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Fresh pet food has been growing in popularity over the past decade, and more pet parents than ever are flocking to fresh options over processed dog foods. Due to frequent kibble recalls, concerned dog parents have shown interest in wholesome, homemade diets for their beloved pets. Fresh dog food, from companies like JustFoodForDogs (JFFD), is a healthier option for dogs, especially those who suffer from obesity, digestive issues, joint pain, and other ailments.

The conversion from kibble to fresh food for my dog took place in 2013. My Border Collie mix, named Indu, needed to manage her weight to alleviate hip dysplasia. She weighed 60 lbs and simple activities, like walks and going up stairs, were painful for her. I tried every commercial and veterinary-approved kibble I could find. When nothing worked, I opted for a homemade diet of boiled chicken, vegetables, and a few other ingredients. Within a year, she shed the excess weight and transformed into an energetic, thriving dog. Seven years later, Indu’s hip problems are a distant memory, and she bounds with joy like a puppy on our hiking trips. A simple switch in her diet changed my dog’s quality of life.

When I recently discovered JustFoodForDogs, I was relieved and excited to try it for Indu and my other dog, Andy. I admit, I was mostly looking forward to spending less time in the kitchen cooking for two dogs. But seeing how much they loved the meals from JustFoodForDogs, I am convinced that it’s the way to go from now on. It helps to know that JustFoodForDogs was recommended by nearly 16,000 veterinarians in a survey conducted by the National Research Business Institute. 

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about JustFoodForDogs and how it can change your dog’s life. 

What is JustFoodForDogs?

JustFoodForDogs, founded a decade ago, provides scientifically researched and veterinarian-developed meals using human grade ingredients designed to improve the quality of a pet’s life. The company offers meals formulated by veterinarians, including board-certified nutrition, dermatology, and toxicology experts. Specially prepared meals and treats include proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef, venison, and fish, as well as superfoods like sweet potatoes, blueberries, and spinach. These ingredients are known to improve skin and coat health, increase immunity and energy, reduce inflammation, address any allergic reactions, and generally help pets improve their health and live longer.

Pet parents can choose from a variety of meals, customize a diet, or receive a prescription diet based on their pet’s needs. These meals are cooked in two master kitchens and nine smaller kitchens that are open to the public in California, Chicago, New York, and Washington. 

Typically, pet food production is held to extremely low standards; processed pet food contains preservatives, dyes, starch, and even synthetic nutrients (not to mention diseased meat, poultry feces, and, in some cases, sawdust). This means you simply don’t know the safety and quality of the kibble you are feeding your dog, regardless of claims made on the packaging. With JustFoodForDogs, you know exactly what your precious pet is consuming. 

JustFoodForDogs Features

The ingredients that go into JFFD are held to very high standards. Each recipe includes USDA inspected and approved meats, as well as quality ingredients intended for human consumption; in fact, these ingredients are even supplied by the same farms that provide the food we eat at home and at restaurants. 

The driving factor that separates the company from similar fresh pet food brands is transparency. Food is prepared in open kitchens, allowing consumers to see exactly what they are bringing home to their pets. Additionally, JFFD is the only fresh food company to conduct independent feeding trials that meet and exceed Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) protocols. AAFCO is the organization that sets the nutritional standards for pet food. Meals are packed and sent right to your door in a box with eco-friendly Vericool packaging. Meals are also available at more than 200 pantries located within animal clinics, hospitals, Pet Food Express stores (California), and Petco stores nationwide. JFFD also sells on Amazon and ships to all 50 states. 

JustFoodForDogs Recipes and Meal Types

JFFD has a variety of meal and ordering options. See below for a breakdown of offerings: 

Fresh Frozen Daily Diets: There are six daily diets, plus a limited-time seasonal special option that changes each quarter. These fully-cooked meals can be served after thawing.  

  • Beef & Russet Potato 
  • Fish & Sweet Potato 
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni 
  • Chicken & White Rice 
  • Lamb & Brown Rice 
  • Venison & Squash 
  • Seasonal Special

Veterinary Support RX Diets: Pet parents can choose from eight support diets with a veterinary prescription. They include: 

  • Balanced Remedy 
  • Derm Support Fish 
  • Metabolic Support Low Fat 
  • Renal Support Moderate Protein 
  • Critical Care Support 
  • Hepatic Support Low Fat 
  • Renal Support Low Protein 
  • Joint & Skin Support 

Pantry Fresh Daily Diets: These diets do not require refrigeration and have a shelf life of up to two years:  

  • Beef & Russet Potato 
  • Lamb & Brown Rice 
  • Chicken & White Rice 
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni 

Do-It-Yourself Kits: Each DIY kit makes around 30 pounds of homemade food and includes a recipe, shopping list, nutrient blend, and feeding guidelines based on your dog’s caloric intake. These kits include:

  • Beef & Russet Potato 
  • Fish & Sweet Potato 
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni 
  • Chicken & White Rice 
  • Lamb & White Rice 
  • Venison & Squash

Variety Packs: Not sure JustFoodForDogs which recipe your dog will like best? Try them all and receive 50 percent off your first variety pack. Choose from:

  • Sampler Variety Box
  • Fresh Boost Variety Pack
  • Sensitive Skin & Stomach Variety Pack
  • Puppy Variety Pack
  • Healthy Weight Variety Pack
  • Pantry Fresh Sampler Variety Pack

Healthy Treats: There are seven different types of healthy treats, including chicken breast, beef liver bark, venison, salmon bark, chicken apple bark, beef brisket, and pumpkin.

Veterinary Supplements: These include Omega plus fish oil, calm, joint care, skin and allergy care, probiotic live, and joint care plus. 

Feline Diet: JustFoodForDogs also offers Feline Daily Diet (Fish and Chicken) and salmon bark Feline Treats. 

When you are ready to convert to fresh dog food, visit the JFFD website and take a quick online quiz to help you determine the type of diet and serving size that’s right for your pet. It takes less than five minutes and offers suggested meals and prices. Once your order is placed, a box containing your pet’s meals is shipped via FedEx.

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, JFFD shares all of its recipes online so pet parents can cook for their pets from scratch, using their own ingredients and JFFD’s recipe-specific Do It Yourself Nutrient Blends to ensure they are getting all of the nutrients required for long-term feeding.

Finally, for dogs with complex health issues, JFFD even offers meals customized to fit your dog’s specific needs for a one-time formulation fee of $250.

Putting JustFoodForDogs to the Test

The moment the JFFD box arrived, my dogs were curious and eager to try their new food. Indu, my oldest dog, grabbed the frozen Turkey meal packet right out of the box and brought it to her favorite spot. Of course, she’d have to wait to enjoy this delicious meal. 

As my dogs were already on a homemade diet of chicken (or turkey) and vegetables, moving to JustFoodForDogs didn’t take long. Normally, when transitioning from kibble to fresh whole food, pet parents should introduce the food to their dogs gradually, adding it to their old food and increasing the amount each day. For my dogs, the transition time was short. When the day came for them to eat a meal that was 100% JustFoodForDogs, my dogs couldn’t contain their excitement. Andy drooled in his spot with his tail wagging, while Indu began to counter surf to try and get to the food. (Of course, I don’t normally encourage this behavior, but I couldn’t deny her the joy). When I put down the food for them to eat, they happily chowed it down and licked their bowls clean. 

I received three meal packages: Chicken & White Rice, Beef & Russet Potato , and Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni. Each packet came with a clear list of ingredients. As someone who is particular about what I include in my dogs’ homemade diet, the transparency put my mind at ease. The plastic packaging easily peeled open like a tupperware top, and I was able to portion out the food into their bowls with ease.    

Each packet contained enough food for two to three meals for my mid-sized dogs. Since I’ve been giving them homemade food for years, I knew the right portions feed them. Those who are new to fresh food can use the calculator provided on the JFFD website. A 30 lb dog needs to consume 516 calories per day, with a serving size of 2 1/2 cups (or 14 oz) per day. 

Things We Like

  • I appreciate the transparency and quality of the fresh ingredients. 
  • I am impressed with the variety of meals JFFD offers, as well as how easy it is to customize a plan to fit your pet’s special dietary needs. A friend of mine was able to work with the JFFD nutrition team over the phone to create a specialized diet, then get it approved by her veterinarian and created for a one-time formulation fee. 
  • The meal packets are easy to store, defrost, and use. 
  • Customer service is top-notch. 
  • I love being able to feed my dog a variety of JFFD options with one of their sampler packs.
  • I haven’t tried the food long enough to share the impact of the fresh food, but I did not see any allergic reactions or any other side effects. 
  • After feeding the food for a few days, I didn’t notice anything different (as my dogs are already used to a homemade diet), but I was happy to provide them with something I knew was well-balanced and a welcome switch from their usual chicken and veggies. 

Things to Consider

  • The only potential negative is the plastic packaging, but even that can be cleaned and recycled.  

JustFoodForDogs: Our Verdict

It’s great to be able to provide my dogs with food that actually looks like real food. It’s comforting to know that a company like JFFD exists so pet parents who don’t have the time to cook from scratch can still provide their pets with nutritious and healthy meals. Both my dogs raced to their bowls when I gave them JFFD meals, and it was clear they enjoyed it immensely. The food also agreed with them, which is another plus that put my mind at ease. While there is a higher cost associated with fresh pet food, the health benefits it provides for my dogs make it well worth the investment. 

Like many pet parents, my dogs have different palates and prefer one food over another. With the new JFFD variety packs, I can let my dogs sample several different recipes. Whether your dog has a sensitive stomach or is a large breed, JFFD has a variety pack available, including a puppy variety pack. Customers receive 50 percent off their first variety box, which is a great savings to get started.