8 Nutritious and Convenient Dog Food Subscriptions to Discuss With Your Vet
As busy pet parents, we're always looking for ways to make our lives easier. There's nothing worse than going to feed your pooch and realizing the bag is empty! Luckily for all of us who love our pets but sometimes forget to go to the store, dog food subscription services are here to save the day. Not only can you get your pup's favorite kibble delivered to your front door on a regular schedule, but there are lots of options on the market. Whether you're searching for dry food, wet food, dog food toppers, or even food geared to specific health needs, there's a doggie delivery service out there for you and your pup.
Many subscriptions can be uniquely tailored to your dog's age, size, breed, and activity level, making it easy to find a dog food blend that's just right for your pet. But most pet parents who get their BFF's meals through a subscription service will agree: The biggest benefit is having it conveniently delivered to your doorstep before you run out. If you have a dog with vet-recommended health goals, such as weight management, many dog food subscriptions can be tailored to accommodate your pup's dietary needs. Plus, many dog food delivery brands offer a variety of flavors so even the pickiest eaters can find something they love.
Signing up for a dog food subscription usually begins by answering a quick questionnaire about your pooch, including his or her age, size, breed, and more. Though these quizzes can be handy, it's important to first check that the food you're buying has been developed by a veterinary nutritionist. This better ensures that the recipes are formulated to provide the right levels of nutrition for your dog. You'll want to double-check any product suggestions the brand gives you with your veterinarian, too—while a simple quiz can get you on the right track to finding the best food for Fido, it can't replace the advice of a trained professional. And before clicking "add to cart," run that ingredient list by your vet, too.
"It's important when you're feeding a dog to understand that dogs are omnivores, so they require a combination of balanced nutrition that should include protein and grains and micronutrients that are specific for their species," says Sarah Machell, DVM and medical director at Vetster. "Diets that have undergone consultation with a vet nutritionist to ensure that they're complete and wholesome are really important."
How Do I Find the Best Dog Food for My Dog?
With so many different brands, diets, and food types available on pet store shelves, it can be difficult to figure out what dog food is right for your four-legged family member. While it's definitely tempting to let clever marketing or pretty packaging woo you into choosing one type of dog food over another, it's important to start the selection process after talking to your vet. They may have recommendations based on your dog's health history that you should take into account before feeding Fido something new.
"Every pet is an individual, and giving a broad-strokes answer to the question, 'what type of food your dog should eat,' is hugely difficult," says Machell. "That's the wonderful thing about a veterinarian consultation—pet owners can speak with a veterinarian one on one and get some insight about how nutrition may be playing a role in whatever they're concerned about."
Does My Dog Need Fresh Food?
If you've spent any time researching different dog food subscriptions, you've probably run across the term "fresh dog food." And while the term sounds great—who wouldn't want to feed their pet fresh ingredients?—according to Machell, this term doesn't actually mean much when it comes to nutrition.
"I think 'fresh' is a fabulous example of a heavily marketed word that doesn't actually have a lot of science," Machell says. "In my opinion, … feeding [dogs] on the same level as humans is more about us than about them. … There's no legislation around [the term], and what 'fresh' means to you may be completely different from what [it] is to someone else. It's just a lovely word that has taken a grip, but there's no legalities around it."
Instead of allowing the word "fresh" to attract you, Machell suggests working directly with your veterinarian to determine your dog's specific nutritional needs. There are plenty of highly researched dog food brands available, and your vet will be able to recommend ingredients, diets, and products that are best for your pup.
We've rounded up some of the most popular dog food subscriptions to help you identify a brand that works with your veterinarian's recommendations while also ensuring your pup's bowl is never empty. Keep reading to learn more about the dog food subscriptions we think are worth exploring.