Review of Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Dog Food
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.
The Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Beef Meal and Potatoes||4||M|
|Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Chicken Meal and Potatoes||4||M|
|Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Whitefish Meal and Potatoes||4||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain-Free Whitefish Meal and Potatoes was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain-Free Whitefish Meal and Potatoes
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Whitefish meal, chickpeas, potatoes, peas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, dried egg, sweet potatoes, pea fiber, natural flavors, dicalcium phosphate, apples, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, spinach, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, manganese sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||16%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||33%||45%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The second ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient lists peas, which 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 next ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the ingredient panel (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Sportmix product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
Next, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Dog Food appears to be an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Which means this Sportmix product line contains…
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, chickpeas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Dog Food
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Has Sportmix Wholesomes Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Sportmix.
- Midwestern Pet Foods Recalls Multiple Dog and Cat Food Brands (3/28/2021)
- Deadly Dog and Cat Food Recall Expands: More Brands, Over 1000 Lots (1/12/2021)
- Sportmix Dog and Cat Foods Recalled Due to Deadly Mold Toxin (12/30/2020)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Sportmix Brand Reviews
The following Sportmix dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Sportmix CanineX Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Sportmix Original Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Sportmix Premium Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Sportmix Wholesomes Dog Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
06/28/2021 Last Update