A Quick Look at Spot & Tango

First things first. Before we tell you all the juicy details about Spot & Tango, there are a few key details to know. This company prepares fresh dog food from 100% human-grade ingredients in USDA kitchens and portions them to your dog’s personal calorie requirements. You’ll enjoy regular shipments sent right to your door and your dog will enjoy the rich flavor and nutrition of real, whole-food ingredients.

You get to enjoy 10 good years with your dog, maybe more if you’re lucky. Though 10 years seems like a long time, it’s over in a flash and when your dog is no longer sleeping on your lap you’ll find yourself wondering if you did everything you could to make his life as happy and fulfilling as possible.

Though you’re certainly right to consider your dog’s happiness, your responsibilities as a dog owner go much deeper than that. You’re also responsible for your dog’s health and wellness.

Your dog’s short-term and long-term health is directly linked to the quality of his diet. Real, whole-food ingredients are more nutritious and digestible than processed by-products, so think twice before you grab a bag of cheap grocery-store kibble off the shelf. If you really want what’s best for your dog now and into the future, we recommend a fresh dog food company like Spot & Tango.

We’re going to tell you everything there is to know about Spot & Tango and give you a little insight into what it’s like to be a customer. We understand the importance of making an educated decision for yourself and for your dog, and we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about this company!

What You Need to Know About Spot & Tango

The first thing you need to know about Spot & Tango is that they care about dogs. This company offers what they call “dog food reimagined” and it’s really quite simple – their products are made with real ingredients (the kind you eat yourself) and formulated to deliver premium-quality nutrition.

Spot & Tango believes in the power of fresh food to transform your dog’s health. In fact, they talk about potential benefits their products can provide for dogs like yours:

  • Shinier coat, healthier skin
  • Relief from food allergies
  • Stronger muscles
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved immunity and vitality
  • More regular digestion
  • Longer lifespan (through healthy weight)

At Spot & Tango, every decision is made with your dog’s benefit in mind. That’s why they use 100% fresh human-grade ingredients and make their products in human food facilities to ensure the highest standards for quality and safety are met. Your order is customized to your dog’s personal calorie and dietary needs, packaged for your convenience and sent right to your door.

Now that you have a little background on Spot & Tango, let’s take a closer look at their fresh dog food recipes and how the subscription process works.

How the Products Are Made

Before getting into the details of how Spot & Tango makes their food, it’s important to distinguish between the two types of products they offer. Spot and Tango offers both fresh dog food recipes and UnKibble, their alternative to dry food – they call it Fresh Dry food for dogs.

Though Spot & Tango offers two product lines, all of their recipes are made with 100% fresh, human-grade ingredients without any fillers or artificial additives. Every recipe is formulated by industry-leading veterinary nutritionists and double-checked by veterinarians. Their foods are also checked against AAFCO recommendations for complete and balanced nutrition for dogs in all life stages.

When it comes to the manufacture of their products, Spot & Tango holds themselves to the highest standards for quality and safety. Their fresh foods are made in USDA kitchens in New York and Spot & Tango UnKibble is made in state-of-the-art facilities in Wisconsin.

Here’s a quick overview of the different recipe choices:

  • Turkey & Red Quinoa Fresh Dog Food
  • Beef & Millet Fresh Dog Food
  • Lamb & Brown Rice Fresh Dog Food
  • Duck & Salmon UnKibble Fresh Dry Food
  • Beef & Barley UnKibble Fresh Dry Food
  • Chicken & Brown Rice UnKibble Fresh Dry Food

Spot & Tango fresh dog food is gently cooked at low temperatures in small batches to maximize the bioavailability of nutrients. The ingredients are actually cooked separately and then mixed, flash-frozen to lock in freshness just days before arriving on your doorstep. UnKibble is pasteurized at low temperature instead of being extruded like traditional kibble. It has the texture and convenience of dry dog food but is closer to the taste and quality of fresh dog food.

The brand says of UnKibble,

“UnKibble is a dry food for dogs that offers a crunchy texture and ‘scoopable’ convenience that many pet parents are accustomed to with kibbles… A blend of USDA protein, starch, and fresh fruits and veggies is gently pasteurized at low temperature through our Fresh Dry process.”

You’ll notice a significant price difference between Spot & Tango fresh food and UnKibble, but that has more to do with the storage and shipping costs for the products than the quality. Both options are made with premium natural ingredients and make an excellent choice for any dog.

How Much Does It Cost?

If you’ve ever considered switching your dog to fresh food, you may be familiar with the math. It only makes sense that the larger your dog is, the more food he’ll need and the more expensive it will be to feed him. If you factor in the additional cost of using fresh, high-quality ingredients (versus the fillers and additives found in many dry foods), you could see a big jump in price.

In the spectrum of fresh dog food delivery companies, Spot & Tango is definitely at the higher end of the spectrum. Many companies offer sample pricing that ranges from $3 to $6 per day on average, but large dogs may cost $10 per day or more. Spot & Tangle says their weekly pricing starts around $15.

To estimate the Spot & Tango cost, we used a neutered male dog weighing his ideal weight of 30 pounds. We indicated that the dog was fairly inactive and didn’t have healthy issues or allergies.

We were given a two-week trial price starting at $4.56 per day (depending on the recipe we chose) or $47.59 per week. As a new customer, we were offered 20% off the full price for a 2-week taste trial, after which we would be billed at the regular price for orders every 4 weeks. The discounted trial price came down to $38.07. The daily cost for UnKibble was shown at $2.56 per day.

What’s the Subscription Process Like?

You won’t find Spot & Tango fresh food in stores, so the only way to order is online. Though some fresh dog food companies let you purchase bags of their food, your only option with this company is to start a subscription. To do that, you’ll need to sign up online.

Here’s what the subscription process looks like:

  1. Create a user account starting with your name and email address
  2. Fill in information about your dog, including name and spay/neuter status
  3. Provide info about your dog’s breed, age, and body type
  4. Indicate your dog’s current body weight, activity level, and allergies (if any)
  5. Select between Fresh food or Unkibble Fresh Dry dog food
  6. Choose your dog’s recipes (up to 3) and select a meal plan

After creating your account and providing the necessary information about your dog, you’ll go on to provide shipping and billing information. Most new customers receive 20% off their first order which consists of a 2-week trial. After that, you’ll be billed full price every 4 weeks for a month of food.

If you need to change or update your subscription at any time, you can do so through the customer portal. You’ll be able to make changes to your dog’s information and switch recipes or update your dog’s calorie needs. You can always rush or delay a delivery if your current schedule isn’t working out quite right. If you’re wondering how to cancel Spot & Tango, you can do so through the portal as well. Customer service is always available by email if you need assistance along the way.

Now that you have a better understanding of what Spot & Tango has to offer and how you order it, let’s take a closer look at one of their recipes:

Recipe Feature: Turkey & Red Quinoa Fresh Dog Food

First 5 IngredientsTurkeyRed QuinoaSpinachCarrotsPeas
Guaranteed Analysis13.7% protein5.9% fat1.4% fiber68.5% moisture
CaloriesUnlisted

Ingredients:

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

Our Analysis:

The first thing we noticed is that a limited ingredient list is available on the regular Spot & Tango website, but you need a customer account to view the whole list. The only difference, however, is that the full list includes the specific vitamin and mineral supplements while the other does not.

In terms of the ingredient themselves, we can confirm that Spot & Tango holds true to their commitment of 12 main ingredients or less.

The first ingredient in this recipe is fresh turkey and it is the only source of protein aside from eggs. Red quinoa is the second ingredient and primary source of carbohydrate – this ingredient is often lumped into the category with whole grains and is generally considered both nutritious and digestible for dogs. In addition to the quinoa, you’ll find fresh veggies like spinach, carrots, and peas as well as fresh apple.

The main source of fat in this recipe is safflower oil, a plant-based oil rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Generally speaking, the fat content of this formula is fairly low, but it is very similar to the beef recipe.

Overall, this formula appears to offer quality nutrition and there are certainly no fillers, additives, or questionable ingredients. We wouldn’t mind seeing an animal-based fat in place of the safflower oil or at least a source of omega-3s to balance it out. All in all, however, it’s a very good recipe.

Spot & Tango Pros and Cons

Choosing a dog food brand is tough because there are so many options to choose from. If you’ve decided to make the switch to fresh food, congratulations! Your dog will thank you for it.

Though you’ve made the hardest choice to prioritize your dog’s nutrition over your wallet, you still have one more decision to make: what company will you go with? There are many fresh dog food delivery services out there and they aren’t all created equal. To make your choice, we recommend doing a little more research of your own and keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Here are some of the pros for Spot & Tango:

  • Fresh dog food recipes made with 100% human-grade ingredients
  • Limited ingredient recipes formulated by board-certified vet nutritionists
  • Meals are pre-portioned according to your dog’s individual calorie needs
  • Choose from fresh dog food or gently dried dog food (kibble alternative)

Here are some of the cons for Spot & Tango:

  • Significantly more expensive than the average commercial dry food
  • Limited selection of animal proteins (beef, lamb, turkey)
  • Customers must create a profile to view full recipe details

Your dog is your best friend and your responsibility, so we can’t tell you what to do or make your choice for you. We hope we’ve provided you with the information you need to make up your own mind about Spot & Tango. Read on to see our final word on the brand.

The Final Word on Spot & Tango

The biggest problem we have with Spot & Tango is the price, but that’s saying something. Compared to the average kibble, Spot & Tango fresh dog food recipes offer much higher nutritional quality and we love that it’s fresh. Plus, it’s hard to beat the convenience of pre-portioned meal packages, not to mention having them delivered right to your door.

We will say that Spot & Tango offers less variety than other companies, but the recent addition of their UnKibble product line (expanded to 3 recipes) makes the brand a little more versatile. We like that their formulas are limited to 12 main ingredients and that everything is human-grade. The price is a reflection of that quality but it’s still within the expected range for fresh dog food.

At the end of the day, it’s your job to make a decision for your dog but we hope you’ll make a responsible one. We’re not sure Spot & Tango is the perfect pick for every family, but we can certainly recommend it if you’re looking for fresh dog food and it fits your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spot & Tango grain-free?

All three of Spot & Tango’s fresh food recipes are gluten-free but only two of them are completely grain-free. The beef recipe contains millet and the turkey recipe contains quinoa, but the lamb recipe is made with brown rice. Only the Duck & Salmon UnKibble recipe is grain-free of those three options.

Can you get samples of Spot & Tango dog food?

No, this company doesn’t currently offer samples of their food, but you can try a two-week trial at a 20% discount (or more). If you’re not satisfied with the product, however, you can get your money back.

Is the packaging environmentally friendly?

Yes, Spot & Tango takes care to protect the environment while also protecting the safety and quality of your dog’s food. Your order will arrive in a recyclable cardboard box with individual bags of pre-portioned fresh food. The food is flash-frozen prior to shipping and protected by biodegradable insulation and dry ice to keep it frozen.

Can I change or cancel my subscription?

Yes, you can make changes to your account and shipments through the customer portal. You can always rush or delay a delivery and make adjustments to your dog’s recipe choice, calorie intake, or dietary restrictions. You can even cancel your subscription through the customer portal. If you need assistance at any time, you can contact Spot & Tango’s team via email.

Is Spot & Tango a good option for dogs with food allergies?

Spot & Tango formulates their recipes to include 12 main ingredients or less, so that’s definitely a good thing for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. That being said, they only offer three fresh dog food recipes right now and two are made with common proteins (beef and lamb) and one with grains (brown rice). If your dog has multiple sensitivities, you may have trouble finding an option that works.

Does Spot & Tango have any recalls?

A pet food recall happens when the FDA or the company discovers a problem with the product and recalls it from sale. We couldn’t find any information about a Spot & Tango recall, which is definitely a good thing. It probably has to do with how much the company pays attention to quality and safety along every step of their process from sourcing to preparing to shipping their foods.

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