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I Fed My Dogs Freshly-Made Food for 30-Days – Here’s What Happened

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on April 9, 2019

You and I have something in common. I guarantee it. We both love dogs, and we both want what’s best for them. On this latter point, I decided to start looking at healthy, freshly-made food options for my pups. But let’s face it – as much as I love them and want what’s best for them, I just don’t have time to cook homemade meals for them every day. For those of you that make this happen, I applaud you. But for the rest of us, I wanted to see if there was an option. A healthy, easy option. Delivered to my door.

I currently feed my dogs Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food. The ingredients seem to be mostly healthy.  They have a good record without recalls. I feel like it’s a well-balanced food for them. I’m sure everyone will have an opinion about my choice, but this is what I feed my pups. But I know it’s not the best.

Just being lazy like good dogs

So I started doing some research online for companies that prepare freshly-made food for dogs – sort of like Home Chef for humans. I was surprised to find a handful. Some of the criteria I used to narrow down my search were:

The Search Criteria

  1. Quality Ingredients (transparency) – Do I understand the ingredients list? Is every ingredient there for a reason AND beneficial to my pup? Is it all sourced here in the USA?
  2. Recipes – Will this be food my dog will like? Are there options for dogs with allergies, like gluten-free?
  3. Track Record – Have there been any recalls or health scares associated with the food/company?
  4. Price – Pricing for all the home delivery dog food services was comparable. I can tell you that for Nom Nom and the other companies, the price will depend upon how much your dog weighs and activity levels. Nom Nom is great because they offer price breaks if you order bi-weekly or monthly, as opposed to weekly.
  5. Convenience – Home delivery is key. Plus, I don’t want to measure food – pre-portioned, individual meals are key.

With this in mind, I finally came to the conclusion that Nom Nom checked all the boxes. They had great sounding recipes based on the pictures (which also turned out to be real – see the video), they seemed to be the most transparent. The recipes are all formulated and tested by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist – NOT just a vet. Apparently, there are fewer than 100 veterinary nutritionists in the US. They are vets, but they also spend additional time studying animal nutrition. Who better to come up with healthy food for your dog. I was satisfied.

Nom Nom has facilities in California and Tennessee, which is a big deal, especially when you’re talking about freshly-made food that’s being shipped. I’m in Washington, so my food arrived within just a few days of placing my order. 4 to be exact. Nom Nom also prepares all of the food in their own facilities. They have total control.

Before starting the Nom Nom 30-day test

Signing Up.

This was pretty easy and straightforward. I simply went to the Nom Nom website, answered a few questions about each of my dogs (weight, age, birth date), selected the foods I wanted and entered shipping & payment information. That was it. Nom Nom also has a product called Insights, which is a microbiome testing kit for dogs and cats. You collect a fecal sample, send it back to Nom Nom. They analyze the sample and provide insights into your dog’s gut bacteria. I didn’t opt for this, but I wish I had. I think it would have given me an even better look at the health of my dogs prior to trying the freshly-made food program. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it would have been nice to know how my previous dog food was performing.

Food is Shipped.

After I had completed my online order, the first food shipment arrived pretty quickly. It took about 4 days from order day to arrival. It was two weeks worth of the four varieties Nom Nom offers:

  • Beef Mash
  • Pork Potluck
  • Turkey Fare
  • Chicken Cuisine

The Food.

Let’s talk a little about the food. There are photos on the website. Glamour shots, right? Well, what I received looked exactly like the photos. It wasn’t a mashed up version. It’s whole-food ingredients. I could see the meat, the egg, peas, everything – to be honest, it looked like something I would make and eat myself. As a retired firefighter, I’ve cooked my fair share of meals, so I am no stranger to criticism when it comes to food. This stuff actually looked really good. I mentioned how each meal was formulated by a veterinary nutritionist, and it shows. In fact, the Nom Nom foods exceed the standards set by the AAFCO. They’re charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds (including dog and cat foods) and animal drug remedies. So they set standards, and Nom Nom exceeded that. That made me feel pretty good. One other point of interest, the food came pre-portioned for each meal. There was no measuring. No storage of partially used food. It’s what we call in the business – firefighter proof. Simple.

Day 0 – Pre-Challenge Check Up – The Vet

Before I started the 30-day challenge/test with my pups, I wanted to take my pups to the vet for their annual check-up, as well as a full blood workup and fecal test. I wanted to make sure there weren’t any underlying issues beforehand. As expected, they were in relatively excellent health. I was told my female, Sandy, was a little over normal weight – but nothing serious. The look test results would take a few days for results.

“You’re putting the thermometer where?” -Scout at the vet
“Please tell me we’re leaving!” -Sandy loves the vet

Day 1 – It Begins!

The food arrived yesterday. Time to unpack the box and get started. I was very pleased with how it was packed – definitely cold – which is huge considering you’re dealing with pork, chicken and other quality ingredients. Included in the box were 2 free bags of single-ingredient dog treats – I’m big on single-ingredient treats. Also in the box, I had all 4 varieties of Nom Nom foods. Some additional literature and explanation of the transition period feeding were included, as well. For the first week, I’ll be giving my dogs a 50/50 mix of Nom Nom food and their regular kibble. This just helps their tummies adjust to the new food. I have to say, I’m really please with 1.) the small 50% pre-portioned bags and 2.) the labels on these bags which note that they are for the transition period. The food smelled and looked really good. Like something I would eat. Even my picky son wanted to have a bite. No surprise – my dogs gobbled it up. 30-day challenge…we’re off to a great start.

Eating the transition 50/50 mix – immediately!

Day 3 – Dogs Love Nom Nom

I got the blood test results back from a few days ago. Nothing to note – nothing abnormal. So that’s good! I haven’t really seen much of a change in the dogs – which to be expected this early…except the dogs are cracking me up. They are really digging the Nom Nom food. Each morning (and evening) they gather in the kitchen where we prep the food. They sit (without being told) like good little pups. So good. Waiting! They LOVE this stuff.

Patiently waiting

Day 8 – Transition Period Ends

With the transition period over, today I’m feeding my pups 100% Nom Nom food. The previous week was really easy thanks to the pre-portioned transition packs. The dogs are still very excited about each meal for their Nom Nom It could just be the new food, but they definitely seem to be more energetic, especially around mealtime. Go figure. I was a little worried that there would be an issue with diarrhea since I was changing up the food my dogs were used to, but I’m pleased to announce that there haven’t been any issues or accidents.

Day 11 – Potty Talk

Okay, so we’re into the test over a week and 3-days post-transition, and I can say one thing I have noticed – the dog’s stools are smaller. Not weird small, but it just seems like they’re processing more. The poop is also super easy to pick up. Very firm. Okay, no more talk about poop. I don’t want to gross anyone out, but this seemed noteworthy for sure.

Day 15 – Puppy Love

So we’re a little over 2-weeks into the test. Both dogs definitely seem to be more energized. Puppy-like. They are only 5 years old, but I’ve noticed them bounding around more and playing with each other – wrestling. A lot more. It’s actually pretty fun to watch. I’m trying to keep an open mind, so I’ve been relying on my kids to give their opinions, as well. They’re funny – they talk as if we have different dogs. So maybe not the best sources.

Day 20 – I Might Be In Trouble

For almost 3-weeks my furry little friends have been devouring the Nom Nom food. It is clear to me that this will have to be a permanent change, I’ll be facing a mutt mutiny! Stools are still smaller and firmer (for those keeping track). Energy levels are definitely higher. I know I’m not imagining this. I have to say, their coats also seem a little shinier.


Day 27 – Big Changes

I scheduled my follow-up vet appointment today. I’m excited to see what, if anything, has changed. I’ve definitely noticed Sandy seems a little more fit. She’s definitely more active, so that’s great! I don’t feel like the photos really do justice to the change I’ve seen in my dogs. I’m not a professional photographer, and I shot these photos on my phone. But I really see a difference in my dogs. Their coats are shinier and softer. And as I mentioned, they are so much more active.

They will NOT let me stop throwing the ball. Or stop moving for a photo!

Day 30 – The Last Day

The final day! Wow, that was easy. I’ve already got my next two weeks of food in the refrigerator. I just didn’t have the heart to return my dogs to the old food I was using. I can’t even imagine the outrage. My pups are just as excited for mealtime today as they were on Day 1. I am sold. Freshly-made food is the way to go. I love Nom Nom Maybe not as much as my dogs. I know some will say – of course, freshly-made food is best – but this challenge wasn’t about just freshly-made food. It was about getting my dogs healthy, freshly-made food – that I didn’t have to make. If you have time to make food, by all means, go for it. It’s all about giving our dogs the best we can.

Still just as eager for their delicious food!

What Did I Learn?

The final vet check-up came back great. The vet commented that the dogs still are in excellent health. Sandy lost 2 pounds. So she’s closer to her healthy weight. I think the healthier food and increased activity are definitely to credit for this. Overall, I am really happy with Nom Nom food. It was really easy – pre-portioned bags made this so simple, and the home delivery was so convenient. No more lugging big bags of food from the store. Not once did I question whether or not this was good for my dogs. I really appreciate the work that went into coming up with these recipes. It’s comforting knowing that I am giving my dogs great tasting, healthy food.

Day 30 – Sitting pretty

Over the past 30 days, my dogs have definitely benefited. Mind you, they were in good health to begin with, so I am not claiming some miraculous transformation. But from their appearance to their activity levels, I definitely see improvements. I can only imagine how this freshly-made food could benefit a less healthy pup.

Don’t take my word for it. Give Nom Nom a try. You won’t be disappointed, and they have a great deal right now for 50% off your first order. So give it a try and see the difference it makes in your dog.

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