Since 2008, Smack Pet Foods have been proudly producing high quality pet products out of their Winnipeg, Manitoba facility. The Smack team are committed to providing pets with the healthiest, and most convenient foods in today’s pet food marketplace. Their foods are backed by food engineering, biochemistry, holistic medicine, and a deep love of animals. These are the tools that allow Smack to develop an innovative, industry-leading approach to pet food manufacturing. 

But does Smack Pet Foods really live up to the hype? Let’s explore this brand further.

Smack Pet Food Formulas and Ingredients

Smack is available in eight original formulas; five recipes for dog, and three for cat. All of Smack’s formulas are based on fresh, organic produce, with a variety of proteins from chicken, to fish, to pork. The chicken sourced for Smack’s dog and cat formulas is certified organic, Canadian-grown, free-range chicken meeting USDA specifications. All chickens are raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones, or other drugs. The entire chicken is used in Smack’s formulations, including healthy bones and organs, which is conducive to raw feeding.

Smack uses a delectable assortment of fish in their fish-based recipes; salmon, wild-caught rockfish, and wild caught herring. Wild-caught fish are a popular choice because, like organically farmed meats, they are typically free from growth hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs that often make their way into mainstream farms. Fish is a rich source of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, promoting optimal heart health, skin and coat health, and brain function and development. Fish is also a highly palatable protein, for both dogs and cats, and is easier to digest than red meats.

Every recipe in the Smack lineup uses an impressive assortment of certified organic produce, something that is widely unheard of in the pet food industry. These nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients include pumpkin, spinach, apples, kale, parsley, turmeric, blueberries, cranberries, and more. 

Smack Pet Foods are naturally preserved, using only mixed tocopherols; compounds found in the vitamin E family. Tocopherols are mighty antioxidants, effective at naturally slowing the spoilage of food. This is a popular and healthy substitute to undesirable chemical preservatives. Because Smack formulas are dehydrated, they have extremely low moisture (maximum 4%), and therefore do not require additional preservatives. 

And that’s it. Smack Pet Foods contain no grains (like wheat, corn, and soy), potato, fillers, or other objectionable ingredients commonly found in today’s pet foods. Additionally, Smack formulations contain no synthetic ingredients whatsoever. In today’s pet food marketplace, the vast majority of commercial pet foods are highly processed, thus requiring synthetic vitamin premixes to be added. Very few commercial pet foods are synthetic free.

During production of the most common pet food brands, much of the nutrient and vitamin density is lost due to high processing. As a result, pet foods are required to fortify their products with synthetic vitamins and minerals to ensure nutritional completeness. In fact, there are only a small handful of pet foods available in Canada that are healthy enough to not require this manufactured supplementation. Because of their gentle air drying process, Smack Pet Foods are among the very few synthetic free brands.

How Is Pet Food Dehydrated?

The manufacturing process for dehydrated raw dog food and cat food is very different than that of kibbles. To create kibble, all of the ingredients are mixed together into a paste, which is then extruded to create the classic kibble shape. Next, the kibbles are cooked at high temperatures to remove moisture, which compromises the integrity of naturally occurring nutrients. With that said, manufacturing processes vary widely by brand, with today’s leading pet food manufacturers now using gentler cooking processes for their foods. 

With dehydrated raw foods, the ingredients are only minimally processed, and then gently air dried to create pieces that resemble a jerky-like texture. Because of this, dehydrated raw food can best be described as wholefoods in their natural form, without their original moisture. 

The air drying process used to produce Smack Pet Foods is slow, and exceptionally gentle. This allows Smack’s formulas to retain the original vitamins and nutrients present in their raw, unaltered form. This is why Smack Pet Foods do not require synthetics of any kind. 

Simplicity, Availability and Pricing

The only con to this food may be the price. Dehydrated raw cat food and dog foods are not the most budget friendly, and typically cost more per meal compared to traditional extruded kibble. For certain pet owners, especially those with large or multiple pets, Smack may be somewhat cost prohibitive. This doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, as feeding one of the best quality pet foods in the world naturally comes with a higher price tag. With that being said, Smack Pet Foods are still more affordable than many popular, less nutritious brands.

If the cost of Smack is prohibitive, that’s alright. This is an exceptionally high quality food that can be fed as a supplemental meal booster; simply mix it with your pet’s regular food. Or, use it as a delicious reward, snack, or training treat. Any time your pet eats Smack, they’re benefiting from the world’s best super foods, and the nutritional benefits that come with them.

Smack Pet Foods do not have a history of recalls or shortages, and are now largely available to purchase both online, and in pet specialty retail stores. Smack’s dehydrated raw foods are very simple to feed compared to frozen raw diets. With frozen raw pet foods, you must thaw it in advance, with a strict emphasis on using safe handling and cleanup practices. Frozen raw pet foods are inconvenient to travel with, too. However, with dehydrated raw, your pet’s food is stable at room temperature, and you simply feed it in just the same way you would kibble. It can also be re-hydrated with warm water, if you wish, however this isn’t necessary. Essentially, dehydrated raw foods offer all the nutritional benefits of frozen raw, without the hassle and bacteria concerns.

Overall Opinion of Smack Pet Foods

As pet experts with thirty years experience in holistic pet health and nutrition, we are very excited about the Smack Pet Food lineup. Smack joins a select category of synthetic-free pet foods, using nothing but wholesome super food ingredients. Very few products in today’s pet food marketplace come close to the quality of Smack.

About Brandon Forder

Brandon holds multiple certifications in pet nutrition and canine psychology. He has more than twenty-five years experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour, and healthy pet lifestyles. Brandon has a lifelong passion for helping people become great pet parents. He has written hundreds of informative pet-related articles for newspapers, magazines, web, and radio.

40 Responses

    1. Hello, Patti. Thank you for your question. All Smack foods are grain free and contain low glycemic ingredients, so all Smack formulas should be perfectly suitable for a diabetic pet. With any diabetic pet, it is critical to monitor blood glucose levels regardless of their diet. I am happy to help if you have any questions in this regard.

  1. Hi Brandon, My 6 month old labradoodle has had digestion issues for about a month now after two rounds of antibiotics the vet thinks it could be food sensitivity. I’m thinking of switching to smack raw food but I am worried about the bacterias that can be found in the raw food. Is smack safe for dogs with food sensitivity? Is it normal if they have diarrhea after the switch even if it”s gradual?

    1. Hello, Sarah. Thank you for taking the time to post your questions. I am happy to help.

      Here is some information on the Smack website regarding bacteria in their products:

      The water activity level (measure of food safety) of our air dried meats are lower than the baseline required to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and molds. The meat initially goes through a lethality phase during the beginning parts of dehydration, eliminating all pathogens.

      We take a lot of pride in our quality. As such, we test all the batches prior to leaving our facility. None of the foods that leave our facility for sale or resale have tested positive for pathogens or mold. Since we started in 2008, we have not had a single incident or recall.

      I have zero concerns about the safety of any Smack brand; they are among the highest quality pet foods in the world. I hope this helps address your concerns. I am at your service if you have any further questions. Thank you, Sarah!

  2. What Brand do you recommend for a French/Mini American Bulldog mix? She’s 8 months old and does experience a lot of flatulating

    1. Hello, Penny. Thank you for your question.

      When it comes to a high quality dog food, Smack is among the best in the world and is one of our highest rated dog foods. Smack’s formulas are suitable for all life stages; perfect for your little pup.

      If you are curious about our other highly recommended brands, please check out my Top 21 Canadian Dog Foods 2021 list.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Penny. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. I have been feeding raw for over 12 years, before it became a “thing” and I am so tired of people thinking they will get salmonella or bacteria from raw pet food. Unless you are a vegetarian, you eat meat and touch it when you cook it. Just wash your hands and use separate bowls for your pets. I follow my dogs meals with some fresh vegetables and fruit to clean their mouths. Not once have I ever been sick and I was born immunocompromised. I do nothing special but soap and water. Raw is the best for your dogs and cats too. Mine have beautiful white teeth and healthy weight. Soft silky fur and no allergies. I feed frozen raw but have been looking into dehydrated for our cat so I can leave it out longer. Raw is species appropriate. Don’t let your Vet try scare tactics, they have little to no training in diet and feeding, they make a profit selling their prescription food which is the worst garbage out there. Do your homework, your pets will love you for putting their health first and giving them the best 🙂

  4. I have a 3 years old maltipoo extremely picky eater… I have tried everything but haven’t found anything that he loves for more than a week! I took him off kibbles completely and regret it
    Since he is very picky I would feel more comfortable if I could try a small sample
    Would you be able to let me know where I could get a small sample for my dog to try
    Thank you

    1. Hello, Mojgan. Thank you for reading!

      Unfortunately, we do not have samples of Smack, however small bags of Smack start at $10.99.

      I hope you find this information helpful.

  5. Hi Brandon, I was reading your article on best dog foods and reading about Smack dehydrated raw & saw a post from a pet owner who’s 6 month old French bulldog is having itchy skin & hives & your reply to her. My 6 month old Frenchie has had the same issue since we had gotten him. Without providing all the details here, we have tried many things to try to resolve it (including vet visits), as well as trying several different foods ect. Your advise on what food you would recommend, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

    1. Hello Susie, thank you for taking the time to post your comments. Without enough information, solving food allergies can be tricky. I am happy to help, however this conversation would be best held over the phone as I have a few questions. Please feel free to contact me directly 905-464-0563. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Hello, I have a 1 year old English Golden Retriever. After reading a lot about high protein levels potentially causing heart disease, I am hesitant to feed a higher protein food. Do you have any insight on this issue and Smack’s high protein content? The high quality is so important to me, but Im afraid of the protein. Insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hello, Beth. Thank you for posting.

      With regards to your concerns about high protein diets potentially causing heart disease, I assume you are referring to the FDA’s investigation into grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. Since the investigation’s launch in 2018, the FDA has not been able to find any conclusive scientific evidence supporting this theory. To get a more balanced perspective, I would recommend reading my article Everything You Need To Know About DCM in Dogs.

      Additionally, in June 2020 a group of veterinarians, veterinary cardiologists, and animal nutritionists from pet care research and consulting firm BSM Partners has determined the available studies looking at the potential causes of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs do not support a link between diet and the disease.

      Given this information, I have no concerns about healthy dogs being fed grain free, high protein dog foods. Of course, if your dog has any underlying health problems that warrant protein restrictions, that would be another matter.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Beth. Please let me know if you have any further questions. I am at your service! 🙂

    1. Hello, Brad. Thank you for your questions.

      Smack’s formulas are suitable for dogs of all life stages, including puppies.

      With regards to what to feed a new puppy, please check out my Top 21 Canadian Dog Foods 2021 list. Smack is our #1 overall rated Canadian dog food.

  7. Hi Brandon,
    I have started my Boston terrier 9 week old pup on Smack after doing extensive research. I had my first vet check the other day and the vet told me she had never heard of Smack and did not recommend feeding raw because they don’t get all the vitamins and minerals etc..
    She recommended Royal Canin which I googled and the first ingredient was by product chicken, wheat gluten, corn, brewers yeast etc.. It is crap. I am so disappointed she would recommend it. I am really starting to question everything. My sister told me that she is a vet, she should know what is good for your dog…. I am so confused.

    1. Hello, Carrie. Thank you for posting your questions and comments. I am happy to help.

      Veterinarians are an absolutely vital part of the pet industry and serve many necessary functions, however it is important to understand their areas of expertise. While vets are proficient in certain areas like medicine and anatomy, the majority of vets do not have much formalized education in nutrition. Obviously there are exceptions; these are my general findings from my almost 30 years in the pet/vet industry.

      Royal Canin is a major player in the pet industry. They are owned by Mars Petcare, the largest pet food manufacturer in the world with annual revenues in excess of $17-billion. Mars also owns Iams, Pedigree, Sheba, Eukanuba, Cesar, Whiskas, Nutro, and Greenies.

      Royal Canin is the largest brand of veterinary exclusive pet foods in Canada, and unfortunately, most vets do not know they are being mislead by brands like Royal Canin who provide misinformation in favour of their products. Additionally, I recommend reading my article The Truth About Prescription Pet Foods.

      Ok, now let’s talk about Smack. For anyone to say Smack does not provide adequate nutrition is simply absurd. Smack is my #1 overall rated Canadian dog food in my Top 21 Canadian Dog Foods 2021 list, and is among the absolute best pet foods in the world.

      You are right to question the quality of ingredients used in brands like Royal Canin. When a manufacturer has the opportunity to use wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients, but rather uses fractions and fillers is a big red flag. In my opinion, Royal Canin is an entry-level health food at best; it certainly does not belong with the super premium pet foods of this world (like Smack). Nonetheless, Royal Canin is among the most expensive pet foods on the market, and given the quality of ingredients used in their formulas, is not a price that can be easily justified.

      Prescription pet foods like Royal Canin certainly do have their place, especially in pets with certain health conditions that warrant specific nutrition. With that said, there are almost always alternative ways of dealing with these issues through better nutritional sources.

      It is always wise to ask the opinions of those who are experts in their fields, however it is equally wise to do your due diligence to ensure you are getting sound and unbiased advice.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Carrie. I am at your service if you have any questions or comments.

  8. I have been feeding my 9 month old Chihuahua Smack for almost 2 weeks now transitioning him slowly from his previous food. He is now at 3/4 Smack and 1/4 his previous kibble twice a day. His poop is very soft, not diahrea but very soft and it is not getting firmer. I would very much like to continue with Smack food. I have tried giving him a bit of pumpkin as well hoping this would help. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hello, Sandra. Thank you for posting your questions.

      Based on the information you have provided, I would first make sure your dog is not being overfed. Overfeeding is one of the most common causes of stool inconsistencies in dogs. With small dogs, even a little bit extra can push a dog past their digestive threshold. Food, treats, people food, and more can add up quickly.

      I would double check to make sure your dog is consuming an amount conducive to their size, weight, and activity level.

      Please follow up with me and let me know your progress. Thank you, Sandra!

  9. I have a chihuahua of 6 years old who is about 3 to 4 pounds overweight. I talked to my vet and he suggested a diet food so she could lose weight. Would Smack food would be appropriate for my dog?

    1. Hello, Nicole. Yes! Smack would be a great choice providing you are feeding the correct amount. Simply follow Smack’s feeding guidelines and you will be just fine.

  10. I have the sample pack coming to me, wondering what size serving I should be giving to my 7lb Toy Poodle? it’s hard not to overfeed her when she’s so small! she has also had her back molars removed on the top, so I’m thinking I should be adding a bit of warm water to soften it up a bit for her.

    1. Hello, Jen. Thank you for posting.

      Adding warm water to soften the Smack is always a good idea.

      For a 7lb dog, you can feed between 1/3 – 1/2 cup daily.

  11. Hi,
    I have had my 7 month old pup on smack for 1 month now, but her stools have been so soft since. I very much would like to continue her on smack but she now had a streak of blood in her stool, and the vet has stated it is bacteria from the freeze dry food, as they’ve checked her a few times now. What could be causing this? I just bought my second batch of Prairie Harvest Pork, and am now disappointed I’ll have to yet again change her food. Too bad, I have a picky eater, and she really gobbled this up!

    1. Hello, Arora. Thank you for posting.

      I have not heard of bacteria from commercial dehydrated raw food causing blood in the stool. With regards to your dog’s soft stool, are you overfeeding, by chance? Many dogs will have loose bowel movements if they are overfed; this includes dog food, treats, people food, etc. Sometimes, the total amount of consumables push a dog past their digestive threshold. If you have adjusted food portions and are still having inconsistent stools, then it may be worthwhile to try another formula or brand to determine if the food is the cause. Dehydrated raw foods like Smack are among the most popular foods for dogs with sensitive digestive systems, so I find it odd that your dog is having these issues.

      I am happy to help if you have any questions, Arora.

  12. Hi Brandon,

    I have a 4-month old labradoodle, who’s the fussiest eater in the world! I’ve tried frozen raw food (different brands, different proteins for every meal), Smack, Zeal, Stella & Chewy, and homemade cooked foods but still can’t find one that he likes. I did try everything that I could to make him eat (take the bowl away after 10 minutes, skip a few meals, etc) but still this guy is in protest on and off. Do you have any food recommendations for super fussy eater?

    Thanks,
    Avery

    1. Hello, Avery. Thank you for posting.

      First, we want to make sure your dog does not have any underlying health problems.

      Second, providing your dog is in good overall health, fussy behaviour like this is often a learned behaviour; many dogs are not born fussy, they become fussy. There are a few ways you can approach this, and it looks like you have been trying different approaches. Ultimately, you are already feeding some of the most highly palatable foods on the market (dehydrated raw, frozen raw, etc).

      Question for you. When you offer your dog a meal and he refuses to eat, what do you do? If you doctor the meal with people food (for example), then this may further encourage your dog to continue his fussy behaviour because he easily recognizes if he refuses what is offered to him, new food will be added to the bowl.

      You can either continue to experiment with the many “high value” foods on the market, or you may have to scale back on the “extras” until normal eating behaviour becomes more routine.

      Please feel free to contact me directly at 905-464-0563 if you would like to discuss this further. I have several ideas on how we can approach this situation.

  13. I have struggled with my dog’s diet for so long… until I found Smack. Before, my little Jax (Jack Russell) was chewing himself raw – especially his legs. I tried so many foods. Even those expensive vet foods did not help an iota. Now, after being on Smack for a little while, Jax is not scratching anymore, his fur has grown back thick and full, and he seems like a much happier dog overall.

    I love this food and I am so thankful for what it has done for my best friend.

    1. Thank you for your post, Cheryl. What an amazing turnaround for Jax! I am so happy to hear how well he is doing now.

      Keep up the great work! 🙂

  14. I have my 3 1/2 pound Yorky on smack for about three months now. She eats quite a bit. But she seems to be losing weight, I can’t afford her to lose.
    She has a veterinarian appointment next week. Any suggestions on good healthy treats I could add to the smack as well to put on a bit of weight?

    1. Hello, Judy. Thank you for your post.

      Providing your dog is in good overall health and has no underlying issues, getting your dog to gain weight should be as easy as increasing your dog’s caloric intake. You can easily do this by increasing the amount of Smack, dietary supplements, high quality treats, or a combination of these.

      I wouldn’t necessarily recommend adding treats to your dog’s food, rather, consider adding another dehydrated raw food for a burst of flavour. Smack makes 5 dog formulations, so consider mixing or rotating between these and I’m sure your dog’s level of interest will increase.

      I hope this is helpful, Judy. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help!

    1. Hello, Kim.

      Yes, Smack is perfectly suitable for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Simply follow the feeding guideline and you are good to go with one of the highest quality pet foods in the world!

  15. My new puppy was not eating any of the foods I gave her. I tried Smack and she cannot get enough!
    Is it ok to feed my puppy a variety of flavours from the Smack line up? Or is it best to stick with one flavour? I thought giving her a variety would give more nutritional benefit. I bought a sample pack and she loves them all!
    Also, how long do you feed from the puppy column?

    1. Hello, Tammy. Thank you for your post.

      Yes, you can certainly rotate among the Smack formulas.

      Feeding the puppy column depends on the breed, however for most dogs, you can switch to the adult guideline around 12 months of age.

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