With fresh dog food rising in popularity, two brands have reached stardom in the public eye: Spot and Tango (our review here) and The Farmer's Dog (our review here). Both offer fresh, human grade food without fillers or preservatives. Both tailor their food to your dog's specific needs. And both brands are vet-approved with a money back guarantee.
So, what's the difference?
⏰ Short on time? Here's a recap of my verdict
Differences between Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog
Spot and Tango was created in Russell Breuer's kitchen. He was worried about the safety of his Goldendoodle’s dog food. Taking matters into his own hands, he began cooking for his dog at home. Soon after, his friends and family started buying dog food from him. After raising $51 million, Spot and Tango opened its doors.
Today, they offer two types of food: fresh dog food (Fresh Recipes) and gently dried dog food (UnKibble).
While you’re cooking, suddenly, your dog looks at you. You want to give them a little treat but wonder if they can eat the food you are holding in your hand.
With our vet-approved magnet, you’ll know the answer at a glance! Plus, you can quickly scan our QR code to access the full article with all the explanations.
The Farmer's Dog also began with a single pup and worried pet parent. One of the brand's founders had a sick puppy named Jada. Jada suffered from digestive issues, and a vet suggested home-cooked meals for her.
Shockingly, Jada's symptoms completely disappeared after making the switch to homemade dog food. From there, Jada's food was perfected by a veterinary nutritionist and became the fresh pet food that earned The Farmer's Dog its fame.
But between these two dog food brands… which one is better? We tried both brands and have pitted the two together in a battle of the brands: Spot and Tango vs The Farmer's Dog. To choose a winner, we'll compare the ordering process, the delivery process, the transition onto each food, the packaging, the ingredients, and the prices of each brand.
In the end, only one brand can win.
Ordering the Food
Ordering food online from The Farmer's Dog and from Spot and Tango was easy. I also had no trouble canceling the subscription for either one when my trials were over.
For Spot and Tango, I gave them our dog's age, dog breed, weight, and energy level, and they suggested recipes based on that. They also asked if our dog was underweight, ideal weight, or chubby.
The Farmer's Dog had similar questions while ordering. They wanted to know our pup's age, weight, size, activity level, and allergies. The site was also beautiful and easy to navigate.
Although the ordering process was painless for both brands, The Farmer's Dog had the best online ordering experience.
Best Ordering Experience: The Farmer's Dog
The Delivery Process
The delivery process for both Spot and Tango and for The Farmer's Dog was relatively painless. Both offered fast, free shipping and dry ice to keep the food cold even if you're not home right away. The food was still frozen solid when it arrived for both brands.
After ordering Spot and Tango, I received a confirmation email. That same day, another email arrived with news that our food had been shipped. They included a tracking number, and four days later, our Spot and Tango box arrived.
We ordered The Farmer's Dog over a holiday weekend, so it’s hard to judge how fast their shipping usually is. Still, after placing an order I received a confirmation email that included an estimated delivery date. Six days later, I received an email that said our order had been shipped, and it included a button to track our order. The next day, our box arrived.
When the boxes arrived, I was impressed with both brands. Each box was beautifully packed, and the food was still frozen solid. Plus, both companies used eco-friendly packing material.
I noticed right away that a food packet was missing from our Spot and Tango order.
I contacted them right away to let them know, and they responded within 24 hours with a sincere apology and a refund for the missing packet.
Even though a packet was missing from the box, Spot and Tango had the best delivery experience. They had faster shipping times, fantastic customer service, and they gave me no trouble whatsoever when I contacted them.
Best Delivery Experience: Spot and Tango
Transitioning onto Each Food
Our youngest Blue Heeler mixes, Gojira and Monster X (also known as Brother), aren’t picky eaters. They love food and are always happy to try new things. Neither of them has food allergies, and neither has a super sensitive stomach. However, they’ve been known to turn green at the gills from too many table scraps.
Since they have mostly eaten kibble in the past, I worried about how they would adjust to a fresh food diet.
While Gojira tested Spot and Tango, Brother gave The Farmer’s Dog a try. And they both loved their food–they ate all of it before their old food. Surprisingly, the transition went smoothly for both foods. Gojira and Brother were in a great mood, had big appetites, and had lots of energy to spare.
While neither of them had an upset stomach or other issues, I did notice a bigger positive change with The Farmer’s Dog. Gojira got a bit shinier and more energetic while eating Spot and Tango meals, but Brother had the most profound results. After eating The Farmer’s Dog, his fur grew significantly shinier and much softer. He was all smiles and tail wags, and even more playful than usual.
Easiest Brand to Transition To: The Farmer's Dog
Packaging and Preparation
While Spot and Tango had single meals in each of their packets, The Farmer's Dog included a whole day's worth of food per packet. I quickly discovered that made a big difference.
First, the larger packets from The Farmer's Dog took up way more space in our freezer. The long, rounded packages were impossible to stack. They were so long that they required a full shelf's width just to accommodate them!
Spot and Tango's single-serve packets were smaller and rectangular. Because of that, they took up far less freezer space. The flat tops and bottoms made them easy to stack, and since they weren't as long, I could easily place things behind or in front of them.
The Farmer's Dog pouches were easy to open (just cut the top) but harder to squeeze out than anticipated. Spot and Tango's packets peeled open instead—but the instructions were unclear (make sure you peel the plastic at the very edge of the corner).
The food itself made Spot and Tango messy when opened if it was not opened gently. The red quinoa and brown rice were prone to flying everywhere if I used too much force. Once it’s open, the Spot and Tango food is easy to put in your dog's bowl, though. Simply turn the packet open packet upside-down over the bowl, and the food comes right out.
Best Packaging: Spot and Tango
My Dogs' Review of Both Brands
Gojira loved Spot and Tango, and Brother loved The Farmer’s Dog, but ultimately there was a clear favorite between the two. In a side-by-side taste test comparison, they enthusiastically voted for The Farmer’s Dog. They couldn’t get enough of the taste! Brother licked his bowl for probably fifteen minutes after every trace of food was gone. He begged for it morning and night and ran to the kitchen when it was time to eat.
The Farmer’s Dog beef recipe was his absolute favorite. He picked it out of the packages on the first night we unpacked the food, licking the packet until I gave him a taste. Our dog’s weight went up in the short time he ate The Farmer’s Dog, too! Brother is only one year old, though, so every pound went into growing up strong.
I guess that maybe, Brother and Gojira weren’t as much a fan of the apple cider vinegar in the Spot and Tango food.
Our Dogs’ Favorite Brand: The Farmer's Dog
Quality of Ingredients
Choosing the brand with the highest quality ingredients was tough. Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog both offer fresh meals made with human grade ingredients and no fillers or preservatives.
They both smelled like real human food. With both brands, I could see the fresh ingredients right there in the food (including USDA beef, carrots, whole peas, sweet potato, and other fresh veggies).
Both brands source their ingredients from the USA, but The Farmer’s Dog goes above and beyond that. They source their fresh ingredients from USDA-certified local farms. The Farmer’s Dog meals are also cooked fresh at low temperatures in USDA-certified kitchens. This helps to ensure the ingredients maintain their nutrients.
Best Ingredient Quality: The Farmer’s Dog
Variety of Meals
When choosing healthy dog food for your dog, your options for fresh food recipes matter. This is especially important for dogs that are picky eaters, those with food allergies, and pets with sensitive stomachs.
Some of the most common food allergies among dogs include wheat, soy, chicken, and beef. Most fresh dog food avoids fillers such as wheat and soy, but many dog owners prefer to stick with a completely grain free diet.
The Farmer’s Dog and Spot and Tango both offer grain free food. However, The Farmer’s Dog’s recipes are hard to find until you reach the ordering screen. We ordered three recipes for our trial: their beef recipe, turkey recipe, and pork recipe. All three were grain-free.
On the other hand, Spot and Tango offers both grain free and healthy, grain inclusive fresh food. When we ordered Spot and Tango, we got turkey and red quinoa, beef and millet, and the lamb and brown rice recipe.
Spot and Tango also offers dry food, known as UnKibble. It’s a high quality dog food with all the convenience of kibble. It’s less processed, uses human grade ingredients, and doesn’t have fillers or preservatives. UnKibble is gently dried to preserve nutrients, as well.
Best Meal Variety: Spot and Tango
Let’s talk money.
As many pet owners have discovered, fresh foods cost more than kibble. There’s a good reason for that, too. With fresh dog food, the ingredients are higher quality and less processed. Fresh foods don’t contain fillers or preservatives. And, gentle cooking ensures that the food keeps as many of the nutrients and ingredients intact as possible. But all of this costs more money, which leads to the higher price of fresh food.
Nevertheless, fresh food comes with many benefits. Most brands–including Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog–offer fresh dog food delivery. This is a major convenience for busy pet parents. It saves time and gas that would otherwise be spent going to the store.
Fresh dog food is also easier on the stomach. It can decrease vet visits, and many owners swear by the health improvements they’ve seen after switching to fresh food.
For both Spot and Tango and The Farmer’s Dog, the price varies depending on your pup. Their weight, age, activity level, and other factors affect how much food they’ll need.
Spot and Tango’s fresh dog foods start at $2 per day, and their UnKibble starts at $1 per day.
The Farmer’s Dog offers fresh dog food starting at $2 per day, too. But for medium or larger dogs, we found that The Farmer’s Dog food costs less.
To feed one of our medium-sized pups, Spot and Tango cost roughly $170 for two weeks before the discount. For the other pup, The Farmer’s Dog cost roughly $140 for two weeks.
We did have discounts available (which are available to our readers, as well), and those brought the price down significantly.
And, the shipping is always free.
Best Price: The Farmer's Dog
My Verdict: The Farmer's Dog vs Spot and Tango
Although both brands have a lot to offer, there is a clear winner: The Farmer’s Dog.
They offer a lower price, better ingredients, and the best taste (according to our dogs). I’ve never seen Brother lick a bowl so clean! His fur was softer and shinier after eating The Farmer’s Dog food, too.
The Farmer’s Dog also won In a side-by-side taste test. Gojira and Brother both preferred it!
If you’re curious about fresh food, The Farmer’s Dog is an excellent choice that received rave reviews from our dogs. I’m willing to bet that your dogs will love it, too.
With our discount, this is the best time to take this fresh food for a test drive. And with a satisfaction money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.
Best Fresh Dog Food Brand: The Farmer’s Dog
I'm Michelle Ropp, a writer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA. For all my life, I've been in love with dogs and the written word. I grew up surrounded by incredible dogs, and share my home with four amazing Heeler mixes now. It was only natural for my two passions to combine, and I've enjoyed writing about dogs ever since.