PetPlate was founded by Renaldo Webb & his pet partner Winston. His position as a pet food consultant gave him direct insights into mass-market commercial dog food production. Having seen first-hand what was put into dog food and how it was processed before it hit the shelves, he began looking for another way to feed his own dog. After consulting with Dr. Renee Streeter, a veterinary nutritionist, the company was born on a small scale in a commercial kitchen space that has since outgrown to what it is today.
Since Pet Plate dog food was on Shark Tank, their appearance gave them great exposure into many pet parents households. It has expanded since quite a bit and now reaches customers across the U.S. The experience of a Pet Plate Shark Tank debut gave the founders valuable insights on their business, and they have expanded their business successfully since the show.
Now, when dogs are asked to give Pet Plate reviews, they prefer it 4:1 over the leading fresh food. Even many picky dogs give rave PetPlate reviews, so it might be worth a try if you have a dog with particular tastes.
PetPlate purchases their ingredients from human food suppliers in the U.S. There are only two recipes, and both have basically the same ingredients with the exception of the protein source:
Beef recipe: Beef, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beef liver, green peas, carrots, apples, pumpkin, safflower oil, calcium carbonate, sardine fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, salt, vitamin D3, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, iodine, thiamin, magnesium, selenium
Turkey recipe: Turkey, sweet potatoes, potatoes, turkey liver, apples, carrots, green peas, pumpkin, sardine fish oil, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, vitamin D3, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, iodine, thiamin, magnesium, selenium, iron
Both recipes are grain-free and contain a single protein source, which is potentially good for allergic dogs. Two options is not a lot, but most dogs will probably find one or the other tasty. Our test dog would do backflips for either, but not all dogs have his incredible lack of pickiness. One tip from the company is to try warming up the food for picky dogs because the aroma seems to draw their interest.
The food is slow-cooked at a lower heat than commercial dog food, to avoid damaging vital nutrients and vitamins. It is formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to meet AAFCO standards for All Life Stages, including large breed puppies. The system is designed to take information about your dog and determine the appropriate portion for him or her.
Both recipes are relatively similar in terms of macronutrient content, although the turkey is higher in protein and lower in fat than the beef recipe:
PetPlate meals come in pre-portioned containers for your convenience. For dogs under 60 pounds, each container is one day’s worth of food (2 meals). For dogs over 60 pounds, each container is one meal (two containers per day).
Delivery schedules also depend on your dog’s size: meals for dogs under 60 pounds ship once every 2 weeks, and meals for dogs over 60 pounds ship every week. This is important as you don’t want to fall short on your dog’s feeding needs.
The size of the container scales with the size of the dog. The smallest dogs get one 5 oz. container per day and the biggest dogs get two 18 oz. containers. Food in the containers is ready to be eaten straight from the refrigerator or warmed up in the microwave.
Setting up an order is relatively simple and only requires a few pieces of information beyond the standard name, address, email, and payment method stuff:
The minimal information requested means that subscribers might need to adjust their deliveries as they go, because not all dogs who fit into these criteria will need the same number of calories. An active, young adult dog who weighs 30 pounds might burn twice as many calories as a 21-lb senior dog who hardly moves. However, the company promises to adjust as needed after you start feeding the food.
According to the website, the half-beef, half-turkey plan is their most popular starter option. For Casey, two weeks of food runs $85.90 regularly, but the first delivery is $35. The cost of the ‘Topper’ plan is the same, only delivered every 4 weeks instead of every 2 weeks. The price is the same whether you choose the beef, the turkey, or the half-and-half plan.
The PetPlate cost varies considerably depending on your dog’s size, as might be expected. However, there is only a five dollar difference between the plan for a tiny dog and the plan for a dog up to 30 pounds. After that, things start to really increase in cost, though.
For a dog under 5 pounds, two weeks of food is $79.80. For a dog that weighs 75 pounds, two weeks of food costs $149.90 (billed and shipped weekly). The system is only equipped to take orders for dogs up to 100 pounds, but presumably, owners of giant breed dogs who have enormous food budgets could get the company to send an appropriate amount.
The concept of fresh home cooked, delivery food for dogs is a bit of a niche (but rapidly growing) market, since it requires owners to be able to spend a fair amount on their dogs’ meals. However, it can be argued that feeding higher-quality food now leads to lower vet bills in the future. Our PetPlate review basically assumes that you can afford the cost, because there isn’t much point in considering the rest of the benefits if it is financially out of reach.
PetPlate appears to be a quick and easy option for busy owners who nonetheless want to feed their dogs real food. Having it balanced by a veterinary nutritionist is essential, because the majority of recipes for homemade dog food do not meet all of your dog’s dietary needs. Our only concern would be that you might need to keep an eye on your dog’s weight and adjust the portion size as needed, since the system is not as customized as some. However, you should be watching your dog’s waistline whatever you feed him or her, so this shouldn’t be too big of a burden.
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