A Pup Above dog food next to The Farmer's Dog food

A Pup Above vs Farmer’s Dog

Both A Pup Above and The Farmer's Dog deliver high-quality fresh dog food that would be a huge upgrade to the kibble most dogs eat. But each has its differences. The Farmer’s Dog is generally less expensive and offers a DIY nutrient blend. A Pup Above may offer better recipes for dogs with digestive issues, certain allergies, or skin disorders. It also offers a premium dry food you can mix with their fresh food to help keep costs down.

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Feeding your dog real, whole foods can significantly improve their health. A high-quality diet has the potential to reduce or eliminate troublesome allergies, skin issues, and poor digestion. These symptoms are often a sign of poor gut health and usually occur due to low-quality food. 

Our hope for every dog is that they eat nourishing foods and are able to avoid needless health issues and costly trips to the veterinarian.

In this comparison, I’ll review two of the major pet food delivery services that offer nutritious, whole dog food: A Pup Above vs The Farmer’s Dog. I’ll offer my insights and point out differences I have noticed when testing each food with my dog to help you decide which is better for yours.

In this comparison:

A Pup Above vs Farmer’s Dog: At a glance

Protein optionsBeef, Pork, Chicken, & TurkeyBeef, Pork, Chicken, & Turkey
SourcingUSDA meats and non-GMO produce are sourced right here in the USAAll ingredients are human-grade and sourced from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards
Recipes crafted by veterinary nutritionists?YesYes
AccreditationUSDA certified kitchen and meats, AAFCO certified for adult maintenanceUSDA certified kitchen and meats, AAFCO certified for all life stages
Offers treats?NoNo
Supplemental/partial plansMix and Match Plan (combination of dry and fresh food)Yes
PriceStarts at $3 a day for freshStarts at $2 a day
ShippingFreeFree
Promo discountGet $50 off your first order of $100+ (click to see current code)20% off first order, but our readers get 60% off
Money-back guarantee?If your dog doesn’t love the food, A Pup Above will refund your first meal delivery in full.As long as you agree to donate the unused portion to a shelter, you’ll receive a full refund.
Cancel at any time?YesYes
Giving back1% of the yearly revenue is donated to the White Buffalo Land Trust, which helps fund the trust’s flagship regenerative agricultural farm.No official charitable donation

Want to learn more about either service or watch our unboxing videos? Check out our full A Pup Above dog food review and our The Farmer’s Dog food review.

>> Read more: Nom Nom vs Farmer’s Dog

Pros & cons of each service

Here’s a quick glance at our favorite (and not-so-favorite) aspects of each brand. Continue to the next section to see our category-by-category comparison.

Why you should consider The Farmer’s Dog

What we like
  • Ideal if you have multiple dogs (food packs are labeled with each dog’s name and portion amount)
  • One of the less expensive fresh food brands
  • Food meets AAFCO standards for all-life stages, from puppies to seniors
  • Recommends a specific calorie count based on your dog’s activity level, age, and other criteria, so your dog gets the precise amount of food they need to avoid unwanted weight loss or gain
What we’d change
  • No dry food available
  • You’re limited to three of the four recipes per order

Why you should consider A Pup Above

What we like
  • Averages 50% more protein than most other fresh dog food delivery services.
  • Uses non-GMO produce and “ugly produce” to combat food waste
  • Sous vide cooking method that keeps all the nutrients in the food
  • Includes anti-inflammatory superfoods, such as turmeric, thyme, and parsley for joint, immune, and digestive support
  • Offers grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes
  • Fresh and dry food available or choose to mix and match
  • Offers a sampler pack, so your dog can try out all the options
  • Nutrient-rich bone broth and turmeric can heal an inflamed gut lining and improve joint health
What we’d change
  • More expensive than most other fresh food brands (probably due to the higher protein content and non-GMO produce)
  • The recommended amount of food does not take the dog’s activity level, breed, or age into consideration

>> Read more: Pet Plate vs Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog vs A Pup Above: category-by-category comparison

Now we’ll compare these two fresh food brands head-to-head, so you can determine which is best for your dog. You can click a category below to jump to a specific section that interests you.

Price

Fresh food prices for A Pup Above start around $3 per day and $2.77 per day for The Farmer’s Dog. As you’d expect, the prices increase as a dog’s food requirements increase.

See the table below. Prices for small dogs are similar between the two brands, with The Farmer’s Dog costing slightly less. However, A Pup Above’s prices could improve a bit when you buy the larger 7-lb. bags (this may be too much for small breeds, though).

You’ll notice a huge difference as you compare the prices for a 25-lb. dog. Brands like The Farmer’s Dog or Ollie give large dogs a break in price since they know the cost can quickly become prohibitive.

A Pup Above prices their food by the bag, so everyone pays the same price per ounce. They do provide a discount for purchasing the larger 7-lb. bags. Additionally, they informed us that they now sell their dry food in 20-lb. bulk boxes, so we’d imagine this could help you save. However, we haven’t seen this offered on their website yet.

Your daily price will depend on how much food your dog needs. A Pup Above gives you a rough idea of how much food to buy based on your dog’s weight. This may need to be adjusted as it does not factor in activity level, breed, or other attributes unique to your dog. The Farmer’s Dog’s price calculator will give you a precise calorie count and daily price. These numbers are determined by information you provide, such as your dog’s breed, age, weight, activity level, neuter status, and more. Getting a price quote is free, and you don’t have to enter any payment information, so we recommend completing the onboarding survey just to see what you’d pay.

A Pup Above fresh foodA Pup Above dry food CubiesThe Farmer’s Dog
6-lb. Yorkie male$3 day / $21 week (3-lb. bags)

$2.52 day / $17.64 week (7lb bags)
$2.67 day/ $18.72
(2lb boxes)

(Could not calculate the price for a 4lb box as it was sold out. We estimate you’d save around 12%)
$2.77 day / $19.37 week
25-lb. Pembroke Welsh Corgi male$10 day / $70 week (7lb bags)(Could not calculate – sold out)$4.93 day / $34.46 week
60-lb. Afghan Hound male$17.64 day / $123.45 week (7lb bags)(Could not calculate – sold out.)$8.44 day/ $59.11 week
The prices above are estimates. Your price may vary from the figures above.

Note that certain recipes from The Farmer’s Dog (turkey and chicken) cost just a bit more than the other recipes (pork and beef). All of A Pup Above’s recipes cost the same. Also note that A Pup Above bundles two bags in one order, so when you place one unit into your cart, you are actually placing two bags into your cart.

>> Get 60% off The Farmer’s Dog

Supplemental plan prices

The Farmer’s Dog’s Topper Plan offers smaller daily portions that supplement a dog’s current diet. For example, the Topper Plan gave our 60-lb. Afghan Hound three different portion options to choose from: a ½ portion at $37.47/week, a ¼ portion at $28.84/week, and a little bit more than 1/8th portion at $17.92/week.

A Pup Above offers a combo plan which includes at least two 3-lb. or 7-lb. fresh food bags and at least two of their 2-lb. or 4-lb. dry food boxes. The cost is $159.84 for the smaller combination bundle. This bundle would feed a small 6-lb. dog for roughly 72 days on dry food and 24 days on fresh food, so note that you’ll need to purchase more fresh than dry to have a 50/50 mix.

Currently, the large 4-lb. boxes of dry food are out of stock, so we don’t know the cost of the larger size bundles. We did notice, however, that it is cheaper to purchase their combination bundle than purchase the two kinds of food separately.

>> Read more: Is There a The Farmer’s Dog Free Trial?

Winner: The Farmer’s Dog

Our calculations show The Farmer’s Dog is significantly cheaper. The only category where A Pup Above came close was for the 6-lb. Yorkie. A Pup Above was only less expensive if the larger 7-lb. bags were purchased. But, you should get your own quote (there is no obligation to purchase) from The Farmer’s Dog as prices change frequently to keep up with the rising cost of food.

Regarding the supplement plan, we feel both brands have room to improve. The Farmer’s dog is just plain hard to find, but once you do, the prices are helpful. A Pup Above doesn’t provide even amounts of food to feed a 50/50 mix, so it’s difficult to determine how much you’ll spend on dog food per day.

Ingredient quality

Cutting to the chase, both brands are great when it comes to ingredient quality. But, they do vary slightly and that’s what we’re looking at‚—the nitty gritty details, so you can decide which is better for your dog.

Both companies’ food is created with high-quality USDA proteins and produce that you or I could eat. You won’t find any of the typical filler ingredients you find in the average grocery store kibble. There are no animal by-products, meat meals, artificial ingredients, colorings, or preservatives. It’s just real food! 

Both brands have been carefully formulated by veterinary nutritionists so they are complete and balanced. Many essential nutrients are provided in supplement form. (If whole food nutrition without synthetic supplements is more appealing to you check out our Sundays Dog Food review or our Raised Right Dog Food review.)

Both A Pup Above and The Farmer’s Dog cook their food in their own kitchens, which are USDA inspected. This means the food is prepared under the same safety standards as human food. The food is cooked slowly at low temperatures to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

Here’s a deeper look into how each company sources its ingredients.

A Pup Above

Sourcing: The produce and USDA-certified meat is sourced from farms in the USA (with the exception of certain herbs). The produce is entirely non-GMO, which is rare for a dog food company. 

Also rare, A Pup Above uses “ugly produce” in their food. Ugly produce is the same as normal produce, but it grows in weird shapes and sizes, so grocery stores won’t stock it. The beauty of using ugly produce is that it helps reduce food waste.

To look up the specific sourcing of each ingredient, enter the number on the back of each food bag on A Pup Above’s website.

Below is an example of the ingredient sources for the Turkey Pawella recipe.

Preparing: All the fresh food ingredients are prepared in their Texas facility and cooked using the sous vide method. Sous vide is a French term meaning “under vacuum.” The uncooked ingredients are placed into food-grade bags, sealed, and then submerged in 180-degree water. This method ensures the food is cooked “slowly and evenly,” maintains moisture, and preserves its nutrients and proteins. The food is then flash-frozen for safe shipping.

Testing: Each batch of dog food is tested for pathogens (e coli, listeria, and salmonella) before it can leave their facility to ensure it is safe for your pup.

The Farmer’s Dog

Sourcing: The ingredients for The Farmer’s Dog meals are sourced from local farms, reputable food suppliers, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.

Preparing: All meals are prepared in their New York kitchen where the food is gently cooked at low temperatures to preserve nutrients, then quickly frozen—never deep frozen.

Testing: The Farmer’s Dog inspects and tests all the ingredients before they are used. The kitchen is USDA-inspected, so strict controls are in place to prevent any harmful contamination. And to ensure all food is safe, each batch is sample tested before it ever is delivered. Additionally, the recipes are regularly tested by a third-party lab to guarantee that each batch meets or surpasses AAFCO’s nutritional standards.

Winner: A Pup Above (by a hair)

The ingredients used by both brands are human-grade, so you can’t go wrong with either. However, A Pup Above goes a step further and uses non-GMO produce. While most modern foods have been genetically modified at some point, and this doesn’t necessarily indicate anything is wrong with the food, you may like that A Pup Above tries to avoid them. Additionally, A Pup Above has a higher protein content, uses more organ meat, and is cooked sous vide.

Meal options

Currently, both A Pup Above and The Farmer’s Dog offer four fresh food recipes from which to choose.

A Pup Above

  • Texas Beef Stew: Beef, beef liver, russet potatoes, tomatoes, beef bone broth, carrots, green peas, safflower oil, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals*
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 13.8%, Crude Fat: min 6.9%, Crude Fiber: max 2%, Moisture: max 70.3%; 1461 kcal ME/kg
  • Turkey Pawella: Turkey, turkey hearts, turkey liver, turkey gizzards, tomatoes, carrots, turkey bone broth, green peas, rice, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals*
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 13.8%, Crude Fat: min 7%, Crude Fiber: max 2.1%, Moisture: max 68.1%; 1543 kcal ME/kg
  • Chicka Chicka Bow Wow: Chicken, chicken liver, sweet potatoes, chicken bone broth, rice, apples, spinach, kale, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals*
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 12.8%, Crude Fat: min 5.2%; Crude Fiber: max 1.8%; Moisture: max 69.2%; 1,384 kcal ME/kg
  • Porky’s Luau: Pork, pork liver, sweet potatoes, pork bone broth, green beans, pineapple, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals*
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 13.6%, Crude Fat: min 5.2%, Crude Fiber: max 1.6%, Moisture: max 73.4%; 1,220 kcal ME/kg

    *A Pup Above mineral blend ingredients: minerals [dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement].

If you’re concerned about the FDA’s warning about the potential correlation of grain-free diets, taurine deficiency, and heart disease, we wanted to note that A Pup Above offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive meals. All of The Farmer’s Dog recipes are all grain-free, but taurine is added to each to promote heart health.

The first ingredient in each of A Pup Above’s meals is muscle meat followed by organ meat, veggies, bone broth, herbs, and supplements. One of the main aspects that sets A Pup Above apart is that the protein level is higher than most other brands; the protein content of each of the four recipes ranges from 12.8% to 13.8%. 

Tip: If you are looking for a fresh food with protein levels between 19% and 23%, check out Raised Right Dog Food.

Bone broth and turmeric have significant anti-inflammatory properties and can heal an inflamed or leaky gut lining and improve joint health. The inclusion of these could have a profound positive effect on dogs with skin issues, allergies, and digestive problems (like constipation, diarrhea, or dog IBD).

The Farmer’s Dog

  • Pork recipe: USDA Pork, Sweet Potato, Potato, Green Beans, Cauliflower, USDA Pork Liver, TFD Nutrient Blend*, Salmon Oil
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 9% min., Crude Fat: 7% min., Crude Fiber: 1.5% max., Moisture: 75% max; 1390 kcal per kg / 630 kcal per lb.
  • Chicken recipe: USDA Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, USDA Chicken Liver, Bok Choy, Broccoli, TFD Nutrient Blend*, Salmon Oil
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11.5% min., Crude Fat, 8.5% min., Crude Fiber: 1.5% max., Moisture: 75% max; 1300 kcal per kg / 590 kcal per lb.
  • Turkey recipe: USDA Turkey, Chickpeas, Carrot, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsnip, TFD Nutrient Blend*, Salmon Oil
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 8% min., Crude Fat: 4.5% min., Crude Fiber: 1.5% max., Moisture: 76% max; 1170 kcal per kg / 530 kcal per lb.
  • Beef recipe: USDA Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, USDA Beef Liver, Kale, Sunflower Seeds, TFD Nutrient Blend*, Salmon Oil
    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11% min., Crude Fat: 8% min., Crude Fiber: 1.5% max., Moisture: 72% max; 1530 kcal per kg / 694 kcal per lb.

    *TFD Nutrient blend ingredients: Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Selenium Yeast, Potassium Iodide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid

If you’re looking to feed a puppy, you’ll want to choose The Farmer’s Dog as it is formulated to meet the needs of all life stages, from puppies to seniors. A Pup Above is only formulated for adult maintenance.

The Farmer’s Dog uses the same four animal proteins to make each meal. Like A Pup Above, The Farmer’s Dog recipes have whole meat as the first ingredient, but the second ingredient is veggies and then organ meat is found down the line. This is still great, but it’s probably the reason The Farmer’s Dog has less protein: 9% to 11.5% per meal. This is still a normal amount of protein for a fresh food meal.

The Farmer’s Dog recipes only use about six ingredients to create their tasty recipes, plus the addition of their proprietary nutrition blend. All four recipes are grain-free.

Winner: A Pup Above

This is a very close call. All the meals from both companies are great options, and our Yorkie has tried every recipe and licked his bowl clean with each brand.

I really like A Pup Above’s inclusion of bone broth, organ meat (sometimes multiple), and herbs. The turmeric and bone broth have anti-inflammatory effects which can have profound effects on gut health and, in turn, skin, digestive, and joint health. You also can choose to have grain or no grain, whereas with The Farmer’s Dog, all the meal options are grain-free.

Customizability

With premium products like these, you’ll want to ensure you get a plan that is tailored to your and your dog’s needs. 

Ordering multiple flavors

With The Farmer’s Dog, you can change the recipes in your profile at any time. You are limited to choosing up to three of the four recipes in one order, but this isn’t really a limitation as you’ll want to avoid changing your dog’s diet too frequently to avoid stomach upset.

With A Pup Above, each recipe is purchased a la carte and you can have different recipes shipped at different time intervals. Or if you prefer, schedule multiple recipes on the same shipping schedule so you can choose whatever seems appealing at the moment. However, A Pup Above only ships full bags of food, rather than creating custom portions for your dog.

Recipes

The Farmer’s Dog asks for information about your dog (such as age, activity level, current weight, known allergies, and medical issues) to choose the most beneficial recipes for your pup. You can use their suggestions, choose another recipe, or mix a variety of meal options into one shipment.

During the onboarding process or in your profile settings, you can add any allergies or other specific health conditions your dog may have (e.g. gluten sensitivity, tear stains, bad breath, digestive issues, and more).

Plus, if your dog needs a prescription diet for a health issue such as skin, liver, or joint problems, The Farmer’s Dog will suggest a meal that best meets the need. To be clear, The Farmer’s Dog does not create any prescription meals, so you’ll need to rely on your veterinarian’s advice to ensure that the meal meets your dog’s needs. If you’re interested in a fresh food brand that does make prescription meals, check out our Just Food For Dogs review.

With A Pup Above, you’ll have to look at the ingredients and nutritional analysis yourself or rely on your veterinarian to determine which meal is best for your dog. Personally, I don’t think this is a major drawback to the product since most owners are knowledgeable about what their dog needs or needs to avoid. Plus if your dog has a moderate to severe health condition, you should be seeking your vet’s recommendations anyway.

Supplemental meal plans

Supplemental meal plans allow you to mix healthy fresh food with dry dog food. This mix keeps costs down while improving your dog’s nutritional intake.

The Farmer’s Dog offers a Topper Plan which allows you to supplement your dog’s regular food. A few different prices and portion sizes are available for most dogs, but the available options are reduced according to the number of calories your dog requires. This means bigger dogs have more options from which to choose. There are no Topper Plans available for tiny dogs (like my little 6-lb. Yorkie who only eats 154 calories per day) since they eat such little portions.

Tip: The Farmer’s Dog’s topper plan isn’t overtly advertised and it’s hard to find. It seems to be a matter of tricking the website into thinking you’re leaving the check-out page. If you move your mouse to the corner of the screen, a pop-up window appears asking if you need something different than what they offer. Click the “lower price” option. It will then change to another pop-up window like the one below.


Once you click “Change Meals Size,” they provide you with at least one other portion option. Our 25-lb. Corgi gets to choose from a half portion or a quarter portion.

Tip: Even if you want to mix fresh food and kibble, we don’t recommend ordering a topper portion. You’ll get a better price per ounce by ordering a full meal plan and simply mixing it with kibble yourself. The Farmer’s Dog allows you to skip shipments whenever you like, so you can do that until you start to run out of food.

A Pup Above offers a bundled Mix and Match meal plan that includes two bags of fresh food and two boxes of dry food. Or, if you want to mix A Pup Above with your own kibble, you can simply order less fresh food.

Tip: Want to see another brand that bundles fresh and premium dry food? Check out our Ollie Dog Food review.

Winner: Tie

If I wanted a mixed meal plan, I love that A Pup Above offers a healthy, dry food option that helps keep feeding costs down. I also love that their Mix and Match Plan is easy to find on their website. The Farmer’s Dog does not make their Topper Plan easy to find and they don’t offer it to tiny dogs (like my Yorkie).

However, The Farmer’s Dog asks about health conditions, breed, weight, and other details to create custom portion amounts for my dog. With A Pup Above, I just order standard-sized bags of food.

Portioning

Both brands offer feeding suggestions calculated by veterinary nutritionists. However, Farmer’s Dog takes it a few steps further by forming precise meal plans for your dog. They take into consideration your dog’s weight, age, breed, activity level, whether the dog is over or underweight, their neuter status, and more. A Pup Above just offers general feeding guidelines based on weight, like you’d find on the outside of any dog food packaging.

A Pup Above’s food is divided into individually packed pucks, and each bag includes multiple food pucks. The number of meals in one pack depends on the size of the dog.

The Farmer’s Dog delivers its food in narrow, long packs, which can easily be stacked in the freezer. Again, the number of meals per pack will depend on the size of your dog. Our 6-lb. Yorkie can eat 8 meals (4 days worth) per pack, while bigger dogs may only get two meals or one day’s worth.

Winner: The Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog wins this category since the calorie amounts are more precisely calculated according to the dog’s breed, age, activity level, and weight goals. A Pup Above only bases the calorie amount on generic weight benchmarks, not taking into consideration activity level or whether or not the dog is over or under-weight.

Treats & other products

Neither brand offers treats at this time.

A Pup Above recently started a line of dry dog food called Cubies. It’s made of whole, human-grade ingredients, just like their fresh food. Cubbies were created by vet nutritionists for the benefit of adult dogs. These four recipes contain similar ingredients to the fresh food, such as whole meat, animal heart, vegetables, and superfood herbs. 

This scoop-and-serve food is gently dried, as opposed to the damaging, high-heat extrusion method used to make kibble. The result is crunchy cubes that come in four flavors: Beef Pot Roast, Chicka Pupatouille, Porky’s Porchetta, and Turkey Pilaf.

At this time, The Farmer’s Dog doesn’t offer dry food. However, they do offer a nutrient pack (containing nine essential nutrients) to complete and balance homemade meals. This product is valuable if you need to make homemade meals due to extensive allergies or food sensitivities, but you still want to ensure you provide your dog with all of the nutrients they need.

Winner: A Pup Above

We love that The Farmer’s Dog is trying to help pet owners make nutritionally balanced homemade food. However, A Pup Above’s dry food option is an ideal, healthy option while traveling, or if you need to reduce pet food costs. We still prefer either brand’s fresh food option over a full diet of dry food.

Packaging, sustainability & storage

Both brands ship their frozen food in well-insulated cardboard boxes stocked with dry ice. Our food arrived completely frozen in hot weather. Even if you can’t bring the food in right away, there should be enough dry ice to keep it sufficiently cold until you can store it. Keep tomorrow’s meals in the fridge and store the remaining packs in the freezer.

Both brands’ food packs are vacuum sealed to keep food fresh without the need for preservatives. They need to be cut open and are not resealable, although The Farmer’s Dog packs could be folded and secured with a clip. 

After defrosting the frozen pack, scoop out the appropriate amount of food and store the remainder in a resealable container in the fridge. The Farmer’s Dog provides a biodegradable storage container in each shipment that resembles a takeout container.

The Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog just delivers the individual food packs, with each pack bearing the recipe name, your dog’s name, and portioning instructions. A Pup Above puts their food in generic plastic packaging and then adds those packages to yet another plastic bag, which isn’t really necessary.

Along with your first shipment of The Farmer’s Dog food, you’ll get a transition and feeding guide, a reusable and insulated tote bag, and a single-use storage container. Each pack is labeled with the dog’s name, feeding instructions, and the date it was packed. This label comes in handy when you have multiple dogs or when someone else needs to feed the dog.

The Farmer’s Dog’s packaging is entirely biodegradable or recyclable, non-toxic, and BPA-free. The insulation is made from cornstarch and can be composted or dissolved under running water. The food storage containers are biodegradable and the food bags are recyclable once rinsed.

A Pup Above

A Pup Above arrives with the frozen food patties in a bag that provides the suggested feeding amounts based on weight. Each food pack has a sticker with the pack date on it. 

Their packaging is also environmentally friendly. The cardboard boxes and insulation are curbside recyclable. The food bags are BPA-free and non-toxic and are fully recyclable through a partnership with Terracycle.

Winner: The Farmer’s Dog 

The Farmer’s Dog wins for several reasons. I like that each food pack is labeled with the dog’s name and their portion amount. It not only looks nice, but it is also helpful if you have several people feeding the dog, or if you’re feeding multiple dogs.  I also like that the shipping insulation is compostable or recyclable since my recycle bin always seems to be full.

Shipping

You can expect free shipping to anywhere within the continental U.S. with both brands. If you live in Alaska, A Pup Above sells their food in certain physical stores. You can check their website to see where.

Both companies make it easy to change your address if traveling, change your shipping frequency, and pause, skip, delay, or rush orders. Just login to their website and go to your account settings. Adjustments must be completed before your next order is processed.

With The Farmer’s Dog, the default schedule ships orders every 8 weeks for the smallest dogs and every 3 weeks for a large dog. The largest breeds can get food shipped as frequently as every 7 to 14 days if you’d prefer.

A Pup Above’s fresh frozen food ships Monday through Wednesday each week. The dry Cubies ship Monday through Friday. Shipping typically takes one-to-three business days, depending on where you live, but it can take up to five days depending on the day you ordered. At checkout, you get to choose the shipping frequency, from weekly to every 8 weeks.

Remember that each of A Pup Above’s recipes is on its own separate shipping frequency. This allows one flavor recipe to ship at, let’s say, every 2 weeks and another flavor recipe to be shipped every 5 weeks. This gives you the ability to pick your dog’s favorite meal and occasionally mix up the recipes.

Winner: Tie

The competitors are too similar in this area to distinguish much difference. The only advantage I see is A Pup Above’s ability to ship different recipes at different intervals, but it may be simpler and reduce waste to have all of your food shipped at once.

>> Read more: Spot and Tango vs Farmer’s Dog

Overall winner: it depends

When thinking about the nutritional composition of both of these products, I do not have any complaints. They are both great and I’ve happily fed both of them to my dog.

There is no best choice for everyone since our dogs are different and may have different nutritional needs. But to help you think through which brand might be right for you and your dog, I outlined the most important considerations I would use for my own decision.

The Farmer’s Dog might be a great option for:

  • Owners whose biggest concern is cost (all fresh food is expensive, but The Farmer’s Dog costs substantially less than A Pup Above for a 25-lb. dog)
  • The average dog without significant digestive or skin issues (although these may also subside by switching to The Farmer’s Dog from kibble)
  • Dogs who need a moderate amount of protein in their diet
  • Dogs who need a grain-free diet
  • Puppies

A Pup Above might be a great choice for:

  • Dogs who have digestive or skin issues, allergies, or joint inflammation, due to the inclusion of gut-healing bone broth
  • Dogs who need a higher protein diet since this food ranges from 12.8% to 13.8% compared to The Farmer’s Dog’s 8% to 11.5%
  • Owners who want to reduce food waste since “ugly produce” is used
  • Owners who prefer non-GMO produce for their pups
  • Owners who want the maximum amount of moisture and nutrients from their dog’s food via the sous vide method
  • Dogs who prefer grain-inclusive diets or to have a mix of both grain-inclusive and grain-free.
  • Owners who want a sample pack of all the flavors; with The Farmer’s Dog, you can only purchase 3 of the 4 flavors at one time. 
  • Owners who need the option of dry food on occasion

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