Pet Plate is a direct-to-consumer brand that delivers fresh-cooked pet meals crafted from human-grade ingredients that are kettle cooked in a USDA kitchen. The company’s vet-designed meals come in pre-portioned, re-sealable, microwavable, recyclable containers. The meals, which contain no preservatives or fillers, come in four varieties: chicken, beef, turkey and lamb.
Renaldo Webb, the founder of Pet Plate, was previously a consultant in the pet food space until he decided he could create his own line of food to provide a healthier alternative for his dog Winston.
The company recently launched Pet Plate 3.0, which allows pet parents to personalize their pup’s meal plan down to the calorie. The process involves customers answering a few questions about their dog’s profile, such as breed, age, weight, activity level and body condition. Using its proprietary algorithm, Pet Plate calculates the exact number of calories the dog needs for a balanced diet.
The recipes are designed by a veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Renee Streeter, who stated in a press release that “the meals I’ve formulated for Pet Plate are nutritionally balanced and highly palatable for dogs.”
We selected Eeyore, one of our test dogs, to sample Pet Plate. We created a plan by answering questions pertaining to his breed (dachshund-labrador mix), age (5 years old), weight (we’ll not reveal his weight, as he’s sensitive about that) and lifestyle aspects.
Less than a week later, a large box arrived on our doorstep. The containers were safely packed in dry ice and plenty of insulation, which ensured that the food would stay fresh and reduced the risk of any containers getting damaged in transit. It was obvious that a great amount of thought was put into shipping the product.
The instructions on using Pet Plate are simple. The containers arrived frozen (Pet Plate states they can be stored for up to 12 months), so we placed the ones we weren’t planning to use immediately in the freezer, and placed the one we were planning to use in the fridge so it could defrost. When it was time to feed Eeyore, we used Pet Plate’s suggestions.
The company states that it creates its serving suggestions on AAFCO’s feeding guidelines, based on two meals a day. And with Pet Plate preparing Eeyore’s personalized diet and desired calorie count, the company recommended that a container make up his two full meals over the course of a day.
When it was the first time for Eeyore to test a Pet Plate meal, we selected the chicken meal (the recipes’ catchy names are Barkin’ Beef, Chompin’ Chicken, Lip Lickin’ Lamb and Tail Waggin’ Turkey) and removed half of its contents. We noticed that there was no “dog food” odor at all. In fact, the aroma was beyond mild. The appearance of the food was not very colorful. It was generally a brown blob, as if it had been through a food processor, although it was chunky.
We chose to heat the meal in a pot over a low heat instead of serving it room temperature or microwaving the meal. The smell of the slow-cooking food caused one of the other test dogs to lose her mind, so we had to place her in another room.
Eeyore patiently waited, and we recorded the experience of him devouring the meal in a two-minute video (which also includes the background sounds of the other test dog voicing her protests). It would be an understatement to say that Eeyore thoroughly enjoyed the meal. As evident in the end of the video, he showed his approval of the food with a belch, which also signaled that he was full.
Eeyore’s been on the Pet Plate food plan for a few weeks, and he’s shown no vomiting, loose stool or digestive problems since being introduced to it. However, we cannot vouch for a change to his weight, coat or energy. That said, he perks up every time he notices the scent of his food being heated.
We give Pet Plate a huge thumbs-up. It’s a plus that the ingredients are USDA meats, fruits and vegetables, with each meal being flash-frozen to lock in freshness. We also like that each batch is tested for safety. Plus, the four recipes offer plenty of variety that the pup will not notice any redundancy in its diet.
The cost is also reasonable, with plans starting at $1.50 per day (meal pricing is based on the factors that are provided in the answers to the introductory profile questions), and plans include free shipping.
While the meals are promoted as being complete and balanced for all life stages, Pet Plate does not recommend its product for puppies younger than 3 months old.