Review: Ollie Chicken Recipe
Recently my dog’s sensitive stomach required me to make her health a priority. After several trips to the vet, many hours of online research, and several rounds of experimentation, I stumbled upon Ollie’s fresh dog food recipes.
Ollie uses human-grade, vet-formulated nutrition with customized ingredients to optimize your dog’s health from the inside-out. Ollie’s dog food is a hearty combination off fresh, high-quality proteins, fruits, veggies, and superfoods that provide your dog with a well-rounded meal.
If you're a busy pup parent like me, you'll appreciate that they conveniently deliver your subscription to door every two weeks. This ensures your dog always has a meal, and all you have to do is open a packet before sitting back and watching your dog devour every last morsel.
At least that's what happened when my dog switched from kibble to Ollie's chicken recipe. After just a few short weeks, she seemed more upbeat and had healthier-looking too, with more regular bowel movements. Overall she's pretty much always eager to eat and clean her bowl now, and doesn't suffer from any of the tummy issues or anxiety as before.
My dog’s health pushed me to find a solution.
No matter what kibble I fed her, my dog experienced serious tummy issues until I finally took her to the vet. I had spent several months trying to transition her off of one dog food brand onto a "simple diet” of chicken, broth, rice, and pumpkin, before trying out yet another brand of kibble. Nothing seemed to be working.
I should’ve taken her to the vet sooner.
The vet told me that my beloved puppy wasn’t able to digest fat, and that every standard kibble or canned food on the market contained too much fat for her fragile digestive system. The vet showed me under a microscope the undigested fat pockets that were scattered throughout her stool. These numerous and tiny fat pockets were causing her tummy serious inflammation, and causing irritable bowel.
He recommended that after resetting her stomach again for 1 week, with a simple diet of chicken, rice and pumpkin, I could transition her onto a “Sensitive Stomach” kibble recipe.
Over the following year on this new kibble, her stools improved, but she often refused to eat her food, and would leave plenty leftover in her bowl, sometimes, for days at a time.
Clearly, she still wasn’t satisfied, and I knew I needed to try a different tactic.
So I did some research.
Why isn't store-bought kibble good enough?
My research led me through a lot of stomach-twisting information about the dog food industry, which has limited regulation by the FDA, leaving ample opportunity for alarming practices.
Despite any difference in price or marketing, most of the dog food brands you see in stores have similar manufacturing procedures, if not coming from the same manufacturer.
At many of these facilities, the quality of dog food ingredients is disturbing, and often results in recalls of hundreds of brands of pet food at a time for various, life-threatening contaminations that often kill thousands of pets across the U.S., and globally.
Though the industry has done well at fortifying kibble and wet food with vitamins and nutrients, keeping your dog alive as the status quo, nearly all nutritional value from the ingredients otherwise gets cooked out of the kibble.
The real horror lies in the quality of the meat.
Kibble isn’t just dehydrated pellets of meat, poultry, or seafood, but byproducts of those proteins as well. This animal byproduct is what we know as “meal.”
Great! What is "meal?"
Meal is the term applied to the 6,500 pounds of low-quality proteins like ground-up animal bones, organs, raw, sometimes diseased, or rancid animal flesh that gets cooked at 180-280 degrees in a giant vat before 90% of the moisture is removed, alongside excess hair or bone chips, packed with synthetic preservatives, vitamins, and minerals, and cut into the pellets we recognize as “kibble.”
That’s what we serve to our dogs. Our fur babies. Our best friends.
Who could blame my dog for not finishing her bowl?
Why is fresh dog food better?
Dogs have eaten fresh food since they were wolves, hunting in the wild. They have eaten our table scraps for approximately 40,000 years now, and we have evolved alongside each other for so long, our digestive systems are similar enough for them to eat and benefit from many of the same fruits and vegetables we do.
Just like humans, when dogs eat fresh proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains, their immune system gets stronger, their digestion improves, they have increased vitality, stronger muscles, and fewer ailments. Just like humans, fresh food also affects their aesthetic health, giving them a shinier coat, fewer skin issues or allergies, and a healthier body weight.
A 2005 study at Purdue University found that by simply adding fresh vegetables to a dog’s kibble, cancer cell growth was prevented and decelerated by 70-90%. Given that the leading cause of death for dogs over age 10 is cancer, switching them to a fresh food diet makes all the more sense.
Why not just DIY our own fresh dog food?
When the vet suggested putting my dog on a simple diet to reset her tummy, he did not send me to another kibble brand, he sent me to the grocery store. But why couldn’t I just continue to give my dog that simple diet of chicken, rice and pumpkin?
As is the problem with most Do-It-Yourself fresh dog food recipes, it is extremely difficult to meet the daily balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients required for your dog. Not only is it expensive, but nutritional guidelines vary per pooch, with breed, age, physique and activity levels creating differences in the amount of which foods your dog should eat per meal.
So while giving your dog fresh fruits, veggies and grains is ideal, it is not usually enough on its own to nutritionally meet your dog’s daily needs. You need experts to figure that out.
That’s where fresh dog food brands like Ollie come in.
WHY CHOOSE OLLIE OVER OTHER FRESH DOG FOOD BRANDS?
Brands like Ollie are disrupting the dog food industry by providing your dog with fresh, human-grade, personalized meals with vet-formulated ingredients to provide your dog all the nutrients she needs, but it's not the only option.
You may have heard of other fresh dog food companies like The Farmer's Dog, NomNom, and more. But when it comes to fresh dog food delivery subscriptions, Ollie delivers the best value for the lowest price. They offer the widest range of meal selections, offer dog treats in addition to food, and boast the most flexible delivery options, giving you the freedom to either supplement your dog’s meals by 25% or 50%, or go all in with a 100% replacement of your dog’s current diet. I really like this comparison of Ollie to other fresh dog food brands.
Ollie's food isn't the cheapest, but with a 50% discount, I was able to get my dog’s first week for $15.47.
HOW DOES OLLIE CUSTOMIZE DOG MEALS?
All it took was filling out a fun, brief survey on their website, answering questions about my dog’s age, breed, activity levels, current physical shape, and her specialized dietary needs.
From there they calculated the appropriate ingredients and calorie intake for my dog, and I was given a summary of recipe options, including insight into the benefits of the ingredients included in each meal. I could also adjust a sliding scale of how much of Ollie’s recipes I expected to give her each week (which adjusted the price in real time), as well as access to their FAQs.
OLLIE Serves More than just Fresh Chicken.
Ollie’s fresh dog food recipes meet both the USDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards with human-grade, vet-formulated ingredients, providing higher quality nutrition than any kibble could provide.
Given a choice between four recipes (beef, turkey, chicken, and lamb), beef is the most affordable, though the difference in price between each protein is less than $2.
To complement my dog’s sensitive stomach, I went with the chicken recipe. I liked seeing immediately on their website what their top whole food ingredients were, alongside their beneficial qualities for my dog’s diet. If you're curious how other recipes compare, click here to read my review of Ollie’s fresh beef recipe.
The fat content was the first thing I looked for when comparing Ollie’s chicken recipe to the kibble that I was already giving my dog, since that’s what she suffered the most discomfort from.
I was surprised to see that Ollie’s chicken recipe contained a minimum 4% fat, while the "Sensitive Stomach” recipe that I had been giving her contained almost 16% fat!
Ollie Fresh Dog Food Recipes
Chicken Goodness Recipe
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)
Protein: min 10%
Hearty Beef Eats Recipe
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
Protein: min 12%
Healthy Turkey Feast
Turkey breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, lentils, blueberries, coconut oil, pumpkin, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, zinc gluconate, cod liver oil, iron sulfate, manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin E powder, thiamin HCL, potassium iodate
Protein: min 11%
Tasty Lamb Fare Recipe
Lamb, lamb liver, butternut squash, kale, 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
Protein: min 11%
I then compared the line-up of ingredients between Ollie and her previous kibble.
Though many of the ingredients seemed similar, the dry kibble contained far more ingredients (items like “chicken liver flavor," "pork liver flavor,” and “natural flavors,” as well as allergens like wheat and soybean oil, sandwiching a long list of vitamin and nutrient fortifiers). I also noticed that nearly half of the “whole foods” listed in the dry kibble came after the long list of added supplements.
Ollie, on the other hand, presented its list of whole foods at the top of their ingredients, indicating that these whole foods came at a higher ratio than their nutritional supplements. With minimal processing and human-grade food, Ollie’s fresh dog meals contain no artificial flavors, and no fillers like soy, corn or wheat.
A few considerations when switching to fresh dog food.
Ollie’s subscription and delivery service makes switching your dog to a fresh diet super convenient, but there are a couple of things to consider before signing up.
Though it hardly needs stating, the difference between fresh dog food and dry kibble is the fact that Ollie’s meals are fresh, with real meats, vegetables, fruits and superfoods in little pouches, ready to pour into your dog’s bowl.
Food this fresh requires refrigeration. Ollie delivers two weeks (14 days) of dog food at a time, meaning, you will need space to store the food packs, either in your fridge, or in the freezer. Opened meal packs will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days, but if you need to freeze some food, it only takes a day to thaw in the fridge before serving.
Ollie’s meals come with a branded bowl with a resealable lid (pictured below) to help keep uneaten portions fresh longer.
2. Transition Period
I talked a lot earlier about transitioning my dog on and off of different kinds of dog food. Whenever introducing a new diet to your dog, vets recommend a slow transition over a week-long period to make sure you don’t upset her stomach.
Ollie makes this suggestion when transitioning your dog to their fresh dog food:
- Day 1-2: 25% of the whole portion size of the new food mixed with 75% old food
- Day 3-4: 50% new food mixed with 50% old food
- Day 5-6: 75% new food mixed with 25% old food
- Day 7+: 100% new food
So will your dog love Ollie's Chicken Recipe, too?
Most dogs are cautious of new foods, and some are picky eaters, reluctant to finish a new meal if it contains new flavors. However, if you’ve ever seen your furry friend come running at the sound of a can opening, or stand eagerly at your side while you eat your meal, then you can guarantee that she’ll love Ollie’s fresh dog food. If she doesn’t, Ollie will exchange your dog’s meal for another, or refund your starter box.
My dog was absolutely thrilled with her transition to fresh dog food. Her poops are healthy and regular, and she spends less time sleeping during the day. She also waits eagerly by the bowl for her next meal, and licks her plate clean. That is such a huge shift from when she was strictly served dry kibble, when she’d wait until she was absolutely starving before she touched her bowl of food.
Some dogs are pickier eaters, but my guess is that, like mine, your dog will love Ollie’s fresh dog food. Honestly, with human-grade fresh ingredients, what’s not to like?
Ready to give your dog the best? Get started with 50% off your first box!