We Tried A Fresh Dog Food That Literally Looks Like Human Food

You could even eat if if you wanted to ...

Pet Plate

Why We Love It:

It’s made with fresh, human-grade ingredients that our pups absolutely loved. And the subscription service is so convenient!

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Finding healthy dog food that your pup actually wants to eat is the ultimate goal. So, you’ve probably considered hopping on the fresh food bandwagon, since there’s something reassuring about feeding your pup food when you can actually tell what the ingredients are. 

But you might be nervous about making the leap — so The Dodo tested it out so you’d know what to expect.

We gave some of our Dodo dogs Pet Plate fresh food to see what they think.

The verdict? It definitely earned our pups’ Paw of Approval. Here’s why.

What Is Pet Plate?

Pet Plate is a fresh food subscription option for your dog.

It’s made with human-grade ingredients (which means you could eat it if you really wanted to, though your dog might get mad if you try).

Your order is delivered right to you, and the meals are all precooked and pre-portioned, so serving it up is super convenient.

Meal plans start at $2.50 per day (including shipping), but the cost will vary depending on things like your pup’s size and activity level, and the number of dogs you have.

(But you can use this link or use the coupon code YEAROFTREAT to get 50% off, along with free treats for a year and free shipping.)

The Judges

We picked three office pups to give this fresh dog food a try (including some picky eaters to make sure our judging panel was extra rigorous).

Shabba
Shabba
Shabba loves food, but he is very picky. He only wants things that are flavorful and will just not eat if they are not up to par to him. If something is too plain, he just won't eat it.” — his mom, Courtney Lall
Katie
Katie
“Katie is really picky. She normally won't eat right when we put food down unless it's something she loves.” — her mom, Emily Feld
Sasha
Sasha
“Sasha, 9, is either a wrecking ball or a big baby who's sitting on top of you. She helps us foster puppies and likes to sleep in.” — Katy B.

So … Did They Actually Eat It?

Our judges each tried Pet Plate in different ways. Shabba fully transitioned to eating Pet Plate exclusively. Katie mixed hers with her regular food. Sasha ate two meals a day: one with Pet Plate and the other with her regular food.

In a pleasant surprise, our picky pups scarfed down their new food.

“Shabba loved it right away, which is not common for him as he's very picky. Since he was a young pup it's been hard to get him interested in regular kibble and dog foods in general. It took him no time to warm up!” — Courtney L.

“Katie is a VERY picky eater and normally lets her food sit out for a while before eating it. When I put this down for the first time, she ate it right away and she went back to her bowl three times to lick anything remaining.” — Emily F.

Our pups liked the food so much that they got even more excited for mealtime than they normally do.

“Shabba got super excited for mealtime and even became vocal to the point of him nagging me to give him more. Mealtime became his favorite time that he wanted more than twice a day.” — Courtney L.

“Sasha doesn't say no to food, so I wasn't sure it would be easy to tell if she preferred Pet Plate to her regular food. But she definitely got her snout deep in there and licked the bowl clean.” — Katy B.

Dog begging for Pet Plate food
Katie politely begging to eat her Pet Plate food. | Emily Feld

What Pets Loved: How Yummy It Was!

Our judges made sure to show their parents just how much they loved chowing down on their new food.

“He doesn't do it quite often, but Shabba definitely gave Pet Plate something I like to call ‘The Leg of Approval.’ Something he does when he's eating something that's too good!” — Courtney L.

“Katie jumps up right away every time I feed her this food and always licks the bowl clean!” — Emily F.

“When Sasha was getting towards the end, she put her paw in the bowl to hold it still so she could lick every last bit.” — Katy B.

One tester’s mood even seemed to improve after making the switch.

“I feel like after eating, Shabba would just be happier in general and have a lot more energy.” — Courtney L.

Dog eating Pet Plate food
Shabba giving his “Leg of Approval.” | Courtney Lall

What Parents Loved: High-Quality, Healthy Meals

Our pup parents really liked feeling like they were giving their BFFs next-level nutrition.

“I love that the food is human-grade. That is so important to me, that I am giving Katie high-quality food that will make her healthy.” — Emily F.

“The food smelled good for dog food, and I liked being able to see real veggies and grains in it.” — Katy B.

“I find ease and peace in knowing that Shabba’s food is being made with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure good, balanced meals, on top of the ingredients being organic, made in USDA kitchens and human-grade.” — Courtney L.

It was also so nice for them to see that their dogs actually enjoyed eating something that’s good for them.

“I am relieved that Shabba finished his food and looks forward to mealtime. He sometimes just doesn't finish his food, which makes me worry that he isn't eating enough.” — Courtney L.

“The fact that Katie loved this food so much makes me think it's a keeper!” — Emily F.

And one tester felt the food made mealtime super simple.

“I love the ease of this product! I have tried a bunch of frozen food and you normally have to defrost a bunch at a time, and this was so easy to just defrost as I go.” — Emily F.

Our judging panel also loved that the packaging was both cute and convenient.

“I loved how the food comes in sealable BPA-free bowls instead of plastic packets as some foods usually do. This also made it easier to store and keep fresh thanks to the bowls having lids.” — Courtney L.

“I didn't have to put it in another container — I could just scoop some out and put it back in the fridge, which made it so easy. Also, if we needed to bring food with me, again, I could just grab the container and go.” — Emily F.

And the pup parents were relieved that the switch didn’t seem to mess with their dogs’ digestion.

“In the past, with certain dog food services, I have found that while they don't cause diarrhea or anything like that, they are harder to digest. That wasn't the case here.” — Courtney L.

“Katie’s digestion seemed to be great when eating this and [she] didn't have any hard time adjusting to new food.” — Emily F.

Dog loving Pet Plate
Sasha held her bowl down to eat every bite. | Katy Brink

Any Downsides?

Even though there weren’t any overall digestion issues, a couple of our pups struggled a little with the lamb recipe.

“Sasha had quinoa-textured poop after eating the lamb and quinoa flavor.” — Katy B.

“Katie had a little trouble with the lamb. It made her poop a little loose, but I think it's just because she doesn't eat lamb very often.” — Emily F.

One tester also wished the serving instructions had more than just calorie information.

“I wish there was a way to enter your dog's weight and have a suggested serving of the amount of the food you should be giving them daily. I didn't see any feeding guidelines for weight on the bowls.” — Courtney L.

Our pup parents also didn’t love that the packaging didn’t seem super eco-conscious — a common complaint about dog food subscriptions.

“The only thing I didn't like was that it came in a ton of packaging. This may be unavoidable for a fresh food product, but there was a lot of cardboard, thick layers of foam, dry ice, etc., and the food was in plastic containers.” — Katy B.

Plus, cost was a bit of a hesitation.

“I think it's a little expensive, but when you break it down by day, it seems reasonable. Also, if you are paying for high-quality food, it's worth it.” — Emily F.

“I would consider buying it if I only had one dog or had a small dog. I have two large dogs, and it would be $10/day for both of them.” — Katy B.

With all of that in mind, two of our three pet parents would continue using Pet Plate, and the entire panel would recommend it to a fellow pup parent.

Dog after eating his Pet Plate dog food
Sasha laying on the foam packaging from Pet Plate. | Katy Brink

Our Takeaway: It’s A Win, As Long As It Works With Your Budget

The cost is nothing to sneeze at, but you’re definitely getting what you pay for.

The food is healthy and made with ingredients you could eat yourself — including a bunch of veggies you can actually see right in your dog’s bowl — and even our pickiest pups couldn’t wait to gobble it up.

And since it’s delivered right to you, you can just set up a subscription and never worry about running out of dog food again.

(And don’t forget to use code YEAROFTREAT to get 50% off, a year of free treats and free shipping!)

The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here.

If you have a product you love that you want to share with other pet parents, send a tip to dodopaw@thedodo.com.