Spot & Tango Dog Food Review

Founded in 2018 Spot & Tango is relatively new to the fresh dog food space, however, they have carved out a niche in the fact that they have both a dry “unkibble” and fresh food option. Perfect for those who need to switch between diets for travel, camping, or convenience. The quality and care of both forms of food are similar, but this additional option provides dog owners with flexibility. Both diets are delivered to your door, with a portioned scoop or pre-portioned package based on your dog’s individual needs.

Spot and Tango fresh dog food offers three different single-protein options balanced for puppies and adult dogs – a turkey, lamb, and beef option. All three of the recipe are high in protein, high in fat, and moderate in carbohydrates ( greater than 32% protein, greater than 38% fat, and less than 29% carbohydrates on a caloric basis).

The Spot & Tango recipes may be a great option for moderately active dogs, such as those that get more than 1 hour of activity per day. They are also a great option for pets that need more unique carbohydrate options due to allergies or intolerances – as quinoa and millet are more “novel” grain-inclusive carbohydrate choices. Also, none of the recipes contain chicken – which may work well for dogs with chicken allergies.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: No. The information gathered below was from their website December 2021.

Who formulated Spot and Tango Dog Food? Spot & Tango Dog Food was formulated by Susan Lauten, who holds a phD in Biomedical Sciences and a Master’s in Animal Nutrition. Susan is also a member of the American Association of Veterinary Nutritionists.

Where does Spot & Tango source their Ingredients from? All of the Spot and Tango ingredients are USDA-certified fit for human consumption.

Where are Spot & Tango’s Human Grade Dog Food Recipes Manufactured? Spot and Tango recipes are made in a USDA-audited, SQF Level 3 facilities in both New York and Wisconsin.

What Quality Control Procedures does Spot & Tango Lightly Cooked Dog Food perform on their foods? All ingredients used within recipes are USDA certified fit for human consumption and every batch is tested for pathogens such as e.coli, salmonella, and listeria prior to being shipped to the public.

Has Spot & Tango done Digestibility or AAFCO Feeding Trials? No AAFCO Feeding Trials or Digestibility trials were mentioned on their website.

Are Full Nutritional Profiles Found Online for the Spot & Tango Recipes? Only guaranteed analysis is available for these products, however, full nutritional profiles were tested for amino acids, vitamins, and minerals during their product development phase and are randomly tested for product consistency purposes.

Has Spot & Tango Dog Food ever been Recalled? No.

RECIPES:

Spot & Tango Fresh Turkey & Red Quinoa Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Turkey, Red Quinoa, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Apple, Eggs, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12.

AAFCO Statement: Spot & Tango is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 13.69%
  • Fat: 5.86%
  • Fiber: 1.44%
  • Moisture: 68.5%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 43%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Carbs: 33%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 37%
  • Fat: 38%
  • Carbs: 25%

Spot & Tango Fresh Beef & Millet Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, Millet, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Cranberries, Eggs, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil Vegetable Stock, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12

AAFCO Statement: Spot & Tango is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 11.85%
  • Fat: 5.85%
  • Fiber: 1.04%
  • Moisture: 69.84%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 39%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Carbs: 38%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 39%
  • Carbs: 29%

Spot & Tango Fresh Lamb & Brown Rice Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Blueberries, Eggs, Parsely, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12.

AAFCO Statement: Spot & Tango is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 11.8%
  • Fat: 6.64%
  • Fiber: 2.64%
  • Moisture: 70%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 39%
  • Fat: 22%
  • Carbs: 30%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 45%
  • Carbs: 22%

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ( FAQ )

Where to buy Spot & Tango fresh Dog Food?

Spot and Tango can be purchased on their website and then is shipped directly to your door on dry ice. In order to set up an order you have to first go through a questionnaire so that they can calculate how much your pup needs to eat each day, and thus how much to purchase of the recipes. After you get set up they will recommend a meal plan for your dog, along with outlining how much it costs to feed your pup each week. 

How do you store and feed Spot and Tango Dog Food?

The Spot & Tango fresh dog food recipes come directly to your door frozen on dry ice and will need to be thawed prior to feeding. In order to defrost Spot & Tango recipes simply place them in your fridge overnight – recipes should remain fresh for about 3 days in your fridge once defrosted. A majority of your weekly or monthly food shipment will be stored in your freezer.

If you do need to defrost food last-minute either because you forgot to thaw your puppy’s food overnight in the fridge, or because you ordered the food a bit later than you intended – no worries. You can use a “rapid thaw” method in order to still offer your pup their balanced fresh food meal.

One way to rapidly thaw frozen fresh food is to place the food into cool water while in the plastic packaging while rotating. In about 30 minutes the food should be completely thawed and ready to serve. Another way is by removing the food from the package and placing it in a microwave-safe container. Place in the microwave and use the defrost setting to defrost.

Ideally, over time you will become used to the rotation of food from your freezer to the fridge. It’s a good general rule to always take one portion of food out of the fridge, whenever you feed a portion of the food to your pup. Then feed the oldest food first, and the newer food last.

Never reheat fresh food or leave it on the counter to defrost. Leaving food on the counter is not food-safe and could make your pup sick, and heading up food may degrade heat-sensitive vitamins causing potential deficiencies.

Is Spot and Tango Fresh Food Balanced for Puppies?

Yes, all of the Spot & Tango recipes are balanced for puppies and adult dogs.

Spot & Tango Fresh vs. Kibble – how does it compare?

The main difference between a fresh food diet and a kibbled diet comes down to the preservation and processing method. Fresh, lightly cooked diets are cooked just enough to remove potential pathogens from meats, but not enough to remove moisture. This contrasts with kibbled products which are either cooked at a low temperature for long periods of time or cooked at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time to both kill pathogens and to remove enough moisture to improve shelf-life. The other difference is preservation, kibbled uses a combination of the processing method and preservatives in order to keep it shelf-stable at room temperature. Preservatives used vary by brand and may be natural preservatives like Vitamin E (Mixed tocopherols) or rosemary, or it may be synthetic antioxidants like BHA and BHT.

The Spot & Tango Unkibble recipes use natural preservatives and low-heat processing in order to dehydrate their kibbled product. This may make it a good option or alternative for people looking to feed some fresh food, but are unable to feed a 100% fresh food diet.

Is Spot & Tango a Raw Dog Food?

No, Spot and Tango is not a raw dog food, it is lightly cooked. By gently cooking their diets Spot and Tango can remove pathogens and potentially harmful bacteria. This is important because we know about 20% of our human-grade grocery store raw poultry is contaminated with Salmonella, and over 40% of our raw beef is contaminated with e.coli. We also know that not only can dogs become ill from these pathogens, and humans can also become ill due to environmental contamination of these pathogens as well.

At this time all the current research we have available has not shown any particular benefits to raw vs. cooked meats – digestibility and nutritional content seem to be similar on a caloric basis. Research has shown both are highly digestible and nutritious for dogs.

Can Spot and Tango Fresh Food be Used as a Topper?

Spot & Tango actually offers a topper plan where you can choose to feed both their fresh food and kibbled product. Meal toppers can be useful for dogs who are picky or who need to gain weight. Topper plans can also be a great tool for those who want to feed a fresh food diet but maybe do not have the budget to do so. This allows your pup to get some of the benefits of fresh food, while keeping it affordable.

How much does Spot & Tango Cost?

The cost of feeding Spot & Tango is highly dependent on the age, activity level, and weight of your pup. Spot & Tango offers a calculator to figure out the price of how much it would be to feed your dog once you answer a couple questions about them. However I would suggest looking at how much your pup currently eats calorie-wise when making your order – my 50 lb dog typically eats about 1000 calories per day, and their calculator placed him at 750 calories for a moderately active dog.

To feed a 50 lb, moderately active dog who eats about 1000 calories per day Spot & Tango Turkey recipe it would cost about $378.96 per month, or about $12.63 per day. This may be more or less expensive than what you are currently feeding.

Are Spot & Tango Recipes Good for Dogs with Allergies?

The Spot and Tango Recipes may be a good option for dogs with certain food allergies due to their limited ingredient list and single protein recipes, especially those who have chicken, wheat gluten, potato or corn allergies. However it’s important to realize that there are two main forms of allergies in dogs – food and environmental – and both of these have similar clinical signs.

Dogs with both food and environmental allergies will get bacterial infections, yeast infections, have itchy skin, ear infections, and skin irritation. The only way to tell what type of allergy your pup has and what they are allergic to is by doing a food elimination trial. For a food elimination trial we would choose a novel diet that contains nothing that your pup has been exposed too – these diets are typically a homemade or prescription diet. Dogs can be allergic to any food that contains protein molecules – thus dogs can be allergic to a variety of foods. The most common food allergens according to research are beef, chicken, dairy and eggs – thus based off these most common allergens either the Spot and Tango Turkey recipe, or the Spot and Tango Lamb recipe may be the best option for a dog with food allergies.

For dogs with environmental allergies we typically look for foods that contain the right amounts and proportions of ingredients that would help support skin health and help to fight inflammation. These recipes are usually higher in protein, contain a variety of different antioxidants, and contain lots of healthy omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil or foods high in EPA & DHA. All of the Spot & Tango recipes contain fish oil, however it is unknown if the recipes contain an amount that is considered therapeutic for allergies. As both the beef and lamb recipes are already high in fat, and all the recipes are high in protein, probably the best recipe for dogs with environmental allergies would be the Spot & Tango Turkey Recipe, with the addition of a quality fish oil supplement at therapeutic dosing for allergies.

Are Spot & Tango Meals Good for Dogs with Loose Stools or Diarrhea?

For dogs with loose stools we typically look for recipes that are low in fat and highly digestible – as diets with this composition can help move food out of the stomach faster and can be easy to digest, helping with inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The best recipe for dogs with a sensitive stomach would be the Spot & Tango Turkey recipe, as it is less than 20% fat on a caloric basis. 

However it is important to note that there are other causes to loose stools, and depending on the cause the nutritional management may be different. Other common causes of gastrointestinal issues can be food allergies, IBD, and fiber. It is always a good idea to ask your vet prior to choosing a food if your pup has a known medical condition.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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5 thoughts on “Spot & Tango Dog Food Review

  1. My French Bulldog is unaltered and 27 pounds and they recommend 450 calories per day. Does this seem like enough? He was on petplate at 24 pounds and his calorie recommendation was 660 per day.

    1. If your pup is at a great weight/body condition now I’d call and ask to have the calories matched to his previous amount. Each dog has a different metabolism and for a 27 lb dog the tango can be between 450 to 734 for a lightly to moderately active dog.

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