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ilume Fresh Dog Food Delivery - Review

Our pets are part of our family and, for some of us, the only one we have left so we would stop at nothing to keep them happy and with us for as long as possible...

Just as our own dietary choices directly impact our physical and mental health and wellbeing, it is the same for our dogs.
Some of us occasionally cook for our dogs but unless you are a certified pet nutritionist and have lots of time on your hands every day, this is simply neither practical nor advisable to avoid nutritional imbalances.

A few months back, we noted with interest the launch of ilume's restaurant-quality meals for dogs with a choice of recipes for breakfast and dinner.

If you spotted their recent TV commercials, you'll understand that that this company is about much more than just dog food. So our Mals Porthos and Aramis decided to investigate and put their paws up for a dog food trial coinciding with the start of winter.

About ilume

ilume was developed in a Melbourne commercial kitchen and is the brainchild of CEO and Founder Craig Silbery, who was inspired to start the business by his two dogs, Tokyo and Murray. 

Having worked in the health science space for a number of years, with a particular interest in human gut health, he started investigating better ways to feed his dogs, and came up with the idea for ilume.
The company's mission is to provide a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet for dogs to improve their lifestyle and boost longevity. 

All meals feature high-quality cuts of meat and fresh seasonal vegetables.

To our knowledge,
ilume is the first pet company to bring together nutrition and smart technology, e.g. they not only deliver meals but also can provide a collar tracker and companion app to help make informed decisions based on your pet's real-time data. 

For those pets with weight management issues or specific medical issues, being able to monitor their daily activity would be an invaluable tool. We look forward to seeing more developments in that space but for the purpose of this review we focused purely on the dog food.

If you live in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the ilume chef-prepared meals are already available to be delivered right to your front door.

The number of recipes on offer has expanded over the past few months, ensuring the fussiest of dogs are catered for and in our experience, they'll never get bored at meal time again!

The ilume range of chef-prepared meals:

What attracted us to ilume was the obvious freshness and quality of all human-grade ingredients used across the entire repertoire of breakfast and dinner recipes.

It does not matter which recipe you choose to sample, there's nothing to hide here (e.g. no excessive amounts of grains, legumes or corn), no meat-meal or meat by-products (no offal and definitely no eyeballs either!), no artificial preservatives, additives, colours, flavours or flavour enhancers, no “natural meat flavouring”

Each animal protein looks exactly the colour and texture nature intended! Only the best parts are served to your dog just as you would for yourself...
Chef's Signature Chicken Parmigiana Dinner with Rainbow Slaw & Chicken Bone Broth

A lot of thought was put into the plating of all recipes (they look better when professional chefs do it) ensuring each meal not only smells and tastes great but looks amazing too!

We put four of the ilume recipes to the test including the following:

Breakfast Menu (1): 

✔️ Chicken Bites (served with lactose-free Bamburah Organics Yoghurt). Naturally high in protein and essential fats, each serve of Chicken Bites contains a nutrient-dense blend of Australian chicken, bone, and a blend of healthy collagen, vitamins and minerals.

A typical serve for our 30kg dogs was 100-120g (depending on individual weight goals).

* Dinner Menu (3):

Once you understand how to put all the ingredients received together, it couldn't be any easier to plate your dog's food. As the plating process was similar for all our dinner options, we'll use the Turkey Dinner recipe as an example:

What you'll find in a standard 14-day Breakfast + Dinner Box:

1. Turkey Medallions wrapped around a Spinach Mousse (each sous vide pack contains 14 small slices)
2. Chicken Rainbow Slaw (colourful julienned vegetables: carrot, pumpkin, and broccoli with Chicken Noodles / Jerky.
3. Chicken Bone Broth simmered slow-and-low (500mL stand-up pouch) per week
4. Chicken Bites (2 packs + 2 lactose-free Yoghurt)

Serving sizes will vary depending on the weight of your dog but you should follow the suggested recipe combination to ensure the breakfast and dinner meals provide all the calories your dogs need each day.

Once they graduated from their transition period (4-7 days going from 25% to 100% of their meals), the dinner portion for any of our 30kg dog included:
  • 10 slices of medallions with a side of Slaw (60g) and a good amount of Bone Broth (140g). The total portion would be 350g-370g depending on each animal protein (Turkey, Chicken or Beef).

NB: The Chef's Signature Mexican Beef Dinner recipe features Beef Medallions, Crispy beef & rainbow slaw and Beef bone broth.

You also receive a personalised transition card for your dog, outlining the exact amount of each ingredient to use but we must admit that we did eyeball it occasionally so ended up with leftover Bone Broth (you can be really generous and spoon a good amount over each serving).

So on those freezing cold winter mornings, we zapped that slow-cooked broth for 15 seconds in the microwave to warm it up and both dogs absolutely loved that addition to their Chicken Bites (and we served with yoghurt on warmer days).

Depending on how quickly you use all your dog meals, one of the most important aspects is proper storage and use of all your meal components
So unlike us, don't rush and freeze your organic yoghurt (it survived the rough treatment...).
  • Medallions:
- Store your medallions in the fridge or freezer.
- If you're popping them in the freezer, transfer them to the fridge when you need to serve (it takes 24-36 hours to thaw if you put them in your deep chest freezer so plan ahead!).
- Once the sous vide packages are opened (each contains only 14 slices so this should not be an issue), use them within 4 days.

"Mum! I'm gonna need some help here... I can't work out what goes where!"

  • Rainbow Slaw:
- Can be stored in a cool, dry pantry below 25 C, but be sure to reseal after use. 
- Use within 4 weeks of opening.
  • Bone Broth:
- All fresh-cooked broth pouches arrive frozen and should be stores in the freezer (apart from the one you'll use that week).
- Thaw it for a day in your fridge before serving 
- Once open keep it refrigerated for up to 7 days
- Ready to serve every evening

Our Verdict:

Both our dogs absolutely loved each and every recipe from the get go!

From a pet parent's perspective, there are no sloppy textures, bad smell or yucky lumpy bits. All ilume food looks and smells like something you’d serve yourself with special mention for the slow-cooked (6-8 hours) Bone Broths recipes!

At first our dogs wondered why it took longer than usual for the food to hit their bowls in the evenings (a mere 5 minutes!) but they got used to it and sat whilst we put it all together. They quickly learnt that the microwave buzzer (to warm up the broth) signalled their butler was about to serve dinner!

It's always difficult to correlate but we think that their quality of sleep has improved over the past weeks and they appear more relaxed during the day as well.

With July being our twins' official birthday month, this 4-week ilume trial was so enjoyable that we decided to treat them for another 14 days to confirm our first stellar impression.

One thing also noticeable after just a week on the ilume dog food was the smaller droppings in the garden (a lot less to pick up!).

This is definitely a 5-star option to treat your dogs and let's be honest the pricing does reflect this but it depends on what you select / how large your dog is as well as your budget priorities. We believe that feeding our own ageing dogs high-quality, nutritionally-balanced, flavoursome meals should come first, ahead of our own creature comforts.

You'll also be supporting an 100% Australian-owned business, using locally-sourced ingredients so it also benefits our economy.

So you're looking for something new and exciting, we highly recommend the new range of ilume chef-prepared meals!
Life is short, so please spoil your dogs!
Price & Where to Buy:

RRP: from $16.95 (Trial Box for a small box); from $1.93*/week (Breakfast Menu); from $1.71*/week (Dinner Menu). 
Don't forget to use the limited time XMASINJULY promo code to save 50%!

* The price is calculated based on the price per meal on 28 days of supply and the portion a 2kg dog needs.

Because of the large selection (pricing depends on your dog's weight and meal choices), you need to spend a bit of time investigating all options before making a final choice. The best value is to select from their Daily Meal Combos (Breakfast + Dinner Menu). 

Discover your dog's new favourite meal by visiting

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