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Fresh dog food delivery is a hot new trend. Think of it as Blue Apron for dogs—only the cooking is already done for you. If you’ve ever considered homemade dog food, or wish your dog could eat whole, fresh foods more often, then these solutions might be a fit. And if those puppy dog eyes are any indication, your dogs wouldn’t mind, either. Homemade dog food delivery doesn’t come cheap, but it’s very convenient. There are now several companies that deliver fresh, prepared foods to your door for your pet. We tested six top options to give you the scoop on each.
How fresh are these dog meal kits? Well, they basically smell like your leftovers, and they look like a hearty stew, minus all the liquid. Packaging varies, from tear-off pouches to yogurt-like containers; some are frozen, others stored in the fridge. Read on for the full details, including price ranges. Get links to exclusive discounts for Rover readers, too!
Why Fresh Food for Dogs?
Alternative foods are gaining popularity among pet owners. Disenchantment with large pet food brands, concern over the quality of ingredients, and an increased focus on how food affects a pet’s health have led owners to consider a range of options from grain-free to raw food diets or making their own meals at home.
Fresh dog food delivery services take the place of making your pet’s food from scratch. They start with fresh, whole ingredients like lean proteins, veggies, and whole grains, package them up, and ship them to your door. They also make sure their recipes meet AAFCO standards for pet food, which means the foods include the vitamins and minerals needed to make a food nutritionally complete for your dog.
Many owners who’ve made the switch to fresh food say the diet has improved their pet’s coat, energy levels, and other health conditions. We weren’t able to test the long-term effects on our taste-tester dogs, but we can verify that they enjoyed each and every meal from this review.
You can feed these meals to your dogs as mixer add-ons to their current food, as a kind of dietary supplement, or feed them fresh food exclusively. If you’re using these meal kits as a supplement, the cost is lower. Whatever you decide, there’s likely to be a transition period where you’ll slowly introduce the fresh food to your pet so as to avoid any tummy upsets.
Testing the Top Fresh Dog Food Delivery Brands
Note: We were sent complimentary dog food packages for this review, but we did not receive any compensation. All opinions are our own.
Most Variety: NomNomNow
Price: $30 to $120 per week
*Use this link to sign up for NomNomNow, and receive 20% off your first order, plus free treats!
What they got right: Their system was the easiest to use: Small, space-saving packaging, portioned out by meal (two meals a day), so all I had to do was open a bag and pour it into the bowl. Their food also looked the freshest and most naturally colorful of all the brands.
What sets them apart:
- Small, space-saving vacuum-sealed plastic bags with easy-tear tops
- Each serving is individually packaged (two servings per day per dog)
- The package has the name of the food and all the ingredients in it
- These had the most vibrant colors of the brands we tried
- My dogs seemed most excited to eat this one
- They also offer meals for cats
Available recipes: Chicken Chow Wow (I could see individual sweet potato bites in this), Heartland Beef Mash, Tasty Turkey Fare, Porkalicious Potluck, Egg & Veggie Medley.
Recyclable Packaging: Pet Plate
Price: $23 to $90 per week
Why they got runner-up: Packaging was, again, key here. Being able to easily place a lid back on the food when I didn’t need the whole bowl was convenient but didn’t take up an obnoxious amount of space. I also loved that the insulating liner was made with recycled bottles. They lost points because it was a little challenging to understand exactly how much food to give my pets, even with the feeding guidelines printed on the label.
What sets them apart:
- Food comes in compact yogurt-container type bowls with resealable lids — which made it easy to save the rest for later
- Feeding guidelines are printed on the label
- The insulation was made with recycled bottles and, depending on where you live, was recyclable
Recipes available: Braised Lamb (I could see quinoa in it!), Oven Roasted Turkey (hearty chunks of vegetables), Harvest Chicken, Farmhouse Beef
DIY Options: The Farmer’s Dog
Price: $18+ per week
*Use this link to sign up for The Farmer’s Dog and get 50% off your first two weeks!
Our experience: I loved the dissolvable cornstarch and that the dog names were on each individual package, and my pets were perfectly happy with the food. They were just as convenient as Evermore, and are really tied with them in my book.
What sets them apart:
- Vacuum sealed with your dog’s name on the label to avoid any confusion
- Custom portioned for your dog per day
- The box is packed with dissolvable cornstarch insulation (yay for the environment)
- If you’d rather cook the food yourself, they have a DIY option that sends you all the ingredients you’ll need and a recipe to follow
Available recipes: Turkey, chicken, beef, pork
All About Education: Ollie
Price: $9 to $42 per week
If you click on this link to Ollie, you’ll automatically get 60% off your first order plus a free bag of treats. Yum! … says your dog.
Our experience: My dogs gobbled down Ollie, and especially loved the treats. The food is served in plastic trays, and Ollie sends along orange lids (so that you can reseal them) and orange scoops to help you portion the food. Ultimately, I found myself re-checking the booklet they sent multiple times to make sure I was doing it right… while my dogs danced eagerly around my feet.
What sets it apart:
- Ollie takes the switch from traditional to fresh food seriously and sends along a booklet on transitioning — and probiotic treats — to keep your dog’s tummy happy while they try new food
- Food for the day is served in plastic trays.
- Ollie sends reusable scoops and lids to make serving and saving food simpler.
- Cooked at low temperatures
- Ollie has other healthy treats available, like dehydrated turkey, beef, and chicken, which my dogs loved.
Available recipes: Heed the Cattle Call (Beef), Get Your Gobble On (Turkey), Dare to Cross the Road (Chicken), Tasty Lamb Fare
Next Level Flavor: Grocery Pup
Price: $69 for two bags (a total 6 patties at 1-pound each)
Our experience: Our dogs could not get enough of Grocery Pup. They soon learned just what it meant when one of the packages came out of the fridge, and they gobbled it up—all three flavors were equally loved. Unlike other brands, Grocery Pup cooks their dog food sous vide. This cooking method, popularized in high-end restaurants, is purported to help food retain more taste and nutrients. Grocery Pup puts their AAFCO-balanced foods into BPA-free vacuum-sealed bags and cooks them in a 180-degree water bath. While my dogs don’t know about sous vide, they did seem to notice the extra flavor.
Like the other brands, this healthy dog food comes in frozen packages to your front door. It’s easy to thaw in the fridge overnight and serve the next day, though I found that sometimes I needed to add a little hot water to the food to warm it up. It’s well-frozen! A medium-sized dog, from 20-40 lbs, receives a single one-pound patty per day. For comparison, a 60-80 lb. dog would receive 2 patties per day.
Available recipes: Texas Beef Stew (Beef), Turkey Pawella (Turkey), Porky’s Luau (Pork)
What sets it apart:
- Sous vide method
- BPA-free packaging
- Easy serving: each bag contains individual one-pound patties
- USDA-inspected “human-grade” kitchen and ingredients
Awesome for Allergies: Evermore
Price: $14 to $300 per week
What they got right: The packaging was compact and had serving sizes on the back of the boxes, and I liked that they used organic ingredients, but it was a bit of a hassle to find a ziplock bag when I didn’t need to use a full portion for a single meal and then try to stuff it back into the cardboard so I didn’t get the meals confused between dogs. Because they focus on organic ingredients, grass-fed meat, and avoid most problematic starches (even potato!) they’re our top choice for dogs with sensitive systems or food allergies.
What sets them apart:
- Compact packaging (slim cardboard boxes on the outside, vacuum-sealed plastic on the inside)
- Serving size is on the back of the box for convenient referencing
- Evermore avoids corn, soy, wheat, potatoes, white rice, and pasta (more of a limited-ingredient option than the others)
- They focus on grass-fed meats, organic pasture-raised eggs, organic vegetables, and all-USA ingredients
- Woman-owned small business
Available recipes: Lamb, chicken, turkey, beef
Dog vs Human Reviews
As all of the services reviewed here are human grade, we gave them the ultimate test: dogs and their humans trying each option out. Check out our video to see the reactions.
The Review Process
I have two dogs—one is 55 pounds and the other is 75 pounds. Both are mixed-breed rescues who have spent their whole lives eating natural brands of dry food. They’ve been on the same brand for the last three years or so, mostly because I’ve been too lazy to update our online subscription.
I recently had my pups try five different brands of fresh dog food and all the recipes they had to offer. Yes, my dogs were in heaven. Every brand had pros and cons, though my dogs had zero complaints about any of them, leaving me to do the hard work of choosing the top contenders.
In order to assess them, I kept notes on the brand’s packaging (everything from how easy it was to store to whether it was friendly to the planet), recipe choices, and the ease of the whole process. Because the brands were generous—and I’d signed up for them all at once—I was surprised at just how quickly my refrigerator and freezer filled up with dog food. I ended up pawning off some of the extras to my neighbors and Rover headquarters so that I could squeeze a couple of meals worth of my own human food in the fridge, too.
I also intended to keep track of which foods my dogs preferred, but they all seemed pretty equal in the eyes of my little piggies. Instead, you’ll see I made note of when the food seemed especially fresh or had interesting ingredients. PetPlate, for example, had a ton of quinoa in one of their recipes.
Since I was reviewing so many brands—and doing it over the course of just a couple of weeks—I didn’t try to try to track any changes in my dogs’ health, or test the nutrition claims some of the brands make. I can tell you that my dogs had some very healthy poops.
A Note on Pricing
You’re probably thinking, “sounds good, but how much does this cost?” The answer is: it varies.
The price ranges here were provided by the companies, but you can get your own personalized price by filling in your dog’s information on their sites. Costs vary based on your dog’s caloric needs (a four-pound dog eats a lot less than my 75-lb dog, obviously) and recipe selection. It also depends on whether you feed entirely fresh food or use these recipes to supplement your pet’s diet.
With some digging, we found that for a 15-lb. dog of normal activity level, average prices for a full fresh food diet ranged from $25/week to $33/week. For a 25-lb. dog of normal activity level, prices jump to anywhere from $34/week to $42/week. Again, it will vary based on your individual dog and preferences, so it’s worth going through a quick online quote to find out whether this fits in your budget.
Before Trying Fresh Food for Your Dog
These super-healthy foods are better than most commercial pet foods, but any time you change your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to go slowly. Transition them to the new food a little at a time. Be sure to talk to your vet, who can help guide you on any special needs your pet might have on a new diet.
A couple of other important considerations:
- Fresh food needs refrigeration — make sure you have adequate space to hold a week’s worth of food in your fridge or freezer
- Consider whether you’re intending to feed your dog an entirely fresh-food diet, or just supplement their traditional food, which will determine what plan you sign up for and how frequently you need food delivered.
Hooray for fresh foods! Have you tried one of these fresh dog food brands? What did you think?