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If your dog is like mine, they’re happy eating just about anything they can get their paws on, including old shoes and used napkins. But just because a dog is happy eating something doesn’t mean it’s good for them. And that brings me to, well, most of the dog food brands you see in the pet aisle of your supermarket.
The pet food industry is notoriously full of cheap, mass-produced products that are jam-packed with fillers and chemical preservatives to keep them shelf-stable for as long as possible.
Fortunately, pet owners are finally demanding healthier food for their pups, which can have an outsized impact on their long-term health.1 This comparison guide will take a deep dive into two services leading the way: Nom Nom vs Spot and Tango.
In this comparison:
Spot and Tango vs The Nom Nom Now: At a glance
|Price||Starts at $2 a day*||Starts at $2 a day for Fresh*|
|Promo discount||Get 60% off your first order||50% off your first order|
|Protein options||Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Pork||Beef, Turkey, Lamb|
|Sourcing||USDA-certified human-grade ingredients from local U.S. suppliers||USDA-certified human-grade ingredients from local U.S. suppliers|
|Accreditation||Recipes by board-certified veterinary nutritionists; meets USDA and AAFCO standards||Recipes by board-certified veterinary nutritionists; meets USDA and AAFCO standards|
|Offers topper portions?||Yes||Yes|
|Treats||Chicken Jerky & Beef Sirloin Jerky||Yam Yums & Chicken Munchies|
|Offers dog & cat food?||Yes||No|
|Offers gut health tests & supplements||Yes||No|
|Offers kibble alternative||No||Yes, UnKibble starts at $1/day|
|Giving back||$50 donation in your name when you adopt through a partner shelter||No official charitable donation|
Keep reading below to see how each service compares in important categories. If you want to dig deeper into one company, you can learn more in our full Nom Nom Dog Food review or our Spot and Tango Dog Food review. You can also compare other fresh dog food options at the links at the bottom of this post.
Nom Nom vs Spot and Tango: head-to-head comparison
Next we’ll see how Nom Nom and Spot and Tango compare in important categories. Click an option below to jump to that section.
- Ingredient quality & sourcing
- Fresh meal options
- Kibble options
- Other products
- Packaging & sustainability
- Overall winner
Both Nom Nom and Spot and Tango’s Fresh food start at around $2 per day. However, this price would only apply to the smallest dogs eating a partial meal plan, so most dog owners will end up paying more.
The table below will give you a more accurate idea of what you might pay, but you should get a quote from each company to see your actual cost since pricing depends on your dog’s size, activity level, neutered status, and ultimately the number of calories they require per day.
The recipe(s) you choose can also impact your price, especially with Spot and Tango. All prices below reflect a mixture of fresh recipes. If you’re happy with feeding your dog only one recipe, you can reduce your price further.
|Nom Nom Dog Food||Spot and Tango (Fresh)|
|5-lb. Chihuahua female||Full portion: $2.68 / day|
|Full portion: $3.26 / day|
Topper: $2.52 / day
|50-lb. Airedale Terrier male||Full portion: $7.97 / day|
Topper: $4.80 / day
|Full portion: $12.10 / day|
Topper: $4.49 / day
|100-lb. Scottish Deerhound male||Full portion: $13.82 / day|
Topper: $6.91 / day
|Full portion: $17.46 / day|
Topper: $6.80 / day
>> Read more:
Nom Nom allows you to choose up to two recipes per shipment for an extra $5 per month. However, you can also rotate your recipe each shipment for no extra fee.
Spot and Tango allow you to choose all three recipes, but some recipes are significantly more expensive than others. For example, for our Airedale Terrier in the table above, the Turkey & Red Quinoa recipe came out to $8.10 per day, but the Lamb & Brown Rice meal cost $12.38 per day, so you’ll need to pay more for Spot and Tango if you like to rotate meals.
We should also note that Spot and Tango’s UnKibble option is substantially cheaper than their Fresh prices, although it may also offer less nutritional value. You can learn more about it in the kibble category below.
Winner: Nom Nom
Based on the tests we ran, Nom Nom consistently came out cheaper for fresh food, even with the added $5 charge for multiple recipes. And remember, a small price difference per day can add up to a lot over a month.
Ingredient quality & sourcing
Both Nom Nom and Spot and Tango source their ingredients from local U.S. suppliers, and all ingredients pass the USDA standards for human consumption. Additionally, both services use whole-food ingredients in their recipes. Whole meat is always the first ingredient—no mysterious meat meals or cheap fillers. And in either case, all recipes are non-GMO and gluten-free.
On top of this, both companies employ board-certified veterinary nutritionists to craft their recipes, so you can relax knowing your dog is getting a nutritionally appropriate, high-quality diet.
In either case, your food is cooked slowly at a low temperature to preserve each ingredient’s nutritional value. This is in contrast to the high temperatures and pressure used to extrude kibble and make it shelf stable—a process that destroys much of the ingredients’ original nutrients.
All that to say, you really can’t go wrong with feeding your pup food from either company.
If you really put each recipe under a microscope, you’ll notice Nom Nom’s recipes use potato, sweet potato, or brown rice as the second ingredient to round out its recipes and provide added protein and carbohydrates. Spot and Tango uses red quinoa, millet, or brown rice, depending on which recipe you choose.
From there, each recipe includes a number of fresh vegetables (in Nom Nom’s case) or fruits and vegetables (in Spot and Tango’s case) before incorporating healthy oils, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements.
Spot and Tango’s list of recognizable, whole-food ingredients is longer than Nom Nom’s, since they also include fruits. Fruits aren’t a necessary part of a canine diet, but they can include healthy antioxidants and vitamins, so we’ll count that as a point for them.
Nom Nom, on the other hand, looks better when you examine the food itself (see the photo at the top of the article). No fresh dog food that we’ve seen has more clearly identifiable chunks of real, whole-food ingredients.
Spot and Tango includes real fresh fruits in their recipe list, while Nom Nom doesn’t. But Nom Nom’s food clearly looks better than any fresh dog food we’ve tried. Really, it’s a toss-up.
Fresh meal options
Nom Nom offers four fresh dog food recipes with whole foods and oils that create healthy bodies and coats:
- Beef Mash: Beef, potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas, fish oil…
- Chicken Cuisine: Chicken, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, spinach, fish oil…
- Pork Potluck: Pork, potatoes, green beans, yellow squash, mushrooms, kale, fish oil…
- Turkey Fare: Turkey, eggs, brown rice, carrots, spinach, fish oil…
Nom Nom allows you to select up to two recipes per shipment (for the extra $5 fee, explained above), and you can change these recipes at any time. You can also rotate between the recipes each shipment for free. The beef and turkey recipes have a higher protein count than the other two, so we recommend those for growing puppies.
On the other hand, if you want your dog to lose some weight, you may want to choose pork or chicken. Of course, Nom Nom will also take your dog’s weight goals into account when they create your meal plan, so you can go with any recipes you’d like.
Spot & Tango
Spot and Tango only offers three Fresh recipes, but they’re all excellent options:
- Turkey & Red Quinoa: Turkey, red quinoa, spinach, carrots, peas, apple, eggs…
- Beef & Millet: Beef, millet, spinach, carrots, peas, cranberries, eggs…
- Lamb & Brown rice: Lamb, brown rice, spinach, carrots, peas, blueberries, eggs…
Spot and Tango allows you to select up to three recipes per shipment, so you can enjoy even more variety. However, it may be better to stick to just one or two, both to save money and because changing your dog’s diet too frequently can cause an upset stomach.
All three of Spot and Tango’s meal options are high in protein, so they’re great for growing puppies.
If your dog is sensitive to common meats, the lamb recipe may offer a good alternative. However, it’s also the most expensive meal by a significant margin.
Winner: Nom Nom
Although Spot and Tango allow you to get more recipes per shipment, Nom Nom offers more fresh meal options overall, and it’s usually best not to change your pup’s diet too frequently to avoid indigestion.
Most dog food subscription services offer fresh-cooked food that’s more similar to wet food than kibble. After all, the whole point of these services is to upgrade your dog’s nutrition. The automatic shipments and easy portioning are great perks, but they come second to your dog’s holistic health.
However, if you want to improve your dog’s diet and keep the convenience of dry food, Spot and Tango has a solution.
UnKibble is a “Fresh Dry” kibble alternative that is produced with lower temperatures than are used to make kibble. This dehydrates the ingredients while preserving their nutrients. The result is a crunchy, kibble-like texture that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, but it’s still made with the same whole ingredients you’d get in the fresh food.
Aside from saving you freezer space, Spot and Tango also give you a custom scoop that tells you exactly how much food your dog needs, and it’s cheaper than the fresh option.
|5-lb. Chihuahua female||$12.18 / week|
($1.74 / day)
|50-lb. Airedale Terrier male||$43.04 / week|
($6.15 / day)
|100-lb. Scottish Deerhound male||$63.78 / week|
($9.11 / day)
However, because of the processing required to turn it into kibble, we don’t believe UnKibble is nutritionally as good as fresh food. So, if you can afford it and have the freezer space, fresh food from either Nom Nom or Spot and Tango is better.
Winner: Spot & Tango
Cutting overprocessed kibble out of your dog’s diet is great, but what about all those treats they eat in between meals? Dog treats are notoriously filled with artificial preservatives and chemicals.
Spot and Tango currently offer two single-ingredient treat options, Yam Yums and Chicken Munchies. Both treats are GMO-free and human-grade, and you won’t find anything in them other than whole chicken or sweet potato.
The Yam Yums have a crunchy texture, sort of like kettle-cooked chips. You can get them for $12 per bag. The Chicken Munchies are much thicker and less brittle, but they still have an airy, crunchy texture. They cost $14 per bag. Both treats can also be added to your subscription.
Nom Nom also offers two single-ingredient treats, Chicken Jerky and Beef Sirloin Jerky, which are made from whole chicken and beef sirloin. These both have a crunchy, jerky texture, and seem more substantial than Spot and Tango’s Chicken Munchies. You can buy them each for $15 a bag or add them to your regular subscription.
Winner: It depends
On one hand, Spot and Tango’s treats are slightly cheaper. But Nom Nom’s options are both a little more substantial, and they’re rich in protein for active dogs. Ultimately, they’re all good options, so I’d make my decision based on other factors, like the price of the meals or the recipe options.
We’ve already covered dog treats in the section above, and Spot and Tango’s UnKibble option in the category before that. Aside from those, Nom Nom has a few other products worth mentioning.
Gut health kits & probiotics
Nom Nom also offers a selection of gut health products to help you learn more about or improve your pet’s digestion.
The Microbiome Testing Kit can be used for both cats and dogs. Nom Nom will send a kit that allows you to easily collect a swab of your pet’s stool, which you’ll then put in their pre-labeled packaging and mail to their labs for diagnosis.
After a few weeks, you’ll be able to log into your account and see a full report on the microbiomes that aid your pet’s digestive and immune systems. These insights can help you diagnose dietary issues your pet is facing and take steps to improve them.
Nom Nom also offers three probiotic supplements (two for dogs and one for cats). The Full Spectrum Probiotics (for either dogs or cats) can help boost your pet’s overall digestive health and immunity. The GI Targeted Probiotics for Dogs helps rebalance a dog’s inflamed digestive system, which is common in pets with food sensitivities.
Nom Nom also conducts regular studies on pet gut health, which you can volunteer to participate in to further their research. The company also has a collection of informative articles on pet microbiome and digestive issues.
Winner: Nom Nom
Nom Nom’s continued research into and solutions for pet gut health issues makes it a unique option among dog food subscription companies. And the fact that you can feed your dog and cat with the same service makes it even better.
For our dog, both companies individually portioned each meal in small, easy-peel plastic pouches. This makes feeding your pup super simple. You just move two pouches from the freezer to the fridge each evening and feed them to your dog the next day. No measuring or cleanup needed.
This is easier than some other services, such as The Farmer’s Dog, which often requires you to measure out multiple meals from each packet. On the other hand, having multiple meals per pack means fewer food packs and less plastic waste. (You can learn more in our Nom Nom vs Farmers Dog comparison.)
It’s possible that very small dogs eating Spot and Tango may receive more than one meal per packet, which would require you to simply feed your dog half a pack per meal. Your custom instructions included with each shipment will explain what to do.
Spot and Tango’s UnKibble product is delivered in one or two bags, and you’ll use the custom scoop to measure each meal.
Editing your portions
Both services will automatically adjust your dog’s portions as your pet ages and after you update their weight or activity level.
You can also contact Nom Nom to have them manually make a portion change if you think your dog needs more or less food.
Spot and Tango makes it easy to increase or decrease your dog’s portions yourself; you just log into your account and view your dog’s current subscription. From there you’ll be able to increase or decrease the number of calories they receive per meal. However, you should be cautious about doing this without first consulting a representative from the company or your own vet, since they’re better equipped to calculate an appropriate daily calorie amount.
Both companies make perfect portioning super easy.
Packaging & sustainability
Both companies use eco-friendly packaging. The cardboard boxes and meal packs can be recycled (after being rinsed), and the insulating liners are compostable. If you want to be as sustainable as possible, edit your shipping schedule to receive larger shipments with more time in between deliveries. Currently, only Nom Nom allows you to do this (explained in the following section).
Both companies have done a good job removing long-lasting, non-recyclable plastics from their shipments.
For both services, shipping is always free anywhere in the contiguous 48 states.
Spot and Tango ships every 2 weeks for Fresh and every 4 weeks for UnKibble.
After your two-week starter box, Nom Nom automatically shifts to a two-week shipping schedule, but you can adjust it to weekly shipments (if you have less freezer space) or every four weeks (if you want to cut down on packaging waste).
Both services bill you as food is packaged for delivery, so changing your shipping preferences will also change your billing amount and frequency.
Winner: Nom Nom by a hair
Both services ship for free, which is the most important factor. But Nom Nom’s shipping flexibility is nice if you want to cut down on waste or have more food on hand for trips away from home.
Overall winner: Nom Nom
Both fresh dog food services do an excellent job of feeding your pup healthy, whole food ingredients that should do wonders for their holistic health over the long term. But if we have to choose one, Nom Nom comes out ahead.
We like that Nom Nom is a little bit cheaper (according to our tests), it gives you an extra meal option for fresh food, and you can order food for both dogs and cats. We also love the research the company is pioneering into pet digestive issues, and the gut health products it offers.