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If you and your dog are looking for tasty, fresh, easy, healthy dog food delivery, check out Spot and Tango.
Boasting of real ingredients and a personalized meal plan, Spot and Tango is one of the exciting new fresh dog food delivery services. As I’ve mentioned before, I loved feeding Barley home-prepared raw food while traveling internationally – but I simply don’t have the bandwidth for it all the time. That’s where delivered fresh food comes in!
Thanks to Spot and Tango for sending along some free dog food in exchange for our honest opinion on the product.
Spot and Tango Dog Food at a Glance
- $89/week for personalized dog food delivery (depending on the size of your dog – Barley is 48 pounds/ 21kg)
- Personalized dog meal plans based on age, activity level, etc.
- Free shipping
- High-quality, fresh ingredients
- Meals cooked weekly before delivery
- Locally sourced ingredients
- Human grade ingredients
- No artificial additives, preservatives or fillers; Antibiotic-free, GMO-free
- Recipes curated by a veterinary nutritionist
- Super tasty (according to Barley)
- Each package is portioned for your pet – no measuring
- Each meal is individually wrapped – lots of packaging
Barley absolutely LOVES Spot and Tango. He already loves eating (don’t we all?), but he really, really loves Spot and Tango food.
He normally doesn’t beg much – but he begs while I’m prepping the Kongs. And he’ll try to carry the Kongs with a bit of breakfast in them on our morning walks!
About Spot and Tango
Spot and Tango is a family-owned dog food company founded when the Breuer family learned about how many kibbles are made. They were discouraged by the widespread use of meat meal, extremely high processing temperatures,
They started cooking homemade meals for their dogs and immediately noticed improvements in weight, energy level, and allergies.
According to the Spot and Tango website, “The Breuer’s worked over a 12-month period with a team of leading vets and an ACVN Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist to improve upon the family’s home-made recipes. They developed recipes that exclude anything artificial, are packed with lean protein, high-quality carbohydrates, fruits and veggies (superfoods!). Meals are cooked fresh weekly in small batches to maximize nutritional integrity. It’s made with ingredients you can see and recognize – the way it should be.”
How Does Spot and Tango Stand Up to WSAVA Guidelines?
The first thing I look for when I’m considering a new dog food (especially if it’s a boutique dog food brand) is their response to the questions laid out by WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association).
I emailed these questions to Spot and Tango and was thrilled to get a response! Their team was really great working with me through this process.
I’ll bold the questions. Spot and Tango’s responses are below each question. My commentary on those responses will be bulleted below the Spot and Tango responses.
Update: since writing this article, Spot and Tango actually added a WSAVA answers page to their website. I’m THRILLED to see that! Check it out here.
- Do you employ a full-time qualified nutritionist? What is this nutritionist’s name and qualifications? Who formulates your foods and what are his/her credentials?
- While Spot & Tango does not have a full-time veterinary nutritionist on staff, they do have a team of veterinarians and animal nutritionists to make sure dogs are receiving the nutrients they need. They take part in every step of the process, from formulation to testing.
- My thoughts: this seems par for the course with these boutique pet food companies. No, they don’t have a nutritionist on-staff – but they rely heavily on vets and nutritionists for all the formulation. Excellent!
- Are your diets tested using AAFCO feeding trials or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles? If the latter, do they meet AAFCO nutrient profiles by formulation or by analysis of the finished product?
- There have been no feeding trails, but all recipes are developed through multiple iterations. Spot & Tango does meet or exceed AAFCO guidelines.
- My thoughts: again, a pretty good and standard response for high-end boutique pet food companies. I love that they meet those AAFCO standards!
- Where are your foods produced and manufactured?
- Spot & Tango does not manufacture their own food, though CEO & Founder, Russell Breuer, used to cook every meal in their home kitchen when they first started. Nowadays, the meals are cooked in a USDA kitchen in New York and the Spot & Tango team is still very involved in the process.
- My thoughts: I like when companies own the kitchens that they use, but I’m sure there are reasons not to use your own kitchens.
- What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your ingredients and the end product?
- From the website: “Spot & Tango has stringent quality control processes from procurement, to production, packaging, and distribution. Our suppliers are thoroughly audited to ensure the highest quality standards, and each ingredient we use is USDA-certified for human consumption (a higher safety standard than most pet foods). Meals are made in small batches at low temperatures because it gives us more control to maintain nutritional integrity and proper safety. We then test each batch for foodborne diseases such as Salmonella and E. Coli prior to packaging. Our Fresh recipes are perishable, and thus require additional safety considerations. These meals are flash-frozen and safely shipped using dry ice and insulation to maintain freshness. By inspecting each ingredient and rigorously testing throughout the supply chain, we ensure that every meal meets our high standards for quality and safety – from farm to bowl.”
- My thoughts: this sounds fabulous! I really love how much care they take to make their food top-notch quality.
- Will you provide a complete nutrient analysis for the dog or cat food in question?
- Yes, see below.
- What is the caloric value per gram, can, or cup of your foods?
- See below. It’s up to you and your vet to determine how many calories per day are right for your pet. It’s good that this info is easy to find.
- What kind of product research has been conducted? Are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?
- From the site: ” All of our products undergo extensive research and development before they’re made available to you and your pup! This process includes research, recipe formulation, prototyping, lab analysis, feeding tests, and licensing. We work with a team of experts in animal nutrition throughout this rigorous process, including an industry leading veterinary nutritionist. All recipes have undergone extensive testing at New Jersey Feed Lab and Midwest Laboratories to guarantee proper amino acid, fatty acid, and vitamin and mineral levels appropriate for dogs. Thousands of happy dogs are thriving on a fresh, real ingredient diet from Spot & Tango. Though we haven’t yet published any peer-reviewed studies, we hope to make that research available in the future.”
- My thoughts: this is great! I really look forward to seeing peer-reviewed studies.
What My Dog Thinks of Spot and Tango
Barley isn’t exactly a picky eater, but he REALLY loved Spot and Tango! He even tried to carry his stuffed Kongs with him on walks because he didn’t want to leave anything behind.
I mixed the meal packets with a bit of elk grind from our local butcher, bone broth, and some joint powder. The consistency was a bit dry on its own to stuff Kongs with, but the additional bone broth really helped!
I really love feeding Barley out of puzzle toys, so the wet food is great for that. He also loves eating out of them! That said, stuffing 28 puzzle toys per week is a lot of work (he gets 2 puzzle toys per meal, twice per day).
Again, Barley absolutely adored the Spot and Tango food. It’s probably his favorite out of any of the foods we’ve reviewed.
Spot and Tango Review: My Final Verdict
Spot and Tango sent me about two week’s worth of food for Barley. I stretched it out a bit longer by mixing in the elk grind and bone broth, but that’s still a $178 value. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to try out their food.
I honestly don’t see myself personally paying $89/week for my dog’s food – that’s nearly twice as expensive as MY meals.
If it weren’t for the cost, Spot and Tango would be a great choice for me.
I love how much Barley loves the taste. I love the limited ingredients. I love the fresh production. It’s great that it’s delivered. It’s convenient, tasty, and healthy for my dog.
Other than cost, I do worry about packaging. Some of the packaging is biodegradable and recyclable, but recycling facilities here in Missoula are very limited (I can’t even recycle glass in the city, and I have to drive to a facility for tin, aluminum, and plastics). That’s not Spot and Tango’s fault, but it’s a lot of packaging that I can’t really do anything with.
Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.