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If you're on the hunt for the best dog food delivery services in 2021 to keep your pup happy and healthy, your options are as plentiful as ever. Just like dogs, dog food subscriptions come in all shapes and sizes and many can be tailored for exactly the sort of kibble you seek for your four-legged companion. Fresh dog food has become quite popular and while some folks choose to whip up batches of dog chow at home, there are services that send preportioned servings of fresh pet food made with human-grade ingredients -- so you can spend more time playing fetch and less time worrying about Fido's next meal.

Beyond fresh food, these services will curate organic dry food, canned wet food and even specialty and diet dog food if your pet has strict nutrition requirements. There's also cost to consider and the best dog food delivery service is one that marries the right type of dog food at a price that doesn't throw your monthly budget out of whack. Ordering pet food online -- even the high-quality stuff -- doesn't need to be expensive. With so many options for ordering dog food and pet supplies over the web, it's good to go into your search armed with some information about what each subscription service or dog food supplier offers and why it might make sense for you -- and that's exactly what we're here to do. The below is an outline of the burgeoning category along with some of the best dog food delivery options to try in 2021. The good news is most of these dog chow subscription services let you try it out risk-free for a short stint and cancel if it's not a good fit.

Why dog food delivery has become so popular

If you shop online for dog supplies, you've likely noticed a serious spike in the number of internet vendors, including ones that sell pet supplies and dog food. Chewy.com is still the largest of them all. No, seriously, you can buy just about anything for your pooch via this Amazon-esque pet marketplace including dog food subscriptions. But there are also some really wonderful, small startups that offer exceptional, prepared dog chow -- fresh and otherwise -- along with other various offerings for Fido.

Dog food delivery has become very popular over the past couple of years and especially during the pandemic, for reasons that may be obvious. When you order dog food online, you'll get more choices than at most brick-and-mortar stores. You also have the convenience of not having to lug that heavy kibble to the car and home. You can also do a bit more price comparing when you use online dog food delivery since there are dozens of online retailers and many of them carry the most popular brands. 

From the menu options and ingredients to pricing, available accessories and add-ons, these dog food delivery outfits run the gamut, which is why we're here to help you find the very best dog food delivery service in 2021. 

Read more: Best gourmet dog treats to buy online

Different types of dog food delivery

Before we doggy paddle into the deep end of pet food delivery services, you should know that your subscription options in 2021 go far beyond dry kibble or canned chow. There are custom blends, organic pet food, fresh dog food, raw dog food and even cook-at-home dog food -- like meal kits but for making kibble. Basically, there's a dog food delivery company out there that can meet any canine's dietary demands. That said, it's good to know what you're looking for and what's best for your dog given its breed, age and other factors. If you're not sure, have a chat with your vet and let them know some of the dog food subscriptions you've been considering and what you're leaning towards.

Do you want to serve your furry pal raw or fresh dog food, for instance? Try the Farmer's Dog. Perhaps grain-free, wet dog food or dry kibble makes the most sense. There are plenty of options for those too. Do you need food for a puppy or a special recipe for an adult dog? Maybe you want to feed them homemade dog food, or is canned food is better for your schedule. It goes even deeper than that: If your dog prefers chicken, beef, fish flavors or fresh dog food made with brown rice and sweet potato, you can find it. Some dogs have allergies, so there are dog meal delivery services that will account for that too. All these factors can be addressed by dog food subscription services for a nutrition-focused pet parent looking to get the absolute best quality dog food delivered at home. 

Specialty dog food delivery 

Most of the fresh dog food delivery services use natural ingredients, and many can be tailored to your pup's dietary needs. In many cases, you can buy dog food online that's developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and without "anti-nutrition" fillers like corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives. There are plenty of fresh, unprocessed dog food options and even raw dog food options for the pickiest of pets and those keeping their canine companion on a special diet. 

We're certainly not here to make sweeping statements on what type of dog food is best -- we'll leave that to the experts -- but rather to relay your options for buying dog food online. When you do determine which type of chow is the best for your best friend, you can find the delivery service that will best match your needs. 

The best dog food delivery is one that fits your budget

There are also considerations to be made regarding how much dog food delivery costs. As you may have guessed, some of these custom, gourmet dog food services get mighty expensive, but there are also some cheap dog food delivery services that will still deliver quality chow -- some starting at as little as $1 per day. There are some big deals on dog food delivery too if you know where to look (don't worry, we do). So read over these fresh dog food delivery service options carefully as many, including Spot and Tango, Chewy and NomNomNow, have big first-time order discounts -- some as much as 50% off your total cart or first order. 

So then, for picky eater dogs, dieting dogs, older dogs, young dogs, big dogs and your little dog, too: These are the best dog food delivery and pet food subscription services. Note that we haven't personally used all of the services listed; our determinations are based on the differences outlined below and the specific offerings of each. With that in mind, these are the suggestions we'd make to our family and friends, based on our research. We continue to update this list periodically. 

Read more: Best meal delivery service for humans in 2021

Gary Gerard Otten/Spot and Tango

This dog food delivery service is for the discerning dog owner who's all about those farm-to-table meals and the health and well-being of their doggo. Spot and Tango's human-grade fresh dog food is made from locally farmed ingredients in New York, in small batches with no artificial additives, preservatives or fillers in the chow. With those standards, it's no wonder it landed on our list of best dog food delivery in 2021.

The fresh dog food recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists and come in preportioned packages (determined by your pup's weight, age and lifestyle) that are vacuum-sealed for freshness. The dog food arrives frozen and just needs to be defrosted before serving. Every pet parent gets 50% off their first order of dog food and has a two-week trial period to test whether this meal delivery service works. If you decide to cancel in that time period, you'll get your money back.

Frequency and pricing: Weekly delivery; $2 per meal and up, depending on your dog's weight, age and breed. You can snag 50% off your first box of fresh dog food with promo code CNET50.

The Farmer's Dog

Another fresh dog food delivery service, this popular startup was an easy pick for our list of best pet food to order online. 

Dogs have unique dietary needs and The Farmer's Dog gets that: You wouldn't feed a Chihuahua the same amount of dog food as you would a Newfoundland, for instance, which is why The Farmer's Dog creates a personalized profile and diet for your dog based on breed, age, activity level, ideal weight and sensitivities. The service also makes adjustments to your dog food plan as needed. The Farmer's Dog uses human-grade fresh ingredients to create easy, ready-to-serve meals for your dog -- all you have to do is open the package and let your pooch dig in.

Frequency and pricing: Choose your ideal frequency of food delivery anywhere between every two and 12 weeks; $16 to $90 per week based on dog size. Farmer's Dog is offering 60% off your first purchase, too.

Nom Nom

It's pretty universally accepted that fresh food is better for you than processed food and many pet owners believe the same holds true for pet food. If you prefer to feed your furry friends fresh meals, Nom Nom is the closest you can get to homemade dog food delivered to your door. The company sends you perfectly portioned, fresh pet food made from restaurant-quality ingredients and tailored to your dog's size, age and weight making it a solid pick as one of the best dog food delivery services for 2021. 

Nom Nom currently offers four fresh pet food recipes for dogs and two for cats, as well as supplements and treats. Other fresh dog food companies send meals in bulk containers, which can be messy, but Nom Nom packs them individually for less fuss at mealtime.

Frequency and pricing: Weekly, biweekly or monthly deliveries; $49 to $328 per month for dogs, depending on dog size. For cats, food plans range between $245 to $256. Sign up now and you'll save 50% on your first order.

Pet Plate

If you're looking for affordable dog food that's still a cut above the kibble you'll find in the grocery store, Pet Plate is worthy of a closer look. With plans starting at as little as $1 per day, Pet Plate offers balanced fresh dog food recipes with all the right nutrients for a good diet, designed by vets. 

The company uses USDA meat and fresh food to create precooked, preportioned meals for feeding your pup, so all pet parents have to do is open the container and plate up the food for their dog. There are four different fresh dog food recipes available -- chicken, beef, turkey and lamb -- and you can even heat the food up in a microwave if your dog prefers their chow warm.

Frequency and pricing: Weekly dog food plans start at just $1 to $19 per day, depending on your dog's health, age, weight and breed. Right now you can save 50% off your first order of meals and treats at checkout.

Chewy

If it's the largest selection of dog food to have delivered you're looking for, Chewy is essentially the Amazon of pet products. This online retailer carries a huge variety of chow such as quality dry dog food, human-grade puppy eats, doggy treats and other supplies for all types of animals -- not just dogs. With automatic shipments and subscriptions of your go-to pet food and supplies, there's no more worrying about running out of kibble -- or potty pads or heartworm medicine or whatever, and you'll save 5% to 10% on select brands when you opt in. Chewy is also known for its top-notch customer service, which is available online 24/7. If you need pet supplies of any kind, there's a good chance it's available on Chewy.

Frequency and pricing: Choose your own frequency; pricing depends on what products you order. Take 30% off the first time you order and free shipping on any order over $49.

PetFlow

Like Chewy, PetFlow is an online marketplace dedicated to all things pets, not just pet food. It caters to cats and dogs, and you can choose to have products, including fresh, dry or canned dog food, automatically shipped to you on a recurring schedule so that you never run low on food, treats or other supplies for Fido. Get all your favorite brands of dry food, canned food and other pet products. Plus, for every order shipped, PetFlow donates a bowl of food to animal shelters, so it's a purchase you and your dog can feel good about.

Frequency and pricing: Choose your ideal frequency anywhere from every two to 16 weeks; the price depends on the products you choose. Try it for 15% off your first order or 30% off your first autoship order with promo code AUTO30.

Ollie

Ollie is another popular option for fresh dog food delivery that caters to your dog's diet and individual needs. It'll provide you with recommended doggie meals and portions based on your pup's age, weight and health. You'll get deliveries of four vet-formulated recipes made with fresh, human-grade meat, vegetables and supplements. Oh, and Ollie offers healthy dog treats, too.

Frequency and pricing: Biweekly or monthly; $9 to $42 per week. Receive 50% off your first box of dog food and treats.

BarkBox

Like to treat your pup? This monthly themed collection of toys and treats is a fun surprise for both of you. In each box, you'll get two toys, two full-size bags of treats and a chew, all made in the US or Canada. None of the treats contain wheat, corn or soy, and if your dog has food allergies, you can choose a box that's free of turkey, chicken and beef. Further customization is available if you chat with a customer service rep. If your dog is tough on toys, you might want to upgrade to the Super Chewer option, but in either case, another fun bonus is that the company will send your buddy a birthday present -- because you truly cannot spoil your dog too much.

Special deal: Double your first box for free when you order a multimonth subscription.

Frequency and pricing: Monthly delivery; $22 to $29 a month, depending on length of subscription.

BoxDog

Think of BoxDog as a subscription of fun treats and accessories for your four-legged pal. The boxes, which come every three months, contain four bins of curated, handmade dog snacks (cookies, chews and more), one vegan skincare item and two items of your choosing from a list of dog gear, gadgets and toys. Choose from a selection of squeaky rubber or plush toys, warm dog jackets or stylish bandanas. You can also buy unique dog treats and toys a la carte including dog cigars or "puparillos," peanut butter bacon dog cookies or a doggie backpack.

Frequency and pricing: Boxes come quarterly and start at $40 each but you can add an extra toy or piece of dog apparel for just $10 per box. If you order one right now, BoxDog will include a $40 gift. 

Sundays Food for Dogs

We know, we know. This sounds like, well, a lot. Perhaps it is but if you're looking to really spoil Spot at mealtime, this brand of vet-developed dog food is the way to do it. Sundays is made like jerky, using USDA meats that are dried to preserve nutrients and with no added fillers like wheat, corn, soy or gluten of any sort. A 40-ounce bag costs $75, which isn't cheap, but if you subscribe for monthly shipments you'll save 20%.

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