With a new puppy coming, I started looking hard into nutrition. I’ve always fed Wells Pro Plan, but after seeing some recent controversy – I looked deeper into it myself. You can read my thoughts here.
With Pro Plan out of the picture, I was on the hunt for a great new dog food for both Wells and Ward. I looked at all the things. Victor, Fromm, RAW, 4health, Orijen, Eukanuba, Open Farm, and the list goes on. I had heard about Sport Dog Food, mostly from seeing breeders and fellow bird dog owners recommending it online. It wasn’t until I had a friend tell me ” If I couldn’t feed raw, I’d feed Sport Dog. It’s by far the best kibble out there.”
Since being weaned and started on Pro Plan, Ward has had food allergies. To what exactly, I’m not sure – but I am sure that they started once he was put on kibble. For this reason, I wanted him on grain free. Yes, yes, yes – I am aware of the DCM issues. I’ve read and watched everything there is to see on the subject. Grains are not the problem. Dogs in the wild never ate grains. The problem is what companies use to substitute the grains. Peas, legumes, and lentils. All of these ingredients block a specific mineral called Taurine from reaching the heart, therefore causing heart issues such as DCM. Of course, everyone has their own opinion on the topic – but that is what my vet and I believe based on current research. My vet is very weary of and is advising against grain free formulas, but approved Sport Dog! We will be running a Taurine level at six months just to be absolutely safe. Will keep you updated!
Sport Dog Food has an entire line of grain free, as well as grain inclusive line of kibble. Regardless, none of their kibbles include any peas, lentils, or legumes. Major plus for large breed or DCM prone breeds!
Wells eats the Bird Dog formula, which is a grain inclusive 26/16 kibble, and ward eats the Sporting Dog, a grain free 27/16 formula. Both dogs transitioned beautifully and are doing great on their new foods.
Below are the specs on the Sporting Dog formula that Ward is eating.
Here are the first six and most important ingredients explained. I am a big fan of Sport Dog Food using MEAL instead of meat, and I will attach a graphic below to explain why. Meat meal actually contains much more protein than “meat” itself does. The kicker though is that you need to know exactly what type of protein it is, and what animal it comes from. SDF lets you know. *NOTE – Meat meal and meat by-product are NOT the same thing. Never feed your dog any kibble with “meat by-product” on the ingredient panel. *
It’s great and very helpful to me that Sport Dog Food explains their major ingredients. They’ll actually explain all of them if you email and ask! It makes me feel good as a consumer that the company isn’t trying to hide anything or any ingredient. I emailed a while back to ask about all ingredients, and they told me that they do not like to source outside of the Untied States, ever. Another major plus!
What is NOT in your dog’s food is equally as important as what is. The list above is impressive, and really makes me feel good about what Ward and Wells are eating.
After the first two weeks, Ward had almost completely stopped scratching, and watery eyes are a thing of the past. MAJOR score. Not to be gross, but I also noticed a big change in his poop. He goes less frequently, poops are smaller, darker, and more firm. Kind of nasty, I know – but as a horse owner – I know first hand that poop is a key indicator of good health.
Both dogs are shiny, soft, and in great health. The kibble is small, compact, and very tasty to the dogs! It makes me feel great to know that I am buying from a small, local, American company that truly has my dog’s best interest in mind. On top of that, the customer service ROCKS. Seriously – the morning that I emailed asking about an explanation of ingredients, I had a full, detailed answer within an hour.