Valu-Pak is a dog food brand owned by Specialty Feeds Inc. Specialty Feeds Inc was founded over 50 years ago in 1960 by Vick, Gene, & Bubba Coscia on their North Mississippi dairy farm.
However, since this innocent beginning in the 1960s, Specialty Feeds Inc company has grown significantly and now has a dedicated manufacturing plant in Memphis, Tennessee, and distributes its products to 20 states.
Most dog owners will not be familiar with Valu-Pak or Specialty Feeds Inc, but their products are extremely popular among groups such as hunters, breeders, and kennels.
Valu-Pak has several sister dog food brands that are also owned by Specialty Feeds Inc, such as Caliber, Select, Tops, and Tops Prime.
Valu-Pak dog food is available at hundreds of retail stores across the southern and eastern united states, including Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and more.
You can use their convenient Find A Store Tool to help you with your search, and it will display potential stores on a map based on your address.
However, it can be quite difficult to purchase Valu-Pak dog food online as many of the large pet food websites, such as Chewy and Petflow, do not stock Valu-Pak.
Valu-Pak Product Range
Valu-Pak has a small range of dry dog food recipes that are split between their Free range, which has four unique recipes, and their standard range, which has six unique recipes.
The Free range is advertised as being made without Corn, Wheat, Soy, or Gluten, whereas the standard range does not make such claims, and as a consequence, those recipes usually contain several grain ingredients.
Within both the free and standard range from Valu-Pak, the recipes are named based on the levels of protein and fat present.
For example, they have a formula called 24-20 with 24% protein and 20% fat, and another recipe called 18-8 with 18% protein and 8% fat.
At this time, Valu-Pak does not produce any wet/canned dog food recipes, dog treats, or other specialty dog food like puppy recipes or grain-free dog food.
We will also point out that Valu-Pak does not produce any cat food products, such as dry cat food or wet cat food.
The nutrition profile offered by Valu-Pak’s dry dog food recipes varies significantly from recipe to recipe.
The naming convention of their recipes gives this away quite quickly, and you will notice that they have some recipes with very high proportions of protein and fat and others with far smaller proportions.
Below is an example of the nutrition provided by a Valu-Pak recipe (Free 26-18, if you are interested).
As you can see, this nutrition is impressive, and the protein and fat proportion content make up the bulk of the recipe’s nutritional content, summing to over 60% of the calorie content.
Whereas the carbohydrate proportion in this recipe is 37% of the calorie content, which is below average when compared to other similar brands.
Given the range of nutrition provided by Valu-Pak, we recommend you select a recipe that best fits your dog’s activity profile.
For example, a very active dog may benefit from a recipe like 26-18 or 24-20, whereas a less active dog may be better suited to 22-12 or 21-8.
If you’d like to learn more about canine nutrition, we highly recommend you check out our Dog Food Guide for a detailed walkthrough of the topic.
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
- Pork Meal
Valu-Pak utilizes a tiny range of meat ingredients in its recipes, and this range is far smaller than most brands.
Pork meal is probably the best meat ingredient used by Valu-Pak and is a dense source of animal-based protein and fat.
Pork Meal is a processed version of pork that has had the bulk of its moisture removed in advance, making it a more concentrated form of protein and fat.
Pork is surprisingly uncommon in dog food recipes, with very few brands using it regularly despite its low cost.
However, that isn’t the only meat ingredient present and Valu-Pak makes extensive use of Chicken By-Product Meal in almost all of its recipes.
Chicken By-Product Meal can provide dogs with a mix of nutrition, including animal-based protein and fat but is looked down upon by many who consider it an inferior ingredient to whole Chicken or Chicken Meal.
Sadly, one of Valu-Pak’s recipes uses a small portion of Meat & Bone Meal. Meat and Bone Meal is exactly what it sounds like and is made when waste cuts of meat and bones are ground together into a fine meal.
While there is most certainly some nutritional value in Meat and Bone Meal, it is a far inferior product compared to whole meat ingredients and should be avoided if possible.
You can learn more about Bone Meal, including what other dog food brands utilize it as an ingredient, in our article Bone Meal In Dog Food.
Other Notable Ingredients
Valu-Pak makes extensive use of grain ingredients in its recipes, including Brown Rice, Sorghum, Corn, Wheat, and Soybean.
Within its free product range, they tend to use “higher-quality” grains like Brown Rice and Sorghum, whereas in its standard range, they stick to lower-cost alternatives like Corn and Wheat.
Grain ingredients are controversial additions to dog food recipes, with many dog owners refusing to feed their dogs food that contains grains.
Regardless of opinion, grains can be a reliable source of nutrition for dogs and typically provide a mix of carbohydrates, fiber, plant-based protein, and select vitamins and minerals.
Sorghum is a grain ingredient that is far less common than others like Rice or Corn. Due to this, we decided to write a dedicated article so you can learn more about Sorghum and why some brands use it called Sorghum In Dog Food.
Sadly, Valu-Pak also uses a smaller portion of Rice Bran in some of its recipes. Rice Bran is a grain by-product that is made when White Rice is produced.
Many believe that Rice Bran is a low-quality ingredient and inferior to whole rice, such as White Rice and Brown Rice.
You can learn more about Rice Bran and why it is controversial in our article Rice Bran In Dog Food.
While not as common as grain ingredients, some of Valu-Pak’s Free recipes include a small portion of Peas.
Peas are the most common legume ingredient found in dog food and are extremely popular among grain-free dog food producers.
Peas are so popular as they can provide favorable nutrition, including carbohydrates, fiber, and a large portion of plant-based protein.
However, the use of Peas has been brought into question in recent years after links between the high use of legumes and an increased rate of canine heart disease alarmed many dog owners.
You can learn more about this concerning link in our article Best Dog Foods Without Peas.
Chicken Fat is found in many of Valu-Pak’s recipes in portions that are far larger than many other dog food brands.
Chicken Fat, however, is a common inclusion and is typically present to boost the overall levels of animal-based fats as well as enhance the flavor and palatability of the dog food recipe.
Making dog food more appealing to the dog is an often forgotten trait that is critical; if the dog is not interested, it can not benefit from its nutrition and ingredients.
Chicken Fat is the most popular choice for this task and is preferred over alternatives like Beef Fat, primarily due to cost. You can learn more about Chicken Fat and why it is used in our article Chicken Fat In Dog Food.
Dried Beet Pulp is another common inclusion in dog food recipes and is found in some of Valu-Pak’s formulas.
Dried Beet Pulp is present in dog food recipes as a source of soluble fiber, which can be critical to some dogs to ensure they maintain regular digestion and stools.
However, outside of its fiber content, Dried Beet Pulp provides little to no other nutrition to dogs, despite it being made from Sugar Beet.
You can learn more about Dried Beet Pulp, including how its produced, in our article Dried Beet Pulp In Dog Food.
Lastly, many of Valu-Pak’s recipes include a small portion of Flaxseed as a minor ingredient. Flaxseed is extremely popular among dog food manufacturers thanks to the high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids it can provide.
These fatty acids are believed to provide several health benefits to dogs, including an improvement in the condition of their skin and fur.
However, many do not realize that Flaxseed has several other benefits to dogs, and you can learn about these in our article Flaxseed In Dog Food.
Valu-Pak Animal Testing
We have no information on what type of animal testing or feeding trials that Valu-Pak or Specialty Feeds Inc participates in at this time.
Many smaller or less well-known dog food brands avoid disclosing detailed information on their animal testing and feeding trials as they fear backlash from their customers.
However, others in the industry criticize this and worry that some dog foods may not have been tested enough for long-term consumption.
Regardless, we strongly believe that invasive or laboratory testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice and one which we hope will be eliminated in the coming years.
This is extremely impressive given the long history of Specialty Feeds Inc, which goes back over fifty years.
While we can’t rule out that the brand issued recalls or had quality issues in the distant past, we are fairly confident about the last twenty years or so.
We hope that Specialty Feeds Inc continues to progress and improve its safety and quality processes to eliminate or minimize any future recalls of its products, such as Valu-Pak.
Despite this, we always recommend that dog owners remain vigilant of any future recalls from Valu-Pak, Specialty Feeds Inc, or any other dog food brand to ensure their dogs remain healthy and safe.
Best of Valu-Pak
Valu-Pak Free 26-18 Recipe Review
From Valu-Pak’s range of dry dog food recipes, we thought the above Free 26-18 recipe might be the best on offer for most dogs.
The key reason behind this is the impressive nutrition it provides, including 26% protein and 18% fat which is above average for a dry dog food recipe, especially at this price point.
This nutrition is thanks to a large portion of Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Meal, and Chicken Fat.
This combination of Chicken and Pork provides the recipe with animal-based protein and fat, which should be at the core of every dog’s diet.
Outside of this meat content, the recipe uses a mix of grain ingredients like Brown Rice, Sorghum, and Peas to provide the bulk of the plant-based content.
These ingredients are dense sources of nutritional value, including carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein.
Lastly, the recipe includes smaller portions of Flaxseed and Dried Beet Pulp which are present for their health benefits and their fiber content, respectively.
Valu-Pak Free 22-12 Recipe Review
For those dog owners with less active dogs, such as certain breeds or senior dogs, you may want to consider the above Free 22-12 recipe.
As the name gives away, this recipe has a lower proportion of protein and fat (at 22% and 12%) and so may be more suitable for those with lower protein needs and help avoid issues like weight gain.
Despite the lower levels of protein and fat, the recipe still utilizes a portion of Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Meal, and Chicken Fat to provide high-quality animal-based nutrition.
The core difference is the portion of grain ingredients is notably larger but still includes a mix of Sorghum, Brown Rice, and Peas.
Valu-Pak Featured Articles
At this time, Valu-Pak has not been featured in any of our articles.
Full Valu-Pak Product Range
Dry Dog Food