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Ollie is a subscription-based pet food company that makes fresh, custom meals for your dog. Every recipe, formulated by a specialized veterinarian is free from preservatives, by-products, and artificial flavors. The food is gently cooked at low temperatures to preserve vital nutrients in every human-grade ingredient.
We signed up for the All Ollie plan and received 14 trays of the Hearty Beef Eats recipe. This was our first time trying Ollie, so our box also included a Welcome Kit which contained their food storage container, lid and serving spoon.
The food arrived on our doorstep, and upon opening the box, I found that all the food was still frozen. Ollie packs the meals with dry ice and a thick, insulated fiber. This protects the food during shipping and ensures it stays cold even if you aren't home at the time of delivery.
Inside the box, you'll see instructions and a customized feeding guideline for your dog. Ollie tells you how much to feed your dog per meal, how often to feed them and how many calories are in each meal.
I have a small 12-pound dachshund, and my feeding guidelines show that each meal for Rocket consists of 154 calories for a total of 308 calories per day.
How we test dog food
Bark and Biscuits uses five tests to grade dog food: The Quality Test, Sniff Test, Storage Test, Lifestyle Test, and Value Test. From there, each test receives either a green, yellow or red light. Here is our 2019 Ollie dog food review.
The Quality Test
The quality test evaluates the quality of the food, facility and inspection process that Ollie maintains.
Ollie offers four recipes: Healthy Turkey Feast, Hearty Beef Eats, Chicken Goodness, and Tasty Lamb Fare. Every recipe is formulated by a Veterinarian who specializes in pet nutrition, and each meal is guaranteed to meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards.
Meat is the primary ingredient and main source of protein in every recipe. Each of Ollie's farm partners undergoes a rigorous certification process, and their USDA-certified beef and chicken are humanely raised without any added hormones. The chicken, beef, and poultry come from family-run farms in the United States and the pasture-raised lamb comes from free-range farms in the United States and New Zealand.
Because Ollie doesn't use any supplements, every ingredient serves a nutritional purpose. They use a combination of meat, fresh vegetables, herbs and superfoods in their recipes. All of the meals are human-grade and mention on their website that you can eat their food.
RELATED POST: NOMNOMNOW FRESH DOG FOOD REVIEW
I gladly sampled the Hearty Beef Eats. The flavor, combined with the fresh aroma is mild and savory. Beef is the stand out ingredient, yet hints of vegetables come through. I can identify the different ingredients including sweet potato, peas, carrots, and spinach even though Ollie's food is finely ground. To preserve vital nutrients, Ollie doesn't overcook the ingredients which gives the food a crunchy texture.
Ollie makes their food in a USDA-approved, FDA-inspected facility located in New Jersey. They have a dedicated Ollie room in an SQF-level2 (Safe Quality Food) facility that also houses rooms for household brands you can find at your local grocery store.
In today's age, dog food recalls have become far too common. Ollie makes sure to test every single batch of food before it gets packaged and delivered to your door.
Quality Test Result: Green Light
The Sniff Test
I have never enjoyed the smell of kibble an often wonder what dogs and their 300 million olfactory receptors think.
I took a tray of the Hearty Beef Eats from my fridge and opened the package. Next, I brought the food under my nose and took a good sniff. Ollie's food smells just like real, human food – like something you would like to eat. It smells remarkably better than conventional kibble, and when I gave Rocket a choice between kibble or Ollie, he immediately chose Ollie.
Sniff Test Result: Green Light
The Storage Test
A common challenge with switching to a fresh food diet, whether it be Ollie, NomNomNow or PetPlate is storing the food. Kibble is easy, toss the bag in your pantry or garage, and most people don't think twice about it. With fresh food, people often wonder if they will have enough space in their fridge or freezer to store it amongst the family groceries.
The larger the dog, the more space the food will occupy. If you have more than one dog, you will need double the amount of space. On the other hand, if you have a small dog, it probably won't be much of an issue.
I was easily able to fit two weeks worth of food in my fridge and freezer without running out of space. I placed five trays in my fridge and nine trays in the freezer until ready to use. For a 12 pound dog, the amount of space needed in your fridge at any given time is about 7″ x 10″.
Your first box of food is considered your trial box and includes two weeks worth of food. By default, after the trial, your plan will be shipped every eight weeks. That is a more significant amount of food, and I would imagine, can be challenging for some households. If you are concerned about space, you can adjust the shipping cadence by logging in to your profile.
The storage test also evaluates the packaging. I found Ollie's packaging to be very easy to open. Sometimes fresh food can be very wet and splatter when you open it up, but this was not. The food is moist but not watery. Additionally, the food did not leak at all in the fridge, so there is no need to place it on paper towels or a tray.
At first, I wasn't sure if I would find the reusable storage container included in the welcome box useful. I certainly didn't want to add to the stack of mismatched Tupperware in my kitchen.
I ended up appreciating the storage container in which Ollie calls the “Pup-tainer.” Ollie includes two meals per packet, so without the Pup-tainer, I would end up putting the leftover food in a plastic ziplock which would be messy and wasteful. The Pup-tainer is designed to fit the food well and has a thick lid to keep your food fresh for up to four days.
Storage Test Result: Yellow Light
The Lifestyle Test
There are many benefits to feeding your dog a fresh food diet, but often, people don't have the time to cook every day for their dog. Moreover, curating balanced meals that provide vital nutrients for your dog can be difficult.
I find Ollie to be very convenient. Once you initially set up your account, Ollie automates everything for you. You don't even have to leave the house when you run out of food. In addition to hassle-free meal delivery, they take care of the busy work, so no need to go online and order more food when you are running low.
As with most fresh food companies, portability can be a challenge. The food requires refrigeration, so it's something you need to take into consideration if planning a trip.
On the occasion that you go on a road trip, you can place the food in a cooler packed with ice and switch it to the refrigerator when you reach your destination. It's nearly impossible to keep your dog on a fresh food diet if traveling by plane. I fly with Rocket quite often, so for this reason, I add a little kibble to his fresh food about two weeks before flying. That way, the kibble doesn't upset his stomach when I make the full switch while away from home.
Ollie helps to keep the planet healthy by providing packaging that is either recyclable, compostable, or made from recycled material. Furthermore, Ollie also donates at least 1% of company revenue to rescue organizations, so every meal your dog eats contributes to helping dogs in need.
Lifestyle Test Result: Green Light
Ollie costs more than kibble, and it's easy to see why. You are paying for real, natural ingredients, held to the highest human standards.
Kibble uses fillers, animal by-products and artificial flavors which are cheap and unhealthy. Many ingredients in kibble are linked to a myriad of conditions. It's inexpensive to buy but at what cost?
Many dogs suffer from food allergies, cancer, obesity, and other diseases. Just like humans, diet plays a significant role in your dog's overall health. Cheap kibble may not affect them in the short term, but in the long run, the implications can be very costly.
Ollie has a few options for different budgets. There are three plans to choose from: All Ollie, Mostly Ollie, and Some Ollie.
An All Ollie plan gives you 100% fresh food. Once you transition your dog off of kibble, your dog will get all of the health benefits of a freshly cooked diet. For a 12 pound dog, this plan is about $22.91/week.
A Mostly Ollie plan still gives your dog some of the benefits of a fresh food diet but is intended to mix with your dog's regular kibble. This plan costs about $16.23/week for a 12-pound dog.
Finally, a Some Ollie plan is great for picky eaters. You will get a small amount of fresh food to sprinkle on top of your dog's regular food. It supplements about 25% of your regular kibble. For a 12-pound dog, this plan is about $14.61/week.
Your dog's weight determines the price, so to find out your customized price, head to Ollie and create a profile for your dog.
Value Test Result: Green Light
I reached out to Ollie to find out what sets them apart from other dog food companies.
“Ollie was founded out of a mission to put healthy dog food in every bowl across America. In an industry that's ripe with recalls, we pride ourselves in the measures we take to ensure that all of our veterinary nutritionist-formulated recipes are healthy, safe, and delicious for our four-legged customers. We've built a trusting relationship with our customers by being transparent about our ingredients and cooking process. In fact, not only is our food sourced and made from human-grade ingredients, we test every single batch of food before it's delivered to your door. Many of Ollie's employees have ever eaten our food!”
Ollie only uses natural, human-grade ingredients. By making the switch to Ollie, you can expect fewer vet visits, increased energy, weight management, a shinier coat, and fewer allergies. The food is fresh, and it helps your dog live their healthiest life yet.