Ollie's fresh dog food was a hit with my miniature poodle, and I like that service is competitively priced, easy to feed, and gentle on his stomach

Jackie Brown
·7 min read

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Ollie Dog Food
Ollie dog food is made of fresh ingredients and free of preservatives and artificial flavors. Ollie/Facebook
  • Ollie offers convenient, automatic home delivery of fresh dog food.

  • Each Ollie meal plan is personalized for your individual dog and includes four different recipe options.

  • I found the meals were nutritious, easy to serve, and gentle on my dog's stomach.

  • Prices vary depending on the size of your dog ($27 to $31 per week), and new customers can save 50% on their first box of Ollie.

I love the concept of homemade pet food. When shopping for my human family, I try to avoid highly processed foods as much as I can, instead of sticking to fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats - you get the idea. I love cooking, too, but I've never cooked for my miniature poodle, Jäger, because, honestly, I find the idea too intimidating.

The amount of difficulty involved in making a complete-and-balanced dog food at home is just too daunting for me. That's why fresh dog food delivery services like Ollie are so appealing.

I've recently dipped my toe into the fresh dog food market, trying out a few companies that cook and ship freshly made pet food for dogs. In this review, I'll share my experience with Ollie, which I tested with Jäger for nearly a month.

With services like Ollie, I get the health benefits of fresh-cooked food for my dog, but I don't have to do the hard work. Plus, since most fresh dog food services are subscription-based, I don't even need to remember to buy more food when our supply runs out. Meals are delivered right to subscribers' doors within the continental United States (Ollie does not ship to Hawaii and Alaska).

What does Ollie offer?

Ollie's meal plans are specifically tailored to your dog based on many factors, including age, weight, breed, and whether your dog is spayed or neutered. That way you can be sure the food delivers the correct number of calories. All recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO's Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, meaning the food is appropriate for growing puppies as well as adult dogs, including large-size dogs.

Many competing services offer three recipe options, but Ollie offers four: beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb. Each recipe was developed by veterinary nutritionists. Made with fresh ingredients, the food is minimally processed and contains no fillers or artificial flavors. Just fresh meat and other healthy foods like butternut squash, pumpkin, spinach, kale, sweet potato, lentils, chickpeas, blueberries, and fish oil, plus the right balance of vitamins and minerals.

Ollie 1
The included container and scoop make it easy to store and serve Ollie. Jackie Brown/Business Insider

The signup process

During sign-up, I was asked a series of questions about my dog's age, weight, breed, activity level, and health, including whether he has any allergies.

I could select one, two, three, or all four of the recipes. For Jäger, who weighs 20 pounds, Ollie meal options ranged from about $27 to $31 per week, depending on which recipe I chose. I opted to try the beef, turkey, and lamb recipes.

After signing up, I received an immediate email confirmation. The company also sent an email notification and estimated delivery date when my box of food was about to ship, as well as notification that it had been delivered. This was great because my box was delivered when I was not at home. It was nice that I didn't have to worry about it sitting on my porch all day.

However, there isn't too much to be concerned about - the box is packed with ice and insulation so it stays cold up until midnight on the day of delivery. If you're concerned about the environment, you'll be happy to know that all of Ollie's packaging is either recyclable or compostable, or at least made from recycled materials.

Because Ollie is subscription-based, your credit card will be charged and fresh food will be shipped automatically according to your dog's individual meal plan. If you're traveling, Ollie can ship the food to your temporary destination if you're anywhere in the continental United States. You can also skip or pause a delivery so the food arrives when you get home. If you need to cancel your subscription, contact the company via email or phone.

What makes it stand out

My first box arrived right on time. Preportioned meals arrived cold in vacuum-sealed packs. Included in my first box was a rubber airtight "pup-tainer" with lid, a matching serving spoon, and a booklet that explains how to store the food (in the freezer for up to six months or thawed in the fridge for up to five days). The box also contained Ollie's custom feeding guidelines and directions for gradually switching from your dog's old food to Ollie fresh food.

Making changes to your dog's diet is best done gradually so your dog doesn't get an upset stomach. Transitioning slowly is especially important if your dog has been eating only one dog food for a long time. Because my dog eats a wide variety of commercial dog foods and safe "people" foods, I started feeding Ollie all at once and he did just fine.

Ollie 2
Ollie meals are delivered in eco-friendly packaging. Jackie Brown/Business Insider

Although the Ollie how-to guide includes tips for enticing picky eaters, my dog needed no such thing. He has loved Ollie food from the very beginning - he wolfs down every meal, licking his bowl clean. When I opened the first pack of Ollie food I noticed that it has a similar consistency to canned dog food, but you can see all the wholesome ingredients finely chopped and mixed together.

Ollie is simple to feed. Per my dog's custom feeding instructions, one pack was to be split between two meals per day. I scoop out half the food for breakfast with the serving spoon, then store the second half of the pack in the pup-tainer until the next meal. Every night after I feed my dog dinner, I transfer one or two new packs from the freezer to the refrigerator so I always have one thawed and ready to go.

The cons

Ollie offers four recipe options, while many of its competitors offer only three. However, the ingredients in the recipes cannot be customized. This isn't unique to Ollie, but the option to remove ingredients would be nice to have. The other downsides are common across all fresh dog food companies: Fresh dog food isn't appropriate for dogs who like to graze because leaving the food out all day can lead to spoiling. And I sometimes forgot to move pouches to the fridge to thaw.

The bottom line

Fresh dog food subscription services like Ollie are pricey, especially when compared to shelf-stable dog food like kibble or canned. But the benefits of fresh dog food may be worth it, depending on how much you value fresh, unprocessed food. If you don't feel up to cooking for your dog but want the benefits of fresh food, a subscription service like Ollie is a happy medium.

My dog loves Ollie food and it agreed with him as evidenced by his nice poops. I love the high-quality ingredients and the fact that the recipes are developed by a veterinary nutritionist. In my opinion, Ollie is a solid choice for fresh dog food delivery.

Pros: Customized to individual dog; no fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors, or by-products; fresh, natural ingredients; minimally processed and gently cooked to preserve nutritional value; complete-and-balanced recipes developed by veterinary nutritionists; less expensive than some other fresh food subscription services; home delivery with eco-friendly packaging that keeps the food cold until midnight on delivery day; Ollie will send a different recipe or refund your starter box if your dog doesn't like one of the recipes

Cons: Cannot customize recipes by removing specific ingredients; must remember to transfer food packs from freezer to fridge to thaw; can't be left out all day like kibble; must remember to pause, skip, or cancel subscription to avoid being automatically charged; pricey (but less expensive than many competitors' plans)

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