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After decades of feeding dogs overly processed, dehydrated pellets that have the nutritional value of a fast-food cheeseburger, the pet industry is finally waking up to the fact that dogs need real, nutrient-dense food to lead healthy lives.
Recently, a number of companies have emerged that will deliver healthy dog food to your door, so your pup can have a diet as good as yours. Feeding your pup real food can do wonders to improve their health and lower their vet bills, but with so many options available, it can be hard to decide which service is right for your dog.
This review will compare two major pet food delivery services, Ollie Dog Food and The Farmer’s Dog, to help you decide which is best.
In this comparison:
The Farmer’s Dog vs Ollie: At a glance
|Protein options||Beef, Chicken, Turkey & Lamb||Beef, Chicken, Turkey & Pork|
|Sourcing||Chicken and beef from high-quality, human-grade farms in the US. Lamb comes from free-range farms in the U.S. and Australia. Produce, seeds, and oils are sourced from U.S. farms||All 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?||Yes||Yes|
|Accreditation||USDA certified kitchen and meats, AAFCO certified for all life stages||USDA certified kitchen and meats, AAFCO certified for all life stages|
|Supplemental/partial plans||Sort of. Ollie replaced their partial plans with a Baked Plan or Mixed Plan (combination of fresh and baked dry food)||Yes|
|Price||Starts at $2 a day for Baked and $3+ a day for Fresh.||Starts at $2 a day|
|Promo discount||50% off first order; First responders and medical staff get 50% discount off their first three boxes.||20% off first order, or 60% off with our link|
|Money back guarantee?||Yes. If your dog isn’t satisfied, Ollie will give a full refund for the initial starter box.||As long as you agree to donate the unused portion to a shelter, you’ll receive a full refund.|
|Cancel at any time?||Yes||Yes|
|Giving back||Ollie donates 1% of their proceeds to rescue organizations and shelters. They also regularly donate meals to rescue shelters.||No official charitable donation|
Ollie vs Farmer’s Dog: Which is right for your pup?
If you want to gain a deeper insight into either company, you can see our unboxing videos and full analysis in our Ollie dog food review or our The Farmer’s Dog food review. But if you want to continue comparing how each performs head-to-head, click a category below to jump to that section.
- Meal options
- Ingredient quality
- Treat & other products
- Packaging, sustainability & storage
According to the quotes we ran, it appears that Ollie is more expensive than The Farmer’s Dog for most pet owners.
For both companies, your price is going to depend on how much food your dog needs and the recipes you choose. This is determined by factors such as your dog’s size, breed, age, and activity level. Here’s how the costs break down:
We’ve seen Ollie advertise that their prices start around $2 a day. Here’s what we know for sure: for a 6-lb., active Yorkie that eats exclusively Ollie fresh food, our price is $3.14 per day or about $22 per week. For an active, 60-lb. Afghan Hound, you can expect to pay approximately $9.85 per day or $69 per week. If your dog weighs more than 60 lbs., you can safely assume the price will be closer to $10 a day.
We also found that pricing varied slightly depending on which recipe you choose. For example, Ollie’s turkey recipe appeared to be more expensive than some of the other meal options. But the price difference between recipes only varies slightly.
If you simply want to supplement your dog’s diet with fresh food, consider Ollie’s Mixed Plan, which is comprised of 50% Ollie fresh food and 50% Ollie baked food. This mixed plan reduces the Afghan Hound’s costs from $69 per week to $59 per week. And a plan of only baked food comes to $46 per week.
The Farmer’s Dog states that its subscriptions start as low as $2 a day. For two weeks of food, we found prices ranging from $2.77 per day for the Yorkie to $8.44 a day for the Afghan Hound. The daily cost will be even higher for a dog over 60 lbs.
With Ollie’s recent price increases, The Farmer’s Dog is less expensive than Ollie. Where you might save is if you choose Ollie’s Mixed Plan. It might not be as healthy as eating full meals of fresh food, but it is easier on your wallet.
Similar to Ollie, certain recipes from The Farmer’s Dog (chicken and turkey) are slightly more expensive than the beef and pork options.
The Farmer’s Dog Topper Plan offers smaller meals to mix into and supplement a dog’s current diet. For our 60-lb. Afghan Hound, the Topper Plan gave us 3 different portion options to choose from: a half portion at $37.47 per week, a quarter portion at $28.84 per week, and a little bit more than 1/8th portion at $17.92 per week.
|Ollie fresh food (full meals, no tax incl.)||The Farmer’s Dog (full meals, no tax incl.)|
|6-lb. Yorkie male||$3.14 / day or $22 / week||$2.77 / day or $19.37 / week|
|25-lb. Pembroke Welsh Corgi male||$6 / day or $42 / week||$4.93 / day or $34.46 / week|
|60-lb. Afghan Hound male||$9.85 / day or $69 / week||$8.44 / day or $59.11 / week|
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog
According to our findings, The Farmer’s Dog is slightly cheaper for small dogs and substantially cheaper for mid-sized and large dogs. The most accurate way to determine your cost is to get a quote from each site. You can do it for free without making any commitments or providing any payment information. Just click a button below and enter your dog’s information.
Currently, both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog offer 4 different recipes from which to choose.
For those owners who are concerned about the FDA’s warning about the potential correlation of grain-free diets, taurine deficiency, and heart disease, they may be happy to know that Ollie’s chicken recipe is grain inclusive, and The Farmer’s Dog adds taurine to all of their meals.
Ollie creates four tasty recipes with whole meat as the number one ingredient followed by vegetables, then nutrient-rich organ meat. All of their meal options have a minimum crude protein ranging between 9% and 11%.
- Beef recipe: Beef, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beef kidney, beef liver, spinach, blueberries, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, salt, fish oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, vitamin E supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium iodide
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 9%, Crude Fat: min 7%, Crude Fiber: max 2%, Moisture: max 70%; 1540 kcal ME/kg
- Turkey recipe: Turkey, kale, lentils, carrots, coconut oil, turkey liver, blueberries, pumpkin, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, salt, calcium carbonate, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, iron sulfate, choline bitartrate, manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), potassium iodate.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 11%, Crude Fat: min 7%, Crude Fiber: max 2%, Moisture: max 72%; 1390 kcal ME/kg
- Chicken recipe: Chicken, carrots, peas, rice, chicken liver, potatoes, spinach, dicalcium phosphate, whole dried eggs, fish oil, blueberries, chia seeds, calcium carbonate, salt, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper gluconate, choline bitartrate, vitamin E supplement, manganese gluconate, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 10%, Crude Fat: min 3%; Crude Fiber: max 2%; Moisture: max 73%; 1298 kcal ME/kg
- Lamb recipe: Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, kale, rice, chickpeas, cranberries, green beans, potatoes, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, cod liver oil, salt, calcium carbonate, zinc gluconate, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron sulfate, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), manganese gluconate, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), potassium iodate, folic acid.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: min 10%, Crude Fat: min 7%, Crude Fiber: max 2%, Moisture: max 74%; 1804 kcal ME/kg
Ollie’s ingredient lists are slightly longer because they include additions like chia seeds, rice, and blueberries. But, to be clear, this doesn’t necessarily make them any more or less nutritious for dogs.
The Farmer’s Dog also has four protein options. While it doesn’t offer lamb, which may be good for dogs with an intolerance to more common meats, it does offer pork, which could potentially be used for the same purpose.
Like Ollie, all of The Farmer’s Dog recipes have whole meat as the first ingredient, a plant as the second ingredient, and organ meat. The Farmer’s Dog recipes are grain-free and maintain a minimum crude protein of 9% to 11.5% per meal.
- 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.
All of the meal options offered by these companies are great choices, and they’re similar in composition. If you have an interest in specifically pork or lamb-based recipes, you’ll know which to choose.
Both The Farmer’s Dog and Ollie have a serious commitment to providing high-quality food, so you can’t go wrong with either choice.
Both meal delivery services deliver recipes that are carefully formulated by veterinary nutritionists to be nutritionally balanced. The meals are prepared with human-grade, USDA-certified meats, so you could eat it, too—but your pup might have an opinion about that. You won’t find any meat meals or other nasty animal by-products that are common in traditional dog food.
Both companies prepare their food in the U.S. in USDA-certified kitchens that have the same food prep standards as human food. The ingredients are cooked over low heat to preserve as many nutrients as possible. They are minimally processed and do not add any artificial ingredients, preservatives or fillers. Both companies add essential vitamins and minerals to their recipes to ensure your pet is getting the nutrition they need.
Let’s take a deeper look into how each company sources its ingredients.
Ollie sources their beef and hormone-free chicken from farms in the U.S. and their premium, pasture-raised lamb comes from free-range farms in the US and Australia. Ollie informed us that their recipes have a high protein content—more than 60% consists of meat; the remaining food is made of healthy starches, fruits, veggies, seeds, and oils, and all are carefully sourced from U.S. farms. They’ve updated their recipes since we spoke, so we aren’t sure if this percentage is still accurate.
Some nutrients are lost whenever you cook food. So, to ensure the maximum bioavailability of their nutrients, Ollie cooks their vegetables separately from their protein. Each batch is then tested for calorie and nutritional content by an independent food testing laboratory to ensure the food meets AAFCO standards.
Recently, we saw Ollie claim that their calories are more nutrient-rich than competitors’. We reached out to Ollie for further explanation, and they stated that they source many of the nutrients from organ meat, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, they incorporate thiamine (Vitamin B) via beef liver rather than adding it in as a vitamin supplement.
Ollie stated, “Due to this, the calories in our food are denser because the nutrients themselves are coming from the ingredients in the recipe, as opposed to using nutrient mixes like our competitors.” They gave the example of $10 worth of grilled chicken providing 20g of protein, versus a $10 protein shake providing 20g of protein. We like that they source many vitamins and minerals from their most natural state.
The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog’s ingredients are sourced from local farms, reputable food suppliers, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards. The Farmer’s Dog recipes appear simple. They use approximately six human-grade ingredients to create their tasty recipes, plus the addition of their proprietary nutrition blend. Currently, all four of the recipes are grain-free. Only their turkey meal does not contain organ meat.
The Farmer’s Dog meals are prepared in a New York kitchen where the food is gently cooked at low temperatures to preserve nutrients, then quickly frozen—never deep frozen.
Winner: Too close to call
Ollie used to have a slight edge here since organ meats were farther up in the ingredients list for each of their recipes. However, Ollie has updated their recipes and organ meat is no longer the second ingredient. Now, Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog recipes resemble each other more than they used to. Both include nutrient-rich meats, and both brands do an excellent job packing real, whole foods into their meals.
Since both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog are premium products, you’re going to want to make sure you can get a plan tailored to your pup.
Both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog use the information you provide in your dog’s profile (e.g. age, activity level, current weight, body type, breed, known allergies, and medical issues) to choose optimal recipes for your pup. You can then mix a variety of meal options into one shipment or stick with one recipe.
The variety of meal options can be helpful if your dog has allergies to specific foods. When making your dog’s profile, simply add any allergies, and both companies will recommend suitable recipes.
But when it comes to choosing the right meal for a dog with health issues, The Farmer’s Dog goes a step further than Ollie. In the profile setting, they allow you to add specific health conditions your dog may have, such as bad breath, constipation, tear stains, gluten sensitivity, and more.
Additionally, if your dog has a prescription diet for any health issue like joint, skin, or liver problems, The Farmer’s Dog will suggest a meal that best addresses the issue. However, the meals suggested are not specifically formulated to address any of these issues. Therefore, you’ll want to have your vet give the green light on the suggested meals before feeding your dog.
Supplemental meal plans
Supplemental meal plans are great for those who want to mix fresh food with other food sources. This can help you save while still boosting the nutritional value of your dog’s diet. It can also help keep picky eaters interested in their current food.
Ollie used to offer two supplemental meal plans: Some Ollie at 25% of the full amount of food or Mostly Ollie at 50%. However, the company has discontinued these plans and only offers them to current subscribers.
In place of this supplemental plan, Ollie now offers a Mixed Plan that combines Ollie fresh food with their new baked food. The difference is that with Ollie’s Mixed Plan, you’ll need to purchase Ollie baked food, instead of another brand (but it probably is a healthier dry food). Of course, you can always create a DIY partial plan by feeding 50% fresh food with 50% another kibble and skipping food shipments every so often.
The Farmer’s Dog offers a Topper Plan, which allows you to supplement your dog’s regular food. You can select from a few different price and portion options. Your available options will be reduced by the number of calories your dog requires, so bigger dogs will have more options from which to choose. Because my little Yorkie eats only about 154 calories a day, I had no Topper Plan options.
Winner: It depends
We love that both brands have a type of supplemental plan, although they have their differences. These help dog owners improve their pet’s nutrition without breaking the bank, and it’s also a great way to help picky eaters stay interested in their food. The Farmer’s Dog offers a true supplemental plan you can use if you only want to top your dog’s current diet with a tasty, nutritious fresh food. Ollie doesn’t offer partial plans, but you can order their Mixed plan to combine fresh and dry food together.
Treats & other products
Ollie used to offer treats but has discontinued them to focus on their new line of baked food. Similar to their fresh food, Ollie uses high-quality, human-grade ingredients to formulate each recipe, so it’s much healthier than the cheap, mysterious ingredients commonly fed to dogs. The food is then baked at low temperatures to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
Ollie baked food is available in two flavors: chicken or beef. The baked food meets the AAFCO standards for All Life Stages, so you can feed it to dogs of any age.
Ollie has also recently launched OllieHealth. This is a complementary telehealth service offered to those who subscribe to an Ollie food plan. With OllieHealth, you have online access to knowledgeable veterinarians to ask questions that you normally wouldn’t want to make a vet appointment for—questions about preventative care or other everyday topics. Ollie is the only dog food company that we are aware of offering this service. Typically, a telehealth service is a benefit of pet insurance-related companies such as Lemonade Pet Insurance or Pawp.
Finally, Ollie offers an app, so managing your dog’s membership is easy. The app allows you to update your dog’s recipes, shipping preferences, your account, and to speak with veterinarians in OllieHealth. It can even notify you when your delivery arrives, if you choose.
Currently, The Farmer’s Dog doesn’t offer any treats. However, they do offer a DIY nutrient pack (containing nine essential nutrients) for dog owners who want to cook homemade dog food, but who still want to ensure their dog is getting a nutritionally balanced meal. This could be invaluable to those who have to make meals at home due to advanced allergies or food sensitivities.
We love that The Farmer’s Dog has an option for pet owners to provide better nutrition for their pups on their own. However, Ollie’s various new products and services can’t be beaten. For me, if their telehealth can save me a trip to the vet, that’s worth the extra few dollars it costs me in food per month.
With both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog, the portions are carefully calculated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists to determine the correct number of calories needed for each dog based on their unique specifications.
Ollie food packs are smaller and will stack flat in your freezer. They include one day’s worth of food (or two meals) per food pack. Just open the pack, scoop out half of the food into your dog’s bowl and place the remainder into the resealable container you receive with your first shipment. Easy Peasy. The only downside to this convenience is that there is more packaging waste.
After the first couple of weeks, Ollie’s care team will reach out to each new customer to make sure their dogs aren’t experiencing any unwanted weight loss or gain. Then Ollie makes any necessary adjustments to their feeding recommendations. If you’ve determined an ideal weight with your vet, you can also adjust your dog’s calorie count to hit that target.
The Farmer’s Dog meal packs are narrower and longer than Ollie’s, but they should still stack in the freezer. The number of meals you get out of one pack depends on the size of the dog. A small dog may get as many as 8 meals (4 days worth) per pack, while a large dog may get just one day per pack. While less convenient, the company suggests this helps them keep costs down and reduce plastic usage.
The food packs need to be cut open and are not resealable. If you have more than one meal per pack, you’ll need to squeeze out the appropriate amount of food, then fold up the package to store it in the refrigerator. The Farmer’s Dog also provides a storage container, but it’s biodegradable and resembles a takeout container, so it won’t last long if it gets messy. On the other hand, you won’t need to remember to thaw the food as regularly and you’ll have fewer packs to recycle.
If you’re looking for easy, no-brainer portion control, Ollie would be your winner. However, if you’re looking for less packaging and portioning isn’t an issue, The Farmer’s Dog may be for you.
Packaging, sustainability & storage
Both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog food arrive frozen in well-insulated cardboard boxes, and individual food packs are vacuum-sealed to keep food fresh without the use of preservatives or chemicals.
Both companies pack their boxes with enough dry ice to keep the food cold until you get home on delivery day. When it arrives, simply place tomorrow’s food in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer.
In your first order, Ollie will send the food, an instruction booklet, a serving scoop, and a reusable, resealable container in which to store leftovers.
Ollie food comes in soft plastic packaging with an easy-peel seal. You can keep unopened meal packs in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw the next day’s meals in the fridge 12–24 hours in advance. In the fridge, the food lasts up to 4 days.
Most of Ollie’s packaging is either recyclable or made from recycled materials. For example, their insulation is made from recycled cotton or compostable jute. However, due to the easy-peel seals, their plastic food trays need to be disposed of in the trash.
In your first The Farmer’s Dog shipment, you’ll get the food, a transition and feeding guide, a reusable, insulated tote bag, and a single-use storage container.
By labeling each pack with the dog’s name, The Farmer’s Dog makes it easy for those with multiple dogs to know whose food is whose. Additionally, each food pack gives specific feeding instructions and the date it was packed, which is just a few days before arrival.
The food packs are larger than Ollie’s, which means you’ll have more food per package, and therefore, less packaging.
All The Farmer’s Dog packaging is either 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.
Winner: Farmer’s Dog for sustainability, Ollie for convenience
We chose Farmer’s Dog as the winner for sustainability since all of its packaging is either recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable. And the dissolving insulation means less stuff in your recycle bin. Plus, we like that they have personalized labels on each food pack with the dog’s name and feeding directions. It looks nice and it’s helpful if you have more than one dog.
However, Ollie’s reusable storage container is much nicer than the biodegradable pulp container you get with The Farmer’s Dog, and Ollie’s single-day portioning makes day-to-day feeding more convenient. Ultimately, you’ll need to choose which is more important to you, convenience or sustainability.
Both companies offer free shipping to anywhere within the continental U.S. and flexibility in adjusting where and how often you want the food delivered, which is really helpful when traveling.
Ollie ships your food on a set bi-weekly schedule (or less frequently according to your chosen meal plan), and you can expect to get it on the same day each week. If there is a major holiday or inclement weather, that day may change, but in this case, Ollie will contact you.
With Ollie, you can switch a recipe, pause or skip a delivery, change the delivery address, or schedule deliveries for up to 6 weeks at a time. But, any adjustments need to be changed prior to your order being processed. Your card is charged on a regular schedule according to your shipments.
With The Farmer’s Dog, the default schedule ships food every 8 weeks for a tiny dog, but every 3 weeks for a large dog. If you prefer a different schedule, you can change your delivery preferences in your account settings, where you can also change your address and rush or delay an order. Large breeds can get food shipped as frequently as every 7 to 14 days. But, like Ollie, the changes must be completed before the order is processed.
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog
Both companies can deliver frequently enough to keep your freezer from being overfilled with dog food. But if you have the freezer space, we like that you can schedule The Farmer’s Dog for up to 8 weeks of food at a time, since receiving fewer shipments is better for the environment. We also like that The Farmer’s Dog offers rush orders if you find yourself with an unexpected shortage.
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We think both companies are doing great at what they set out to do—make high-quality fresh dog food that will help improve your dog’s health and nutrition. You really can’t go wrong with either choice.
When you review the categories above, it’s hard to pick an overall winner. In a nutshell, Ollie tends to have longer, more varied ingredient lists, and we also like the ease of portioning, the baked food, and OllieHealth. However, The Farmer’s Dog is a little more customizable, definitely cheaper, and more eco-friendly.
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