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Pet Plate reached out to me this summer asking if I’d like to test out their meal delivery service for my dogs in exchange for a review. Of course, I was thrilled to say yes! Pet Plate is one of several fresh dog food delivery services I’ve tested, and I am always excited to explore new food options.
What Is PetPlate?
PetPlate is a fresh-cooked, personalized, delivered dog food. I opted to try out four protein options for my highly active border collies: Barkin’ Beef, Lip-Lickin’ Lamb, Tail-Waggin’ Turkey, and Chompin’ Chicken.
The PetPlate website states that PetPlate offers “vet-designed recipes made with real ingredients in a human-grade kitchen.” Their stated goal is to expand your dog’s lifespan and improve his health through better nutrition.
PetPlate is a relatively new company; it started in 2016. As such, PetPlate has not yet done AAFCO feeding trials, although its food is formulated to meet AAFCO standards. PetPlate has gone through digestibility trails, the results of which can be found here. I’d love to see PetPlate go through with AAFCO feeding trials eventually.
Each of PetPlate’s entrees has a small blurb on its guaranteed analysis and ingredients. If you ask, PetPlate will also provide you with full nutritional profiles.
I love that PetPlate is designed by a veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Renee Streeter. Dr. Streeter has been on the PetPlate team from the beginning, helping to formulate fresh human-grade foods.
So far, PetPlate has never been recalled. It is produced in human-quality manufacturing plants.
Who is the Owner of PetPlate?
PetPlate was founded by Renaldo Webb, who graduated from MIT with a degree in physics. He was a consultant at McKinsey and worked as a consultant for some pet food companies before starting PetPlate.
Renaldo says he’s most motivated by loving his dog and the time they spend together as well as helping to fight the pet obesity epidemic. Renaldo and PetPlate were featured on SharkTank in 2016; they didn’t get any funding there but got funding from now-CEO Gertrude Allen. You can learn more about Renaldo Webb and the founding of PetPlate in this Forbes article.
If diversity and supporting black-owned businesses matter to you, PetPlate is one of your best options within the pet food space.
Is PetPlate Organic?
PetPlate entrees are not organic, although their dog treat options are! My dogs enjoyed the Chicken Apple bites, though they’re a bit difficult to break up as training treats.
I personally preferred training with the Joint Jumpin’ Mobility cookies. And knowing how active my dogs are, I always love mobility support!
Is PetPlate Raw?
PetPlate is lightly cooked to preserve nutritional value while reducing the handling and food safety difficulties of dealing with raw food. Personally I find lightly cooked, professionally-prepared meals to be my favorite sort of dog food!
Do Dogs Like PetPlate?
I’ll be honest: my dog Barley is such a hog that it’s impossible to really do taste tests with him. He eats everything, so it’s hard to say
Luckily, my younger dog Niffler is a bit pickier. He often takes 20-30 minutes to finish his breakfast and sometimes leaves some kibble in the bowl with his typical food.
But when I was testing out PetPlate, I saw a marked difference in Niffler’s enthusiasm for meals. When it got close to breakfast or dinner time, Niffler started following me around. As soon as I opened the fridge, Niffler ran to his crate to wait for me to feed him without being asked! He wolfed down the food and licked the bowl clean.
Niffler did this with all of the flavors we tried!
So yes, it’s safe to say that at least a couple dogs love PetPlate.
How Much Does PetPlate Cost?
PetPlate starts at about $2.50/day for toppers only for a small dog, but this varies based on the entree chosen and your pup’s size. $2.50/day comes out to a TOPPER budget of $75/month for a single smallish dog.
To feed my dogs full-time on PetPlate (two highly active border collies that are about 45 pounds each), I’d be spending closer to $22/day ($11/dog). This comes out to a whopping $660/month, which is significantly more than I pay to feed myself each month!
I could offer the pups a topper plan for $4/dog/day, coming out to a monthly cost of $240/month for toppers. Again, I have two highly active 45lb dogs.
Frustratingly, you can’t get a good estimate on PetPlate costs without giving PetPlate your email. I understand that they need information on your pet’s size and activity level to give an estimate, but I hate having to give over my email just to get price information.
Is PetPlate Sold in Stores?
Currently, PetPlate is mostly offered as a food delivery. However, PetPlate’s entrees are increasingly available at high-end and boutique pet food stores. I did a quick search on their store locator and found a bunch of options in Denver and Boulder (where I am now, but nothing within 250 miles of Missoula Montana (my main home base).
Check the store locator to see if you can get PetPlate from a store local to you. I love the idea of being able to purchase smaller quantities without worrying about shipping if you’d like to try out PetPlate.
How Do I Serve PetPlate?
My PetPlate shipment arrived in a huge cooled box. I put most of the boxes in my freezer, then thawed a couple in the fridge to feed my pups with right away.
PetPlate should be kept frozen until a couple days before feeding; then thaw in the freezer.
PetPlate is delivered in small containers that are formulated and weighed correctly for your dog, so it’s easy to avoid overfeeding. I love that!
Are There Downsides to PetPlate?
My biggest issue with PetPlate is around waste. While the plastic containers are recyclable, they’re still single-use plastic. I hate the idea of using that much plastic every single week for my dog, and that alone would stop me from permanently using PetPlate to feed my dogs.
Personally, I simply cannot fully endorse food that creates so much plastic waste.
The box and its insulation simply add to the waste. Again, I understand that much of this is recyclable – but I really focus on REDUCE, then REUSE if possible. Recycling is a last resort given how well-documented it is that recycling often doesn’t help the planet nearly as well as we’d like to think.
My other main issue with PetPlate is that you need a lot of freezer space. My entire freezer was taken up with PetPlate when my shipment first arrived, which was kind of annoying. If you have a spare freezer or don’t freeze much food, that might not be an issue. But for me, finding the freezer space was quite difficult.
Overall, I LOVE what PetPlate offers our pets and would feed it to my pets regularly if 1) I didn’t live in a van most of the year (no freezer), 2) I could afford it (it is pricey), and 3) there was a better solution to the recycling of plastic. I have no issues with the food – on the contrary, my dogs and I loved it.
Kayla founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant who’s worked with hundreds of private clients, thousands of shelter dogs, and dozens of working detection dogs. Kayla’s dog and cat behavior advice has been featured in NPR, the Chicago Tribune, and Pet MD. She’s an avid adventurer who is currently doing #vanlife on the Pan-American Highway with her two border collies and a cat. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams. You can get 1:1 advice with a Journey Dog Training team member here.