When it comes to dog food, it can be difficult to find the best options that can help your dog reach their highest physical potential and lead a long and happy life. These days, it seems your best bet in that regard are dog food delivery services.
Such services are built on allowing dog owners to easily order dog food online, using human grade ingredients, and formulating recipes with the help of veterinarians and professional pet nutritionists. The best fresh dog food of today is filled with nutritious ingredients like sweet potato and brown rice, and offer such options as going meatless or grain free. And they account for things such as your dog’s size, your dog’s age, your dog’s breed, whether it’s a picky eater, and other considerations for your dog’s nutritional needs.
With such a wide array of features that may be overwhelming for someone used to buying food from the local pet store, it can be difficult to highlight the best and worst points of each of the most popular dog food delivery services out right now. Fortunately, we already did it for you.
The Best Dog Food Delivery Service Brands in 2023
We researched and tried out eight different dog food delivery services, weighing the pros, cons, and main selling points of each. Out of all of them, we arrived at the conclusion that Nom Nom delivers superior products to the rest.
Our Favorite: Nom Nom
- Customized meal plan options based on dog’s diet needs and preferences.
- Recipes are formulated by professional pet nutritionists.
- Speedy delivery service brings freshly cooked dog food to your door.
- Best value for money out of all dog food delivery services we tried. Money-back guarantee if you don’t see results within a few weeks.
Although they offer the best quality for price, their products are still quite pricey at ~$48 per week on average for a medium-sized dog.
Customization options can only be accessed via customer support, not the website itself. Additionally, customers are unable to specify which day they would like to receive their weekly shipment.
The reason Nom Nom is our number one pick is because it’s the most well-rounded one of the bunch. Not only do they offer fully personalized dog food, they also carefully craft their recipes so that there’s a noticeable improvement in your dog’s health.
In as little as under a week, you can expect Nom Nom’s dog food to give your pup more energy and stamina, better bowel movements, a healthier coat, and even fresher breath.
Over a longer period of time, you’ll be able to see any weight problems your dog may have even out . All of these amount to giving your dog an all-around healthier and happier glow.
Plus, if you’ve ever had problems with your dog not having enough interest in their food during mealtime, Nom Nom’s perfectly flavored and textured recipes should sort that out quickly.
The main downsides with Nom Nom are the price point and the difficulties with tweaking your customized recipes and other options. However, the latter issue is just a UX problem that can be fixed with time.
As for the pricing issue, it’s still quite competitive compared to other fresh dog food brands when you consider the quality you’re getting, and the fact that human-grade fresh dog food is simply more expensive to make.
Discover more by reading our complete Nom Nom Dog Food review.
Most Convenient Fresh Dog Food Delivery Service: JustFoodForDogs
- Website displays roster of veterinarians of different specializations and veterinary nutritionists under their employ.
- They also offer one-on-one consultation to learn how to optimize your pet’s health, either in-person or remotely.
- Open kitchens in store locations so you can see exactly how their dog food is made. They also conduct year-long feeding trials to ensure that their recipes are 100 percent safe and effective.
- Vegetables and grains are expertly incorporated into their recipes so your dog can take advantage of their health benefits without reducing enjoyment.
- Products are notably expensive across the board compared to other services. Portions also vary depending on the recipe, so trying out a new one might leave your dog dissatisfied at the amount.
- Fresh frozen packs have to be thawed, and quality of all product categories deteriorate significantly if not consumed immediately once opened.
True to their name, JustFoodForDogs is aimed around making the dog food delivery process as painless as possible. You don’t even need a subscription to get fresh dog food delivered to your door.
Thanks to their highly skilled team of vets and nutritionists, they’re able to take a very hands-on approach to each dog’s dietary needs, meaning there’s rarely any need to tweak the custom recipes they prepare for you, or any of the products they have on offer.
But just to give you the option, they also sell DIY kits so you can prepare and modify their recipes yourself.
To make things even more convenient, JustFoodForDogs has a feeding calculator on their website, to help you figure out how to make the best use of each of their products.
All of their ingredients are USDA-approved and human grade, meaning that they’re safe for consumption even for humans.
They’re also 100 percent free of preservatives and all recipes meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth and maintaining peak health, courtesy of their meticulous board certified veterinary nutritionist team.
One of the major things that makes JustFoodForDogs unique is the fact that they’re the only fresh dog food delivery service that has conducted feeding trials with their products. Again, this was enabled largely thanks to their extensive roster of veterinary nutritionists.
However as with all fresh food, their products can’t be left out all day or they’ll start to spoil. Their pantry fresh food has a shelf life of up to 2 years, but once opened, it has to be consumed immediately.
Additionally, their quality comes at a significant price, with the cheaper options often costing over $60 for a week’s supply.
See our full Just Food For Dogs review.
Best Gourmet Experience: A Pup Above
- Flavor is their highest consideration. The perfect match for terribly picky eaters!
- Ordering on their site is quick and easy. No subscription required, but you can subscribe if you want automated deliveries.
- A lot less expensive than most fresh dog food delivery services. You can end up paying up to 50 percent less compared to other fresh dog food brands.
- Sustainability is a chief priority to them. A Pup Above’s packaging is 100 percent recyclable and their ingredients are sourced from sustainable and ethical farms. Their suppliers are traceable too so you can verify this information yourself.
- Lacks customization. Since their main focus is to just make fresh dog food that dogs of all taste preferences can enjoy, they didn’t lean into the custom recipes angle at all.
If there’s one thing that can be said about this dog food delivery service, it’s that it’s certain to get your dog pumped for meal time. Eating experience is the highest priority to A Pup Above, with each recipe designed from the ground up to have gourmet-quality texture and flavor.
To that end, they employ the sous-vide technique of cooking, wherein food is vacuum-sealed and immersed in hot water so it can cook as slowly and as gently as possible.
This leaves the dog food incredibly tender and juicy. And most importantly, this preserves all of the flavor, making every bite incredibly savory.
Aside from restaurant-tier taste, they are also committed to sustainability. They only order ingredients and meat from sustainable farms, which you can look up yourself by following the code that comes with every box.
Additionally, their packaging is made up entirely of 100 percent recyclable materials, right down to the box lining.
They also make it a point to use “ugly produce” which are vegetables that don’t pass aesthetic standards but are otherwise completely edible. This minimizes food waste, further adding to their sustainability points.
And to top it off, they even donate a small percentage of their earnings to White Buffalo Land Trust, an eco-friendly agricultural organization.
Our A Pup Above review will guide you to further assess this fresh dog food.
Most Personalized Recipes: Tailored Pet
- Highly personalized dog food and doggy treats. Everything about your dog is accounted for, from their genetics to their gastronomic preferences.
- Comprehensive health profile formulates the ideal ingredient mix for your dog’s specific health parameters.
- Biodegradable and recyclable packaging. The boxes, bags, and even the scoops are made of 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable materials.
- 100 percent money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. Subscriptions are cancelable at any time, and new subscribers also get half off on their first delivery.
- Prices can rise steeply if your dog has more than a few health conditions or prefers more premium meats.
- Only offers kibble at the moment. Tailored Pet believes that dry food is far superior to other options when it comes to providing the best nutrition to your dog.
Tailored Pet’s main focus is to provide the most nutritionally adequate food, whatever your dog’s health conditions or biometric parameters may be.
They do this via their comprehensive health profile quiz, which determines the best ingredients to use for maintaining your dog’s health, as well as deal with any health issues they may have.
Their health profile quiz was created by their in-house veterinary nutritionist team, who use the optimal food preparation methods to make their dry dog food as healthy as possible.
The main disadvantage with this brand is the fact that prices can really ramp up if your dog has a few health problems or if you choose fancier protein options. This is because Tailored Pet is very serious about personalizing their recipes for your dog’s specific profile, down to the last calorie.
On one hand, you may think that it’s well worth it to pay a little more to ensure that your dog stays in the pink of health. But on the other, you may see this as a costly over-correction. It all comes down to how important you think diet is to your dog’s health.
Learn more by reading our full Tailored Pet review.
Eco-Friendliest Farm-to-Bowl: The Farmer’s Dog
- Uses only the most wholesome and nutritious meat and vegetables.
- All ingredients are USDA-approved, humanely raised, and free of GMOs and other artificial substances.
- Fully committed to sustainable practices.
- Free shipping, with bulk shipping options available to reduce the carbon footprint of your dog food deliveries.
- Not great for dogs who don’t strictly adhere to mealtime schedules because food doesn’t last long once thawed.
- Limited customization options. Site has a profile quiz like Tailored Pet, but it’s harder to tweak the recipe to your liking. Hence not ideal for dogs with strict diets.
The Farmer’s Dog pride themselves on being an all-natural brand, from their ingredients and preparation techniques to their sustainability commitments.
And it’s precisely because of this that recipes by The Farmer’s Dog are simple as can be. Usually made up of only the main protein and one or two kinds of veggie mixed in. Grain free and filled with the natural flavors of the meat, your pup is certain to enjoy it.
However, because of the focus they give to the quality of their meats and veggies, they have a pretty limited selection of meat proteins. So far they only carry beef, chicken, and turkey, but this list may expand in time.
Unfortunately, you can’t view the ingredients of their recipes until you arrive at one when you take their health profile quiz. However, all first-time orders are 50% off, to let you try their recipes out at a lower price before deciding if The Farmer’s Dog is right for you.
Customization is also quite limited. The Farmer’s Dog is great for dogs whose stomachs have issues digesting dog food that have been altered using artificial preparation methods. But for dogs who are on the pickier side or have certain dietary needs, it may not be ideal.
Still, they may be the best choice for pet parents who want a fresh dog food delivery service that also places a lot of value on sustainable practices.
Portions and automated deliveries are set up such that there’s no overfeeding, wastage, or need to set aside too much space in your freezer; but you’re never left without a fresh food pack come mealtime either. But at the same time, they also offer bulk delivery options to reduce emissions even more.
Since all of their products are made to order instead of mass produced, their manufacturing process has a much smaller carbon footprint.
And their carbon footprint is driven down even further by the fact that they deliver direct to the consumer, taking emission-heavy middlemen out of the equation. And of course, all their packaging materials are either biodegradable or recyclable.
Check out our The Farmer’s Dog review for more details.
Most Customizable Fresh Dog Food: PetPlate
- Most customizable out of all fresh dog food.
- Customizable multi-recipe subscription plans. Free delivery throughout the mainland US. Skippable, pausable, and cancelable at any time.
- Highly active and quality customer service. 100 percent money back guarantee.
- Good selection of meat proteins, plus treat addons such as supplement cookies.
- Containers are quite large and cumbersome. Food packs can be difficult to find space for in freezer.
- Subscription-only, and delivery frequency can’t be specified.
PetPlate first entered the public consciousness as an entry in the show Shark Tank. It was turned down by the show’s judges when it was just an idea, but as a fully realized brand, it has seen remarkable success.
PetPlate was founded by Renaldo Webb, an operations consultant that served several pet food manufacturers. A dog lover himself, Webb saw firsthand all of the less-than-savory ingredients that go into commercial dog food, which pushed him to make his own dog food brand.
Starting from humble beginnings in his own home kitchen, PetPlate has delivered over 15 million freshly cooked meals to grateful doggies and pet parents so far.
And it’s because of this experience, and subsequently having to cook custom meals for each of his dogs, he knows all too well how different dogs’ tastes and dietary needs can be. And that’s why PetPlate offers plenty of considerations for your dog’s food sensitivities and certain health issues.
Like many dog food subscriptions, PetPlate tailors its recipes for your dog’s specific caloric needs. But it also does so with the same all-natural sourcing and preparation methods used by the likes of The Farmer’s Dog. Every meal is made so that it feels just like the first batch of homemade dog food Renaldo made for his own beloved dogs.
PetPlate’s veterinary nutritionist team focuses on making the recipes as low-fat and calorie-restricted as possible while still tasting great and providing your pup with all of the vitamins and minerals they nead to live a long, happy life. They then kettle-cook their food in small batches at a time to lock in the nutrients.
These two together ensure that every meal is as wholesome as possible. And to top it off, Pet Plate is one of the most affordable fresh dog food delivery services, starting at as low as $1 per day for an average-sized dog.
Get more tips through our PetPlate review.
Most Accessible Fresh Food Brand: Freshpet
- Easiest to purchase, can be found in many supermarkets.
- Vast selection of ready to serve meals, dry food, and DIY recipe packs.
- Sleek and streamlined website with comprehensive info and facts on nutrition, ingredients used, and more.
- Less expensive than other fresh food brands.
- Below most subscription-based fresh dog food brands in terms of quality.
When it comes to fresh dog foods, your main options are usually subscription-based, or at least made-to-order and then brought to your door through a delivery service of some kind.
If you’re really into green living and conservation, this can weigh on your conscience regardless of how sustainable the brand’s practices are.
That wouldn’t be the case with Freshpet, which stands out from most fresh dog food services in that its products can be purchased from supermarkets. Freshpet’s dog food can be found in the refrigerated sections of an increasing number of supermakets, such as Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods.
However, the area where Freshpet falls flat is quality. Products from dog food delivery services are simply superior, since they’re made-to-order in specialized kitchens. By contrast, Freshpet’s products are mass-produced.
Most of its fresh food comes in the form of rolls, which you’re meant to chop up and heat. They do also offer real meal and DIY packs, which are a cut above in terms of quality but still fall short of other brands’ products. Its dry food is decent, however.
On the other hand, they do also offer fresh homemade meals for delivery. The quality is similar to your average fresh dog food delivery services, but aside from that there isn’t really anything special that can be said about it.
If you’re simply looking for a simple fresh dog food brand that you can grab at the supermarket when you make your grocery runs, Freshpet is perfect. It does have most of the trappings and qualities that you would expect from a fresh pet food brand.
But if you don’t like the quality, you can always try their fresh food delivery options. Otherwise, you would be better off with a different dog food delivery service.
Want to know more? Read our Freshpet dog food review.
Best Kibble: Spot and Tango
- Their kibble recipe is a cut above most kibble brands, with its fresher taste and more wholesome content.
- Offers both dry and wet dog food, unlike most dog food subscription services.
- Most recipes make liberal use of vegetables to round out your dog’s diet.
- Wide variety of non-meat options.
- Limited delivery service customization.
- Reports of lackluster customer service.
The most significant pitfall for dog kibble is using artificial ingredients to improve taste and shelf life. This often leads to serviceable taste and none of the pleasure of a freshly made meal.
That’s what drove Spot and Tango to develop UnKibble, which is their attempt at creating a “fresh dry” dog food.
And this attempt seemed to be successful, seeing as it sold out twice in the first month of operation. If your dog prefers dry food, Spot and Tango’s kibble is arguably the best option for you, narrowly beating Tailored Pet.
Tailored Pet does hold the edge of better personalization over it, but that doesn’t mean Spot and Tango doesn’t have its own customization quiz to develop the best recipe for your pup.
Aside from UnKibble, Spot and Tango also sells fresh foods, which are good enough to compete with other brands. However, it’s ultimately beat by brands that are more specialized towards fresh food.
Additionally, there have been reports online of faulty customer service and unfair refunding. You also can’t find out how much you’ll have to pay until you complete a whole run of the personalization quiz, meaning you’ll have to go through it again if you want to see if you can get a better deal.
Our Spot And Tango review gives you a full guide.
Benefits of Subscribing to Dog Food Delivery Services
The main benefit of subscribing to a dog food delivery service is the quality. The reason they are so popular right now is because they’re your best bet at getting healthy dog food.
Most of the best dog food delivery services that operate right now sell fresh meals as their main offering. Such services are by and large the only way to get fresh meals for your pet, aside from making fresh pet food yourself at home.
There are pet food brands such as Freshpet that are bringing fresh pet foods to a wider market, but the best fresh dog food can only be had from dog food subscription services.
Their ingredients are often human-grade and painstakingly curated so that they’re well within the guidelines set by the AAFCO and other food safety organizations. And because they’re often made-to-order, they’re also in a great position to offer customers customized recipes to account for food allergies, health issues, and different tastes.
This is all facilitated with a team of veterinarians, either employed in-house or as consultants. This setup makes them more agile, allowing them to tweak recipes as-needed when new information becomes available, such as certain ingredients being discovered to offer twice as much benefit as what they’ve been using.
And finally, with a dog food subscription service, you can never run out of dog food, in theory at least. Some fresh food services set up their deliveries such that you always have exactly one fresh meal ready come mealtime.
If you’ve ever wanted to put your dog on a fresh food diet but can never find the time to make fresh meals yourself, pet food delivery services can make your and your dogs’ lives so much easier.
Dog Food Delivery Subscription Or Store-Bought Pet Food?
Let’s contrast dog food delivery services against traditional dog food.
Traditional dog food is mass-produced using the most inexpensive means possible. Some may assure customers that their content is human-grade, but even so, the quality of the majority of their products will be far below that of a fresh food brand.
In addition, store-bought would have much fewer options for more niche diets, such as raw food and meatless. You can concoct your own homemade meatless or raw dog food, but that takes a lot more effort.
Plus, dog food delivery services are much better at sourcing human grade meat that’s safe for dogs to consume raw, or meatless food that can truly match up against meat-based dog food and has undergone feeding trials to prove it.
However, dog food delivery cost may throw a wrench into all the advantages you could reap from dog food subscriptions, in cases where your preferred subscription-based brand doesn’t offer free delivery in your area or you live outside the US.
And perhaps the biggest case for store-bought food is the fact that it would be much less expensive than the vast majority of the products offered by subscription-based brands.
Buyer’s Guide on Selecting the Best Dog Food Delivery Service
The best dog food delivery service for you is ultimately going to come down to what elements of a service you value the most.
As we’ve highlighted above, each of the top delivery services have their main selling point, which should serve as your main guide to find out which one is the best fit for you.
Generally, the major factors you’ll have to look at are price, taste, personalization, convenience, ethics, and food varieties offered. Rank these services based on which of these factors are most important to you.
Most if not all of these services advertise that they serve only human grade dog food, so instead take a look at how they source their ingredients and how sustainable their practices are. The title of human grade food isn’t worth much if they’re sourced via less than ethical means.
As with any product, customer reviews are going to be the best metric for how products are actually experienced by the customer. Look specifically for negative reviews and use these as your standard when you look at other customer reviews and reviews from blogs and pet websites.
While researching brands, you should also account for your dog’s age. Search specifically for customers saying that the food was great for their dog’s digestion despite the dog’s age. If there are no reviews mentioning this, look again.
And if your dog has food sensitivities or health conditions, you should avoid the brands that don’t offer customization options in those areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best pet food delivery?
Based on our extensive research and testing, we’ve decided that Nom Nom provides the best price-to-quality ratio.
Most of the services we reviewed entered the clean bowl club, but we found that Nom Nom was eaten with the most amount of gusto. It’s also better at accounting for a dog’s personal parameters, and comes at the best price for what it offers.
What is the most affordable dog food delivery service?
Pet Plate is the most inexpensive fresh dog food brands out there, with the cheapest meal options starting at $1 a day.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Farmer’s Dog?
Farmer’s Dog is unique in that it offers the most natural food options delivered straight to your door. There isn’t really a cheaper alternative to that, but if you just want fresh meals for your dog, there are cheaper options available such as Pet Plate.
Is a dog food subscription worth it?
A dog food subscription is worth it if your dog has specific dietary needs or tastes, or you prefer fresh, homemade high quality dog food but can’t find the time to prepare some yourself.