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ChefPaw vs. The Competition: Why Fresh Beats Frozen in Dog Food

Ensuring your dog receives the best nutrition is a top priority for pet owners. The market offers a variety of options, and they don’t let us forget it. With multiple brands showing up in your Instagram and TikToks feeds everyday, it can be hard to understand the differences and similarities between the various options and, most importantly, which is best for your pup. We’ve broken it down for you, sharing our reviews of three popular options in the dog food space - ChefPaw, Spot and Tango, and The Farmer’s Dog. Scroll down to see which came out on top!

Key Similarities

Despite their differences, ChefPaw, Spot and Tango, and The Farmer’s Dog share several key similarities:

  1. Quality Ingredients: All three brands emphasize high-quality, natural ingredients free from artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers.

  2. Personalized Meal Plans: Each brand offers customized meal plans or recipes based on your dog’s age, breed, weight, and dietary needs, ensuring your pet gets the appropriate nutrients.

Health Benefits: These brands focus on promoting overall health, including improved digestion, healthier coats, and increased energy levels. 

Key Differences

While there are similarities, the differences between ChefPaw, Spot and Tango, and The Farmer’s Dog are significant:

  1. Freshness and Delivery: ChefPaw is a first-of-its-kind countertop pet food maker, which allows you to quickly easily make highly-nutritional homemade dog food right in your own home. Because of this, it provides truly fresh meals, whereas Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog deliver frozen food marketed as fresh.

  2. Convenience: ChefPaw’s fresh meals are ready to serve almost immediately, while Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog require thawing time. You can always throw ingredients into the ChefPaw to make a meal for your pup in just 40 minutes, while you’ll need to schedule orders for the other brands to make sure you have enough food on hand.

Sustainability: Aside from the box it comes in when you place your order, ChefPaw doesn’t have any ongoing packaging (aside from any packaging from the ingredients you use). Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog deliver their orders with lots of insulation and plastic packaging that can’t be reused.



Freshness: ChefPaw sets itself apart by providing truly fresh meals. You are able to prepare nutritious meals for your dog quickly and easily using the ChefPaw and the accompanying recipe app. It doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Convenience: One of the standout features of ChefPaw is its convenience. You just throw the ingredients into the machine, turn it on, and in 40 minutes, you’ve got 6 pounds of truly fresh dog food ready to go with almost no clean up.

Sustainability: Because ChefPaw is a one-time delivery, there is minimal environmental impact.Price: ChefPaw costs $649, so it is the biggest upfront cost out of the three options covered here. But many people find that it ends up costing less overtime than even kibble because, depending on the ingredients you use, the cost/pound can be very low while still providing all the nutrition they need. ChefPaw’s dog food savings calculator helps you to understand how much you are spending per pound and you can see if ChefPaw will save you money in the long run.

Drawbacks: The main drawback of ChefPaw is the upfront cost, but the other brands on this list surpass this cost after a few months of using their subscriptions.

Rating: 9.5/10

Spot and Tango

Freshness: Spot and Tango delivers frozen meals that are marketed as fresh. While the ingredients are high-quality, the freezing process can affect the texture and taste of the food.

Convenience: The need to thaw the meals before serving can be inconvenient, especially for busy pet owners. If you forget to take the food out of the freezer in time, you may run into problems with feeding.

Sustainability: Spot and Tango doesn’t include any information on the sustainability of their packaging, but as with any frozen item, it comes with insulation and individual packaging for each meal.

Price: The website says that fresh food plans start at $2/day, but when we took the quiz to get pricing for a healthy, 50 pound dog, the plan they recommended was $60/week (over $3,000/year).

Drawbacks: The primary drawback is the price, but the inconvenience of thawing and the potential for running out of food is also a drawback as this can disrupt your dog’s feeding schedule.

Rating: 7/10

The Farmer’s Dog

Freshness: Similar to Spot and Tango, The Farmer’s Dog delivers frozen meals that are promoted as fresh. The freezing process helps preserve the food but requires additional preparation time.

Convenience: The thawing process is a significant drawback. Pet owners must remember to thaw the food in advance, which can be inconvenient and may lead to running out of food if not managed properly.

Sustainability: The packaging used by The Farmer’s Dog is also traditional, lacking the eco-friendly focus seen with ChefPaw. Price: For a healthy 50 pound dog, The Farmer’s Dog recommends a plan that starts at $7.46/day, or around $200/month.

Drawbacks: The main drawbacks include the need for thawing and the risk of running out of food due to inadequate thawing time. Additionally, some pet owners have reported that their dogs are less enthusiastic about the texture of thawed food.

Rating: 8.5/10

Final Thoughts

After comparing ChefPaw, Spot and Tango, and The Farmer’s Dog, it’s clear that ChefPaw stands out as the best option for several reasons. The truly fresh meals provided by ChefPaw ensure that your dog receives the highest quality nutrition without the need for thawing. The convenience of the app and the ability to add in ingredients and not have to actively cook the food yourself makes ChefPaw a superior choice.

While Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog offer high-quality ingredients and customized meal plans, the drawbacks of frozen food, including the need for thawing and potential disruption to feeding schedules, are significant. ChefPaw’s fresh, easy-to-make ready meals eliminate these issues, providing a hassle-free feeding experience.

Overall, ChefPaw’s dedication to freshness, convenience, and sustainability earns it the highest rating in our comparison. For pet owners looking to provide their dogs with the best nutrition and the most convenient feeding experience, ChefPaw is the clear winner.

Final Ratings:

  • ChefPaw: 9.5/10

  • The Farmer’s Dog: 8.5/10

  • Spot and Tango: 7/10


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