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WSAVA’s Recommendations on Selecting Pet Foods

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has published a set of questions to ask when selecting a dog food. These questions are meant to help pet parents make an informed decision when selecting food for their dog. Though WSAVA does not offer any certifications, below are the WSAVA questions along with Spot & Tango’s answers in blue.

A.The Manufacturer's Name and Contact Information

This allows a member of the veterinary team or the pet owner to contact the manufacturer to ask the following questions:

Spot & Tango

575 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10017


Email us at info@spotandtango.com

Text or call us at: 718-514-6292

1.Do you employ a full time qualified nutritionist?

We work with a team of animal nutritionists and DVMs who lead the product development process from R&D and recipe formulation, to lab analysis, feeding tests, and licensing. This team is employed on a part-time basis. Names are available upon request.

2.Who formulates your foods and what are his/her credentials?

Appropriate qualifications are either a PhD in animal nutrition or board-certification by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) or the European College of Veterinary Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN). What is this nutritionist’s name and qualifications?

Dr. Susan Lauten, PhD

AAVN – American Association of Veterinary Nutrition

Medical Advisory Board, Knoxville Zoo

Reviewer for American Veterinary Medical Association and Journal of Nutrition

3.Are your diets tested using AAFCO feeding trials or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles?

If the latter, do they meet AAFCO nutrient profiles by formulation or by analysis of the finished product?

Yes, our recipes are developed according to the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and are Complete & Balanced for All Life Stages. Recipes meet AAFCO nutrient profiles by formulation and by analysis of the finished product.

4.Where are your foods produced and manufactured?

Spot & Tango’s recipes are prepared in state-of-the-art, USDA audited, SQF Level 3 facilities in New York and Wisconsin.

5.What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your ingredients and the end product?

Spot & Tango has stringent quality control processes from procurement, to production, packaging, and distribution. Our suppliers are thoroughly audited to ensure the highest quality standards, and each ingredient we use is USDA-certified for human consumption (a higher safety standard than most pet foods). Meals are made in small batches at low temperatures because it gives us more control to maintain nutritional integrity and proper safety. We then test each batch for foodborne diseases such as Salmonella and E. Coli prior to packaging. Our Fresh recipes are perishable, and thus require additional safety considerations. These meals are flash-frozen and safely shipped using dry ice and insulation to maintain freshness. By inspecting each ingredient and rigorously testing throughout the supply chain, we ensure that every meal meets our high standards for quality and safety – from farm to bowl.

6.Will you provide a complete nutrient analysis for the dog food in question?

(Can they provide an average/ typical analysis, not just the guaranteed analysis which is only the minimums or maximums and not an exact number)? You should be able to ask for any nutrient - e.g. protein, phosphorus, sodium, etc. - and get an exact number. This should ideally be given on an energy basis (i.e. grams per 100 kilocalories or grams per 1,000 kilocalories), rather than on an ‘as fed’ or ‘dry matter’ basis which don’t account for the variable energy density of different foods.

Our guaranteed analyses for all products can be found on our recipes page! If you have more specific questions about a nutrient, we’re happy to share that information upon request.

7.What is the caloric value per gram, can, or cup of your foods?

Please visit our recipes page for a breakdown of caloric value (kcal/g) by recipe.

8.What kind of product research has been conducted?

Are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?

All of our products undergo extensive research and development before they’re made available to you and your pup! This process includes research, recipe formulation, prototyping, lab analysis, feeding tests, and licensing. We work with a team of experts in animal nutrition throughout this rigorous process, including an industry leading veterinary nutritionist. All recipes have undergone extensive testing at New Jersey Feed Lab and Midwest Laboratories to guarantee proper amino acid, fatty acid, and vitamin and mineral levels appropriate for dogs.

Thousands of happy dogs are thriving on a fresh, real ingredient diet from Spot & Tango. Though we haven’t yet published any peer-reviewed studies, we hope to make that research available in the future.

B.AAFCO Adequacy Statement

In some countries (including the US), the AAFCO adequacy statement is included on the label. This statement confirms three important facts:

1.Whether the diet is complete and balanced.

All over- the-counter foods should be complete and balanced. If the statement reads ’for intermittent or supplemental use only,’ it is not complete and balanced. That may be acceptable if it is a veterinary therapeutic diet and is being used for a specific purpose - e.g. in a case of severe kidney disease - but should be avoided in over- the-counter pet foods.

Yes, Spot & Tango is Complete and Balanced.

2.If the food is complete and balanced, what life stage is it intended?

AAFCO provides nutrient profiles and feeding trial requirements for growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance, but not for senior/geriatric pets. A food that is formulated to meet the AAFCO profiles for all life stages must meet the minimum nutrient levels for both growth and adult maintenance.

Spot & Tango is intended for All Life Stages.

3.If the food is complete and balanced, how did the company determine this?

Labels may include one of two statements regarding nutritional adequacy: “[Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for [life stage(s)].” (Analysis of food.), “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate [Name] provides complete and balanced nutrition for [life stage(s)].” (Feeding trial evaluation of food.)

Spot & Tango is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance.

Formulated foods are manufactured so the ingredients meet specified levels, either based on the recipe or on analytical testing of the finished product, without testing via feeding trials. While feeding trials help to test for the food’s nutritional adequacy, the use of feeding trials does not guarantee that the food provides adequate nutrition under all conditions. It is important to ensure that the criteria in section A also help to ensure that the food is made by a reputable and knowledgeable company with strict quality control measures.

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