Fresh food is exactly what the name implies, food that is fresh. You can get this either by making the food yourself at home, purchasing fresh dog food at the store (e.g., Fresh Pet), or going through one of the many subscription services. Fresh food is generally made less than 2 weeks before it hits your dog’s bowl. This compared to kibble and canned foods that are made months in advance and thus have more preservatives to keep it from spoiling. As a result, fresh dog foods contain almost no preservatives, have limited shelf lives, and need to be delivered at a higher frequency.
There are pet parents that opt to make their own food, and there's no shortage of recipes online. If you opt to go down this route, please consult with veterinary nutritionist licensed by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. You can easily search their directory and find a match near you. Depending on where you live, they can be a bit scarce, but it's worth making the effort to make sure your dog's diet is complete and balanced. Even if a recipe you find online seems healthy, it's important that the diet is controlled by a nutritionist to ensure your dog is getting all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids their bodies don't make.
The fresh dog food movement has accelerated over the last few years and now there’s numerous options for you and your dog. If you’ve decided on feeding your dog a fresh diet and want it delivered to your doorstep, read on!
But first, how do these companies work? All these companies deliver pre-portioned meals to your doorstep. As a rule of thumb, they personalize the meal to meet your dog’s needs by having you fill out a detailed questionnaire when you join. They all have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but generally speaking, we recommend sticking to companies with a certified canine nutritionist on staff.
Ollie can only be purchased online as a subscription service. Food is shipped to your doorstep frozen and you can thaw it as needed for your feeding schedule. Ollie sets the bar high for quality, as they prepare their foods with quality ingredients and in USDA-approved kitchens. Unfortunately, the service is on the pricier side of the market and needs to be measured out for meals.
A Pup Above can be purchased as a subscription, on demand ordering and can even be found in select stores. Their differentiating factor is that they cook their food via sous vide. This slow cooking method preserves more nutrients than standard production procedures. Additionally, their food is not personalized for your dog, which means they offer a Sampler Pack for their flavors.
Nom Nom can be purchased as subscription service or on-demand ordering as you go. They have two unique differentiators: all formulas are crafted by a board-certified veterinarian and nutritionist and food comes packaged in single service sizes to eliminate the need to measure out your dog's meals each day.
PetPlate is subscription based only. They offer high-quality fresh food directly from their USDA-approved facilities. They are flash frozen prior to shipment and you can defrost them in the microwave for ready to eat meals.
Subscription based only, and shipped to pet parents in biodegradable pouches. Meals come in flat pouches for easy storage, but it does make it tricky to portion out your dog’s food. Food is shipped frozen.