Deciding on what to feed your dog can be daunting! There are now so many brands to choose from, as well as ingredients, flavours, and formats, that it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
As a pet parent, you want to provide the balanced meals your dog requires. Perhaps you've even thought about preparing their food from scratch, but this in itself involves a lot of work. Trying to create meals which are nutritionally complete - not to mention suitably-portioned and safe for your dog to eat - can become time-consuming, especially alongside work and other everyday commitments.
Dog food delivery services can provide the solution. As well as providing a quick and convenient service that is tailored to your dog's needs, many of these companies produce exceptionally high quality dog food. In this article we've chosen four of the best services available in the UK today, and will give you the lowdown on each.
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So, before delving into the world of delivered dog foods, what do you need to consider?
Storage: As most of these services provide fresh meals, you will need adequate freezer and refrigerator space to store them correctly. You will also need space to defrost the meals thoroughly before feeding them to your dog.
Preparation: A delivery service should be convenient, which means the meals should be easy to open and feed to your dog. Pre-packaged portions mean no weighing out or worrying about portion control if your dog's weight is an issue.
Type of diet: All the services we're looking at are either fresh or raw - no highly processed kibble here! If you opt for a raw service, remember that good food hygiene is essential: raw meat must be handled, prepared, and stored carefully.
Delivery schedule: Make your life easier! Paid subscription services like these should fit around your busy lifestyle, not the other way around. Look for a service that lets you change delivery days or times, adjust the frequency of deliveries to suit your freezer space, or pause your subscription without a fuss.
Recipe variety: Most of these services will let you pick recipes which suit your dog's tastes and dietary requirements. But how often does their menu change? Do they vary their meals with the seasons to keep your canine keen? As well as being a treat for your pup, a varied menu can help to motivate fussy eaters.
Butternut Box uses fresh, human-grade ingredients which are cooked slowly and frozen quickly to preserve freshness without the need for added preservatives. After filling in a brief questionnaire, Butternut Box will present you with a customised meal plan to meet your dog's specific requirements. This also includes a custom price.
You can choose from nine recipes, including options for grain-free and low-fat diets and each one is taste-tested by the humans that make it! Meal times are kept fuss-free with their pre-portioned packages which can be stored frozen for up to 12 months or refrigerated for seven days (two days once opened). The food is delivered to your door in insulated boxes, and there is the option to text the courier if you're not going to be home so that you can instruct them on where to leave your box.
Butternut Box is extremely flexible, so you can make changes to your meal plan, cancel, and pause at any time by accessing your login page. You can also update your dog's weight on the 'My Dogs' page, and they will recalculate their portion recommendation. Rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot, Butternut Box comes highly recommended and their website is easy to use. It has a help centre section and features articles written by their in-house veterinarian so you can be assured the advice given on canine nutrition is up to date.at www.butternutbox.com
Launched in 2016, Poppy's Picnic boasts 10 national and regional awards as well as a 95%+ Excellent rating on Trustpilot. Focused on raw feeding, Poppy's Picnic meals are crafted with the help of canine nutritionists as well as fourth-generation butchers, so you can be assured of high-quality protein for your pooch.
A much shorter questionnaire compared to the other delivery services calculates recommended feeding guidelines, and then gives options of meal plans depending on the subscription type. Based on a 25kg dog it would work out at just £3.14 a day, which is great value for such quality ingredients.
All meals come frozen, so sufficient freezer space is a must. As this food is raw, it is important to maintain strict hand and worktop hygiene as well as separate storage from your own meals.
Poppy's Picnic is ideal for pet parents who want to change onto a raw diet but need guidance in doing so – Poppy's even provide a free copy of their Rawplicity e-book to get you started. However, if you feel that changing to a completely raw diet is still too much, note that two of the varieties we cover in our full review - Mighty Mince and Power Balls - can be served cooked, making Poppy's Picnic even more widely suitable.at www.poppyspicnic.co.uk
Based in Yorkshire, Pure Pet Food offer an alternative to both the standard wet and dry dog food diets by using fresh human-grade ingredients that are then gently air-dried. This process removes any risk of harmful pathogens such as salmonella and listeria, whilst retaining the nutrients of the meat, fruit, and vegetables used.
Pure Pet Food comes with instructions on how much to feed your dog daily using the scoop provided; you then just add water and serve. After completing a questionnaire, your customised feeding plan will begin with a ten-day transition pack based on two of your chosen recipes. The transition pack helps your dog adjust to their new diet and there is a downloadable guide on how to do this slowly, helping pet parents with fussy-eaters. This is a perk not offered by most other companies.
Unlike other delivery services there is no need to use up freezer space, as this is a dehydrated food. Once you do add water, however, if the food is not eaten straight away, you will need to refrigerate it and use it within 48 hours. The only negative here is that the meals are not pre-packaged portions so do require a little effort on your part; however, they are still easy to prepare.
UK deliveries are free as long as you have signed up for the personalised meal plan, but you are also able to buy one-off orders with a £3.99 delivery charge, or free delivery when you spend over £20. Pure's customer service team get particularly glowing reviews on Trustpilot, so if you ever need help, there's always someone to assist.at www.purepetfood.com
Serving vet-formulated meals made up of 60% human-grade meat or fish protein and the rest from vegetables, fruits, and superfoods, Different Dog aim to change your dog's life for the better by providing them with hand-cooked meals. Different Dog understands that a dog's nutritional needs are very different from our own, and so have a board of veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and behaviourists to check and approve their recipes.
With a customisable meal plan depending on your dog's questionnaire answers, their extensive menu changes every month, which will suit even the fussiest of eaters. Recipes list full ingredients, composition, and natural additives as well as detailing the benefits of the added superfoods, such as turmeric for gut health and ginger for arthritis. All of their meals are free from legumes, grain, and fillers, which have been linked to allergies, and will appeal to those who aim to feed their dog a more natural diet.
Meals are frozen and delivered to your door to be defrosted and served either warm or cold and can be kept in the fridge for up to five days once opened. The compostable pots are not pre-portioned so you'll have to be careful not to overfeed your dog.
Their website is beautifully designed and has a family feel, with a section to meet the team, all of whom are dog owners themselves. All meals display the ingredients used and Different Dog also offers trial boxes ranging from £20 to £35 for those not wanting to commit to a subscription just yet.at www.differentdog.com
When choosing a dog food delivery service, remember that you're often paying a premium for convenience and nutritional excellence. While all four of these services are extremely good - and you'll have no trouble finding passionate advocates among UK dog owners! - each has its benefits and drawbacks, and you should bear these in mind when deciding which best fits your needs.
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