The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2009
    Posts
    576

    Default Smartpak dog food

    From what I can tell this seems like a great bargain and I'm considering switching my dog over.

    He's a Lab who eats like a vaccuum cleaner though. Can anyone tell me the kibble size on this? Specifically the LiveSmart Chicken and Brown Rice Weight Management formula. If it isn't a larger kibble, he won't chew it. And we know where that leads.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    In my opinion, there are much better dog foods out there for the same price as the Smartpak food. They use beet pulp as a cheap filler, which is great for a horse whose gutt is designed to be filled with bulk forage, but for a dog who is a carnivore? Eh, not so much. Cheap filler. They also use undisclosed "flavors" and cheap grains such as oats and barley. Dogs are not horses. They are not designed to eat grains and forage filler type products. They are carnivores.

    I love Smartpak and buy just about everything from them but I think their dog food line is a huge thumbs down.

    www.dogfoodanalysis.com Pick a 5 or 6 star category food and go with that.

    Of course the Smartpak food is a step up from junk like Pedigree and Iams, but is not worth the price they charge for it.

    Taste of the Wild, Fromm, Innova, Blue Buffalo, Wellness..........there are plenty of foods out there that are significantly better than the LiveSmart line.

    Edited to Add: I just looked at the specific formula you are interested in. In addition to the other cheap fillers, they include alfalfa meal and powdered cellulose. Neither of those are appropriate carnivorous foods. I would not feed that food to any of my dogs, if I had a choice in the matter.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evans36 View Post
    He's a Lab who eats like a vaccuum cleaner though. Thanks!
    We have one dog who inhales food without chewing and then vomits, gets horrendous gas, and is uncomfortable. For him we made our own "no bloat" bowl by placing a smaller bowl inside of a larger bowl. The smaller inner bowl is placed upside down (with the dome side up). When you pour in the food, it slides down between the two bowls and he has to lick it out with his tongue. It slowed him down so much that we had to train the other dogs to leave him alone so he could finish eating. It eliminated all the problems we had with him, and didn't cost a dime.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,625

    Default

    I haven't tried the SmartPak dog food, and I likely won't... I am not impressed with what I have read about it, though they don't seem too bad compared to most dog food.

    I feed my dog Canidae All Life Stages (a 5-star rated feed on that web site the AP posted). It's around the same price as the SmartPak feed and MUCH better food. Check out those reviews and information on that web site. You'll be sure to find a better food, at a price you can afford.

    FWIW, the kibble size of the Canidae is small. It's for all life stages (including puppy), so the kibble is sized accordingly.

    ETA -- The SmartPak food is better than Purina and just about anything you'll get at a chain pet store... I just think there are better products out there. They certainly aren't "bad" foods.
    Last edited by Phaxxton; Jan. 4, 2011 at 08:14 PM.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2009
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    We have one dog who inhales food without chewing and then vomits, gets horrendous gas, and is uncomfortable. For him we made our own "no bloat" bowl by placing a smaller bowl inside of a larger bowl. The smaller inner bowl is placed upside down (with the dome side up). When you pour in the food, it slides down between the two bowls and he has to lick it out with his tongue. It slowed him down so much that we had to train the other dogs to leave him alone so he could finish eating. It eliminated all the problems we had with him, and didn't cost a dime.
    Brilliant. I got one of those bowls with the pole things in the middle and it helped a little - until he just took his paw and knocked the thing over. We tried putting in rocks and he tried to eat them. I will be trying this and hopefully he'll get a few weeks in before he figures out how to knock this over too!

    As far as the smartpak food - thanks for the input. I had seen the good reviews on the SP website and then nosed around a tiny bit and saw other good reviews on the internet - hadn't seen anything negative until now. Figures that it wouldn't be as good of a deal as the Wellness since it's cheaper.

    A2 - what do you feed your dogs? Is kibble size an issue at all with your bloater? After trying a smaller-sized kibble food and seeing what happens, I'm really reluctant to go that route again, even with a magic bowl.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evans36 View Post
    A2 - what do you feed your dogs? Is kibble size an issue at all with your bloater? After trying a smaller-sized kibble food and seeing what happens, I'm really reluctant to go that route again, even with a magic bowl.
    Mine eat primarily Taste of the Wild - all flavor varieties except the new "Lamb" one, and the Fromm Four Star line - any of those flavors. We mix and switch things up every couple of bags so they don't get bored. And they eat Fromm cans - 1 can split between the 3 of them each night just for something yummy and exciting to look forward to.

    All of the higher end foods have a very small kibble size. This is one difference between poor, low end foods, and high end premium foods. It seems like the more premium the food, the smaller the bite size is. I suspect it is cheaper and easier to manufacture large chunks of food rather than the tinier ones.

    So of all the 4-6 star premium foods I've fed (In addition to the ones listed, I have also tried Wellness but they didn't like it, Chicken Soup, Innova, and several varieties of Nutro), the kibbles have all been roughly the same size - very small.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    South-Central PA
    Posts
    2,311

    Default

    Funny, these are the very first negative comments I've ever seen regarding the Smartpak dog food.

    Here's a pretty positive unbiased review:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-fo...mart-dog-food/

    Also, the Whole Dog Journal approves the Smartpak food, so is that a load of crap? Are they not reputable?
    I'm sure there are better choices, but there are ALOT worse choices as well. My lab loves the Livesmart food, and he's been raised on the puppy formula, and now is on the adult formula. I certainly have no reason to switch and am very pleased with the product. I don't do the individual servings, but purchase the 30lbs bags.
    The kibble size is pretty darn small, about dime size.
    Cindy



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,625

    Default

    I don't think they are terrible. I just think there are better foods for about the same price. I also don't care for beet pulp in dog food. Just a personal preference. They are certainly better than anything you can buy in Petco.

    I also find it odd that SmartPak advertises them on their web site as "high protein" diets for dogs when all of the ones I have seen are lower protein as far as dogs are concerned (about 24%). That's not necessarily a bad thing. My doberman is intentionally on a below-average protein diet compared to most commercial feeds.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,285

    Default

    evans36 - have you thought about taking a cupcake pan and superglueing (or bolting) the pan to a piece of plywood? The way, your dog has to stand on the holder to get to the food, so he can't tip it over, and lick the food out of the cups.

    StG



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,352

    Default

    I do get my dog food from SmartPak since I just get it shipped with my horse's supplements. I get the Wellness food though, I didn't want beet pulp, and it's fabulous stuff.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    I agree that you can get a better food for the same price. Several others posted great suggestions, Blue Buffalo, Innova, Taste of the wild, etc. I dont think that the smartpak food is bad, but there are better foods.

    I love smartpak for everything else.

    ETA: I feed my guy the Innova and they have a 'small bites' option. He has a slow down bowl too. Its similar to this:

    http://www.smartpakcanine.com/Produc...5&cm_vc=Search

    but I got a cheap one at Petsmart for under $10



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 1999
    Posts
    1,992

    Default

    Between the Dog Food Analysis site and the Whole Dog Journal, I'd take their advice over the posters here. I switched my dogs to the Livesmart brands and they are doing amazingly well! They have no more digestive upsets and their coats are gorgeous.

    I think Smartpak has very good dog food, esp. for the price.
    \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2010
    Location
    in the woodwork....
    Posts
    1,654

    Default

    Blue Buffalo! Great food. My dogs are at a perfect weight, healthy shiny coats. I don't make eye contact when people comment, 'wow, their coats are so shiny and clean." They just came from the barn, so not clean...but very shiney thanks to the food! heehee!
    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    IMHO Taste of the Wild is one of the best for the price. I love Orijen/Acana but they are to pricey for our SIX dogs. I also used Innova for a bit but we have a dog with a poultry allergy and another that could not adjust to the beef formula (too rich) and we got tired of buying two types of food. It was also confusing for our pet sitter, and if she made a mistake, the results were messy.

    These days we stick with TOTW Salmon formula. Everyone tolerates it well. It is also grain free which makes the -um- output more compact so yard clean up is easier.

    For a food bolter, try serving it floating in water. Not just moist - float the whole meal in water. Our little piggy dog destroyed her anti-bloat bowls. Now we just feed her 1/2 cup at a time, in a cup of water OR her meal comes in one of several treat dispensing contraptions so she has to work for it.

    http://http://www.animalbehaviorasso...-tug-a-jug.htm The Tug-A-Jug worked well till she chewed the rope off.

    http://www.amazon.com/KONG-Genius-Ex.../dp/B003JVDV6W Current method of food intake slow down - but it only holds about a 1/2 cup and I need a funnel to load it.

    http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=10572 Squirrel Dude was one of the best and had a long life. We just have not replaced him.

    Edited to add - SmartPak dog food is not a "bad" food per se. It is just overpriced for what you are getting. It won't hurt your dog but it's sort of like paying for organic ground sirloin when your really getting ground chuck.
    Last edited by JWB; Jan. 5, 2011 at 09:18 AM.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary in Area 1 View Post
    Between the Dog Food Analysis site and the Whole Dog Journal, I'd take their advice over the posters here. I switched my dogs to the Livesmart brands and they are doing amazingly well! They have no more digestive upsets and their coats are gorgeous.

    I think Smartpak has very good dog food, esp. for the price.
    Well bless your heart.

    But as far as I can see, Dog Food Analysis does not have the SmartPak food on their site. If you've found it, please provide a link, because I cannot find it. And I know for a fact that the reviewers there do NOT appove of unidentified "flavorings" (which could be anything), powdered cellulose, and beet pulp in dog food. Those items usually land the food down in the 1-3 category somewhere.

    I don't know what Whole Dog Journal is, but if they recommend a food which is slim on meat products and heavy on cheap fillers, I can't say I'd be terribly interested in their reviews anyway.

    Yes, the Smartpak food would be better than the truly trash foods like Pedigree, Iams, Diamond, Science Diet, Alpo, etc. but for the $$$$, there are much better choices out there. You can buy top end, high premium foods for the same cost or only a tiny bit more.

    Another thing is that SmartPak does not declare that their fish sources are ethoxyquin free, which isn't a HUGE deal because TOTW doesn't either. But some of the premium foods in that same price range do use only e-free fish sources.

    And I also have a bit of a problem with them advertising their food as "high protein" when it's not. Protein levels in the 20s is not high. For example some of the Innova varieties are in the 40s, TOTW in the 30s, Orijen 40, etc.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaxxton View Post
    They are certainly better than anything you can buy in Petco.
    Not necessarily. I was just at Petco the other day and they carry several of the top end premium brands. (Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Before Grain, Canidae, etc.) I was really surprised to actually see that their aisle of Pedigree, Bil-Jac, and Iams had shrunk considerably. There were 3 aisles full of premium brands, and 1 aisle with junk food.

    Now Petsmart is a different story ENTIRELY. Their dog food stock is 90% crap and they only carry a couple varieties of Wellness and I think that's it.

    I hadn't been in a Petco in years but got a gift card for Xmas. I was pleasantly surprised!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2010
    Location
    United States of Absurdistan
    Posts
    1,736

    Default

    evans36- I used to soak my bolters food. You have to do it before every feeding, normal portion, pour over hot water, let soak and cool, just like beet pulp!! Even if they get it down quick, good luck with that, it's not hard kibble, sort of pre digested like soft food.

    LBR
    I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

    R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2009
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    904

    Default

    Check to make sure there isn't citric acid in your dog's food if you're going to get it wet. It increases chances of bloat.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    Not necessarily. I was just at Petco the other day and they carry several of the top end premium brands. (Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Before Grain, Canidae, etc.) I was really surprised to actually see that their aisle of Pedigree, Bil-Jac, and Iams had shrunk considerably. There were 3 aisles full of premium brands, and 1 aisle with junk food.

    Now Petsmart is a different story ENTIRELY. Their dog food stock is 90% crap and they only carry a couple varieties of Wellness and I think that's it.

    I hadn't been in a Petco in years but got a gift card for Xmas. I was pleasantly surprised!
    Hmm, interesting! I guess all of the stores are different. I feed Canidae and I have never found it in any of the Petco stores near either of our homes... And I was in Petco yesterday. Most of what the stores near me carry is crap. I'm glad they aren't all that way.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,625

    Default

    Also, if you are soaking / wetting your dog's food to prevent bloat, make sure you are brushing their teeth regularly.



Similar Threads

  1. Hey smartpak
    By *Teddy* in forum Off Course
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Oct. 27, 2012, 12:34 PM
  2. "The best dry food is still worse than the worst wet food"
    By irkenequine in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: Apr. 24, 2012, 07:35 PM
  3. SmartPak Strikes Again! Portion Pak Dog Food
    By dressagetraks in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Jan. 6, 2012, 07:19 PM
  4. Dogs: Dry food vs wet food
    By SkipHiLad4me in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Jul. 29, 2011, 10:19 PM
  5. Dog food recommendations for dog with food allergies?
    By SteppinEasy in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: Nov. 28, 2010, 02:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness