Fresh dog food is great for pups, but the fact that it has such a short shelf life can make many of the delivery services out there really expensive.
I set out to research the market and find out which services offer the best unprocessed dog food at great prices. After much deliberation, I’ve concluded that The Farmer’s Dog is up there as the best choice for fresh dog food delivery.
Not only are its recipes made with quality, human-grade ingredients, but it’s also more affordable than some other premium services. Plus, if you want to cook your dog’s food yourself, The Farmer’s Dog offers vet-approved recipes and a DIY nutrient mix you can add to make balanced meals for your pet at home.
Of course, every entry on this list deserves your attention, since both you and your pup’s needs will vary. Every service on my list is vet-approved and comprises only the best, wholesome ingredients. So whichever you choose, you’re in good hands!
Current deal: Get 60% off on your first order!
Why I like it: Not only does The Farmer’s Dog have the perfect combination of USDA-certified, human-grade ingredients and veterinarian-designed recipes, it offers these at a pretty good price point (especially when compared to other premium services).
The ingredients list is super short for all four fresh food recipes (chicken, turkey, beef, and pork). You’ll find only high-quality proteins and chopped whole foods, like parsnips, broccoli, kale, and sunflower seeds. Everything is sourced locally and slowly cooked to preserve the nutrients.
There’s also a DIY Nutrient Mix that you can use to create balanced meals for your pet at home, with instructions and recipes included.
Each plan is customized to fit your pup’s own nutritional needs based on the information you provide. If your dog needs a prescription diet, you can also talk to your vet to see if TFD’s meals are appropriate (and in many cases, they are).
Our reviewer said: “I found The Farmer's Dog an easy-to-use fresh dog food service dedicated to making pet parents and their four-legged children’s lives easier. This is a team of professionals who understand the importance of portion sizes, nutrient selection, and responsibly sourced whole ingredients in a dog’s diet.”
Price: The fresh dog food plans start from $2/day for a small dog, but the cost comes down to the size, age, and health of your pet. In the case that your pup doesn’t lick the bowl clean, you can get a refund on your first order, as long as you donate the leftover food to a shelter!
Subscription options: Super flexible – get your box every week, or any number of weeks.
Current deal: 60% OFF for 2 weeks + GIFT!
Why I like it: StayLabs is one of the best human-grade dog food meal delivery services. It has the word “lab” in the name for a reason: your pup’s food will be personalized for its unique needs.
How? First, by answering a detailed quiz that includes questions about your dog’s age, weight, and snacking habits.
Then, in your first order, you’ll receive a free gut microbiome test for your pup that you’ll need to send back for analysis. Based on the results, your next order will be modified on a molecular level to fit your pup’s needs.
You’ll also be sending off regular poop tests for the same purpose. If anything in your dog’s body changes, StayLabs will know. One of the veterinarians used to work at NASA!
Now onto the meals themselves. The meat is US-raised and all the ingredients are gently cooked in small batches in a NY kitchen, then frozen for your convenience. The vet-designed recipes have high nutritional value and a rich fiber content, which nourish your pup’s gut microbiome.
Our reviewer said: “I definitely think StayLabs is worth a look. It has a line of serious talent behind its recipes, its product is more reasonably priced than many other high-quality dog food companies, and it does an excellent job of tracking your dog’s health.”
Price: The fresh dog food plans start from 4 containers/2 weeks for a small dog. The health gut test for your pup AND the digital scale in your first order are free.
Subscription options: Depending on your dog’s size, you can adjust the frequency of your deliveries. A bigger dog could get weekly deliveries, while a small puppy may only need a delivery once every six weeks.
Current deal: Get 60% Off Your Starter Box!
Why I like it: Ollie is another company that offers USDA-certified, human-grade dog food. What makes it particularly great is that every recipe is packed with superfoods, such as cod liver oil (as opposed to generic “fish oil” used in many brands).
It also features plenty of nutrient-dense ingredients, such as organs and whole veggies.
This means there’s no need to add as many supplements to the recipes, as these whole foods provide a large portion of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. It also means the ingredient lists are more varied than some other brands.
You’ll also get a handy, biodegradable scoop in your starter box for easy portioning, as well as a “puptainer” to store any leftovers. Sweet!
Our reviewer said: “With Ollie’s human-grade meat, fruits, and veggies, even the most sensitive dog will reap the benefits of a healthy diet, be it a shinier coat or increased energy levels.”
Price: The price per portion starts at around $4 for a small dog, but averages around $8 per day, depending on the size of your pup and the amount it needs to eat.
Subscription options: Flexible – get your delivery weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Current deal: Take 60% Off Your First Order
Why I like it: Nom Nom shines bright, especially for owners of more than one dog. With its multi-pet discounts, plus a chicken recipe for cats, you can get fresh, quality meals at a great price and feed all of your furry friends with one order.
Another thing that Nom Nom offers is useful add-ons: healthy, one-ingredient treats, two probiotic supplements for dogs and one for cats, plus a gut health kit that you can use at home to test your pet’s microbiome.
Our reviewer said: “Nom Nom has not one, but two, Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists on its team. At the time of writing, there are only around 100 such people in the country. I mean, wow! When it comes to scientific expertise, you can rest assured Nom Nom has that covered.”
Price: Prices start at $5 per day for small dogs but every plan is personalized depending on your pup’s age, weight, and activity levels.
Subscription options: Choose between a full plan or supplemental half-portion plan (half the amount of food, which you can mix in with your dog’s current diet). Order for weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly deliveries.
Current deal: $50 Off your 1st Order with code TRYNOW
Why I like it: Like the other companies so far on this list, A Pup Above uses quality, human-grade ingredients that you’d expect from a premium service. However, A Pup Above’s recipes are higher in protein (and lower in carbs) than most other brands, plus the veggies are non-GMO, and the meat is free from antibiotics, steroids, or hormones.
The meals are slowly cooked using the sous-vide technique to enhance the flavor, retain the nutrients, and ensure there’s high-quality protein in every bite. All of this happens in a USDA-approved human food facility.
And if you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll love how A Pup Above has partnered with TerraCycle to ensure all of its packaging will be recycled – not just the cardboard boxes.
Our reviewer said: “A Pup Above’s meals contain an average of 77% more protein than other dog food delivery services’ do. And sous vide meals have up to 25% more nutrients than meals prepared conventionally at higher heats.”
Price: Starts at $7.50/lb for small dogs..
Subscription options: Choose from both full plans and supplemental half-portion plans. One-off orders are also available.
Current deal: Get 50% off your first order
Why I like it: Spot & Tango only offers three fresh dog food options: Turkey and Red Quinoa, Lamb and Brown Rice, and Beef and Millet. Each recipe has only 12 ingredients, all of which are GMO- and hormone-free, and the meals come in perfectly portioned packages, making them super easy to serve.
But Spot & Tango also has an unconventional fresh dry food (called UnKibble), which is cheaper and more convenient, and can be used in combination with a fresh topper. So you can get the best of both worlds – all the nutrition of fresh food while saving money with a gently dried, healthier dry food made with only whole ingredients.
Our reviewer said: “Each Fresh order is pre-portioned, so you just grab the food for the next day and move it to the fridge to thaw (a bowl of cold water will work as well if you’re short on time). The food will stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer and four days in the fridge.”
Price: $7 per week for the fresh dry food – but expect to pay around double for the fresh wet food.
Subscription options: After purchasing the two-week starter pack, you can opt for a full plan or topper plan (to supplement your dog’s current diet). Delivery is every four weeks.
Current deal: $100 Off Over 4 Boxes + 50% Off Treats
Why I like it: PetPlate offers six fresh dog food recipes – four Signature Entrées (chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef) and two Therapeutic Entrées. Those last two are a high-protein, high-fiber pork option, and a low-fat, heart-healthy venison option – great for pups with allergies or digestive issues.
The recipes are all vet-designed, and the meals are kettle-cooked in small batches in USDA-approved facilities. Every ingredient is human-grade as well. You can also order two types of supplements in the form of cookies (one for digestion and another to boost mobility) and an organic treat: Chicken Apple Sausage Bites.
Our reviewer said: “PetPlate personalizes your dog’s meals and plan based on the information you provide. This includes the food sensitivities and dietary support information as well as considerations such as weight, breed, and lifestyle.”
Price: PetPlate starts at $2.85/day.
Subscription options: Choose from a full plan every two weeks, or the topper plan (25% of the food you’d get in the full plan to supplement your dog’s current diet) every four weeks. You can combine plans for multiple dogs into a single order.
Why I like it: FreshPet is by far the most budget-friendly option on this list, and it’s an interesting one because you can only find it at retailers – mostly physical stores like Walmart and PetSmart.
There are different types of complete meals available for both dogs and cats, including slice-and-serve rolls, fresh roasted food, home-cooked-style fresh meals, and one-ingredient treats.
The company promises only real meat as the number-one ingredient (including farm-raised beef and chicken, but also two types of fish), and the meals are free of preservatives, fillers, and sketchy meat powders or by-products.
Subscription options: Only available in stores.
Current deal: 35% Off Your 1st Box+ Free Shipping
Why I like it: Just Food For Dogs offers seven “everyday” fresh food recipes, plus six special, vet-support recipes for dogs with health problems (including hepatic, renal, and critical-care support). It also has DIY Nutrient Blends, supplements, and seven types of treats.
And don’t be fooled by the name – there’s also a fish and chicken recipe for cats, plus treats!
In case your pet has a health problem that requires a more personalized diet, you can request a custom-made plan directly from a vet. There’s a fixed $250 formulation fee, and you can either choose to have it delivered to you, or get a kit to make it yourself.
Our reviewer said: “If you’re struggling to work out what type of food is best for your pooch, JFFD has a great Feeding Calculator that’s free to use (you don’t even have to be a registered customer). Plus, if you have an account, you can store each dog’s profile for later use.”
Price: Just Food For Dogs has meals starting at $6.45.
Subscription options: Autoship subscription available, plus one-off purchases.
2-Week Starter Pack
Fresh, DIY Nutrient Mix
Get 60% off on your first order! from The Farmer’s Dog
4 containers/2 weeks
2-Week Starter Pack
60% OFF for 2 weeks + GIFT! from StayLabs
$4-$8 per day
2-Week Starter Pack
Get 60% Off Your Starter Box! from Ollie
$5 per day
2-Week Starter Pack
Take 60% Off Your First Order from Nom Nom
$15, or free when you order 3 or more bags
$50 Off your 1st Order with code TRYNOW from A Pup Above
$7 per week
2-Week Starter Pack
Fresh, UnKibble Fresh Dry
Get 50% off your first order from Spot & Tango
$100 Off Over 4 Boxes + 50% Off Treats from PetPlate
Varies, depending on retailer, or pick up in store
Fresh Frozen, Pantry Fresh (shelf-stable), DIY Nutrient Blend
$10, or free for autoship deliveries
35% Off Your 1st Box+ Free Shipping from Just Food For Dogs
When I researched the top dog food providers presented here, these were some of the most important criteria I used:
Are the meals human-grade? There’s a big difference between the ingredients used in the mainstream pet food industry and the ones destined for human consumption. I believe there shouldn't be. Our dogs deserve the best – just like us.
Are they free from fillers and sketchy ingredients? Stay away from anything that you can’t pronounce or wouldn't eat yourself. And if in doubt, Google it. What the hell is a “meat meal”, anyway?
Does it have a high-protein content? The best food for dogs is high in quality protein and low in carbs – in line with a dog’s ancestral diet. If the protein count is too low, it may also indicate the presence of fillers, which have little-to-no nutritional value.
Are the recipes vet-approved? All recipes should be created with the nutritional needs of the species in mind. They should be designed or approved by a certified veterinary nutritionist to ensure that it hits all the right notes for a healthy pup.
They sure are. As fresh dog food has such a short shelf life – thanks to the lack of preservatives – subscriptions are the most convenient way to ensure you always have fresh food ready to go!
Based on your budget and your pup’s preferences and nutritional needs, you can choose the service that works best for you from those I’ve listed above.
Each and every company on this list is significantly better than the conventional dog food you can buy from the supermarket. But if you want a safe combo of quality and affordability, check out my top pick, The Farmer’s Dog.
All things considered, The Farmer’s Dog takes the crown. It’s more affordable than other premium options, but still offers you choice, human-grade ingredients, vet-designed recipes, and customized meal plans.
FreshPet is one of the most affordable fresh dog food options. The only downside is that you can only buy it in stores or via online retailers. A better alternative is Ollie, which you can customize for your dog’s needs and have it delivered to you on a schedule that suits you.
From a shinier coat to improved digestion and energy levels, fresh food delivery services are often vet-approved and will unlock your dog’s health potential. Services like Nom Nom offer fresh food, as well as supplements such as probiotics, and gut-health kits that help you detect any digestive problem your furry friend might have