How To Transition To Fresh Dog Food
One of the most important steps a pet parent must make when deciding to change their dogs diet is ensuring a slow transition, especially if they are currently on a kibble diet. Dogs that eat a full kibble diet can take upwards of two weeks in order to fully transition. This is because their stomachs get very used to digesting the kibble, and when you quickly switch to real food, your buddys stomach will be really sensitive and likely result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, loose stool, or even vomiting.
How to slowly introduce fresh food while continuing to give kibble.
Step by Step
Is Fresh Dog Food The Same As Raw Food
Fresh dog food and raw food are not the same, no. Fresh usually refers to cooked or lightly cooked food made with minimal preservatives, says Dr. Countner. Raw diets do not go through a heating or cooking process.
Fresh dog food is typically made in small batches, and then frozen or refrigerated to ensure freshness. Theyre made with ingredients humans can eat as well, like fruits, vegetables, chicken and rice. Dr. Streeter notes that some fresh dog foods are raw while others are cooked. Some raw foods are also in the form of kibble and would not be considered fresh. Raw food generally contains raw muscle meat, organ meat and edible bonethings a dog might eat in the wild. Just like fresh food, youll need to keep raw food frozen.
Why Cooking For Your Dog Might Be The Right Decision For You
Before we adopted Sky, we thought a lot about what we were going to feed him. Somehow, the thought of serving up kibble everyday didnt quite entice us. I mean, can dogs even drink enough to make up for the number of dry pellets they consume on the daily? Then, there is the other common alternative: Having to run to the recycling plant every other day, in order to get rid of piles and piles of empty dog food cans. Not only do they stink up your house when stashing them in the bin, they also cause an unnecessary negative impact on the environment. So, whats left to feed, then?
By doing research and talking to a certified dog nutritionist, we opted for a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced homemade dog diet. This comes with the benefit of knowing exactly what ingredients go into it, where you source them from, and if the plan aligns with your budget and ethical requirements. Homemade dog food can be served up raw this is the closest you can get to mimicking a natural diet or you can take up cooking for your dog.
And there are a couple of reasons why you might put your dog on a cooked diet over raw.
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How We Tested And Reviewed The Products
Before you change your dogs diet, its important to get an expert opinion.
Always talk to your veterinarian before making significant changes to your dogs diet, just to be safe. Its also a good idea to read reviews to make sure the product you choose is the best choice.
Youll be glad to know that weve tested each of the products reviewed here, and weve done our best to bring you a detailed and unbiased overview of the companies and their products.
Are Dog Food Subscriptions Worth It
Yesif you have the budget and storage space available. Dog food subscriptions can make life for both you and your dog easier in a number of ways. Theyre definitely more convenient for one thing, youll never run out of dog food so you dont have to frantically run to the store on a random day. Its one less thing pet parents have to think about picking up at the store, says Dr. Countner. Meals are customized to your dogs specific nutritional needs, keeping their health in mind. You get peace of mind with fresh high-quality ingredients vetted by veterinarians and nutritionists as well as plenty of variety to choose from.
That said, again, you have to take your budget and storage space into account. Dog food subscriptions are expensive and often demand extra room in your freezer or refrigerator, as most meals need to be kept frozen. In the end, this really depends on the dogs needs as well as the humans, says Dr. Streeter. If you are looking for a convenient way to obtain your dog food, a subscription provides that convenience.
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How We Chose The Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery Services
I started by looking at the ingredients, making sure they all had whole sources of animal protein, whole food ingredients, and no preservatives or fillers. They all had to meet the nutritional standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials , a non-profit that sets standards for pet foods and animal feed in the U.S.
To make our list, all foods had to offer several product options. All have at least chicken, beef, and turkey. Several also have lamb or pork and JustFoodForDogs has seven different recipes. All companies must have formulas created by a veterinary nutritionist. Extra points went to Nom Nom, which has one on staff.
I made sure all of the sites were intuitive, so you could easily enter your dogs information and receive recommendations about how much to feed and which formula might be best for your pet.I tried PetPlate recently and several other services in the past couple of years, and I talked to people who have tried these services and read extensive reviews from users and veterinarians.
Packaging was also very important. Because youll be getting food every few weeks, we made sure to include only companies where most, if not all of the material, was recyclable, compostable, or recycled.
What To Look For When Purchasing
Fresh dog food is a broad category, so no two brands are created equally. As you decide which option is right for you, here are a few things to consider:
1. Balanced Meals Formulated by Veterinary Nutritionists
The top priority when youre choosing fresh dog food is the quality of the meals. Even if they contain natural ingredients and grass-fed meats, the meals still need to be balanced to provide the right nutrition for your pup.
Make sure that any company that your purchase from works with veterinary nutritionists to formulate every recipe, so your dog is getting all of the essential vitamins and nutrients that they need.
2. Variety in Recipes
For dogs with allergies, sensitivities, or those that are just picky eaters, its important to choose fresh dog food that offers a variety of recipe choices, especially different protein options.
Variety also provides your dog with new tastes and textures to experience regularly to keep them more interested in their mealtimes. Some pet parents also say that feeding your dog a variety of different ingredients can help prevent allergies from developing.
Some fresh dog food companies, like Nom Nom, let you rotate between recipes every week.
3. Portion Options
Theres a variety of portion options available between the different fresh dog food companies, so this will depend on your lifestyle, personal preference, and budget.
Many plans also offer other portion options like half-portion plans.
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Pet Plate Customer Reviews
94% of users gave Pet Plate a 4 or 5-star rating on the Pet Plate website, so there were many satisfied dogs and pet parents. Many dogs would get really excited the moment they smelled the food.
As a plus, the majority were also pleased with the customer service staff who were helpful whenever there were issues with logistics.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Dog Food Subscription Box Once Youve Picked
Once youâve picked out the right box for you, follow our steps to help make sure you make the most of your new subscription.
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I And Love And You Best For Raw Food Diets
I and Love and Youis a slightly different option than the other dog food delivery services on our list. Offering homemade raw food for adult dogs, puppies, and seniors, you can order this dog food straight from Amazon, making it one of the easiest-to-order services available. Called Stir and Boom, this high-protein dog food doesnt come ready to serve, but all you need to do is add water, mix, and serve. Grain-free and made with real meat, it contains no by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, rice, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. Instead, it contains freeze dried meats and gently dehydrated fruits and vegetables.
I and Love and You offers four formulations, all of which are easy to mix with water and serve to your pup:
It comes in 1.5-pound or 5.5-pound bags, so you can customize your order to receive the right amount of food to last your dog between orders. Other ingredients include nutrient-rich split peas and sweet potatoes, with no grains to upset your dogs sensitive tummy. The 1.5-pound bag makes 10 pounds of dog food, while the 5.5-pound bag makes 36 pounds of dog food.
Ease of Ordering
The ordering process couldnt be simpler if you want to give I and Love and Yous homemade raw dog food a try. Simply visit Amazon, select the recipe and size you want, and click Buy Now .
Pricing & Scheduling Options
How Much Should Dog Food Delivery Cost
Compared to other traditional pet food options, dog food delivery is more expensive, so make sure youve got the budget for it before splurging. Costs do vary depending on the company you go with, however, and on your dogs specific dietary needs. Dr. Countner explains the reason for the high costs: Most dog food delivery services prepare meals in smaller kitchens, versus bigger manufacturing plants. The smaller scale, quality ingredients, less processed food, and delivery straight to your door means that it will cost more than picking up food at your local pet store.
You often dont know the exact price youre paying until you provide information about your dog and how often youre looking to receive deliveries. Some plans can cost as little as two dollars a day or nine dollars a week, while others can come in at $300 a month. If youre trying to figure out how much to spend, do a little math and look at the cost of the product per 100 or 1000 kilocalories, Dr. Streeter advises. This will help determine which is the most cost effective. I have noticed some programs look cheaper but recommend feeding a lower amount of calories, which means you may end up paying more in the long run if your dog needs more than they are initially recommending.
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How We Choose The Best Dog Food
We considered six key areas when deciding upon the best dog food.
Alaskan Klee Kai Copper with his Butternut Box delivery
Butternut Box started out of a desire to provide pet parents with a different option on the dog food market.
Having grown tired of the traditional options, Butternut Box began creating nutritious dog meals for British pups because they believe our canine companions deserve better.
Their website promises pet parents that theyll put the food back into dog food, rather than mystery fillers and preservatives found in traditional options.
Butternut Box use some veterinary nutritionists to help build out their collection of recipes using the best ingredients.
They believe theyve created a healthy menu thats worth drooling over, which is an exciting prospect for dog owners with picky pets, like me.
Butternut Box will customise each meal to meet your dogs specific needs, whether theyre a energetic young pup or a senior dog who likes a cat nap.
Theyve also adopted an eco-friendly approach to their service by ensuring that you can recycle all the elements of their insulation and packaging. This is a big plus!
Tell Butternut Box about your pooch Youll be required to enter your dogs details into their website, such as age, breed, weight, activity level, body type, allergies and more.
Butternut Box recipes
Packaging and Preparation
Price and Delivery
Awesome For Allergies: Evermore
Price: $14 to $300 per week.
Evermore subscriptions come in a variety of sizes so that you can choose to feed it exclusively, or use as a meal supplement. Learn more through the link below.
Our experience: The packaging was compact and had serving sizes on the back of the boxes, and I liked that they used organic ingredients, but it was a bit of a hassle to find a ziplock bag when I didnt need to use a full portion for a single meal and then try to stuff it back into the cardboard so I didnt get the meals confused between dogs. Because they focus on organic ingredients, grass-fed meat, and avoid most problematic starches theyre our top choice for dogs with sensitive systems or food allergies.
What sets them apart:
Available recipes: Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Beef
Made with organic ingredients and grass-fed meat, Evermore is a great option for dogs with allergies since their food avoids most problematic starches.
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What Is The Healthiest Dog Food To Feed
The healthiest fresh dog food to feed your pup is Ollie. The recipes are created by canine nutritionists with human-grade ingredients. Each recipe is customized for your dogs unique needs. Also, remember that feeding your dog amounts appropriate for their size is also an important health factor. Judging a medium sized dog can be especially tricky, so you might want to play around and see how it affects their weight.
How Are These Foods Different From Cooking For Your Dog At Home
As well-intentioned as you might be, it can be hard to get the ingredients and nutrition right for a canine-specific diet. Its not as simple as feeding your dog whatever youre eating or just cooking up chicken and rice. Even the foods we highlight here are enhanced with nutrients to make sure your pet is getting a well-rounded meal. If you want to cook for your dog, you can buy a DIY nutrient blend from JustFoodForDogs.
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The Farmers Dog Best Dog Food Delivery Service Overall
The Farmers Dog is a dog food delivery service offering human-grade meals prepared fresh just days before delivery to your door. Its basically a smarter, healthier alternative to highly processed, low-quality dog food. Using human-grade meats and vegetables, The Farmers Dog offers simple recipes designed just for dogs, guided by science, and prepared in USDA-certified facilities. The Farmers Dog exceeds nutritional standards for dogs set by AAFCO, and meals are designed by a veterinarian, pre-made and pre-portioned to your pets specific caloric needs based on the profile information you provide. The food is delivered within days after cooking and is never frozen to ensure freshness and nutritional value. The recipes dont include any meal products or preservatives, and they come pre-portioned and ready to serve.
The Farmers Dog offers three tasty recipes your pup will love, including:
Ease of Ordering
Like other dog food delivery services, ordering from The Farmers Dog is relatively simple. First, youll need to create a profile for your pup and enter information such as your dogs breed, age, current weight, body shape, activity level, current diet, and other details. Then youll get a recommended plan that you can customize by removing any recipes that you dont want for your dog.
Pricing & Scheduling Options
today and get 50% OFF YOUR FIRST PURCHASE.
What We Like:
on The Farmers Dogs secured website
Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery Service: Nom Nom Variety Pack
Nom Nom Variety Pack
Why it made the cut: No commitment is required to try out these delicious preportioned, delicious, high-quality food packets that are sustainably sourced from American growers.
- Some customers had issues with underweight deliveries
Carefully sourced ingredients that put nutrition and sustainability first, Nom Nom gets all proteins and veggies from trusted and reliable U.S. growers and suppliers.
Theyre all made in private kitchens to ensure quality controls and they dont use any high-temp vats or extrusion to maximize nutrition and keep the foods as digestible as possible for your pups. Flavors like Beef Mashmade with beef, potatoes, carrots, peas, and eggsare sure to be a doggie fav. Or try Pork Potluckpork, potatoes, green beans, kale, squash, and mushrooms. Im sorry, I dont even eat this healthy!
One reviewer even noted that her dogs poops have improved since starting on Nom Nom. We love to see a good poop shoutout!
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