Dog is man’s best friend. It might be an overstated quote, but it’s a true one. Dogs are the most domesticated of animals, and the most loyal. They bring us endless love, laughter, and joy, and ask for nothing in return but our love and attention. Which is why I choose to feed my pup, Leila, fresh food made with real meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Leila is a six-year-old terrier mix. When I first saw her at the pound, I knew she was the pup for me. She has a beautiful strawberry-blonde coat and chocolatey brown eyes that make me want to melt on the daily. As of now, she’s the love of my life.
I work full-time, so I don’t have time to shop or cook fresh meals for Leila (or even myself), so I subscribe to services like Ollie to get Leila’s meals delivered fresh to our door. Over the years, Leila and I have tried nearly every dog meal subscription service out there, and we definitely have our opinions, so I thought I’d compare two of our favorites: Ollie and Just Food For Dogs.
To be a part of the Ollie team, you have to live up to its motto #mustlovedogs. Founded by three dog lovers: Gabby, Alex, and Randy, in Brooklyn, New York, Ollie was created to provide the longest, healthiest life possible for your furry friend. After seeing what was in commercial dog food, Alex, Gabby, and Randy teamed up with veterinary nutritionists and other professionals to make dog food they actually wanted to feed their dogs, not just stuff they felt they had to.
Dedicated to truth, honesty, reason, and fact, Just Food For Dogs was founded by dog owner Shawn Buckley in Irvine, CA in response to his discovery of the horrifying ingredients in commercial dog food. Upon more research, Shawn learned that the dog food industry was a monopoly: controlled by five major companies. He started Just Food For Dogs in rebellion, educating himself on the dog nutrition and the dog food industry before buying his first ‘dog kitchen’ in Newport, CA.
It’s business headquarters may be in New York, but Ollie is made and packaged in New Jersey at a human-grade facility run by skilled doggie chefs, technicians, and nutritionists. High-quality proteins, vegetables, and fruits are cooked in small batches at low temperatures using a kettle cooker so no minerals are vitamins are lost in the cooking process. After the meals are made, Ollie sends them to third-party quality testers before sending them to you and your pup.
An entire team of veterinary nutritionists, pet chefs, business partners, and dog lovers work together to make Just Food For Dogs. Ingredients are USDA certified and handmade in small batches at one of their four dog kitchens using low heat to retain maximum nutritional value. Just Food For Dogs offers six main meal recipes, including gluten and grain free options, along with support diets for different ailments your dog might suffer from, supplements, and treats.
Immediately after being made, Ollie’s meals are cooled, carefully weighed and portioned into custom servings based on your dog’s specifications. Meals are stored in special trays that are sealed using atmosphere packaging to slow oxidation and keep your dog’s food fresh. Trays are then carefully packed by hand into insulated cardboard boxes and sent to your door!
All dog meals made by Just Food For Dogs are vacuum sealed and instantly frozen after being made. This type of packaging allows for the longest shelf life, keeping meals fresh for 3-6 days in the refrigerator and up to 12 months when frozen. Unlike many other dog subscription services, Just Food For Dogs lets you pick your meals up from their kitchen (if you live near one of their California locations), receive a one-time shipment, or specify a recurring shipment.
Like many subscription services, Ollie has you fill out a profile before you subscribe, asking for your pup’s weight, age, breed, allergies, and preferences. I pay $37.79/week for Leila’s current plan, but Ollie also offers a smaller plan for less if you want to add other dog foods or fresh fruits, meats, and veggies. Additionally, Ollie is now offering 50% off your first meal plan at checkout.
In order to calculate your subscription cost, Just Food For Dogs asks for your dog’s age, weight, activity level, and any sort of allergies or health issues your dog might have before giving you a quote. For Leila, who is an active six-year-old who weighs thirty pounds, I pay $29.82 a week to subscribe to Just Food For Dogs.
Ollie is Leila’s favorite meal subscription service by far. I personally love that Ollie gives us the option of choosing a smaller plan so I can add Leila’s favorite fruits, veggies, and proteins on weeks where I know I’ll have more time to cook. Even though it’s a bit more expensive, I feel like it evens out in the end because of the superior packaging and personalized ingredients. Ollie’s cooking facility is also closer to where we live in Boston, so I feel good knowing that the food isn’t traveling as far to get to us.
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