A Pup Above Fresh Dog Food Review 2020: Our Expert Takes an In-Depth Look

Why We Love It:

A Pup Above doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality. They offer fresh dog food prepared using the sous-vide cooking method to preserve nutrition, using all human-grade ingredients. Choose from flavorful recipes featuring premium proteins like Texas beef and fresh ground turkey to give your pup the quality nutrition he deserves to live a long and happy life.

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If you’re thinking about changing your dog’s diet, your first stop is probably the pet store. Before you hop in the car, however, we suggest you hop online.

As online shopping continues to expand, there’s been an increase in online pet product companies. Among them are fresh dog food delivery services that send freshly prepared pet food right to your door. If it sounds too good to be true, you’ll be glad to know you’re not dreaming!

Fresh dog food is all the rage and not for nothing.

Experts agree that a fresh dog food diet is one of the healthiest options for dogs because it is made using whole food ingredients. Real ingredients are not only easier for your dog to digest, but they are higher in nutritional value which is important for your dog’s long-term health and wellness. The more nutrition your dog gets, the better his body will function and the healthier he’ll be.

A Pup Above is one of the top fresh dog food delivery services out there, but it is unique from the other big names in several ways. This company uses a unique cooking method and they give customers the option to place single orders OR start a subscription.

We’ve tested all the top brands on the market to help you decide what to feed your dog. We are big fans of fresh food and A Pup Above is definitely one we think you should consider. Read on to learn more about the brand and what we think of it.

Overview of A Pup Above

A Pup Above follows the tagline, “Good Food. Good Mood.” They offer fresh dog food that is not only human-grade in quality, but it is cooked using the sous-vide method to preserve the maximum amount of nutrition. Each bite is full of real, tasty ingredients and unbeatable flavor your dog will love.

In order to get an idea whether A Pup Above is the right choice for you and your dog, you need to know a little more about the brand. We’ll start with a quick history then dive into the details of how the products are made, how much they cost, and how you order. Using this information, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about whether A Pup Above is the perfect pick.

A Quick History:

The history of A Pup Above starts with Lola, a beloved family dog. When her owners learned about all the fillers and processed ingredients in commercial dog food, they became committed to doing better for their dog and for dogs everywhere. The couple partnered with a veterinary nutritionist to create A Pup Above with a mission to “make it super simple to know what’s in your dog’s bowl.” A Pup Above also believes in making food more sustainable so it’s better for not only dogs, but humans, and the planet.

A Pup Above co-founders Ruth and Javier Marriott have succeeded in bringing their mission to life, delivering healthy and delicious meals to dogs all over the country. Using wholesome, natural, and human-grade ingredients, A Pup Above improves the lives of pets and their people, while improving our world, too.

To help you get a better understanding of the brand, here are the answers to some common questions:

How Are the Products Made?

What sets A Pup Above apart from other fresh dog food delivery services is the way they prepare their fresh dog food recipes. It all starts with non-GMO veggies and USDA meats.

A Pup Above uses only the highest quality natural ingredients in their recipes and they prepare them using the sous-vide cooking method. The recipes are placed in BPA-free vacuum sealed bags and cooked in a water bath for two hours until it reaches 160°F – just enough to kill potentially harmful pathogens, but not high enough to destroy any of the nutrients.

Here are some of the benefits of the sous-vide method:

  • Up to 40% higher nutrient retention than stove-top
  • Improved vitamin, antioxidant, and fatty acid retention
  • Fewer toxins (than extruded pet foods)
  • Enhanced flavor, higher moisture retention

Once the food is prepared, it is packaged in one-pound bags and frozen to preserve freshness. These patties are sold in upright freezer-friendly bags. All you have to do is defrost a patty in water for 30 minutes before mealtime or place a patty in the fridge the day before you plan to use it.

How Many Recipes Are There?

While many pet food manufacturers offer a wide variety of products, fresh dog food companies tend to limit their variety. A Pup Above offers three fresh dog food recipes as well as a sampler pack that contains a smaller bag of each one.

Here’s a quick overview of the three recipes:

    • Turkey Pawella – Made with lean ground turkey and nutritious turkey liver, this recipe also features fresh tomatoes, carrots, and green peas.
    • Porky’s Luau – This recipe starts with fresh ground pork and pork liver, enriched with nutrients from sweet potatoes, green beans, and fresh pineapple.
    • Texas Beef Stew – If your dog loves traditional beef flavor, he’ll go nuts for this protein-packed recipe made with ground beef and beef liver, supplemented with green peas, tomatoes, russet potatoes, and carrots.
    • Chicka Chicka Bow Wow This grain-friendly recipe has chicken along with apples, spinach, and sweet potatoes for an irresistible combo.

    Each of these fresh dog food recipes starts with a whole source of real animal protein: turkey, pork, beef, or chicken. All four recipes are made with non-GMO veggies and are gluten-free and soy-free. A Pup Above prepares their foods in USDA human food facilities and, because the ingredients are USDA-grade as well, the end product is considered human-grade dog food.

    All A Pup Above dog food is formulated to meet AAFCO food nutrient profiles for adult dogs. In other words, these recipes contain at least the minimum required amount of essential vitamins and nutrients for optimal canine health. The recipes were created by veterinary nutritionists to ensure nutritional balance and the sous-vide preparation method ensures nutrient retention during cooking.

    In addition to premium proteins and other fresh ingredients, A Pup Above dog food contains vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

    While many fresh dog food delivery services send your dog’s food in pre-portioned bags, A Pup Above packages theirs in 1-pound patties. One patty is equivalent to 2 cups of food and is adequate to feed a medium-sized dog (20 to 40 pounds) two meals in a single day. A Pup Above provides feeding recommendations on each bag to make it easy to find the right portion for your dog.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    Price is a concern for many dog owners, but it’s important to consider what you’re getting for that price. Fresh food is more expensive, but it is also much higher in quality and nutrition than cheap food.

    Because A Pup Above sells their food by the package instead of portioning out individual meals, we can easily calculate the cost per pound. A Pup Above is sold in 2-packs or 4-packs, priced at $69.97 for a 2-pack which equals about 6 pounds. That makes the average price about $11.67 per pound.

    The weekly or monthly cost to feed your dog depends on the dog’s size.

    Again, A Pup Above dog food comes in one-pound patties, three to a bag. A single patty lasts a medium-sized dog one day, so you’ll go through one bag every 3 days. If you’re purchasing 2-packs of a single recipe, you’ll need 5 bags per month which averages to about $175 per month.

    If you’re committed to feeding your dog high-quality fresh food, you may have already done your research on other brands. You’ll find that A Pup Above falls well within the average monthly cost for a 30-pound dog. You can even save a little extra by purchasing 4-packs rather than 2-packs (10% discount), or by signing up for a monthly subscription package.

    What’s the Subscription Process Like?

    A Pup Above offers customers the ability to purchase their fresh dog food recipes individually or by subscription. The thing to remember is that you’ll get the best price by subscribing. You do have to have 3 bags of any combination of flavor in order to place your order.

    Here are the steps involved in creating a subscription plan:

    1. Click Shop in the upper left corner
    2. Choose one of the four recipes, or choose Shop All
    3. Choose a bag size (use their handy calculator at the bottom of the page if you’re not sure!)
    4. Choose one time purchase or subscription
    5. Click add to cart then click checkout

    A Pup Above’s subscription process is quick and easy, though it isn’t as customizable as some other fresh food companies. Your dog’s feeding recommendations will be based on his weight range alone, so you may want to talk to customer service if your dog has unique requirements.

    Now that you have a better understanding of what A Pup Above has to offer and how you order it, let’s take a closer look at one of their recipes:

    Recipe Feature: Turkey Pawella

    First 5 Ingredients Ground Turkey Turkey Liver Tomatoes Carrots Green Peas
    Guaranteed Analysis 12.3% protein 6.9% fat 0.5% fiber 73% moisture
    Calories 543 kcal/patty

    Ingredients:

    Ground Turkey, Turkey Liver, Tomatoes, Carrots, Green Peas, Rice, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Oxide, Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Tryptophan, Zinc Oxide, Selenium, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Vitamins D3 and E.

    In-Depth Look:

    Made with ground turkey and turkey liver as the top two ingredients, this is a single-source protein recipe. This is always a good thing, especially for dogs with food allergies. The recipe is made in a USDA food facility with USDA-grade turkey free from added hormones and antibiotics.

    In addition to ground turkey and turkey liver, this recipe contains tomatoes, carrots, green peas, and rice as the other main ingredients. With rice as an ingredient, this is A Pup Above’s only grain-inclusive recipe. Though it isn’t grain-free, however, it is still gluten-free. The only remaining ingredients on the list are vitamin and mineral supplements included to ensure balanced nutrition.

    Like all of their recipes, this formula is cooked sous-vide. A Pup Above says their patties are,

    “Cooked long and slow for 2 hours inside of BPA-free bags. This means food marinates in yummy meat juices as it cooks to create a delicious and healthy food for our pups.” 

    Though we didn’t taste the recipe ourselves, our test dog certainly loved it. It seems A Pup Above stands up to their promise of delivering healthy, nutritious, AND delicious meals for dogs.

    A Pup Above Pros and Cons

    Choosing a dog food isn’t easy for a number of reasons. Not only are there many different types of dog food to consider, but many different brands and recipes as well. We encourage you to choose the highest quality food you can consistently afford for your dog, and we hope A Pup Above is in the running because we are big fans of the brand and think you will be too.

    That being said, every dog food brand has its pros and cons. Here are some of the things you need to know about A Pup Above:

    Here are some of the pros for A Pup Above:

    • Human-grade ingredients including USDA meats and non-GMO veggies
    • Recipes formulated by veterinary nutritionist to meet AAFCO requirements
    • Food is prepared by sous-vide to preserve moisture, flavor, and nutrition
    • Orders can be placed individually or customers can request monthly deliveries

    Here are some of the cons for A Pup Above:

    • Fresh food is significantly more expensive than the average kibble
    • Recipes aren’t pre-portioned according to your dog’s calorie needs
    • Limited number of recipe options, only four to choose from

    Your dog’s health and wellness are your responsibility. As a dog owner, it’s up to you to make the right decision on what to feed him. We hope we’ve provided you with the information you need to decide about A Pup Above. Read on to see our final word on the brand and the answers to some FAQs.

    Our Conclusion

    Overall, we love A Pup Above and we think it’s definitely a brand worth considering. We love that they use human-grade ingredients and take great care with their products, but they also think about the flavor. After all, your dog is the one eating the food, not you!

    A Pup Above is the only fresh dog food company we’ve come across that uses the sous-vide cooking method and we love how much flavor and moisture it adds to the food, not to mention the preservation of vital nutrients. We also like the ability to order individual bags in addition to the subscription option.

    We understand that fresh dog food might not be affordable for all dog owners, but we encourage you to consider it as an option. A Pup Above is one of the pricier options in fresh food, but we believe the benefits are well worth the investment in your dog’s wellness and long-term health and happiness.

    A Pup Above FAQs

    Does A Pup Above offer any grain-free options?

    Yes, of A Pup Above’s four recipe choices two are grain-free. Turkey Pawella and Chicka Chicka Bow Wow are the grain-inclusive options, made with rice.

    Can you get samples of A Pup Above dog food?

    Unlike other fresh dog food delivery services, you don’t need to start a subscription to try A Pup Above. You can purchase a duo of a single recipe or a sampler pack that includes a 3-pound bag of all four recipes for just $116.99. A Pup Above offers free shipping and free returns.

    Is the packaging environmentally friendly?

    A Pup Above’s packaging is 100% recyclable. Their fulfillment center runs on 100% renewable energy, too. A Pup Above also donates 1% of their revenue to the White Buffalo Land Trust, a regenerative farm. Regenerative farming takes carbon out of the atmosphere and helps to keep water and soil healthier. Additionally, A Pup Above uses the “misfit” produce to help reduce food waste. We can say pretty confidently that A Pup Above is trying to do their part for not only your dog, but the planet, too.

    Can I change or cancel my subscription?

    If you just want to try A Pup Above, you can place an order without creating a subscription. If you decide to subscribe, you can access and change your account online as needed. You have the option to pause or delay shipments if you won’t be home, and you can customize your shipments as well. Change your order as needed and contact customer service with any questions.

    Is A Pup Above a good option for dogs with food allergies?

    A Pup Above uses the highest quality ingredients possible without any artificial additives. They use premium USDA meats and non-GMO veggies, so it really depends what your dog is allergic to. If he’s allergic to grains, A Pup Above has two grain-free options. If he has trouble with common proteins like chicken and beef, the pork or turkey recipes might work. Talk to A Pup Above’s customer service if you have concerns about a specific product or allergy.

     

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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