With the newly growing popularity of fresh dog food (such as Ollie, who makes human-grade fresh dog food), our options have expanded, making it difficult to choose what is best. You start with getting in contact with your veterinarian. Here are a few things to think about when selecting dog food:
Why Choose Fresh Dog Food
A well-balanced, nutritional diet is essential for good health. Working dogs and service dogs have different caloric requirements than household pets. Puppies and adults, as well as large and small breed dogs, have different nutritional needs. Specific proteins or ingredients, such as eggs, corn, wheat, soy, or milk, cause allergies in some dogs.
Regardless of what you think, dog food must taste and smell good to your dog. How much time do you devote to cooking and shopping for your dog?
Feeding dogs a diet rich in natural, whole foods like beef, chicken, lamb, peas, spinach, carrots, and blueberries can improve their overall health by promoting heart health, increasing energy, making coats shine and breath smell better, improving eyesight, and even influencing a dog’s stool.
Cooking for your pet, on the other hand, is a time-consuming, space-consuming, and expensive process. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, “most homemade diets do not undergo the scrutiny and rigorous testing that commercial complete and balanced diets do.” If pet owners want to feed their pets homemade diets, the diets should be prepared and cooked according to veterinary nutritionist-created recipes.
Fresh dog food delivery services collaborate with canine nutritionists to develop cooking methods and personalized formulas that include the vitamins and minerals required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. They calculate the exact number of necessary calories based on your dog’s weight, breed, age, activity level, body composition, and any allergies he may have.
What You Want In Fresh Dog Food
Fresh pet food resembles those pricey, “chunky” types of canned pet food instead of traditional kibble pet food. It contains fewer preservatives and is kept in the refrigerator to keep it fresh between servings. Although fresh pet food sounds more appealing, we were curious whether it was a healthier option for dogs and cats. Researchers spoke with Dr. Lindsey Bullen, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas, to learn about fresh pet food diets.
Most fresh food services are subscription-based and delivered to your door. The best ones collaborate with veterinary nutritionists to create a plan tailored to your dog’s needs. They provide options for recipe selection, portion size, and frequency of delivery. They also provide simple information on ingredients, feeding schedules, and how to keep food fresh.
All dog foods, regardless of type, are regulated by AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials), which is in charge of pet food regulation. The AAFCO ensures nutritional adequacy by printing on pet food packaging the following statement: “[Product name] is developed to meet the nutritional standards established by the AAFCO [Dog or Cat] Food Nutrient Profiles for [Life Stages].” To determine the nutritional value of a fresh food meal plan, look for this statement.
Fresh pet foods will almost always need to be stored and prepared, and pet owners should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Fresh diet prices vary, but a medium-sized (40-pound) dog can expect to pay around $8 daily.
Where Do You Find Fresh Dog Food
Fresh pet food brands such as Freshpet, which pet owners can find in the fridge at your local pet store, have helped to commercialize fresh options for pet owners. There are dozens of brands available today, many of which are available as subscription services that work in the same way: You create a dog profile, fill out a questionnaire, choose your delivery frequency, and presto! The next thing you know, freshly prepared pet food is delivered to your door, packed in dry ice.
Over a dozen companies sell fresh pet food diets for cats and dogs, and their cooking methods, ingredients, and storage recommendations differ significantly. According to Bullen, “fresh pet food” has no specific definition; it simply refers to pet food made with fewer or no preservatives. The food could be made at home with boiled chicken and cooked plain rice or manufactured in a facility with identifiable ingredients, packaged without preservatives, and frozen. We looked for brands that offer food that is commercially produced, thoroughly cooked at a low temperature, and contains some combination of meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Top Fresh Dog Food Companies
- Nom Nom
It employs a veterinary nutritionist who ensures that the recipes adhere to AAFCO standards, which are the standard in the industry for pet food (but AAFCO is not a governing body like the FDA or the USDA). Bullen hasn’t tried Nom Nom, but she thinks the company employing a full-time veterinary nutritionist is a good sign of the product’s nutritional value. The meals arrive frozen and must be thawed in the refrigerator before consumption. Make sure you have enough space in the freezer because each meal is individually packaged, making meal prep and storage more accessible and less messy. Nom Nom also includes seven free backup meals with your second order.
- Spot & Tango
They sell fresh kibble (UnKibble) as well as fresh food. The fresh food is “human-grade,” with no additives or preservatives, and includes fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains. The fresh kibble is cooked and dried in a vacuum chamber at low temperatures and resembles standard dog kibble. Fresh kibble should be kept in a cool, dark place and consumed within three to four weeks of being opened. The fresh food is divided and individually packaged and should be frozen when it arrives.
- The Farmer’s Dog
They serve freshly prepared human-grade meals that pet owners could technically consume as well. According to the company, it never uses “feed-grade ingredients” and that all of its ingredients are responsibly sourced from regional farms. Because the fresh food is cooked at low temperatures, pet owners are never required to handle raw food. It is delivered frozen, and all meals must be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator before serving. Each Farmer’s Dog pack contains multiple servings. To avoid leaks while the food is defrosted and stored in the fridge.
Their recipes adhere to AAFCO standards, and the company claims to source its meats from the United States and Australia. Although pet owners can store unopened meals in the fridge for up to 14 days, you can freeze and thaw your pet’s meals as needed. Each package may contain multiple meals depending on your pet’s feeding instructions. So, once opened, keep the opened box in the refrigerator until you’ve finished it. To help keep those opened packages fresh, Ollie includes a storage container and a scoop with your order.
Conclusion Your Dogs Food
Pet parents must consider their situation when selecting the best food for their dog. Budget, available time, the presence of other pets in the home, children, and, of course, who will bear responsibility are all factors to consider. A raw diet would always win if there were no other factors besides optimal nutrition. However, a pet’s feeding plan must be feasible and sustainable for the humans involved. We can do our best for our dogs by feeding them a minimally processed diet that meets their nutritional needs while accommodating any constraints we may have.