Ease of Use: 20/20
Dog Approval: 19/20
When I first got my French Bulldog, I knew what I was in for: A stubborn (albeit extremely cute) personality and a lot of allergies. My guy, King Louis, is perfect in every way, but man, those allergies! After what felt like 100 tests, we found out that he’s literally allergic to life (aka dust and mold) and has some sensitivities to common kibble ingredients like chicken, beef and peas. Plus, because he’s a bulldog, he’s also inherently sensitive to starches and gluten, which can cause excess yeast buildup in his ears and in his face wrinkles—not cute or comfortable.
I tried at least ten of the top-rated kibble brands—from Fromm to Acana—and Lou was just never thrilled with it. But it wasn’t a problem with his eating…he loves to eat more than any dog I know. Treats? Sure. Cheese? Absolutely. Even a rogue blueberry here and there. Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated. But after doing some research, we landed on a raw food diet. Yep, he would eat raw ground turkey (with the appropriate added vitamins) and he did well on it, but weighing it out and slopping it on his dish wasn’t the most pleasant mealtime task for me.
Why Ollie was so appealing
So, we decided to try Ollie, one of the most popular real-food options on the market. I’d heard good things about the brand from Lou’s girlfriend, Jelly (another French Bulldog), who lives next door, so I went into research mode. The first thing I loved off the bat, were all the protein options. Many dog food brands only offer protein that Lou can’t eat (i.e. chicken and beef), but Ollie offers turkey and lamb too, which are great alternatives for dogs with food sensitivities. Plus, Ollie’s dog food is so fresh, even humans could eat it. Each vet-formulated meal features high-quality meat from family-run farms, gently cooked fruits and veggies and superfoods like chia seeds. Plus, there’s never any fillers, byproducts, artificial flavors or preservatives. Basically, Lou now eats better than I do.
It’s highly personalized
I also really loved how personalized the product is. You take a short survey prior to ordering, and they create the appropriate portion size and meal plan for your pup. The whole process felt kind of like a fun adlib, rather than an annoying questionnaire—major bonus points. We landed on a one-month supply to start, half of his meals being turkey and the other half being lamb. If you’re used to purchasing a giant bag of kibble, Ollie is definitely on the pricier side, but for the convenience factor and the tiny little mealtime dance your dog will most definitely do, it’s so worth it.
But it’s not cheap
To give you an idea about cost, Lou is 6 years old, weighs in at 27 pounds and has a pretty laid-back lifestyle (honestly, same), and his biweekly shipments run me about $80 (or $160/month). We were already paying $120 per month for his raw food, so it’s not too drastic of a difference, especially when you take all the vet-approved recipes and customer service into consideration. Though, I’m not sure it would be super cost-effective for a much larger or active dog, who would definitely need bigger portions. Though, if you really want to give your pup the benefits of Ollie, but just can’t stomach the price, the brand offers half and quarter meal plans, so you can use it as a kibble topper.
Though delivery and storage is super convenient
Each shipment is delivered in two-week increments in an insulated box. There are 14 meals total—one pre-portioned package for each day. All you have to do is thaw it out and serve half for breakfast and half for dinner and you can keep unopened packs in the fridge for up to five days, meaning you can defrost a couple at a time. Plus, the very first shipment comes with a convenient plastic storage container and scooper, so you can store the open packages in your fridge without smelling the whole thing up.
Cons? It kinda stinks
Which brings me to another point: the smell. Believe it or not, the raw food I made on my own didn’t really smell like anything, but the Ollie food reminded me of really potent wet cat food. It honestly was my least favorite part of the whole process. But you can see the whole ingredients in the food, so there aren’t any mystery meat vibes. I’d expect it would also be a bit of a transition if you’re used to feeding your pup odorless kibble.
Pros? My dog looooves it and there are no allergies
I got used to the scent after a while, and Lou seemed to really enjoy his mealtimes. He kind of looked at me the first time like, “Is this really for me?!” and gobbled it up immediately. He does this little whine and jump every time I take the package out for breakfast or dinner, so I know he’s enjoying it. And not to mention, we’ve had zero allergy issues with it. I even think it’s helped heal some hot spots and inflamed skin issues, which he tends to get more of in the summer. We didn’t really have to introduce it to him little by little, because he already wasn’t eating kibble. However, if your dog is transitioning from a kibble diet, there are east-to-follow instructions with how much to mix in their food until they’re fully transitioned.
The overall consensus
All in all, Ollie has been a really great experience start to finish. If you’re looking for a healthy real-food brand to feed your pup, I’d highly recommend. Even though it’s a bit on the expensive side, it’s actually one of the better priced options out there (compared to other brands who quoted Lou at just under $200 per month). And you don’t even have to remember to order it every month, because it just ships on subscription until you say otherwise. Coming from a food-obsessed dog who used to pick at his kibble, I’d say Ollie passes Lou’s taste test with flying colors.
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