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Sportmix Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Cassandra Kyser

By Cassandra Kyser

Sportmix Dog Food Review

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Sportmix Dog Food a rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars.

You can stop reading this review if you’re looking for dog food packed with organic ingredients or superfoods like quinoa and kale. That’s not what Sportmix offers consumers. The brand advertises as a “no-frills line with an everyday low price,” a sentiment that we agree with. The Sportmix line includes a handful of formulas with active, working dogs in mind.

All of Sportmix’s formulas meet or exceed the AAFCO’s guidelines for dog food. The company uses meat meal to keep prices low: an ingredient we’ll expand on below. Our rating for Sportmix is based partly on widespread food recalls in early 2021. According to the FDA, more than 110 dogs died1 after eating Sportmix and other pet food brands produced by its parent company, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. The recalled dog foods contained a mold, Aspergillus flavus, that is toxic to pets at high levels.

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At a Glance: The Best Sportmix Dog Food Recipes

Sportmix’s streamlined offerings mean you won’t find countless flavors or varieties. Based on customer reviews and our research, we think these five dog food formulas stand out.

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Dry Dog Food Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Affordable
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Best for Puppies
    Second place
    Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Food Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Food
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6
  • Specially formulated for growing
  • Best for Small Breeds
    Third place
    Sportmix Bite Size Adult Dry Dog Food Sportmix Bite Size Adult Dry Dog Food
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition
  • High quality ingredients
  • Promotes strong muscles and bones
  • Sportmix Dog Food Reviewed

    Next, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Sportmix Dog Food.

    Who Makes Sportmix Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?

    The family-run Midwestern Pet Food, Inc produces Sportmix at their U.S. facilities. The company states they use both domestic and imported ingredients.

    Does Sportmix Offer a Guarantee?

    Yes. If you or your dog are unhappy with any Sportmix formula, you can return it to the retailer for a refund. You’ll need the original packaging and your receipt.

    Which Types of Dogs is Sportmix Best Suited For?

    As the name implies, most Sportmix formulas are suited for active dogs. Think hunting dogs and working breeds like German shepherds and collies. The company also has one recipe for less active dogs: Adult Maintenance.

    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    One of Sportmix’s main ingredients, meat meal, can come from any animal tissue. This brand isn’t suited for dogs with suspected or confirmed protein allergies.

    Finding a limited-ingredient dog food that matches Sportmix’s protein content and price point is challenging, but a handful of other brands come close. Many of the dog foods in Purina’s Beyond line are affordable, higher-protein options. Purina Beyond Simple Ingredient Farm-Raised Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe has a minimum of 24.0% crude protein.

    Schnauzer puppy dog eating tasty dry food from bowl
    Image By: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

    What Are the Main Ingredients in Sportmix Dog Food?

    Meat meal, ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, and dried beet pulp are the main ingredients in Sportmix’s formulas.

    There is some confusion and controversy over the use of meat meal2 in the pet food industry. A multi-step cooking process creates the dry, powdery substance from animal tissue. Some pros to using meat meal in dog food are that it is an inexpensive protein source that is easy for manufacturers to store and transport. Perhaps the biggest con is a lack of transparency over what animals are used to create the meal. Some meat meal is made from the leftover by-products of the butchering industry.

    Ground yellow corn3 is an easily digestible source of carbohydrates. Contrary to popular pet food trends, most dogs tolerate and need grains like corn in their diet.

    Chicken by-product meal4 is meat meal specifically from chickens.

    Dried beet pulp5 is leftover after sugar beet processing and provides fiber.

    How Big Are Sportmix Kibble Pieces?

    Dog owners have differing opinions about the kibble size, which is reportedly smaller than other brands aimed at larger breeds. Some owners report that the kibble pieces fall out of their dog’s mouth as they eat, making mealtime messy. Other pet parents claim the small kibble size forces their dogs to eat slower and not gobble down their food.

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    A Quick Look at Sportmix Dog Food

    • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
    • Affordable
    • Money-back guarantee
    • Not suitable for dogs with protein allergies
    • Past FDA recalls due to mold contamination
    • No phone support

    Recall History

    In early 2021, the FDA announced a recall of several pet foods produced by Midwestern Pet Foods, Sportmix’s parent company. Dogs experienced aflatoxin poisoning, a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. This mold can be found in grains and is not always visible. Aflatoxin poisoning affects a dog’s liver and can be fatal. Recalled Sportmix formulas included Maintenance, High Protein, Energy Plus, Stamina, Puppy, and Bite Size.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Sportmix Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s take a closer look at three of Sportmix’s dog food formulas: Premium High Energy, Premium Small Bites, and Bite Size Adult.

    1. Sportmix Premium High Energy Adult Dry Dog Food

    Sportmix Premium High Energy 26 18 Adult Dry Dog Food

    The main ingredients in Sportmix Premium High Energy 26/18 Adult Dry Dog Food are chicken by-product meal, ground yellow corn, meat meal, ground wheat, and chicken fat. The unspecified “meat meal” makes this a poor choice for dogs with protein allergies. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and dried beet pulp and flaxseed add essential fiber.

    The “26/18” name stands for 26% protein and 18% fat. These percentages are above the AAFCO’s protein guidelines for adult dogs: a minimum of 8% and a recommended 18%. This chicken-flavored dog food is an affordable option for pups that need a higher-protein diet.

    • No artificial ingredients
    • Affordable
    • Not suitable for protein allergies

    2. Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Food

    Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Dry Dog Food

    The main ingredients in Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Dry Dog Food are chicken by-product meal, ground yellow corn, chicken fat, meat meal, and brewer’s rice. The 28% protein and 20% fat meet a growing puppy’s dietary requirements. Your dog can eat this food for the first year of their life or until they reach their adult size, whichever happens first. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support healthy skin and fur. In keeping with Sportmix’s “no-frills” philosophy, this chicken-flavored food is the only puppy formula. You’ll have to look at another dog food brand if your puppy prefers the taste of beef or fish.

    • Contains omega-3 and omega-6
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Sportmix’s only puppy formula

    3. Sportmix Bite Size Adult Dry Dog Food

    Sportmix Bite Size Adult Dry Dog Food

    The kibble pieces in Sportmix’s Bite Size are smaller than their other formulas, coming in at 6 to 8 millimeters. Smaller breeds will appreciate the little kibble, but many dogs may benefit from this higher protein, lower fat food. This formula contains a minimum of 21% protein and a minimum of 8% fat.

    Sportmix’s Bize Size Adult formula can simplify feeding time for multi-breed households. This recipe is a solid all-around choice for dogs with average energy and dietary requirements.

    • Promotes strong muscles and bones
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Not suitable for all breeds

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    Many pet owners find it helpful to know what others say about pet food brands. We’ve rounded up some quotes and reviews for you to read.

    • Chewy – “The small size kibble is great if you have a dog that tends to gulp food down without chewing.” Sportmix Premium High Energy 26/18. (Review left by no name on Mar 23, 2020)
    • Chewy – “My puppy has gone through many, many brands, and this is one she likes and doesn’t have any issues with.” Sportmix Premium Small Bites Puppy Dry Dog Food (Review left by sp12661 on Jan 13, 2022)
    • Chewy – “My husband[‘]s rabbit dogs are always in great condition on this brand of food !!! He uses the stamina during the active running season and uses the maintenance during the off season!!!” Sportmix Premium Maintenance Adult (Review left by By redd on Apr 24, 2022)
    • Amazon – As fellow dog owners, we like to read through Amazon reviews before we purchase a new pet food brand. You can read some Sportmix dog food reviews by clicking here.

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    Sportmix has built a reputation as a budget-conscious and traditional dog food brand. All of their formulas meet or exceed the AAFCO’s minimum nutritional guidelines for dogs, but the company came under scrutiny in early 2021 when several recipes were recalled due to mold contamination. Sportmix does not use any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. You’ll need to look elsewhere if your pet has a protein allergy, as “meat meal” is a primary ingredient in Sportmix’s dog food formulas.

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    Featured Image Credit: Chewy

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