Dog food has been pretty bad for basically forever. But fresh dog food subscription services are starting to change that. This comparison guide will pitch two leading brands against each other—Spot and Tango vs Ollie—to see which is better.
See our quick comparison table below to get the highlights, then read our in-depth, category-by-category comparison lower in this guide to see which one stands out.
In this comparison:
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Spot and Tango vs Ollie: At a glance
|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|
|Fresh food protein options||Beef, Chicken, Turkey & Lamb||Beef, Turkey, Lamb|
|Sourcing||Beef, chicken, turkey, produce, seeds & oils from human-grade farms in the US. Lamb from free-range farms in the U.S. and Australia.||USDA-certified, human-grade ingredients from local U.S. suppliers|
|Offers treats?||Yes, 4 single-ingredient options||Yes, 2 single-ingredient options|
|Offers kibble alternative?||No||Yes|
|Offers topper plans?||Discontinued||Yes|
|Giving back||1% of proceeds go to rescue shelters and organizations. They also regularly donate meals to rescue shelters.||No official donation|
>> Read more: The Farmer’s Dog vs Ollie
Ollie vs Spot and Tango: Which is right for your pup?
- Meal options
- Ingredient quality
- Other products
- Packaging & sustainability
- Overall winner
Both Ollie and Spot and Tango advertise fresh food prices as low as $2 per day. However, this price will apply only to the smallest dogs eating the cheapest recipes.
We pulled some prices to give you a general idea of what you might pay, but you should get a free quote for your own dog to get a more accurate number. Doing so is free and only takes about two minutes.
|Ollie price (multiple recipes)||Spot and Tango price (multiple & cheapest recipe)|
|5-lb. Chihuahua male||$2.72 / day||$3.26 / day|
($2.86 if you order only the Turkey recipe)
|50-lb. Airedale Terrier male||$7.14 / day||$12.10 / day|
($8.46 / day for only Turkey recipe)
|100-lb. Scottish Deerhound male||$8.43 / day||$17.46 / day|
($14.63 / day for only Turkey recipe)
Both services determine your price by weighing several factors, including your dog’s weight, breed, age, body type, spay/neuter status, and activity level. At Spot and Tango, which recipes you choose also affects your price, and it can make a big difference.
The prices above reflect how you could pay substantially more for Spot and Tango if you want to feed your dog either the beef or lamb recipe. But even their cheapest recipe, Turkey & Red Quinoa, came out more expensive than any mixture of Ollie recipes.
The numbers don’t lie. Our tests showed Ollie is cheaper, and the difference only grows as the dog’s size increases.
>> Read more:
Fresh meal options
Both brands employ veterinary nutritionists to craft their recipes and portion amounts. The result is high-quality, human-grade recipes that provide the precise amount of nutrition and calories each dog needs.
Ollie offers four fresh recipes, which feature whole meat as the main source of protein, nutrient-rich organ meat, then whole vegetables, seeds, and oils for added fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
- Beef: Whole beef, beef heart, sweet potatoes, rosemary, peas…
- Chicken: whole chicken, chicken gizzard, carrots, peas, chicken liver…
- Turkey: Turkey breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, lentils, blueberries…
- Lamb: Lamb, lamb liver, butternut squash, kale, chickpeas, cranberries…
We love Ollie’s Turkey recipe, as well as its high protein and fat content for our active puppy. The Lamb recipe is also a great alternative for dogs with sensitivities to common meats.
Spot & Tango
Spot & Tango offers three fresh recipes. It doesn’t feature any organ meat, but it does do an excellent job incorporating healthy veggies, fruits, and grains to give your dog a well-rounded diet. The Turkey & Red Quinoa recipe has the highest protein content of either brand’s recipes, making it an interesting option for growing dogs.
- 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…
It’s hard to pick a definite winner here since both brands serve up some seriously high-quality recipes. Ollie has a slight edge since it includes four fresh recipes (each for the same price), but Spot and Tango is also a strong contender with its generally high protein content in each recipe.
Both Spot and Tango and Ollie source their ingredients from reputable farms cultivating human-grade ingredients.
All of Spot and Tango’s ingredients come from the U.S. and are prepared in small batches in a USDA-certified kitchen. The meals contain no artificial preservatives, additives, hormones, or GMOs. What they do contain are lots of named fruits and veggies, such as quinoa, carrots, apples, and eggs.
All of Spot and Tango’s recipes meet the AAFCO’s nutritional standards for puppies and adults. One area where the company has a slight edge is the fact that all of their recipes are high in protein.
As for Ollie, the only ingredient that comes from outside the U.S. is some of the lamb, but even that comes from pasture-fed, free-range farms in Australia, so you know you’re getting quality meat.
Aside from whole meats and healthy organ meats, Ollie packs their recipes with whole fruits and veggies like blueberries, peas, spinach, and carrots. They also add superfoods like cod liver oil and chia seeds to give your pup all of the vitamins and minerals they need to look and feel great.
Ollie’s meals meet AAFCO standards for all life stages, including the growth of large dog breeds. The beef recipe is slightly lower in protein content (which may be desirable for inactive dogs or dogs that need to lose weight), but one area where Ollie has an edge is in the use of organ meats.
While whole meats are always the first ingredient, organ meats like beef liver and kidney are added to increase each meal’s protein and nutrient content without over-relying on supplemental ingredients.
Here’s another close call since Spot and Tango’s recipes are so high in protein. However, we have to honor Ollie’s use of organ meat to provide added nutrients, since it’s the type of ingredients dogs would actually eat in the wild.
Both companies calculate your dog’s precise portions based on a number of unique attributes beyond just their weight. This is one of the many advantages fresh food subscriptions have over your typical kibble.
Small dogs may get multiple days’ worth of food from a single pack, while larger dogs will eat one pack per meal. In either case, your shipment will come with precise portioning instructions, so you’ll know exactly how much to feed your dog per meal.
As for the size of each portion, our 100-lb. Scottish Deerhound above was recommended 1,199 calories per day by Spot and Tango, but 1,223 calories by Ollie. This means that despite the lower price, Ollie squeezed in a few more calories per meal. However, that difference could vary for different sizes.
Despite the slight discrepancy in calorie count, both companies package and portion their meals pretty similarly, so it’s a tie for us. Really, what’s worth considering here is the price per calorie, but we already covered pricing above.
Spot and Tango offers two meal plans: full portions or topper portions. Full portions are what make these services super convenient since you never need to think about what to feed your dog or when to restock.
However, fresh food is expensive, so some dog owners opt for a topper portion to mix in with their dog’s current kibble. This still provides some nutritional benefit without as much added cost. Topper portions can also help keep picky eaters interested in their food.
Spot and Tango also makes it super easy to adjust your dog’s portions. Just log in and go to your current subscription plan. There you can incrementally increase or decrease the number of calories in each meal and see how it will affect your price. Just make sure you consult their team or your vet before making big portion changes, especially for small dogs.
Currently, Spot and Tango doesn’t allow you to customize your shipping schedule. Fresh food ships every two weeks and UnKibble ships every four weeks (learn more about Unkibble below). Of course, you can always skip a shipment, if needed.
Ollie used to offer topper portions, but they discontinued that service for new customers. If you want to adjust your dog’s portions, you can log in and get in touch with their team to do that.
With Ollie, your shipping schedule is a little more flexible—you can get shipments as frequently as every two weeks or as rarely as every six weeks, depending on how often you want to receive packages and how big you want them to be.
Winner: Spot and Tango
Since Ollie discontinued its topper portions, we have to give Spot and Tango the win here, even though other aspects of Ollie’s subscription are slightly more flexible. Of course, if you’re interested in a topper portion but prefer Ollie, you can always just feed your dog half the recommended amount and periodically skip shipments.
In addition to food, Ollie offers four healthy, single-ingredient treat options: Savory Beef Strips, Sweet Potato Slices, Tasty Chicken Strips, and Trusty Turkey Strips. Dog treats are often packed with suspicious chemicals and preservatives, so we love that these human-grade treats tell you exactly what is inside in the name itself. They’re a great way to reward your pup in-between meals.
However, note that you can only purchase Ollie’s treats after you’ve ordered your first subscription shipment.
Spot and Tango also offers single-ingredient treats, but only two options: Yam Yums and Chicken Munchies.
The yam/sweet-potato treats are similar with both services. Ollie’s meat strips are a little more substantial, with a crunchy jerky texture. The Chicken Munchies have an airier freeze-dried texture.
Although Spot & Tango doesn’t offer as many treat options, it does have one big advantage over Ollie—UnKibble. UnKibble is a “fresh dry” freeze-dried kibble alternative made from the same types of human-grade ingredients used in their fresh food.
Since UnKibble is freeze-dried, it doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, and it comes at a lower price than fresh food. However, while it is a definite upgrade from other store-bought kibbles, it isn’t as good nutritionally as a real fresh diet, so we still recommend going with a fresh food option if you can afford it.
Winner: Spot and Tango
Ollie offers more treat options, but Spot and Tango’s UnKibble product is a really interesting spin on dry dog food. We don’t think it’s as good as fresh food, but it may be worth checking out if you can’t afford a fresh diet.
Packaging & sustainability
Both companies pack their food over dry ice to keep it completely frozen throughout the shipment, and the cardboard boxes and insulating liners are recyclable.
Both companies also package their meals similarly in flat, square or rectangular plastic that makes it easy to stack your meals in the freezer.
Spot and Tango’s meal packs are also recyclable once rinsed, but due to Ollie’s easy-peel seal, their meal packs need to be disposed of in the trash. However, Ollie does allow you to extend your shipping schedule to as long as every 6 weeks to cut down on packaging.
Some dogs will receive each meal preportioned in its own pack, but others will have multiple meals per pack. Because of this, Spot and Tango send a plastic clip you can use to seal the leftovers in its original packaging. If you order UnKibble, they also send you a pre-measured scoop.
Ollie sends you an air-tight, food-grade, silicone “puptainer” to store your leftovers and a plastic scoop to remove your food from the pack.
Winner: Ollie for packaging, Spot & Tango for sustainability
We love the container Ollie sends with your first shipment. It looks really nice and frankly, we use it for our own leftovers when don’t have any dog food to store. However, we also like that Spot and Tango’s meal packs can be recycled, so each brand stands out in different ways in this category.
Overall winner: Ollie
Both Ollie and Spot and Tango offer excellent, human-grade diets that will overhaul your dog’s holistic nutrition. However, if you read through the sections above, Ollie stands out as the clear winner in the most important categories, including price, meal options, and ingredient quality.