3 of The Best Mail-Order Meals for Your Dog Right Now
While many Americans (and folks around the world) continue to stay home to #flattenthecurve, we’ve been turning (even more than before) to delivery services. In the last few weeks, we’ve covered where to buy groceries online, the best meal kit services, and the best ways to get wine, beer, and alcohol delivered. Today, we’re here to talk about food for our pups.
Turns out, there are a few companies that all work relatively the same way. You answer a short survey online and then an algorithm figures out the best meal plan for your pup. You sign up for a subscription and the frozen meals come to you automatically on a schedule. These meals are made with fresh ingredients in human-grade kitchens.
We had a tester (and her 40-pound dog) give some a try. We also looked to see how the current pandemic is affecting shipping and pricing. With all of that research organized and tallied, these are three of the best options to try right now.
The Basics: Pet parents are asked to provide a few details about their dog — name, age, weight, and activity level — before choosing between proteins (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, or a combination) and plans. Based on your survey responses, Pet Plate figures out how many meals your dog needs (and how many calories) and offers plans with delivery frequency ranging from one to four weeks. (You can adjust based on what you think is best, too.) There’s also a Topper Plan, which is meant to be mixed in with another type of food.
Sign up for PetPlate here.
Cost: Plans start at $1.50 per day and shipping is always free.
Special deal: Right now, you can take 40 percent off your first order.
Food: Choose between beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, or a combination.
Packaging: Meals come frozen, in recyclable containers. There is dry ice in the box, but that’s true of basically of these services.
What our tester thought: The dog (and the dog’s kitten sister!) loved the food. The tester didn’t love that, while more eco-friendly this way, each container had a few meals in it. “I had to use a spoon to portion out half of the contents and then put the rest back in the fridge. The food seemed to also take a few days to defrost, but that could just be my refrigerator! Real talk: This is only slightly less convenient than dry food.”
The Basics: The doggie quiz is similar to PetPlate, only Ollie asks what your pet currently eats and if he/she has any allergies. Then, you get to see the recommend plan but you’re allowed to change things up. You can change the proteins and/or how much of your pet’s food will be made up of Ollie (25 percent up to 100 percent).
Sign up for Ollie here.
Cost: Plans start at less than $2 per day, and there’s free two-day delivery.
Special deal: New customers can save 50 percent off their first box.
Food: Ollie offers meals featuring beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb. Other key ingredients include things like sweet potatoes, peas, spinach and more.
Packaging: The frozen meals come in vacuum-sealed packaging with dry ice. In the freezer, the meals will stay good for up to six months. You thaw packages in the fridge and they’ll stay good in there for up to four days. (You also get a sturdy reusable container and scooper to use as you start portioning out the meals.)
What our tester thought: “For my ’40-pound Unknown Adorable Mix who needs 835 calories a day,’ Ollie recommended the beef recipe which includes beef (heart, kidney, liver, and other yummy parts), plus sweet potato, peas, potato, carrot, spinach — and even chia seeds and blueberries! I was basically ready to eat this food. Again, each package includes more than one meal, so I was still scooping out a serving and having to save the rest.”
The Farmer’s Dog
The Basics: The doggie quiz is the most involved (asking what kind of eater your pup happens to be, if he/she ever gets table scraps, and more). You can then choose between turkey, beef, and pork recipes — all of which have fish oil and a proprietary nutrient blend.
Sign up for The Farmer’s Dog here.
Cost: Plans start at $2 per day and include free shipping.
Special deal: First-time customers can get 50 percent off their order.
Food: There are three recipes (turkey, beef, and pork) to choose from and you can mix and match as you please.
Packaging: Frozen meals come in a plastic bag. The entire delivery comes in a box surrounded by insulation that dissolves in your sink. (Really!)
What our tester thought: “For no other reason than convenience, this was my favorite option. The plastic pouches were easy to store in my freezer and in my fridge and I just cut the package in half, squeezed the morning meal out, and did the same for the evening meal — no fuss whatsoever.”
Have you tried any of these? What did you — and your pet — think?