A Pup Above Information
A Pup Above, formerly known as Grocery Pup, is a quickly-growing dog food brand that provides home-delivered fresh dog food.
They offer their premium products in a subscription model, which is the industry standard for fresh home-delivered dog food.
The home-delivered subscription-style dog food market that A Pup Above is attempting to gain a foothold in has grown significantly in recent years, with some of A Pup Above’s competitors like Nom Nom, Ollie, Pet Plate, and The Farmer’s Dog, seeing growth as high as 500% year on year.
By signing up for a subscription, dog owners can save up to 25% on their orders, which is a significant saving. You can calculate the possible savings by subscribing here.
However, A Pup Above does allow you to purchase their recipes individually, which is a unique trait and not one offered by many of their competitors. Many dog owners prefer this initially as it allows them to trial food without signing up for a subscription.
Most of Pet Plate’s competitors customize customers’ orders to meet the exact nutritional requirements of their dogs.
Factors included in this customization are age, breed, weight, and activity level. However, A Pup Above does not utilize this approach and instead sells its food in fixed-sized packaging (3LB + 7LB bags), much like traditional dog food.
Back when A Pup Above was known as Grocery Pup, one of their primary selling points was cooking all of their recipes via a method known as Sous-Vide.
The aim of Sous-Vide is to avoid losing nutritional value to the cooking water and to enable food to remain moist and become tender.
This method is popular in high-end restaurants but has now spilled over into premium dog food. However, as part of their re-brand into A Pup Above, it appears that their recipes are no longer cooked Sous-Vide. It is not clear why they moved away from this approach.
All of A Pup Above’s recipes are produced in the United States at a human-grade facility in Austin, Texas.
This is extremely important to many pet owners who are skeptical of pet food produced outside of the country after countless scares from pet food produced in places like China.
Once prepared, A Pup Above recipes are delivered to customers frozen to ensure they remain fresh and do not spoil.
A Pup Above uses insulation and dry ice to ensure their recipes remain frozen even if you are not home at the time of delivery. This delivery is currently available in 48 states but excludes Alaska and Hawaii.
Sadly for Canadian or international pet owners, A Pup Above is not currently available outside of the United States.
The transit times of A Pup Above’s food vary depending on your location, but A Pup Above has a handy map to give you a strong indicator of this time length. Once customers get their hands on their recipes, they should be stored in the freezer and defrosted when required.
Lastly, as you may imagine, you can not purchase A Pup Above recipes from traditional pet food stores like PetSmart or Petco or from large online pet food websites like Chewy. Instead, A Pup Above recipes are sold exclusively on their website.
For additional information on the brand, we’d recommend checking our A Pup Above’s website, which you can find here.
A Pup Above Product Range
A Pup Above has a modest product range consisting of four fresh dog food recipes. While this may seem very small compared to the industry giants, it is not too dissimilar to their competitor’s product ranges, which also tend to consist of three to five recipes.
A Pup Above does not produce any recipes for specific age ranges like Puppies or Senior dogs. In addition, A Pup Above does not recommend that you exclusively feed their recipes to puppies. Instead, they suggest you can use their recipes as a topper in combination with traditional dry kibble.
Some fresh dog food brands are beginning to experiment with fresh dry dog food. However, A Pup Above has yet to explore this space.
At this time, A Pup Above does not produce any fresh cat products, but this is a market that we suspect it may enter in the near future.
Some of A Pup Above’s competitors, like NomNom, are present in this space but have yet to see widespread success. There are also cat-exclusive brands with similar business models to A Pup ABove, such as Smalls.
You can check out our review of Smalls here.
A Pup Above Nutrition
Please note, the above chart is based on A Pup Above’s Guaranteed Analysis. This is an estimate, and the true values are likely to include a slightly higher proportion of protein and fat.
As highlighted above, A Pup Above recipes provide significantly above-average nutrition when compared to other dog food brands.
The nutritional profile of their recipes includes significantly above average proportions of protein and fat and a significantly below-average proportion of carbohydrates.
A Pup Above proudly displays the below table on their website, which shows that they have significantly more protein in their recipes than some of their fresh dog food competitors such as Pet Plate and The Farmer’s Dog.
The nutritional profile of A Pup Above recipes should be suitable for the vast majority of dogs, including those that are very active.
However, A Pup Above does not benefit from the same precise pre-portioning that some of their competitors provide.
This precise pre-portioning can help prevent weight gain and obesity in some dogs with insatiable appetites.
If you would like to learn more about canine nutrition, including the different types of dog food, ideal nutritional intake, and common and uncommon dog food ingredients, head on over to our Dog Food Guide.
A Pup Above Ingredients
All of A Pup Above’s ingredients are sourced from within the United States and are Human-Grade, GMO-Free, and Pesticide Free. A Pup Above also does not process its ingredients to increase its shelf life.
For the full list of ingredients used in A Pup Above formulas, we recommend checking out their product pages, which can be found here.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
- Beef Liver
- Turkey Liver
- Chicken Liver
A Pup Above uses a variety of meat ingredients across its four recipes. All of these meat ingredients would be considered high-quality by most and can provide dogs with much-needed animal-based protein and fat.
Most of these ingredients are industry favorites that are used by the majority of pet food brands.
Examples of these common ingredients would include Chicken and Beef. These ingredients are so popular among manufacturers because they are affordable, highly nutritious, and easy to source.
In addition, A Pup Above recipes makes use of several liver-based ingredients. Organ meat ingredients such as the Liver can be particularly advantageous to dogs as they contain much higher densities of some minerals and vitamins than traditional meat cuts.
Also, organ meat ingredients are well known to enhance flavor and make recipes more appealing and palatable.
Other Notable Ingredients
A Pup Above utilizes Peas and Green Beans in its recipes, which are both Legumes. Peas are an extremely common ingredient in dog food and have become the standard for grain-free dog food.
This massive popularity is as they are an affordable and easy-to-acquire source of carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein.
Green Beans are much more uncommon in dog food but are used by select brands and can provide similar nutrition to Peas.
However, in recent years there have been concerns about the overuse of Peas and other legumes in dog food and potential negative health effects this can have on dogs, including an increased risk of Canine Heart Disease.
While this topic is controversial and contested, it has sparked much discussion in the industry. You can learn more about these links in the below articles:
A Pup Above also makes use of the two most popular starch ingredients in dog food, which are Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes.
Starches like these are extremely dense sources of carbohydrates compared to other plant-based ingredients.
Despite this, they can be a positive addition to dog food in moderation, but large portions can provide excessive levels of carbohydrates, which is why their portion size must be tightly controlled.
Rice is found in three of A Pup Above’s four recipes. Grain ingredients such as Rice can be controversial, with some pet owners being strong supporters are others being strongly against their use. Regardless of your opinion, Rice is a reliable source of carbohydrates, fiber, and select micronutrients.
Generally, Brown Rice is preferred to White Rice as it can provide additional nutrition in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, A Pup Above only labels their Rice as “Rice,” which means it is unclear if it is White or Brown.
In addition to some of the common ingredients listed above, A Pup Above also utilizes some unique plant-based ingredients, including Carrots, Tomato, and Pineapple.
While these vegetables and fruit ingredients are often only a small portion of the recipe, they can provide some additional nutrition and a unique flavor.
A Pup Above Animal Testing
Most pet food brands provide very little information about what kind of testing they perform for their products.
However, A Pup Above has provided us with some critical information. They state, “A Pup Above conducts feeding and palatability trials using a variety of methods most often working with the pets of our staff and family friends in relaxed home conditions. A Pup Above does not undertake any invasive animal testing. This is against our policy.”
This transparency is welcomed and something that many of A Pup Above’s competitors could learn from and follow.
However, many in the industry are concerned that smaller pet food brands like A Pup Above are not carrying out sufficient trials and that we can not be confident that their nutrition is suitable for dogs.
Regardless, we strongly believe that invasive or laboratory testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice and one which we hope will see a serious decline.
A Pup Above Expertise
Many fresh dog food companies employ the services of veterinary nutritionists. This is important to ensure that their recipes can provide dogs with complete nutrition and avoid issues that arise from poorly formulated food.
A Pup Above works with Drs. Rebecca Remillard (Ph.D., DVM, DACVN) and Sarah Abood (Ph.D., DVM). Both Rebecca and Sarah are extremely qualified individuals with sufficient education and experience.
They ensure that A Pup Above’s recipes are formulated to meet the nutrition pets need to optimize their health and longevity.
In addition to this, A Pup Above has a dedicated article discussing the WSAVA Guidelines, which have been a massive topic of discussion regarding pet food formulation and testing. You can read A Pup Above’s page on the WSAVA Guidelines here.
In addition, if you’d like to read our take on the WSAVA Guidelines and discover some of the best WSAVA Compliant dog foods, head on over to our article Best WSAVA Approved Dog Food.
A Pup Above’s transparency on this topic is important as many other dog food brands do not share this information, which leads to concern about their product’s formulation and benefits.
A Pup Above Recalls
Given the young age of the brand, this is no surprise, but we hope that A Pup Above can maintain its safety and quality processes in the years to come.
However, it is worth noting that many in the industry consider fresh food to garner a higher risk of contamination or other health concerns.
This is as it must be stored and cooled appropriately, whereas traditional dry kibble has far fewer restrictions.
As a consequence, we encourage you to be vigilant of any future recalls of A Pup Above or any other fresh dog food products to ensure your dog remains safe and healthy.
Best of A Pup Above
Texas Beef Stew Review
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While we’d recommend all four of A Pup Above’s recipes, we had to choose a favorite, and Texas Beef Stew came out as the clear winner.
The recipe’s primary two ingredients are Beef and Beef Liver. This combination provides a satisfactory proportion of high-quality animal protein and fat. This protein and fat proportion will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of dogs, including those that are more active.
As we mentioned earlier, the unique vitamins and minerals from the Beef Liver will also enhance this pairing and make the recipe stand out against others that only use traditional meat cuts.
The recipe then uses smaller portions of Peas, Tomatoes, Potatoes, and Carrots to provide a modest portion of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Most of these ingredients are considered to be staples of the industry and should not be classified as low-quality additions.
If you would like to see Texas Beef Stew’s full ingredient list and guaranteed analysis, you can find it here.
A Pup Above Featured Articles
A Pup Above Full Product Range
Texas Beef Stew
Chicka Chicka Bow Wow