Spot and Tango vs The Farmer’s Dog—which fresh dog food is better? These brands are two of the best tasting fresh dog foods that I’ve tried so far, and I must say it is hard to pick a clear winner.
In this review, I’m going to talk about how they compare in terms of quality, convenience, and costs.
Just to give you that real quick answer, honestly I don’t think either one of these brands is a standout winner in this case and that’s really sad for me to say because I love to pick a winner. Recipes for both these companies are absolutely great and I actually tasted them to see which ones are best. While there is a bit of a difference in price, it’s not so drastic that I think it’s a huge deciding factor, so my advice is to go with your gut on this one.
If you do decide to choose Spot and Tango or The Farmer’s Dog for your pup, make sure to use my links below to get access to the best deal that I’m currently aware of.CLICK HERE: See my best deal for Spot & Tango → CLICK HERE: Get my best deal for The Farmer’s Dog →
When it comes to the quality of a fresh dog food, appearance, smell, taste, and ingredients are the key deciding factors for me. I used these metrics to judge the beef and turkey recipes I got from Spot & Tango and The Farmer’s Dog.
I first compared Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe and The Farmer’s Dog’s Beef recipe. Just by taking a close look at these these two, you’ll see how they’re really quite similar in appearance from a quality standpoint. However, they do look different notably as Spot and Tango’s recipes have green peas and carrots, whereas The Farmer’s Dog’s recipe includes what looks like sweet potatoes and lentils. Generally, you’ll see a more bright color from Spot and Tango’s recipe and a darker color from The Farmer’s Dog’s beef recipe. This makes Spot in Tango the clear winner as it just looks a little bit more vibrant and fresh than The Farmer’s Dog’s.
Next, I compared the turkey recipes from each brand: Turkey and Red Quinoa from Spot & Tango and turkey recipe from The Farmer’s Dog. Once again, just by taking a look at these two fresh dog food, you’ll see that Spot and Tango uses green peas and carrots (or it could be sweet potatoes in this case—it’s a little hard to distinguish those components). The red quinoa definitely adds to the appearance of the food and there’s no question that the meat itself does look good—it’s not like a brown a paste which is what you see in a lot of fresh dog food brands. As with the previous recipe, the food generally looks relatively firm and not overly moist or sloppy. On the other hand, The Farmer’s Dog also has really nice chunks of ingredients. I’ve always been impressed with the chunks of broccoli in The Farmer’s Dog. They really do a great job of maintaining its fresh natural color on such a delicate ingredient. There are nice large chunks of turkey in the dish as well which I love to see. Just to pick a winner for the turkey recipes, I would say that The Farmer’s Dog looks a little bit more appetizing with its brighter and fresher appearance. Both look absolutely great, but The Farmer’s Dog probably takes the lead with the turkey meals.
So that’s one for one here, or kind of a tie in terms of appearance between Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog.
Smell says a lot about the quality of food, so I evaluated how these recipes compare in terms of this. Did any of these fresh dog food options smell delicious or something I’d want to eat?
From an aromatic standpoint, I’d say that the Spot and Tango recipe is a little bit stronger and The Farmer’s Dog is definitely quite neutral or I would say a little bit more clean smelling. You can smell a little bit more strength of sort from the turkey components in the Spot and Tango recipe which just kind of smells a little bit more heavy. At the end of the day, both are very similar and smell good; but to me, without a doubt, the turkey recipe from The Farmer’s Dog has a more appealing aroma than the Turkey and Red Quinoa recipe from Spot and Tango.
When it came to the beef recipes from each company, it was definitely a toss-up. Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe smells really clean and pure, very much along the lines of The Farmer’s Dog turkey recipe in terms of fresh aroma. The beef recipe from The Farmer’s Dog smells fairly appetizing with a little bit more of a strong smell than the Spot and Tango’s. So if I had to pick, I’d say that Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe smells a little bit better. After the smell test we’re at two and two here.
Now let’s compare both brands where it really matters and see how these dog foods taste. I want to start with the turkey recipes from each brand.
When I tried Spot and Tango’s Turkey & Red Quinoa, I thought it tasted really nice. The flavors are quite pure and it has a nice texture from the whole ingredients. When you eat it, you can actually taste the grains themselves, which is something I’m not necessarily used to experiencing in human food but tastes really good with this dish. Overall this turkey meal is very fresh and tastes like human too. I would say that there’s not an inkling of old dog food there. How does it compare to The Farmer’s Dog turkey recipe?
With quite clean and pure flavors, textures that are really a pleasure to eat, and having no sort of indication that I’m eating dog food whatsoever, The Farmer’s Dog turkey dish absolutely tastes like an excellent human food. If I had to pick, I’d say that The Farmer’s Dog turkey recipe slightly has an edge. The reason is that it’s a little bit more on the delicious side than the Spot and Tango recipe which although tastes clean, pure, and absolutely very nice, The Farmer’s Dog wins as it has all those characteristics plus it is actually a little bit delicious. So, as with their appearance and smell, I’d say that The Farmer’s Dog’s turkey recipe has the upper hand in the taste department as well.
Moving on to the beef recipes, I first tried Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet dish. This fresh dog food tastes really nice and has clean flavors. The textures are great and there’s no off-putting flavors or anything like that. When you try to sample it, there’s no sort of suggestion that you are eating dog food, and one thing that really sticks out to me is the flavor from the cranberry in this recipe. There’s not a ton of them in meal but when you bite one, it adds a nice sort of sweet component to it.
When I next tried the beef recipe from The Farmer’s Dog, I was quite surprised with he stark contrast in flavors. I would say on the first hit of my pallet, The Farmer’s Dog comes off a little bit more delicious without a doubt. This has more of like a savory component going on that really excites your taste buds. The problem is that lingering aftertaste. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a heavy flavor with The Farmer’s Dog beef recipe when compared to Spot and Tango’s. I would say that the textures and the flavors in spot and Tango’s recipe tastes a little bit more pure and fresh, and has a nice tenderness to it. While both of these beef recipes are pleasant to eat, I’d say that the heavy flavor in the beef recipe from The Farmer’s Dog does kind of push it a little bit more towards tasting like dog food than it does like human food. It is not so much that it’s off putting, but it still catches your attention; whereas there’s none of that present in the Spot of Tango recipe.
So in terms of quality, I guess the stars have aligned. Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe takes the upper hand; whereas The Farmer’s Dog’s turkey recipe wins too. But all in all, the recipes from both brands are absolutely delicious tasting fresh dog foods and they’re definitely contenders for the best ones out there.
Just a bit more about these companies’ recipes and what they have to offer, one difference between the two is that Spot and Tango offers three recipes, that is Beef & Millet, Turkey & Red Quinoa, and there’s Lamb & Brown Rice; whereas The Farmer’s Dog offers four recipes including the beef recipe, the turkey recipe, the pork recipe, and the chicken recipe.
The fresh dog food from both of these companies are nutritionally complete and balanced to comply with the standards set by the AAFCO button. Spot and Tango’s recipes are formulated by a PhD in veterinary nutrition and The Farmer’s Dogs recipes are formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist which is similar in that regard.
The fresh dog foods from both of these companies are cooked in USDA kitchens so they’re subjected to the same safety standards used with human food. Spot and Tango does point out that their food is GMO and hormone free.
In terms of nutrition, the main thing that I look at is their protein content as fed. Spot and Tango takes the upper hand here. Their recipes range from 12% to 14% protein content as fed which is on the high end from what you see in terms of fresh dog food. The Farmer’s Dog’s recipes come in at about 8% to 11% protein as fed which is pretty standard but not as high as you’re getting from the Spot and Tango.
How convenient are these two brands for a pet owner? I looked at how purchasing, shipping, and packaging works for Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog to see the difference.
With Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog, you do need a subscription to purchase their fresh dog food for your pup. And like most of the fresh dog food companies out there, it’s really easy to cancel your subscription with both brands. You can do it all from within your account dashboard on their website—no need to pick up the phone or anything like that. With a few clicks, there would be no more shipments or bills coming your way.
In terms of shipping speed, both of these companies were really fast. With Spot and Tango, I placed my order on a Sunday and I received it on the following Thursday—so that’s three full business days between when I placed my order and when it showed up on my porch. With The Farmer’s Dog, I placed my order on a Sunday and I received it on the following Wednesday—that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen from a fresh dog food company.
Spot and Tango’s shipping materials and insulation are completely recyclable which is definitely a nice touch. When you’re done unpacking it, you can just put it all in your recycling bin and you’re good to go. The Farmer’s Dog does use cellulose insulation and to get rid of those the best way to do it is to dissolve them in water and run them down your sink which is a little bit more work. A little bit more mess is not the end of the world, but I definitely prefer to just recycle the components if I can.
In terms of packaging the food itself, Spot and Tango is one of my favorite companies to work with. They package my meals as half pound patties vacuum sealed with an easy peel tab so it’s hassle-free to open the package. Each package is not too much to defrost at one time and and it thaws very quickly, so no complaints there whatsoever. On the contrary, The Farmer’s Dog’s packaging doesn’t have that easy peel tab on it so you do have to get some scissors dirty in order to open it up—not the end of the world, but that easy peel tab is definitely a nice convenience to have.
In terms of serving the food to your dog, both companies suggest that foods be consumed within four days of the defrosting it . You don’t have a huge window there, but as long as they’re not giving you too much food to defrost at one time, it’s not that big of an issue. They both tell you that the best way to defrost it is just to take it out the night before, put it in your fridge, and let it defrost there.
Last but not least, let’s talk about how these companies compare in terms of cost. I always evaluate the prices of fresh dog food on a dollars per pound basis. This helps keep things a little bit more fair across the brands because they each calculate your dog’s nutritional needs a little bit differently so that dollars per week figure that they give you isn’t always the same from brand to brand. According to my calculation, Spot and Tango comes in at about $9 per pound, whereas The Farmer’s Dog comes in at $7 per pound. Both of these prices are a bit above average with Spot and Tango obviously being a little bit more so, but I think if you’re already in this price range for fresh dog food, it’s not that huge of a difference.
Obviously The Farmer’s Dog is a little bit cheaper for sure but I don’t think the difference is so drastic that it’s the main deciding factor. So at the end of the day, if you do choose Spot and Tango or The Farmer’s Dog for your pup, remember to use my links below to get access to the best deal that I currently am aware of. I hope you find the delicious tasting fresh dog food for your pup!