In America, over 60 million households own a dog. If you’re one of those sixty million, odds are you want to keep your pup healthy. Health is a long journey, made up of many steps, some of those including proper veterinary care, exercise, bonding time, and most importantly: diet.
What you feed your dog has a huge impact on its health, which is why you should always feed your pup meals made from fresh ingredients. You can choose to take the time to make your pup’s meals yourself, or you can pay a little extra to sign up for subscription services like Ollie that deliver fresh dog meals to your door. As a dog dad with a busy schedule, I choose to subscribe to meals for my pit bull, Ziggy.
However, choosing to subscribe is the easy part. Over the past few years, the dog subscription industry has expanded rapidly, making it hard to choose which subscription service you want to commit to. I’ve tried several, so I decided to share some of my insights on the pros and cons, specifically looking at Pet Plate and The Farmer’s Dog.
Pet Plate came onto the dog meal subscription scene two years ago on the reality tv show, Shark Tank. Its founder, Renaldo Webb, stumbled upon the idea during his time as a pet food consultant, after seeing the substandard ingredients and processes used to make commercial dog food in factories. With the help of veterinary nutritionist Dr. Streeter, Renaldo has since grown Pet Plate from a startup based out of a small commercial kitchen to a company with meals made in a large, human-grade, professional cooking facility.
Based in Brooklyn, The Farmer’s Dog was created after its co-founder, Brett, realized the healing properties of fresh food for dogs. After watching his dog, Jada, suffer from serious stomach problems while eating commercial dog food, Brett realized something needed to change. He started feeding her fresh, homemade food and watched her health improve almost immediately. From there, Brett set out to share his knowledge with other dog owners and their pups, founding The Farmer’s Dog as a healthy meal subscription option.
Packaged for convenience, Pet Plate comes in pre-portioned, yogurt-style containers packed up with lots of dry ice into recyclable boxes before being shipped to your door. Meals should arrive cold, but if they don’t, you can notify Pet Plate for a replacement.
Deliveries from The Farmer’s Dog come frozen in pre-portioned, sealed compact packs, so all you have to do is open it up and pour. Packs should be stored in your refrigerator (or freezer if you need it to stay fresh for longer), since all doggie meals are freshly made without preservatives, meaning they can spoil if left out on the counter. Containers are compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable.
Each Pet Plate meal is made to compliment a chosen protein: beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb, using sweet potatoes, other vegetables, fruit, and a special supplementary blend full of necessary vitamins and minerals. When signing up for your subscription, Pet Plate lets you choose four recipes, so you know your dog will be getting something likes, and not some random mix that’s sent to you in the mail.
All meals made by The Farmer’s Dog are prepared in USDA kitchens, cooked at low temperatures using human-grade meat, grains, and vegetables, including turkey, beef, pork, lentils, kale, cauliflower, and more. Recipes are formulated to meet AAFCO standards by certified veterinary nutritionists to include all the proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals your pup needs. Additionally, The Farmer’s Dog lets you choose to receive two different recipes to be included with your fourteen meals for the week.
Pet Plate Pricing is completely dependent on your dog’s breed, size, and age, and comes with free shipping within the continental US. For Ziggy, I pay $74.95/week for the Full Plan, which delivers 14 meals each week, but that’s because Ziggy’s a lot bigger than most dogs.
Pricing for The Farmer’s Dog starts at $3/day but fluctuates based on what kind of dog you have, how big it is, and how active your dog might be. When I subscribe to The Farmer’s Dog, I pay $105.63 a week to feed Ziggy. Within the contiguous US, The Farmer’s Dog ships for free.
For me, Pet Plate was the better option out of the two, simply because it was (over $30!!) cheaper and allowed for more weekly meal options for Ziggy to try out. At times, I thought The Farmer’s Dog was a more ‘professional’ brand, probably due to the fact it’s more established and has better backers, but Ziggy seemed to like them both the same. All in all, subscription dog services like Ollie and Pet Plate are just more expensive in general, but for me it’s worth it knowing that Ziggy is eating food he likes that is good for him.
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