Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to compare price and package sizes of Sportmix at an online retailer.
- Sportmix Wholesomes Beef Meal and Chickpeas [M]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Whitefish Meal and Chickpeas [A]
- Sportmix Wholesomes Chicken Meal and Chickpeas [M]
Sportmix Wholesomes Beef Meal and Chickpeas was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Sportmix Wholesomes Beef Meal and Chickpeas
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef meal, potatoes, peas, chickpeas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea fiber, natural flavors, flaxseed, dried egg product, apples, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, spinach, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, 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
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||13%||53%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||29%||48%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.
The second 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 third ingredient includes 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 fourth ingredient lists 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 and they contain about 22% protein.
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 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.
After the natural flavor, we find 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 ingredient panel (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Sportmix product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
In addition, taurine is included this product. Taurine is 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.
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.
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free
Dog Food Review
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.
Sportmix Wholesomes Grain Free is a 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.
Sportmix Dog Food Recall History
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Sportmix. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- 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)
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.
Notes and Updates
12/22/2019 Last Update