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I recently had the opportunity to try two food flavors from
Grocery Pup, a fresh dog food delivery service (check out our top picks for the best dog food delivery services). Grocery Pup is different from their competitors for two main reasons: they cook the dog food sous vide (more on why that’s a good thing later), and they offer their food a la carte so you can try it before signing up for regular deliveries.
My dog Scruffles is the perfect candidate to try new types of dog food: he’s a little bit picky and won’t just eat everything put in front of him, but he’s not so picky that it wouldn’t be fair to the food he’s reviewing. He also has a strong digestive system and rarely has loose stool, so I don’t worry too much about new foods making him sick.
Even though I received free samples of this food, my review is going to be as honest as possible to help you decide whether you should try it for your dog. Ready for my full review? Here we go!
Fresh Dog Food Delivery? What is That? What are the Benefits?
For years, the two main types of dog food were kibble or canned. In the last ten years or so, raw diets have become increasingly popular. But what if you want something healthier than kibble without the contamination risk of raw?
Cooking your dog’s food yourself ensures the quality of the ingredients, but it’s time-consuming, and it can be difficult to get the right balance of nutrients. Fresh dog food delivery brings home-cooked meals with the perfect mix of ingredients right to your door on a regular schedule.
Fresh dog food delivery companies send you food anywhere from once a week to once a month based on how much your dog needs. It’s usually frozen, and you keep most of it in your freezer, just pulling out how much you need the day before you feed it to your dog and thawing it out in the fridge.
That means your dog has a steady supply of food that’s home-cooked quality with the convenience of regular deliveries.
As you can imagine, having food made from premium ingredients and no preservatives delivered to your door can be a little on the expensive side, especially if you have one or more large dogs. It’s up to you to decide if your budget can handle it. Many people choose to supplement fresh dog food delivery with kibble to add nutrition to their dog’s diet but keep costs more manageable.
What is Grocery Pup?
Grocery Pup is a fresh dog food delivery company that cooks all their food using sous-vide cooking, which helps the food retain both nutrients and flavor. All the ingredients are mixed and vacuum sealed into one-pound packages, cooked, then frozen and sent straight to your door.
Grocery pup offers 3 different food flavors (Turkey Pawella, Bitchin’ Beef Stew, and Porky’s Luau), one of which (Bitchin’ Beef Stew) is grain-free. You can choose just one or a combination of flavors for your pup.
While most fresh dog food delivery services force you to sign up for a delivery plan, Grocery Pup has a la carte options which allow you to try the food before committing to a regular delivery schedule.
The Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking
Sous vide is a style of cooking found in upscale restaurants where ingredients are vacuum sealed in a plastic bag and cooked at low temperatures for a long time. All the juices produced during the cooking process stay in the bag, which produces the juiciest flavors possible.
Grocery Pup cooks their food at 160° for nearly 2 hours using a sous vide cooking style. Each one-pound package of food retains more nutrients and flavor than food made from any other cooking style. That means it’s both healthier and tastier for your pup.
While some other fresh dog food delivery companies send out portions specific to your dog, that would be inefficient with the sous-vide cooking, which is why Grocery Pup’s portions all come in one-pound frozen bricks.
How Did the Food Arrive?
As a writer, I get to work from home, so I was able to get my package right away without worrying about it sitting on my doorstep for hours in blazing heat. With that being said, the one-pound blocks of food were FROZEN when I opened the box, as was most of the dry ice in the box.
Maybe if you live in an area that sees triple-digit temperatures and you don’t have any shade on your porch, you would need to worry, but most people should feel comfortable that the food will still be frozen when you get home from work.
The package arrived when I was eating my lunch, and despite keeping the first package of food in my refrigerator for 7 or 8 hours first (I started with the Turkey Pawella Flavor), it was still completely frozen when I pulled it out to add it to Scruffles’ dinner kibble. I was able to fork out a little bit of food though, with some effort.
Scruffles didn’t seem to mind that it was still half-frozen – he DEVOURED the food, shoving kibble out of the way to get to the good stuff.
How do You Know How Much to Feed Your Dog?
Grocery Pup includes this sheet in the box indicating how much food to give your dog (assuming it’s the only food you feed).
Since Scruffles is tiny, I figured he needed about 1/3 of a patty per day. Trying to split that in half and estimate 1/6 of a one-pound patty was interesting, and I would probably need to spend some time getting the portions just right for him to neither gain nor lose weight. Luckily, with larger dogs, you’re mostly dealing with half or whole patties.
Obviously, if you’re adding this to your dog’s kibble (you should always transition your dog to a new food slowly, anyway), then you would add less than the recommended amount of food.
What Does it Look and Smell Like?
You can actually see the flakes of meat and pieces of vegetables in the food, which I appreciate. I could identify carrots and peas in the Turkey Pawella recipe and sweet potato and green bean chunks in Porky’s Luau.
So far I’ve tried one package of each of the two flavors I received, and the Porky’s Luau flavor was MUCH juicier than the Turkey Pawella – which could be a good thing, but it sure made a mess. I tried to keep the food in its original package shoved into a plastic bag, but the juice just got everywhere.
Next time, I’ll probably put the food into a plastic container before divvying it up to save more of the juice and get it into Scruffles’ bowl rather than all over my hands and countertop.
The smell isn’t good enough that I’m tempted to try the food myself, but it wasn’t so revolting that I gagged. If you’re extremely sensitive to smells, it may bother you, but I think most people will be fine with it.
Did my Dog Like it?
Scruffles LOVES this food. Most of the time, I keep Scruffles on premium kibble supplemented freeze-dried raw meat and fresh vegetables. He eats it willingly, but he doesn’t go crazy over it. I recently tried switching him to freeze-dried raw food, and he liked that a little more, but he didn’t cry for it.
As soon as he sees me pull the package of Grocery Pup out of the fridge, he starts crying and dancing. I adopted him nearly a year ago, and he’s NEVER done that for his food before, so it’s easy to say that this is his favorite thing that I have ever fed him. He seems to like the Turkey Pawella slightly better than the Porky’s Luau, but not by much.
He likes this food so much that he gulps it so fast, I’m worried about him choking on it. He’s never scarfed his food like that before. If I were to keep him just on this food, I would probably buy a
slow-feeder bowl to slow him down a little bit. I’m going to start adding his kibble back in now that the taste test is over, and I’m hoping that will encourage him to chew more.
With that being said, since big dogs are prone to bloat and gulping food can contribute to bloat, that would be my one concern about recommending a food like this for large breed dogs. Plan ahead and figure out a way to slow down their eating if you want to switch to a food like Grocery Pup.
How Did My Dog Handle the food?
When I transitioned Scruffles to the Turkey Pawella first, he didn’t have any digestive issues at all. He already has good poop, so I didn’t notice an improvement, but it didn’t get worse, either. He did have some diarrhea the first day I switched him to the Porky’s Luau, but he’d had a lot of stress and ice cream the previous day, so I can’t attribute the diarrhea to the food. His bowel movements were back to normal the next day.
How Much Does Grocery Pup Cost?
If you sign up for a regular delivery plan, average costs for large dogs run in this general price range:
75-88 lbs – $80/week full plan, $40/week partial plan
62-74 lbs – $$72.50/week, $36.25/week
52-61 lbs – $65/week, $32.5/week
A la carte pricing options are 2 three-pound bags of the same flavor for $69.97 or 3 three-pound bags (one of each flavor) for $89.
Will I Keep My Dog on Grocery Pup?
I live alone, and I don’t make Steven King money as a freelance writer, so $67.50 per month for my 9-pound dog is a little out of my price range to feed him Grocery Pup all the time. However, I might splurge on a couple of bags a la carte once in a while if I have a super productive week so I can supplement his kibble with it from time to time.
Final Thoughts: Do I Recommend Grocery Pup?
If you can afford it and your dog doesn’t have any food allergies, then I would definitely recommend Grocery Pup (as long as you have a way to slow down your dog’s eating to prevent bloat). The ingredients are high-quality, it seems nutritious, and my dog is excited about eating for the first time since I got him, so it clearly tastes AMAZING.
Not everybody can afford fresh dog food delivery, especially if you have one or more large dogs, but if this type of food is in your budget for your pets, then it might be the best way to feed your dog.
Trial Offer: Grocery Pup is offering Canine Weekly readers the following discounts (and a small affiliate commission to us) when clicking the corresponding links. Just be sure to enter the discount code at checkout. You May Also Like… The 5 Best Fresh Dog Food Delivery Services for 2019 Raw vs Kibble: Which Dog Food Diet is Best? 10 Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Large Breed Dogs