Who says meal delivery is just for humans? The latest trend in pet nutrition is custom dog food, and it’s a great way to ensure your pet is getting the nutrition he needs to thrive. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also delicious, making mealtime the highlight of your dog’s day.
There are a lot of choices for both custom kibble and wet food varieties. Typically, these dog food companies are subscription-based, where the food is shipped directly to your door in proportioned containers. Just like we humans, our pups can now enjoy the convenience and health benefits of pre-cooked meal delivery based on their needs.
What is personalized dog food versus customized dog food?
On most subscription-based dog food companies’ websites, you first complete a survey about your dog. Some of these questions may include your dog’s age, weight, breed, energy levels, health problems, dietary preferences and restrictions, and lifestyle. Based on your answers, the company suggests a diet personalized or customized to your dog.
Personalized dog food is where the company offers one of its many pre-packaged diets that address common needs based on breed, health, issues, etc. Customized dog food is where the made-to-order company offers a special diet designed specifically for your dog’s individual needs. It is like having your very own personal chef for your dog.
Benefits of a customized dog food diet
A diet customized for your dog’s needs could help improve your dog’s health and well-being by providing the right balance of nutrients, helping him maintain his weight (or lose weight), maintaining strong bones and joints, and even supporting a healthy immune system. Also, a customized dog food diet might help manage these conditions:
- food allergies
- food sensitivities
- GI upset
- joint inflammation
- skin issues
- health conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease
What’s the best custom dog food brand?
When choosing a custom dog food company, look for the following criteria:
- reliable (company meets its customers’ expectations regularly without failure)
- uses high-quality ingredients
- has safety and quality standards
- diet is 100% complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards (The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets nutritional standards and guidelines for pet food.)
- animal nutrition experts or veterinary nutritionists who oversee the development of the diets
Top custom dog food picks
Three of my favorite custom dog food picks due to the quality and variety of the food and subscription plans.
- Starts at $4 a day
- Has baked and fresh plans (kibble and frozen/fresh food)
- Also has dog treats and supplements
- Subscription-based or pickup in their own retail stores or at select Petco’s
- fresh frozen and pantry-stable formulas
- Has vet-prescribed food as well for certain medical conditions.
- Also has dog treats
- Starts at $2 a day
- Fresh frozen
- Has a trial box option
Some companies also offer one or two-week trial subscriptions and shipments to make sure your dog will enjoy and eat the food, and it won’t upset his digestive system. This is a great option for those owners who have very picky pups!
How much does custom dog food cost?
Custom dog food can be more expensive than commercial dog food you pick up at the local store, but many pet owners, especially those who have pups with medical issues, feel that the benefits of the customized diet are worth it. Also, if you have pet insurance, some plans cover this type of food if it is prescribed by your vet.
With made-to-order dog food, your dog can enjoy the benefits of a special diet that truly addresses his needs while you enjoy the convenience of pre-portioned meals delivered to your door. So why not give it a try and treat your pet to a gourmet meal? Bon-Appetit!