Sport Dog Food Elite Series (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Sport Dog Elite Series Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Sport Dog Elite Series product line includes 4 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

Use the links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

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

Sport Dog Elite Series Working Dog Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Turkey meal (33%), dried sweet potato (27%), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) (10%), coconut meal (9%), cassava root (9%), ocean fish meal (5.5%), natural flavors, salmon oil, monocalcium phosphate, calcium propionate, potassium chloride, yeast culture (probiotic), chicory root, zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acids chelate, salt, Yucca schidigera extract (probiotic), vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, dried cranberry powder, dried blueberry powder, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, selenium yeast (probiotic), niacin supplement (source of vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (source of vitamin B5), vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B8), thiamine mononitrate (source of B1), folic acid, copper amino acids complex (chelate), green tea extract, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product (probiotic), dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product (probiotic), dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation product (probiotic), dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product (probiotic)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%19%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%38%35%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 35%

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

The second ingredient includes dried sweet potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried sweet potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is coconut meal, also known as copra meal.

Copra meal is a by-product of coconut oil production and is more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although copra meal contains about 25% protein, this ingredient is lower in some essential amino acids. So, its nutritive value is considered inferior to other oil meals (such as soybean meal).

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 cassava root, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth ingredient is ocean 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.

After the natural flavor, we find salmon oil. Salmon oil is 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 its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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, 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.

And lastly, this food includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Sport Dog Elite Series Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Sport Dog 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 32%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried sweet potato and coconut meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Sport Dog Elite Series is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly 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 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.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

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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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.

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In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

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Notes and Updates

07/01/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
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