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Written by: Steph Gregerson on Nov 22nd, 2022

PetPlate vs. The Farmer’s Dog 2022: Which is Better

Owning a dog means being responsible for the health and happiness of that animal and studies have shown that fresh dog food is a great option for many pups. Both PetPlate and The Farmer’s Dog are popular choices in the fresh dog food category, so I’ve done my research to compare the two and get you the most important information – price, quality, and how to prep and store them.

The Farmer’s Dog wins by a sliver, thanks to the lower average price and flat packaging for easy storage. PetPlate has a lot of great features and options that definitely make it a worthwhile consideration too. I’ll break down each category to help you choose the best fresh dog food option for your dog.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

? Price:

The Farmer’s Dog ($2/day)

? Ingredient Quality:

It’s a tie

? Recipes

PetPlate with 6 recipes

⏰ Packaging and Prep

The Farmer’s Dog

? Ordering and Delivery:

It’s a tie

Ingredient Quality

Winner: It’s a tie!

Both companies use USDA-certified suppliers so the ingredient quality is top-notch. The food is prepared in USDA-approved kitchens as well, so the standards are high and everything follows a strict protocol on cleanliness and storage. All recipes were created by a veterinary nutritionist that specializes in understanding the needs of dogs.

When it comes to the ingredients, both companies use some of the same vitamins and minerals to help support your dog’s health. Salmon oil is common in the meals and helps reduce inflammation and support eye health. It’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Taurine is an amino acid you can also find in the ingredients for both companies. This promotes good heart health and is easily absorbed in the proteins of the food. Both companies also avoid artificial preservatives and fillers in the recipes.

PetPlate recipes are made up of a main protein, a mix of produce, and a nutrient-rich organ protein. Natural flavors are added to the meals and the company doesn’t go into detail about what that entails, but every other ingredient is clearly labeled. The produce includes legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds.

Each PetPlate recipe is slow-cooked to keep ingredients filled with nutrients for the dog and then packed while still hot. Packages are then flash frozen to keep them fresh and ready to ship.

The Farmer’s Dog has a similar process for cooking and packaging the meals. They’re slow-cooked at a low temperature and then flash frozen. This helps maintain the nutrient density of the ingredients. The makeup of the recipes is similar with a mix of proteins and produce, but you won’t find fruit in any of the options.

Meals and Customization

Winner: PetPlate

PetPlate wins this category by just a sliver. With six different proteins, plus treats, on the menu, the variety of meals is just a little better than The Farmer’s Dog. Let’s break down the details.

Both The Farmer’s Dog and PetPlate ask all new customers to fill out a detailed questionnaire about their dog. In the end, you’ll receive a suggestion to order for your pup and you can make changes before finalizing.

The Farmer’s Dog asks new customers to go through a series of questions and fill in the blanks. Once you enter information about breed, weight, age, activity levels, and any health issues, you’ll receive a suggestion for which food you should order. You can change it before checking out if you don’t like the suggestion.

When ordering from The Farmer’s Dog, you’ll have to choose from four different recipes, all are grain-free. The options are:

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Pork

You can take the suggested quantity or you can change the amount you want to order for your pup per day. Customization is simple and you can easily switch between the different recipes for each delivery. There are no add-ons available, like treats, but there are some recipes if you want to make your own.

PetPlate asks several questions with helpful graphics, like the one pictured below. Once the information is gathered, you’ll get to the selection screen and can pick any one of the six options.

Beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb are the traditional meals. There are also two special meals. The venison option is low fat + novel protein. The pork option is high protein + high fiber.

Once you select your recipes, you can choose between a full or a topper plan. With a topper plan, you mix PetPlate food with whatever dog food you want to add extra nutrients to your pup’s current diet. Add on some Chicken Apple Sausage Bites treats with the food to spoil your dog a little extra.

Ordering and Delivery

Winner: It’s a tie!

Both companies approach the ordering and delivery process in a similar fashion, so it’s too close to call.

Once you’ve selected the best meals for your dog from PetPlate, ordering is a breeze. Just enter your information and check out. You’ll select your frequency and the amount of food you want with each order. Add up to six bags of treats to your first order, or have them continue to show up with future deliveries.

Deliveries are scheduled based on zip codes and usually arrive in the beginning half of the week. To change future orders, you can edit your subscription on the website with just a few clicks. You can also easily switch the type of food you’re ordering, pause your subscription, or cancel.

With The Farmer’s Dog, the process is similar. You’ll make your final selection of recipes after filling out the questionnaire and then check out. The first box is just a trial box to ensure your dog responds well to the food and likes it. After the trial, you’ll receive regular shipments.

The Farmer’s Dog currently delivers to the 48 contiguous states. You’ll receive an email confirmation and tracking details once your order is shipped.

If you need to change the frequency, the recipe options, or just need a rush order, the website allows you options to make those changes. Most plans ship every eight weeks after your initial shipment. You can also pause or cancel your subscriptions online in your account.

How Do the Meals Arrive?

Winner: The Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog wins this category because of the way the meals are packaged. Each one lays flat and takes up the least amount of space making freezer storage easier than the PetPlate meals. Both can be served cold from the refrigerator. Let’s do a quick comparison.

The PetPlate meals come in small containers that stack on top of each other for storage, but take up a bit more space than other storage options. Each frozen container can be stored for up to one year. Containers need to be defrosted in the refrigerator and must be used within five days of defrosting. 

Depending on the size of your pup, you might use one container for multiple meals. The meals aren’t pre-portioned but the instructions for how much to serve are on the containers. The food is ready to serve directly from the container.

All the materials used by PetPlate are recyclable once it’s cleaned out and empty. If you order more than one type of meal, each one is labeled clearly on the outside making it easy to grab the right food. The only bummer is finding space for the containers because the packaging is more rigid than others.

The Farmer’s Dog provides meals in portioned-out packaging for a day’s worth of food. You’ll split the package in half if you feed twice a day (no extra preparation needed). Each package lays flat, so they’re easy to fit into small spaces.

The food arrives frozen with dry ice and recyclable insulation to stay cold. You can throw it all in the freezer and move it to the fridge a few packages at a time. The food stays good in the fridge for up to five days and you can keep it in the freezer for a few months. Your box includes a handy guide with all the info you need about storage and correct feeding.

The Farmer’s Dog is committed to the environment. The cardboard box your order arrives in is fully recyclable and the insulation and food storage containers are both biodegradable. What’s more, all the packs are made from BPA-free materials and are non-toxic.

Pricing

Winner: The Farmer’s Dog

No matter which company you choose, the prices will depend on the size, activity level, and breed of your dog along with which recipe you choose. On average, The Farmer’s Dog offers a lower price point for the full meal plans, so it’s the winner of this category. Let’s take a deeper look.

The PetPlate meals start at $2.85/day. The four standard recipes are at the standard price, but if you do need to purchase either of the therapeutic specialty meals, those are more expensive. Shipping with PetPlate is always free, regardless of which plan you get. Adding the treats to your order will cost a little more, but there’s a deal with your first order – $100 Off Over 4 Boxes + 50% Off Treats

PetPlate does offer a topper plan if you want to try this type of food without making the full transition. The topper plans are quite a bit cheaper, but only cover about 25% of a dogs daily caloric intake, so you’ll need to supplement with other food.

If you have any issues with PetPlate food, you can request a refund up to 30 days after receiving it.

The Farmer’s Dog starts at $2/day with free shipping. Each dog will require a different amount of food, so you can get the exact price for your pup by filling in the questionnaire. The beef recipes are cheaper than the chicken and turkey, so that can have an impact on your total price.

Just like PetPlate, The Farmer’s Dog offers a topper plan so you can add this fresh food in with what your pup is currently eating. There’s also an option for people looking to stick to a tighter budget and willing to do a little more work. The Nutrient Pack can be ordered to mix into homemade dog food recipes to make sure that your dogs are getting all the nutrients they need while allowing you to prepare the meals yourself.

The Farmer’s Dog will offer a refund or a replacement recipe if your pup doesn’t love the food or you have any issues with your order.

Features Comparison: PetPlate vs. The Farmer’s Dog


PetPlate

The Farmer’s Dog

Best for

Health Conscious Owners

Fresh Food Preference

Starting price

$2.85/day

$2/day

Shipping cost

Free

Free

Subscription

Monthly

Every few weeks (depending on size of dog)

Recipes

6 choices

4 choices

Meal storage

4 days in the fridge.

6 months in the freezer.

5 days in the fridge.

12 months in the freezer.

Are meals pre-portioned?

No

No

Ingredient quality

Human-grade and  USDA-approved

Human-grade and  USDA-approved

Free-from

Fillers, hormones, artificial preservatives

Fillers, hormones, artificial preservatives

Customizable based on:

Weight, breed, sex, age, health, allergies, activity level

Weight, breed, sex, age, health, allergies, activity level

Recalls

None

None

Money back guarantee?

Yes, refunds available up to 30 days after ordering

Yes, swap for other recipes or receive a refund

Our reviewer’s rating

9.5/10

9.29/10

Current deal

$100 Off Over 4 Boxes + 50% Off Treats

Get 60% off on your first order!

And The Winner Is: The Farmer’s Dog

Both companies offer a similar product for your pup, but The Farmer’s Dog edges out the competition on pricing and packaging. If you’ve been looking for a fresh food option for your four-legged family member, give The Farmer’s Dog 2-week trial box a try.

Not only is The Farmer’s Dog my recommendation in this comparison, but it also topped the list of the best fresh dog food services overall.

FAQ

Does The Farmer’s Dog meals require preparation?

The Farmer’s Dog sends meals already prepared. Each meal is frozen to preserve the nutrients and quality, so you just move them to the fridge to defrost and they’re ready to serve.

Is fresh dog food healthier for dogs?

The ingredient quality is top-notch for fresh dog food and the meals from The Farmer’s Dog and PetPlate are created by a veterinary nutritionist. It’s a great healthy option for many dogs and will deliver all the nutrients they need.

Is fresh dog food more expensive?

The price of fresh dog food can be higher than traditional dry food. Many services, like The Farmer’s Dog, offer a topper plan that allows you to order some of the food to supplement along with the dry food to give them the benefits without making the full transition.

About The Author

Steph Gregerson
Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank
Steph is a book nerd, rule follower, and pizza lover who can’t get enough of playing outside. She was raised on the ice rinks of MN and currently resides in sunny San Diego. As a freelance writer, she loves research, producing content, and organizing information for a wide variety of clients. She currently has at least 10 browser windows open at all times.
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