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Spot and Tango Review 2024: Is It Worth It?

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Author Mirela Niculae
Mirela Niculae Writer
Updated on Jun 13th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Overview

Spot & Tango features fresh and dry, human-grade dog food tailored to the nutritional needs of dogs in all life stages. The company also gathers a multitude of glowing reviews from reviewers and customers alike. 

But if you’re still not convinced, I’ve gathered all the information all dog owners ought to know about Spot & Tango. I've taken into account ingredient quality, price, recipe selection, menu variety, and more. 

Additionally, I've explored Spot & Tango's UnKibble line to determine if it truly surpasses the quality of typical kibble found in conventional pet stores. I've also scrutinized the company's extensive K9 health questionnaire, which guarantees a tailored diet for your pup.

After a thorough evaluation, I believe Spot & Tango is one of the top choices today. Its meals are composed of human-grade ingredients free from soy, corn, and wheat, and they're devoid of artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives. The food also meets or exceeds AAFCO nutrient standards for all life stages and is formulated by veterinarians.

Pros

Cons

Extensive questionnaire for custom meals

Can be pricey

Fresh meals and high-quality kibble

Fresh food takes up lots of freezer space

Support for tons of different breeds

Not the largest selection of recipes

Spot & Tango Meals

Plans and Recipes

Spot & Tango has 2 different types of food – UnKibble and Fresh. UnKibble is dried, fresh food made with 100% whole foods-based ingredients just like the fresh food. All of the recipes are human-grade as well. The UnKibble comes in just a full, recommended plan, but the Fresh comes in either a full or topper plan.

The topper plan serves 2 purposes – it helps you save money, and it’s a great way to slowly ease your pup into new fresh food (or to find out if he or she even likes it in the first place!).

Spot & Tango doesn't offer the possibility to mix UnKibble and Fresh recipes in the same meal plan. If you need both, you’ll have to add a second dog to your profile. This way, you can order Fresh for 1 dog and UnKibble for the other dog. spot & tango's chicken + brown rice unkibble

Each recipe is also non-GMO and gluten-free, whether from the UnKibble or fresh line. I know that not all competitors offer this, so this is really great to see.

In terms of UnKibble, there are 4 different recipes to choose from – Cod + Salmon, Beef + Barley, Chicken & Brown Rice, and Turkey & Sweet Potato. Unlike kibbles you can find in stores, UnKibble is gently dehydrated using Spot & Tango’s unique Fresh Dry™ process. As a result, the UnKibble has a crunchy texture that all dogs love.

This means that the UnKibble is not extruded, and it doesn’t include any "mystery meats." Also, all 3 recipes are complete and balanced for puppies and adults, and you can keep them in your pantry like you would normal kibbles. 

The Fresh recipes are made with 100% fresh ingredients as well. Each is balanced for both puppies and adults. There are 3 different recipes to choose from in the Fresh range – Turkey + Red Quinoa, Beef + Millet, and Lamb + Brown Rice. Spot & Tango's Beef & Millet fresh food recipe

You also have the option to spoil your furry friend with some Snacks and Supplements. Spot & Tango offers 3 Snack flavors – Sweet Potato Bites, Chicken Bites, and Bison Bites. These are human-grade treats (or Bites) made from a single ingredient.

The Bites are designed to meet various needs, such as soothing a sensitive tummy (Sweet Potato Bites) or helping build lean muscle (Chicken Bites). Additionally, the Bison Bites are grain and gluten-free.

The Supplements also have specific roles in a dog’s diet. For instance, the Calming Supplement contains L-Theanine, Passion Flower, and chamomile, which together have a calming effect.

The Hip & Joint Supplement supports overall joint health & strong cartilage. The Allergy & Immune Supplement is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 and supports a strong immune system. Spot & Tango's selection of Snacks and Supplements

Both the Snacks and the Supplements are available before checkout. So, once you decide between Fresh and UnKibble and select a meal plan for your pooch, you can decide what you want to add extra to their diet.

All recipes have been formulated by veterinary nutritionists for puppies and adults according to AAFCO's nutritional standards, and are GMO- and hormone-free. Plus. Spot & Tango’s fresh food is cooked in small batches in a USDA facility.

Ingredients

All ingredients used in Spot & Tango’s meals are fresh and locally sourced. Recipes are created using only lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and high-quality carbs for a balanced diet for your pup. There will never be any fillers, additives, or preservatives.

According to Spot & Tango’s philosophy, if a human can’t eat it, then pets shouldn’t either. Plus, the company is a strong believer in a minimal-ingredient diet – there’s no need for complicated recipes to create delicious meals.

For instance, Beef + Millet, among the most popular Spot & Tango fresh recipes, includes simple ingredients, such as turkey, red quinoa, spinach, carrots, peas, apple, eggs, parsley, apple cider vinegar, safflower oil, vegetable stock, vitamins, and minerals.

Each recipe also includes Spot & Tango's nutrient blend to make sure your pooch gets all the necessary ingredients. This blend includes vitamins and minerals important for a dog’s healthy development, such as fish oil, kelp,  Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride,  Vitamin E, A, and D supplements, and more. Spot & Tango's Lamb + Brown Rice recipe

UnKibble recipes follow a similar formula, with simple and natural ingredients plus Spot & Tango's nutrient blend. For instance, the simple ingredients in the Beef + Barley recipe are beef, barley, flax seeds, carrots, green beans, beef liver, beef heart, beets, and cranberries.

Each ingredient is clearly labeled on the website to make it easy if you have a pup with allergies or sensitivities to any foods. In terms of actual ingredients, you’ll find things like sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, spinach, eggs, and even fresh herbs like parsley.

All of these ingredients are dense in micronutrients like minerals and vitamins and do a fantastic job of maximizing your pup’s health. Also, the cooking methods used help retain the nutrients and flavors of each whole food ingredient. 

Both recipe types are gently exposed at low temperatures, but there’s a difference in method. While the UnKibble is gently dehydrated, Fresh recipes are gently cooked to deactivate any germs and then flash-frozen to lock in freshness. This method is similar to how The Farmer’s Dog prepares its fresh recipes and has been proven to be extremely efficient for transportation.

Nutrition

Spot & Tango's recipes are meticulously formulated to offer a well-balanced blend of essential nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, dogs who eat Spot & Tango will receive comprehensive nutrition for healthy growth and robust strength.

In terms of fresh meals, the Turkey + Red Quinoa recipe, for example, has a breakdown of around 14% crude protein, 6% crude fat, and 1.5% crude fiber. The rest is moisture. Spot & Tango guaranteed analysis

In the UnKibble meals, I found a slightly different breakdown, which is to be expected as it’s dry food. The Cod + Salmon UnKibble is 30% crude protein, 22% crude fat, and 2% crude fiber. This is interesting but to be expected as dry food weighs less than fresh food.

I also like that Spot & Tango gives you the amount of calories in each recipe. For instance, the Fresh Turkey + Red Quinoa has 1,314 kCal/kg, but the Cod + Salmon UnKibble has 4,193 kCal/kg, which is significantly higher. This way, it’s easier to calculate how much to feed your dog based on their daily caloric needs. 

Each ingredient is selected to maximize vitamins and minerals to make sure your doggos get the proper nutrition. You’ll receive a meal plan recommendation when you sign up, and you can switch it up over time if you’d like.

What Makes It Different

Spot & Tango has several unique features that allow it to stand out in front of its competitors. For example, its UnKibble is far better than most kibble out there, and it offers higher-quality ingredients.

UnKibble is a Better Alternative to Traditional Kibble

Dogs flourish and thrive when they eat fresh food instead of kibble. However, fresh food can be pricey – but not anymore. Enter Spot & Tango’s UnKibble line. It’s essentially dehydrated and dried fresh food that retains all of the same nutritional value as regular fresh food.

Also, traditional kibble found at your average pet supply store can contain loads of additives, preservatives, and other ingredients you wouldn’t want to eat as a human – so why feed those things to your pup?

You may be wondering what makes it so valuable vs. Spot & Tango’s regular, fresh food. It’s cheaper while still offering high levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s also non-GMO and gluten-free, just like the fresh food lineup.

This is a major difference between Spot & Tango and other services like The Farmer’s Dog. The Farmer’s Dog only offers fresh food, which means you don’t have the option of saving money.

Ollie also offers something similar to the UnKibble – the Baked options. However, you can’t order just the Baked recipes. You have to combine them with the fresh recipes in the Mixed Bowl Plan.

Spot & Tango’s Food is Non-GMO and Gluten-Free

I was happy to discover that Spot & Tango’s meals are non-GMO and gluten-free (except for the Beef & Barley UnKibble). Also, the Cod+Salmon UnKibble recipe is hypoallergenic and grain-free.

If you usually purchase regular, off-the-shelf, generic dog kibble from pet supply stores, you should know they are generally very low-quality. They are made from rubbish ingredients devoid of any real nutritional value.

Unboxing

Your Spot & Tango delivery will come in a nice branded box within a few days of placing your order. For fresh food orders, you’ll receive a box with insulation to keep the food cold while it travels. Put it away in your freezer as soon as possible to maintain its freshness.

The packages use dry ice to keep them cold. This will evaporate if left in a well-ventilated area. Once the ice is all gone, the packaging is completely recyclable. Make sure to be very careful handling the dry ice as it’s extremely dangerous.

Each fresh food meal is pre-portioned, so you just grab the food for the next day and move it to the fridge to thaw (a bowl of cold water will work as well if you’re short on time). The food will stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer and 4 days in the fridge. You don’t have to do anything to the food other than simply serve it. spot & tango food scoop

Your first UnKibble order will come with a custom-sized scoop for your furry friend. UnKibble doesn’t need to be refrigerated – just store it in a cool, dry place. Unopened bags will stay fresh for up to 12 months. Once you open the bag, make sure to reseal it after each meal. UnKibble will stay fresh for around 8 weeks once opened.

Prices

Starting from

Minimum Order

Shipping Fee

$0.85 per meal for an 8 lb Chihuahua

2 weeks worth of Beef + Barley UnKibble: $29.60

Free

$1.60 per meal for an 8 lb Chihuahua

2 weeks worth of Lamb + Brown Rice fresh food: $44.70

Free

$2.06 per meal for a 50 lb German Shorthaired Pointer

2 weeks worth of Beef + Barley UnKibble: $57.74

Free

$5.17 per meal for a 50 lb German Shorthaired Pointer

2 weeks worth of Lamb + Brown Rice fresh food: $144.73

Free

$4.39 per meal for a 150 lb Great Dane

2 weeks worth of Beef + Barley UnKibble: $122.94

Free

$7.25 per meal for 150 lb Great Dane

2 weeks worth of Lamb + Brown Rice fresh food: $310.13

Free

Spot & Tango’s prices differ based on what recipe you choose and your pup’s size. Each dog requires a different portion size based on activity levels and breed. I’ve taken a 25 lb mixed breed dog with regular activity to compare the different options.

For instance, the Turkey + Red Quinoa recipe is the most affordable fresh food option at around $4.66 per meal. Next up is the Beef + Millet at roughly $5.02 per meal, then there’s the Lamb + Brown Rice as the priciest option at around $7.12 per meal. Again, exact prices heavily depend on the size of your dog.

The Turkey + Red Quinoa fresh food recipe is the most popular. It costs around $39.87 per week for a 25 lb dog and $19.99 per week for the Topper plan. The Beef + Millet plan comes to $42.88 per week for the Full plan and $21.49 per week for the Topper plan. That’s around $3.00 per meal for the full serving. Image of the 4 UnKibble packets and filled bowls

But overall, the UnKibble is the cheapest option. The Beef + Barley recipe came out to $22.36 per week compared to the Chicken + Brown Rice which was $25.36 per week. The Turkey + Sweet Potato recipe is a similar price to the Chicken + Brown Rice. Both of those work out to be less than $2 per meal.

Let’s compare the pricing for a smaller dog against that of a very large dog breed. Say, for instance, a 90 lb Great Dane. Pricing for the same Turkey recipe would be around $5.71 per day, Beef + Millet would be around $6.14, and Lamb + Brown Rice would be around $8.72 per day. spot & tango pricing for fresh food

There are also 2 different options for fresh food – full meals or toppers. Many people switch their pups completely to this diet, while others choose the Topper plan, which sends a smaller amount that you add to your dog’s regular food to boost the nutritional content.

Having an option to just mix in fresh food can make this more affordable. You can also use our special discount – Get 50% off your first box + free shipping. spot & tango topper plan vs regular plan

You could also get some snacks and treats for your buddy. The Sweet Potato Bites and the Chicken Bites are $12 per bag. If your pooch wants something fancier, there’s also the Bison Bites, but they’ll set you back $14 per bag. You can add either of these options before you check out.

Lastly, you can add supplements before checkout. Spot & Tango offers 3 options to boost your dog’s health and well-being, and the price is the same for each ($26 per bag).

The initial trial period gives you 2 weeks of food for 20% off the normal price. This allows you to test the options with your pup and, if you’re not happy, Spot & Tango offers a full refund. Shipping is always free on all orders.

Shipping & Delivery

Spot & Tango starts by offering a 14-day trial, with 2 weeks of food for 20% off the normal price. Once you’re happy and finished with the trial, the food will auto-ship every 4 weeks.

The company uses FedEx Ground, and you’ll be able to track your order to find out exactly when it’ll arrive. Everything is prepared in small batches at Spot & Tango’s facility and shipped out within days of cooking. Most orders come in about 3 business days from the purchase date. Spot & Tango shipping

Delivery is available in all 48 contiguous states. Unfortunately, at this time, you can’t get Spot & Tango deliveries if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, or if you only have a PO box.

You can’t choose or change your actual delivery date, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make any other changes to your order. For example, you could edit the amount of food you receive, change your order date, change your meal options, and your delivery address. You’ll need to make these changes by 5 pm ET the day before your order gets processed.

How Spot & Tango Works

To get started with Spot & Tango, complete the meal customization quiz. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be provided with a fully custom meal plan for your puppy that takes his or her breed, weight, health, and more into consideration.

How to Sign Up

  1. Click START QUIZ: In the top-left of the home page located on the Spot & Tango website, click the START QUIZ button to begin the customization questionnaire. Start the quiz at the Spot & Tango website

  1. Provide some basic information: Enter your first name and email address, then click on CONTINUE. Spot & Tango quiz, step 1

  1. Choose how many dogs you want meals for: From here, you can select up to 4 dogs. spot & tango quiz, number of dogs

  1. Answer several more questions: Here, you’ll be asked a few more questions about your dog and your zip code. For instance, you’ll have to answer questions about your dog’s name, breed, gender, weight, activity level, and whether he or she has any health conditions. spot & tango quiz, health concerns

  1. Choose UnKibble or fresh food: Make your selection, then click Continue yet again. spot & tango, food selection

  1. Pick your recipes: Once you’ve decided whether you want UnKibble or fresh food, it’s time to choose your preferred recipes. Note that if you choose fresh food, you can also choose your preferred amount. More on that in the next step. spot & tango quiz, recipe selection

  1. Choose your plan if going with fresh food: If you decide on fresh food, choose whether you want the full (recommended) plan, or just the topper plan. spot & tango quiz, fresh food meal plan

  1. Add any snacks to your order: Here, you can add snacks to your order, or skip this step entirely. spot & tango quiz, snack upsell

  1. Continue checking out: From here, fill in the rest of your details including shipping address, billing address, and payment information to finish up the checkout process. Spot & Tango checkout process

Managing Your Subscription

It’s super easy to make any changes to your account or subscription by logging into your account dashboard. And, if at any point you have any questions, it’s easy to get in touch with customer service.

Customer Service

You can contact the customer service team by text, live chat, or phone. Someone is available via text 7 days a week from 10 am to 6 pm ET and via live chat from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm ET.  If you need a phone consultation, you can schedule one, or you can simply call (718) 514-6292 from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm ET. It’s not very straightforward to find Spot & Tango’s contact info. 

And, if you need to cancel your account or subscription, there’s a simple option right on the website under “Your Account”. By canceling, you won’t be charged for any future orders, but you’ll still receive any orders you’ve already paid for.

I personally tried out the live chat and email support. The live chat was super smooth, and the agent got back to me in under a minute. The agent was nice, knew their stuff, and was really helpful, just as I expected. spot & tango, email support

But my investigation didn’t stop there – I also tested out the email support to share what that experience was like. I received a response in about 24 hours, even on the weekend, which was a nice surprise. The email support worked as expected. The rep was friendly, well-informed, and helpful. spot & tango, email support

Last but not least, the detailed FAQ section on the website is a quick resource for answers to most common questions.

You should also know about the refund policy. Spot & Tango offers a 14-day 100% “Happy Pup Guarantee” on your first trial order. It is a bit vague, but essentially, if your pup isn’t happy with his or her food within 14 days of receiving your order, just contact support. It promises to “do everything it can to ensure you’re taken care of”. 

Plus, if you experience any issues with subsequent orders, make sure to contact support as well. The Spot & Tango team does its best to assess each issue on a case-by-case basis.

Spot & Tango Recalls

As of November 3, 2023, there are currently no active recalls for Spot & Tango.

However, on September 6, 2022, it voluntarily recalled 9,288 bags of its Chicken + Brown Rice UnKibble due to contamination with salmonella bacteria as per this FDA Enforcement Report.

Affected SKU (stock-keeping unit) numbers included T-22220, U-C-004, T-22223, U-C-005, T-22220, and U-C-006. Again, this was not an FDA-mandated recall and was voluntary, and it's since been resolved.

How Spot & Tango Compares to Other Pet Food Services

  • Spot & Tango vs. The Farmer’s Dog: The Farmer’s Dog offers a couple of benefits over Spot & Tango. For instance, you can get different food like pork instead of lamb. Additionally, Spot & Tango relies on the taurine naturally found in meat. The Farmer’s Dog, on the other hand, recognizes the importance of this additive for K9 cardiac health. As such, it fortifies all its dog food with additional taurine.

  • Spot & Tango vs. Ollie: Ollie has some advantages over Spot & Tango, which you may find appealing. For example, Ollie provides 4 fresh recipe options: Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, and Beef. Additionally, it offers mixed bowl plans that include both fresh food and baked kibble options. If you want to try it out or want to save some money by mixing it with kibble, Ollie also offers a half-fresh plan.

  • Spot & Tango vs. Nom Nom: Nom Nom features 4 fresh recipes and has a similar minimal-ingredients philosophy as Spot & Tango. Similarly, these recipes were formulated by in-house Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists. Still, Nom Nom takes things up a level with a different cooking method and a like of gut health-oriented supplements.

The Bottom Line: Is Spot & Tango Worth It?

If you want to switch your 4-legged family member to high-quality dog food, Spot & Tango offers a good selection of UnKibble and fresh food options. It makes it easy to feed your dog human-grade food with ingredients you recognize and can find at your local farmer’s market.

If you’re still not convinced that Spot & Tango is the right choice for your dog, we’ve got you covered. Head over to our review of the best human-grade dog food delivery services in 2024 to get the full scoop.

FAQ

Is Spot & Tango a healthy dog food?

Yes. It uses human-grade ingredients. Plus, all the food has been approved by veterinary professionals, so you can rely on it to best support your pup’s health.

Is Spot and Tango AAFCO approved?

Yes, all of the food meets strict guidelines set forth by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). And, while there have been some recalls in the past, there have been none in the last year.

Is UnKibble worth it?

Spot & Tango’s UnKibble may be worth it to you. You’re basically getting the benefits of fresh food while cutting down on costs. The UnKibble is dried fresh food that retains all of the same nutritional value as fresh food and remains as healthy for your pup. Actually, it contains more macronutrients per gram, too.

Is Spot & Tango UnKibble hard or soft?

Spot & Tango’s UnKibble line is not as hard and crunchy as traditional kibble, yet also not quite as soft as traditional fresh food. If you’re looking for soft food, you can try out Spot & Tango’s fresh food lineup – otherwise, you’re welcome to check out the UnKibble as well.

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