Spot & Tango Information
Spot & Tango is a fresh pet food brand that first launched in 2018. Spot & Tango does not have any physical stores themselves, and the vast majority of their customers order and manage their deliveries entirely online, which is the norm in the fresh pet food market.
However, their products are sold at select pet stores in the northeastern United States, which is somewhat unusual.
Potential Spot & Tango customers can enter their dog’s traits such as age, weight, breed, and activity level into their site, and a customized meal plan is offered to meet their nutritional needs.
This customized approach ensures that dogs have an appropriate intake of nutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates and are less susceptible to malnutrition or obesity.
Between Spot & Tango and its competitors, 10’s of millions of fresh dog food meals have been sold across the United States in the last few years, and it is soon becoming an established part of the pet food market.
Spot & Tango is available to be shipped across the United States, except Alaska and Hawaii, which is common due to the difficulty to ship to these states.
According to their FAQ, their products are shipped to customers after being flash-frozen, which ensures they remain fresh and safe to eat. They also include dry ice to ensure they stay frozen during the shipping period.
Sadly for Canadian dog owners who are interested in trying Spot & Tango, their products are not yet available north of the border.
In April 2020, Spot & Tango was the first of the fresh home-delivered dog food brands to launch a “fresh dry dog food” product, which is known as Unkibble. We will discuss this evolution of fresh dog food shortly.
This launch came on the back of $4.2 million of seed funding into the brand by investors. Spot & Tango intends to invest the funds into R&D and building out their team.
This high level of investment in Spot & Tango and others has allowed them to expand rapidly and enable enticing offers to new customers, such as heavy discounts or free trials.
How Much Is Spot & Tango Dog Food?
While fresh dog food is certainly more expensive than traditional kibble, the cost from providers such as Spot & Tango is not outrageous and can be as little as a few dollars per day.
However, the cost is very much dependant on the factors that you input during the customization process.
We priced up the cost of a plan for a high-activity Golden Retriever to give you a visual example.
Based on this, Spot & Tango came out to be $2.69 per day for an UnKibble plan and $4.66 a day for a fresh dog food plan. This works out to be just under $20 a week for UnKibble and a little over $30 per week for fresh dog food.
With an initial discount offered by Spot & Tango, this price can be reduced even further to a range where it is reasonable to trial.
Spot & Tango Product Range
Spot & Tango has a small product range that includes three fresh dog food recipes.
While Spot & Tango’s product range may be dwarfed by the hundreds of recipes available from larger commercial brands, it is quite normal for a fresh dog food brand.
Most of Spot & Tango’s competitors have between three and five fresh recipes, which means that their product range is not out of the norm.
Spot & Tango does not produce recipes specifically designed for puppies or senior dogs. However, depending on the age, their fresh recipes are suited to all life stages, and so the need for niche recipes is eliminated.
To see all the fine details of the three recipes, you should check out their recipes page, which you can find here.
As we mentioned earlier, Spot & Tango recently launched their own “fresh dry dog food” range known as Unkibble. The Unkibble range has three unique recipes. The three recipes utilize a drastically different set of ingredients than one another, which is an unusual trait as most brands prefer similarity to simplify production.
You can learn more about Unkibble here.
Spot & Tango Nutrition
While the nutritional profile of Spot & Tango’s recipes differs, the overall nutrition offered by their recipes is satisfactory when compared to other dog food brands and their competitors.
The nutritional profile of their fresh recipes includes a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat, which should be at the center of any dog’s diet. The majority of this fat and protein proportion is from animal-based sources, which is ideal.
The portion of carbohydrates is not small, but it is not hugely excessive, and it comes from high-quality sources.
The portion of moisture found in Spot & Tango’s fresh recipes is around 70%, which is slightly less than traditional wet/canned dog food and helps to make it more cost-effective.
See below example of the nutrition offered by a Spot & Tango fresh dog food recipe.
The nutrition offered by Spot & Tango UnKibble recipes is comparable to premium dry dog food and contains a moderate proportion of protein and fat. However, the Duck & Salmon recipe is noticeably better than the other two available recipes.
The carbohydrate proportion found in UnKibble recipes is much larger than Spot & Tango’s fresh dog food recipes but it is not excessive.
The moisture proportion of Unkibble is suprisingly low, at 2-4%. Many other dry dog food recipes have moisture in the 6-8% range.
You can see an example of the nutrition provided by an UnKibble recipe below.
If you want to check out the Guaranteed Analysis of all of Spot & Tango’s fresh and dry dog food recipes, we recommend you check out their recipes page, which can be found here.
If you are interested in learning more about canine nutrition, we would highly recommend you check out our Dog Food Guide. We discuss the core nutrients, different dog food types, and ingredients commonly found in dog food recipes.
Spot & Tango Ingredients
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
The original range of meat ingredients used in Spot & Tango recipes was quite small, but with their recent expansion into dry dog food, it has grown to a modest size. All of these high-quality meat ingredients can provide high levels of nutritious animal-based protein and fat.
Ingredients like Turkey and Beef are staples of the pet food industry and are used by hundreds of brands. This is primarily because these ingredients are relatively inexpensive in an industry that is driven largely by price. However, their palatability and how easy they are to source are also factors.
Some Spot & Tango recipes make use of organ meat ingredients such as Liver & Heart. Organ meat is a fantastic addition to dog food and can enhance its flavor, provide additional protein and fat, and add vital vitamins and minerals that traditional meat cuts lack.
Spot & Tango also makes use of small quantities of Eggs in some of its recipes. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition and one that is massively underutilized in the dog food industry.
One of the core advantages of Eggs is that they are highly digestible and bioavailable, which means dogs can reliably absorb and benefit from all their beneficial nutrition.
Other Notable Ingredients
Spot & Tango makes use of two less common grain ingredients in its recipes in Quinoa & Millet. Dog food is most commonly filled with legumes and traditional grains like Rice or Oatmeal, so the fact that Spot & Tango offers alternatives in some of their recipes makes them quite unique.
Some in the industry see grains like Millet and Quinoa as ‘less processed’ but that is questioned by others. Regardless of opinion, these grain ingredients can provide dogs with a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber.
If you are interested in learning more about these two unique ingredients, we recommend reading the below articles we discuss them in more detail.
However, Spot & Tango also sticks with some reliable and common grain ingredients, including Brown Rice and Barley.
Brown Rice is an extremely common ingredient, and Spot & Tango’s Chicken & Brown Rice recipe utilizes it in the same fashion that has been used for decades. Often Chicken & Brown Rice recipes are prescribed to dogs with easily upset stomachs or dietary issues.
While Barley isn’t quite as popular or has the history that Brown Rice does, it is still an interesting ingredient. We discuss some finer details around Barley and its benefits in our article Barley In Dog Food.
Originally Spot & Tango utilizes both White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes in their recipes, but over time they have adjusted these to instead use Sweet Potatoes and Tapioca.
It is not clear why Spot & Tango moved away from White Potatoes, but it does not appear to have had a noticeable effect on nutritional values in the recipes.
Starch ingredients such as these are very dense sources of carbohydrates, which is why it’s important that their portion size isn’t too large. Thankfully the portion size found in Spot & Tango recipes is moderate, and so they provide modest proportions of carbohydrates.
Tapioca is a starch ingredient that is far less known in the western world but is extremely popular in other regions such as South America. Tapioca can be used by some brands as an alternative plant-based ingredient as some dogs with allergies react better to its inclusion.
You can learn more about Tapioca, its nutrition, and its uses in our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
Despite being some of the most popular plant-based ingredients in dog food, Spot & Tango makes minimal use of legume ingredients.
Some of their recipes contain small portions of Peas and Green Beans, but outside of these, other legumes, like Chickpeas and Lentils, are absent.
Lentils are extremely popular additions to dog food because they are relatively low-cost, high in plant-based protein, and easy to source at scale.
However, in recent years, there have been concerning links between the high use of legumes in dog food recipes and an increased rate of Canine Heart Disease in some dogs.
Thankfully due to the small portion sizes used by Spot & Tango, this should not be a serious worry. However, if you’d like to learn more about this link and some alternatives to legumes, be sure to check out our article Best Dog Foods Without Peas.
Spot & Tango Animal Testing
At this time, we have no information on what type of testing Spot & Tango participates in and whether this includes animal testing or feeding trials.
Many pet food brands, especially newer or smaller brands, avoid disclosing detailed information around their testing and trials as they fear backlash from their customers and fans.
However, others in the industry are concerned about this lack of transparency as they believe that larger-scale testing is critical to ensure pet food is safe and nutritionally balanced.
Based on other similar brands, we do not believe that Spot & Tango takes part in any laboratory or invasive testing. We also do not believe they have carried out any large-scale feeding trials.
We strongly believe that laboratory and invasive testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice. We hope that it will see a significant decline in the coming years.
Spot & Tango Expertise
Spot & Tango states in its FAQ that “Our recipes were developed with a team of carefully selected, industry-leading animal nutritionists and DVMs“.
This is a positive trait and will ensure that their recipes and formulas are nutritionally complete and well suited to dogs.
The use of animal nutritionists and experts is proving a critical trait for many pet food brands as consumer awareness and concern have risen. Many smaller brands do not utilize such expertise, and many are concerned that their food may not be properly formulated.
However, Spot & Tango does not go as far as some of their competitors who directly name the veterinary nutritionists they are partnering with. Examples include Pet Plate, Nom Nom, and The Farmer’s Dog.
Spot & Tango Recalls
In September 2022, the brand sent out a private email to its customers informing them that four batches of their new ‘UnKibble’ dry dog food had tested positive for Salmonella.
Salmonella is a common cause of dog food recalls and can result in harm to both dogs and humans, making them ill.
You can see the affected lot codes and SKUs in the below table.
This is undoubtedly a huge disappointment to Spot & Tango, given their relatively young age and strong marketing and promotion.
In addition, Spot & Tango becomes the first of the major online-based dog food brands to undergo a recall which should be a warning sign to others.
If you are interested in learning more about the brand’s practices, Spot & Tango provides some informative information on safety and their permits on their FAQ page, which you can find here.
We always encourage our readers to be vigilant of recalls from any pet food brand, including Spot & Tango, as the consequences can be severe, and it is necessary to ensure your dog remains healthy and safe.
Best of Spot & Tango
Lamb & Brown Rice Review
It was difficult to pick between Spot & Tango’s three fresh dog food recipes, but we quickly chose to go with their Lamb & Brown Rice recipe.
The recipe provides an excellent overall nutritional profile with a finely tuned balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This impressive balance is thanks to the generous portion of lamb, which is the recipe’s primary ingredient.
Lamb is known to be a rich and flavorful meat ingredient and can be extremely appealing to many dogs.
The recipe also makes use of a broad range of plant-based ingredients, including Brown Rice, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, and Blueberries.
This mix contains some industry regulars, like Peas and Brown Rice, but also some more unusual ingredients like Spinach and Blueberries.
The core benefit of this broad mix of plant-based ingredients is the range of vitamins and minerals it can provide, which are sure to ensure your dog remains healthy and active. On top of this, they provide the usual mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber.
Duck & Salmon Review
The new Unkibble range from Spot & Tango includes three recipes, and of those three, Duck & Salmon is our clear favorite and for several reasons.
Duck and Salmon are both excellent meat and fish ingredients that can provide dogs with superior nutrition. The nutrition provided by this particular recipe is significantly above average when compared to most other dog food and Spot & Tango’s other recipes.
This translates to almost 30% protein and over 25% fat by weight which is an impressive sum.
Also, the fat provided by the Salmon is particularly potent as it can provide high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These fatty acids are well known, and many believe they can offer health benefits to humans and dogs alike.
The benefits of these fatty acids vary but can include improved cognitive function, a reduction in the risk of select health conditions, and improved condition of a dog’s skin and coat.
The recipe makes use of a mix of plant-based ingredients include Flax, Tapioca, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Spinach, and Apples.
This combination provides a modest proportion of carbohydrates and fiber, along with some crucial vitamins and minerals and a unique taste.
Spot & Tango Featured Articles
Best Dry Dog Food – In one of our most detailed articles, we discuss everything there is to know about dry dog food. This includes its history, advantages, and what ingredients it usually includes.
After this in-depth discussion, we highlight several of our favorite dry dog food recipes at a range of price points. Spot & Tango earns a deserved spot in this list with its Unkibble recipe, which has seen much support and popularity.
The 10 Most Expensive Dog Foods – While Spot & Tango may be priceless to some, it is a costly product and is noticeably more than traditional dry or wet dog food.
In this article, we discuss what makes dog food expensive as well as some of the most expensive types and brands of dog food on the market. If you’d like to know what the rich and famous feed their dogs, this is the article for you.
Best Dog Food With Lamb And Rice – Similar to Chicken and Rice recipes, Lamb and Rice recipes fill an essential niche for dogs who need simplistic diets because of allergies or sensitivities.
This article digs into this subject and highlights some of the best Lamb and Rice recipes available on the market, including one from Spot & Tango.
Best Dog Food With Millet – This niche article showcases dog food recipes that use Millet as their primary grain ingredient, one of which is from Spot & Tango.
Millet is unknown by many but is on the rise thanks to the concerns around legumes in dog food and has been adopted by several well-known dog food brands.
Spot & Tango Full Product Range
Fresh Dog Food
Turkey & Red Quinoa
Beef & Millet
Lamb & Brown Rice
Fresh Dry Dog Food
Duck & Salmon
Beef & Barley
Chicken & Brown Rice