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Just Food For Dogs Review: Analyzing the Nutrition

Just Food For Dogs review
  • 6.5/10
    Woof Whiskers Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

Summary

Just Food For Dogs focuses on quality through research, which is apparent given the hefty team of 11 veterinarians on staff. However, they are outperformed by The Farmer’s Dog in terms of convenience and meal plan customization.

Last Updated: February 21, 2024 by Lisa Melillo

I’ve always believed in the power of firsthand research and scientific analysis as a dog owner and veterinary worker. This belief led me to conduct an in-depth study on the effects of grain-free diets on canine health. The trend towards grain-free dog food has been a hot topic among pet owners, and I wanted to understand the real impact of such diets.

I recall setting up a deep-dive into dog food with a diverse group of dogs, including my own loyal companion, Max. Over six months, we carefully monitored the health, energy levels, and overall well-being of dogs on grain-free diets compared to those on traditional diets. Our discoveries were eye-opening. This nuanced outcome highlighted the importance of individual dietary needs and the complexities of canine nutrition.

In this comprehensive Just Food For Dogs review, we’ll explore the intricate details from its ingredient composition to its nutritional adequacy, flavor profile, and overall quality. Drawing from my professional veterinary experience and observations from different cases, I aim to provide an insightful and objective analysis. Whether you’re already a Just Food For Dogs patron or contemplating it for your furry friend, this review is crafted to offer clear, practical information that can aid in your decision-making process.

We analyzed over 1500 dog food formulas and reviewed more than 120 dog food brands to understand their company values, product selection, and quality of ingredients. We did this by creating an algorithm to rate each dog food based on the nutrient content and top 10 ingredients. All dog food brands were ultimately graded based on Protein/Carb Ratio, Quality of Ingredients, and Variety.

My Unbiased Opinion

We actually prefer The Farmer’s Dog. They offer excellent fresh quality and better convenience through customized meal plans. Read all about it in my Farmer’s Dog review,

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Just Food For Dogs History

JustFoodForDogs Logo

Just Food for Dogs is both innovative and centered around a deep commitment to the health and wellbeing of pets. The company was founded by Shawn Buckley, who started by cooking for his own dogs after discovering the concerning realities of what was legally allowed in dog food. His approach was simple yet revolutionary: preparing meals using healthy, nutritionally balanced ingredients.

The Inception of the First Kitchen

In 2010, Just Food for Dogs opened its first kitchen, marking the beginning of a new era in pet food production. This first kitchen was not just a place for food preparation; it was designed to be open and transparent, allowing everyone to see the process of making fresh dog food. This model of open “exhibition” kitchens became a hallmark of Just Food for Dogs, distinguishing it from other pet food brands.

The Role of CEO Carey Tischler

The leadership of CEO Carey Tischler has been instrumental in the brand’s growth and vision. Tischler’s background in engineering, private equity, and the military, along with his experience in the pet food industry, brought a unique perspective to Just Food for Dogs.

Company’s Growth and Focus on Pet Health

Under Tischler’s leadership, the company has focused on fresh, “clean” eating for pets, transparency, education, and research. He emphasized the importance of human-grade ingredients and the need for a shift from highly processed pet food to a whole-foods regimen. The company’s growth has been significant, with plans to expand its retail footprint and increase meal production substantially.

Commitment to Quality, Transparency, and Health

Just Food for Dogs’ approach is a blend of innovation, transparency, and commitment to pet health, setting new standards in the pet food industry. This history reflects a company that is not just selling pet food, but is deeply invested in changing how we feed our pets, with a focus on quality, transparency, and health.

Just Food For Dogs Overview

Just Food For Dogs is one of the original fresh dog food delivery companies who has a laser focus on nutrition and quality. While the company wasn’t backed by as many huge investors like competitors NomNomNow and The Farmer’s Dog, Just Food ForD ogs never lost sight of what’s most important: quality, human-grade dog food through research.

Apart from their excellent selection of recipes — which we’ll dive more into later — what we absolutely love about this company is their team of eleven veterinarians on staff. This impressive team works to formulate each recipe by ensuring the food meets all AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s nutritional needs. Just Food For Dogs makes it to the recommended list of dog food for Huskies.

In addition, it’s obvious that Just Food For Dogs is in business to improve the health of dogs — even if it means turning less profit — because of the DIY recipes they offer. These kits are formulated by veterinarians and are designed to balance home-cooked meals for dogs. Each bag of the nutrient blend can be used to make approximately 39 lbs of dog food, ensuring a substantial supply for your pet’s nutritional needs.

JustFoodForDogs Pantry Fresh Wet Dog Food, Complete Meal or Dog Food Topper, Chicken & White Rice Human Grade Dog Food Recipe - 12.5 oz (Pack of 12)

Ingredients

Just Food For Dogs uses fresh, whole ingredients in their recipes, focusing on human-grade quality. Their products typically include a variety of proteins like chicken, beef, or fish, combined with nutritious vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. They ensure a balanced diet by adding essential vitamins and minerals.

Each recipe is formulated with the guidance of veterinarians to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs, catering to different life stages and health requirements. This approach underscores their commitment to providing high-quality, nourishing food for pets.

Nutritional Analysis

Before we dive into each recipe, I wanted to point out that the Just Food For Dogs ingredients list appears longer at first than most fresh dog foods. But that’s because they list out their vitamin/mineral mix while most other companies simply list “supplement mix”. So this is actually a big plus in our book that they are this transparent enabling you to really see all the human-grade ingredients put into your dog’s food.

Delivery and Unboxing

One of the interesting I’ve discovered for this Just Food For Dogs review is that they have multiple brick and mortar kitchens across the US where they cook and sell fresh pet food. If you live close to one of these, you can actually have your dog food delivered by one of their company vehicles and packed with gel ice packs.

If you’re like me and live far away from their kitchens, standard delivery is available all across the US through standard courier services. These boxes are packed with dry ice and insulation to ensure they stay frozen much longer.

As with all fresh dog food delivery companies, you are encouraged to freeze the bulk of it as soon as you receive it, leaving only enough in the refrigerator for one or two days at a time. Every time you feed a pack from the fridge, take one out of the freezer and place it in the fridge and it will be thawed and ready for the next feeding.

Just Food For Dogs Product Lines

Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni

The turkey recipe is a nutritious blend designed for dogs who thrive on a diet rich in lean protein and complex carbohydrates. It features ground turkey as its primary protein source, known for being lean and easily digestible, making it ideal for many dogs, including those with sensitive stomachs. The recipe includes whole wheat macaroni, offering beneficial fiber and energy-providing complex carbohydrates. Additionally, this meal is balanced with essential nutrients and vitamins, ensuring a well-rounded diet for your canine companion.
Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni

Ingredients: USDA Certified Ground Turkey, Whole Wheat Macaroni, Broccoli, Zucchini, USDA Certified Turkey Liver, Carrots, Cranberries, Premium EPA/DHA, Natural Calcium, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin E (as a-tocopheral succinate), Taurine, Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Bisglycinate Chelate, Riboflavin, Natural Kelp (for iodine), Manganese Gluconate Dihydrate, Vitamin B1 (as thiamine mononitrate), Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin)
  • 36%

    Protein

  • 13%

    Fat

  • 42%

    Carbs

Chicken & White Rice

Chicken White Rice

The chicken recipe offers a balanced and nutritious meal, perfect for dogs who enjoy poultry-based diets. This recipe uses fresh chicken as its main protein source, providing essential amino acids crucial for your dog’s health. While chicken is a cost-effective protein, this recipe maintains an average protein level, ensuring it’s not overly rich for your pet. Paired with white rice, it offers a digestible carbohydrate source, making it suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or dietary restrictions.

Ingredients: USDA Certified Chicken Thigh, Long Grain White Rice, Spinach, Carrots, Apples, USDA Certified Chicken Gizzards, USDA Certified Chicken Liver, Premium EPA/DHA, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Natural Calcium, Sodium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Natural Kelp (for iodine), Zinc Oxide, Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate, Vitamin E (as a-tocopherol succinate), Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate, Copper Bisglycinate Chelate, Vitamin B3 (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin B5 (as calcium d-pantothenate), Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin)
  • 29%

    Protein

  • 14%

    Fat

  • 46%

    Carbs

Lamb & Brown Rice

Lamb & Brown Rice

The lamb recipe is a gourmet option that caters to dogs who prefer the distinct flavor of lamb. This recipe combines high-quality lamb as the main protein source with brown rice, a wholesome grain that provides essential nutrients and fiber. The inclusion of lamb not only offers a rich taste but also supplies vital nutrients and healthy fats, supporting overall wellness. Balanced with vegetables and fortified with vitamins, this meal is designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, while also providing variety and enjoyment in their diet.

Ingredients: USDA Certified Lean Ground Lamb, Long Grain Brown Rice, Spinach, Cauliflower, Carrots, USDA Certified Lamb Liver, Blueberries, Safflower Oil, Premium EPA/DHA, Natural Calcium, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, L-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Natural Kelp (for iodine), Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E (as a-tocopherol succinate), Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate, Zinc Oxide, Selenium Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin D3 (as colecalciferol), Riboflavin
  • 23%

    Protein

  • 23%

    Fat

  • 44%

    Carbs

Beef & Russet Potato

Beef & Russet Potato

The beef recipe is tailored for dogs needing higher fat content in their diet. Despite using lean ground beef, this recipe stands out for its higher fat levels, making it an excellent choice for underweight dogs or those struggling to gain weight. It’s particularly suitable for active breeds like Dobermans and other working dogs who require more calories for their energy expenditure. The combination of beef and russet potatoes provides a rich source of protein and carbohydrates, supporting muscle growth and energy needs.

Ingredients: USDA Certified Lean Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans, USDA Certified Beef Liver, Green Peas, Apples, Safflower Oil, Premium EPA/DHA, Natural Calcium, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate, Taurine, Zinc Oxide, Natural Kelp (for iodine), Vitamin E (as a-tocopherol succinate), Manganese Bisglicisnate Chelate, Riboflavin, D-Biotin, Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin B1 (as thiamine hydrochloride), Selenium
  • 32%

    Protein

  • 30%

    Fat

  • 26%

    Carbs

Fish & Sweet Potato

Fish & Sweet Potato

The fish recipe is an excellent choice for dogs with specific dietary needs or sensitivities. This formula uses high-quality fish as the primary protein source, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to healthy skin and a shiny coat. Sweet potatoes serve as a nutritious carbohydrate, rich in fiber and vitamins, aiding in digestive health. This recipe is ideal for dogs who require a diet lower in fat and protein but still need nutritious, wholesome ingredients to maintain overall health.

Ingredients: Wild Caught Pacific Cod, Sweet Potatoes, Russet Potatoes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Safflower Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Natural Calcium, Sodium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Vitamin E (as a-tocopherol succinate), Zinc Oxide, Iron Glycinate Chelate, Vitamin B5 (as calcium d-pantothenate), Copper Citrate, Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), Riboflavin, Manganese Citrate, Natural Kelp (for iodine), D-Biotiin, Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin)

  • 37.5%

    Protein

  • 10%

    Fat

  • 37.5%

    Carbs

Raw fish is a great source of protein for dogs. All though it should be prepared according to guidelines. Related article: Can dogs have sushi?

Venison & Squash

Venison & Squash

The venison recipe offers a unique protein option for dogs, especially those with food sensitivities or allergies to more common meats. Venison, the main ingredient, is a lean and novel protein, providing essential nutrients without the common allergens found in beef or chicken. Paired with squash, this recipe delivers a rich source of vitamins and fiber, supporting digestive health. This specialty formula is ideal for dogs with specific dietary needs, offering a high-quality, flavorful, and nutritionally balanced meal.

Ingredients: USDA Certified Ground Venison, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, Safflower Oil, Premium EPA/DHA, Natural Calcium, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin E (as a-tocopheral succinate), Taurine, Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Bisglycinate Chelate, Riboflavin, Natural Kelp (for iodine), Manganese Gluconate Dihydrate, Vitamin B1 (as thiamine mononitrate), Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin)
  • 43%

    Protein

  • 14%

    Fat

  • 27%

    Carbs

Just Food For Dogs Review Summary

Advantages 

  • Nutritional Quality: Recipes are formulated with human-grade ingredients, ensuring high nutritional value.
  • Variety of Choices: Offers a wide range of recipes, including options for dogs with specific dietary needs.
  • Veterinary Input: Recipes are formulated with the involvement of veterinarians, ensuring they meet dietary standards.

Disadvantages 

  • Cost: Higher price point compared to conventional dog food.
  • Storage and Convenience: Fresh food requires refrigeration and more frequent shopping or deliveries.
  • Limited Availability: Might not be as readily available in all regions or stores as traditional dog food brands.

Where to Buy Just Food For Dogs

Just Food For Dogs products can typically be purchased through their official website, which offers a variety of their recipes and custom diet options. Additionally, their products are often available at pet specialty stores and some veterinary clinics.

For convenience, you can also find Just Food For Dogs meals on online platforms like Chewy or Amazon. It’s advisable to check their website for a store locator tool, which can help you find the nearest retail location offering their products.

Placing your first order on their official website is pretty straight forward. Simply find which recipe you want for your dog and select either 18oz or 72oz packages (29 Calories per ounce), depending on the size of your dog. They have a feeding calculator to help with this, but unfortunately they do not offer tailored sizes. This isn’t a huge drawback, but competitors such as NomNomNow and the Farmer’s Dog tailor specially-sized packages depending on your dog’s breed and weight (however it does result in more packaging waste, so Just Food For Dogs is more sustainable).

 

FAQs Just Food For Dogs

What makes Just Food For Dogs different from regular dog food?

Just Food For Dogs stands out due to its use of fresh, human-grade ingredients, ensuring a higher nutritional quality than traditional dog foods. Their recipes are formulated by veterinarians, focusing on whole-food ingredients without preservatives or artificial additives. This approach aims to provide a diet that’s closer to what dogs would naturally eat, potentially leading to better health outcomes like improved digestion, healthier skin and coat, and increased energy levels. However, it’s important to gradually introduce any new diet to your dog to ensure they adjust well.

Is Just Food For Dogs suitable for all breeds and ages?

Just Food For Dogs offers a range of recipes to cater to different breeds, sizes, and life stages. Their formulations consider the nutritional requirements of puppies, adults, and senior dogs, as well as specific needs like weight management or food sensitivities. While their products are designed to be broadly suitable, it’s always recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best dietary choice for your individual dog, especially if they have unique health concerns or dietary requirements.

How do I store Just Food For Dogs meals, and what is their shelf life?

Being fresh food, Just Food For Dogs meals require refrigeration. The meals typically come in sealed packaging, which helps maintain freshness. Once opened, they should be consumed within a few days. For convenience, you can also freeze the food, extending its shelf life. It’s essential to follow storage instructions to ensure the food remains safe and nutritious for your pet. The convenience of fresh food comes with the responsibility of proper storage to maintain its quality and safety.

Can Just Food For Dogs be used for dogs with health issues?

Just Food For Dogs can be particularly beneficial for dogs with specific health issues like allergies, obesity, or digestive problems. Their use of high-quality, whole ingredients can aid in managing these conditions. However, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian before switching the diet of a dog with health issues. In some cases, Just Food For Dogs also offers custom diet formulations, which are specifically tailored to the nutritional needs of dogs with certain health conditions, providing a more targeted dietary approach.

How do I transition my dog to Just Food For Dogs?

Transitioning to Just Food For Dogs should be a gradual process to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of Just Food For Dogs with your dog’s current food, gradually increasing the proportion over several days or weeks. This slow transition allows your dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new diet. Monitoring your dog’s reaction during this period is important; some dogs may require a longer transition period, especially those with sensitive stomachs or specific dietary needs.

Final Woof

In concluding this Just Food For Dogs review, it’s important to consider the holistic perspective of the product. Just Food For Dogs stands out for its commitment to high-quality, human-grade ingredients, ensuring a nutritious and appealing diet for dogs. The brand’s focus on research and development reflects in the quality of their food, making it a top choice for pet parents who prioritize their dog’s health and well-being. However, the lack of personalized meal plans means owners must rely on feeding calculators to determine the correct portion sizes for their pets.

On the positive side, Just Food For Dogs’ diverse range caters to various dietary needs, including those of dogs with specific health concerns. The use of fresh, whole ingredients can contribute significantly to the overall health of dogs, potentially leading to improved digestion, healthier skin and coat, and increased vitality. Yet, the higher cost associated with this quality of food may not fit every pet owner’s budget, making it a consideration for potential buyers.

Moreover, the brand’s commitment to transparency in their cooking process and ingredient sourcing offers peace of mind for pet owners. This is complemented by their variety of recipes, allowing for rotational feeding that can prevent food boredom and enhance nutritional balance. However, the need for refrigeration and the shorter shelf life compared to traditional kibble might be a drawback for some, requiring more frequent purchases and storage considerations.

In essence, this Just Food For Dogs review finds that while the brand offers exceptional quality and nutritional value, it may require additional effort and cost from the pet owner. The decision to choose Just Food For Dogs should be based on a balance of these factors, alongside an understanding of your dog’s specific dietary needs and preferences. As always, consulting with a veterinarian is recommended when making significant changes to your dog’s diet.

As I mentioned earlier, I prefer The Farmer’s Dog. They offer excellent fresh quality and better convenience through customized meal plans. And you can get 50% off by clicking here.

JUST FOOD FOR DOGS ON AMAZON JUST FOOD FOR DOGS ON CHEWY

10 thoughts on “Just Food For Dogs Review: Analyzing the Nutrition”

  1. Stephenie Salkin

    I buy JustFoodForDogs in Tetrapacks available on Amazon. Does this affect quality? I never see this brand on recommended lists as compared with Nom Nom or the Farmers Dog.

  2. Why do you always change the Venison recipe from seeing all of the meat to just seeing all orange mush my dog can only eat the venison. When he eats the Orange much he gets direa and throw up.

  3. lamb and brown rice. my dog will dig up cat turds and eat them but will not eat your dog food. dogs eat with their noses first and it does not smell like food.

  4. What is with this company? Even on autoship the product arrives late—if at all. Went weeks without fish and then now haven’t gotten venison since early april. this for a dog on a strict allergy diet. While the quality of the food is excellent, that only helps if you get it delivered! Calls to customer service if you can get through are a joke. Client is never notified that order will be delayed/missing items/not arriving at all!

    Lots of apologies but no follow through. You can not depend on this company to delivery what it promises, even to loyal autoship customers. company should stop signing on new customers and start providing the services that customers are paying for.

    1. Brenda

      I second everything you said in your post. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I haven’t Been able to get my auto ship on time or at all since April. They cancel your order without telling you even if it’s an auto ship. Each time I call customer service I wait a minimum of 30 minutes to talk to someone. The only protein my dog can digest is fish. She loves their food but I need to find a company with consistent and timely delivery.

      1. Heather Lindquist

        Hi Brenda: I agree with both you and Kelly about the failure of Just Food For Dogs to maintain a regular supply of its product over the last 3 months – since April 2021 – so that we owners are left struggling week after week. I happen to live in Orange County, California and I have been unable to reach management or a corporate office despite numerous attempts. One of my dogs is quite sick and on the Prescription Hepatic Diet and the other is healthy and on the Chicken & Rice diet. Just Food For Dogs has been unable or unwilling to provide either of these diets on a consistent basis and it is extremely stressful. For that reason I would discourage any new customers to try another vendor. Posted July 15, 2021.

    2. Heather Lindquist

      Hi Kelly & Brenda: : DOG OWNERS BEWARE! I am having the same bad experience that each of you has described.
      I hope other dog owners read our comments before they try this food because Just Food For Dogs has been unable to regularly supply its customers with its food for almost 3 months. I live in San Juan Capistrano, California and none, I repeat none of the 5 local suppliers, are able to properly service existing accounts. It doesn’t matter whether you have a standing order or if you call every week. Both the Chicken & Rice food and the PRESCRIPTION HEPATIC DIET are seldom available. And if you have a dog you know you can’t just substitute different foods willy-nilly. I tried getting in touch with management to no avail and am repeatedly told by the local staff that this is due to Covid. I don’t think so. I think the Just Food For Dogs engaged in a marketing plan that solicited various veterinarians and now the customer base has increased to the point that JFFD can’t produce enough food for its existing customers. And rather than not take on new customers, JFFD has decided to put our dogs health “at-risk” instead of limiting new “enrollees” until it gets a reliable “supply side plan” in place.

      1. Diana Rivera

        Heather,
        That makes total sense. My vet just prescribed this dog food and I’ve never heard of it in my life. There’s probably vets all around the country prescribing this dog food and now there’s not enough to go around

  5. Robert Ream

    Why don’t you just drive to Petco or other store that supplies it. Was in Petco today and they had all the varieties and more. If you can afford fresh for your dog drive and get it or purchase twice what you need that way if there’s a problem with your order you have extra for back up. We’re also in the middle of a pandemic so what do you expect. But from what I saw today there doesn’t look to be a shortage at a store sourness by people.

  6. My dog is on your renal lower protein diet (and loves it) but I notices that there is not Taurine in the ingredients. Unless I missed it she needs to have that for her heart. If it is not in this specific diet, do you offer supplements.

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