Fresh dog food is a great alternative to your pup’s old kibble, which is probably full of fillers and preservatives. The question is, which brand should you choose? This guide will compare two top dog food subscription services head-to-head: Spot and Tango vs Farmer’s Dog.
In this comparison:
- The Farmer’s Dog vs Spot and Tango: At a glance
- Which is better for you (by category)
- Overall winner
- Other Farmers Dog alternatives
Spot and Tango vs The Farmer’s Dog: At a glance
|Price||Starts at $2/day for Fresh||Starts at $2/day|
|Promo discount||20% off your first order||20% off your first order, or 60% off with our link|
|Protein options||Beef, Turkey, Lamb||Beef, Chicken, Turkey and Pork|
|Sourcing||Human-grade ingredients sourced from reputable local food suppliers & farms that meet USDA standards.||Human-grade ingredients sourced from reputable local food suppliers & farms that meet USDA standards.|
|Accreditation||Meets AAFCO standards for all life stages. Food is cooked in an FDA and USDA-approved kitchen in WI and NY.||USDA-certified meats and kitchen and meets AAFCO standards for all life stages.|
|Offers topper option?||Yes, options for all dogs.||Yes, multiple supplemental options for medium and large dogs, but not small dogs.|
|Offers treats?||Yes: 2 single-ingredient options available||No|
|Offers kibble alternative||Yes, UnKibble starts at $1/day||No|
|Guarantee||Two-week trial includes a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t love the food. Cancel any time.||If your dog doesn’t love it, you can cancel at any time.|
Which is better, Farmer’s Dog or Spot and Tango?
Next, we’ll dive into different areas of each service to see where one brand does better than the other. But if you’d like a more thorough look into either service, you can learn more in our Spot and Tango dog food review or our The Farmer’s Dog food review.
Click a category from the list below to jump to that section.
- Fresh meal options
- Ingredient quality & sourcing
- High-quality kibble
- Packaging & sustainability
Both Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog claim that their fresh food starts at just $2 per day. However, after running several tests, we’ve determined that only the smallest dogs eating a topper portion could get that price (before discounts).
We ran the quotes in the table below to give you a more accurate idea of how much you’re likely to pay. These prices are based on a healthy, two-year-old, neutered, male dog.
Your exact price is going to completely depend on your dog’s size, breed, age, activity level, and more. Also, note that Spot and Tango’s prices vary significantly from one recipe to the next, while The Farmer’s Dog charges the same amount for each recipe. We’ve included prices for both mixed recipes and the cheapest option where relevant.
These prices are quoted before any discounts have been applied.
|Spot and Tango (Fresh)||The Farmer’s Dog|
|7-lb. Yorkie male||Mixed recipes: $3.26 day / $22.79 week|
Cheapest recipe: $2.86 day / $19.99 week
(based on 150 calories)
|Mixed recipes: $2.81 day / $19.69 week|
(based on 152 calories)
|30-lb. Beagle male||Mixed recipes: $7.87 day / $55.07 week|
Cheapest recipe: $6.59 day / $46.14 week
(based on 450 calories)
|Mixed recipes: $5.64 day / $39.47 week|
(based on 462 calories)
|60-lb. Boxer male||Mixed recipes: $12.10 day / $84.69 week|
Cheapest recipe: $10.14 day / $70.96 week
(based on 749 calories)
|Mixed recipes: $10.20 day / $71.41 week|
(based on 924 calories)
>> Learn more:
Based on the prices above, it’s clear that most pet owners are going to pay more than $2 a day. The average for a medium-sized dog will be between $5 to $8 per day. If you’re looking for something cheaper, consider ordering a topper portion and mixing it 50-50 with your dog’s current food.
You could also consider Spot and Tango’s UnKibble option, which knocks the price down for our 60lb boxer to around $5.73 a day. Of course, UnKibble isn’t going to give your dog the same level of nutrition as a fresh food diet.
Also, when comparing prices, consider that The Farmer’s Dog provides more calories for the prices quoted above.
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog
Many pet owners like the flexibility and variety of a rotational diet that allows them to feed their pup different recipes for different meals. If this sounds good to you, you’ll pay far less for The Farmer’s Dog. If you’re fine sticking with only one recipe (Turkey), then you can bring down Spot & Tango’s prices significantly, but The Farmer’s Dog still usually delivers a little more food for a bit less.
Fresh meal options
Spot and Tango meals
Spot and Tango offers three recipes and your price will vary significantly depending on which recipe you choose. You’re allowed to include one, two, or all three recipes in each shipment.
Turkey & Red Quinoa (cheapest)
- Ingredients: USDA Turkey, Red Quinoa, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Apple, Eggs, Parsely, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, *Vitamins & Minerals
- Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 13.69% (Min), Crude Fat: 5.86% (Min), Crude Fiber: 1.44% (Max), Moisture: 68.5% (Max); 326 Kcals per 8 oz.
Beef & Millet (middle price)
- Ingredients: USDA Beef, Millet, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Cranberries, Eggs, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, *Vitamins & Minerals
- Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11.85% (Min), Crude Fat: 5.85% (Min), Crude Fiber: 1.04% (Max), Moisture: 69.84% (Max); 322 Kcals per 8 oz.
Lamb & Brown Rice (most expensive)
- Ingredients: USDA Lamb, Brown Rice, Spinach, Carrots, Peas, Blueberries, Eggs, Parsely, Apple Cider Vinegar, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Stock, *Vitamins & Minerals
- Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11.80% (Min), Crude Fat: 6.64% (Min), Crude Fiber: 2.64% (Max), Moisture: 70.10% (Max); 305 Kcals per 8 oz.
*Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Kelp, Potassium, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Vitamin D3, Copper, Selenium, Folic Acid, Iodine, Vitamin B12
The Farmer’s Dog Meals
The Farmer’s Dog offers four meal options, and you can add up to three to each delivery. We didn’t see any change in price when ordering different recipes, but you’ll want to keep an eye on it when filling out your own order as this could change in the future.
- Ingredients: 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.
- Ingredients: USDA Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, 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.
- Ingredients: 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.
- Ingredients: 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
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog wins because it has four meal options, and you can order multiple recipes without significantly changing your price. While all of Spot and Tango’s recipes are great, there are only three, and the beef and lamb recipes may not fit in your budget. That said, Spot and Tango’s lamb meal is an interesting option if your dog has food allergies or a sensitive stomach that doesn’t allow them to eat more common meats.
Ingredient quality & sourcing
Both Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog use only human-grade meats and produce sourced from reputable local farms and human food suppliers. These whole ingredients are cooked in their USDA-approved kitchens at low temperatures to preserve as many nutrients as possible. This method means your dog will get more nutrition than if he or she were eating dry kibble.
Additionally, both brands are free from animal byproducts, preservatives, additives, growth hormones, and artificial coloring. This means your dog is only getting healthy, beneficial ingredients created to be nutritionally balanced by veterinary nutritionists. Both are certified by the AAFCO for all life stages, so you can feed it to your puppy or senior dog.
With such attention to detail by both companies, your dog will be eating healthy, wholesome, real food that helps them stay active and at the top of their frisbee game. You really can’t lose when it comes to either of these companies. For those who want the fine details, there are subtle differences.
All Spot and Tango meals contain a whole meat (50%), a seed or a grain (30%), and fruits and veggies (20%). The higher proportion of meat, coupled with protein-rich foods like red quinoa and millet, give these meals a greater percentage of protein than many other fresh dog foods, including The Farmer’s Dog. The protein ranges from 11.80% to 13.69%. This makes Spot and Tango a great choice for growing and active dogs.
Aside from the meat, fruits, and vegetables, each Spot and Tango meal contains apple cider vinegar, which is good for oral health, and safflower oil, which is full of healthy omega-6 fatty acids that promote cellular function and regeneration.
Unlike Spot and Tango, all The Farmer’s Dog recipes are grain-free, and three of the four recipes contain liver, which adds to the protein count and includes other nutrients. The Farmer’s Dog maintains a minimum of 9% to 11% crude protein per meal, which is excellent, but slightly lower than Spot and Tango’s range.
None of The Farmer’s Dog recipes contain fruit, but fruit isn’t necessary for a balanced canine diet. Most recipes do contain nutrient-dense superfoods like bok choy, broccoli, kale and spinach. They also all contain fish oil (Omega-3), which is proven to help with a host of health issues like skin allergies and some types of cancer.
Winner: It depends on the needs of your dog
For puppies or active dogs, Spot and Tango’s higher protein levels may be beneficial. On the other hand, most of The Farmer’s Dog’s meals contain liver, which is known as a nutrient-rich source of protein, amino acids, and vitamins A and B. Ultimately, either choice is great.
In addition to fresh food, Spot and Tango offers three flavors of “UnKibble,” a healthy kibble made from human-grade ingredients. USDA meats, starches, fresh fruits, and veggies are cut into bite-sized pieces, and then gently dehydrated at a low temperature to retain as many nutrients, colors, and flavors as possible. While not as healthy as fresh food, the result is a less processed kibble devoid of additives, meat powders, or artificial ingredients.
UnKibble is a great alternative to nutrient-lacking supermarket kibble, and it has the advantages of being shelf-stable and cheaper than fresh food. If you don’t have freezer space for fresh food, or if fresh food doesn’t quite fit in your budget, give it a try. And unlike most kibbles, you still have the convenience of a subscription service and a portion scoop so you’ll never run out of food or have to wonder how much food to feed. You could also consider ordering a 50% portion of both food types to mix up your dog’s meals and save a little.
Winner: Spot & Tango
Currently, The Farmer’s Dog doesn’t offer a dehydrated kibble option.
With Spot and Tango, treats don’t have to be unhealthy. Their Yam Yums and Chicken Munchies are different from typical store-bought treats. These single-ingredient treats are free of additives, chemical preservatives, and guilt. Add them to your subscription for a healthy snack in-between meals or just to give your furball a little love.
The Yam Yums have a crunchy jerky texture, and the Chicken Munchies have a lighter, crunchy freeze-dried texture. Our pup loves both, and we love how clean they are.
At this time, The Farmer’s Dog does not sell treats.
Winner: Spot and Tango
Both services have worked with vet nutritionists to carefully calculate the calorie requirements of each dog breed at different ages and with different body types. These calorie amounts may vary for each company, but in either case, your dog should be getting an appropriate amount of food. If you think your dog needs slightly more or less food, you can always make adjustments later.
As for how meals are physically portioned, both companies do it differently.
For medium and large dogs, Spot and Tango meals are portioned individually. They’ll eat two packs a day. This perfect portioning makes feeding time effortless—simply open and serve.
If your dog’s meals aren’t individually portioned, Spot and Tango provides a plastic clip for sealing up unused food.
Adjusting your portions is easy. Just log into your account, click to view your current subscription, and incrementally lower or increase the calorie count. When doing this, you’ll also be able to see how the change will affect your subscription price.
The Farmer’s Dog includes more portions per food pack. This helps reduce costs and cuts down on packaging waste. But it does mean you’ll need to do a little measuring at meal time.
Large dogs will eat one or two meals per package and small dogs will eat up to eight meals per pack. Our instructions said to to give our Yorkie 1/8th of the bag, so it’s not an exact measurement. If you have a small dog, it may help to pre-mark the portions with a marker before opening the package.
The Farmer’s Dog wants to make sure your pup gets an appropriate amount of food, so you can reach out to them if you need to make any calorie adjustments.
Winner: Spot and Tango for convenience, The Farmer’s Dog for amounts
Depending on the size of your dog, you’re more likely to have fewer meals per pack with Spot and Tango, so it may be easier to serve. On the other hand, The Farmer’s Dog did include more calories per portion when we ran our tests.
Packaging & sustainability
Food packs from both companies are shipped over dry ice in cardboard boxes with insulating liners. This keeps the food completely frozen while in transit and for a few hours after it’s delivered, so it’s okay if you’re not home when the package arrives. Just make sure the food is still cold when you unpack it.
Both food packages are shipped in flat, rectangular plastic packaging that is easy to stack in the freezer. Spot and Tango’s are thicker and more compact, while Farmer’s Dog packs are taller. This doesn’t make a big difference for storage.
Spot and Tango provides a plastic clip for closing unused portions, or if you order UnKibble, you’ll receive a pre-measured scoop for precise feeding. The Farmer’s Dog provides a biodegradable food container for leftovers.
Each food package from The Farmer’s Dog is individually labeled with your dog’s name, correct portion, and the packing date, which eliminates any confusion when feeding multiple dogs, or when finishing off an old shipment before digging into the next one.
Spot and Tango doesn’t personalize their food packs.
As far as sustainability goes, it’s a close call. All materials are recyclable, including food packs once rinsed. The insulating liners are compostable, or you can dissolve them under water in your yard or sink.
If you want to be as sustainable as possible, The Farmer’s Dog does have a slight advantage in that it allows you to extend your shipping schedule to as little as once every eight weeks. This will cut down on the resources used to package and transport the food.
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog, by a hair.
With most details being equal, it comes down to the smallest details. We love that The Farmer’s Dog individually dates and labels their food packs for the dog who is meant to eat it. We also like the option for a longer shipping schedule.
We love that both companies offer free shipping. Spot and Tango ships every two weeks for fresh food and every four weeks for UnKibble. Currently, they are not accommodating changes to the shipping schedule other than skipping a shipment, although we hear that’s changing soon.
For larger dogs, The Farmer’s Dog automatically ships every two weeks. For our Yorkie, deliveries are scheduled every eight weeks to cut down on shipping packaging. However, delivery preferences can be changed in your account. And if you need food fast, you have the option to rush an order.
Both services bill you as food is packaged for delivery, so changing your shipping preferences will also change your billing amount and frequency.
Winner: The Farmer’s Dog
Both services ship for free to anywhere in the continental U.S., which is the most important factor. But The Farmer’s Dog does offer a little more flexibility, plus the option to rush orders.
The Farmer’s Dog is our overall winner—if we’re forced to make a decision.
However, after a thorough test of both companies, we feel confident in recommending both brands. They both offer excellent nutrition for the health of your pet, and both services make feeding your pet super convenient.
The optimal choice for you will be determined by what’s most important to you.
Here’s what we love about The Farmer’s Dog:
- Lower prices, especially if you want multiple recipes
- More calories per meal
- Flexible shipping frequency and rush orders
- Individually labeled packs help differentiate amongst multiple dogs
- Four meal options compared to Spot and Tango’s three options.
- Offer of 50% off your first order, so you can try it for less
Here is what stands out to us about Spot and Tango:
- Single-ingredient treat options
- “Fresh dry” UnKibble (although we firmly believe real fresh food is best)
- Recipes are protein-rich with seeds, grains, and 50% muscle meat
- Lamb meal option for dogs allergic to common meats
- Offers grain-free and grain-inclusive options
- Supplemental plans are available for all dogs, including tiny dogs, whereas The Farmer’s Dog only offers plans for medium and large dogs
Other Farmers Dog alternatives
If you’d like to compare other The Farmer’s Dog alternatives, check out the guides below. Nom Nom is a great option if you’re also interested in gut health kits and supplements, and we love Ollie’s inclusion of organ meat in their recipes.