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:
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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|
|Offers treats?||Yes; 4 single-ingredient options||No|
|Price||Starts at $2 a day||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 50% 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?
- Meal options
- Ingredient quality
- Treat options
- Packaging, sustainability & storage
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 nutrient-rich organ meat. All of their meal options have a minimum crude protein ranging between 9% and 11%.
- Beef recipe: Beef, beef heart, sweet potato, peas, potato, beef kidney, carrot, beef liver, spinach, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, blueberries, fish oil, iodized salt, 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 breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, lentils, blueberries, coconut oil, pumpkin, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, zinc gluconate, cod liver oil, iron sulfate, manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, 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, chicken gizzard, carrots, peas, chicken liver, rice, chia seeds, spinach, potatoes, whole dried eggs, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, blueberries, fish oil, iodized salt, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, 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, lamb liver, butternut squash, kale, chickpeas, cranberries, potato, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, zinc gluconate, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron sulfate, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), potassium iodate, manganese gluconate, thiamine hydrochloride, 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 The Farmer’s Dog recipes have whole meat as the first ingredient, but it differs from Ollie in that the second ingredient is a plant. The recipes do contain organ meat like Ollie, but those meats are further on down their respective ingredient lists. Despite this, The Farmer’s Dog also maintains a minimum crude protein of 9% to 11% per meal.
- Pork recipe: USDA Pork, Sweet Potato, Potato, Green Beans, Cauliflower, USDA Pork Liver, Fish Oil, TFD Nutrient Blend*.
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 Sprout, USDA Chicken Liver, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Fish Oil, TFD Nutrient Blend*.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 10% min., Crude Fat, 6% min., Crude Fiber: 1.0% max., Moisture: 77% max., 1300 kcal per kg / 590 kcal per lb.
- Turkey recipe: USDA Turkey, Chickpeas, Carrot, Broccoli, Parsnip, Spinach, Fish Oil, TFD Nutrient Blend*.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 9% 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, Fish Oil, TFD Nutrient Blend*.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11% min., Crude Fat: 8% min., Crude Fiber: 1.5% max., Moisture: 73% max; 1530 kcal per kg / 694 kcal per lb.
*TFD Nutrient blend ingredients: tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, taurine, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
All of the meal options offered by these companies are great choices. 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.
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.
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.
Although both companies do an excellent job of sourcing fresh ingredients, we love the idea of packing the most amount of nutrition into the least amount of calories.
In addition to their fresh meals, Ollie also offers 4 all-natural, single-ingredient snack options: sweet potato slices, turkey strips, beef strips, and chicken strips. (The meat “strips” are like jerky.) These treats can be added to your regular subscription service after you order your initial starter box.
Dog treats are notoriously full of sketchy chemical additives and preservatives, so we think offering your dog a wholesome, all-natural treat in between meals is a great idea.
Currently, The Farmer’s Dog doesn’t offer any treats.
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.
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, there were no Topper Plan options for me.
As we said above, Ollie offers four single-ingredient treat options. The Farmer’s Dog doesn’t currently offer any.
However, The Farmer’s Dog does have a nutrient pack (containing 9 essential nutrients) under development. It appears they will sell these packs separately for those 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 allergies or food sensitivities.
Winner: Ollie for treats, The Farmer’s Dog for supplemental meal plans
Ollie’s single-ingredient treat line is a great way to reward your pup without exposing them to all of those nasty chemicals most dog treats include. However, we love that The Farmer’s Dog allows you to order supplemental plans that you can mix with your dog’s current diet.
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 both that their prices start around $2 and $3 a day. Here’s what we know for sure: for a 6-lb., active Yorkie that eats exclusively Ollie, our price is $2.73/day or $19.13/wk. For an active, 60-lb. Afghan Hound, you can expect to pay approximately $8.80/day or $61.66/wk. If your dog is more than 60lbs., you can safely assume the price will be closer to $10 a day.
According to the quotes we ran, it appears that Ollie is comparable to or possibly more expensive than The Farmer’s Dog if you have a small or medium-sized dog. However, Ollie may be cheaper if you have a large dog.
We also found that pricing varied slightly depending on which recipe was chosen. For example, Ollie’s turkey recipe appeared to be more expensive than some of the other meal options.
If you simply want to supplement your dog’s current diet, Ollie’s Mostly Ollie plan (50% of the amount of food) reduces the Afghan Hound’s costs from $61.66/week to $38.80/wk. And the Some Ollie plan (25%) reduces the price to $24.30/wk.
The Farmer’s Dog states that subscriptions start as low as $2 a day. For two weeks of food, we found prices range from $2.80/day for the Yorkie to just over $10 a day for the Afghan Hound. The daily cost will be even higher for a dog over 60lbs.
This is more expensive than Ollie. Where you might save is if you have a medium-size dog. A 25-lb. Corgi costs $5.31/day with Ollie, whereas The Farmer’s Dog will charge around $5.08 for the same dog.
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/week, a quarter portion at $28.84/week, and a little bit more than 1/8th portion at $17.92/week.
|Ollie dog food price (full meals, no tax incl.)||The Farmer’s Dog price (full meals, no tax incl.)|
|6-lb. Yorkie male||$2.73 day / $19.13 week||$2.80 day / $19.60 week|
|25-lb. Pembroke Welsh Corgi male||$5.31 / $37.21 week||$5.08 day / $35.56 week|
|60-lb. Afghan Hound male||$8.80 / $61.66 week||$10.10 day/ $70.70 week|
Winner: It depends.
According to our findings, Ollie is cheaper for miniature and large dogs. However, The Farmer’s Dog is slightly cheaper for a mid-size dog. 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.
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 refridgerator. 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 arrives 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 sincey all of their 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 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.
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.
However, we chose Ollie as the overall winner. In a nutshell, it came down to their longer, more varied ingredient list and sourcing nutrients from their natural source rather than relying on a nutrient pack. We also like the ease of portioning and snack options. What matters to us may be different than what matters to you, though, so review each category above to make your own choice.
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