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We’re all looking for ways to do our part in flattening the curve while we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, and one of the best things we can do is cut back on trips to the store. That’s why we’ve seen a huge spike in demand for grocery delivery services, and for dog owners, a convenient way to get healthy and nutritious meals for your beloved four-legged family members is through fresh dog food delivery services.
As dog parents, the health and well-being of our pets is a top priority, and that starts with their diet. First and foremost, your pet’s food should meet the guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The AAFCO is an organization dedicated to helping consumers select dog foods that are nutritionally complete and balanced and which are “intended for supplemental feeding only.”
Dr. Zay Satchu, co-founder and chief veterinary officer of Bond Vet, tells FIRST for Women: “[The AAFCO standard] means that the balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals provide your dog with everything they need … for the right life stage. For example, growing puppies need a higher calorie content, while senior pets may benefit from a food for a slower metabolism.” Foods meeting these requirements are labeled with the AAFCO standard, or displayed at the brand’s website.
Customized Meal Plans
In addition to meeting the AAFCO standards, one of the benefits of feeding your dog a fresh food diet is that the food is customized to meet the health and nutritional needs of your pet. Through Q&As, detailed profiles, and, in some instances, stool testing, you’re able to get customized meal plans that best suit your pet.
While freshly made dog food tends to land at a higher price point than dry dog foods, these recipes are vet-developed and packed with superfoods, high-quality meat, and no by-products like artificial flavors or preservatives. With fresh dog food, you’re ensuring the highest quality of ingredients for your pet in each meal
Fresh Dog Food Delivery Services and COVID-19
For the majority of companies preparing fresh dog food for their clients, it’s business as usual. Most companies aren’t experiencing any delay at this time, and are able to source the high-quality ingredients they’ve always been able to find.
However, companies are taking extra steps to protect their employees and ensure the quality of their products. In a recent announcement, NomNomNow explained: “For our on-site staff members, we’ve added extra daily health and safety briefings, sanitation procedures and wash breaks. We’ve also added shifts to both enforce social distancing and to ensure every pet who needs food has it.”
NomNomNow also mentioned that they’re offering “extra meals for those who feel the need to have more pet food on hand,” which means you can reduce the number of shipments you typically get to your home, but increase the amount of food you get per shipment.
There are several companies now that deliver fresh, often pre-proportioned, dog food right to your doorstep. And if you’re looking for a way to feed your pet high-quality fresh dog food, these services are very convenient.
And remember: You should always consult your veterinarian before starting your pet on a new diet to ensure they get the correct balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women‘s top picks for the best fresh dog food delivery services for you and your pup.
- From $2 per day
- Free shipping
- Personalized packaging
With over 10,000,000 meals delivered nationwide, The Farmer’s Dog is one of the best-known fresh dog food services available today. Known for its vet-designed meal plans based on your dog’s individual nutritional and calorie needs, food comes in non-toxic packs that are made from BPA-free materials. And for an added touch, each individual package comes printed with your dog’s name on the front.
The Farmer’s Dog comes highly recommended by clients and veterinarians. Dr. Jonathan Block’s testimonial reads: “I recommend Farmer’s Dog to our patients looking for a natural and more healthful pet food. My own dogs love it too!”
- Fresh dry dog food
- Developed by veterinarians
- Available in three flavors
If you’re interested in a dry version of fresh dog food, Spot & Tango recently introduced UnKibble to the market, which is the first fresh dry dog food. Made with 100 percent real, whole ingredients, you personalize your pet’s fresh dry dog food like you would with other dog food services. Meals come in three flavors, including Duck & Salmon, Beef & Barley, and Chicken & Brown Rice. The recipes are developed by veterinarians and appropriate for dogs of all stages by meeting or exceeding the standards set by the AAFCO. In addition to UnKibble, Spot & Tango also offers regular fresh dog food in three hearty flavors, including Turkey & Red Quinoa, Beef & Millet, and Lamb & Brown Rice.
- From $2 per day
- Customized for your dog
- Choose your own delivery schedule
Based on the characteristics and nutritional needs of your pet, like age, weight, breed, and allergies, Ollie customizes your dog’s fresh food recipes with their whole, minimally processed ingredients. Recipes feature human-grade beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb, and there are no fillers or artificial flavors used in their dog food. You can choose a delivery schedule that works for you and your pet so that you always have the right amount of food, and food packs are stored in the freezer and thawed in the fridge. Another bonus about Ollie is that they’re committed to giving back and supporting rescue organizations; they donate one percent of their revenue to rescue partners, including the popular Sato Project.
- $69.97 for 2 packs (six 1-pound patties)
- Sous-Vide cooking style
- Available in three flavors
Grocery Pup uses an innovative cooking method called Sous-Vide to make their fresh dog food, which is what sets them apart from other services. Popular in high-end restaurants, the benefit of this cooking method — which literally means “under vacuum” in French and involves vacuum-sealing food and cooking it for a long time in a low-temperature water bath — is that the food retains more nutrients and moisture. Grocery Pup recipes crafted from AAFCO-balanced foods, and come in three flavors including Turkey Pawella, Texas Beef Stew, and Porky’s Luau.
- From $5.95 per 18-oz pack
- Made with human-grade ingredients
- Available in six flavors
JustFoodForDogs provides “lightly-cooked” meals for dogs with only human-grade ingredients. They use a technique called Fresh Frozen to ensure the food is as fresh as possible on a daily basis for your furry friend. They offer the widest variety of flavors with six different recipes, including beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, fish, and venison. They also offer a range of treats and DIY kits containing the recipe and nutrient blend (you purchase the other whole ingredients on your own), if you’re interested in making the same fresh food meals they make in your own kitchen. You can also find a feeding calculator on their website to help you determine the right amount of calories to feed your pet, and which meals meet their caloric needs.
- From $1.50 per day
- Free shipping
- Resealable lids make it easy to store leftovers
Pet Plate is another popular service delivering fresh, healthy dog food right to your doorstep, and they work with veterinarians to tailor delicious meals that fit your pup’s unique nutritional needs. According to their website, some of the health benefits your dog may experience by following their fresh food diet include shinier coats, less itching, healthier weight, allergy relief, and better digestion. Pet Plate’s freshly cooked meals are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages, and meals come packaged in hummus-container type bowls with resealable lids, so it’s easy to store in the refrigerator and save leftovers for later.
One five-star review raved: “Joon was having digestive issues before starting Pet Plate. We had concerns about the ingredients in the food we fed her before Pet Plate. Now we feel good about what she’s eating and she loves it too!”
- From $3.50 per day
- Offers at-home microbiome testing
- Available in four flavors
NomNomNow takes customized fresh pet food to the next level with at-home microbiome testing kits that are used to guide your pet’s meal plan. What is a microbiome test, you ask? Well, first, microbiome refers to the “genetic material of microbes in a particular environment, like your pet’s gut” according to the NomNomNow website. And the test is performed on a sample of your pet’s stool. All you need to do is collect a sample and mail it back to their lab in a package they provide. The test results, which you receive in three to six weeks, reveal information about your pet’s gut health based on a comprehensive analysis conducted by scientists. And then the information from the test helps you better tailor your pet’s diet.
If your pet experiences any chronic symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, abnormally fluctuating weight, or other health issues, a personalized diet plan could help to address these health issues. And with flavors like Chicken Chow, Beef Mash, Turkey Fare, and Pork Potluck, your pet will love this fresh food.