Best Fresh Dog Food Brands

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fresh food

Would you like to feed your dog similar ingredients that you eat, with a diet that works for their needs? Then you want fresh dog food.

These formulas contain human friendly ingredients and are made in facilities that produce human food. In other words, they offer the best of the best for your pup. But which option is the best fresh dog food?

Our number one option is Ollie.

It was one of the first national manufacturers to make fresh dog food. And, they offer a balanced diet for all life stages, so you can even start a young pup off with a good start in life. 

But we also have eight other fresh food options that you can choose from — including premium choices and one that offers allergen-friendly recipes. 

Our Best Fresh Dog Food Brands

  1. Ollie (Best Fresh Dog Food Overall)
  2. Nom Nom (Best for Picky Eaters)
  3. The Farmers Dog (Best for Personalization) 
  4. Fresh Pet (Best Food With No Subscription)
  5. Hungry Bark (Best Convenient Food)
  6. Spot & Tango (Best Affordable Food)
  7. JustFoodForDogs (Best Premium Food)
  8. A Pup Above (Best High-Protein Food)
  9. PetPlate (Best for Special Dietary Needs)

9 Best Fresh Dog Food Brands Reviewed 

The fresh foods listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching from your dog’s current food, please consult your veterinarian. 


Ollie

ollie food
  • Recipes: Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Turkey
  • Delivery frequency: Every two to four weeks (depending on your schedule) 
  • Ships to: 48 of the continental states; doesn’t ship to Alaska or Hawaii
  • Price: $4/day or $28/week for small dogs who are exclusively fed Ollie, an average of $8/day or $56/week for medium and large breeds
  • Key Feature: Minimally processed human-grade fresh dog food with supplemented vitamins and minerals
Get 50% OFF your first Ollie order!

Ollie is one of the best (and first!) fresh dog foods that you can feed your dog, whether they’re a puppy or senior. This minimally processed dog food is perfect for all life stages. And, they make it easy to get started and switch (or start) your dog on a fresh food diet. 

First, you’ll take Ollie’s online quiz. You’ll input your dog’s height, weight, breed, likes and dislikes, and activity level. If your dog has allergies, you’ll be able to add that as well. 

After completing the quiz, Ollie calculates a customized diet for your pooch. They’ll show you how many calories your dog needs, as well as the best possible recipes for them. You’ll be able to choose between four options or a combination of all four. Your choices are lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey. 

Once you make your recipe choice, you’ll decide on your shipping schedule. Then, Ollie will ship the food to your door fresh every two to four weeks. Each order comes with a feeding guide, a “pup-tainer” storage container,  and a scoop for easy portioning. 

What we like:

  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Easy to eat for most dogs due to moisture content 
  • You control what ingredients are included in your dog’s food 
  • No fillers, additives, or artificial preservatives

What we don’t like:

  • Cost, especially if you have a large breed and are exclusively feeding them Ollie
  • Fridge and freezer space is required to store 2-4 weeks of food

Dog owners love the freshness of Ollie’s recipes and their flexibility with shipments. 


Nom Nom

nom nom food
  • Recipes: Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine, Pork Potluck, Turkey Fare
  • Delivery frequency: You choose the delivery frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
  • Ships to: 48 contiguous states; don’t ship to Alaska or Hawaii
  • Price: An average of $40/week for small breeds and $70/week for large breeds 
  • Key Feature: High-protein and easy to customize fresh dog food for picky eaters
Get 50% OFF your first Nom Nom order!

Got a particular pup? Nom Nom is the perfect solution. Just like Ollie, they allow you to customize the food you get to fit your dog’s nutritional needs. But, they also let you add ingredients based on your dog’s likes and dislikes. 

They’ll start with a 5-minute quiz about your dog. They’ll ask about their height, weight, body type, activity level, allergies, and what they like to eat.

After you finish the quiz, Nom Nom calculates what your dog needs and offers the perfect diet for them. 

They’ll ask when you want your food to be shipped and allow you to choose a recipe or variety pack — including turkey fare, pork potluck, beef mash, and chicken cuisine. 

Nom Nom has each recipe evaluated by Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists. So it’s guaranteed that your dog is getting the vitamins and minerals that they need. Each recipe is made in small batches and is tested before shipment. 

Unlike Ollie, Nom Nom individually packages the food based on the portion sizes they calculate for your dog. So you don’t have to section out your pup’s food on your own.  

What we like:

  • Single serving sizes for convenience
  • New customers can get deals and coupons on food and shipping
  • The food is made in a human facility and batch tested for freshness and quality 
  • Recipes are as close to “human and table” food as possible 

What we don’t like:

  • Fridge and freezer space is required 

Pet parents appreciate how flexible Nom Nom is with scheduling deliveries. And, many note that they’re able to mix Nom Nom with their dogs’ dry food, so Nom Nom calculates a “mixed” diet for them, saving them money. 


The Farmer’s Dog

the farmer's dog food
  • Recipes: Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Pork
  • Delivery frequency: You pick delivery times (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, up to every other month), and you can rush orders too
  • Ships to: Ships to 48 contiguous states; does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii 
  • Price: Varies based on your dog’s needs, the average cost of $7/day per dog, or $49/week
  • Key Feature: Extremely personalized fresh dog food in single-serve pouches for convenience 
Get 20% OFF your first The Farmer’s Dog order!

If you’re looking for genuinely customized and healthy dog food, from the ingredients to calories and allergen-free, look no further. The Farmer’s Dog follows a similar process to Ollie and Nom Nom while also offering more personalization and convenience for your special pup. 

You’ll start with the most detailed quiz that’s on this list. But it will still take you less than 10 minutes to fill out. 

The Farmer’s Dog will ask you questions about your dog’s weight, ideal weight, body type, activity level, allergies or health issues, and if they’re spayed or neutered. They’ll also ask if your dog is a picky or great eater and if they eat treats or scraps regularly. 

From there, they will calculate both the best recipes for your dog, as well as the daily cost. Remember, prices vary based on your answers and can go upwards of $17 a day if you have a giant dog that exclusively eats fresh food. But the average is around $7 a day. 

You’ll be able to choose between four animal protein starters — chicken, beef, turkey, and pork.

Each recipe will show the nutritional facts based on your dog’s needs and how many pouches you’ll feed them daily. You can also make changes between orders based on what your dog likes and dislikes. 

What we like:

  • Compostable and pre-portioned food packages
  • Easily customizable 
  • Offers refunds 

What we don’t like:

  • Fridge and freezer space is required 
  • Pouches can be messy if feeding less than 1 to your dog 

Dog parents are happy that their dogs can enjoy food without potential allergens. And many love that the formulas are already pre-portioned to make serving easy. 


Freshpet

freshpet food
  • Recipes: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Lamb, Whitefish, Salmon, Turkey
  • Delivery frequency: No delivery schedule; you order when you’re ready for a new batch 
  • Ships to: Available in all 50 states
  • Price: Around $5 per 1lb roll, which lasts 1 to 4 days per dog; the average cost is around $25 a week
  • Key Feature: Subscription-free fresh dog food that can be found online and in most grocery stores

If you don’t want to deal with a subscription service or live in an area that isn’t covered by subscription services, Freshpet is an excellent option.

Not only is it shipped to all 50 states, but it’s also available in many grocery and pet stores in the US. Plus, they have the most flavor options and include grain-free formulas

Another great benefit of Freshpet is all of the different food options. Their most popular option is their rolls — which can be cut like pate. But they also have their “homestyle” creations, which come in bags and are more like kibble. 

Each recipe is prepared and packed in USDA-approved kitchens, no matter which you choose. And every formula is created by a veterinary nutritionist. 

When it comes to their ingredients, they use deboned and antibiotic-free meats, whole grains like brown rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These wholesome ingredients are gently cooked and minimally processed for tasty food. There are zero preservatives, meat by-products, or rendered fats and meals. 

Keep in mind that if you open a roll or bag, it can only be stored for up to 7 days in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer. 

What we like:

  • Easy to find almost everywhere 
  • No subscription needed 
  • Multiple formulas, meat sources, and food options 

What we don’t like:

  • Fridge and freezer space is required 
  • Not easy to portion out since it’s in a roll or a hard to open bag

Pet moms and dads love this fresh food, and many enjoy being able to go to their local store and pick it up when needed. However, some have noted that it can add up in cost for giant breeds or multiple dogs. 


Hungry Bark

hungry bark food
  • Recipes: Lamb & Turkey (Grain-Free), Salmon (Grain-Free), Chicken & Turkey, Turkey & Duck (Grain-Free)
  • Delivery frequency: You choose the delivery frequency (every 2-8 weeks)
  • Ships to: 49 continental states; doesn’t ship to Hawaii
  • Price: $61.99 per 24/lb bag, which could last 3 to 10 weeks depending on breed and size
  • Key Feature: Dry kibble made with fresh ingredients safe for human consumption that are lightly cooked and dried 
Get 50% OFF your first 2-week Custom Meal Plan!

Skeptical about switching to fresh food? What if your dog got the benefits of fresh food while you had the convenience of feeding them “kibble”?

Unlike the other fresh dog food options on this list, Hungry Bark makes delicious fresh dog food in bite-size kibble-like pieces. And, they have grain-free options for sensitive pups too. 

First, Hungry Bark offers their “dry” fresh food, freeze-dried raw mix-ins, and supplements for pet owners that want to have an all-in-one food solution. 

The fresh ingredients are slowly cooked versus cooked on a high heat like most dry dog foods.

This helps retain all the nutrients and avoid overcooking. Then, when the food is still slightly moist, it’s freeze-dried to keep it fresh without the need for freezing or refrigeration. 

Unlike other fresh dog food companies, you don’t need a subscription plan to Hungry Bark. However, they offer a “subscribe and save” option that helps you save 10% on each shipment of food.

Each recipe only includes non-GMO veggies, farm-raised and cage-free animal proteins, chelated vitamins and minerals, and naturally occurring probiotics. 

You can choose between four different recipes — lamb and turkey, salmon, chicken and turkey with brown rice, and turkey and duck. Three of these recipes are grain-free too! 

What we like:

  • The convenience of dry kibble for storing and ease of use
  • No subscription plan required 
  • Puppy friendly (just follow their feeding directions)

What we don’t like:

  • More expensive than many regular kibbles 
  • Can’t personalize to your dog like with options like Ollie

Dog moms and dads love that they get kibble-like food that still looks and tastes better than the dry stuff. Plus, many noted a significant change in their dogs’ coat health and energy levels after switching.


Spot & Tango

spot & tango food
  • Recipes: Duck & Salmon, Beef & Barley, Chicken & Brown Rice, Turkey & Red Quinoa, Beef & Millet, Lamb & Brown Rice
  • Delivery frequency: You choose your shipping schedule
  • Ships to: Ships to 48 contiguous states; does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii
  • Price: $7-$14/week for most breeds and up to $50/week for large breeds
  • Key Feature: Affordable fresh dog food shipped right to your door 
Get 20% OFF your first Spot & Tango order!

We get it — fresh dog food can cost significantly more than kibble in most cases. And for dog owners on a budget, it’s not as feasible or easy to get. But what if we told you that there is a budget option out there that offers the same high-quality ingredients?

Spot & Tango is a fresh dog food delivery service that works with local farmers, fishers, and ranchers to offer your dog wholesome and nutritious food. And, their fresh foods are cooked in USDA-certified human kitchens.

Spot & Tango offers both dehydrated and fresh formulas. Their dehydrated food appears close to kibble but is cooked the same as the fresh food before being gently dried. But it only comes in three flavors — Duck & Salmon, Beef & Barley, and Chicken & Brown Rice. 

There are many choices to choose from. A few options include duck and salmon, beef and barley, turkey and red quinoa, and lamb and brown rice. 

But, each of these recipes needs to be refrigerated or stored in a cool and dark place. Plus, for freshness, it’s best to feed your dog the food within three weeks of receiving it.  

Spot & Tango will ship you individually portioned and frozen food after taking their quiz to get the best option and servings for your dog. They’ll send you individually portioned and frozen food. And each pouch is an air-tight bag that makes freezer and fridge storage easy. 

What we like:

  • An affordable option for dog owners on a budget
  • Many ready to serve meals to choose from 
  • Looks fresh and delicious — even for humans!
  • Grain-free and whole grain options

What we don’t like:

  • Not as easy to personalize
  • It can be expensive for giant breeds or multiple dogs

Pet owners rave about this food. Many say it’s one of the best options for dogs with allergies or those with sensitive stomachs and skin. 


JustFoodForDogs

justfoodfordogs
  • Recipes: Turkey, Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Venison, Fish
  • Delivery frequency: Order for one-time delivery, or get auto-ship every 2-8 weeks
  • Ships to: Available in all 50 states
  • Price: $40-$60 a week for small breeds, and up to $100 a week for giant breeds
  • Key Feature: Premium fresh dog food that is customized for your dog’s dietary needs

Just Food for Dogs is a premium fresh food option — and for a good reason. First, all of their kitchens are open to the public. That means you can walk into any of their kitchens nationwide and watch them make fresh dog food. 

But there’s more. Before the formulas are cooked, they’re formulated by a team of 14 vets and a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. So you can guarantee that your pup is getting a balanced diet and optimal nutrition. 

Unlike other options, JustFoodForDogs doesn’t have a cost associated with your answers about your dog. Instead, you’ll pay the same amount per pouch of food. 

But, of course, the bigger your dog and the more they eat, the more you’ll need to purchase. But all of the recipes and formulas are the same price, no matter your dog’s allergies, intolerances, or other needs. 

Another perk of using JustFoodForDogs is how easy they make it to get your pup’s food. While you can get it auto shipped to your home, you can also pick it up from one of their many kitchens or pet shops. If you have any questions before purchasing, they encourage you to contact one of their vets with any questions.

What we like:

  • Great for dogs with dietary restrictions 
  • Easy to get delivered or pick up 
  • Formulated by veterinarians and nutrition experts 
  • Shipped in air-tight vacuum-sealed pouches that are easy to store

What we don’t like:

  • Must freeze and thaw before serving
  • Not the most affordable option on this list 

Pet parents love the high-protein and lower fat options, and many appreciate that they can also help their dogs lose or gain weight with these formulas. 


A Pup Above

a pup above food
  • Recipes: Texas Beef Stew, Turkey Pawella, Porky Luau, Chicka Chicka (Chicken) Bow Wow 
  • Delivery frequency: One-time purchase or every 2 to 7 weeks 
  • Ships to: Ships to 48 contiguous states; does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii
  • Price: $129/week average for small dogs, $350/week for large dogs
  • Key Feature: High-protein and human-grade fresh dog food that’s sous-vide cooked 

A Pup Above is considered one of the freshest brands and foods on this list. They cook their recipes with a unique method — sous vide. 

B Pup Above adds fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, a bit of broth, and animal proteins in a bag. Then they seal it and cook it in a water bath low and slow. This cooks the food just enough to make it safe but allows it to maintain moisture, nutrients, and flavor. 

So if you’re looking for dog food that can mimic table and human nutrition, look no further.

From pork to beef, each of the recipes is crafted by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. And, they only include high-quality animal proteins, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, and whole grains

As you may notice, this is also one of the more expensive options on the list. This food comes in “patties” and is shipped and arrives in 3-pound or 7-pound bags. 

A 3-pound bag is $129 and will last a 10-pound dog for around 10-14 days. If you’re willing to spoil your pup, this is one of the best ways to do it.

 A Pup Above boasts about their high-protein foods too. They have (on average) 1.5x more protein than their fresh food competitors. If measured on a dry matter basis, their formulas all have over 45% Crude Protein. 

Even though it may be high-value, this is an excellent option for active pups or working dogs. However, if your dog is over 75 pounds, you may want to mix it with kibble or look at other options to cut costs. 

What we like:

  • Offers subscription for discounts, but not required 
  • Human-grade ingredients made in USDA kitchen 
  • Sous vide cooking method is unique and makes tasty food 
  • Easy to portion patties 

What we don’t like:

  • Patties need to thaw before feeding
  • Premium costs 

Dog parents think the patties are super easy to measure out. But some admit that they will need plenty of time to thaw. 


Pet Plate

pet plate food
  • Recipes: Venison, Pork, Lamb, Turkey, Chicken, Beef
  • Delivery frequency: Bi-weekly or monthly 
  • Ships to: Ships to 48 contiguous states; does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii
  • Price: $14-$80 a week, depending on your dog’s weight 
  • Key Feature: Allergen-friendly fresh dog food made with human-grade ingredients
Get 50% OFF your first Pet Plate order!

Does your dog have food allergies or intolerances? Do they need digestive support or have symptoms like itchy skin that you want to get rid of? 

If so, your best bet is Pet Plate. This fresh dog food delivery service offers the same convenience as the other services but with allergen-friendly ingredients like lamb, turkey, and venison. And, you can avoid grains or other ingredients if your dog is allergic. 

Pet Plate has two subscription plans. The first is their “topper” plan for dogs that don’t exclusively eat fresh food. This plan is about half the cost of their full option and can be a great way to introduce your pup to a fresh formula. Their full plan is for dogs that will eat Pet Plate entirely. 

Just like the other services, you’ll start with a quiz before choosing one of the recipes on their site. After answering a few questions — like entering your dog’s weight and age — Pet Plate will calculate how much your dog needs and the total cost each week.

After picking your favorite recipe, Pet Plate will pack and ship it right to your doorstep in ice-cream-like tubs. 

Keep in mind that these are not pre-portioned tubs. So measure out the correct amount of food, and put the rest back in the freezer. 

What we like:

  • Premium proteins that are safer to feed to dogs with allergies
  • Easy to store and use containers that the food is shipped in

What we don’t like:

  • It takes up a lot of space in the freezer

Reviewers note that this food helps clear up allergy symptoms fast. Most people say their dogs prefer the venison option over lamb. 


dog eating

Buying Guide for Fresh Dog Food 

What’s the best way to buy fresh dog food and what should you be looking for? Here’s a quick guide to help!

What Is Fresh Dog Food? 

Fresh dog food is ingredients that have been cooked and served “fresh”. Usually, fresh food is human-grade and consists of high-quality protein sources, veggies, grains, and supplements to meet nutritional needs. 

This means that the same ingredients you eat are in your dog’s food, along with the vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive. 

Now, is fresh food safe? Yes! It’s just wholesome ingredients and supplements mixed together. Unless the diet includes raw food (these don’t), you don’t have to worry about potential harmful pathogens. 

Why Fresh Food for Dogs?

There are quite a few reasons to buy fresh food for your pup. For one, it’s minimally processed.

Unlike kibble, fresh food is gently cooked without preservatives or additives and instead only includes ingredients that will benefit your dog’s lifestyle. 

And most fresh food options allow you to customize their meal plan, so you can avoid ingredients that cause allergy symptoms, as well as get the right portion of food. 

Last but not least, your dog will get to eat similarly to you! No more dry, bland, or boring kibble. Fresh food is tasty and includes human-grade ingredients that your pooch will want to gobble up. 

But it’s important to note some quick disadvantages about fresh dog food too. First, it’s more costly than kibble. 

Because of the ingredients they include and their facilities, many fresh food companies have to charge more to cover their process. 

And, if you’re always on the go or need food with a long shelf-life, you won’t find that with fresh food.

You can freeze it to help it last a few more months. But it’s supposed to be eaten as close to preparation, or refrigerated, as soon as possible in order to stay fresh. 

Fresh Dog Food vs. Kibble

There are quite a few differences between fresh dog food and kibble. Let’s talk about them. 

First, kibble is usually cooked at a high temperature (at least 400 degrees) in order to dry it out for a more stable shelf-life.

However, this tends to overcook the ingredients and supplements, which can make it lose its nutrient potency. While it’s still healthy to feed your dog, they won’t absorb all of the vitamins and minerals added. 

Fresh dog food is gently cooked, and only enough to avoid raw animal proteins. And usually, vitamins and minerals aren’t added until after cooking, so they don’t lose any nutritional value.

And, fresh food doesn’t sit for months or years. It’s shipped (and usually eaten) right after cooking. 

The most significant difference between fresh dog food and kibble is the ingredients that they use too.

Kibble may use organic or human-grade ingredients. But many manufacturers also use fillers, meat meals, or even by-products because those are cheaper than the ingredients that humans consume. 

However, fresh meals always use fresh and wholesome ingredients, like ground beef and vegetables, to give your dog the same high-quality food that you’re used to. 

How Do I Switch My Dog’s Diet Safely?

Unless your dog has allergies or intolerances that force you to switch their food immediately, you’ll want to change their diet slowly. This will keep from upsetting their digestive system. 

This process will take about seven to 10 days. You’ll do it by increasing the amount of new food with old food each day. 

So, start with 75% old food mixed with 25% new food for approximately two to three days. Then mix 50% for a few more days, and go on until they are fully eating the new diet.

And yes, you can mix kibble and fresh food! 

Our Verdict

As you can see, a fresh food diet is one of the best options for dogs, no matter their age, size, or breed. But of course, it’s essential to choose a formula that works well with your pup’s unique needs. 

In our opinion, the best fresh dog food is Ollie.

It’s the perfect blend of affordable, convenient, and well-balanced nutrients. And, you can easily switch between their recipes, or choose all four if your dog loves them. 

But, all of the fresh dog food brands on this list can work well for your dog too. So don’t be afraid to venture out and choose a new pet food, especially if your pooch has needs that another plan fits! 

FAQ

Want to know more about fresh dog food? We have the answers for you.  

Is fresh dog food worth it?

It can be, especially if you want to feed your dog high-quality food with wholesome ingredients. Fresh dog food focuses on real ingredients — like animal proteins, fruits, vegetables, and grains — to nourish your pet. 

However, it’s important to note that fresh pet food is a higher value than regular dry kibble. So if you’re an owner on a budget, you may want to look at other options or mix fresh food with dry in order to cut costs. 

Or, you could also make homemade dog food and mix it with the fresh options. Just remember to speak with your vet before making this change. They’ll be able to help you create the proper recipe for your dog. 

Can fresh pet dog food be frozen?

Yes. If there are portions of fresh food that your dog didn’t eat, you can freeze them in an air-tight container. However, be sure to follow the proper way of defrosting to keep your dog from potentially getting sick. 

Can puppies eat fresh dog food?

Of course! Just be sure that the food you choose fits AAFCO’s puppy nutritional requirements and has the vitamins and minerals your pup needs. 

Plus, many of the options on this list have their own nutrition breakdown and feeding requirements for puppies. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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