Ollie Dog Food Review: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
Most people like to feed themselves fresh, healthy foods, and many dog owners want to do the same for their four-legged family members. The issue in many cases (for both humans and dogs!) is that there’s just not enough time to cook nutritious meals several times per day. That is where Ollie comes in. Ollie is a company that prepares fresh foods that are formulated for your dog.
As a veterinarian, I always want to make sure that every dog eats a diet that meets the minimal nutritional guidelines put forward by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Ollie dog foods pass this test. Their nutritionally complete and balanced diets have been formulated to meet AAFCO Dog Food standards for all life stages, which means that they’re appropriate for puppies and adult dogs. The Ollie website also says that their foods are “formulated by a veterinarian nutritionist,” but no further information is provided.
Our Score for Ollie Dog Food
What we like:
High-quality, real ingredients
What We Like
- Human-grade ingredients
- Made in a USDA-regulated facility
- Four different recipes available
- Tailor-made for each dog
- Flexible delivery schedules
What We Don’t Like
- Chunks can be large for smaller dogs
- Inconsistent texture in some shipments
- Custom portions. Ollie develops portions based on the caloric needs of your dog. They ask about age, size, activity level, allergies, and more to create a fully customized plan.
- Delivered ready to store and serve. Your food will arrive frozen and ready to store in the freezer until it’s time to thaw for use.
- Flexible delivery options. You can choose whether you’d like to feed your dog only Ollie or whether you’d like to mix Ollie in with his current food. Meals will be packaged and shipped accordingly.
- Comes with a handy scoop for measuring and serving. Customers say it is a good no-mess option.
- Human-grade ingredients. The food is made from real foods that are safe for people. It is processed in a human-grade kitchen, as well.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of Ollie will depend on the size, breed, age, and activity level of your dog. I used a hypothetical female dog who was 2 years old, 50 lbs, of average weight, and active.
You can choose from different types of protein. Turkey is the most expensive. To feed the hypothetical dog Ollie exclusively, it would cost $52.89 per week. Feeding half Ollie (and half another food) would cost $33.30 per week, and using Ollie as just 25 percent of the dog’s diet would cost $20.89 per week.
Beef is the least expensive protein. The full Ollie dog food diet costs $45.99 per week, the half Ollie diet costs $28.96 per week, and the quarter Ollie diet costs $18.16 per week.
The other protein sources, chicken and lamb, were in between those prices.
At the time of this writing, there is a 50 percent discount for the first two weeks.
More About Ollie Dog Food
Ollie was founded by three dog lovers who were perplexed by the ingredients in the commercial food they were buying for their furry pals. They were concerned about how these ingredients that they could not pronounce would affect the health of their pets.
What they did was team up with animal nutritionists to come up with a customized diet for each of their pups. Then they expanded that to creating calorie-specific, delicious meal plans for other people’s dogs. These foods are prepared in kitchens made for human food, pre-portioned, and sent to your door so you can always have fresh, appropriate food on hand to keep your best furry friend in good health and perfectly satisfied.
The Ollie Diets
I ordered Amber the Beef Recipe on the “all Ollie” plan. You also have the option of ordering less Ollie dog food that would then need to be mixed in with another nutritionally complete dog diet.
Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional information for all the Ollie foods:
Ingredients: Beef, beef heart, sweet potato, peas, potato, beef kidney, carrot, beef liver, spinach, chia seed, dicalcium phosphate, blueberries, fish oil (preserved with tocopherols), iodized salt, zinc gluconate, rosemary, vitamin E supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium iodide
Ollie’s Beef Recipe provides dogs with a minimum of 12% protein as fed (37% on a dry matter basis) and 9.5% fat as fed (29% on a dry matter basis).
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken gizzard, carrots, peas, chicken liver, rice, chia seeds, spinach, potatoes, whole dried eggs, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, blueberries, fish oil, Iodized salt, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper gluconate, vitamin e, potassium Iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Ollie’s Chicken Recipe provides dogs with a minimum of 10% protein as fed (36% on a dry matter basis) and 4 % fat as fed (14% on a dry matter basis).
Ingredients: Turkey thigh, pumpkin, turkey liver, turkey heart, carrot, turkey gizzard, lentils, kale, blueberries, coconut oil, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, cod liver oil, salt, zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, manganese gluconate, copper gluconate, thiamin HCL
Ollie’s Turkey Recipe provides dogs with a minimum of 11% protein as fed (44% on a dry matter basis) and 7% fat as fed (28% on a dry matter basis).
Ingredients: Lamb heart, lamb liver, butternut squash, rutabaga, kale, lamb, chickpeas, cranberries, potato, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, zinc gluconate, taurine, vitamin E, iron sulfate, pantothenic acid, potassium iodate, manganese gluconate, thiamin HCL, folic acid
Ollie’s Lamb Recipe provides dogs with a minimum of 11% protein as fed (37% on a dry matter basis) and 9% fat as fed (30% on a dry matter basis).
Ollie also makes single ingredient snacks—savory beef strips, sweet potato slices, tasty chicken strips, and trusty turkey strips.
With all this information, it’s fairly easy to pick which Ollie diet(s) and snacks would be a good match for your dog. If you have any questions, talk to your veterinarian.
How It Works
Confident that the Ollie dog foods would meet canine nutritional needs, I decided to move forward with my order for Amber, a 2 year old, female, spayed mixed breed who weighs about 60 pounds but should actually be around 55 pounds. Filling out her profile took some time, but it’s necessary so that Ollie has all the information they need to provide her with the right diet.
Amber’s welcome kit included 14 pouches of Beef Recipe (1.49 lbs. each) that were still so cold they were hard to handle thanks to the presence of two large packs of dry ice and ample insulation within the shipping box. Kudos to Ollie; according to their website all of their packaging “is either recyclable, compostable, or made from recycled material.” Also included in the box were personalized feeding guidelines, a how-to guide, a serving spoon/spatula, and a high quality container designed to store open packs of food in the refrigerator.
After the welcome kit, you can customize the delivery. The default is a delivery every four weeks.
Ollie dog food can be stored in the freezer for up to six months or unopened for five days in the refrigerator. Once opened, all the food in the pouch should be finished within four days.
An Important Suggestion
One concern that I had with Amber’s shipment is that by following her feeding recommendations, she would be taking in 1042 calories per day. When I plugged all of her data into a trusted energy requirements calculator for dogs, her caloric needs (taking into account that she needs to lose 5 pounds) come out as closer to 835 calories per day (range of 417 to 1251). I worry that since 1042 calories is well above the midpoint of this range, Amber could gain or at least fail to lose weight.
This may have occurred because when it came time to describe Amber’s body condition when I was filling out her profile, there were only three options to pick from (lean, ideal, or round). I picked ideal since it was closer to the truth than round, but this could have led to Ollie thinking she didn’t need to lose weight even though elsewhere I indicated that her ideal weight was five pounds less than her current weight.
That said, this just means that when you switch to Ollie foods, you should monitor your pet’s weight closely, which holds true whenever you make a diet change. I recommend weekly weight checks with appropriate adjustments in the amount of food you offer based on gain or loss. Once your pet is maintaining their ideal weight, monthly weight checks should be sufficient. You can easily alter your pet’s profile on the Ollie website so that future shipments contain the right amount of food for your dog.
The Final Verdict
All told, I was impressed with the Ollie experience and think it’s a great option for owners who are interested in feeding their dogs minimally processed foods that are nutritionally complete and balanced.
The one main drawback that I gleaned from customer reviews is that since the food is made by various cooks, the texture can be a bit inconsistent. One container might be drier, wetter, or have larger chunks than another container. Since this would be the same thing that would happen if you were cooking your own food, we don’t see it as a huge problem, but if your dog is very finicky, he might notice a difference. Other than that, though, people have been overwhelmingly happy with Ollie and I recommend trying it out to see if it is the right choice for your dog.