Nom Nom and Spot and Tango are two excellent fresh dog food options. Like many pet parents, I love feeding my dog high quality, fresh meals to help him lead a healthy and happy life. I must say these two brands are pretty impressive in that regard. Although both have a lot of similarities, which would be your deciding factor?
To help pet parents on their quest to find the best fresh dog food, I sampled and compared the recipes from these two companies. I compared Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine and Beef Mash against Spot and Tango’s Turkey & Red Quinoa and Beef & Millet recipes. To better asses each brand, I looked into their level of quality, how convenient they are for the pet owners, and the costs.
Who should get Spot and Tango?
Spot and Tango is probably the better choice if you’re the kind of person who will not compromise on quality. Their fresh dog foods are loaded with delicious proteins and their kitchens are probably a little more controlled than most.
Who should get Nom Nom?
If you want value for money and quality fresh dog food, then Nom Nom is an excellent choice. It’s an absolutely delicious fresh dog food and it comes in quite a bit cheaper than Spot and Tango.
Let’s see how Nom Nom and Spot and Tango compare on quality. The factors I take into consideration when evaluating any fresh dog food’s quality level are the appearance, smell, taste, and ingredients of the food.
I first compared the Beef Mash from Nom Nom and the Beef and Millet from Spot and Tango. When you look at these up close right away, what is striking is that Nom Nom’s recipes have really large chunks of the ingredients—big cubes of potato, big cubes of carrot, pieces of scrambled eggs, nice chunks of meat, even though it’s ground meat in this case. On the other hand, Spot and Tango has smaller chunks of the ingredients, which are mostly visible whole peas and carrots, and the meat itself tends to be a little bit more finely cut up or ground—it’s not quite a paste like you see with some fresh dog food brands, but notably smaller chunks than you see with Nom Nom. Historically I’ve said that the larger chunks of Nom Nom recipes tend to give it a leg up, however in this case, it really comes down to the green color in the peas. You can see that spot and Tango’s greens are really deep and vibrant whereas Nom Nom’s feeds are a little bit more dull. As a result, Spot and Tango looks a little bit more fresh and appetizing. So while both of the recipes look good, I’d say Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet recipe gets the point in this case.
For the poultry recipes, I’m going to compare Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine with Spot and Tango’s Turkey and Red Quinoa. Right off the bat with Nom Nom, what you see are nice, large chunks of the ingredients. There’s big pieces of chicken tissue, cubes of sweet potato and something that looks like summer squash. On the other hand with Spot and Tango’s turkey recipe, once again I notice right away the vibrant greens of the peas but generally there’s less large chunks of the rest of the ingredients. The turkey meat is more finely ground up—again, not quite a paste or anything bad like that. The food does look nice and firm and doesn’t look overly sloppy so that’s definitely a plus. The chicken versus turkey recipe appearance is a tough comparison. Had Nom Nom included some peas in there it would have been an easier call to make. In this case I’m going to say both of these look great. They both have a lot of good things going for them. With the poultry recipes, there’s no clear winner in terms of appearance, but in the case of the beef recipes, I can give that point to Spot and Tango
Nom Nom’s Beef Mash recipe gives the aroma of real beef with a little scent of the carrot and not much else going on. It’s a pretty basic, clean smell with no offensive aroma or anything like that. The Beef and Millet by Spot and Tango smells very similar to Nom Nom’s but just a tad more pure. You can definitely smell the beef, but although they’re very similar, Spot and Tango has a slight upper hand.
When I first smelled Nom Nom’s chicken cuisine, the most prominent aroma I got was the sweet potatoes which was definitely an appetizing flavor. There are no off flavors or heavy smell. With this dish, you cannot really smell much except the dominant aroma of the sweet potato and a little bit of the chicken. On the contrary, Spot and Tango’s Turkey with Red Quinoa does smell a little bit strong, which most likely comes from the grains. Generally speaking, however, the smell is pretty clean and fairly appetizing. The turkey dish doesn’t smell like it shouldn’t be good to eat—even for humans. It doesn’t smell off-putting either. I like that neither of these two smell like dog food. That said of the poultry recipes, I prefer the smell of Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine.
Counting both beef and poultry recipes from Nom Nom and Spot and Tango puts us at a complete draw in the smell department.
After sampling Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine, I can conclude that it tastes really clean. It has a nice sweetness to it from the sweet potatoes. I really enjoyed the nice chunks of the ingredients. This is a common quality of all Nom Nom recipes which make them such a pleasure to eat. The way you can feel your teeth sinking through the individual ingredients really adds to the eating experience and when you pair that with a clean flavor profile of fresh-tasting vegetables, it’s really a delicious fresh dog food. How does Spot and Tango’s recipe compares? The Turkey and Red Quinoa tastes really nice as well. The textures definitely don’t stack up to what you’re getting with Nom Nom, but they are still satisfying. The grains provide a nice chew and it’s all tender. What really cuts through with Spot and Tango’s turkey recipe is the flavor of the quinoa which is a bit of a toasty or nutty flavor. It’s very interesting and it’s definitely the most powerful element in the flavor profile, but I don’t think it’s quite as delicious as that sort of sweet potato flavor you’re getting with Nom Nom’s Chicken Cuisine recipe. Both of these taste very good. Spot and Tango’s recipe tastes very clean, but Nom Nom definitely takes the upper hand in the flavor department with the poultry recipes.
Of course, I also tried the beef recipes from both. Nom Nom’s Beef Mash tastes very good, and you can really feel the freshness of the ingredients. Once again, really where Nom Nom hits home is with the texture of those large chunks of vegetables and meat. They carry a lot of weight in making this an absolutely delicious fresh dog food. Spot and Tango’s Beef and Millet also tastes very good and clean. It has a decent texture; though it’s not anything like the the large chunks you’re getting with Nom Nom where there’s a nice bite to it which makes the dish a pleasure to eat.
The flavors are probably a little more complex with Spot and Tango’s recipe. There’s a little bit more going on which makes it a little more interesting. Still, the beef recipes are a bit of a tie for me. I think there are definitely aspects of each beef recipe that are quite desirable making it hard to decide which is better. If we look at the poultry score, overall Nom Nom wins in the flavor department.
When it comes to options, Nom Nom offers four different recipes whereas Spot and Tango offers three. The recipes from both of these companies are definitely of high quality. How? Both are guaranteed to have fresh dog food that is nutritionally balanced and complete because they comply with the standards set by AAFCO. While Nom Nom’s recipes are formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists, Spot and Tango’s recipes are made by PhDs in veterinary nutrition, so both are similar enough in that regard. One area of distinction is that while Spot and Tango is made in USDA kitchens, Nom Nom’s recipes are made using USDA grade-A ingredients but not necessarily a USDA kitchen. Safety practices with Spot and Tango’s food might be a little bit higher. Spot and Tango also notes that their foods are GMO and hormone free which is a nice touch.
In terms of nutrition I tend to look at the protein content more than anything and there’s really a stark difference. Nom Nom’s recipes range from about 7% to 10% protein as fed, whereas Spot and Tango’s come in at 12% to 14% which is really quite high. Nom Nom’s are a little bit lower than what you tend to see across fresh dog food brands not by much, but Spot and Tango is definitely on the higher end. So not only does that mean that Spot and Tango is going to have more proteins that your dog can build muscle tissue  with but it also can have an impact on costs—we’ll get to that in just a bit
Let’s dive into the convenience of these services for pet owners when it comes to purchasing, shipping, and packaging.
Like most fresh dog food brands, both Nom Nom and Spot and Tango do require you to have a subscription in order to purchase food for your pup. However, it’s as easy as can be to cancel your subscription whenever you want. You only need to go into your account dashboard on their website and click a few buttons to answer a few questions. In a matter of seconds, your subscription will be canceled—no further shipping and no more bills.
In terms of shipping speed or the time between when I place my order and when I receive the shipments on my doorstep, Nom Nom takes five business days while Spot and Tango takes three.
I placed my order with Nom Nom on a Friday night and they told me right away that my order would be there on the following Saturday, but it ended up being delayed on the shipper’s end and I didn’t get them until the following Monday. With Spot and Tango, I placed my order on a Sunday and I received my shipment on the following Thursday. Spot and Tango was definitely a bit faster, and what’s worth noting is that even with that shipping delay on the shipper’s end, the food was still surprisingly frozen! The dry ice was all gone, but the food was still frozen which means these fresh dog food shipments are packed really well.
What I also like about both of these companies is that they pack their shipments with completely recyclable materials, so all you have to do is put them in your recycling bin when you’re done. In terms of how they package the food itself, these companies are really quite similar. Both of them vacuum seal their patties in plastic packagings with easy-peel tabs so they’re nice and effortless to open—no need to get any scissors dirty.
Nom Nom packed my meals at 400-gram patties or just under a pound. Spot and Tango packed my meals in 230-gram patties or right about a half a pound. Either way, it’s not a ton of dog food to defrost each time, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad in the fridge. When it comes time to serving food to your dog, all you have to do is defrost these overnight in the fridge. Nom Nom meals keep in the fridge for up to seven days, whereas Spot and Tango keep in the fridge for only four days.
Let’s talk about how much these dog foods cost—what might be the biggest deciding factor out there for many people. I always compare the cost of fresh dog food on the dollars per pound basis to help keep things fair when comparing across brands. When they 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, and as a result, they’re giving you different amounts of food with each plan. The dollars per pound basis definitely makes more sense.
On one hand, my calculations put Nom Nom’s fresh dog food at about $4 per pound which is about as cheap as it gets in the world of fresh dog food. On the other hand, Spot and Tango comes in at $9 per pound—that’s more than twice the price of Nom Nom.
Of course you’re getting quite a bit more protein with Spot and Tango’s recipes, and the protein is usually the most expensive component in food. Spot and Tango is also cooking their meals in USDA kitchens so that extra level of care is probably going to cost a little bit more at the end of the day. Nom Nom, however, is not such a bad choice too at a very affordable price.
If you’re interested in something that kind of bridges the gaps between these two, you might want to check out The Farmer’s Dog. Their food is excellent and the price is a little bit cheaper than Spot and Tango.