The fresh dog food thread

Freshly cooked dog food is a fairly recent innovation. There are very few companies who provide this service at the moment but it is possible that they will increase in number. The purpose of this thread is to bring together the companies that we know about and any new ones, plus general discussion about this method of feeding dogs.

Butternut Box - existing thread for discussion is here.
Different Dog
We Cook for Dogs - the company will be relaunching in the spring of this year.

Please feel free to add to the list if other companies are spotted.


Different Dog has freezers in the raw food section of the local pet supplies shop. They had staff in store to discuss their products and from what I saw it is good quality. The fact that it can be bought as and when is useful. It is quite expensive though. I don’t know how many shops have their freezers so if anyone wants further information about this they would need to contact the company.


Interesting news Dottie, Different Dog, do have an instores, nearest stockist page on their website.

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Hi there

New member here. Not sure if this is the correct place to be posting regards my Different Dog experience.

We have used them for over 6 months now and in past month or so they have changed to offering (admittedly so by them, and apparently in response to feedback from owners of fussy eaters) it is now much wetter with much larger pieces of vegetables (which seem to have also increased in quantity although that is difficult to tell and purely visually subjective).

Anway I would be very interested to hear from any other users of Different Dog. Maybe one of these people who asked for the changes or perhaps like me customers who didn’t ask for the change and are perhaps not so keen either.

I am certainly still a fan and would like to support any small business in the business of quality fresh cooked dog food but a little disappointed as my fussy eater has now gone off at least one of them and I am having to modify others to suit.

Thanks in advance !


Hello and welcome to the forum Cooper. I have only fairly recently started to use Different Dog so I don’t know the answer to your question. My two are not fussy eaters so the food would disappear whatever consistency it was. It’s early days but at the moment they are both ok on DD.

I started using this product because one of them has atopic dermatitis which I don’t think is food related. However, I thought that fresh food, simple recipes and no red ingredients could be beneficial. The single protein recipes are possibly suitable for dogs with suspected food intolerance. I started on just Turkey Fricassee and then tried two other turkey recipes. Just moved on to beef and fish.

Hi Dottie

Great to meet you - Thanks for your speedy reply.

I still think Different Dog is a great food just changed and for my Bulldog not so appealing. The Turkey fricasse even 2 months ago was much drier and meatier - the veg chopped much smaller, my dog hates those big bits of cabbage stalk etc now even when heated so i spend my time picking them out ! Together with the amount of moisture in this variery he has gone right off that one completely.

Lamb seems less changed and his favourite, Braised beef also good but again last couple of times the sheer quanitiy of spinach visually appears much more. I guess my dog is very meat orientated when it comes to taste. He eats plenty veg but only small diced etc. apple and roasted sweet potoato about the only fruit and veg he seems to relish and strangely cauliflower !
I also have found some pieces of leafy/stalky veg so large recently that he is coughing it up - yes he’s a swallower but then aren’t all dogs generally ? Isn’t that how they digest? Swallow and have powerful stomach acids to break it down ?

Anyway I woul still recommend, but just a bit disappointed and can’t help wondering if some of this is finacially motivated - I can only imagine what it must take to make a viable go of this kind of batch cooked dog food business and I wish them all the best. I support them all the way, would even pay a little more if profit margins were a concern, and for sure better than Butternut Box (we used that for over 18 months and watched the quality fall away whilst they were getting VC funding - ready for a sell off ? - and bringing gambling professionals on to their board!)

If any longer term users are reading your thread would be great to hear their thoughts too.

Ona completely seperate issue (and apologies for going off topic/away from this forum purview re your dogs dermatitis, interesting you don’t think food related. I’ve dealt with this myself and I too think often not (vets seem to think lots of allergy testing etc is very important !).

I have a method which has had great results if you might want to gove it a go - try for a month and see perhaps ! It involves multiple bathing with malaseb and imprtantly a natural sponge (or two) !

You should bathe at least twice a week for a month and evaluate - over time of course the ideal is to get to a maintenance regime of once a week or even once a fortnight if even.

What I’ve found is key is to use a squirt of mamalseb in a small bowl with water and sqeezing the natural sponge in this to create lots of suds/foam and then using this foamy spnge to rub well into the dog right to the skin. Paying particular attention to yeasty areas - ‘under arm’ around the crotch, tail socket, feet, don’t forget the jowls right under which get mosit and smelly and behind ears (it is also important to combine this with a clean inner ear regime). I generally stast at the face work down and then repeat making sure suds are in contact with all areas for a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing and thoroughly drying - yes its a lot and quite time consuming but as I said try it for a month twice a week (can be even every 2 or 3 days if it’s really bad) and see if it helps - In the past I’ve seen areas on which no hair has grown for years become thidk

Let me know how it goes !]


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Hi again Dottie !

Just to get back on track !!

We have done Butternut Box and now Different Dog. Both good and very likely better than most - my vote goes to Different Dog (still!)

As for the others you mention - we cook for dogs looks great for home cookers and I will likely try some of their supplements and give it a go myself but with a 28kg Bulldog I simply don’t have time or the kitchen fridge/freezer space unfortunately to do this.

Freshpet, I am conflicted about this one. I have a feeling my dog might like this and I might try one if I ever get to a Tesco to buy to have as a standby/travel food. But having lived in the US for years I find meat products there very very troubling with the quantity of hormones and anti biotics that are commonly used in the intensive US production methods and can only imagine what they meat products used in this will contain,.

Anyone here use it ? have any feedback ? have you tried it Dottie ?

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Thank you for the advice re skin care. I asked my vet to refer us to a dermatologist and it has been helpful. My dog has malassezia which is an overproduction of yeast. She was infecting her skin by scratching. She had a three week course of an antibiotic and alternate day Malaseb baths. We are now on twice weekly baths. She is much better - skin is healed and no scratching. However, it’s not likely that I will find out what (if anything) she is allergic to. It could be environmental but my gut feeling is that it is just something in her genes. Either way, it is probably something that I will have to deal with long term.

She had skin problems some years ago but I managed to get it under control fairly quickly and since then has been in remission. She was on Butternut Box and I had wondered if she was having problems with the legumes but I can’t be certain. The younger one was doing well on BB but when I gave DD a try for the older one it made sense to have them both on the same food.

Regarding food intolerance and diseases of the skin I wonder if we are too quick to lay the blame on food. Doubtless it can cause problems but not always and people can spend a small fortune, going round in circles to find the ‘culprit’.

Going back to DD I have seen small pieces of vegetables but my two eat up and their bowls are clean.

I would like to try the We Cook for Dogs recipes and supplements but due to personal reasons I simply don’t have the time.

I haven’t tried Freshpet although it is now available at our local Morrisons. Last time I looked I discounted it due to some of the ingredients which I thought might not be suitable for my poorly dog. However, I might have trialled it otherwise.

Hi Dottie

Great to hear about the skin issues. I agree I think generally (specifically with certain breeds) mostly genetic. I’ve found a lot of vets too keen to go down the medication/allergy route, luckily we have a great vet here in West london who himself has bulldogs and is more measured about it.

Malaseb 1-2 times a week is I think all most need to keep it healthy. But do try a natural sponge to up the lather - a definite help I think. We have 2 a larger one for body and smaller for for face I have found it really seems to up efficacy.

Again I agree totally regards the legumes in Butternut, we used BB from Oct 17 to earlier this year and I believe watched it go downhill and become ever more bulked out with cheap lentils which as again sounds like you definitely know there are concerns over whether are not is compatible for healthy dog digestion - that and increasing congealed fat both of which contributed to a downgrading of what came out other end for sure !

Different Dog is certainly best I’ve found as you can see from my review showing on this site, and nothing is perfect, just wishing there was more variety that he’d enjoy from their offering.

Anyway - great to meet you. Best

Thank you. Although I am not convinced that she has actual food allergy I now avoid peas and white potato because I have a feeling that she doesn’t handle them very well. She started with a lick granuloma early this year having been on BB for about three months. However, I cannot say for sure whether this was a contributory factor. I transitioned her onto a wet food containing peas and she didn’t do well on that either. I saw that some of the Freshpet recipes have peas although only a tiny amount. That’s why I haven’t tried it.

The vet wanted her on Duck and tapioca so I did as I was told and gave her a good trial with Royal Canin Sensitive. It made no difference whatsoever so this is one reason why I am doubtful about the skin problem being due to food allergy.

Sometimes choosing food is about what is not in it rather than what’s in it. I recall that when she first had the skin problem some years ago she was on a dry food with a high(ish) cereal content. That didn’t suit her but she is ok with brown rice cold pressed food. It’s early days with DD but so far she is ok. The only thing is that I am probably going to have to increase the amount as I don’t want her to lose too much weight.

The sponge is a good idea - never thought of it so thank you for the tip. I find the ten minute contact time a bit of a nuisance but Malaseb certainly works for my little pooch.

Regarding the financial aspect of selling fresh food for dogs, I imagine that it isn’t easy to keep everything ticking over because they are dealing with fresh ingredients which can fluctuate in price. Also, it is expensive and perhaps not acceptable to some pet owners. I had to give it second thoughts myself but took it on because of my dog’s illness.

I have been feeding Different Dog since June and my girl loves it. I can’t say I’ve noticed a difference in consistency but my dog is not a fussy eater.

I too fed Butternut Box but felt the company grew too big too quickly for its own good, it is disappointing that, over a year since fish and pork varieties were planned, they still haven’t materialised.

I chose to move brands when Butternut were having supply issues and, month on month, the deliveries weren’t the flavour varieties ordered, some deliveries just comprising of a single flavour. I like my dog to have as varied a diet as possible and I didn’t feel the issue was particularly well handled so moved her to Different Dog.

I saw them at Dog Fest and they were cooking for dogs and very engaged and good to chat with whereas the Butternut stand were just trying to sign people up, no samples or anything and this was at a time when they were supposedly not taking on any more customers due to their supply problems.

Although my dog loved Butternut she seems to prefer DD and although I initially thought it would work out more expensive it actually works out cheaper.

Customer service is excellent and I like how varied their recipes are.

The consistency is much less fatty than the Butternut receipes and the packaging is also much better.

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I too was looking forward to the new varieties of Butternut Box. It’s a shame that they have not been able to add them to the range. However, I appreciate that manufacturing and selling fresh food is probably more complex than it is for other types of dog food. Recently BB sent an email to inform customers that they are moving to six weekly delivery. That would be a problem for me as I don’t have freezer space for this quantity.


Just wanted to let everyone know that Different Dog have just launched a pheasant recipe.
I would also like to add that Butternut Box recently released their long awaited fish recipe a few weeks ago (not sure if this has been covered already as I haven’t been on here in a while).


Thank you for this information. Different Dog has a live cooking demonstration at 7pm - link.

Coming soon, Tuggs Fresh Cooked dog food Insects.

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Recipe for Chicken Coup - Ingredients: Chicken Breast, Insect Larvae, Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot, Salmon Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Kelp Powder. Hopefully they will update that with the percentages and a bit more detail.

Years complete nutrition system, fresh cooked. (rated in dog food directory)

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Phoenix Bark (Ireland). Freshly-prepared, lightly cooked, free dog food delivery to Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland

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Thank you for the information Seaweed. It’s good to have another company providing fresh cooked food for dogs.

Thanks for yet another very useful link, Seaweed. The food sounds very good and Phoenix Bark are extremely helpful and put me in touch, free of charge, with their independent nutritionalist who is brilliant. It brought me down a peg or two as I had thought I was pretty knowledgeable about dog food, but she made me realize it’s much more complex than just being able to identify good and bad ingredients and told me several things I knew absolutely nothing about. One of which was microbiome tests to assess gut health and identify any deficiencies caused by what dogs are fed, which might be useful for home cooking fed dogs, although I dread to think what it would reveal for dogs fed rubbish brands.

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