Meal delivery services aren’t just for millennials or busy moms anymore; dogs want delicious food, too.
There are companies that deliver fresh, healthy, often human-grade pet food right to your door, so a pet owner can easily serve up enticing meals on the regular.
With the ever-ready taste buds of my dog Fiona, I tried five pet meal delivery services that ship specially prepared meals to you, and the beauty of it all was clear at the sight of that first cardboard box on my doorstep.
Convenience is the obvious win of the fresh-to-you concept but what I learned from this experience is that fresh food certainly seems better for the health of my dog. All of the wet meals had chunks of real vegetables, the meat looked like meat, and the leftover food residue washed clean out of my dog’s bowl with a lot less elbow grease — what makes typical pet food so tough to clean anyway? It’s something to think about.
This traditional canned dog food buyer is ready to convert forever to this pet food lifestyle — and my 8-year-old rescue pup is officially the luckiest in the world for getting to try all this good grub (she’s in a food coma on the couch next to me as I write this).
Here’s the skinny on the five pet meal delivery services we tried.
The “Cute Packaging Award” goes to … Ollie! Every time you open a box, adorned with adorable orange details, you’ll think “orange-you-so-glad you don’t have to go shopping for dog food?!” The answer is YES. Fill out a brief questionnaire at MyOllie.com and soon everything you need is delivered right to you (prices vary, depending on your dog’s weight and appetite) — including a reusable lid and scooper for the wet food, which is formulated by canine nutritionists. You can take their recommendations or choose your dog’s favorites. My dog was extra excited for each and every human-grade chicken meal. I was pleased that all the food was shipped in a recyclable box, and the food was served in recyclable trays, and that the liner is made of compostable jute (we’re both trying to reduce our carbon footprints).
Before I could say “where is that box of dog food I ordered?” 7 beef and 7 chicken meals arrived for my canine princess. Somehow Fiona knew the shipment was for her — can she read? — and the reason I know this is because of her out-of-control tail wagging as I put the scissors to the box. It was like somehow she knew she’d love the stuff, which can be frozen, served right from the fridge or heated in the microwave when you receive it. The things I liked most about the plates (which are selected online by dog owners themselves) are that the human-grade food looked like real food, not mushed up wet stuff from a can, and the plastic tubs can be conveniently recycled with other household waste.
If you suffer from “I never know how much dry food to give my dog” syndrome, like I do, Crafted Kibble is here to help. Create a pet profile at CraftedKibble.com and get recommendations on a dry food formula tailored to your pup with U.S.-sourced ingredients. Your delivery will contain a month of customized dry dog food, individually wrapped in baggies and essentially curing the kibble confusion that ails you (and me), for just about $35 a shipment. The food was so aromatic that my dog was very excited to partake — and, I kid you not, the cat was totally jealous. P.S. the hand-written note (above) that comes with your order is an adorable, personalized touch.
While some mail order meals come frozen and need to be thawed before you can feed, this stuff comes ready-to-eat in individually portioned packets. The veterinary-formulated food is cooked fresh every week with restaurant-quality ingredients by professional chef Michael Roddey, and, like Crafted Kibble, they do the measuring for you, which takes the guess work out of serving sizes. If your dog has never eaten fresh food before, they help you with the transition by first sending you smaller portions that ease your pup’s stomach into the food. Another genius thing about this nom: they send you an “emergency” food packet, that you should immediately toss in the freezer. It’s your dog’s food supply just in case there is ever any delivery trouble — if you’ve ever tried a food delivery service yourself, you know how clutch is it to have a food replacement at the ready. Added bonus: they’re now catering to cats!
Co-developed by a dog owner whose doggy had tummy issues, I felt good about giving this fresh food to my senior pup who often struggles with that very same thing. The meals are “tested on humans” and made with human grade USDA ingredients so a dog-lover, like me, could essentially eat it — and I wanted to, I really, really wanted to (but for the record, I didn’t because: dog food). My pup, however, did not hesitate to eat the vet-developed turkey and parsnip meal and she seemed quite happy with what she was eating. It was formulated especially for her after I filled out an online profile and came with detailed feeding instructions, including the amount of calories a dog her size should have per day. It’s definitely empowering knowing this much about your dog’s nutritional needs.