Although we may live for our animals, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re prepared to spend hours preparing a carefully balanced meal for our dog or cat on a daily basis. If feeding your dog usually means opening a packet of kibbles and emptying them into a bowl, chances are you’ve never considered cooking up a gourmet meal of chicken, chia seeds, blueberry, and herbs.
If you signed up for a dog meal delivery service, however, this is exactly what your furbaby would be munching on.
Just as people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of healthy eating in their own lives, so more pet owners are beginning to understand that issues relating to coat condition and temperament are probably a result of their pets’ diets.
Let’s take a look at what these services offer and which provide the best quality and convenience for both pet and owner.
Why Swap to a Home Delivery Dog Food Service?
How and what we feed our pets has changed dramatically over the years and the days of liquor and cakes are long gone. Liquor and cakes? Yes, really! Back in the early 1800s, the European nobility was fond of giving their dogs cakes, liquor, roast duck and candy. Fortunately, things have come along way since then, but recent reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and veterinarians suggest that what we’re feeding our dogs may not be giving them the best chance of a long and healthy life.
At the end of last year, the FDA issued a warning that several brands of popular dog food contained over 70% more than the recommended Vitamin D content. The FDA advised owners that excessive vitamin D levels could lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, increased drooling, thirst and urination. Nine brands of pet food were recalled as a result, including so-called biology-based nutritional feeds like Hill’s Science Diet and other grain-free products.
Another scare for dog owners occurred just a couple of months ago when researchers identified a link between grain-free foods and a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which causes the heart to enlarge and prevents it from functioning effectively.
Unfortunately, some boutique dog foods contain non-traditional proteins such as potatoes, lentils, and other legumes. Researchers have confirmed a link between these recipes and taurine deficiency in dogs which can cause DCM. Taurine is an amino acid found in traditional dog foods, such as meat and fish.
Grain-free dog food seems to have increased in popularity just as grain-free human diets have. Unfortunately, human eating fads aren’t in our pets’ best interests and dogs do need some grains in their diets to both improve digestion and give them energy.
Given the dangers of feeding your dog shop-bought pet food, the high risk of bacterial contamination in raw alternatives, and the complexities surrounding the precise ingredients you should include in a homemade recipe, it’s not surprising that healthy dog food delivery and homemade dog food delivery services are growing in popularity.
What do the Best Dog Food Delivery Services Offer?
The best dog food delivery service aims to create a personalized diet for your dog, carefully preparing individual meals for him or her, which are then delivered to your door on a weekly basis. Before placing your order, most services will ask you to enter details about your dog, specifying its age, weight, breed, how active its lifestyle is and any issues it may have, from eating socks to lethargy, seizures, and hyperactivity. The answers are then used to assess the dog’s condition and formulate a diet that will help you optimize its health. They might suggest that raw dog food delivery would be best for your dog, or maybe organic dog food delivery would fit the bill better. The important thing here is that will provide you with personalized service and advice, so you can rest assured that your dog is getting the most out of its diet.
While cooking your own dog food is one healthy option, not everyone has the time, inclination or access to a suitable recipe. According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, a tiny minority of the DIY dog food recipes available online actually contain sufficient nutrients to meet the recommended daily intake. In fact, just five recipes out of the 200 they evaluated had the right concentration of the right ingredients to meet the National Research Council’s advice on the minimum daily requirements for an adult dog.
It’s not all about nutrition either, although that is a big part of what most consumers are looking for from a healthy dog food delivery service. Additional benefits include the convenience of having freshly cooked, nutritionally balanced meals to your home every week.
Most fresh dog food delivery services also pre-proportion the meals so you know your pet is getting exactly the right amount for his optimum weight. This is particularly important given that the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that over 50% of dogs in the US are overweight.
It’s little wonder, then, that healthy online dog food delivery services are becoming increasingly popular. After all, now you know your dog could be eating fish oil, parsnips, and turkey, you’ll probably feel a little bit mean handing him yet another meal of dry biscuits.
Not all dog food delivery companies offer the same quality of ingredients or versatility and affordability, though. So we’ve checked them out and selected the top five services that you can rely on for both quality and convenience.
Top Dog Food Delivery Services
Like Ollie, PetPlate has four different recipes on offer, each of which contains a balance of meat, vegetables, oils, and supplements. While it’s unlikely, there’s always a chance your pooch will turn his nose up at their Tail-Wagging Turkey, in which case, you’ll get a full refund.
As with most dog food delivery companies, PetPlate asks a series of questions about your dog before recommending a nutritionally balanced diet for it. You can choose from a full plan, which means your dog only eats PetPlate or a Topper plan in which you mix your PetPlate portions in with kibbles or other ingredients.
Meals are delivered once a week at no extra cost to any of the 48 states on the continent. As with most human meal delivery services, you can opt out, skip a week or cancel your subscription at any time.
Ollie has four basic recipes on offer – chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb. Additionally, Ollie’s meals contain some surprising ingredients like strawberries, basil, spinach and chia seeds. According to Ollie’s website, these components are not only carefully sourced but also carefully resourced and each of their recipes is compliant with the guidelines set out by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Ollie delivers all over the US on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis and all its meals are packaged in biodegradable or recyclable containers which makes the meals easy to store and serve. Owners can choose how many meals they receive depending on whether they’re planning on feeding Ollie meals exclusively or in conjunction with other foods.
Ollie’s inviting website gives potential customers plenty of information about the service and the recipes before inviting owners to complete a questionnaire about their pet and its nutritional needs. This makes it stand out from its rivals, such as The Farmer’s Dog, which require you to answer a series of questions about your dog before giving you any real information about its own products.
As well as having some of the most nutritional and well-balanced meals on offer, Ollie is both versatile and affordable, making it our first choice when it comes to fresh weekly, biweekly or monthly dog food delivery services.
Dedicated to providing fresh, healthy meals for canines all over America, The Farmer’s Dog not only provides freshly prepared meals for your dog, they even share their recipes and supply the ingredients so you can create your own doggy gourmet should you choose to.
If you prefer not to fill your kitchen with the smell of cooking livers, however, The Farmer’s Dog will send pre-prepared, pre-portioned meals to your door on a weekly basis. While the packaging may not be as user-friendly as PetPlate’s resealable, recyclable tubs, the flexibility of the service makes up for it. With The Farmer’s Dog, you can order for anywhere between two and 12 weeks which makes it ideal for those traveling for pleasure or business.
The Farmer’s Dog has one of the most in-depth and personalized pet questionnaires of any healthy dog food delivery companies, which makes it feel more, well, personal. It’s also an affordable option, although your pet will be limited to just three different meals, as opposed to the four offered by Ollie and some of The Farmer’s Dog’s other rivals.
#4 Nom Nom Now
Ignoring its rather ridiculous (but cute) name, Nom Nom Now is a versatile dog food delivery service, offering meals for both cats and dogs, as well as a range of healthy treats and supplements. The company even has a microbiome test available which customers can use to test their pet’s gut health, sending the samples into Nom Nom Now for the analysis.
Like PetPlate, Nom Nom Now offers four recipes for dogs, each of which contains a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Each meal is carefully prepackaged so your dog gets exactly the right amount each time. Nom Nom Now’s meals can be frozen or refrigerated so you can also use it as a bulk dog food delivery service and receive a monthly delivery if that’s more convenient for you than weekly.
As with our other gourmet dog food delivery services, Nom Nom Now is particular about what goes into its meals, using only human-grade ingredients. Another rather heartwarming aspect of Nom Nom Now is that it supports a number of shelters and animal rescue organizations, assisting them with finding new homes for their animals.
Unlike the other dog food delivery services we’ve been looking at, Evermore delivers its meals frozen rather than fresh. Nevertheless, the meals are still prepared in a similar way to its rivals, using slow-cooking techniques to ensure maximum nutrient uptake, optimal digestibility and a high level of yumminess. So if you’re looking for a frozen raw dog food delivery service, this is probably the best choice for you.
Evermore is also different insofar as you can buy the meals directly without committing to a subscription. Although this is a bit more of a DIY approach in which the owner isn’t asked for any information pertaining to their pet’s weight or level of activity, it’s great if you’re just curious and want to try out the meals on your favorite pup. You will, however, be charged for the delivery, whereas subscription customers get the benefit of free shipping.
Compared to The Farmer’s Dog, Evermore isn’t particularly curious about your pet, only asking owners to submit their dog’s weight and activity level. Nevertheless, it does give you the option of ordering a full menu of Evermore meals, or a partial one.
Bottom Line: The Dogmatic Diet
While the best dog food delivery meals might cost you a little more than the dry kibbles and cans you’ve been feeding your pet in the past, the benefits to your dog’s health could well result in a lot fewer visits to the vet, making it a positive choice financially. Apart from that, the recent scares regarding mass-produced feeds are enough to put most dog owners off for life.
We all want the best for our animals but, part of the problem for many of us, is we’re not entirely sure what that is. Although we’re confident that the meals offered by the best dog food delivery services will improve your pet’s health, it’s well worth checking them out with your vet before making a commitment.
Just like humans, dogs have different dietary needs depending on their age, breed, and lifestyle so getting personalized guidance from nutritional experts like those at Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog makes sense.
Don’t risk your dog’s life for the sake of a few cents or simply out of ignorance – sign up for one of the best healthy dog food delivery services today and give your pet the benefit of premium nutrition that fits into your busy lifestyle.