My Picky Dog Tried A Customized Meal Plan And He Really, Really Likes It

by Rachel Gariepy
Rachel Gariepy is an experienced Editorial Director for a variety of digital publications including LittleThings and Purple Clover. She has written for, edited and managed teams across multiple lifestyle properties, including sites for celebrity clientele including, but not limited to Jenni (JWOWW) Farley, NeNe Leakes, and Vanessa Hudgens. Rachel has experience wearing many fun and fanciful hats including content strategist, creator, editor and project manager. She, like Mitch Hedberg before her, sometimes wrestles with the idea of wearing a beret. She also enjoys hiking, reading and hanging out with dogs.

My dog Zephyr is a pit mix. He loves toys, playtime, and sleeping in bed with mom and dad. He’s a rescue mutt, and he is absolutely a handful.

Something we did not expect when we got him is that he’s not incredibly food driven. This became obvious when we started doing training classes with him and found that baiting him with treats was less enticing than baiting him with toys or rewarding him with playtime.

Zephyr generally eats dry dog food. We mix it up from month to month with a variety of brands and have tried grain-free, high-end, mid-range, and more affordable dog food brands. Zephyr doesn’t seem to have much of a preference.

To be fair, he would rather eat what’s on my plate, and, if I’m honest, I do sneak him tastes all too often.

Zephyr couch
Courtesy of author

One thing to note is that we gave  Zeph wet food from a can one time and he wouldn’t even taste it. He took one whiff and walked away, leaving the food to congeal overnight until we cleaned out his dish the next morning and scooped him a fresh helping of dry kibble. No big deal, we thought. Kibble is cheaper!

Ollie pets recipe
Ollie Pets

All of this changed when we decided to try out Ollie Pets subscription meal plan. With Ollie, you get to customize your choices, and that includes choosing the right food for your dog’s size, dietary restrictions, and preferences. We chose a lamb-based meal plan. The key ingredients are butternut squash and kale.

Full Ingredient List

ollie recipes
Ollie Pets

Here is the full list of 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, manganese gluconate, thiamin HCL, potassium iodate, and folic acid.

ollie turkey recipe
Ollie Pets

The food is fresh, is minimally processed, has no artificial flavors or fillers, and is actually safe enough for a human to eat. I considered trying it, but the husband is a really good cook, so I figured I shouldn’t waste my calories on dog food. 😉


ollie pets arrived
Ollie Pets

The food arrived in a box packed with dry ice, and we got two weeks’ worth of prepackaged frozen food that fit neatly in our freezer. We put two packages in the fridge so they would thaw for the following day. Zephyr had to wait it out. But he totally knew that something in that box was for him!

zeph waiting ollie
Courtesy of author

The day came for the big test! Would he eat it? When we started dishing out the full portion, he became pretty excited and was watching me with hawk eyes. I made him sit and give me a high-five, which is standard when I feed him. I want him to know who’s the boss and who he should love the most!

zephyr ollie food
Courtesy of author

And whaddya know? He dug right in and started chomping down that food so fast. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him clean his dish so quickly. And when I say clean his dish, I mean it. He was licking up every last bit of lamb about as quickly as a dog with one mouth can.

ollie portioning
Courtesy of author

For the first day or so, we gave him the full portion of food but after a little while, we started to mix a half or a third of a portion in with his dry kibble. He likes it either way, and this way we can get more mileage out of the food packs.

Ollie Chicken
Ollie Pets

The order came with a very useful resealable container and spoon, which helps me portion out the food and keep it in the fridge. I always know where it is and have the perfect-sized container to keep it in. Plus, it’s nice to have “flatware” that’s just for Zeph!

sleepy zeph

Something that happens quite frequently when you switch up your dog’s food is digestion issues. Notably, Zephyr’s bowel movements have been pretty consistent and solid since he started eating Ollie. Sorry for the TMI, but us pet owners like to know how these things affect our pups’ daily BMs.

Ollie pets delivered
Courtesy of author

Full disclosure: Ollie Pets sent me its food free of charge, but I would absolutely buy it again! I’m interested in trying the turkey, chicken, and beef recipes, and because you can divide one package into three meals, it ends up being a pretty economical way to feed your pet something besides boring old kibble!

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