Reviewing the Best Dog Food Delivery Services During COVID-19


Being A Dog Owner During COVID-19

Our top priority during COVID-19 has been social distancing. We may not love it, but our favorite non-human friends with paws definitely do, what with all the extra snuggle time. What social distancing does mean is less trips to the pet store. But you shouldn’t have to put your health at risk by going out to buy quality dog food, and are you really buying quality dog food at the pet store?

The Dangers Of Traditional Dog Food

Commercial dog food, especially dried dog food, is made largely from the waste products of the food industry, i.e. everything that doesn’t pass the standards for human food. Instead of disposing of this waste, companies recycle it into dog food, using bones, gristle, rotting fruits and vegetables, and worst of all: dead, dying, and diseased animals to make the food your dog eats. To keep this subpar food from noticeably rotting, dog food companies use chemicals and preservatives to keep it seemingly fresh. What should have been sent to the trash is, instead, sold to dog owners for a profit. Even though the food looks decent, it’s not. When you feed your dog commercially-made dog food, it’s like feeding them fast food– but worse, so you’re not even helping your dog by going out during COVID-19 to buy what claims to be “healthy dog food.” The substandard processes and ingredients used to make this food result in a host of health issues for your dog: lethargy, allergies, hair loss, heart disease, diabetes, early aging, and even cancer. Feeding your dog this dog food is one of the worst things you can do for their health.

The Rise In Healthy Dog Food

Dog meal subscription companies are a healthier, higher-quality option for dog owners who want to feed their dogs fresh, homemade meals. Beyond that, you don’t have to risk your health in order to get the food your dogs deserve. Recently, there have been a lot of new companies on the scene, and while the products they’re selling are more expensive than traditional, dried dog food, a lot of people have made the switch. People love that they can have healthy dog food delivered right to their door.

When it comes down to it, commercial dog food isn’t a healthy option, and it really shouldn’t be an option at all. Why should your dog eat food you wouldn’t eat? They shouldn’t. However, because there are so many more options now than there used to be, picking the right dog meal subscription isn’t easy. While a lot of the products look the same, there are differences worth noting. We’ve gone ahead and reviewed products in-depth to see which dog food subscription service would be best for you, depending on you and your pup’s unique needs.

Our Picks

  • Best Overall: Ollie
  • Best Raw: Darwin’s Natural Pet Food
  • Best for Special Dietary Needs: JustFoodForDogs

Best Overall: Ollie

Ollie is all about quality. While Ollie’s headquarters are in New York, all of its cooking and packaging takes place in New Jersey, at a USDA-certified facility. This means that the meals Ollie makes aren’t only edible for dogs – they’re edible for you, too. Each meal is formulated by veterinary nutritionists using the highest quality proteins, fruits, and vegetables to make dog meals customized to your pet’s breed, weight, age, gender, activity level, and allergies. In the Ollie facility, meals are cooked in low-temperature kettle cookers, so none of the nutritional values is lost. The last thing you want during COVID-19 is to have to take your dog to the vet if they get sick from bad food. From there, meals are carefully cooled, weighed, portioned, and checked by third-party quality-testers before arriving at your door.

Why we chose it

Ethical Sourcing and Food Process

Ollie’s formula is formulated by a team of specialized veterinarians and handmade in small batches in a USDA-certified facility. Cooked with a kettle cooker at low temperatures for maximum nutrition and freshness, Ollie’s dog food is then sent to third-party testers, who check for taste and quality. Ollie makes sure all your dog’s individual needs are being catered to in their personal dog quiz, where Ollie asks about breed, weight, activity, and health conditions such as allergies and skin conditions. Ollie offers a variety of homemade style recipes (Healthy Turkey Feast, Hearty Beef Eats, Chicken Goodness, and Tasty Lamb Fare) that serve each of your dog’s specific needs. Ollie can take away that extra time you spend preparing healthy food for your dog so you can focus on other stressors during COVID-19.

Cost Effective and Deep Discount

Depending on the type of protein chosen, Ollie’s price point was actually cheaper than other similar subscription services we reviewed like Nom Nom Now and The Farmer’s Dog. For the price-conscious, Ollie’s beef option for a 20lb French Bulldog costs $26.99/week versus $27.44/week from Nom Nom Now and $32.71 from The Farmer’s Dog. While these differences may not seem like much, these cost-savings add up over time! Additionally, we found Ollie dog food offers one of the best discounts for new customers, with 20% off your first box (Our readers get 50% off through this link for a limited time only). Add into the mix the fact that we liked Ollie’s user experience and quality the most, choosing Ollie as our winner was a no-brainer.

Ordering Experience and Customer Satisfaction

To make sure your Ollie dog food is customized to your dog’s needs, Ollie customers take a quiz asking about their dog’s age, breed, weight, activity level, and allergies. Then, Ollie customers get to choose from a variety of flavor options and whether they want their dog’s meals to be completely made of Ollie’s food, or use Ollie as a supplement to other dog food. The easy customization process and amount of choice here really blew us away! Ollie also really seems to care about customer satisfaction. If for any reason your dog doesn’t like their recipe, Ollie offers to send you a different recipe or refund your starter box. They don’t want you to spend money on a product you’re not happy with.

Convenient Packaging and Storage

The Ollie packaging stuck out as the best of any of the other competitors. The individual food packets peeled open easily, unlike the pouches from The Farmer’s Dog, which needed scissors to open. (I know this sounds lazy, but not needing to clean scissors every time you feed your dog is a life-saver, especially when you’re feeding your dog in between Zoom meetings). The Ollie box came with a cute and convenient branded, resealable, which makes for easy and clean storage within your fridge. Ollie’s custom portion scooper makes getting your dog’s serving size perfect every time. When you’re focused on paying bills during COVID-19, you don’t want to accidentally overspend on dog food by feeding your dog too much. Unlike other companies that use a squeezable pouch, our pet parents preferred the handy scooper every time. The thoughtfulness of the Ollie packaging really made Ollie stand out from its competitors.

Education and Ease of Transition

Transitioning your dog to a new brand of dog food can be difficult, especially if they’ve never eaten real, whole ingredients before. The box included a super helpful information packet on how best to transition your dog to fresh food, which is especially useful for those transitioning from kibble for the first time. Additionally, only Ollie offered a free probiotic pack to help your dog’s shift to a higher-quality diet. The probiotics ensure your dog’s smooth transition, avoiding any additional trips out of the house, at no additional cost.

Update: Ollie is extending a limited time offer to our readers. Buy Ollie now through this article and receive an exclusive 50% off your first box for a limited time only, if you buy though their site you’ll only receive a 20% discount.

Best for Raw Food: Darwin’s Natural Pet Food

Some conscientious dog-owners believe that a raw food diet is best for their pets. While there is conflicting research on the pros and cons of raw vs fresh dog food, we wanted to find the best delivery service for pet parents who do want to feed raw. While many pet owners testing out the raw diet try to make their pet’s food at home, some of the biggest issues with this is whether owners are able to get the right nutritional balance for their pet as well as actively avoid contamination. Our top pick in this category, Darwin’s Natural Pet Food, solves these problems for you. Darwin’s makes fresh, healthy, and quality raw meals that are both convenient and affordable. The company allows pet parents to find personalized, custom-sized foods that make use of high-quality raw ingredients in every package, with a ratio of 75% meat to 25% vegetables, while also ensuring that they provide complete and balanced meals in line with AAFCO dog food standards.

Check out Darwin’s Natural Pet Food here.

Best for Special Dietary Needs: JustFoodForDogs Customs

While all of the options we’ve reviewed have been customizable, if pet-owners need to provide for a pet with extremely specific dietary needs due to health issues, JustFoodForDogs offers an entire line of Prescription Dog Food as well as the option of producing a completely unique custom formulation for your pet. To get a custom formulation, customers schedule a consult to make sure that their custom formulation will meet all of their dog’s specific needs. This is definitely the priciest option. A custom formulation requires a $250 formulation fee on top of the price of the food itself. However, for dog owners with very specific needs, the price can be worth it.

Check out JustFoodForDogs Customs here.

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by Insider Envy Staff

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