Sportmix Wholesomes Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Sportmix Wholesomes product line includes 6 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 check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Sportmix Wholesomes Large Breed [M]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Fish Meal and Rice [M]
- Sportmix Wholesomes with Lamb Meal and Rice (3 stars) [M]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Chicken Meal and Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Beef Meal and Rice (3 stars) [M]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Performance (5 stars) [G]
Sportmix Wholesomes with Lamb Meal and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Sportmix Wholesomes with Lamb Meal and Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, peas, pea starch, beef meal, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea protein, dried beet pulp, flaxseed, dried egg product, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||13%||54%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||29%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient includes white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth item is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.
The seventh ingredient lists rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of rice product:
- Brown rice
- White rice
- Rice bran
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making rice (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.
This can also be said about the three different types of pea products in this recipe.
The eighth item 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 ninth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% 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 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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find beet pulp, which 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.
Next, we note the use of 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Sportmix Wholesomes Dog Food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical kibble.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Sportmix Wholesomes is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
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.
Sportmix Dog Food
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.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
03/30/2019 Last Update