Mills, but their website does not list or mention this food at all.

  • Haein

    Yes I have been giving it to my Pomeranian since March and he was a rescue. He has had a complete transformation. His health and his fur have gotten a complete turn around all thanks to Sportdog. My other beagle mix also has been eating this brand since a puppy.

  • Tina Puryear

    Has anyone used this dog food with toy breed dogs we have Yorkies and I really like the ingredients and that it does not contain Phytoestrogens.

  • InkedMarie

    YOU are the one who came to DFA “bashing” the owners of a dog food company. The owners then responded here as did other people. We are allowed to respond. Maybe you should read DFA, both this, the review side and the forum side to learn how fast kibble can go rancid.

  • Veronika

    Since this is an open comments website we can and will respond to people if we see a need too, if for any reason you don’t like it, it’s called not commenting in the first place.

    We have our opinions and were voicing them, I see nothing wrong with that whatsoever. We are also here to help you make better decisions on food and actually what and how much to buy, so I’m sorry but it seems you don’t understand what this website is for.

  • Susan

    Well don’t post on public sites you made it everyone business when you came on DFA bagging “Sport Dog foods” all cause you couldn’t get a refund….

  • Gae Gallagher

    Actually, I am finished with your pissing contest. Sport Dog food and I have communicated via email. So you are way off. Not to mention your dog does not even eat this food. What are you doing on this forum, trying to tell me how to feed my dogs and how much to buy ? Mind your own business missy…….

  • Susan

    Gee, your quick to respond to my post what about responding to Sport dog post they’re giving you a refund, a Thank-You would be nice…. don’t forget kibble companies would get heaps of nut job dog owners whinging their dogs are ill, they have diarrhea, cause the dog owners do not do any research on the new food & their dogs are probably use to being feed a lower fat, lower protein & a lower Kcal per cup kibble….
    I didn’t say anything wrong, just 120lb is a lot of food for small dogs especially if you have never tried Sport Dog food before…always read the Kcals per cup first if it’s over 390 Kcal per cup then it’s a high density kibble, probably too high for your dogs.. I had the same problem with my boy, it’s taken me 4 yrs & finally after rotating different brands of foods & strengthening his immune in his gut/bowel he can now eat kibbles that are over 400Kcals per cup..
    There’s always 3 sides to a story your side, their side & the TRUTH….

  • Gae Gallagher

    Gee Susan…… You may want to have the whole picture before stating your opinion…for whatever it is worth ? My friend purchased two bags and I purchased 2 bags. We have several dogs, not just 2 or 3.

  • Susan

    Gee 120lb of kibble is alot of food for small toy breed dogs, kibble doesn’t stay fresh for too long, once it’s open it oxidizes, so small bags are best to buy when you have small toy breed dogs, kibble has a shelve life of around 14 days once opened, I give it 1 month…. Google it “How long does a kibble last once open”….
    Did you donate this food like Sport Dog policy states?? pound dogs would love Sport Dog food compared to the crappy brands they get in the pound or a rescue group will gladly pick up the remaining food for their foster carer’s dogs, just make sure they are feed less then they normally eat….

  • Gae Gallagher
  • SportDogFood USA

    Can’t believe I wrote it wrong .. its Natrox. Sorry!

  • DeathRayBob

    Wish I could find information about Endurox easily…but im glad to hear you’ve gotten away from the ethoxyquin.

  • SportDogFood USA

    We use Endurox as a natural preservative in our meat meals, including our fish meals.

  • SportDogFood USA

    For those who know Michele and I know this is not accurate. Cynthia, my wife will be reaching out shortly. As a reminder, our return policy is pretty clear – we honor a 1 bag credit, per customer. We feel this give everyone an opportunity to trial without a major commitment. You purchased 120-pounds of “Sporting Dog Food” without testing on your toy breeds first but we are still sending a refund for the entire 120 pounds purchased on Amazon. While our formulas are tricky to feed because of the kibble density, there are no problems.

  • Gae Gallagher

    Yes, Fromm.

  • Gae Gallagher

    Yes, they only have to change one ingred., to be able to say it is their own formula, like they have done.

  • Gae Gallagher

    formulas are made by Texas Mills Co-Packer. Hamlin, West Texas.

  • Crazy4cats

    That’s frustrating. Thanks for the heads up. Hope you found something that is working out for your pups.

  • Gae Gallagher

    I do not recommend this food. Speaking with the owners, they promised over and over that they would reimburse me for the bags I purchased if it did not work out for my dogs. I fed exactly as they recommended. My dogs were very sick with diarrhea. They admitted they had no experience feeding toy breeds. Yet, they are now avoiding any contact with me and have not reimbursed me. They do not stand behind their product ! They know there are problems with the formula.

  • kimberly

    yes it is or at least was manufactured by Pioneer Naturals…

  • KR

    The food is manufactured by Pioneer Naturals and the supplements are manufactured by Natures Farmacy.

  • Hana Spitz

    This is a new company that I thought about trying until I realized they are copying other companies.. This food is exactly the same as Pioneer Naturals and some of their supplements are exactly like Natures Farmacy. Unless I am missing something I am not sure how they are getting away with this…

  • Leyna

    I recently purchased a bag of the Beef Formula. One of my little Dachshunds started showing no interest in eating after I added this to their diet. I have never had a problem with any of my dogs’ appetite. So this was a little disconcerting. It wasn’t that she was not hungry, but she would not touch this food. I decided to try a piece for myself. It was very dry, hard and tasted like sawdust. Now I know why she was avoiding this food. The ingredients looked so good and nutritious. Will not be purchasing this food for my crew again unfortunately..

  • Matt

    This food is not manufactured by Pioneer naturals

  • DeathRayBob

    Was thinking about trying this food but hugely disappointed that I do not see any natural preservatives in it as that is a big deal for me. There was also a review on Amazon saying the fish meal IS in fact preserved with ethoxyquin. My search continues.

  • Matt

    Just got the venison elite. Switching from Zignature turkey which was a good food for him. He has been eating it quite well, and seems to like the change. Stools little on the soft side, but surely after full transition they will firm up. Only been about 5 days.

  • Kwidjibo1

    Feeding the whitefish maintainence 20/10. Dog loves it and his coat is shiny. His dandruff is gone and so is his gas. The company’s CS is outstanding and they provide coupons and promotions. Food is manufactured by Pioneer Naturals.