As a pet sitter and delivery person, I visit a lot of homes and have noticed a rising trend: fresh pet food delivery services.
It’s a great concept.
Most people have hectic schedules, so having pet food delivered — especially wholesome, fresh pet food (more on that in a bit) — helps everyone check one item off their to-do list.
If you’re considering pet food delivery, here are some pros and cons:
- It almost goes without saying that getting your pet food and supplies delivered is a huge time saver.
- Those without access to regular transportation or with disabilities never have to worry about how they’re going to pick up those important supplies.
- Your preferred pet foods may not be available locally, but you can find just about anything online — even custom dog food or cat food.
- You may discover online sales or deals that aren’t available locally.
- If you’re shipped the wrong product, returns can be time-consuming and costly. (Be sure to check the return policy in advance. Some pet food delivery services don’t allow returns at all — which means you’ll have to “eat” the cost and then buy new food.
- Refrigerated items can’t sit outside for long, so you may need to provide a cooler or make sure someone is home to accept the delivery. (The best fresh pet food delivery services provide insulated packaging that keeps the contents cold for multiple days during transit and delivery.)
For most, the convenience of delivery outweighs the chance that you’ll be shipped an inaccurate product.
Most delivery services have an FAQ page where you can check the company’s policies on deliveries and returns, as well as costs. The best ones provide a phone number so you can call and ask more specific questions.
Fresh Pet Food Delivery Services
The number of pet food recalls has had pet parents educating themselves on what goes into their pets’ foods — and most people are downright alarmed.
These rising concerns over commercial pet food have prompted many people to make the switch from traditional kibble (think preservatives and processed ingredients) to fresh food in the hope that it will benefit their pets’ overall health and wellness.
Fresh pet food is similar to making your pets’ foods at home — you can see exactly what’s in it, and there tends to be far fewer or even no unpronounceable or unidentifiable ingredients.
While making your pet’s food at home seems ideal, it’s complicated and doesn’t always fit in with lifestyles or schedules. This is where cat and dog food meal delivery services step in.
The downside to fresh food is that it usually costs more than commercial brands of kibble or wet food. Your pet’s size and weight will determine how much you’ll spend per week.
The good news is that most fresh pet food delivery services offer deals on sign up, regular coupons, and you can use the food either to complete your pet’s daily diet or as a supplement to regular pet food.
Below are 3 fresh pet food companies that deliver, plus what makes them stand out:
NomNomNow is consistently named as one of the best services today, according to many homemade dog food delivery reviews — like this detailed NomNomNow pet food review from Petful publisher Dave Baker.
Founded in San Francisco in 2015, NomNomNow ships to the 48 contiguous states.
NomNomNow offers both fresh-cooked dog food and cat food, plus:
- Free shipping on orders of $30 or more, which negates the added cost you’d have to pay for shipping versus buying food in a traditional store.
- Their food packages are individually wrapped, which helps with portioning and organization.
- Their food is easily identifiable as food — you can see individual pieces of meat and vegetables.
According to the company, each of its pet food recipes “Exceeds the AAFCO standards for dog food formulation in all life stages.”
That’s important, because although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) require commercial pet foods to be “safe, properly manufactured and properly labeled,” manufacturers don’t have to obtain FDA approval before selling their foods — they just have to make sure that whatever is in the food is on the label.
Again, NomNomNow says its food not only meets but actually surpasses AAFCO’s standards, no matter the life stage.
Here’s an example of NomNomNow’s Heartland Beef Mash label:
Ground beef: Protein, vitamins & minerals for strong bones. Potatoes: Energy producing & potassium packed. Carrots: Vitamin A, and more, for keeping eyes healthy. Peas: Fiber, Vitamin A, C, K & B6, and minerals galore. Egg: Exactly the protein, calcium, iron & zinc dogs need. NomNomNutrient Mix: Expertly formulated nutrition blend. Fish oil: Omega Fatty Acids for a healthy coat.
Because NomNomNow makes both dog and cat food — as well as nutritious treats for all pets — this could be an ideal option if you have multiple pets.
Here’s Dave with his first impressions:
As Dave points out in his full review, “For a limited time, you can get 20% off your first order of NomNomNow that includes samples of the recipes to make sure it is the right fit.”
That’s a great deal, so go learn more here and claim your discount.
2. The Farmer’s Dog
Another company that ranks highly in many homemade dog food delivery reviews is The Farmer’s Dog.
The company was cofounded by Jonathan Regev and Brett Podolsky in an effort to improve the quality of pet food after Podolsky’s dog kept falling ill while eating commercial food.
The Farmer’s Dog offers:
- A biodegradable cornstarch inner lining on its packaging — great for the environment.
- Custom dog food — the packages are labeled with individual pets’ names, helping avoid mix-ups, and each package contains 2 servings of each dog’s food.
- When signing up for the Farmer’s Dog, you’re asked a number of detailed questions about your dogs, tailored to help you make the right food choices. Everything from weight to allergies and more is covered.
- If you prefer cooking the food at home, The Farmer’s Dog can send the ingredients and the recipes rather than the finished product.
The food itself is held to AAFCO standards and “uses clean USDA proteins, mixed with simple produce, and balanced with vitamins and minerals.”
As an example, The Farmer’s Dog lists the following ingredients for its Turkey and Parsnip recipe:
Turkey, parsnips, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli, spinach, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, fish oil, taurine, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.
3. Pet Plate
Another highly reviewed fresh pet food company is Pet Plate.
Founder Renaldo Webb says he started Pet Plate in an effort to find better and more nutritious food for his own dog, Winston.
Pet Plate’s offerings include:
- Recyclable and easy-to-manage resealable packaging. Each package has 1 day’s worth of food, or 2 servings, and serving instructions are printed on each package.
- While not as detailed as the Farmer’s Dog questionnaire, Pet Plate does ask several questions about your pet upon signup and offers food recommendations.
- Food is easily recognizable as food. Ingredients are clearly listed and identifiable.
For example, the Chompin’ Chicken ingredients are listed as:
Ground chicken, sweet potatoes, chicken liver, broccoli, butternut squash, apples, natural flavor, safflower oil, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, parsley, vitamins and minerals (taurine, vitamin E, zinc oxide, ferrous fumarate, copper gluconate, sodium selenite, manganese gluconate, potassium iodide, vitamin D3)
4. Other Fresh Pet Food Delivery Services
There are so many choices these days. Others include:
- Grocery Pup
Let me know which ones you’ve tried (and like) in the comments section below.
Traditional Pet Food Delivery
Feeding fresh pet food may not always be an option for you, so I’d be remiss not to mention some of the other top pet food delivery services out there.
Chewy consistently gets high marks from its customers.
In fact, when I asked my friends on Facebook who they used for pet food delivery, almost all of them said Chewy and praised the company for its excellent customer service and prices.
Chewy offers regular deals and savings to new and returning customers, from online deals on shipping to sales and more. You also have the option of ordering far more than just food. Chewy offers a wide range of pet supplies, which makes ordering for your pet a one-stop-shopping time saver.
In terms of pet food, Chewy offers kibble and wet foods as well as grain-free, raw, gluten-free, human-grade and other diets.
Note that in 2017, Chewy was purchased by retail giant PetSmart. It remains to be seen if any resulting big changes will take place in the future.
Another giant online retailer is, of course, Amazon, which quite simply offers just about everything you can think of, including pet food.
Like Chewy, this can be a one-stop experience where you can order your pet’s food and supplies all in one place.
Amazon offers deals on shipping, and if you’re a Prime member then anything sold by Amazon itself can be shipped to you within 2 days for free regardless of weight (trust me on this, I ordered a 500-pound treadmill and got it in 2 days with no shipping cost).
Note: This 2-day Prime shipping doesn’t always apply to third-party sellers on Amazon, so double check before clicking “Add to Cart.”
The downside to Amazon is that it isn’t strictly tailored to pet products, so you won’t find the same deals you’d find on Chewy or other pet product sites.
Other big pet food and supply companies include:
Final Thoughts on Dog Food Meal Delivery Services
Deciding just what to feed your pets can be tricky and should always be decided with a veterinarian’s input, especially if your pets have allergies or other medical conditions.
Whether you decide to feed fresh, raw, grain-free or traditional commercial pet food, there’s a delivery option.
And that equals one less thing on your plate!