Any pet parent knows that investing in one of the best dog food delivery services can positively impact their four-legged companion’s longterm health. Not to mention, it’s also the easiest way to show your pet some love. But figuring out which of the best dog food delivery services to opt for can be overwhelming, especially since there are so many options available on the market. After all, as is the case with the best dog collars, not all of them are right for every pup. The good news: We’re here to share vet-approved advice on which ones are worth considering. With a glance at our buying guide, you’ll be that much closer to getting customized, high-quality nutrition delivered right to your doorstep.
But before you make any changes to your dog’s lifestyle, remember to check in with your own veterinarian. According to The American Kennel Club, a sudden switch in food supply could cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Instead, a slower transition—perhaps over the course of a week—is ideal. And the good news: When your dog does finally adjust to their new, nutritious, food, their energy levels could increase, their coats could get shinier and they might just be happier overall.
If you’re considering making the switch but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best dog food delivery services to upgrade your pup’s diet.
Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery Service
Pre-portioned Kits That Make Mealtime A Breeze
Best Ready-To-Serve Meals
A Meal Plan With Both Hot And Cold Options
Most Convenient Packaging
Meals That You Can Defrost And Serve
Best Human-Grade Dog Food Delivery Service
Meal Plans That Meet Industry Standards For Humans And Pets
Best Raw Dog Food Delivery Service
An Option That Safely Handles Raw Meat So You Don’t Have To
Best Food For Special Needs Dogs
Prescription Meals That Are Specially Designed For Your Dog
Best Delivery Service For Dog Kibble
Easily Accessible (And Affordable) Dog Food Brands Delivered To Your Doorstep
Best Dry Food
Not Your Pup’s Ordinary Kibble
Best Sustainable Dog Food
Sustainable Dog Food That’s Big On Quality
Best Customizable Dog Food
Meals Informed By Your Dog’s Health Goals
What To Consider When Looking For A Dog Food Delivery Service
Before you sign up for a dog food delivery service, you’re going to want to make sure it actually fits the needs of both you and your dog. Ahead, find recommendations of what to look for when scanning different services:
The most important thing to consider is the nutrition of each service—in other words, it’s a good idea to look at the specific ingredients that make up the food being delivered. Take a cue from Dr. Ian Dunbar, a leading veterinarian and animal behaviorist: “First up would be a complete and highly digestible protein to ensure your dog has all ten essential amino acids,” he advises. “Second, a good source of fiber, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals. Third, the food should be cooked at a low temperature to ensure all the nutrients remain intact.” Your dog’s ideal diet might not be all that dissimilar to yours: It could include fresh or raw meats, digestible carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
How The Food Is Made
Check whether the meals are made or vetted by licensed veterinarians or pet nutritionists on the brand’s staff. “By having a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist on staff, they are ensuring that pet food is well-balanced, since dogs’ and cats’ needs are different than humans,” says Dr. Tori Countner, DVM, of Balanced Pet Vet in San Diego.
Dog food delivery services vary in price pretty widely. Choose the cost that suits your lifestyle best, and be sure to factor in the number of shipments offered within each price bracket. There are plenty of great options that are also affordable.
An approval from the Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) is an assurance that your pet’s meal is nutritionally complete or balanced. Before you hit checkout, make sure to look for an AAFCO statement on the back of the dog food bag, box or can, or scan the FAQ section on online meal delivery service platforms to get more information.
What Is The Best Pet Food Delivery Service?
If you’re looking to switch your dog over to a dog food delivery service, this is likely the question on your mind. In general, the best service is one that provides recipes customized to your dog’s health, medical and dietary needs. You want to be sure that your dog is getting what’s right for them. Additionally, the service should use whole, fresh ingredients that are minimally processed and packed with dog-friendly nutrients. Finally, check whether the service has veterinarians and nutritionists on staff. If a service can check off all the things above, it’s safe to say they’re a solid option.
If you’re looking for a solid recommendation, though, ask Dr. Countner: She says she’d go with Just Food For Dogs. “They have a variety of recipe options as well as veterinary prescription diets that you can order easily off of their website,” she explains. “They also have brick and mortar store locations around the US and conveniently in Petcos.”
How Much Should Dog Food Delivery Cost?
Compared to other traditional pet food options, dog food delivery is more expensive, so make sure you’ve got the budget for it before splurging. Costs do vary depending on the company you go with, however, and on your dog’s specific dietary needs. Dr. Countner explains the reason for the high costs: “Most dog food delivery services prepare meals in smaller kitchens, versus bigger manufacturing plants. The smaller scale, quality ingredients, less processed food, and delivery straight to your door means that it will cost more than picking up food at your local pet store.”
You often don’t know the exact price you’re paying until you provide information about your dog and how often you’re looking to receive deliveries. Some plans can cost as little as two dollars a day or nine dollars a week, while others can come in at $300 a month. If you’re trying to figure out how much to spend, “do a little math and look at the cost of the product per 100 or 1000 kilocalories,” Dr. Streeter advises. “This will help determine which is the most cost effective. I have noticed some programs look cheaper but recommend feeding a lower amount of calories, which means you may end up paying more in the long run if your dog needs more than they are initially recommending.”
While you definitely have to shell out some money for a dog food delivery service, the benefits are many. “Many of my clients (and my own dogs) benefit from food that is closer to what nature intended, and they overall have less ailments (and lower vet bills) as a result,” says Dr. Countner. Start by getting a quote from the company and figure out your budget. It won’t take long to notice a pep in your pup’s step.
What Does AAFCO-Compliant Mean?
AFCO is a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies that set the standards for nutritional meals for pets. To be AAFCO-compliant means that a pet food brand has formulated complete and balanced meals for a pet’s particular life stage.
Are Dog Food Subscriptions Worth it?
Yes—if you have the budget and storage space available. Dog food subscriptions can make life for both you and your dog easier in a number of ways. They’re definitely more convenient; for one thing, you’ll never run out of dog food so you don’t have to frantically run to the store on a random day. “It’s one less thing pet parents have to think about picking up at the store,” says Dr. Countner. Meals are customized to your dog’s specific nutritional needs, keeping their health in mind. You get peace of mind with fresh high-quality ingredients vetted by veterinarians and nutritionists as well as plenty of variety to choose from.
That said, again, you have to take your budget and storage space into account. Dog food subscriptions are expensive and often demand extra room in your freezer or refrigerator, as most meals need to be kept frozen. In the end, “this really depends on the dog’s needs as well as the human’s,” says Dr. Streeter. “If you are looking for a convenient way to obtain your dog food, a subscription provides that convenience.”