There are numerous options available when it comes to dog food and we all want what is best for our canine companions which is why I have been contemplating making the change to one of the fresh human-grade options available. When I switched Dozer from what the breeder was feeding him, I did A LOT of research and landed on Farmina Dry Dog Food. Of all the kibble I have seen, Farmina uses the best ingredients, hands down. To read about my research and why I landed on Farmina, click here: https://thefrenchiemamablog.com/2020/07/04/what-should-i-feed-my-frenchie/
Let’s face it, fresh dog food is EXPENSIVE so before I decided to pursue that route, I wanted to conduct some research and hopefully my research helps you, as an added bonus, if you are thinking about making the switch to fresh food as well.
Here is what I found about the most common human-grade fresh dog food brands out there:
The Farmer’s Dog
When I first thought about switching from Farmina to fresh dog food, the first company that came to mind was The Farmer’s Dog and truthfully, I thought this was the brand I would land on. However, after answering their questions on their website about my French Bulldogs (age, weight, etc.), I quickly realized they only provide a turkey formula, a beef formula, a chicken formula, and a pork formula. These are all proteins I either can not or do not feed my frenchies. Dozer definitely has proven sensitivities to chicken and beef so they are definitely not an option for me. I have tried pork treats also and they did not sit well with any of my frenchies. The only protein option I have not tried is turkey and this is only because of an assumption on my part that at least Dozer may have a sensitivity to turkey. However, because turkey would be the only viable option, I decided to investigate the turkey formula and here is what I found. The ingredients in the turkey formula are USDA turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, parsnip, spinach, fish oil, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, along with several vitamins and minerals. Most of these ingredients are quality ingredients. However, I question the addition of chickpeas. I would prefer to see them left out and more turkey added. More than that, I would have loved to see a lamb or salmon option which are great options for our allergy prone frenchies. The great thing about The Farmer’s Dog (and most of these fresh foods) is that there are no preservatives added. The Farmers Dog food also comes pre-portioned and delivered right to your doorstep. The turkey recipe of The Farmers Dog received 4.5 stars on the Dog Food Advisor and will run you approximately $5.36 per day.
Ollie is another popular and highly advertised fresh dog food option. Unlike The Farmers Dog, you can choose from a beef recipe, a chicken recipe, a turkey recipe, and a lamb recipe. I was happy to see the lamb recipe which contains the following ingredients: Lamb, lamb liver, butternut squash, kale, chickpeas, cranberries, potato, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, calcium carbonate along with vitamins and minerals. Again, I am not a fan of chickpeas and I am also not a fan of potatoes in dog food. Just like with humans, sweet potatoes are a better option so I would have liked to seen sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes as an ingredient. On a positive note, many of the other ingredients are high quality ingredients and there are no by-products or fillers in this food. Ollie brand dog food comes frozen and is delivered right to your doorstep just like The Farmer’s Dog food brand. The lamb recipe received a 4.5-star rating on the Dog Food Advisor and will cost you approximately $5.64 per day.
Nom Nom states on their website they are restaurant grade using only US growers and suppliers. This should peak the interest of all of us frenchie parents. However, just like The Farmer’s Dog, they only offer a beef recipe, a chicken recipe, a pork recipe, and a turkey recipe. Again, I opted to investigate the turkey recipe and found the ingredients are ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, fish oil, natural flavor, vinegar, citric acid, and other vitamins and minerals. Although most of these ingredients seem to be good, I am not a fan of brown rice since brown rice can be hard to digest and of course, I would have liked to see a lamb or salmon recipe offered. Nom Nom comes pre-portioned and delivered right to your doorstep. This turkey recipe received 5 stars on the Dog Food Advisor and will cost you approximately $5.15 per day.
Spot & Tango
Spot & Tango has a fresh food option and what they call an “unkibble” option. Since we are comparing fresh foods here that is what I reviewed. Spot & Tango’s fresh food contains no additives, preservatives, or fillers and it is delivered frozen. Spot & Tango offers a beef recipe, a chicken recipe, a turkey recipe, and a lamb recipe. I, of course, investigated the lamb recipe and found the ingredients to be USDA certified lamb, brown rice, blueberries, spinach, carrots, peas, eggs, parsley, apple cider vinegar, safflower oil, vegetable stock along with vitamins and minerals. Other than the brown rice, I love these ingredients. Blueberries and apple cider vinegar both offer many health benefits to our canine companions. All Spot & Tango recipes have received a 5-star rating on Dog Food Advisor. Unfortunately, this brand is beyond pricey coming in at $8.70 per day.
Fresh Pet is a little different than the others in that it is available in stores and does not require a subscription. After answering several questions on their website (including questions about allergies), they recommended the Salmon and Whitefish recipe which contains the following ingredients: Salmon, ocean whitefish, cranberries, spinach, blueberries, sweet potatoes, lentils, sunflower oil, pea protein, carrageenan, celery powder, potassium chloride and other vitamins and minerals. While I am not a fan of the lentils, pea protein, or carrageenan, the other ingredients are quality ingredients and are antibiotic and preservative free. Additionally, all meats used by Fresh Pet are USDA meats and they use USDC/NOAA registered sources for the fish. Fresh Pet also has a good assortment of treats and a highly informative website. The formula I chose to review received a 5-star rating on Dog Food Advisor and this food at $11.99 per roll from PetCo should only run you approximately $3.00 per day. Chewy also carries Fresh Pet. If you are looking for a fresh food option that won’t break the bank, this may be the option for you.
I saved the best for last, at least in my humble opinion. Pet Plate offers high quality, human-grade, whole food recipes which are personalized and cooked. They offer a beef recipe, a chicken recipe, a turkey recipe, and a lamb recipe. Again, I chose to investigate the lamb recipe and found it to contain the following ingredients: ground lamb, sweet potatoes, apples, lamb liver, quinoa, broccoli, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, natural flavors, calcium carbonate, salmon oil and other vitamins and minerals. These are all high-quality ingredients that are hot-filled and flash frozen. I particularly love the addition of the salmon oil since it is high in omega-3’s. Pet Plate has received a 5-star rating on dog food advisor with the lamb recipe receiving 4.5 stars and this fresh food option will cost you approximately $5.04 per day.
Most of these fresh food brands offer a discount on your first order and they meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutritional profile. From this research I have conducted, I am leaning heavily towards Pet Plate. It has the highest quality ingredients and is the cheapest option apart from Fresh Pet.
If your fur-babies are already on one of these fresh food brands, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below: good, bad or ugly.