Meet Sportmix Dog Food
Sportmix has been in business since the 1920s. It’s designed to fit sporting dogs and provide pets excellent energy and the building blocks for strong muscles. It uses meat meals to concentrate proteins and a blend of ingredients for balanced carbs.
They’re decidedly midwestern, both in location and in overall aesthetic, and that tone follows throughout the brand. They have a few different options for dogs, including one that’s a “wholesome” line. Let’s look to see if Sportmix measures up.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Midwestern Pet Foods (Nunn Milling Company)
- Founded in: 1926
- Made in: USA
- Made by: Midwestern owned facilities in the Midwest
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon, Walmart
- Types of Food: Dry
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : No (meat meal)
- Recalled in Past? : No
Behind the Brand
Midwestern Pet Foods is a family owned company that produces foods intended to satisfy the high protein requirements of sporting dogs. They’ve been in business a long time but have remained a family-owned company through several generations.
The company operates in four different facilities across the Midwest. They use recipes tested for efficacy and often retool formulas to help provide pets with things they really need. Their formulas are good options for those who need more protein and are looking to remove a few ingredients from foods including a lot of cheap fillers.
They still operate with the same family and the same parent company, which also makes one other holistic style of dog food. Their facilities are routinely inspected and adhere to the highest safety standards.
What Types Of Dog Food Does Under The Sun Offer?
They offer only dry foods, but they do have a few options for those. Some are life stage specific, and others are size specific. They all use meat meals as their primary protein source for a denser protein option than standard whole meats.
This formula uses meat meals to give dogs higher levels of protein while balancing carbs for all-day energy. They use fillers such as corn in the second or third ingredient, so if your dog is sensitive, it may not be suitable.
- High Protein
- Small Bites
This recipe is intended for those dogs who are competing or used in sports. Higher levels of protein give their muscles plenty of tone and provide them with energy all day long despite grueling levels of activity. It addresses the stresses of working dogs by adding supplemental flax seed and omega fatty acids for proper digestion and a healthy skin and coat.
One word of caution about the Premium series. It uses “meat meals” without naming the protein source and corn as the first two ingredients. Corn can give your sporting dog plenty of energy, but if your dog doesn’t participate in that kind of activity, it can make it difficult to control your dog’s weight correctly.
- Energy Plus
- High Energy
- Puppy Small Bites
CanineX is a recipe built for adding muscle. It’s a performance style food that’s a gluten-free alternative to other recipes and contains no corn or soy. For dogs that have food sensitivities, this would be the one to get. It also uses omega fatty acids and glucosamine plus chondroitin for healthy joints and skin.
- Beef Meal and Vegetables
- Chicken Meal and Vegetables
The Wholesomes line is the broadest range for Sportmix. It uses healthier carbohydrates plus single source proteins to provide dogs with the right balance for energy all day. It uses no cheap fillers such as corn or soy and contains fewer ingredients to help make it easier for your companion to digest.
- Beef Meal and Rice
- Chicken Meal and Rice
- Lamb Meal and Rice
- Fish Meal and Rice
- Large Breed Chicken Meal and Rice
- Performance Chicken Meal and Rice (for working or sporting dogs)
Sportmix Recall History
Sportmix has never had any recalls, which is impressive for a company that’s been around so long. They manufacture their foods in well-maintained facilities and have an excellent track record of producing foods with no serious slipups. While we understand that sometimes things happen, this is an impressive record.
Best Sportmix Dog Food
Let’s take a look at a few favorites to see if this working dog specific food is right for your dog. Here are a few you could start with that meet our standards for recommendation.
The CanineX blend is a gluten-free option for dogs who have sensitive skin. It takes all the elements of Sportmix’s other recipes and removes common allergens that can cause digestive issues for dogs. Beef meal is a single source of protein that provides a concentrated level of protein for sporting dogs. Well-balanced carbohydrates help address sporting dogs’ energy needs.
Omega fatty acids and flaxseed support not only healthy digestion but also skin and coat. The recipe helps dogs settle digestion issues and reduce skin itchiness. The gluten-free option isn’t always necessary for all dogs, but for ones with severe allergies, it can make a huge difference.
Fish meal is an excellent, lean source of protein that could help improve the tone and texture of your dog’s skin and coat. This formula uses fish meal and chicken fat to produce a meal that helps your athletic dog stay full of energy all day without adding excess calories or empty fillers.
Fresh fruits and veggies give the recipe critical vitamins and minerals that support the immune system and digestion. It’s designed to help the immune system specifically, boosting it with vitamin A and E and plenty of omega fatty acids.
Large breed dogs need a good blend of protein and carbohydrates to help keep up with their energy needs, but empty calories and fillers can make it difficult to maintain weight. This choice is a careful blend of dense protein for muscle tone but without unnecessary calories that can add up quickly.
It has joint support from glucosamine and chondroitin and omega fatty acids for healthier skin. Natural preservatives help eliminate artificial ingredients that can cause allergic responses and it’s free of things like soy and corn. Natural vegetable fibers also help regulate digestion.
Most customers were pleased with the way Sportmix supported their high energy dog’s needs. Sporting and working dogs received the most benefit from this type of formula, and the company has three and a half stars and above on most of their food recipes.
The protein levels helped keep athletic dogs from losing too much muscle mass and weight during grueling days, and the balance of carbs was a great way to keep dogs feeling energetic. Most customers in this range were pleased although they expressed a desire for a wet option from time to time.
What Do People Like And Dislike About Under The Sun Food?
Customers like that the food has a higher protein content than many other dog foods, getting rid of excess moisture and unnecessary ingredients like soy. Excellent levels of omega fatty acids and in some recipes glucosamine and chondroitin helped support athletic dogs and keep joints healthy.
One common complaint with some of the recipes, and in particular the Premium line, is that the company chooses to use chicken by-product meals for an ingredient in the first five listed, which can be an allergic trigger for many dogs. It’s a lower quality ingredient in most cases.
The Premium mixes have unnamed “meat meals” which makes it difficult to prove where the meat is coming from. Although the company does claim to use only premium meat portions, traditionally meat meal has been lower quality parts of the animal. Talk to your vet first.
Some of Sportmix’s recipes also use corn as the second ingredient. Corn can be a source of high energy, but it’s not considered a premium ingredient. Consider carefully what your dog thrives on before you consider those recipes. If your dog isn’t a high energy sporting dog, corn may provide too many empty calories.
“This food has literally saved our pitbull from a lifetime of misery due to her skin issues. For 4 years we were constantly back & forth to the vet, on numerous rounds of countless medications, prescription food, you name it we did it…We’re happy to report that after a year on Sportmix Wholesomes fish meal & rice, our girl has a healthy shiny coat, & all of her “hot spots” are gone!…”NurseB, chewy.com
“When I opened the first bag I noticed a strong rotten fish sort of odor. Thought this was weird since it’s beef. Filled the first bowl and never had to fill again. Both of my dogs (Cane Corso and Chesapeake) would not touch the food. Both of them are far from picky. Might have gotten a bad batch, but I’m not trying again” Warren, chewy.com
Sportmix Wholesomes Fish and Rice Recipe Dog Food Review
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Chicken Fat
Wholesome Fish and Rice recipe is specifically designed to help support the immune system of active dogs. It uses a menhaden fish meal, a concentrated source of protein with good fats and a balance of carbohydrates to make sure working dogs are full and energetic all day long.
It doesn’t use any corn or soy, which are often cheap fillers designed to give your dogs energy but add extra calories. Unlike some of Sportmix’s other recipes, this one uses alternative ingredients for energy levels.
It’s also free of artificial preservatives which can cause digestive issues and some skin irritations in a small number of dogs. It has excellent omega fatty acid sources to support healthy skin and coat and helps keep the immune system working.
Vegetable fibers support digestive health. If your dog often has allergic reactions to other foods, this one using a single protein source could be an excellent way to eliminate that and reset digestion. Sporting dogs sometimes need help maintaining normal digestion because of higher amounts of protein consumed, so this can really help.
It doesn’t use any potatoes or peas, a common issue when switching to grain free recipes. These ingredients could have a link to increased chances of an enlarged heart or Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
It’s good food if your dogs are working dogs or often have allergies. If your dog tends to lay around the house, this formula may not be necessary considering the higher amounts of fat and protein. If your dog doesn’t expend that kind of energy, this recipe or other recipes from the company just may not be that necessary.