The Best Fresh Dog Food in 2023
We’re all thinking a little more about what we eat. Is it healthy? Nutritious? Where do the ingredients come from? And how can we prepare fresh food that doesn’t compromise on flavor? But what about our furry friends?
Do we really know what’s in the kibble we pick up at the store? It may taste good – but it certainly doesn’t smell good. This is where fresh dog food comes in. Perfectly balanced, human-grade food, (often) delivered straight to your door.
According to our taste testers, it’s also very yummy! But which is the best fresh dog food for 2023? We’ve gone through the top sellers so you can compare them and find the best for your situation, your pup, and your finances.
What Is Fresh Dog Food?
You might have guessed it, but fresh dog food is fresh. The various fresh food companies use the best ingredients to create balanced meals that are customized to your dog’s needs and health requirements. In many cases, the food is developed by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that each meal is packed full of nutrients and all the food groups your pooch needs.
The meals are then quickly frozen to retain all the good bits and delivered to your door or local store – normally within a week of being made. Which, of course, is very different from standard kibble or wet food.
These types of food usually contain a lot of preservatives and low-quality meat. Fresh food, however, contains veggies (which you can actually see), legumes, high-quality meat and proteins, and no added extras.
Is Fresh Dog Food Safe?
Yes! Actually, the best fresh dog food services hire a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to create each meal. They often use human-grade ingredients (you can really try it if you want!) and avoid added extras such as artificial flavors and preservatives. The aim is to create the best dog food that’s nutritious and actually improves your pup’s health.
As with any big change to your dog’s diet, it’s important to talk it through with your vet first. Some diets aren’t appropriate for some pups, so it’s always best to check. Changing from hard, processed food to textured, nutritious meals may take a little getting used to.
Not only will your dog not be used to seeing whole veggies on their plate, but a drastic change could also give them an upset stomach. As is the case with feeding your pup healthy treats such as pineapple, broccoli, or zucchini, it’s best to start slow and mix in fresh food with their traditional dog food.
In fact, many fresh dog food brands offer topper meals to help out with the transition.
What Are The Main Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fresh Food?
Have you ever made homemade burgers? With fresh meat, spices, herbs, salad, pickles, and a proper burger bun? Does it really compare to a fast-food burger?
Fresh dog food is kind of the same. The main advantage is that it’s just better for your dog (just like a homemade burger is better for us). You know exactly what cuts of meat they’re eating, how much of each ingredient has been added, and when the meal was prepared. Importantly, it also tastes much better.
The companies use real, high-quality ingredients that make the meal more delicious!
In some instances, your pooch can also eat meals designed for him based on his flavor preferences, allergies, or health needs.
But, all of those fresh foods do cost more and a reason why many pup parents don’t make the switch is that it’s just not affordable – especially if you have multiple, large dogs such as a Mastiff breed or a Merle Great Dane. Most fresh dog food also needs to be frozen prior to serving so it stays fresh and doesn’t spoil.
This can cause a bit of an issue with freezer space for some owners. You also need to make sure you defrost the food in time for dinner!
So Should We Just Ditch Kibble?
Kibble is still a good option for many households and it’s certainly the more affordable one. In some cases, meat meals found in kibble actually contain more protein because fresh meat contains more water.
Kibble, however, doesn’t contain a variety of different proteins and fresh fruits and veggies. There are added preservatives and flavors to which some dogs are sensitive or allergic. If you can, feeding your pup fresh food (or a mixture of fresh and kibble) is certainly better for their gut and overall health.
The Best Fresh Dog Food In 2023
There are loads of fresh pet food brands out there that claim to offer nutritious and tasty food. So how can you know which is best? We’ve handpicked the top fresh dog food brands out there so you can decide which is best for you and your doggo!
Nom Nom (which used to be called Nom Nom Now) is a really popular fresh dog food delivery service. They’re committed to feeding dogs nutritious and tasty food that humans would like to eat too! Ok, maybe not like. But certainly, food that humans could eat.
Nom Nom is big on choosing high-quality, human-grade ingredients from US growers. Actually, most of their ingredients are restaurant standard! All of your dog’s meals are prepared in kitchens across the country (although they’re not USDA-approved kitchens, which some other fresh dog food delivery services use) and they have a great variety of flavors.
The first thing you have to do is create a pup profile. This will help Nom Nom get to know your dog a little better and for them to recommend the best meals for your doggo. You’ll be asked for your pup’s breed, age, weight, activity level, sex, and whether they’re allergic to anything or have any health problems.
Nom Nom offers four fresh food meals to choose from. These include Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine, Pork Potluck, and Turkey Fare. Nom Nom will recommend which recipes are best for your pooch but you can choose just one or a mixture of all four.
The ingredients in the Turkey Fare meal are: ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, and spinach.
The meals are all developed by a veterinary nutritionist and designed to give your dog all the nutrients and vitamins they need, plus keep them full and taste great!
Nom Nom will recommend which meal or meals are best for your pooch depending on their pup profile. Whilst you can choose your dog’s favorite protein you can’t add/remove specific ingredients. So, for example, if your pup loves turkey but you don’t want to feed them grains, you can’t order Turkey Fare without brown rice.
A real advantage of Nom Nom is that each meal comes in a pre-portioned, squeezable bag. You don’t have to measure out exactly how much your pup needs per mealtime (which is the case with some other fresh dog food delivery services).
These pouches are also relatively easy to freeze and because they’re just one portion, you don’t have to store open dog food in the fridge.
How much Nom Nom dog food costs really depends on how big your pup is. Large dogs, of course, eat more and therefore it costs more to feed them. Roughly speaking, however, Nom Nom costs between $2 – $11 per day. Click on the below link for 50% off!
- Nom Nom has a gut health kit that you can use to see how healthy your pup is. This is particularly useful if they are losing weight, vomiting, or have diarrhea for an unexplained reason.
- Different delivery options. You can feed your dog solely Nom Nom or order smaller portions to mix in with their current dog food which helps to reduce costs.
- They give back through their doggie adoption scheme.
- Very high-quality ingredients and a good selection of flavors.
- They also do treats for your pups – not just meals.
- As with all fresh dog food, it’s more expensive than other alternatives (but you can get 50% off).
- Because Nom Nom meals are individually packaged they do produce more plastic and are therefore a little less environmentally friendly.
You can find out more about Nom Nom dog food in our detailed blog!
Ollie is another great fresh dog food service that delivers high-quality, nutritious, and yummy food straight to your door. This company was first founded when the owners started looking at the ingredients in regular dog food.
They soon realized that traditional dog food is full of added preservatives, fake flavors, and generally things that aren’t adding any nutritional value to your pup.
And they wanted to change that.
As with Nom Nom, Ollie will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire so they can recommend exactly how much food your pup needs and which meal is best based on their specific requirements.
Something that’s great about Ollie is that you can see the entire recipe on their website before registering. They list all the proteins and veggies so you can see if your dog will like them or not!
With your first order, Ollie sends you a really helpful information booklet.
Just like Nom Nom, Ollie offers four protein-based meals to choose from – lamb, chicken, turkey, and beef. They’re packed full of ingredients that your dogs will love, plus added extras such as cod-liver oil and herbs. Ollie typically uses more organ meat than other brands which some owners will love as it’s an extra boost of protein and flavor!
As is the case with other brands, Ollie’s canine veterinary specialists will recommend exactly how much your dog needs and which meal they’ll like best. In the pup profile, you’re asked about your dog’s weight and body shape and whether they’ve been advised to lose or put on weight. These experts can help your pooch to reach its goal! Again, Ollie is customizable to an extent but not down to every ingredient.
Roughly $2-$12 per day.
Ollie’s fresh dog food arrives frozen in sturdy, tray-like containers. They’re easy to stack and store in the freezer – which is a big bonus. They normally come in daily portions (2 meals) which are easy to scoop out and you get a free reusable storage box with your first order.
- All meals use high-quality ingredients and are prepared in USDA-approved kitchens – so it really is the best of the best!
- The brand is very communicative and sends regular reminders of shipments and payments.
- You can make adjustments to any order (if you’re away or want more/less fresh food) as long as it’s done before the order is processed.
- A great choice for pups with allergies.
- Donates 1% of profits to doggie charities and shelters.
- Price, but that’s going to be a factor for basically all fresh food brands.
- Scooping from a tub isn’t as easy or convenient as squeezing out a whole meal from a pouch. It is a little better for the environment though.
You can read a more in-depth review of Ollie dog food here!
The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog began with Jada, a beautiful pup that, unfortunately, suffered from many digestive problems. Her owners couldn’t find any food that helped until one vet suggested they tried homemade dog food. Her problems were over! She also had way more energy and was noticeably healthier.
And her owners didn’t just stop with her. They wanted to bring fresh, nutritious food to dogs right across the country so that their owners could know exactly what they’re feeding their pets.
As with the other two fresh foods, The Farmer’s Dog needs to know some basic information about your dog so it can recommend what meal would work best for them. They can help with weight and allergy management with just a few simple questions.
The Farmer’s Dog also has four proteins to choose from and uses only human-grade ingredients and high-quality meat cuts in all the recipes. All the meals are prepared in a USDA-approved kitchen and have all been designed by specialist canine nutritionists.
The four potential meals are beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Whilst filling out your pup profile you can also tell The Farmer’s Dog about any health conditions your pup has, such as bad breath, lack of energy, or toilet problems.
As an example, the ingredients in the beef meal are: beef, sweet potatoes, lentils, carrot, beef liver, kale, sunflower seeds, and fish oil.
As you can see, it’s full of protein, healthy starches, and veggies which will keep your pup full and happy!
Something that customers really love is how The Farmer’s Dog customizes its packaging. Your dog’s delicious, hearty meals arrive with their name on them – so you know it’s been made especially for your pup. This definitely comes in handy if you have multiple dogs in your house as it also tells you exactly how much to feed each pooch!
Again, this depends on how much they recommend your dog eats and how big they are but the Farmer’s Dog food can cost anywhere between $2 and $12 per day.
Click on the picture below to claim 50% off!
This fresh food arrives in easy-to-use squeezable pouches for serving. Each meal is tailored to your pup’s needs so you simply squeeze out the right amount at mealtimes. A slight negative, however, is that all The Farmer’s Dog serving pouches are the same size, so if you have a smaller pup that eats less, you’ll have an open pouch in the fridge for longer.
- This fresh dog food delivery company is big on the environment. The yummy food is quickly frozen as soon as it’s prepared and arrives on your doorstep in environmentally-friendly packaging to keep it cold.
- Dogs love the taste of The Farmer’s dog!
- There’s a trial option which means you can order a small amount before committing to every meal.
- Personalization of the pouches is a nice touch.
- None of the meals include grains which could be an issue for some pet owners.
- Portioning the meals can be a little tricky – especially if you have little pups.
- As with all fresh dog food, it’s more expensive than standard dry dog food.
Just Food For Dogs
Just Food For Dogs is one of the best fresh dog food companies – especially if you have a really picky pup. They have a whopping 15 meals to choose from and use only top-quality ingredients to make mealtimes fun and tasty.
You can even visit the kitchen and watch your dog’s food being prepared! They’re really big on transparency and want you to know exactly what’s going into each meal – after all, that’s likely to be a reason you’ve changed over from kibble.
On the Just Food For Dogs website, there’s a feeding planner which you’ll need to fill out. It asks the normal questions (sex, breed, weight, etc) so they can get a better idea of your pup and how healthy they are. You can also put in the specific goals you have for your dog, e.g. if your vet has recommended they lose a few pounds. The veterinary specialist will then recommend which of the ranges and meals is best suited to your doggo.
When it comes to dog food delivery services, Just Food For Dogs is really one of the best because of the range of ingredients and meals they offer. Nearly all dogs with food allergies will be able to find something from their Fresh Frozen or Pantry Fresh ranges.
They also offer cat food (so you can order all pet food from one place if you have a cat) as well as treats and healthy kibble.
The fresh meals include Shepherd’s Pie Special, Beef and Russet Potato, and Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni. They also offer a fish dish which is nice for variety and special meals throughout the year.
An example dish is Fish and Sweet Potato: Alaskan Pacific wild-caught cod, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, green beans, and broccoli.
Just Food For Dogs will recommend the best fresh or dry dog food based on your pup’s filled-out feeding planner. Like most dog food subscription services, it’s not possible to remove individual ingredients from a meal, but this brand has a wide variety of dishes so even the pickiest pups are likely to find something they’ll love.
They also offer a Vet Support range which is designed to help pups with specific health conditions. For instance, they offer both fresh and pantry-fresh renal support food which has a lower protein level to help with renal problems.
Veterinary-specific meals are a little more expensive than frozen fresh meals. Depending on what you buy and how big your pooch is, these ready-to-serve meals will cost between $3 and $15 per day.
This fresh pet food comes in stackable packs which are easy to freeze and serve from. Each meal has all the ingredients listed as well as useful information about exactly how much food your pup needs.
- The flexibility is great. You can easily try this food without having to sign up or subscribe.
- They’re big on transparency – all ingredients and nutritional information are listed on the site and you can even watch your dog’s food being made in one of their open kitchens!
- For an extra fee, they offer custom-made food. So you really can choose each ingredient.
- Very high-quality ingredients and tasty food!
- Good range of treats and supplements.
- Very responsive customer care.
- You’ve guessed it. It’s expensive – especially if you want the really customized dog food.
You can find a full review of Just Food for Dogs here.
This is another great fresh dog food delivery company that will bring nutritious, tasty, vet-designed meals straight to your door. They, too, use human-grade ingredients and put a lot of care into sourcing their ingredients and all meals are prepared in the US.
They really emphasize the health benefits of changing your dog’s diet to a fresh one. Customers have noticed that their dog has a shinier coat, is a healthier weight, suffers from fewer allergies, and has better poops!
PetPlan also asks you to take a quiz so they can recommend exactly how much fresh dog food your pup should be eating. Amongst other questions, you’ll be asked your dog’s weight, breed, activity level, and body condition.
PetPlate has a good variety of six different meals (or entrées as they like to call them) to choose from. These include Barkin’ beef, Chompin’ Chicken, Tail Waggin’ Turkey, Lip Lickin’ Lamb, Power-Packed Pork, and Lean and Mean Venison.
There’s a good mix for picky eaters and some meals are designed to help with allergies, sensitive stomachs, or are grain-free.
The Chompin’ Chicken, for example, is great for weight management. The ingredients include ground chicken, sweet potatoes, chicken liver, green beans, lentils, and apples.
They also offer treats (such as chicken apple sausage bites) and supplements (like tummy ticklin’ digestive cookies).
Filling out the quiz helps ensure that PetPlate sends you the correct amount of food that’s specifically portioned to your dog and their needs. They have a good array of meals to choose from that cater to various dietary needs, so even though this fresh food delivery brand doesn’t prepare customed made meals, there should be something yummy for your pup to eat.
You can also get a topper plan which is more affordable and which you can mix in with your doggo’s regular food.
PetPlate costs between $2.50 and $13 per day but that depends on how much your dog eats. Topper plans can start as low as $0.5 per day and can be a great way of getting extra veggies into your dog’s diet. Click here for 61% off your first box!
PetPlate comes in really handy yogurt-type pots with a resealable lid. The portion guidelines are also printed on the pot to help at mealtimes.
- The consistency of PetPlate’s dog food is more like ground meat, which some picky eaters are sure to love.
- A really good variety of flavors and ingredients.
- The topper plan can make it more affordable.
- Solid containers make storing in between meals easy.
- Some owners found serving the correct portion size a little complicated (even with the instructions of the tub).
- You can’t just test PetPlate, you have to sign up for the subscription. There’s also no possibility of testing before you buy (which might be a little risky for picky eaters).
Hungry Bark is a great fresh dog food provider that offers healthy meals, supplements, and protein mix-ins for all round doggie health. All their food is made fresh, using quality-sourced ingredients that dogs will love.
Each recipe is designed by a canine nutritional expert and slow-cooked to ensure the ingredients retain all their nutritional value. Unlike other fresh dog food delivery companies, Hungry Bark food is dry and therefore doesn’t need to be frozen and refrigerated between meals.
It’s really quick and easy to register on their website. The quiz only takes a minute and will ask you about your dog’s lifestyle, health objectives, breed, and sex. They will then recommend the meal for your pup and you can build your own custom meal plan using supplements and protein mix-ins.
There are four superfood meals to choose from. They are lamb and turkey (which is grain-free); salmon (containing salmon skin); chicken, turkey, and brown rice; and turkey and duck. As you can see, there’s a good mix of grain and grain-free options.
Hungry Bark also offers 6 supplements that can help everything from tummy troubles to itchy skin. There are also three tasty protein mix-ins that pups will love.
Hungry Bark allows you to build your own food plan, so you can mix and match between the meals and other ranges to create a diet that your dog will love and that will help them with their specific dietary needs.
Bags of dried superfoods start at $21.49, supplements at $29.69, and protein add-ins at $16.19. How much you spend really depends on your dog and the meal plan you create. If you just want dry food it will be cheaper than adding the supplements and mix-ins.
Out of all the fresh pet food providers on this list, HungryBark is probably the easiest to serve and store. The food is freeze-dried, which means it retains the nutrients but the bags of dog food can be left out and don’t need to be frozen (so ideal for those with smaller freezers).
They come in easy-to-reseal bags that help to keep the food fresh and you simply have to serve your pup the recommended portion.
- A great fresh pet food choice for pups that prefer kibble but need some more nutrients in their life.
- A good variety of supplements to help specific health problems and to add extra nutrients.
- Delicious food made with high-quality ingredients that dogs love!
- No need to freeze!
- There’s no wet food option, so if your pup isn’t a fan of dry food it may not be the best for them.
- Some owners love to be able to see the pieces of sweet potato, carrots, peas, green beans, and chunks of meat in their dog’s food. Although it’s very nutritious, Hungry Bark looks much more like regular kibble.
Fresh Dog Food – Conclusion
We all want to make sure we’re getting the best food for our pups and freshly delivered dog food is a great option. Each meal is packed full of real ingredients that are expertly formulated to give your pup a perfectly balanced diet. Many of them use human-grade ingredients and kitchens, so you can really try them if you want to!
It’s always important to consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet and any changes should be done slowly to minimize the risk of upsetting their stomach. It’s a good idea to mix in a small amount of fresh food with their regular food so they slowly get used to the change in flavors and texture.