A dog patiently waits for his Spot & Tango dog food

Spot and Tango Dog Food Review

Spot & Tango's dog food is top-notch, but it comes with a higher price tag depending on which recipes you choose. Keep reading to see what it does right and which other options to consider.

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It can be difficult to find dog food that isn’t jam-packed with empty fillers and preservatives. Even veterinarian-recommended products sometimes come with more ancillary ingredients than you’re comfortable with. 

If that’s the case, a fresh dog food subscription, such as Spot and Tango, might be the answer you’ve been waiting for.

Verdict (if you’re in a hurry): Spot & Tango’s fresh food is an excellent way to improve your dog’s nutrition, and its UnKibble option is an interesting new spin on dry dog food. However, you may find comparable fresh food options for less lower in this review.

In this review:

Spot & Tango: At a glance

  • Recipes designed by board-certified veterinary nutritionist Dr. Susan Lauten, Ph.D., to give your dog everything they need for a healthy lifestyle
  • Human-grade ingredients are slow-cooked and flash-frozen while fresh to preserve nutritional value
  • Two types of food to choose from: fresh food (for a wet texture) and UnKibble (if your dog prefers a crunchy texture)
  • Customizable meal plans tailored to your dog’s health, weight, and breed
  • Option to mix fresh food with current diet or switch completely to Spot and Tango
  • Meals cooked in USDA- & FDA-approved kitchens in New York and Wisconsin
  • Automatic, free delivery in fully insulated and biodegradable packaging
  • Meal portions vacuum-sealed in BPA-free packages that lie flat for easy storage
  • Two-week trial includes a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like their Spot and Tango meals

Our Spot and Tango review

Spot and Tango is a locally sourced fresh dog food subscription service that creates personalized meal plans based on the breed, weight, fitness, energy levels, and health issues of each individual dog it serves. 

The company pre-portions its meals to ensure your dog gets the precise nutritional levels they need each day without any extra work from you. You can also note any medical issues you’re trying to address, so the company can recommend meals that suit your dog’s needs.

Using recipes curated by veterinary nutritionists, Spot and Tango prepares its fresh dog food in USDA- and FDA-approved kitchens here in the United States. Their meals combine whole meats, fresh vegetables, and high-quality carbohydrates to provide your dog with a more nutritionally rich diet than regular kibble affords.

Spot and Tango has also developed Unkibble, so you can give your dog a dry food diet free from the artificial preservatives and hollow fillers most commercial kibbles include.

All of Spot and Tango’s recipes meet the AAFCO nutritional requirements for all dog life stages.

What we like

  • Healthy: real, fresh ingredients instead of 12-month-old kibble.
  • Precise: nutritionally balanced meals prepared in FDA-certified kitchen by animal nutritionists.
  • Convenient: regular delivery in environmentally-friendly packaging. No more last-minute trips to the pet store.
  • Variety: Two food types and six recipes to choose from.
  • Treats!: Option to include high-quality treats as a part of your subscription.
  • Extras: Unkibble comes with a specialized scoop just for your dog.
  • Crunch: Unkibble isn’t as good as Fresh, but it’s still a big upgrade from the most common store-bought brands.
  • Toppers: You can subscribe to a partial “Topper plan” to mix food with your dog’s current diet (to save money or just to make a picky eater’s kibble more interesting).

Downsides

  • Non-animal proteins: Each recipe contains whole meat as the first ingredient (which is good!) but then relies on vegetables to deliver the rest of the protein and healthy fatty acids. Other brands have a healthy mix of meats and veggies, too, but some include nutrient-rich organ meat as a second source of protein.
  • Expensive: The cost of certain meals is more expensive than other subscription plans.
  • Storage: Fresh meal pouches you don’t plan to use in the next day or two must be stored in the freezer. This can be a problem if you don’t have much freezer space, but is common across all fresh dog food brands.
  • Not flexible (yet): You can’t currently customize your delivery schedule (although that’s coming!)

Is Spot and Tango good for dogs?

Yes! Spot and Tango uses whole, human-grade ingredients instead of meat meals, powders, and artificial fillers and preservatives. If you’re currently feeding your dog big-brand kibble, Spot and Tango will almost certainly be a nutritional upgrade.

How does Spot and Tango work?

The first thing Spot and Tango asks you to do is set up your free pet profile. This includes basic contact info as well as comprehensive details about your pet.

Spot and Tango needs details about your pet, such as their sex, neutered status, breed, body type, current weight, and target weight, to calculate the precise number of calories your dog should have in each meal. They optionally ask for the dog’s birthday (for a special birthday treat!).

Spot and Tango will also ask for specific details about your dog’s health, such as their activity level and any known allergies or health conditions. This will help them determine which recipes to recommend.

 From here on out, you are deciding what your dog eats, starting with the choice between Unkibble (“Fresh Dry” food) and Fresh food. 

Fresh food is what most dog food subscriptions are known for. It’s much better nutritionally for your dog, but it will also cost more because it’s entirely made from fresh, human-grade ingredients. Unkibble is a new take on the dog kibble you can get at any store, with better ingredients and less processing.

Both options come in three different recipes, and once you’ve selected a type of food, you can decide whether to mix and match recipes for some culinary variety or to stick to one recipe in particular.

When starting out, choosing a variety of recipes can help you figure out what your dog likes best, but there’s no right answer here. Note that your price can vary significantly based on the recipe(s) you choose.

You will also need to choose whether you want to feed your dog exclusively Spot and Tango, or whether you want to subscribe to a topper portion to mix with your dog’s current diet.

While a full diet of fresh food is better, mixing the Topper Plan with kibble is a good way to improve your dog’s nutrition while cutting down on costs. It’s also a good way to interest a picky eater who has grown tired of their usual food. Both options commit you to a two-week trial with a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like the food.

Finally, there’s an option to add healthy, single-ingredient treats to your subscription. As with the dog food, the treats are hormone and GMO-free, and they make for a great snack in between meals. We really like the snack option because store-bought dog treats are notoriously full of weird additives and chemical preservatives, but not these.

After that, it’s a simple matter of reviewing your choices and deciding whether you want to try it out. Once your order is complete, your first shipment should arrive within 3 to 5 business days.

The whole process is incredibly easy to complete and should take you less than 5 minutes.

Meal options

As mentioned above, Spot and Tango offers two types of food: fresh dog food and Unkibble (which they describe as fresh dry dog food). All recipes across both options were crafted by veterinary nutritionists to meet AAFCO standards for all age groups, and all meals are prepared in FDA-approved kitchens in Wisconsin and New York.

Fresh dog food

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If you’ve ever wanted your dog to eat as well as you do, Spot and Tango’s Fresh recipes are a great place to start. It’s made from locally sourced, fresh ingredients, and it looks just like food you or I would eat. That’s because you can!

There are no strange flavor additives or bad pet food smells to be found. Just simple, healthy meals cooked at a low heat to preserve nutrients and shipped promptly, so you get it fresh. There are three human-grade recipes to choose from, and all are gluten-free and non-GMO:

Turkey & Red Quinoa

This protein-packed recipe is great for growing dogs with lots of energy.

Ingredients:

Turkey, Red Quinoa, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Apple, Eggs, Parsely, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, Vitamins & Minerals 

Vitamins & Minerals:

Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 13.69% (Min), Crude Fat: 5.86% (Min), Crude Fiber: 1.44% (Max), Moisture: 68.5% (Max)

Beef & Millet

Beef is an all-around favorite for meat-loving dogs, and apple cider vinegar may help promote gut health.

Ingredients:

Beef, Millet, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Cranberries, Eggs, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil Vegetable Stock, Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals:

Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 11.85% (Min), Crude Fat: 5.85% (Min), Crude Fiber: 1.04% (Max), Moisture: 69.84% (Max)

Lamb & Brown Rice

Lamb is an excellent alternative for dogs with digestive sensitivities to more common meats. The healthy fats in this recipe will also promote a healthy coat.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Brown Rice, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Blueberries, Eggs, Parsely, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals:

Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 11.80% (Min), Crude Fat: 6.64% (Min), Crude Fiber: 2.64% (Max), Moisture: 70.10% (Max)

UnKibble

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Also made from human-grade ingredients, Unkibble offers a “Fresh Dry” alternative to over-processed dry kibble.

The lack of additives, meat powders, and artificial ingredients set it a cut above supermarket kibbles.

And the customized meal plans and scoops should save you from running out of food or struggling to interpret portions ever again.

Although it isn’t nutritionally as good as fresh food, Unkibble’s shelf-stable status makes it a good alternative if you’re short on freezer space, or if you can’t quite afford a fresh diet. There are three UnKibble recipes to choose from:

Duck & Salmon

Ingredients:

Duck, Salmon, Flax, Tapioca, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Spinach, Apples, Chia Seeds, Parsley, Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (natural source of Vitamin E), Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals:

Cellulose Powder, Fish Oil, L-Tryptophan, Choline Chloride, Organic Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 29.68% (Min), Crude Fat: 25.30% (Min), Crude Fiber: 1.88% (Max), Moisture: 2.29% (Max), Calories: 4368 kcal/kg

Beef & Barley

Ingredients:

Beef, Barley, Flax, Carrots, Green Beans, Beef Liver, Beef Heart, Beets, Cranberries, Rosemary, Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (natural source of Vitamin E), Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals:

Cellulose Powder, Fish Oil, L-Tryptophan, Choline Chloride, Organic Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 26.58% (Min), Crude Fat: 16.43% (Min), Crude Fiber: 3.18% (Max), Moisture: 2.04% (Max), Calories: 4749 kcal/kg

Chicken & Brown Rice 

Ingredients:

Chicken, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Apples, Kale, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Sunflower Seeds, Ginger Root, Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (natural source of Vitamin E) Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals:

Cellulose Powder, Fish Oil, L-Tryptophan, Choline Chloride, Organic Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein: 26.58% (Min), Crude Fat: 16.43% (Min), Crude Fiber: 2.50% (Max), Moisture: 3.96% (Max), Calories: 3921 kcal/kg

Spot and Tango prices

Fresh

Full portions of Spot & Tango’s Fresh food starts at $15 per week, and Unkibble starts at $7 per week. However, your price will vary depending on whether you choose a full or topper plan, the recipe you choose, and the size and activity level of your dog. Overall, Spot and Tango is on the expensive end of premium dog food subscriptions, with owners of large dog breeds paying the most. (You can find some other options that may be cheaper lower in this review.)

To give you an idea of what you might pay, we retrieved meal plan options for Hobbes, our growing Goldendoodle puppy—26 lbs., no health conditions, and average activity level. 

For one weekly Fresh recipe, the cost was $46.14 for a full dietary plan before any introductory discounts were applied and $24.98 for the meal topper option. There are some price discrepancies depending on which of the three recipes you choose, with Turkey & Red Quinoa being the cheapest and Lamb & Brown Rice costing the most.

We then ran the numbers for Augie, a miniature Dachshund. He’s a 14-lb. adventurous type, so we ticked the relevant boxes. With the same fresh food option selected, the meal plan was now $27.56 per week and the topper was $11.94.

With several factors affecting the cost of each subscription, the only way to see what you’ll pay is to answer Spot & Tango’s Dog Questionnaire. You can do this for free without providing any payment info. Fortunately, Spot & Tango offers a discount for your first order, so you can try it out without paying as much.

Across all brands, fresh dog food is more expensive than kibble. But some dog food subscription companies, such as Nom Nom or Ollie may be cheaper, so it may be worth getting quotes from multiple companies.

>> Read more: How Much Does Spot and Tango Cost?

Unkibble

The prices for Unkibble also vary by the size of the dog and how much food they require. It cost $33.09 per week to feed Hobbes UnKibble (without any discounts applied), compared to $19.76 for the smaller and equally active Augie.

It’s not surprising that price increases proportionally to size, though this will almost certainly give pause to those with larger dogs.

Treats

Yam Yums cost $12, and a bag of Chicken Munchies cost $14. This is roughly similar to what you’d pay for jerky-type treats in stores, but Spot & Tango have taken every step to pare back unhealthy additives and preservatives. Each treat option includes only one ingredient, yams or whole chicken, so you can feel good about your pup’s mid-day treat.

Discounts 

New subscribers can get a 20% discount on their first purchase, so you can try out the service without paying as much.

And, of course, if your dog refuses to eat Spot and Tango or doesn’t do well with it for some other reason, there’s always their money-back guarantee.

Is Spot and Tango worth it?

So, is it worth it? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Veterinary nutritionists endorse the health benefits of fresh food, and it could cut down on veterinary costs over the long term. Fresh food can also make mealtime much easier if you have a picky eater—especially when you warm it up.

However, Spot & Tango runs on the expensive side if you want to serve your dog something other than their Turkey & Red Quinoa recipe. So, we think you should get price quotes from at least one or two other high-quality dog food brands before making your decision. See the section below for recommendations.

How does Spot & Tango compare to other brands?

On the whole, Spot & Tango operates similarly to most fresh dog food subscriptions. It’s nutritionally sound, super convenient, and it even stands out in the fact that it offers both fresh and kibble-based foods (most competitors only offer fresh).

However, as we said above, it can get pricey if you don’t want to stick to the cheapest recipes. Add to that the fact that their 20% introductory discount is lower than the 50% off you can get from some competitors, and you’ll see why we think it’s worth getting quotes from at least one or two other brands before making a purchase.

Nom Nom costs the same or less as Spot & Tango’s cheaper recipes, and it offers 50% off your first purchase of their treats and fresh meals, which come in beef, chicken, pork, and turkey options. Nom Nom also offers cat food, gut health kits, and supplements. You can learn more in our Spot and Tango vs Nom Nom Now comparison guide.

Pet Plate offers $100 off your first four boxes plus 50% off treats, although it could be more expensive for certain dogs. Also, Pet Plate only offers one type of treats (organic chicken apple sausage bites). It also serves its meals in round plastic containers, which may be more or less convenient for you, depending on your preferences and freezer space. You can learn more in our Pet Plate review.

Another favorite of ours is Ollie Dog Food. Ollie does an excellent job sourcing its ingredients and packing nutrition into every bite, and our dog, Hobbes, loves it. You can get 50% off your first order or learn more in our Ollie Dog Food review.

>> Compare your options:

Has Spot and Tango ever been recalled?

Spot and Tango has never been recalled as of the date of publication above.

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