Ollie Dog Food Review

Ollie was founded by a group of passionate pet parents back in 2016 who wanted to create nutritious, natural, and customizable fresh dog food. Using their nutritional questionnaire they piece apart which recipe would be best for dogs based on their age, activity level, breed, and even certain medical conditions. The idea is to feed the best high quality dog food for the individual dog – with human-grade ingredients, portion controlled for your pet to optimize their health.

Ollie Dog Food offers six different gently cooked diets for dogs, all recipes are grain-free and are single protein recipes (chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey). Recipes have been formulated to be complete and balanced for both adult dogs and puppies – including giant breed puppies. The composition of the recipes by Ollie are highly variable with recipes ranging from moderate to high protein, moderate to high fat, and low to high carbohydrate (24-35% protein, 26-53% fat, 16-39% carbohydrates on a caloric basis).

Since the Ollie dog food recipes range in all categories it can make it easier to choose a diet that meets your dog’s individual nutritional needs. For dogs with sensitive stomachs the lower fat content of the Chicken Recipe may be a great option. But for dogs who are highly active the Turkey or Lamb recipe may be a great fit as they are high in protein and fat – perfect for rebuilding lean muscle and fueling their bodies. All the recipes are also single-protein, making them a great option for dogs with food allergies as you can easily avoid certain proteins or foods.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: Yes, the information below was given by the company via email  June 23rd 2021 and gathered from their website December 2021.

Who formulated Ollie Dog Food? Ollie was formulated by Beth Hamper (DVM, PhD, DACVN) who is board certified in animal nutrition, and has a phD in small animal nutrition from University of Tennessee. Ollie’s nutrition team has multiple experts in the human and pet food industry with degrees in food science, agriculture, and human nutrition. These individuals source the ingredients, design the complete meals, and maintain quality/food safety within the Ollie facilities.

Where does Ollie source their Ingredients from? Ollie works with human-grade ingredient suppliers, and never sources feed-grade ingredients. They believe in sourcing real, natural, whole foods and make sure all ingredients are sourced and produced in compliance with FDA requirements for human food.

Where are Ollie’s Human Grade Dog Food Recipes Manufactured? Ollie’s facility is Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified and located in New Jersey. The kitchen is a third-party certified facility to ensure strict food safety and quality requirements for handling, processing and storage under sanitary conditions. 

What Quality Control Procedures does Ollie Lightly Cooked Dog Food perform on their foods? Ollie has robust quality control procedures which starts with sourcing quality ingredients. Suppliers go through an annual audit by the Ollie quality control personnel to evaluate foods for microbiological markers, toxins and heavy metals based on recommendations by the FDA, USDA and AAFCO. Each supplier is also required to test products and submit a certificate of analysis (COA), and guaranteed levels (for vitamins/mineral supplements).

Along the production process Ollie staff adhere to SQF and USDA standards for processing, handling and storage of ingredients. Between batches all equipment is sanitized and swabs are taken in order to ensure cross-contamination is not occurring. Final products are both visually inspected and tested for metal fragments, pathogens and spoilage bacteria prior to release to the public (test and hold procedure) to ensure pets are fed the healthiest food possible.

Has Ollie Invested in Digestibility or AAFCO Feeding Trials? Ollie regularly invests in digestibility trials of all of their diets to ensure they are highly digestible. Digestibility of diets varies from the high 80s to the low 90s depending on the recipe – digestibility trials are typically 1-4 days long, with 10-40 dogs consuming the diet depending on what is being evaluated. Ollie has not invested in AAFCO Feeding Trials at this time.

Are Full Nutritional Profiles Found Online for the Ollie Recipes? Only guaranteed analysis is available for these products, however they are available upon request.

Has Ollie Dog Food ever been Recalled? No.

RECIPES:

Ollie Beef Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, peas, sweet potato, potato, carrot, beef kidney, beef liver, spinach, blueberries, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, iodized salt, fish oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, vitamin E supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium iodide

AAFCO Statement: Beef Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size Dogs (>70 pounds or more as an adult).

Balanced for both adults and puppies, including those with an adult weight over 70 lbs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 70%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 23%
  • Carbs: 40%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 46%
  • Carbs: 30%

Ollie Chicken Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Chicken, carrots, peas, rice, chicken liver, potatoes, spinach, dicalcium phosphate, whole dried eggs, fish oil, blueberries, chia seeds, calcium carbonate, iodized salt, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper gluconate, choline bitartrate, vitamin E supplement, manganese gluconate, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2)

AAFCO Statement: Our Chicken Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size Dogs (>70 pounds or more as an adult).

Balanced for both adults and puppies, including those with an adult weight over 70 lbs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 10%
  • Fat: 3%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 73%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 37%
  • Fat: 11%
  • Carbs: 45%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 26%
  • Carbs: 39%

Ollie Turkey Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Turkey breast, kale, lentils, carrots, coconut oil, turkey liver, blueberries, pumpkin, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, iron sulfate, choline bitartrate, manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, thiamin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), potassium iodate

AAFCO Statement: Our Turkey Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size Dogs (>70 pounds or more as an adult). 

Balanced for Balanced for both adults and puppies, including those with an adult weight over 70 lbs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 11%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 72%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 39%
  • Fat: 25%
  • Carbs: 29%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 31%
  • Fat: 49%
  • Carbs: 20%

Ollie Lamb Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Lamb, lamb liver, butternut squash, kale, chickpeas, cranberries, potato, chia seeds, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, zinc gluconate, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron sulfate, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), potassium iodate, manganese gluconate, thiamine hydrochloride, folic acid

AAFCO Statement: Our Lamb Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size Dogs (>70 pounds or more as an adult). 

Balanced for Balanced for both adults and puppies, including those with an adult weight over 70 lbs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 10%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 74%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 27%
  • Carbs: 27%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 31%
  • Fat: 53%
  • Carbs: 16%

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ( FAQ )

Where to buy Ollie fresh Dog Food?

Ollie is a direct to consumer brand of fresh dog food, which means that you can purchase Ollie directly through their website by setting up an account, then their frozen fresh dog food is individually packed according to your dog’s caloric needs and shipped to your door in two week increments. Ollie delivers for free within the contiguous 48 stages of the USA. After you set up an account you will be asked for information about your pup in order to set up a meal plan with Ollie – they will then recommend diets based on your answers to those questions.

How do you store and feed Ollie?

Ollie is shipped frozen to your door, then will need to be defrosted prior to feeding. Once defrosted Ollie only lasts for about 2-3 days in your fridge, thus it is highly recommended that when you receive your shipment to place 2-3 days worth of food in your fridge, then the rest should be stored in your freezer. As you become more comfortable with feeding a fresh frozen dog food you will get the hang of pulling food out of your freezer whenever you empty a package from your fridge. Always rotate food to feed the oldest first, and the newest last in order to keep food from going bad.

If by chance you forget to defrost food for your dog there are two safe ways to do so. The first is by placing the food within the plastic packaging into a large bowl of water and allowing it to defrost (this usually takes 10-15 minutes). The second option is removing the food from the package and placing it in a microwave-safe container, then use the defrost setting to thaw your dog’s food.

It is important to note that you should never heat Ollie on the stovetop or in the microwave – this may degrade heat-sensitive vitamins, causing accidental deficiencies if fed long-term. Fresh food should also not be thawed on the counter – this is not considered food-safe and may cause potential illness. Finally, fresh food should not be left out in your dog’s bowl for more than 30 minutes – just like our own food – fresh dog food will spoil if left out for long periods of time. Instead if your pup doesn’t eat their entire meal in one sitting place in an air-tight container in your fridge and offer it again later in the day.

Is Ollie cooked Food Balanced for Puppies?

Yes, Ollie is complete and balanced for puppies, including large breed puppies.

Ollie vs. Kibble – how does it compare?

The main difference between a lightly cooked fresh food diet like Ollie and a Kibbled diet comes down to processing (aka how the food is cooked) and preservation (how the food is kept stable and nutritious over time). Kibbled dog foods use either the extrusion process or a combination of baking and dehydrated to create a low-moisture biscuit. This typically either requires high heat processing for shorter periods of time, or lower heat processing for longer periods of time to both cook to remove pathogens and dehydrate the biscuit to about 10% moisture to make it more shelf stable. If we compare this to a lightly cooked, moisture rich diet like Ollie – cook time is just enough to remove pathogens according to the FDA/USDA recommendations for food safety, but not enough to dehydrate completely, making it significantly less processed than a kibbled diet.

The second aspect between kibbled and fresh food diets that differs is preservation method. Fresh dog foods like Ollie use freezing as their primary preservation method, meaning that there are no preservatives to help with shelf stability because the food is expected to be stored and handled similar to fresh whole foods that humans eat. Kibbled diets dehydrated, then add on additional preservatives to help keep them shelf stable (so they can live in your cupboard) – this may be natural preservatives like rosemary extract, or mixed tocopherols (aka vitamin E) or it may be synthetic preservatives like BHA or BHT.

Research has also shown some benefits of feeding fresh food diets to dogs – in particular when it comes to digestibility and the microbiome. Typically fresh food diets are highly digestible in comparison to the average kibbled diet, and have some benefits to microbiome stability. There are also anecdotal reports from owners of increased energy, better skin/coat, better stool quality, and less pickiness when switching to a fresh food diet – however we lack significant research to support these claims at this time.

Is Ollie a Raw Dog Food?

No, Ollie is not a raw dog food, Ollie is a gently cooked diet for dogs. Cooking foods allows us to remove harmful pathogens from meats like salmonella, listeria, e.coli, and camplyobacter and cooking is recommended by the FDA, USDA, and AMVA in order to limit the spread of pathogenic bacteria to dogs and people. Thus far research has shown no unique benefit of raw diets for dogs that cannot be achieved with a lightly cooked diet as well – both have similar digestibility when composition/ingredients are the same, and seem to have similar anecdotal reports to allergies, stool quality and activity level.

Can Ollie be Used as a Topper?

Ollie can be used as a topper for pet parents who have picky dogs or a tight budget, however it does take a bit of “finagling” when placing your order. When you setup your account for a Topper Meal Plan – instead of using your dog’s whole weight, use half their weight in the questionnaire – this will give you a modified portion sizes to half of your dog caloric needs. You can do this down to 25% of your dog’s weight/caloric needs if you would like. Another option is ordering the full sized portions and having it only delivered once or twice per month by editing your order. But personally I love setting up my food delivery on autoship so I never forget and always have food in the fridge!

How much does Ollie Cost?

The cost of feeding Ollie to your dog will highly depend on how big your dog is, what their activity level is like and what their metabolic needs are. Every dog is a bit different – so always weigh your dog two weeks and one month after the transition to Ollie to make sure your dog is maintaining a healthy weight. If your dog needs to loose weight or gain weight discuss their modified caloric needs with your veterinarian prior to placing your order.

To give you a general idea of the price of Ollie – a moderately active, 50 lb dog who eats about 1000 calories per day would cost about $8.43 per day to feed, or about $232 to feed Ollie per month. This may be more or less expensive than the food you are currently feeding your dog, but in comparison to other fresh food diets on the market today Ollie is a more budget friendly brand, and is less expensive than most fresh dog food options. If you would like a quote on how much it will cost to feed your own dog you can head over to the Ollie website for more information.

Are Ollie Recipes Good for Dogs with Allergies?

Depending on what your dog is allergic to may make one Ollie recipe more advisable than another. First it is important to note that there are two main types of allergies in dogs – food allergies, and environmental allergies. Both of these conditions have similar clinical signs of scratching, itching, yeast infections, bacterial infections, licking paws, ear infections, and skin irritation. The only way to know if your pup has food or environmental allergies is to work with your veterinarian to do a food elimination trial – after this trial you should know if you are dealing with food, seasonal allergies or both – along with what foods your dog is allergic to!

Typically when choosing a diet for dogs with food allergies it’s relatively simple – we just avoid the allergen in question. Dogs can be allergic to any food item that contains a protein molecule over a certain size. Though the most common food allergens in dogs are chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, wheat and soy – dogs can be allergic to any protein – which is why food trials are so important. But considering the most common allergens for dogs, probably the best diet for a dog with food allergies would be either the Ollie Lamb Recipe, or the Ollie Turkey Recipe.

For dogs with environmental allergies we usually look for diets that contain the building blocks to help repair the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. This is typically a high protein diet that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids (in paritcular fish oil) and antioxidants. Though all of the Ollie recipes are high in protein and antioxidants, not all of the Ollie recipes use fish oil or cod liver oil as a source of omega 3s for their recipes.

Probably the best option for dogs with environmental allergies because it will have the best omega 3 to 6 ratio will be the Ollie Beef Dog Food Recipe, however some dogs may also do well on the Ollie Chicken Recipe with additional fish oil added. The reason for this is because since the Ollie Chicken Recipe is lower in fat (and still contains added fish oil and cod liver oil), if you added additional fish oil to the recipe to help fight inflammation under the direction of your veterinarian it would be less likely to cause loose stools.

Are Ollie Meals Good for Dogs with Loose Stools or Diarrhea?

Typically when we consider recipes for dogs with sensitive stomachs we look for foods that are both highly digestible and low in fat. The Ollie Chicken Recipe fits this perfect – with a digestibility of around 90% and a low fat content of only 26% on a caloric basis – this recipe may be a great option for dogs with a sensitive stomach or that need a low fat diet.

However it is important to note that there are many causes of loose stools in dogs including: Colitis- which usually requires a higher fiber diet, IBD- which typically responds well to a novel protein, low fat diet, and even metabolic conditions that need medical management. If your dog suffers from loose stools or vomiting, always speak to your vet prior to switching their diet to make sure it is the best choice for your dog’s particular medical condition.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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