Top Recommendation: The Farmer’s Dog
Why We LOVE It:
- THE pioneers in fresh dog food. Real, fresh food made for dogs, delivered to your door.
- Vet-designed meal plans personalized to your dog’s nutritional needs.
- Human-grade meat and vegetables prepared in USDA-standard kitchens.
- No special preparation – just defrost, open, and serve!
The trend in eating healthy foods that are minimally processed is now trending in the pet food industry. As dog owners, we want the best for our pups, including what they eat.
People are educating themselves about how to give their pets a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy means consuming foods high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and low in fat. Pet parents understand that their pups will live a longer, healthier, and happier life eating natural foods. That means feeding them a fresh diet that contains just food – no other junk. And, the best dog food also disqualifies ingredients that aren’t natural to a dog’s diet, such as wheat, macaroni, fish meal, etc.
Although it might not be a natural part of a dog’s diet, healthy supplements like Apple Cider Vinegar, salmon oil, or a vitamin E supplement, should not be discounted, even in a fresh dog food diet. With natural, restaurant-quality ingredients and healthy supplements, a fresh food diet is great for your dog’s health as well as for treating conditions like food sensitivities.
The best fresh dog food delivery service market is expanding with many options available—these are practically homemade dog food too! One of the most convenient things about these services is that you get your food delivered right to your door. Here’s a list of the best fresh dog food brands and how to choose the one for your furry friend.
The Best Fresh Dog Food Brands In 2023
Fresh dog food is freshly made by numerous pet food companies, usually serving your pup its dinner within a week. The primary difference between fresh and canned food found in your local pet store is canned is made months before your pup eats it. Canned dog food has a limited shelf life. Fresh dog food is made with very few or no preservatives. The concept for most fresh dog food services is that the less processing, the better. For the value for money, The Farmer’s Dog is the best fresh dog food we have reviewed so far.
|The Farmer’s Dog||GET 50% OFF →|
|Ollie||GET 50% OFF →|
|A Pup Above||GET $50 OFF →|
|Nom Nom||FRESHEST PRICE →|
|PetPlate||FRESHEST PRICE →|
Best Overall: The Farmer’s Dog
- Most dogs love The Farmer’s Dog recipe flavors
- USDA approved fresh ingredients
- Trial options to buy a small quantity before subscribing
- Environmentally-friendly packaging
- Difficulty in finding an ingredients list without a questionnaire
- Serving or portion process might be messy
- No grain-inclusive recipes
The Farmer’s Dog offers fresh dog food delivery services as well as dog food subscription based service that uses biodegradable pouches. All the meals are ready-to-serve and custom-created for each dog’s specific needs. Pet parents don’t have to worry about managing their pup’s weight or issues with food allergies. Each meal is created based on a dog’s weight, possible allergies, finicky eating habits, snacking, and activity level. They also provide themselves on offering grain-free, gluten-free meals.
Each meal is freshly cooked in a USDA-approved kitchen in the United States, one of the key things that distinguishes this brand from other dog foods. Basically, it means that their food is so fresh it’s even fit for human consumption. The food is also sourced from local farms. All the ingredients in The Farmer’s dog meals are human-grade and approved by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure Fido gets balanced dog nutrition. Meals are immediately frozen using dry ice and shipped in individually packaged containers to ensure freshness. Meals arrive soon after you order them. The company offers a 50 percent discount on the first order.
The Farmer’s Dog recipe options include beef and lentil, pork recipe with sweet potato, as well as fresh turkey recipe with parsnip. All the ingredients in the fresh food recipes are USDA approved and consist of cauliflower, green beans, potato, sweet potato, and pork .
Most meals also contains their proprietary TFD stack of supplements which includes ingredients like iron amino acid chelate.
Best Fresh & Baked Recipe Options: Ollie
- High-quality ingredients made in USDA approved kitchens
- Options for dog owners to choose ingredients
- Tray packaging makes leftover storage convenient
- Most dogs love Ollie’s natural flavors
- Each meal must be measured individually
- High cost, but a mix-in option is available
Ollie is a best fresh dog food brand that offers subscription-based meals delivered to your home on a schedule you set. The delicious meals are shipped frozen to be thawed before serving to your pup. A canine nutritionist creates Ollie dog food. Each meal plan is based on your dog’s health, dietary preferences, goals for weight, and allergies. Ollie is an ideal choice for dogs that are finicky eaters or allergic to specific ingredients.
Owners and their dogs get an introduction to Ollie with a quiz. The pet parent fills in the information to create a unique meal plan. Two weeks of food arrive at your home in a starter box. You decide how often you want Ollie to deliver meals for your dog. Recipe options include:
- Beef with sweet potatoes, rosemary, and peas
- Chicken with spinach, rice, and carrots
- Lamb with cranberries, butternut squash, and kale
- Turkey with blueberries, carrots, and chia seeds 214Ollie recipes are created without any artificial colors, flavors, or fillers—all from human food suppliers. The meals are safe enough for humans but should be strictly for your pup. Ollie’s fresh recipes are minimally processed and gently cooked to preserve all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Best Slow-Cooked Option For Fresh Dog Food: A Pup Above
- Most dogs love the natural flavor of A Pup Above recipes
- A subscription isn’t required, offering more flexibility
- The recipes are healthy and high in protein
- A Pup Above is an excellent option as a topper for your pup’s favorite kibble
- The packaging is inferior in comparison to other fresh dog foods
- A Pup Above doesn’t offer as many recipe options as some of the other fresh pet food companies
A Pup Above is one of the most versatile fresh dog food companies. The company offers a subscription plan, an option for on-demand ordering, and an option to purchase their products in select retail stores. A Pup Above uses the sous vide technique method of cooking their recipes to preserve nutrients and enhance the flavor of the food. A full-time veterinary nutritionist crafts the recipes A Pup Above uses in their fresh food. The food is cooked in a USDA plant, pesticide free vegetables, and is made with USDA-approved meats.
When dog owners choose the subscription plan, the options are three one-pound patties or three one-pound bags of food. The food arrives frozen to thaw as needed. The subscription plan also allows dog owners to choose a half and half option to mix the food with dry kibble. The recipe options for A Pup Above include Porky’s Luau, Texas Beef Stew, and Turkey Pawella. Healthy ingredients include green beans, ground turkey, ground pork, pineapple, pork liver, and sweet potatoes.
Some dog owners that try A Pup Above report that their dogs seem to itch and scratch less after eating the food. However, whether the food is what causes the improvement is inconclusive. Owners have said that the consistency of the food is more appealing than some other brands. The consistency of A Pup Above recipes doesn’t appear to crumble or break up as much as some other brands, which could be due to the sous vide dog food cooking method. Some owners use the food in Kong-style toys as training treats.
Restaurant-Quality Fresh Dog Food: Nom Nom
- Most dogs love the taste of Nom Nom’s fresh foods
- Recipes are created to resemble human foods
- Fresh food that rivals restaurant food
- Discount options that reduce the cost of the food
- Nom Nom’s packaging is single-serve and not as eco-friendly as some other brands
- Recipes aren’t as easy to customize as some other brands
Nom Nom single-serve packages can be poured directly into your dog’s bowl without measuring. Meals can be created to adapt to your dog’s physical condition, weight, and age. Board-certified veterinary nutritionists create the meals. Nom Nom foods are never mass-produced, and all ingredients are human-grade. The pet foods are only prepared in USA facilities.
Subscription plans for the meals offer options including feeding your dog a diet of only Nom Nom food, mixing one of the recipes with your dog’s dry food, or using the food as a topper or occasional treat. Using the food as a treat can allow dog owners to control the cost. However, there are discounts for owners of multiple dogs. You have the option of ordering meals as you go or choosing a subscription plan.
Ingredients used in the recipes include eggs, potatoes, peas, carrots, and ground beef. Recipe options include beef mash, chicken cuisine, pork potluck, and turkey fare. Owners have the option of choosing one of Nom Nom’s recipes, or you can customize your dog’s meal plan to suit its preferences or to compensate for allergies or any health issues. Pre-portioned meals are customized for your dog and created by a veterinary nutritionist.
Also, Nom Nom prides themselves on offering excellent customer service.
Best Small-Batch Flash Frozen Dog Food: PetPlate
- Most dogs love the taste of the meals
- Meals come in reusable containers, so leftovers are easy to store
- Ground-up texture makes it easy for dogs to eat
- Using the food as a topper is economical
- Reusable containers are large and take up considerable space
- Sample food options aren’t available
- A subscription is necessary for purchases
PetPlate offers high-quality foods that are created in USDA facilities and flash-frozen to arrive fresh. The flash-freezing process keeps food from spilling during shipment. When you’re ready to serve your dog its dinner, just defrost the food in the microwave. The fresh frozen foods are as good as when it was made. Just allot a good freezer space and your pup is covered for weeks! A veterinary nutritionist creates the recipes for a dog’s individual needs, health concerns, and maintaining a normal weight.
All the food that PetPlate offers is by subscription service. Owners can select a feeding plan or a topper plan that’s an affordable mix-in option. Pet Plate delivers your dog’s meals in plastic containers that are recyclable. Meal options include beef, chicken liver, lamb, or turkey. Human-grade recipes include ground beef, beef liver, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes which are healthier than regular dog food. Dog owners who try Pet Plate report that their dogs get very excited when it’s their mealtime. Advantages that owners report include more energy, healthier weight, fewer vet visits, and relief from allergies.
The Unsung Hero: Evermore
- Beyond human-grade fresh dog food
- Whole-food ingredients for digestibility
- Small batch, USDA inspected kitchen
- Ethically-sourced ingredients
- High quality standards do command a higher price tag, but it’s worth it!
I love the story behind Evermore Pet Food. Founded by a former personal chef and a former pet care professional, the Evermore team has been working relentless for over a decade to produce supreme quality, ethically sourced, and beyond human-grade dog food that is recommended by top vets like IAOTP 2019 Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Judy Morgan.
Evermore takes human-grade dog food one step further to craft gently cooked, frozen-fresh recipes for dogs that are the best iteration of a gentle, immune-supportive home-cooked diet. They use whole-food ingredients that are more digestible, and allow vitamins and minerals to be more easily absorbed by the body. As a result, their food contains minimal supplementation compared to competitor offerings.
Futhermore, Evermore is remarkably transparent when it comes to the ingredients in their recipes. They use only those that are ethically-sourced from accountable ranchers, farmers and vendors who strictly prioritize animal welfare and regenerative agricultural practices. Evermore even earned their G.A.P. Animal Welfare certification last month, and are now part of the ASPCA “Shop With Your Heart” program, which is an incredible resource for those wanting to shop more ethically and is all part of a consumer movement towards better animal welfare practices.
This women-run small business makes their dog food products in small batches at a family operated facility that is suitable for human food and is inspected by the USDA. They even utilize low-temperature cooking processes to make sure that food stays safe and retains its most delicious flavors and its most valuable nutrients.
Best Uncooked Dog Food: We Feed Raw
- Human-grade food
- Meets AAFCO standards
- Formulated by a Ph.D. nutritionist
- Sold in single packets or in bulk
- We Feed Raw meals only stay fresh up to 4 days
- High price
All living creatures need a certain amount of enzymes and amino acids to be healthy. For dogs, these nutrients are in a raw food diet. A dog’s digestive tract is uncomplicated, with a high amount of hydrochloric acid in its stomach. A dog’s system is designed for consuming animal protein and fats. A raw food diet can help prevent some of the prevalent illnesses in canines. Benefits of raw food include:
- Immune system improvement
- Cleaner teeth
- Improvement in your dog’s digestion
- Weight control
- Healthier skin and soft, shiny coat
- Fewer allergy problems
A raw food diet for dogs is the most digestible. The pre-mixed meals that We Feed Raw makes are created by a pet nutritionist with a Ph.D. The ideal raw food diet for your dog contains muscle meat, bone, and organ meat with vitamins and minerals. All the meals are balanced, complete, and exceed the AAFCO standards. High-pressure processing is used to create meals that neutralize pathogens that are food-borne, like listeria and salmonella. The nutritional value of the food isn’t changed.
We Feed Raw meals are available as patties in 5-pound packages and include:
Patty and bone purchases have to be made in 30-pound increments. For example, boxes are available in 30, 60, or 90 pounds.
Starting your dog on a raw food diet means some changes. You should follow the package directions for mixing your dog’s current food with the raw food. The percentage of raw food is increased for nine days until your dog is eating all raw food. The creators of We Feed Raw recommend adding plain, organic, canned pumpkin and a prebiotic to your dog’s food. Please note that only plain, organic canned pumpkins should be given to your pet. You should never use pumpkin pie filling that contains ingredients that could be harmful to dogs. Here are the amounts to feed:
- Dogs up to 30 lbs: one-half teaspoon
- Dogs between 30-60 lb: one to two teaspoons
- For Dogs that are large breed dogs, one tablespoon
Your veterinarian can recommend a probiotic. No prescription is needed and they can be purchased online. The food is balanced and complete for dogs of every life stage, with a pre-mix of vitamins added. The company advises against adding additional vitamin supplements to the meals. Small amounts of a prebiotic or probiotic are acceptable. Different ingredients you may add are the recommended amounts of canned pumpkin or pureed greens.
Recipes Tailored For Each Dog’s Individual Needs: Tailored Pet
- Meals are customized
- Made in the USA
- Meat, fish, or poultry is the first ingredient
- Can’t see the entire recipe collection before a purchase
- Preference is for legumes or peas over whole grains
The philosophy at Tailored Pet is that every dog is different and has unique nutritional needs. Ingredients in the meals include chicken, lamb, salmon, and bison that contains all the nutrients dogs need for strong, healthy muscles and bones. Veggies and fruits are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Healthylentils and peas support a dog’s energy levels and digestive system. The key factors in creating fresh food for dogs are:
- Great Taste: The raw food recipes list meat protein as the first ingredient. The meals are formulated to be tasty, even for picky eaters, and the kibble pieces are small, making them easy to chew.
- Health: The balanced nutrition in Tailored Pet meals is designed to aid digestion and be gentle on sensitive systems. The meals aid in healthy heart function, mobility, and immune systems.
- Wellness: Ingredients in the meals provide dogs with energy, can help maintain a healthy weight management, aid in brain development, dental health, and keep the skin and coat healthy. Dog owners can choose meals for their dog’s age, size, allergies, or health conditions. The plan works by filling out a questionnaire with details about your dog’s size, breed, age, health conditions or allergies, and wellness goals. Even activity matters as a large dog that’s less active needs fewer calories. A blend of kibble is designed for your dog based on the information you provide. We consider any sensitivities or allergies. Changes to your subscription may be made at any time. You have the option of adding beef or chicken dog treats to your order.
Most Innovative Brand Of Fresh Dog Food: Spot & Tango
- Spot & Tango fresh meals look delicious, not like brown slime
- Made with whole ingredients in a small kitchen, no preservatives, GMOs, or hormones
- Easy open & serve packaging with one day of meals per pack
- Proprietary algorithm personalizes meals for your pup
- The storage containers are large and take up a lot of space in the fridge
- There isn’t a sample option available
- Spot & Tango food is only available through a subscription plan
The creators of Spot & Tango believe that a dog’s happy and healthy life begins with good food – and it all boils down to the quality of ingredients used. Spot & Tango cooks their meats in ovens separate from the other ingredients, while the grains are cooked in kettles and the eggs are cooked on skillets. Once the meals are mixed up you can actually see the individual ingredients in the pack – and they look delicious. Many competing fresh dog food brands kettle-cook in large batches with all of the ingredients at the same time, often leading to a product with a homogenous appearance not all that different from a brown slime.
Spot & Tango recipes feature human-grade meats and they don’t use cheap fillers such as chickpeas. The meals are created specifically for your dog’s unique dietary needs by a proprietary algorithm based on the formulations of veterinary nutritionists. You won’t find any preservatives, GMOs, or added hormones, and the meals are complete and balanced for dogs of all ages according to AAFCO standards. The Fresh dog food meal options include Turkey & Red Quinoa, Beef & Millet, and Lamb & Brown Rice.
Fresh meals from Spot & Tango are shipped directly to your home and they are packed to be easy to open and easy to serve. The label comprises the entire side of the package and peels away easily, leaving the food ready to serve. One pack typically holds a days worth of food, or two meals.
In addition to their fresh food offerings, the revolutionary product in the Spot & Tango line is Unkibble – the only fresh, dry dog food created by any pet food company. Like other fresh dog food products, Unkibble is made of USDA-approved ingredients but doesn’t require refrigeration. Since Unkibble is shelf-stable, you can store it next to your pup’s bowl and make sure he doesn’t help himself to snacks. Unkibble uses a low-temperature drying process that makes it appealing to dogs for the flavor and to owners for the price.
Best Fresh Food Option With No Subscription: JustFoodforDogs
- Simple to try without signing up for a subscription or recurring shipments
- All of the non-custom food have a 100 percent money-back guarantee
- Each recipe is made with human-grade ingredients by a veterinary nutritionist
- Dog owners may choose from six different recipes
- No mix and match recipes or variety packs
- Owners may encounter quantity issues with full box shipping and may have to order more or less
JustFoodforDogs is an excellent way for dog owners to buy fresh-frozen food for their dogs without signing up for a subscription or making a long-term commitment. The company offers a variety of fresh food options, and there’s a money-back guarantee. Although you don’t have to sign up for a subscription, they provide enrollment in auto-ship that’s convenient for many pet owners. JustFoodforDogs is unique since it offers different types of food for dogs. Besides fresh-frozen meals for dogs, the company provides custom diets, do-it-yourself kits, pantry fresh pets dog food, and veterinary support diets. A canine nutrition team creates the recipes. The recipes are all made with ingredients that are human-edible with no preservatives.
Ingredients in the healthy recipes include beef, beef liver, carrots, peas, and tomatoes. Recipes include:
- Beef and Potato
- Chicken and White Rice
- Fish and Sweet Potato
- Lamb and Brown Rice
- Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni
- Venison and Squash
- Shepherd’s Pie Special
Another feature that makes Just FoodforDogs unique is the selection of Veterinary Prescription recipes, including:
- Balanced Remedy
- Critical Care Support
- Hepatic Support Low Fat
- Joint health and Skin Support
- Metabolic support Low Fat
The company is concerned about the environment and leaving a carbon footprint and only ships full boxes of food. The company never uses preservatives in its recipes, so you know your dog is getting healthy food. All their food is made in the company’s kitchens in the USA. Another unique feature of JustFoodforDogs is their kitchens that are open-to-the-public. The company is a leader in canine nutrition research and conducts feeding trials on all its recipes. The recipes are available at retail stores in individual packages.
Affordability and Availability: Freshpet Dog Food
- Available in retail stores
- Wide assortment of textures and flavors
- Resealable bags that store easily
- More affordable than some options
- Not customizable like other brands
- Not universally loved by dogs as much as some others
Unlike some pet food brands that must be ordered online, FreshPet is available in the big box and retail stores. The meals are made in much larger batches than most other pet food companies so they can’t be customized. However, you pay less for the food than many of the others. FreshPet makes a wide array of formulas and flavors that most dogs love. the food is available in grain and grain-free formulas. FreshPet is made in the USA in USDA-approved facilities. The food is available in single-serve containers, vacuum-sealed bags, and meat rolls. If you purchase FreshPet online the online selector allows you to input information bout your dog including age, breed, size, activity level, and dietary restrictions. The selector chooses the food that’s best for your pup.
What is “fresh” dog food?
Fresh dog food is food that’s made fresh for your dog to be eaten within a week—not meat meals or processed foods like semi-moist dog food. The difference between fresh dog food options and pre-packaged dog food is the latter sits on store shelves for months. Conventional pet food companies add a lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives that aren’t healthy for pets. Fresh dog food contains very little or no preservatives and is healthier for your dog. Since fresh dog food is minimally processed pet parents don’t have to worry about synthetic ingredients in their pup’s diet. One of the best reasons to buy fresh food for your pup is that most companies customize their meal plans for your dog’s breed, age, size, dietary preferences, allergies, or health concerns. Other brands not on this list are Portland Pet Food Company, Hungry Bark, and more. As long as it doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients, chicken broth or vegetable stock, are also perfectly fine.
Why do dogs need fresh food?
There are so many reasons why fresh food should be your dog’s main diet. Fresh dog food offers significant health benefits for any dog. Fresh food doesn’t contain anything artificial that could cause digestive upsets or skin allergies. However, food for humans contains natural preservatives that are considered safe. The best way to make a decision is to discuss your dog’s diet with your board certified veterinary nutritionist.
A fresh food diet for your dog does offer benefits it doesn’t get from commercial dog food. While it’s not necessary to feed your dog fresh food many owners see a difference in their dogs when they switch to natural foods. Many dog owners notice improvements in their dog’s energy levels, stool consistency, and the condition of the skin. Owners say their dog has a shinier, glossier coat when they switch to a natural diet. Dogs prefer the taste of fresh food that contains meat, fish, or poultry, with fruits and vegetables over processed kibble.
Conditions, like sensitive stomachs, may also call for a more natural diet.
Before Trying Fresh Dog Food
Before trying pet fresh dog food you should discuss your dog’s diet with your veterinarian. Dogs that have health conditions like diabetes, pancreatitis, kidney or liver issues have special dietary requirements. You should make sure that the pet food company that you plan to buy your pup’s food from can accommodate special dietary needs.
Most reputable fresh food companies can provide veterinary advice as to how to feed your doggo. You can also usually customize meals, for example, mix-and-matching ingredients, like white rice beef or chicken or potato turkey or pork or any other veggie and protein mix ins. If you are worried about costs, our fresh dog food price comparison will guide you.
Do vets recommend fresh dog food?
If the health and wellness of a dog is a priority due to medical issues veterinarians usually recommend fresh dog food or a prescription diet. Some of the fresh pet food companies offer prescription plans for dog owners.
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 dog’s 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.
Is fresh food healthier for dogs?
Fresh food is healthier for dogs. Even though some commercial dog food brands state they contain no artificial colors, flavors, or chemicals, they stay on the shelf for months at a time. Now fresh dog food contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and is consumed while your pup benefits most from it.
What fresh foods are good for dogs?
Is freshpet good for dogs? The best fresh dog foods on our list are good for dogs. The best way to choose the healthiest option for your pup is to check out the ingredients and the options for customizing your dog’s meals. Organ meats are fantastic for their rich nutritional profile, including Turkey liver, lamb liver.