The secret to a happier, healthy life for your pet comes down to one factor: discovering the perfect fresh dog food.
Of course, every fresh dog food brand claims that their product is higher quality than the rest. But the truth is rarely that simple.
To help pet parents on their quest to find the best fresh dog food, I sampled and compared Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine and Beef Mash recipes against Spot & Tango’s Turkey and Red Quinoa and Beef and Millet.
I also kept the comparison fair by specifically looking into each brand’s overall quality level, pricing, and how convenient their shipping and packaging is for pet owners.
Who should get Spot & Tango?
If you’re the kind of person who can’t compromise on quality, Spot & Tango is probably the better choice. Their fresh dog food recipes are loaded with delicious proteins. Also, their kitchens are probably a little more controlled than most.CLICK HERE: See my best deal for Spot & Tango →
Who should get Nom Nom?
If you want value for money and quality fresh dog food, you can’t go wrong with Nom Nom. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s also much more affordable than Spot & Tango.CLICK HERE: Get my best deal for Nom Nom →
Quality is everything.
There’s no point in talking about price or convenience if the food isn’t good enough to feed Fido. That’s why I always start by looking at a fresh dog food brand’s appearance, smell, taste, and ingredients.
Let’s see if the recipes from Nom Nom and Spot & Tango are as delicious as they claim.
First, take a look at the photo of Nom Nom’s Beef Mash recipe. I compared it with the Beef and Millet recipe from Spot & Tango.
What always strikes me about Nom Nom’s recipes are the plentiful ingredients. Big cubes of potato, hefty hunks of carrot, fluffy scrambled eggs, and generous portions of ground meat.
Spot & Tango’s ingredients are visible (whole peas and carrots) but diced small. The meat is finely ground. I wouldn’t say the meat has a paste-like consistency, but the portions aren’t as hearty as Nom Nom’s.
However, it’s those vibrant green peas that make Nom Nom’s recipes feel fresher than Spot & Tango. Spot & Tango’s green peas, by comparison, look pretty dull. Both recipes are great but in this case, Spot & Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe is the winner.
Next, I did a side-by-side comparison of Nom Nom and Spot & Tango’s poultry recipes.
Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine features robust chunks of chicken, cubed sweet potatos, and something that resembles summer squash. Spot & Tango’s Turkey & Red Quinoa recipe, on the other hand, had bright green peas but noticeably smaller portions of ingredients. The turkey meat was finely ground — not pasty, but not much mouthfeel, either. But the texture? Pleasant and firm, unlike some dog food brands that tend to be sloppy or runny.
The poultry comparison was tough. If Nom Nom had thrown some peas in the mix it would have made this an easier call. Here’s what I can say: the chicken recipes are tied, but the beef recipe definitely goes to Spot & Tango.
Ever open up your dog’s food, take a whiff, and say “Mmmmm”?
No? Me either, but a man can dream.
Look, Nom Nom’s Beef Mash recipe doesn’t smell bad, but it does smell basic. Kind of disappointing, if I’m being honest. It has the aroma of real beef, a touch of carrot, and not much else. It’s a clean and inoffensive smell.
Spot & Tango’s Beef and Millet had a similar beef odor, but fresher and more pure. I think Spot & Tango has a (slight) upper hand.
When I first lifted a plate of Nom Nom’s chicken cuisine to my nose, I was delighted by the potent scent of sweet potatoes. So appetizing! There’s no “off” or heavy stench. Just ripe sweet potatoes and a dash of roasted chicken.
On the contrary, Spot & Tango’s Turkey with Red Quinoa has a powerful odor. This is probably because of all the grains. In general, I’d say it’s a clean and appetizing fragrance.
I like that neither brand actually smells like dog food. That being said, I prefer the aroma of Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine over Spot & Tango’s Turkey recipe.
In summation: Spot & Tango’s beef recipe has a more appetizing scent than Nom Nom’s. Meanwhile, the smell of Nom Nom’s poultry recipe was superior to Spot & Tango’s chicken.
As far as smell is concerned, this puts us at a complete draw.
Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine tastes clean, sweet, and well-textured.
The chunky sweet potatoes are a big part of why I like this recipe so much. Nom Nom is always generous with the veggies, and it makes their recipes a pleasure to eat. You can feel your teeth sinking into each and every ingredient. Between the fresh vegetables and delectable texture, their chicken recipe is a knock out.
Spot & Tango’s Turkey and Red Quinoa recipe was satisfying, too, even though the texture leaves something to be desired. The grains are tender and chewy, and I love the nutty, toasted flavor of the quinoa. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it as yummy as the Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine recipe. Spot & Tango’s poultry recipe tastes clean and bright, but I’d go back for a second serving of the recipe from Nom Nom.
Now, let’s talk about beef.
Once again, Nom Nom’s Beef Mash had a fresh taste and chunky texture that makes it a star in my book. Their textures do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to flavor. Spot & Tango’s Beef and Millet had a clean flavor profile and decent texture, but chewing it doesn’t feel as satisfying. Having said that, I still think Spot & Tango’s flavors are more complex and interesting.
Since the beef recipes were a tie, we’ll need to look at the poultry recipes for a tie breaker. That means Nom Nom wins in the flavor department.
Nom Nom offers four different flavors while Spot & Tango only offers three.
Either way, you’re getting high-quality fresh dog food. How do I know this? Because both brands guarantee fresh, nutritionally balanced dog food that complies with AAFCO standards.
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists formulate Nom Nom’s recipes, while PhDs in veterinary nutrition develop Spot & Tango’s recipes. It’s important to note that Spot & Tango is manufactured in a USDA kitchen, while Nom Nom’s recipes aren’t necessarily made in a USDA kitchen but contain USDA Grade A ingredients.
This may be a sign that Spot & Tango’s safety practices are a little bit higher. Spot & Tango also states that their recipes are GMO and hormone free, another nice touch.
I tend to look at protein content when it comes to nutrition, and there was a stark difference in protein between these two brands. Nom Nom’s recipes contain about 7% to 10% protein as fed, whereas Spot & Tango’s recipes come in much higher at 12% to 14%.
Nom Nom’s protein content is also a tiny bit below average when you compare it to other fresh dog food brands. Meanwhile, Spot & Tango offers higher-than-average protein content as fed. This not only means more protein for your dog , but also more impact on value and cost — which we’ll get to in just a moment.
Now that we have a better understanding of how each brand’s recipes taste, it’s time to look at the convenience of purchasing, shipping, and packaging.
Like most fresh dog food brands, Nom Nom and Spot & Tango both require subscriptions before you can make a purchase.
Thankfully, they make it as easy as possible to cancel. Go to your account dashboard on their website, click a few buttons, and answer a few questions. You can cancel your subscription in a matter of seconds — no more shipments or bills.
I measure shipping speed according to the number of days it takes between when I place the order and when the shipment arrives on my doorstep.
In my experience, Nom Nom took five business days while Spot & Tango took only three.
I placed my order with Nom Nom on a Friday night. They immediately told me that my order would arrive the following Saturday, but the shipment ended up being delayed on their end. I didn’t receive it until the following Monday.
With Spot & Tango, I placed my order on a Sunday and received my shipment that Thursday. Spot & Tango was definitely faster. Perhaps more impressive is that despite the shipping delay, the food was still frozen when it arrived! The dry ice was all gone, but the food had not thawed — which means they pack their fresh dog food shipments really, really well.
Here’s something else I love about these two companies: they use 100% recyclable materials to ship their food. When you’re done, all you have to do is toss them in your recycling bin.
They use similar packaging methods, too. Both vacuum seal their patties in plastic with easy-peel tabs that are effortless to open. No need to dirty another pair of scissors.
Nom Nom packed my meals in 400-gram patties, or just under a pound. Spot & Tango packed my meals in 230-gram patties (about half a pound). Either way, I didn’t have to defrost much dog food each time, so you don’t have to worry about either of these brands’ recipes going bad in the fridge.
When it comes time to serve the food, all you have to do is defrost it overnight in the fridge. Nom Nom meals keep in the fridge for up to seven days, whereas Spot & Tango’s only keep in the fridge for four.
Cost is the biggest deciding factor for most people.
To keep things fair, I always compare the cost of fresh dog food on the dollars-per-pound basis. When these companies give you a price quote on a dollar-per-week basis, what you have to realize is that each dog food brand calculates your dog’s nutritional requirements in different ways. As a result, they’re giving you different amounts of food with each plan. That’s why it makes more sense to compare the value of each brand on a dollars-per-pound basis.
On one hand, my calculations put Nom Nom’s fresh dog food at about $7.04 a pound. This is about as cheap as it gets in the world of fresh dog food.
On the other hand, Spot & Tango comes in at $9.84 a pound — almost three dollars more than Nom Nom.
Of course, you’re getting a lot more protein from Spot & Tango’s recipes. Protein is usually the most expensive component in any recipe. Spot & Tango also cooks their meals in USDA kitchens, and that extra level of care is going to cost a little more.
Ready to give Spot & Tango a try? Click the link below to get the best deal I know about. I’ll always keep this link up to date.CLICK HERE: See my best deal for Spot & Tango →
Nom Nom, however, is not a bad choice (at a very affordable price!). Click the link below to get the best deal I currently know about on Nom Nom.CLICK HERE: Get my best deal for Nom Nom →
If you’re interested in fresh dog food that bridges the gaps between these two brands, you might want to check out The Farmer’s Dog. Their food is fantastic, and the price is a little cheaper than Spot & Tango.