My PetPlate Review
PetPlate is a subscription service that delivers freshly made dog food right to your doorstep.
- PetPlate meals are all designed by a veterinary nutritionist.
- All food is made from human-grade ingredients.
- The pet food is freshly cooked, rather than sitting on a pet store shelf for weeks or even months.
- Food is customized to your dog so you're feeding the right amount, rather than over- or under-feeding your pooch.
- The food smells exactly like dog food, which can be a turn-off.
- Food arrives in plastic containers. Although they're recyclable and have a lid which makes them reusable, the amount of plastic can pile up quickly.
ACTIVE DEAL: 50% off your first order.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
When it comes to feeding my three pooches, I spend a lot of time researching pet foods and trying to make sure their munchies are healthy and tasty too. For years I even made my own dog food, but doing it two times a week is a lot of work, so I was excited to try PetPlate — a subscription service that makes fresh food for your dog and ships it right to your door!
All About PetPlate
How PetPlate Works
PetPlate turns human grade ingredients sourced from USDA-certified farms and creates fresh dog food using recipes formulated by a veterinary nutritionist. The fresh meals are flash frozen and shipped directly to your home in dry ice, ready to be defrosted and fed to your dog. The meals can also be frozen for longer keeping, and the subscription service will deliver new food as often as your pet needs it.
What are the PetPlate Subscription plans?
PetPlate offers two different subscription plans for dog owners.
Full Meal Plan:
- Customized to your dog's breed, weight, activity level, and more.
- Delivered every two weeks.
- 100% of your dog's caloric needs.
- 25% of your dog's caloric needs.
- Meant to supplement other dog food.
- Contains fewer containers of food than the full meal plan.
How much food you actually get will depend on information you give PetPlate about your dog's breed, weight, activity level, and waist line, among other details, and it will all arrive frozen on your doorstep — ready to be defrosted for feeding time or popped in the freezer!
What flavors does PetPlate offer, and how much do they cost?
PetPlate knows that every dog has different tastes, and they offer four different meats to satisfy your pooch:
- Chompin' Chicken
- Barkin' Beef
- Tail Waggin' Turkey
- Lip Lickin' Lamb
Each flavor is the same price, with costs starting at $2.85 a day for PetPlate's Full Meal Plan and $1.11 a day for their Topper Plan, and dog owners can mix and match to give their dogs some variety or opt to stick to just one flavor.
Where does PetPlate ship and how much does it cost?
One-day shipping is free on all PetPlate orders to the 48 states in the contiguous US.
How long will PetPlate meals stay fresh?
PetPlate ships its meals frozen, and when they arrive at your home, the brand recommends immediately freezing or refrigerating them. Because PetPlate meals are freshly cooked before they're sent to you, meals that have been defrosted will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For frozen food, check the "best by" date on the bottom of the plastic tub.
Does PetPlate customize meals?
Yes! PetPlate bases its meals on the information you give them about your dog including their breed, current weight and ideal weight, age, gender, and even whether or not they've been spayed or neutered. The brand also provides a recommendation right on each container, which tells you how much to feed your dog to ensure they get a healthy amount of eats.
My PetPlate Review
With three dogs in my house, I opted to plan my PetPlate around my middle dog, a mixed breed who weighs about 50 pounds. We feed our two oldest dogs together, while the third eats alone in her crate, so I knew that whatever I chose would have to work for both of my oldest dogs. Because they eat the same amount of food, and are relatively close in size and activity level, I knew that using my mutt as a guide would provide us with something we could feed to both dogs. Besides, she's also incredibly sweet and could always use a treat or two!
Unboxing My Order
PetPlate is currently running a partnership with Paw Patrol, so I admit I was confused when the brand's box showed up on my doorstep. Had someone accidentally dropped off a load of toddler toys? The confusion quickly went away when I spotted the huge PetPlate logo, however, and I have to admit the cartoon pups are awfully cute!
The box was on the heavy side, but upon opening, I realized that was because the brand had packed dry ice in boxes to keep all the food cold (and the "Dry Ice Here, Paws Off" warning was a cute touch!). They'd also packed my tubs of food in several boxes to make sure none of the food spilled out in shipping.
Here’s what I found inside:
14 tubs of Chompin' Chicken
I opted for the brand's Chompin' Chicken, as they were already on a chicken-based food, and it would cause the least upset as we transitioned from one type of food to another. We've been fairly lucky with our dogs over the years, as none have been particularly picky, so I was most concerned about tummy upset! The folks at PetPlate make note of this in the insert you get in your box too — they walk you through the transition process and recommend starting slowly by mixing PetPlate with your dog's current food and gradually increasing the amount of PetPlate in the mix. For the first few days, they say PetPlate should make up ¼ of each meal.
As it turns out, my PetPlate order arrived just a few days before we left for a short vacation, which meant my dogs headed to the kennel for their own vacation. I opted to split my PetPlate in half, defrosting some to feed them immediately and freezing the rest. This way I go to see how it held up over time. The good news? The food that we thawed a week later looked just as good, and we had no problems defrosting it.
Of course, the big question of the hour: what did my dogs think of Chompin' Chicken? Not surprisingly, both pups were very happy to chow down — or should I say chomp? — on their fresh dinners. The brand suggests warming the food, which you can do in the microwave (the plastic tubs are microwaveable), but out of curiosity, we tried feeding them both warmed food and food fresh from the fridge. In truth, it didn't seem to make a difference to my hungry pups, who licked the bowl clean either way.
Not only did they lick their bowls, they licked the floor too... just in case any morsels had slipped out (no, I'm not kidding). It's safe to say they LOVED their PetPlate.
1 PetPlate Feeding Guide
The insert that's included in the PetPlate box offers a ton of helpful hints on feeding, like how to make the transition from your regular dog food to PetPlate. They also map out what you should expect when you're feeding your dog PetPlate. The promise of "better poops" definitely gave me a chuckle!
What I Loved
PetPlate takes a ton of information about your dog, and uses it to recommend how many calories they should be getting per day. You definitely don't get that kind of individualized plan with store-bought dog food which is generalized for every dog.
Each container of food comes with a guide on the side that says how much to feed your pooch based on PetPlate's calorie suggestion, and in case you forget the caloric suggestion PetPlate made during the ordering process online, they remind you on the invoice that comes in your box! This was especially important to me, as I'm very careful with my dogs' weight, since two are breeds that can easily pack on the pounds, and the third has hip dysplasia, a condition that requires you keep your pup on the thin side to reduce strain on the hips.
Although I had no problem making my own dog food for my pups, I can tell you it was a LOT of work. Like PetPlate, I was using human grade ingredients, but I was having to do everything from buying the ingredients to prepping them to the actual cooking to storing the food away in the fridge. After a few years of doing this twice a week, I was exhausted. Getting the same sort of food delivered right to my doorstep without me having to lift a finger? That was blissful!
I've bought wet dog food in the past, and I always check expiration dates. But let's face it: you have no idea how long that stuff has been sitting on a store shelf or on a factory floor before that. Knowing PetPlate's food comes straight from the kitchen to my house is a big relief!
I've spent years reading about what goes into commercial dog foods, and while there's certainly a lot of misinformation out there (even the American Kennel Club has had to debunk some doggie food myths), there is also a lot of scary stuff that can end up your pup's belly. PetPlate is very open about its ingredients, printing them right on the side of the container, and I actually took the time to look them all up. Each and every one is absolutely find for your pets!
What I Didn't Like
If the smell of wet dog food is not your cup of tea (and really, is it anyone's?), the PetPlate smell is not going to be your favorite thing. I have to admit this is tougher on me because I'm a vegetarian, so I certainly had a more visceral reaction than my meat-eating husband.
I also fully admit this is really how every wet dog food smells!
The Plastic Tubs
I try to reduce our waste and recycle, so watching plastic tubs pile up on my countertop made me feel bad about my carbon footprint. I can't imagine getting more! Of course, buying wet dog food from the store means a ton of containers too — and they're usually cans that you can't reuse. At least each tub comes with a lid, and I've washed each one out to be used to store odds and ends.
Here's what PetPlate has to say about their packaging — it's all recyclable including the box, liner, containers, container holders, and dry ice holder.
My Verdict - Is PetPlate Worth It?
Overall, PetPlate was extremely easy for me as a pet owner to dish out to my dogs, and it's hard to beat the convenience of having fresh dog food show up on your doorstep. That coupled with the freshness and safety of the ingredients definitely has me considering a full-time subscription.
Price and Value
Prices for PetPlate range pretty widely depending on your dog's intake needs, and that means it can get quite expensive — plugging in different dog breeds and weights, we saw the price go up to as much as $8 a day to feed a pup. Compared to commercial dog food, that's pretty pricey. Then again, commercial dog food isn't being custom-made for your pup, and it's not particularly fresh. When you put PetPlate up against other dog food subscription boxes, the playing ground is more level, and the brand is right on par with its competitors when it comes to pricing.
This is where PetPlate really jumps out as something I'd consider adding to my life as a dog owner. It was a relief to get freshly cooked meals for my pups that I didn't have to cook. Add in the fact that you can pop PetPlate in the freezer for longer life, and this is seriously perfect for dog owners who want something super healthy for their dogs without having to do all the work themselves.
Knowing that PetPlate's plans are designed by a veterinary nutritionist — who hails from Cornell, the veterinary school that saved one of my dogs' life a few years back — was a huge weight off my mind. Combined with the fact that the food is fresh and ingredients are all human grade, plus the way PetPlate customizes deliveries based on your actual pup, this is a great option for health-conscious pet owners. I could also see it being a great option for pet owners who have gotten the edict from their vet that they need to put their pup on a diet. Of course, you should talk to your vet before making any dietary changes — and that's actually something PetPlate advises too!
You can try PetPlate for yourself here:
ACTIVE DEAL: 50% off your first order.
Have you tried PetPlate? Head to the comments section and let us know!