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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
This article was produced in partnership with A Pup Above, who offered our testers free samples in exchange for an honest review.
As pet parents, we know there are few everyday tasks that are more daunting than mealtime with a picky pup. Finicky eaters are hard to please, and it can be challenging to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients to stay happy and healthy. To find nutritious, tempting food for our selective eaters, we tested A Pup Above’s bone-broth simmered fresh food.
Our reviewers considered everything from sustainable packaging and practical storage solutions to dog appeal and cleanup.
The bottom line? If it’s in your budget, we found A Pup Above’s Bone Broth Food a promising solution for picky eaters—with a sustainable footprint we were happy about.
The Advantages of Bone Broth Food for Dogs
A Pup Above offers gently-cooked fresh food that arrives frozen and thaws in your fridge before mealtime. It distinguishes itself from the competition with its nutrient-preserving sous-vide cooking method, a focus on protein, and the inclusion of bone broth—in which the ingredients are simmered before they’re packed up.
The bone broth in particular caught our attention. Considered a canine superfood, bone broth offers much-needed minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, plus amino acids that promote liver health. As bones boil down, they release collagen, which is thought to reduce inflammation, promote gut health, and repair skin, joints, and fur.
Most helpful for pet parents of finicky pups, however, is the fact that bone broth packs a punch of meaty flavor. It’s a popular way to entice picky eaters—just splash a bit on your dog’s food to make it more appealing, or soak kibble with it and stuff it into food puzzles.
It can, however, be tricky to store, since it doesn’t last long in the fridge once opened, and you want to keep tabs on how much your pup is consuming at meal times. We were anxious to try a dog food formulated with the flavors of bone broth included, both for the appeal to our pups and the convenience for us.
Testing A Pup Above’s Bone Broth Dog Food on Picky Eaters
We tested A Pup Above’s beef, turkey, chicken, and pork recipes on four pups in two different households. Our primary concern was finding a food all our pups—some of them very picky indeed—liked. Here’s the breakdown:
Roo is a Lab/Terrier rescue mix with a very particular palate who gets bored with food easily. She rotated through A Pup Above’s beef, chicken, and pork recipes over the course of a couple weeks. To Roo’s mom’s surprise, Roo loved it as much at the end of the testing period as she did the first day. Said dog mom Elizabeth, “I was even able to use it for training and add it to food puzzles that she had seemingly lost interest in—I guess what’s inside really does matter!”
Biscuit, a nine-year-old Beagle, gobbled down the food in true Beagle fashion. Biscuit was representing the more food-enthusiastic crowd, and A Pup Above passed a relatively low bar with flying colors.
Riley, a Dachshund with 18 years under his belt, made a more impressive showing. He barely has any teeth left, let alone an appetite—but he licked his bowl clean, which was a huge win in the taste department.
Accio, an 11-year-old Shiba Inu, was the pickiest tester of all. Still protesting the day his mom stopped cooking homemade food ten years ago, he ranks A Pup Above well within his top three tastiest dog foods of all time. His initial enthusiasm waned after two weeks, but rather than rejecting the food completely (as he typically does), Accio is still willing to eat the turkey recipe, his favorite, when fed by hand.
Dog Parents Review A Pup Above Food for Ease of Use
Our pet-parent testers gave A Pup Above’s food high marks, noting that calibrating your buying schedule to your storage capabilities is the key to keeping things simple.
Recyclable Packaging and Freezer Storage
Both of our pet-parent testers appreciated A Pup Above’s tidy packaging, which comes with dry ice to keep things frozen during delivery.
Elizabeth reported, “Often deterred by the amount of waste that comes with both human and dog delivery meals, I appreciated that all of A Pup Above’s packaging was recyclable—even their delivery boxes and box liners are curbside recyclable. (And if you’re super re-purposers like my family, you can use the dried ice to kill off invasive weeds in your garden.)”
Christal had a little more trouble. She lacked Elizabeth’s substantial freezer, which made it hard to keep large quantities of the food on hand. Ordering smaller amounts more frequently or making more regular trips to the store could help—but it was a little less convenient.
Both testers appreciated that A Pup Above’s partnership with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company, made it easy to recycle empty bags. You fill out a quick form online and are sent a prepaid envelope in which to pack your empty food pouches. There’s no need to clean them—just put them in the envelope and drop it in the mail.
Note that the prepaid envelope can take up to two weeks to deliver, so plan to store the empty food bags for a little while.
How easy A Pup Above is to feed depends on your situation.
Elizabeth found it remarkably convenient: “I’d just take a portion (one portion = one pound) from the freezer and pop it in the fridge overnight. I noticed that the texture stayed fresh and didn’t dry out as some canned dog foods do after a day. The moisture from the bone broth kept it juicy, so there was always a layer of liquid—especially with the grain-free options. While the food stays good in the fridge for up to seven days, it never lasted that long in our house with multiple pups.”
Christal learned early on that her chilly fridge meant the food needed a long defrost time—more than a day. It wasn’t as easy as pouring out a bowl of kibble, but the texture put it far ahead of other fresh foods she’s tried. “I like how close to meat texture this is compared to other products that either have a mushy or oily texture. This doesn’t leave oily residue on my hands if I have to pick it up.”
It was, however, a little messier to put into Kongs and other puzzle toys (and left some rice in her very shaggy carpet).
Who Will Like A Pup Above’s Bone Broth Dog Food?
Our testers both gave A Pup Above positive reviews, noting that it was a big hit among picky eaters and more convenient to feed than a lot of the fresh dog food options currently on the market. The environmentally friendly packaging was the cherry on top. We think it’s likely to find lots of fans, especially among:
- Picky pups who regularly turn their nose up at dog food
- Pet parents trying to reduce their environmental impact
- Dog parents who want a less messy fresh food
- Pups who need a meal-topper to get them interested in their regular food
There are a few pet parents, though, who might want to consider A Pup Above as a meal topper rather than the main course:
- Budget-conscious pet parents looking to keep dog food costs to a healthy minimum
- Pet parents with little or no freezer space
- Pups who need the hydration from a true bone broth additive
- Pet parents who free-feed their dogs (no fresh dog food should sit out for hours)
For more information, visit A Pup Above on the web and use discount code ROVER50 for $50 off your first order.Visit A Pup Above
Talk to Your Vet Before Choosing Any New Dog Food
While dog food with bone broth is a great option for picky eaters, we recommend consulting with your vet before introducing new foods into your pup’s diet. If your dog has any current health issues, your vet may be able to recommend the product that will best support their specific needs—or steer you away from foods that could exacerbate their symptoms.
To switch your dog over to fresh food, take it slow. Start by mixing the new food into your dog’s regular diet in small amounts over the course of three days. If that goes well, increase the amount of fresh food in your dog’s diet to 50%. If your pup’s stomach is still happy at the end of a week, you’re ready to make the full switch to a new diet.