Nom Nom - Fresh Dog Food Review
Dry kibble and canned dog foods have ruled the pet food market for decades, but since pet owners have started considering their pets as family members, the demand for alternatives that mimic the ancestral canine diet or mirror human diets has risen dramatically.
Nom Nom stands in the relatively small no-man’s-land between commercial raw diets and traditional kibble: the fresh dog food market. This is the ideal option for pet owners who want to feed their pet real, unprocessed food without the need to handle raw meat, deal with safety concerns, or try to home-cook a balanced recipe each day. Is Nom Nom worth the money? With the help of Yuzu our Shiba Inu, let’s find out…
Key Points (if you’re in a hurry):
- Nom Nom is a dog food manufacturer based in the United States that focuses on science-backed food formulations and gut microbiome research.
- Nom Nom’s dog foods are made fresh without preservatives, pre-portioned for each dog, and shipped directly to customers on a subscription basis. You can also purchase standard-size food packs at select PetSmart stores.
- Prices are significantly higher than processed dog foods, but comparable to other fresh, raw, and alternative diets. Nom Nom’s options help reduce overall feeding costs for larger dogs.
Who are ‘Nom Nom’?
A company’s mission and values are important considerations before deciding to patronize a business. I dug into Nom Nom’s history and its operations, so you can decide if your pet food ideals are the same.
Company history and values
Nom Nom was founded in 2014 by a pair of pet parents who wanted more for their dog who was dealing with immune system problems, but found a paucity of suitable non-kibble options. They understood that average pet owners would have difficulty formulating a balanced, home-cooked diet, so they recruited a veterinary nutritionist and founded Nom Nom. The company is heavily focused on pet health research and development, regularly recruiting for and completing nutrition, health, and microbiome studies.
Nom Nom was purchased by consumer and pet goods giant Mars, Inc in early 2022, so people looking to support a small business won’t find that. However, living under the Mars umbrella ensures Nom Nom has ongoing research support and increased visibility and accessibility to its products through PetSmart stores partnerships.
Nom Nom’s business practices also include:
- Charitable donations — Nom Nom donates $50 to shelter pets when adoptees from partner organizations sign up for a food subscription.
- Sustainability efforts — Shipped foods are packaged in recyclable or recycled materials, using dry ice to keep the food fresh during transit and reducing waste.
- Ingredient sourcing — Ingredient sourcing information, such as farming practices or country of origin, is not available, but Nom Nom states that they use only whole food ingredients that they process in U.S. facilities.
- Made in the USA — Nom Nom owns and operates pet food kitchens in Tennessee and California. They never outsource production, so they have complete control over sanitation and food safety and quality. The company is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, but the workforce is distributed across several large cities.
Nom Nom’s products
Now that you’re familiar with the Nom Nom company, let’s look at their products, so you can decide whether they would be a good choice for your pet.
Why feed fresh dog food?
If you’ve ever switched your dog from kibble to fresh food, you know that seeing is believing. Most pets find the minimally processed ingredients easier to digest, which promotes increased nutrient absorption and availability and fewer stomach problems. Fresh foods rely on refrigeration and good manufacturing practices, rather than preservatives, to maintain food safety, which makes them a more natural option compared with kibbles. Most kibbles are processed at high temperatures that destroy nutrients, which are then added back in the form of synthetic vitamins and minerals. Some dogs will see improvements in chronic health conditions or overall improved vitality when they eat whole, fresh, balanced foods.
The science behind Nom Nom’s recipes
Nom Nom employs an entire team of nutrition and pet health experts to ensure that the science behind their fresh food recipes is not lacking. Two board-certified veterinary nutritionists work in tandem with the dedicated research and development team to create menus that support optimal pet health and meet AAFCO standards for all life stages. The team’s research mainly focuses on gut microbiome, nutrition’s influence on the gut, and the gut’s influence on overall pet health.
Nom Nom’s foods
Nom Nom keeps things simple for pet owners by producing only four different dog food recipes. Each combines a different protein with carefully chosen vegetables, oils, and natural vitamins and minerals, to provide nutrition suitable for dogs at all life stages, including growing puppies and seniors. (Note that the formulas are designed to meet nutritional needs, but feeding trials that prove nutritional adequacy aren’t mentioned on the website.)
All formulas include:
- Limited ingredients — Short ingredient lists make avoiding triggers easier for dogs with known allergies. A pork formula provides a relatively uncommon protein for pets needing to avoid beef, chicken, or egg.
- No added fiber — Because the formulas include no added fiber or fillers, your pet reaps the gut health benefits from whole-food fibers already in the ingredients, and waste is reduced.
- Whole muscle meats — Organ meats and meat meals are nutrient-dense and help reduce the number of animals needed to produce food. Using only muscle meats means you know exactly what you are getting, but can contribute to the environmental issues related to food animal farming.
Three of the four formulas are grain-free, a fact that appeals to many pet owners, but has come under recent FDA and media scrutiny because of a potential link between grain-free diets and a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Nom Nom explains in a blog post that the FDA has not found a direct causal link, and only a tiny fraction of pets eating these diets developed the disease. They also point out that the reports refer only to kibbled dry dog foods, and nothing suggests that fresh food diets could cause the same problem. As a precaution, Nom Nom supplements all their recipes with extra taurine and limits legumes, which the FDA considers possible DCM causes.
The Nom Nom Menu
Each recipe varies in protein and fat content, so dogs with special dietary needs may find a suitable formula. Nom Nom suggests contacting their support line to determine whether their diets will work for pets with chronic medical conditions, such as kidney or heart disease. The four menu options available to Nom Nom customers include:
Main ingredients: Beef, potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas
Dry Matter Nutrition analysis: 34% protein minimum, 17% fat minimum, 4% fiber maximum (learn more)
Main ingredients: Chicken, sweet potato, squash, spinach
Dry Matter Nutrition analysis: 37% protein minimum, 26% fat minimum, 4% fiber maximum (learn more)
Main ingredients: Pork, potatoes, green beans, squash, kale, mushrooms
Dry Matter Nutrition analysis: 28% protein minimum, 20% fat minimum, 8% fiber maximum (learn more)
Main ingredients: Turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach
Dry Matter Nutrition analysis: 35% protein minimum, 18% fat minimum, 3.5% fiber maximum (learn more)
Add-on products and services
From their research into the importance of the gut microbiome, Nom Nom has developed several probiotic supplements for dogs and cats and a testing kit to provide insights into your pet’s gut health. If you want to contribute to the company’s ongoing research while you learn how to boost your furry pal’s health and immunity, you can order a microbiome test kit.
Nom Nom delivery and purchase options
You have decided Nom Nom’s food is a good fit for your dog. Now, what’s the best way to actually give it a try?
The easiest way to start your dog on the path to Nom Nom’s superior nutrition is with a Nom Nom fresh dog food subscription. You’ll answer a few basic questions and provide your shipping address and payment information, and Nom Nom send you a shipment exactly every four weeks, so you never run out. Portions are determined by your pet’s weight, breed, activity level, and goals, and can be easily adjusted anytime.
You can choose a single recipe or rotate through two or more at a custom frequency by logging into your account on the website or contacting a customer care representative. Meals are cooked in small batches and shipped fresh, ready for you to freeze on arrival and then thaw no more than seven days before feeding. The Nom Nom algorithm uses the most up-to-date research to determine your pet’s exact caloric needs. All you do is open the package.
Initial and ongoing costs
Nom Nom’s social media ads state that Nom Nom’s meals start at $2.40 each, which is the cost of a latte per day. This may be true for small pets, but feeding a medium-sized pet likely costs considerably more. A cost of $62.80 per week (or $251.20 per month) is quoted for a 40-pound, healthy, 5-year-old dog eating a mix of all four recipes. Actual costs for individual pets will vary based on their energy requirements and the recipes you choose. Shipping is always free.
While $250 per month is considerably more than a bag of kibble, you could consider the fresh food an investment in your pet’s health. Subscriber reviews on the website frequently report that pets were healthier overall, resulting in lower veterinary bills. For pet owners hoping to improve their pet’s nutrition without breaking the bank, Nom Nom offers half-portions at half price that you can mix into your pet’s existing diet. They also give a 50% new customer discount for the first two-week supply.at www.nomnomnow.com
If you aren’t quite ready to make a long-term commitment, or you want your dog to try the recipes before placing a larger order, you have a few options. First, you can purchase a four-recipe variety pack from the Nom Nom website and let your dog taste each one. Or, you can visit your local PetSmart store and pick up a package in your pet’s favorite flavor. The latter is a convenient option if you feed Nom Nom only as a topper or treat and need only the occasional bag.
Customer care and support
If you have general questions, you can probably find answers on the Nom Nom website, blog, FAQ, or help center page. If you need help, the site chatbot can direct you efficiently. To speak to someone directly, you can call, text, or email a representative seven days a week.
“Yuzu loves the food, so that’s the main plus for us. It also is easy to mix up with his kibble just in case we don’t have fridge access, but even on the go, all the meals are pre portioned. All you have to do is rip it open and put it in a bowl. The customer service has always been pretty great too; anytime there’s been any delays or anything, they’re always responsive with ways to fix it.”
— Yuzu’s human
Pros and Cons
I’ve tried to weigh it up for you below.
- Research and science-focused company that is actively advancing pet health
- Clean ingredients—no fillers, no preservatives, and nothing your dog doesn’t need
- Pre-portioned meals designed specifically for your dog take the guesswork out of keeping them healthy
- Flexible subscription ensures you never run out of food
- 30-day money-back guarantee backs their products 100%
- Limited recipes exclude some dogs with special dietary needs
- Exclusive feeding to a large dog may be cost-prohibitive
- Nom Nom’s corporate ownership may be a con for some people
- Website makes no mention of ingredient sourcing
The final word on Nom Nom fresh dog food
Nom Nom offers scientifically formulated fresh dog food recipes designed by expert veterinary and animal nutritionists and backed by the company’s own research and development efforts. The limited-ingredient recipes offer “clean” eating for dogs with no fillers, preservatives, or unnecessary additives, and Nom Nom pre-portions the meals to help you easily reach or maintain your dog’s health goals.
Busy people looking for an easy way to upgrade their pet’s overall health and nutrition will find Nom Nom works well with their lifestyle and lives up to company promises. Pricing is in line with other alternative diets but far above kibbled dry food, but owners considering a change for their pet will no doubt find the long-term rewards worth the investment.
Sign up for a discounted two-week trial or order your variety pack through Nom Nom’s website here.at www.nomnomnow.com
Here on Your Paws, I build science-backed tools for pet owners. You'll also find vet-checked answers to common questions and in-depth reviews of food and toys, all designed to help you make the right decisions for happy, healthy pets. Read more about the site.
The content on this website is intended to be informative, but it should not be taken as a substitute for personal advice from your vet. See our editorial policy and disclosure to learn more.