Types Available for Delivery

Last Updated May 2024

There used to be just two kinds of dog food—canned wet food, and bagged dry food (otherwise known as kibble). Not anymore. Dog food delivery brands offer a whole host of different meal types for your dog, each with pros and cons. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of dog food available with subscription services:

dog food

Fresh Dog Food

If you’ve checked out most dog food delivery brands, you’ve seen these types of meals: They look like broken-up hamburgers (or turkey burgers) mixed with chunks of vegetables. They’re called “fresh” meals, but they’re actually lightly cooked: Usually made of human-grade ingredients, they’re cooked and shipped to your door after being frozen. These meals usually come in beef, chicken, turkey and sometimes, lamb flavors, each with a slightly different price. With most fresh dog food brands, the lamb options are usually the most expensive.

Dog parents who buy fresh meals love that the dog food looks like actual food, with chunks of meat and vegetables that they can see. These meals can be a bit messy and take a little forward-thinking—you’ll need room for them in your freezer, and you’ll also need to think ahead to make sure your pooch’s next meal is defrosted.

Fresh dog food delivery is Ideal for:
Age: All ages

Breed: All breeds

Health considerations: Bad breath, picky eating

Pros Cons
Fresh vegetables you can see in each meal Take up refrigerator and freezer space
High quality protein sources like beef, turkey, chicken and lamb Require defrosting overnight before you can serve
Most are made from human-grade ingredients Can be expensive for larger dogs
Most are packaged in individual portions

Raw Meals

In the “wild,” dogs would eat raw meat, right? That’s the idea behind a raw food diet for dogs—the meals are made of mixes of raw meat, bone meal, vegetables, oil, and vitamin and mineral mixes. 

Like “fresh” meals, raw dog foods are shipped to your door frozen, and need to be defrosted before serving. 

Raw dog food delivery is ideal for:
Age: Adult dogs (puppies under four months and senior dogs require cooking of raw meals).

Breed: All breeds

Health considerations: Skin problems, allergies

Pros Cons
Real meat & vegetables you can see in each meal Takes up refrigerator and freezer space
Requires defrosting overnight before you can serve
Can be expensive for larger dogs

Freeze Dried Dog Food or Air Dried Dog Food

Most “normal” kibble is a mash of food that’s extruded and cooked into the nuggets we’re all used to. But air-dried and freeze-dried kibbles, like the Freeze-Dried varieties offered by Open Farm dog food, or the “UnKibble” sold by Spot & Tango, are made of air-dried, raw ingredients that have been dried so that they’re shelf-stable. This means they’re made of high-quality—often human-grade—ingredients, but don’t take up freezer space like the “fresh” or raw meals.

Air-dried kibble is ideal for: 

Age: All ages

Breed: All breeds

Health considerations: Picky eaters, lots of dander

Pros Cons
Vegetables you can see in each meal More expensive than “regular” dry food
Most are made from human-grade ingredients
Convenience of storing at room temperature in a cabinet

Dry Dog Food (or Traditional Kibble)

Some dog food delivery companies make traditional dry food—the kind you’re used to—for subscription delivery. That doesn’t mean the food’s bad for your dog: All of these brands meet or exceed the AAFCO nutritional standards, and they use high quality ingredients in their food. Jinx, one of the best dry dog food delivery brands, starts their foods with salmon or organic chicken, then mixes in fruits and vegetables with oils and vitamins and minerals.

Kibble dog food is Ideal for:
Age: All ages

Breed: All breeds

Health considerations: Picky eaters, free feeding dogs, digestive and immune support

Pros Cons
High-quality ingredients Measuring is less precise than with pre-portioned meals
Grain-free options available More expensive than store-bought kibble
No fridge or freezer space required

Wet Dog Food

Some delivery brands make chunky, “stew”-type wet dog food. Like canned food, these meals can be stored in a cabinet, and don’t take up freezer or refrigerator space—and are more convenient for traveling. The best wet dog food is usually made with higher-quality ingredients than the canned stuff you grew up with: One example are the “Pantry Fresh” meals offered by JustFoodForDogs, which are cooked at low heat in their packaging without preservatives, making the meat-and-veggie meals able to be kept in a cabinet at room temperature for up to two years.

 

Wet dog food is Ideal for:
Age: All ages

Breed: All breeds

Health considerations: Digestive and immune support

Pros Cons
Convenience of shelf-stable food that requires no refrigeration Requires measuring to serve
Great for travel More expensive than store-bought wet food

Interested in dog food delivery? Check out our list of the top dog food delivery right here.