What Is It: NomNomNow, human-grade, restaurant-quality fresh dog food, delivered to your doorstep
Who Tried It: Spoon the Dog (@luvspoonie on Instagram), and Saryn Chorney, PEOPLE Pets editor
Level of Difficulty: 2 (eating it was easy for Spoon, but figuring out the right portions and arranging for delivery took a bit more effort)
Raise your hand if you’ve tried Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated or any other variety of home delivery meal kit.
Now, raise your paw if you’ve given your pup the same courtesy.
I can squarely place myself in both categories after fresh dog food company NomNomNow invited my dog Spoon (and I) to enjoy a month-long trial of its high-end, human-grade, restaurant-quality delivered-right-to-your-doorstep canine cuisine.
One look in Spoon’s puppy-dog eyes (and at her sad bowl of store-bought kibble), and I was on board to give it a try. A NomNomNow rep directed me to the brand’s website, where I filled out a short survey about Spoon, detailing her age, breed, weight, activity level and current dog food. The NomNomNow recipes were created by a practicing vet and clinical assistant professor of integrative veterinary medicine to provide balanced nutrition for all doggie life stages, and the portion sizes are tailored to your dog’s profile. The idea is to gradually wean your dog off of kibble and onto a steady, full-size portion of the freshly cooked meal packages over the course of a few weeks. (Note: There’s some leeway with this. While most customers make a complete switch to NomNomNow, I decided to keep Spoon on a partial kibble diet for a variety of reasons. NomNomNow was totally cool with making this adjustment for us, though the company has specific recommendations on how to implement this dietary shift healthfully.)
During my trial, the meals arrived in pre-sorted packets within an ice-filled cardboard box every Wednesday. Even if the box sat on my doorstep for half the day, the contents were still cold by the time I got home. Usually I’d unload a handful into the fridge and leave the rest in the freezer to gradually defrost over the course of the week until the next box showed up.
The first NomNomNow shipment offered Spoon a variety of recipes to try: Tasty Turkey Fare, Porkalicious Potluck, Chicken Chow-Wow, Egg and Veggie Medley and Heartland Beef Mash. Spoon loved them all, but I decided to go with the Heartland Beef Mash since it looked to have a very healthy mix of meat, vegetables (peas and carrots), potato and egg. For example:
For the first two weeks, Spoon got a quarter portion of NomNomNow and three-quarters kibble. Then, for the next two weeks, she got a half portion of the fresh food and a half portion of kibble. She seriously loved it and would excitedly pace while I prepared her meals, morning and night. She also licked the bowl clean and would pick it up in her mouth and carry it across the room to the rug, where she’d proceed to flip it over and lick the bottom just to be 100 percent sure she got every single last morsel. Mind you, she never did this routine with her regular, plain ol’ kibble.
As I mentioned earlier, NomNomNow will create a custom quote for your dog, but Spoon’s options ranged from 14 meals a month for about $30 to 56 meals at $140. I did the math and switching to a half-meal packet of NomNomNow daily (I’m serving her a quarter packet AM meal, quarter packet PM meal) plus her regular kibble adds up to approximately the same amount I paid for a full bag of kibble every week. I’m spending around $100-$120 per month on dog food now, which is pretty much the same as before. In sum, the kibble bags last twice as long and the NomNomNow mixed in makes the overall meal taste twice as good. (Note: The company approximates the meals cost about $3-$6/day depending on the weight and activity level of your dog.)
Since Spoon enjoyed her new and improved meals so much, I really couldn’t handle the dog mom guilt of putting her back on an all-kibble diet. She’s not a fussy girl; I know she’d be fine if I switched her back cold turkey. But she’s just so darn happy eating the NomNomNow.
Finally, the nitty-gritty info: Spoon’s poops for the past month have been mostly solid and easy to scoop, and her weight has remained consistent for her breed mix (Australian Cattle Dog and American Hound). Plus, she’s way less gassy now. In fact, I don’t think I’ve smelled a dog fart since she started her new meal plan! Smell ya later, all-kibble diet. NomNomNow is here to stay.