Sportsman’s Pride (Dry)


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Sportsman’s Pride 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.

  • Sportsman’s Pride Premium Adult [U]
  • Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult [U]
  • Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy [U]
  • Sportsman’s Pride Lamb Meal and Rice [U]
  • Sportsman’s Pride Premium Puppy (3.5 stars) [U]
  • Sportsman’s Pride Professional Formula (3.5 stars) [U]

Sportsman’s Pride Premium Adult Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Sportsman's Pride Premium Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, corn meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground wheat, rice, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), corn gluten meal, natural flavors, flaxseed, dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, lecithin, canola oil, rosemary extract, vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement minerals: kelp polysaccharide complexes of zinc, iron, manganese and copper, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%21%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%41%35%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 41% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The second ingredient is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

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 wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The fifth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The sixth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp 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.

The seventh ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural flavors, 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.

The ninth ingredient is 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 have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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 brewers dried yeast. Brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, we find 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.

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.

Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food looks like a below-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 30%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Near-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 corn gluten meal, flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Sportsman’s Pride is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal and named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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.

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

Notes and Updates

05/19/2017 Last Update

  • Richie Stephens

    Not trying to a wise guy with what you feed Ur dog I just like to inform people. Sportsman’s pride is not a good food to feed Ur dog! It has wheat, grain and meat products that are left over from the slaughter house! They can and do put every piece of the worst meats possible in there and you have no idea what is in there because they don’t have to tell u as long as it doesn’t have feathers it’s in there! For Ur Dogs health please research and hopefully change their diet! It is filled with cancer forming ingredients which is the number 1 death in animals!! Sorry I just wanted u to be aware of this. Thanks and Good luck!

  • Velma

    My family has sold this food for many years. They haven’t been informed of any recalls. I’ve personally feed this food for nearly 20 years and have had success. My dad, husband & friends feed their dogs and hunting dogs Pride with good results.

  • InkedMarie

    Sorry, I misunderstood!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Okay. Just saying….check out chewy dot com

  • Terry

    I feed sportsman pride it is never marked down they order it in for me along with all my livestock food.. I wouldn’t buy marked down food either

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    chewy dot com is the best! The auto ship plan is very flexible.
    You can change/adjust it as often as you like.
    Ps: My local hardware store has marked down dog food too.
    No thank you.

  • Terry

    no I said it would not be a deal I have ordered dogfood on line before I have no problem with doing that

  • InkedMarie

    If you already do a lot of online shopping, whats the problem with ordering dog food?

  • Terry

    Thank You I will be checking into it, right now I get this food in at true value hardware as I live in a very small town and our choices are very limited, I do alot of shopping online so ordering online would not be a deal.. I appreciate you letting me know..

  • InkedMarie

    Hi terry, I don’t know anything about this food but just wanted to mention that Dr Tim’s is a very good food, some of his formulas come in 40 and 44/45 pound bags, for good prices (some are more costly). You probably would have to order online, Chewy dotcom carries it. If you tried it & liked it, you can save doing auto ship.

    Just wanted to throw this out there!

  • Terry

    I have a lot of dogs so can not afford to buy a high dollar food and pay $70 for 1 bag when my dogs go through 50lbs in a week, I was feeding a cheap brand which my dogs did well on until they must of changed the formula and my dogs got sick and some refused to eat it, so I looked around checked into the sunshine mills company and could not find a recall on this food and they have been in business since the 60s I think, if anyone knows of a recall please let me know as I could not find one, so far my dogs are doing well on this food, one of ,my dogs that would not put on weight is finally doing just that.. I will stay with this food as long as my dogs do well on it..

  • majord007

    Switch from this food in my dog’s hair started falling out I switch back to it and things are looking better good s*** here

  • Deborah Smith

    I am going to try this food, I know it has corn and wheat but they seem to take great care in this food. The “Omega Pride” for their skin and coat seems to have been really researched. The ingriedents don’t have to appeal to me, as long as the dogs are getting healthy food. I have a feeling my many rescues will do well on this food. I will see.

  • Matthew Frazer

    My dogs love it and look healthier and more energetic than ever.

  • Ridgewaydevil

    I was feeding Sportsmix to my Beagles.I switched to Sportsman Pride.The Dogs love it an they appear to have more energy.Also there is less than half the clean up in the pen.I highly recommend Sportsman’s Pride to any dog owner.Espically you Hunter’s out there.

  • Guest2

    I had a dog with mange and was feeding him an expensive name brand food. I had taken him to 2 different vets and was unsuccessfully treating him. I switched him to Sportsman’s Pride Lamb & Rice (which had been recommended by some friends with lots of dogs) and the mange cleared up. Apparently, he had a skin allergy that was reacting to something in other foods.

  • Guest

    We have recently started using this brand of dog food because it was recommended to us.  My dogs look healthier!!  I will continue using it!  🙂

  • reginald avery

    how does a food with corn,wheat,soy and every bad thing known to the dog food industry get a 3 star rating

  • Atomant25

    great dog food keep up the good work Mo Parker