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Small Appliances

Meal delivery goes to the dogs with this Instant Pot partnership

Thought your Instant Pot was just for human food? Think again.

YaDoggie

It's your dog's turn to go crazy over the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. A dog food subscription company called YaDoggie  has teamed up with Instant Pot to create a line of ready-to-cook, pressure-cooker-ready meals for your pup. 

YaDoggie Fresh meals are available now as part of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. You'll be able to order the meal subscription on YaDoggie's website after the campaign ends. YaDoggie Fresh will start shipping in October in the continental United States.

yadoggie-fresh-2-packs

Because home-cooked food isn't just for humans.

YaDoggie

YaDoggie (pronounced "Yeah, doggie") Fresh will work a lot like meal kit subscription services for humans, including the cooking part. You subscribe to a meal plan for your dog and select how often you want to receive the meals. The company will send frozen, uncooked packaged meals made from "human-grade ingredients" including turkey, brown rice, carrots and wheat germ oil. 

YaDoggie designed its meals for you to cook in the Instant Pot: You dump the package of food into your electric pressure cooker and cook it for 20-30 minutes. When it's done, you'll have several days worth of food for your dog. YaDoggie is leaning into its partnership with Instant Pot, but you can cook these meals in other countertop cookers or on the stovetop. 

Instant Pot decided to work with YaDoggie after the company noticed that members of the Instant Pot Community on Facebook had discussed how to make food for their pets in the pressure cooker. And Instant Pot plans to expand its food partnership to people food. The company has also "begun to explore and are currently working with a number of food producers and retailers to create ingredients and a collection of Instant Pot meal kits," according to a spokesperson. That includes a recently launched partnership with Williams Sonoma that includes Instant Pot-branded meal starters

Each bag of YaDoggie Fresh food costs $15, and the company estimates that you'll need two bags each week for a 35-pound dog. Add in shipping, and you could spend $150 a month if you want to make YaDoggie Fresh the primary meal for your dog (you can also use the food as a topping on their kibble, which would require less food per serving). 

There are other companies, such as Ollie and The Farmer's Dog, that deliver fresh dog food to your door and have comparable prices to YaDoggie Fresh. What makes YaDoggie Fresh different is that you have to cook the food for your dog, whereas the other meal kits come ready-to-serve. Sol Lipman, YaDoggie's CEO and founder, said cooking for your dog is fulfilling for pet owners.

"When you cook for your dog, it creates a connection between you and your dog, who is your fur baby, and I think that's really important for pet parents," he said.

YaDoggie worked with a veterinary nutritionist to come up with the company's first two meal options: turkey and salmon. The ingredients for the YaDoggie Fresh meals sound better than a lot of people food. For example, the salmon formula contains wild atlantic salmon, sweet potato, brown rice, sesame oil, kale, mushrooms, baking powder, wheat germ oil and water. Add some quinoa, and that sounds like a $12 Buddha bowl. 

Lipman also said the fresh meals can help address the problem of overweight dogs. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 56 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. 

"We all need to have a renewed focus on keeping our pets super healthy," Lipman said. "They're members of our family. We wouldn't go cheap on our children, so why would we go cheap with our dogs?" 

We first learned about YaDoggie at CES 2018, where the company displayed its Bluetooth-connected kibble scoop and app that keeps track of who fed the dog so you don't accidentally overfeed your pet. A small light on the scoop will turn green if no one has picked up the scoop and connected with the app that day or red if the app has detected that someone has used the scoop. 

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YaDoggie Fresh subscribers will get the Bluetooth scoop, along with two meals, two bags of treats and a spare pot and sealing ring that go inside your Instant Pot (in case you want to cook human food and dog food in two different containers).

As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies -- in this case, Kickstarter -- to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.