One of the most significant elements of canine care is nutrition. Dogs require healthy, well-balanced sustenance throughout their lives in order to develop properly, have enough energy to sustain themselves, and stay healthy into old age. Nutrition acts as the cornerstone to keeping a dog healthy and happy throughout his life and owners have many options to choose from.
A common choice is kibble or canned meals. Some owners are very into raw or biologically appropriate diets for their pets. An option that has been gaining popularity over the last several years is fresh dog food that is delivered right to your door. Eating natural foods and prioritizing health has seen a huge increase in recent years for us humans, and many owners extend that same approach to feeding their furbabies. And some even choose a hybrid of food options, opting for fresh food as a topper over kibble.
Pet products and chow delivery have come a long way from simply ordering kibble on a website and having it shipped to your door. Fresh food delivery services create and prepare meals from human-grade ingredients specifically designed to benefit each and every pup. Meals are prepared and then shipped ready to serve. Owners can set up a delivery schedule around their pup’s own unique needs.
Fresh dog diets and the delivery service area have been rapidly expanding over the last several years. It can be hard for owners to know which one of these options for subscription or delivery is best. This is where reviews and research become extremely helpful. Let’s dive in to learn about some of the top fresh dog food delivery options available today.
At A Glance
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- 1 What Is Fresh Dog Food?
- 2 How Does Delivery Works?
- 3 Ingredients To Look For
- 4 Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Final Thoughts
What Is Fresh Dog Food?
Fresh dog food is different from kibble or wet formula in a few different ways. These meals are made from human-grade ingredients and cooked specifically for canines to eat. Recipes are formulated with the assistance of pet nutritionists and veterinarians to create the best-tasting, healthy, most nutritious, and likely the absolute most expensive option to feed your pup. Not all companies offer delivery services. Some can be purchased at your local pet store or in the grocery store pet aisle. The brands we refer to in this article as fresh foods are those that are developed and made from human-grade ingredients. Many are then delivered frozen but ready to thaw and eat to your door.
Human-grade ingredients mean that these meals are safe for human consumption. That does not mean that you want to pull up a spoon and chow down alongside your sweet pup. These fresh meals are developed specifically for canine nutritional needs and only contain ingredients that are beneficial to them. They do not have the seasonings or additives that we use to spice up our human meals. Fresh meals can be a wonderful choice for picky eaters, senior pups, those who have sensitive stomachs or medical conditions, and for every other dog that likes great-tasting chow.
How Does Delivery Works?
For most pet food delivery companies, the process is fairly straightforward. Owners will set up a profile on the website and decide what their specific subscription option will be. In most cases, owners can customize and build a plan that works for their pet’s needs. Some companies offer breed-specific recipes, while others do not. Owners will pick the delivery frequency, set up payment, and start to enjoy the benefits of having their pup’s meals already made and delivered right to the door.
Prices will vary, and some companies offer more product and subscription options than others. Owners must look at what is available, review their dog’s needs, and choose the best for them.
Ingredients To Look For
All dog diets require a healthy balance of high-quality ingredients. These include protein, carbohydrates, Omega fatty acids, fruits, and vegetables, as well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Protein is central to canine nutrition and is one of the most important components of any dog chow. A benefit to fresh foods is that they use human-grade, high-quality, whole-animal proteins. These provide energy and support canines throughout their development. Canines rely on protein to provide them energy, give them energy, and support their growth and lifelong health. Along with this high need for protein, canines cannot store extra protein in the body. They must get all their protein through nutrition. Fresh recipes use whole, named meats, the best protein for dogs.
Canines also need things like amino acids from their diets. They cannot make all that they need, so these must come from their diets. These amino acids are found in animal proteins. High-quality protein choices include beef, fish, chicken, lamb, duck, and some more unusual options like venison and bison.
Healthy carbohydrates provide canines with glucose and help supply them with more energy. They add nutrients to their diets that cannot come from meat. Healthy fruits and vegetables are the best sources of these carbohydrates. They can be found in ingredients like lentils, grains, rice, sweet potatoes, peas, and more.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are particularly important to canine health. They play a significant role in brain and eye development. DHA is a component found in an omega-3 fatty acid which is especially important in the development of puppy’s brains as well as adult pet’s cognitive function. Omega fatty acids can also help treat conditions like chronic kidney disease and arthritis and are also important in skin and coat health. Omega fatty acids are also important in supporting bone and joint health. These are found in poultry, meat, and fish.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables work to boost the canine’s immune system and provide fiber, antioxidants, and a boost of vitamins and minerals. Dogs can eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, blueberries, celery, carrots, pineapple, broccoli, green beans, mango, peaches, and more.
Vitamins & Minerals
Canines require a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in their diets to support their lifelong health and ensure proper development. These can often be found in high-quality ingredients used to create fresh meals. In some cases, they will be added, but most formulas do so by using high-quality ingredients and not substitutes or artificial additives.
- Vitamin A strengthens immune system health.
- Vitamin B12 reinforces nervous system function.
- Vitamin D regulates things like calcium and phosphorus.
- Vitamins C & E, antioxidants, and support whole body health.
- Vitamin K works to metabolize calcium and prevent blood clots.
- Iron carries calcium through the body.
- Calcium and phosphorus are heavily involved in bone structure.
- Zinc promotes healing.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
These two elements are important in supporting joint health. Glucosamine works as a natural anti-inflammatory. This is especially important for larger breeds as well as highly active animals. Senior pups may start to need more of this as their bones, joints, and cartilage get worn out. This essential element is added to dog foods using supplements and sources like fish oils, eggs, and green lip mussels. Both glucosamine and chondroitin are found in cartilage and are pivotal in supporting a canine’s skeletal and joint health.
Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery
We spend a lot of time looking at canine nutrition options and reviewing different companies. Fresh food is one of the best choices owners can make. It is helpful to learn more about different delivery options before committing. Below you will find our list of the best fresh dog food delivery services. Prices vary, as most subscriptions are based specifically on your fur baby and his unique needs. Pet meal delivery can be pricey and may not be right for every budget.
The Farmer's Dog
- Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
- Personalized meal plans.
- 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
- Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
- Manufactured in the United States.
- Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.
The Farmer’s Dog was started in 2014 by a concerned canine owner who could not find a cure for her beloved pup’s digestive issues. Taking matters into her own hands, she began crafting a homemade diet that helped resolve many of the digestive issues. From there, the company The Farmer’s Dog was born.
These meals are all grain-free, and they offer four different formulas: chicken, beef, turkey, and pork. Recipes are suitable for all ages and all breeds. Owners can customize their plan based on their pup’s weight, ideal weight, age, activity levels, and health. Every dog is unique and will get exactly the right amount of food they need. All lines comply with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which sets the standards for the pet food industry.
Owners must first set up a profile with The Farmer’s Dog. They will enter information about each specific pup, including name, age, weight, sex, and breed. Other questions will get information about body type, activity level, health concerns, current dietary needs, and body shape. Once that is done, owners will receive information recommending portion sizes and top-choice recipes. Owners receive a two-week taste trial and then receive a delivery about every eight weeks. Meals are flash-frozen and are stored in the freezer until they need to be thawed and eaten.
We love that this food is made with such care and high quality. It is consistently highly reviewed, and both owners and pets love it. Prices start at $2 a day for smaller breeds. Cost is based on your dog’s weight, meaning a larger pooch will cost more. These formulas provide high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate load. All recipes are USDA-approved, local farms, and all food is cooked in USDA-approved kitchens right here in the US.
Spot & Tango
Spot & Tango has been around since 2013. This brand offers two different product lines, one is a non-kibble line, and the other is a fresh food line. Both lines of food are made using healthy, high-quality human-grade ingredients. All recipes are nutritionally complete and balanced and abide by AAFCO nutritional standards. Every recipe is formulated to serve the needs of canines of all ages and sizes. Every recipe is human-grade certified. Meals are cooked and flash-frozen to retain top nutritional value. There are no fillers, preservatives, or added colors. Flavor options are Turkey & Red Quinoa, Beef & Millet, and Lamb & Brown Rice.
With Spot & Tango, owners will set up an account and answer some basic questions about their pet’s nutritional needs and specific health conditions. The company will then recommend the formula they think will best meet each dog’s needs. Owners do have the option to select all three fresh meals. They can choose a complete meal or a meal topper plan, which we appreciate. This is not something offered by many other dog food delivery services. Once honors have completed setting up their plan, they will receive a two-week trial to make sure things work out. The company offers a “Happy Pup Guarantee” and will refund that trial box if necessary. UnKibble is made with the same human-grade ingredients, cooked and dehydrated.
We love that this brand only uses fresh ingredients and has a limited-ingredient recipe. They use only twelve ingredients per recipe. Spot & Tango also offers snacks, which is something that not all other companies offer. These can be added to your regular subscription, so your pup is getting high-quality meals as well as tasty snacks to go along with them. We also appreciate that the packaging is eco-friendly. Plans start at $2 a day for fresh and $1 for the UnKibble line.
This brand’s recipes offer above-average protein, more carbs, and below-average fat. This helps make these foods taste delicious while sticking to a limited ingredient formula. Products are made in USDA-approved kitchens in New York and Wisconsin.
- Grain-free and grain-inclusive options.
- Four recipes.
- Owners pick a delivery date.
- 100% human-grade ingredients.
- High-quality, real proteins.
- For all ages and life stages.
- Donates to pets in need.
Ollie is a company that has been serving pets since 2016. The brand has been featured in highly relevant news outlets like the Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, and Forbes. They are now one of the leaders in the fresh pet food market. This company provides service nationwide. One thing we really like about this company is that they donate 1% of their revenue to rescue organizations and kill-free shelters. So, buying from Ollie supports your pet as well as other animals in need.
Ollie offers four different recipes for human-grade meals. They do not offer recipes tailored to breed or specific life stage, but they do create a plan that will meet each dog’s individual nutritional needs. All recipes meet AAFCO guidelines and are appropriate for all life stages and breed sizes. Recipes can be grain-inclusive or grain free.
Plans are personalized to consider every pet’s lifestyle, weight, and nutritional needs. Every single ingredient is human-grade. Protein options are beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb. Ollie uses hormone-free American-grown chicken, turkey, and beef, as well as pasture-raised lamb from the US and Australia.
We love that Ollie lets owners pick their delivery dates. Subscriptions also have free shipping nationwide. All subscriptions come with a free container to keep meals at their freshest and super tasty. Plans start at about $2 a day.
Other Notable Brands
Nom Nom makes pre-portioned meals with all-natural ingredients. They have four recipes: beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Meals are packaged in recyclable materials. Like many of the other fresh food delivery options, prices are based on a pup’s age and weight. They do offer a sample pack for $15, which allows potential customers to test out the products with their dogs before committing to a full subscription. Additionally, Nom Nom offers a full refund if owners do not see a difference in their pets after 30 days.
This brand has been rated five stars on Dog Food Advisor due to the high meat content in its recipes. Named meat is a significant source of animal protein, and meals are made from the best quality, 100% human-grade ingredients. These meals are high in protein with moderate fat, taste great, and canines seem to like them. Packaging comes with easy-to-tear-off tops making it very convenient and easy to feed.
We love that Nom Nom’s recipes are formulated by a practicing veterinarian. Dr. Justin Shmalburg is a working vet and professor. We appreciate this expert being named by the company to show that it is more than just a claim that veterinarians are involved in their recipes.
PetPlate has a fascinating brand history. This company was featured on television when its founders made a plea on Shark Tank. They were not funded on that show. However, they did not give up and have become highly successful.
Veterinary nutritionists formulate these recipes. This is another company that offers both a topper and a complete meal plan. Meals are cooked in USDA-approved kitchens. PetPlate offers six flavors: beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, and venison. Recipes use high-quality proteins as well as nutritious vegetables and fruits. PetPlate does account for food sensitivities but does not have formulas for specific health concerns or weight loss.
We love that these recipes are meat-heavy, delicious to taste (for dogs), and include both grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Like many other pet chow delivery options, this company is 5-star reviewed on Dog Food Advisor. It is estimated that a PetPlate subscription will cost anywhere from $20 to about $100 a week, depending on your pet’s size and specific needs.
- One of the oldest in the industry.
- Cat and dog food options,
- Grain and gluten-free options.
- PantryFresh line.
- Locally sourced produce.
- Vet-prescribed custom recipes are available.
This company is one of the first to ever offer fresh dog food. They have multiple recipes that are cooked with care and then frozen. JustFoodForDogs Uses locally sourced produce and whole ingredients. This delivery service allows for one-time purchases or subscription services. This company does have owners set up a profile and list their dog-specific needs but does not offer personalized meals unless owners are willing to pay a $250 fee.
This company brings in a whole team behind its product to support providing the best nutrition for our beloved canines. These include veterinarians, nutritionists, and even dermatologists. This is a great option for pets with special dietary needs. Subscriptions are based on a dog’s weight and can cost anywhere from $3 a day for a 12-pound pooch to much more for larger breeds. These subscription boxes do come with the option for other products like pumpkin treats, supplements, and nutrient blends.
We love that this company offers multiple recipes, as well as grain and gluten-free options. They do also have grain-inclusive options and can serve pups with a diverse number of dietary needs. They have options for vet-prescribed custom recipes as well as wet PantryFresh Line. This company also has vet-trained consultants that can be reached by phone to help hash out the perfect dietary situation for every pup. Another thing to note is that this company also offers fresh food for cats.
A Pup Above
A Pup Above is slightly different from some of the other fresh food delivery options. They cook their recipes using the sous vide method. This is a cooking technique in which ingredients are cooked using impeccable temperature control. The term “sous vide” translates to under vacuum in French and accurately describes the way these meals are cooked, in a vacuum-sealed bag, then cooked to a specific temperature in a warm water bath. This process keeps incredible taste and nutrients. Once it’s cooked, the product is freshly frozen and delivered right to your door once it’s cooked.
A Pup Above offers four recipes, a Texas Beef Stew, Turkey Pawella, Porky’s Luau, and Chika Bow Wow. You can also purchase a sampler pack with all four recipes.
We love that the process is a little faster here, as there are not as many questions to answer as some other choices. It can be a one-time purchase or a subscription. The company focuses on sustainability and is more affordable than some other options.
Open Farm is an excellent option. This company is different from some of the others in that it has a wide product line and offers kibble, wet, freeze-dried, and gently cooked meals. The gently cooked line offers four different options, beef, surf and turf, turkey, and chicken.
Subscription options and prices vary. Owners can add a mixture of products depending on their pup’s needs. It can also be purchased without a subscription. This company ships to the US, Canada, and Australia.
We love that this food is slow-cooked sous vide style and uses whole animal proteins. It offers amazing taste and high nutritional value. Recipes use no corn, wheat, peas, or legumes. Additionally, Ollie is designed to be fully transitioned in a 10-day process.
Lesser-Known Fresh Dog Food Delivery Options
- Element-based recipes.
- Follows Chinese food therapy techniques.
- Offers a vegan tofu recipe.
- Recipes are formulated to address specific health issues.
- Sensitive stomach appropriate.
Chi Dog is a lesser-known company with a unique spin on its fresh food formulas and approach. This company builds therapeutic recipes based on Chinese food therapy techniques. An integrative veterinarian and a licensed traditional veterinarian worked together to build this company based on those techniques. Recipes are geared towards elements, and all contain a single protein. They even have a recipe that is vegetarian and has tofu and eggs as the protein source. Their recipes are high in protein, have substantial fat, and have reasonable carbohydrate content.
These recipes are designed around the concept that “food is the first medicine.” There are five elemental recipes: Wood (Chicken & Egg), Fire (Turkey & Millet), Earth (Eggs & Tofu), Metal (Beef & White Potato), and Water (Pork & Barley). Each recipe is designed to address certain health imbalances, including diabetes, arthritis, obesity, seizures, liver support, digestive issues, ligament injury, anxiety, arthritis, and allergies. Labels list the imbalances that the recipes are designed to support.
We love that these meals are lightly cooked. They come in eco-friendly boxes packed with sustainable and biodegradable green cell foam. Plans start at about $3 a day and include free shipping.
Evermore is a small, female-owned company that gets five-star reviews on Dog Food Advisor and from customers. This is a great option for pups with allergies. They use only organic ingredients and no potatoes or other difficult-to-digest starches. These recipes use all grass-fed protein, lamb, chicken, and turkey. They also use only organic, pasture-raised eggs, and most ingredients are sourced in the US. They use New Zealand lamb. No corn, wheat, white rice, pasta, or potatoes.
Like other fresh pet food delivery options, owners fill out the information about their fur babies and create a subscription that works for them. All subscription orders ship free. Prices run about $15 to $300 or more a week, depending on your sweet pup’s unique dietary needs.
We love that in every recipe, the whole protein is the first ingredient, followed by that protein heart, for example, beef, then beef hearts. Recipes also include ingredients like kale, dried kelp, eggshell powder, safflower oil, and organic fruits and vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fresh dog food expensive?
This is one of the most expensive options, unfortunately. If money were no object, this would probably be every dog owner’s first choice. The cost of using such high-quality ingredients and cooking methods costs more and is reflected in the price. Most subscription plans vary as they will depend on the dog’s specific needs and what other options owners choose to add.
To save money on these meals, you could use it as a topper on your standard kibble or mix it with home-cooked rice, which also adds healthy grains for those who can tolerate it.
Does my dog have to eat only fresh food?
No, your pup can eat a mixture of fresh and other options like kibble. Many owners use fresh food as a supplement, a topper, or simply as an occasional treat. This provides a tasty treat on top of the standard brown balls and also is less expensive than feeding exclusively fresh-cooked meal plans.
Can I cancel my subscription?
Yes, all these companies offer ways to cancel subscriptions, as well as modify or even pause in some cases. Several offer money-back guarantees. Make sure to read all the fine print before setting up a delivery subscription. If you are not sure, look for one that allows for individual purchases before you commit.
Can puppies eat fresh meals?
Yes, puppies can eat these meals as long as they say all ages on the label. Follow feeding guidelines to make sure your puppy gets the right amount of food. Each brand is different, so make sure to read those labels first.
Fresh dog food delivery is a tasty, wholesome, top-of-the-line option for feeding pups human-grade meals. Delivery is a perfect option for owners who are time-starved but want to feed their furry babies fresh, tasty meals without the burden of cooking themselves.
Human-grade, delivery meals are often a better option as these products are designed and made by veterinarians and other animal nutrition professionals who are sure to provide the best taste and nourishment while following all safety procedures and nutrition guidelines. We hope our list of the best fresh dog food delivery options will help you make the best dietary decisions for your sweet pup.