It’s never been easier to ensure that your beloved pooch is getting the food they need without you having to haul huge bags of kibble from the local pet store. Online subscription services are now widespread, with multiple companies advertising fresh, tasty, and vet-certified meals prepared with your dog’s health in mind and delivered direct to your door.
But with so many different dog food subscription services to choose from, conscious consumers might feel at a loss as to where to begin. At first glance, many of the services being offered appear to be similar – fresh ingredients, repeating deliveries to save you having to manually order more, customized meal plans, and a focus on your pet’s nutritional needs.
One thing seems certain – gone are the days when mushed up, processed, canned food and dry dog biscuits are all your best furry friend has to look forward to. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the best custom dog food subscription boxes on the market, highlighting some prime features of each one, and helping you navigate between them.
Pet Plate offer a tasty variety of meals and treats for your beloved pup, combining the range of a traditional pet store with the ease and regularity of a subscription service.
A Topper Plan allows you to add some fresh produce to your dog’s usual diet, whereas a Full Subscription will have your dog reaping all the benefits of a varied and nutritious meal plan.
The company also offer soft chew supplements, made with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote hip and joint health. These can be added as part of your customized meal plan, or they can be purchased separately.
Chicken, beef, turkey and venison are all on the menu, at a competitive price too, starting at around $1.29 a day for a full plan, or $0.51 a day for a topper.
Pets Table offer various subscription plans to suit a range of dietary needs and pet owner budgets. Take a fun quiz about your pup and the Pets Table team will then build a personalized meal plan recommendation based on your answers.
Unlike some subscription services which only offer a specific ‘style’ of food, Pets Table offer both fresh and air-dried, or you can opt for a mix of both to keep costs down. There’s even the option to choose a ‘half of fresh’ plan, allowing you to top up your dog’s current diet with some nutritional, fresh produce.
Pets Table meals are made with superfoods, high in Vitamin A, and also high in fiber. Postbiotics have been added for extra gut health. Like many trusted pet food brands, Pets Table claim to have developed their meals in consultation with certified veterinarians.
Prices start at around $1.24 a meal for fresh and $0.69 a meal for air-dried.
A brand often appearing at the top of lists for popular dog food subscription services, The Farmer’s Dog offer what they term ‘human-grade’, non-processed meat and veggies, cooked up in simple recipes that deliver authentic, healthy, natural sustenance for your pup.
The company claim to have developed meals which exceed the nutritional standards set out by the The Association of American Feed Control Officials (also known as AAFCO).
The buzzword for this brand is ‘fresh’, and when they say fresh they don’t mean ‘fresh and then deep frozen’. Meals are often delivered within days of them having been prepared, without having been stored for months, which the company claim keeps the nutritional value of their products high. Preservatives are avoided, as well as many of the other ‘nasties’ often found in cheaper, processed dog foods.
As with most subscription services, personalized plans based on your dog’s breed, age, lifestyle, and weight can be recommended.
Prices are advertised as starting at around $2 a day, more expensive than kibble but still competitive when you consider the focus on fresh, recently prepared produce.
Nom Nom pride themselves on having engineered meals in consultation with highly specialized veterinary practitioners, including two Board Certified nutritionists and a PhD-led science team respected in the field of pet microbiome research.
Nom Nom calculate each meal for your dog using algorithms based on the most recent research in veterinary nutrition, applied to your dog’s weight, age and activity levels to establish a rough metabolism and caloric need.
It’s also possible to access personalized reports relating to your dog’s gastro-intestinal and joint health, prepared with the help of in-house specialists.
Veggies and meats are cooked individually to retain nutrients. You can also see if your dog likes the taste by ordering a variety pack for $20, which contains 4 meal varieties. Unfortunately, without entering your contact details and providing some info on your pooch, the exact price of a subscription is not easy to determine from their website.
Founded by a practicing veterinarian and her dog-loving partner, Sundays for Dogs were established to produce air-dried, shelf-stable dog food but without the preservatives, additives, and processed extras of traditional kibble.
What results is the best of both worlds – tasty dried food that can be stored for months, but made from fresh, simple ingredients packed with nutrients.
Beef, chicken and turkey are the main flavors on offer, with each product packed with 90% meat, a far higher percentage than most processed dry food products. Indeed, Sundays pride themselves on making their ingredient lists straightforward and easy-to-find, with each meal type coming with the recipe printed boldly on the front to assure pet-owners that there are no hidden nasties.
Working out the daily cost of a subscription is hard to do at a glance, though a standard box of their dried food costs around $109 if ordered on repeat, rising to $139 if you decide to order only one. Filling out a short online form will give you an estimate of how much your dog is likely to eat and therefore how long a box should last.
Spot & Tango are another brand offering a tasty mix of fresh foods as well as flavorful, but still nutritionally balanced, dry products.
Their fresh meals are built out of twelve simple ingredients each, with no hidden preservatives or artificial extras. They also give handy estimates for how much a meal subscription might be depending on a few different dog types. A tiny 5 lbs Dachshund pup might suit a plan that comes in at around $1.06 a meal, whereas a 65 lb German Shepherd could cost around $3.08 a meal.
Spot & Tango also produce ‘UnKibble’, a fresh, healthy twist on traditional dried pellets. It’s dried out at low temperatures and still uses all-fresh ingredients, including fish, chicken, and beef. Subscribers can also get a personalized scoop with their UnKibble order, helping you with portion control for your dog’s specific weight and breed.
UnKibble meal plans start at around $1 a day.
Snack bags are also available as a tasty add-on, starting off at $12 a bag.
Pupbox differs from other services on this list in that it’s not primarily a meal subscription. What you get with PupBox, however, is a personalized monthly delivery of tasty treats, dog toys, accessories, and other goodies designed to please you and your pup depending on their age.
PupBox also provide a host of training material and information, helping you support your dog as it matures. Their website has a number of training guides based on different ages. Regular subscribers receive, along with their monthly delivery, tailored information and advice relating to their pup’s particular life-stage.
What sort of ‘accessories’ and goodies can you expect with a PupBox subscription? Anything from cute dog bandanas to handy leashes. A single box is $39, but year subscribers can get that price reduced to $29 a month.
You can also gift a PupBox subscription to someone, ideal if you have a friend whose recently become a proud pet parent!
Raw food diets for dogs and cats are becoming increasingly popular amongst discerning pet owners. What does a raw food diet actually mean? Well, in practice it means food that’s kept as close to its ‘natural’ – i.e. non-cooked, non-processed state – as possible, the aim being to provide dogs with meals that mimic the sorts of food their wild wolf ancestors would have dined on in the wilderness.
Darwin’s is a popular frontrunner when it comes to raw food subscription packages.
Their premium Natural Selections™ range costs $13.64 for a 2 lb chicken-based mix, up to $22.31 for the most expensive meat on offer, lamb. Duck, turkey and beef can also be selected.
A handy pet food calculator on their website allows you to estimate the amount of food your dog may need without you having to enter in your contact details, ideal if you want to avoid being sent promotional material.
Darwin advertise their foods as having avoided being cooked at high temperatures. The supposed advantages of such a diet for your dog? Well, many raw diet enthusiasts claim that their pooch has higher energy levels, cleaner breath, smaller, less pungent stools, and improved overall health and digestion.
If you don’t want to fork out on Darwin’s premium range, they also offer a slightly more affordable alternative in their BioLogics™ meals.