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’s 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.
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.
The nutrition 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.
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 and is a dense source of animal-based protein and fat.
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 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 the “higher-quality” grains like Brown Rice and Sorghum, whereas in their 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. You can learn more about Sorghum and why some brands use it in our article 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 created.
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.
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 present to boost the overall levels of animal-based fats as well as enhance the flavor and palatability of the dog food recipe.
Chicken Fat is the most popular choice for this task and is preferred over alternatives like Beef Fat. 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 as a source of soluble fiber, which can be critical to some dogs to ensure they keep regular digestion and stools.
However, outside of its fiber content, Dried Beet Pulp provides little to no other nutrition to dogs. 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, 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 impressive given the long history of Specialty Feeds Inc that goes back over fifty years.
We hope that Specialty Feeds Inc continues to progress and improve its safety and quality processes to eliminate or minimize any future recalls of their 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 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 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 Featured Articles
At this time, Valu-Pak has not been featured in any of our articles.
Full Valu-Pak Product Range
Dry Dog Food