Ditch Dry Dog Food for These Fresh, Subscription-Based Options

When you have to choose between two high quality dog foods, which do you buy?

Not so long ago, a subscription was to one of two things: a newspaper or magazine. Today, the concept has expanded dramatically. We subscribe to streaming TV services, to wine, to pet toys—and to fresh dog food subscriptions.

Scores of pooch parents are signing on to receive home delivery of fresh subscription dog food. Arguably, the best known and most popular companies are Ollie and The Farmer's Dog. But how does it all work, and what's the difference between them?

Both were originally designed for dogs who did not thrive on the typical canine diet—like dry kibble. But of late more and more dogs are the beneficiaries of these foods, as more and more pet parents are learning about canine nutrition and the options available. Some of us would love to prepare our dog's meals ourselves, but don't have the knowledge or time to make sure they'd be nutritionally complete. Ollie and The Farmer's Dog offer to do the cooking for us.

If you've been intrigued by the trend and have been considering give either of them a whirl, read on.

What's the Same

Both these services are devoted to delivering the highest quality food that any dog, regardless of breed or size, can enjoy. These companies are both well-reviewed and highly rated. Neither has ever had a product recall.

Their foods are human grade, which means they're made of ingredients that are fit for human consumption.

The offerings from both brands include meat, organ meats and vegetables. Neither company puts wheat, corn, or soy in their food. Their recipes are overseen by veterinarians, and they both meet the requirements of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

When you initiate a subscription, it begins with a questionnaire. Each company will ask about your dog's weight, breed and activity level. Based on your answers, the company will propose a specific plan for your doggie. Freshly prepared, frozen meals are then delivered to your door, free, at regular intervals. In both cases, that can range from every week for tiny lapdogs to every eight weeks for active, very large dogs.

What's Different

The Farmer's Dog does not use grain of any kind. Ollie uses rice in their recipes.

Each company offers four recipe selections, but one recipe is different. Ollie will feed your best friend beef, chicken, turkey and lamb. The Farmer's Dog will nurture your pooch with beef, chicken, turkey, and pork.

Both companies strive to be eco friendly in their packaging, but there are differences. The Farmer's Dog uses an insulation made of corn starch, which dissolves in water. Ollie's insulation is made of recycled cotton. The Farmer's Dog puts meals in individual recyclable plastic bags. Ollie uses non-recyclable plastic trays, but sends along a sturdy reusable container to make thawing and storing of leftovers easier.

Cost is proportionate to the size and energy needs of the individual dog. Both options work out to about $2 a day for toy breeds. Ollie can go up to $6 a day for the largest dogs; The Farmer's Dog can hit $8 a day for the biggest hounds.
Both companies are currently offering 50 percent off your first delivery.

At the End of the Day

Both are excellent options in terms of convenience and quality of food. But before you switch over your dog's entire diet, it's always wise to touch base with your vet.

That said, the decision boils down to your personal preferences and those of your dog. You might prefer to feed him the completely grain-free meals cooked up by The Farmer's Dog. Or your pupper might relish the pork offered only by The Farmer's Dog—or the lamb offered only by Ollie.

If you are the proud parent of an energetic Irish Wolfhound, say, the slightly higher price of The Farmer's Dog at the upper end of the range might be reason to opt for Ollie. If your gentle giant seems to like the Farmer's Dog better, then the cost differential may be a non-issue for you.

Neither service offers a way to sample the food before signing up, but subscriptions can be cancelled at any time. The best way to decide may well be to subscribe to both Ollie and The Farmer's Dog, taking advantage of the half-off deal on the first delivery, and then continue with whichever one your dog likes best, cancelling the other.

We're pretty sure that, whichever you choose, the end result will be a wagging tail.

Do you have a favorite fresh dog food? Tell us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Pets are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

READ MORE: Jinx Dog Food Review: Made Fresh for the Modern Dog