In the past few years, there’s been a lot of growth in the world of dog food. For a long time, commercially made dry and wet dog food were the only options for dog owners. Easy-to-buy and cheap, this packaged and preserved food, sold in bags and cans to prolong shelf life, was the most popular option for dog owners. However, as people became more educated in what was inside the food they were eating, they began to be curious about what they were feeding their dogs, and the truth came out: it wasn’t good.
Commercial dog food, especially dried dog food, is made largely from the waste products of the food industry, everything that doesn’t pass the standards needed to be put in human food. Instead of throwing these waste products out, companies recycle them into dog (and other animal) 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 seeming fresh, selling what would be trash 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. 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, cancer. Feeding your dog commercially made dog food is one of the worst things you can do for their health.
Dog meal subscription companies are a healthier, higher quality option for dog owners who want to feed their dogs fresh, homemade meals but don’t have the time to make the meals themselves. 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. 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 be exposed to ingredients and chemicals you wouldn’t feel comfortable being exposed to? 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, so we’ve gone ahead and done in-depth reviews to see which dog food subscription service would be best for you depending on you and your pup’s unique needs.
The Farmer’s Dog puts an emphasis on vitamin and nutrient-rich foods. They want your dog to have a healthy, enjoyable life, versus giving them less nutritious food, just to make it through the day. Their focus is on fresh and natural food with an emphasis on environmentally friendly packaging.
This company takes your dog’s well-being as seriously as you do. All ingredients are human-grade, from well-known food suppliers and local farms that comply with USDA standards. The ingredients are never processed and never feed-grade, giving your dog the highest-quality food possible. The recipes themselves are created by a team of board-certified veterinary nutritionists, ensuring each meal is balanced with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, all to AAFCO standards. Meals are prepared in a USDA kitchen and cooked at USDA-facility standards. The food is quickly frozen, so that it can be shipped as safely as possible, without adding preservatives.
The Farmer’s Dog tries to make each shipment as environmentally-friendly as possible. They deliver their food in a recyclable cardboard box, and biodegradable insulation. You can dissolve this insulation in the sink, or, if you have a compost pile, you can add it in! The food storage containers are also biodegradable, and the packs are BPA-free and non-toxic. If you’re looking for eco-friendly, it doesn’t get much more eco-friendly than The Farmer’s Dog.
The Farmer’s Dog customizes your dog’s meal plan through questions including those about your dog’s size, activity level, and dietary needs. Afterwards, you’ll receive your dog’s food plan, which includes the nutritional info about each recipe. You can remove any recipes you think your dog won’t like. Now that’s a plus!
Worried your dog won’t love their new food? No worries necessary. The Farmer’s Dog can send you other recipes for your dog to try, or you can be refunded, if you donate the food to a shelter. Either option seems like a stellar one to us!
Depending on your plan, you can choose a flexible or recurring schedule. The Farmer’s Dog wants deliveries to be most convenient for you, so you can easily change your address, shipping times, and amounts of food. Meals come in serving packs, making it easy and convenient to feed your pup. You can store your dog’s food in the freezer and thaw in the fridge when it’s mealtime. You’ll receive a guide with your box on the best way to store your food, so you won’t be left with any questions when unpacking your box.
What we love about Nom Nom is that they don’t sacrifice quality to give you the food your dog needs at an affordable price. Their recipes are developed by their own veterinary nutritionists, Dr. Justin Shmalberg and Dr. Caitlyn Getty with fresh, whole, and natural ingredients in mind.
Not only do they offer a personalized approach to fresh food, but they also have a team of scientists that are constantly looking for ways to help your dog live their healthiest life. They even offer a microbiome testing kit to understand your dog’s needs on a deeply scientific level.
Your dog will receive their custom formula after answering questions about their age, weight, body condition, and health issues. From there, Nom Nom will pick the best formula for your dog through an algorithm created by their in-house veterinarians, Dr. Justin Shmalberg and Dr. Caitlyn Getty. If your pet has specific needs, you can work directly with Dr. Shmalberg or Dr. Getty to see if Nom Nom is the right fit. We love how hands-on this company is!
If your furry friend is a small dog, you can get Nom Nom for $41.28 for two weeks; for medium-sized dogs, $91.47; and for large dogs, $165.28. We know the price for larger dogs isn’t the lowest, but for the quality and amount of food, you can’t beat it.
Your food will be prepared just days before it arrives to you, and will be portioned in individual meals for easy feeding. You can choose your delivery frequency, and if you ever want to skip a delivery, you can do that, too. Nom Nom also works to reduce their carbon footprint, so packaging is all either recyclable or made from recycled materials.
We love that with Nom Nom, you get four recipe options of beef mash, turkey fare, chicken chow, and pork potluck. Now that’s the buffet your dog wants to be at. If your dog didn’t like their first food recipe, you can always rotate recipes for no additional charge! You can also add additional recipes to your delivery for $5 per order.
Looking to transform your dog into the healthiest dog on the block? Definitely check out Ollie. Their focus is on human-grade ingredients for your dog–– because why shouldn’t your dog eat the most nutritious food out there? Ollie creates their recipes with hormone-free chicken, high-quality beef and turkey, and pasture-raised, free-range lamb. They’re obsessed with throwing superfoods into their food, like chia seeds, and sneak in fruits and veggies, like blueberries and spinach, for the highest nutritional density.
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!). The Ollie box came with a cute and convenient branded resealable box that makes for easy and clean storage within your fridge. Ollie’s custom portion scooper makes getting your dog’s serving size perfect every time.
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.
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 to feed their dog’s meals to be completely Ollie, or whether they want to 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 also offers to send you a different recipe or refund your starter box.
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 at no additional cost.
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