One benefit of owning a pet website is that my dog, Huck, gets to try out some quality stuff…and I suppose some not so quality stuff too.
You can imagine that we both jumped at the opportunity when NomNomNow asked us to sample their fresh, human-grade delivery service. I don’t think there are many pet owners who would say no to such a high-class experience and we certainly weren’t going to let the opportunity pass us by…especially coming from a background of dry kibble for every meal.
Full disclosure, we received the food for free, but don’t assume we’re here to show any favoritism. We’ve tried out all their fresh food competitors as well (aka Spot and Tango, The Farmer’s Dog and Ollie).
Before getting into the finer details of the daily deliverance of these premium meals to my hungry Golden Retriever let’s go over what gave me pause, both good and bad.
Contents of Article
What Stands Out
- Food delivery and notifications are top notch
- Individual ingredients are very recognizable when looking at the food
- Meals have surprisingly different textures from one recipe to the next
- Packaging can be a bit troublesome, but not always
- Huck is a good boy and waits patiently as we plate the food
- The ingredients are just as recognizable in his poop
The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to this food (assuming you can afford it). And honestly, you’re going to find the same when you compare any freshly prepared meal to most commercial foods. It’s like the pet version of a 5-star restaurant vs a Hungry Man frozen dinner – no competition. If you want the quick and easy answer then, yes, we 100% recommend NomNomNow dog food and think every good pup should be so lucky to have an owner who cares enough to buy it.
When compared to the likes of Ollie and the rest of the bunch the competition gets a little tighter…and that’s where you’ll need to examine the rest of the review to figure out if this dog food is right for you and yours. Let’s get to it.
NomNomNow Dog Food Review 2020
Before You Buy
This food isn’t cheap and if you’re moving from even the most expensive dry food you’re probably in for a bit of sticker shock. For most people making the switch it’s about more than price, though.
This food is specially formulated by a licensed veterinarian who has taken extra schooling to be certified as a nutritionist. His name is Dr. Justin Shmalberg, check him out. Like I said DVM, board-certified, years of schooling…you probably get it.
Anyway, this stuff is super healthy and made with your dog’s long-term well-being in mind. At minimum that means a good deal more energy, shinier coat and decreased chance of allergies. Without having any specific research to back me up I’ll go ahead and assume vet bills for serious health issues will be significantly less over a lifetime of feeding, too.
There are multiple recipes to choose from and you can always opt for the variety pack before committing to a subscription. It comes with Beef (most popular), Chicken (our favorite), Turkey & Pork options. You can also get 50% off on your first order so that’s cool too.
Ordering and Delivery
After you’ve made the decision to try the food the rest of the process couldn’t be much easier.
You’re going to be asked some general questions about your pet(s) to gauge which recipe is right and how much of it you’re going to need. The standard stuff…you know? Name, age, weight, breed, medical conditions, email address – I considered screencapping all of this, but I think a few words will suffice.
Once they know enough to be dangerous NomNomNow pops out a recommendation of which food they suggest and how much of it is necessary to keep your dog’s weight where it needs to be. Assuming you’re on board they’ll ask you to ante up then they’ll get right to work cooking up some fresh grub for your pup.
Nom Nom Now has some work to do in the packaging department. Let me start out by acknowledging that impeccable packaging comes with a price tag. The more it costs a company to package their product the more it costs consumers as those prices are built into the sales price.
With that said there is still a bit to be desired with NomNomNow’s packaging.
The Delivery Box
The box the food is shipped in isn’t a problem. The product comes in a solid box with proper (recyclable) insulation along with enough dry ice to keep it adequately chilled until you can get it into proper storage.
Once the meals come out of the box things get a little less satisfactory.
The individual portions are each assembled into a grouping of 7 and then wrapped with clear plastic bindings around each axis to keep them all together. Occasionally…maybe a tenth of the time… the bindings fail to keep the meals together and they come falling apart as you try to move them to storage. More often than not it seems to happen with the beef recipes.
This isn’t a huge deal in and of itself, but if you’re moving them into a garage freezer like me then you have to individually place the disassembled pack into the freezer and then take it out for thawing individually too. Just a small time suck that could probably be prevented.
In addition, when it’s time to thaw the bunches that have managed to stay together the meal packs are often frozen together. I’ve found for faster thawing that it makes sense to break them apart and give them all equal access to the air. If I don’t remember to come back after the pack has thawed and break it apart then I’m usually disappointed to find an uneven distribution of thawed to not thawed packs.
This is only a big deal for me because I like to have them all thawed through before I move them to the refrigerator for safe keeping over the next couple days.
It’s really easy to forget about the thawing process as you go on with your day so having to constantly check on it becomes a bit tiresome. There have been multiple occasions where the food accidentally gets left on the counter over night either because of poor planning, forgetfulness or the aforementioned bundling issue.
If you tend to thaw sealed frozen packages by dropping them in a tub of warm water then you might not experience the same pitfalls.
The Individual Meals
In general I’m happy with the way the meals are individually packaged. The food is vacuum sealed and there is a corner where the two ends of plastic peel apart to open up the container.
Occasionally after thawing I’ll find that one of the packages has a little leak or maybe just that the thawed package reveals some liquid that got loose during processing. Originally I would do my best to lay the packages flat in the fridge, but after the first couple messes I decided to put the meals into a Tupperware container to contain any water or juices from thawing that find their way out of the packages. This has proven to work great since the meals don’t stack very well anyway.
In terms of opening the meals… when the ends are machine cut properly it is usually pretty easy to peel apart the exposed portion of the vacuum sealed edges with a nice firm grip.
A frustration factor does come into play when the machine that cuts the packaging is off by a few millimeters. A portion of the edge remains sealed together and makes grabbing and tearing the package apart into a real process.
If your hands are wet (which happens occasionally due to excess moisture from thawing) you might not have enough strength to tear the package open on the first or second pass.
With those two problems combined I often find myself trying for 30 seconds to a minute to get the affected packages apart while Huck jumps around in excitement. I can’t share in his excitement at those moments as I’m probably mumbling some choice words. If I have to I’ll revert to kitchen shears, but I try to avoid it so as not to dirty something I’ll have to turn around and clean a moment later.
Side Note: I actually had the opportunity to meet with Wenzhe and Kevin from NNN about the packaging defect and they’re aware of it and working to get a machine that can calibrate to a more precise cut.
Once the package is peeled apart it’s all good. I turn it upside down onto the bowl and just push the food out from there…usually without any mess to my hands or any scooping devices which is a benefit compared to some competitors.
Definitely the highlight of the whole process are those enjoyable seconds when you let your dog loose on the food. I’ve never seen Huck so happy as those moments.
Because of his extreme love for the food, we learned pretty quickly that dropping the whole batch into a regular bowl wasn’t the best delivery method for him. For us it was better to invest in a slow feed maze dog bowl and smear the soft food into the crevices of that. Not only did it prolong the enjoyment, but it seemed safer for him to eat it more slowly to avoid bloat and other ingestion issues that come with scarfing down food that quickly.
He still manages to polish off the food in 2-3 minutes, but compared to 30 seconds in a standard food bowl it seems slightly more acceptable.
It wouldn’t normally cross my mind to include talk of poop in a review about food, but I find it interesting enough to take some time out to mention a few things I’ve noticed.
Just as humans can’t seem to process corn kernels I find that the sweet potatoes in some of the recipes make it through Huck’s system virtually unscathed. That leads me to wonder whether he’s receiving any of the nutritional value from them. I decided to reach out to Dr. Justin from earlier in the article to chat about Huck’s waste and what it means.
Huck is also prone to eating his poop (don’t judge him, he’s a dog). Even with regular backyard scooping he still manages to gross me out and find a piece or two to munch. I’m not sure if he’d do it anyway or if the unprocessed food is just as appetizing the second time around. I’d be curious to hear if other NNN customers experience this issue.
Subscription & Account Info
Once the first order has been received and is nearly all gone the questions become specific to future shipments. The delivery schedule follows a 2-week cycle…assuming you opted for the subscription plan. Notifications are sent via email when the food is being prepared and then shipped. You also have the ability to see the status of your upcoming order in your account via the NomNomNow.com website. Let’s address a few common queries related to your dogs subscription Q & A style.
Question: How much does NomNomNow dog food cost?
Answer: For Huck, our 55 lb Golden Retriever, with a delivery schedule of every 2 weeks the price comes out to $13.20 a day. Keep in mind we feed him breakfast, lunch and dinner while many households can get away with one feeding in the morning and one at night.
|NomNomNow Prices // Huck (55 lbs)|
|$13.20||Per Day (3 Meals)|
The information above was all pulled from my account, but I wanted to go a step further and figure out what NNN would quote for dogs with different weights.
Keep in mind this is before applying the 50% discount NomNomNow offers on your first subscription order. Also keep in mind that shipping is FREE so the numbers reported below are pretty accurate to what you can expect to spend.
Here are the breakdowns for 4 year old toy, small breed, medium breed, large breed and giant breed dogs who are reported to already be at their ideal weight.
|NomNomNow Prices // Toy Breed Dog (5 lbs)|
|$2.91||Per Day (2 Meals)|
|NomNomNow Prices // Small Breed Dog (16 lbs)|
|$4.60||Per Day (2 Meals)|
|NomNomNow Prices // Medium Breed Dog (35 lbs)|
|$6.60||Per Day (2 Meals)|
|NomNomNow Prices // Large Breed Dog (75 lbs)|
|$10.31||Per Day (2 Meals)|
|NomNomNow Prices // Giant Breed Dog (110 lbs)|
|$13.49||Per Day (2 Meals)|
Question: When am I going to get my next batch of food?
Answer: Depending where you’re at in the life cycle of your current order you can always track your next shipment on the landing page of your account. The moment you log in the information is waiting for you at the top of the screen. Here’s an example…
Question: Can I change the recipes my dog is receiving?
Answer: Yes you can assuming you do it before the “deadline for making changes” (see above image). To edit your next order you’ll need to click on your dog’s name in orange. From there you can change which recipes you prefer and how you’d like to receive them.
You can also update your dog’s pertinent information from this page just below the meal selection area. This will help in terms of correct portioning and data collection for NNN to better serve you and other customers in the future.
Question: How easy is it to cancel your subscription?
Answer: Like other subscription pet food companies NNN doesn’t want to let you go so easily. They ask you to complete a form (located under modify plan>upcoming deliveries>fill out this form) before you can completely disengage from them. Granted you can skip a delivery any time you like, but it’s not always easy to remember to keep skipping if you really don’t want to receive the food anymore.Here’s what their cancellation form looks like…They ask you 4 questions that go like this…
- What is the email address you use with NomNomNow?
- Why do you want to cancel your NomNomNow subscription?
- Your feedback is valuable to us. Can you please share some details to help us improve?
- We hate to see you go! Is there anything we can do to change your mind?
My past experience canceling subscription services leads me to believe that if money is an issue they might offer you a temporary discount to keep you around. If you really want to leave, though, you’ll encounter a button that says “Save My Decision” at the end of the form and I’m assuming customer service will be in touch.
Question: Can you pause or skip your subscription while you’re out of town?
Answer: Absolutely. I find this feature to be really cool if you’re traveling or need to take a break from the food for one reason or another.
Alternatively, if you’ll be out of town with your pet on an extended trip and want to keep receiving the food to your temporary location you can change the delivery address on a one off basis…
Question: Can I order multiple recipes at at time?
Answer: Sort of. Aside from the variety pack there isn’t an option to get all 4 recipes in one send. However, for an extra $5 per delivery NNN will allow you to choose any two recipes to be included. You can change the recipes as often as you like.
There is also an option that doesn’t cost you anything extra where NomNomNow will send you a different recipe each time in a rotating fashion. I’d probably suggest paying the extra $5 the first couple times to get two different recipes. You can get a feel for which food your dog gravitates toward quickly and then adjust your ordering to lean heavily toward that in the future.
A few more questions, answered.
Question: Which NomNomNow recipe is the best?
Answer: I’m not sure if it’s more my opinion or Huck’s, but I think between us we’ve found that the Beef recipe and the Chicken recipe are our favorites.
In terms of consistency the Chicken and Pork recipes are definitely a little juicier. The Beef and Turkey have more of a crumbly feel to them.
The Turkey recipe comes without peas, potatoes or legumes which has become a concern because of heart health related concerns related to those ingredients. Peas are included in the other recipes, but not as a main source of protein. My non-expert, yet well-informed, opinion is not to sweat it too much and try them all out.
So? Is NomNomNow worth it?
Assuming the price isn’t a barrier for you then I would say DEFINITELY YES.
Any of the issues that I mentioned with the packaging are very first world problem centric and to put that ahead of my dog’s health and vitality would be silly.
I can tell you that Huck has never left a speck of food in his dish and is quick to remind me about meal time if I’m ever behind schedule. Buy NomNomNow in confidence.
The only thing you really have to consider is the remorse you’ll feel if you start your dog on this diet and then decide to go back to commercial food. My sister-in-law actually tried out NomNomNow with her dog, Miles, and said she felt terrible for him once the fresh food ran out and they had to start feeding him dry kibble again. Poor Miles.
NomNomNow offers fresh delivery for cats, too! Something that many of their competitors don’t. If you want to keep everything easy and manageable for all of your fur family consider that fact as well. Our cat loving compadre over at KittyCatter.com did a review for NomNomNow cat food if you’re interested in having a look.