Alternatives to smartpak?

i have been using them religiously for years for tack and equipment and supplements but have recently had a bad experience with them… i can get tack anywhere, but i need to know of any alternative companies for supplements… and go

Platinum Performance and MadBarn both offer a lot of supplements. I think PP also does some kind of convenience packaging like a SmartPak but I don’t know much about it.

From what little research I’ve done, MadBarn seems pretty decent, but I haven’t looked too deep into it. I only use MSM and Hyaluronex so I have no need, but they have a good range of products.

Horsetech and Uckele.

I did Chewy autoship for supplements, and then DIY-ed my own smartpaks with small reusable containers. My barn was happy to dump the container into the grain every AM (rather than count scoops) and then put the container back for me to refill. I had 21 containers and set a reminder on my phone to refill them every 3 weeks. Cheaper than Smartpak because I bought the supplements in bulk, and less waste.

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the packaging process is patented by SmartPak

The present invention provides a multi-compartment package, a machine for the automated or semi-automated packaging of a diverse array of animal supplements into such packaging, and a process allowing efficient procurement and fulfillment of custom supplement orders.

https://patents.justia.com/assignee/smartpak-equine-l-l-c

There is no way to phrase this easily so I’ll just put it out there as food for thought:

Am I clear that you and others have used Smartpak for years with no issues, but one problem or issue is enough to switch brands or write them off forever? Keeping in mind we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, raw goods shortage, manufacturing shortage, and working crisis. I’m not connected to SP but I’ve been reading a lot of complaints about SP on this forum lately from people who had positive experiences for years but can’t tolerate one negative one.

Dover is SP’s largest competitor and has a decent supplement selection. I don’t use SP but I do feed supplements. I bought the small 3oz twist lids containers and make about a weeks worth at a time. It works for me and an added bonus is not contributing to additional waste the way disposable SPs do.

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the SmartPak plastics are recycled plastic that can be re-recycled

A person could use a Compounding Pharmacy that would follow your vet’s instructions for a personalized supplement package for your horse rather than selecting this or that at SmartPak

I was just on the PP website, they have convenience packaging just like I said. It’s called the Platinum PAK.

Santa Cruz Animal Health makes several of the UltraCruz supplements in individual serving sizes (30 or 60 day depending on the supplement).

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When I weighed the plastic used for the buckets of supplements for a month to the plastic involved in the smartpak cells the amount of plastic was much less in the cells than in the buckets.

I’ve moved to big dees for supplements, and just make my own containers. I just got the deli soup containers from amazon and make up a month at a time - luckily they fit in my old smartpak drawer!

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That’s a fair consideration. I’m always trying to reduce waste but there are some things that cannot be avoided, like tubs for supplements, oils, etc. SO thinks I am crazy for my shampoo bars… lol.

How do you think SP gets the supplements? I’m assuming a similar mode but really I have no insider info.

Do you think every barn recycles? Many of the barns I have been in have a dumpster that is catch all. The whole premise of something being recyclable relies on the consumer having recycling access and being the type to recycle. There are barns where recycling is not a possibility.

my barn does, that is the only one that I can control

I would assume they buy them in 50lb bulk bags. You can purchase your own supplements that way; I know of some large scale barns that purchase them and mix up a formula that all their horses receive. It’s possible some of their ingredients come in 500lb pallets too; probably salt, magnesium, etc.

To OP; I’d suggest Uckele if you are ok that they aren’t individually packaged, or platinum performance if you the same style as Smartpak provides.

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Mine also recycles them.

I can’t control what other barns do with the left over buckets either. Many people say the buckets are better because they re-use them for other jobs.

My comment about the plastic is simply that there is no reason to be angry at someone who wants to do their supplements this way.

To the OP, you can buy supplements at any number of online places. KV vet, valley vet, Dover, etc. Just google whatever supplements you want to use and figure out the best place to buy.

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I’ve had the same thought lately. I had to return something to SP and I could tell the girl on the phone was expecting to get fussed at. I assured her I work retail as well and would be the last person to yell at her for something beyond her control. She let out such a relieved sigh, “that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me today.” C’mon, people, some patience goes a long way.

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Aw, that poor rep. I have zero affiliation with SP but after seeing all the comments lately feel for those working at SP. It seems like a lot is going wrong and so much of it is out of just about everyone’s control. We’re seeing manufacturer shortages in everything, it’s not just the horse world. A huge project my town is working on has an estimated delay of 1-2 yrs because some sort of backlog with a metal manufacturer. Increased costs + worker shortage and production halting due to COVID has a lot of long term impacts on the market.

Gotcha. I hope you didn’t infer from my posts that I was angry about recycling. I’ll have to reread what I said and make sure that isn’t how it comes across, because that’s not how it was intended and I don’t care what mode people use to get their supplements in a horse. I only mentioned recycling because it’s a small perk to me in my personal barn to reduce as much waste as possible.

StormyDay has me thinking about 50lb bags now… I don’t think I could go through 50lb of supplement fast enough before it expired or lost potency but hmm, the potential. Vit E is my main supplement for my horses and storing it here is a PITA because it will degrade rapidly out of climate controlled settings.

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Plastic recycling is, as we now know, not really a thing. Even in California “ at least 85% of single-use plastics in the state do not actually get recycled.” Even though they’ve been diligently sorted and placed in the right bin on garbage night.

Far better to Reduce and Reuse before you Recycle then. Reduce the amount of plastic you buy as wrappers and containers (and reduce demand for plastics as a result) and reuse what you do buy.

I buy Cal Trace in 20# feed sacks that I reuse and decant into Tupperware cups for daily use, and in the past loved Horsetech for supplying my custom supps in reusable lidded 5g buckets which I have to this day and use all the time.

Also consider the impact of monthly deliveries of supps in small quantities vs a 6 month supply in a big bucket for example.

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Also donsider the waste of tossing out a bunch of supplements that expire or go bad.

When you have one horse on various things, huge containers tend to not work well.

I am glad huge containers work for some people.

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Yeah I’d hope people would do the math before buying a big container. I have one horse and it works for me. Also can’t recommend a custom supp from Horsetech highly enough - it’s all in one bucket, and one delivery.

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