The Farmer’s Dog Review Summary
One of the most challenging aspects of being a dog owner is making sure our beloved pups are being fed the best diet possible. Let’s face it, our dogs are family, and we treat them as such.
There’s a growing market for fresh pet food as owners begin to turn away from more processed, commercial foods. That is where The Farmer’s Dog comes in. The company was founded by dog owners that had turned to home-cooked, fresh meals for the health of their own dogs. After much success, they took it to the next level and decided to offer these high-quality, pre-portioned meals, packed and personalized to dogs far and wide.
The Farmer’s Dog quickly became a well-known fresh dog food subscription service that delivers right to your door. With so many fresh food subscription options available on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to choose which one is right for you. That’s where we come in. Having fed The Farmer’s Dog to our four-legged family members, we’ll go over what makes them stand out from the rest. Let’s take a look!
At a Glance: The Best Famer’s Dog Food Recipes:
The Farmer’s Dog Food Reviewed
Learning all about a particular food is important, it helps us determine if it suits our dog’s needs and our own. Here we will break down all the specifics of The Farmer’s Dog food and see how it stands out against the competition.
Who makes The Farmer’s Dog food and where is it produced?
The company was founded in 2014 by Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev. They were inspired to start the company after Brett’s dog, Jada, that suffered severe digestive issues benefited greatly when making the switch to fresh food.
The Farmer’s Dog Inc. is in New York, NY. The food is designed and formulated by a team of board-certified veterinary nutritionists and is made in USDA kitchens within the United States using only USDA quality ingredients that are fit for human consumption.
Who is The Farmer’s Dog Food Best Suited For?
The Farmer’s Dog is suited for owners looking to offer their dog fresh food made from wholesome ingredients without all the unnecessary additives and fillers that are commonly found in traditional kibbles and other commercial food varieties.
The Farmer’s Dog is not sold in stores, so it’s the perfect choice for those looking for a subscription-only service that delivers right to the home. The food is suited for dogs of all different shapes, sizes, and breeds. When you first get started, you will provide them with all the specifics about your dog(s) and their team will begin crafting the food tailored just for them.
The Farmer’s Dog even has some recipes, instructions, and guidelines on the website for those looking to make home-cooked meals. They also have a DIY program in development to provide owners with pre-mixed nutrient packets to help consumers that are interested in providing home-cooked meals.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Here we’ll do a quick breakdown of the ingredients in each recipe. Reading the label and understanding what is in your dog’s food is just as important for their health as reading the labels on our food is important to our health.
- Ingredients: Chicken, Brussels Sprout, Chicken Liver, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Fish Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Caloric Content: 1300kcal per kg/ 590 kcal per lb
Analyzing the First 5 Ingredients
- Chicken – Chicken is one of the most prevalent proteins in commercial dog foods. It’s lean meat that is high in protein to support muscles and omega 6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat. Chicken is one of the most common food allergens in dogs, so that’s important to keep in mind. Dogs that suffer from food allergies and intolerances should be evaluated and any ingredient that causes a reaction should be avoided.
- Brussels Sprout – Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are full of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, and potassium. In moderate amounts, they make great, nutritional supportive ingredients for dog food. Brussels sprouts are known to cause a bit of gas during the digestion process for some.
- Chicken Liver – Chicken liver is rich in iron, protein, vitamin A, and a wide variety of B vitamins. Small amounts of chicken liver can be very beneficial in your dog’s diet. Liver is served best in these smaller amounts due to high vitamin A content, which can lead to vitamin A toxicity. Liver is also full of fat, which can lead to obesity if fed in larger amounts.
- Bok Choy – Bok choy is Chinese cabbage that is high in fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and vitamin K. Bok Choy is considered safe for dogs in moderation.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is packed full of nutrients. It is rich in vitamin K, which is great for strong bones and healthy bone density, as well as calcium, and potassium. It is considered a safe supplemental ingredient in dog food.
- Ingredients: Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, Beef Liver, Water, Kale Sunflower Seeds, Fish Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Caloric Content: 1590 kcal per kg/ 721 kcal per lb
Analyzing the First 5 Ingredients
- Beef – Beef is an excellent protein source that is rich in zinc, iron, selenium, and vitamins B12, B3 and B6. Not only does it support healthy muscle mass, but it also helps maintain energy levels and healthy skin and coat. For dogs that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, beef is known for being a common food allergen and should be avoided in dogs that suffer from this allergy.
- Sweet Potato – dietary sources of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles in dogs. Sweet potatoes are also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, calcium, and iron and are considered a healthy addition to a dog’s diet as long as they are not getting fed too much vitamin A.
- Lentils – Lentils are full of fiber and protein, which can help your dog feel fuller longer. They provide an abundance of nutrients including B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and carotenoids.
- Carrot – Carrots are rich in vitamin A as beta carotene as well as fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for eye health and a healthy supplement to dog food if there are no vegetable allergies present.
- Beef Liver – Beef liver is an excellent source of protein as well as vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, folate, copper, and amino acids. Again, too much live consumption can lead to obesity due to the high-fat content. Vitamin A toxicity can also occur if larger amounts of liver are consumed over a long period of time.
- Ingredients: Turkey, Chickpeas, Carrot, Broccoli, Parsnip, Spinach, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Fish Oil, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Caloric Content: 1240 kcal per kg/ 562 kcal per lb
Analyzing the First 5 Ingredients
- Turkey – Turkey is lean meat and a highly digestible protein that helps build muscle. Turkey is often used as an alternative protein source to chicken or beef for dogs that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a source of plant protein that is also rich in fiber and can help dogs feel fuller longer. They also offer a good source of magnesium, folate, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C and are found in many commercial dog foods.
- Carrot – Carrots are rich in vitamin A as beta carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Carrots are considered a safe additive to dog food as long they have no allergy to vegetables.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is a vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium while being low in fat. Broccoli is safe for dogs if it is fed without seasoning.
- Parsnip – Parsnip is a root vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. It’s known for being a safe supportive ingredient in dog foods.
Ordering, Shipment, and Delivery
- Ordering: Getting set up with Farmer’s Dog is a quick and painless process. You fill out a quick questionnaire and tell them all about your dogs. They work with their veterinary nutritionists to come up with an individualized meal plan for each pup and you’re ready to go!
- Shipment: I immediately got confirmation of the order and received updated tracking information via email while waiting for it to arrive. The package arrived right on time and was left at my doorstep. The food arrived securely packaged and flawless.
- Delivery: I received a delivery notification the moment it was dropped off at my doorstep. Each package of food was frozen solid and pre-portioned with labels for each of my dogs, they even include a handy feeding guide that lists all ingredients in each recipe and includes specific instructions on how to transition to Farmer’s Dog food. They even added in some convenient insulated bags and resealable food containers.
Convenience and Customization
With the Farmer’s Dog, each package of food is customized and labeled with each dog’s name. In addition to being extremely convenient, it also takes the guesswork out of the process. Each package tells you what date it was packed and the daily quantity necessary for each dog.
Transitioning to The Farmer’s Dog
Most dog lovers are aware that transitioning over to a new food isn’t always an easy process. Not only are some dogs more sensitive to changes in their diet, but you also need to transition them appropriately over time.
With The Farmer’s Dog, you don’t just get an overall feeding guide in your shipment; you get a personalized guide for each of your dogs. This includes all the information you need for safe storage and a transition guide with the recommended food ratio (The Farmer’s Dog and the old food) as you make the switch. This guide is broken down into ratios for days 1 to 8, days 9 to 14, then the full transition beginning at day 15.
What’s even better? Our dogs didn’t even second guess the food, and we have a couple of picky eaters that don’t always trust new offerings. Each of the boys took right to each recipe without hesitation.
Quality and Safety
When I’m buying dog food, the first thing I look for is if it meets AAFCO guidelines. With The Farmer’s Dog, the AAFCO Statement was included right there in the breakdown for each recipe. So, in addition to being formulated by veterinary nutritionists, it’s tailored to meet those AAFCO standards, too.
The Farmer’s Dog does not use feed-grade ingredients in any of its recipes. All foods are crafted in USDA kitchens and the ingredients used also meet the USDA safety standards for human consumption. So, you can rest assured you’re getting great quality food.
If you’re searching specifically for certified organic or non-GMO ingredients, it’s important to note that The Farmer’s Dog does not advertise as either, nor does it claim to use grass-fed meat sources. This is just something to keep in mind for those looking for fresh food that includes these specifications.
A Quick Look at The Farmer’s Dog Food
A comforting piece of information, The Farmer’s Dog does not have any history of recalls since they were founded in 2014.
Reviews of the 3 Best The Farmer’s Dog Food Recipes
Here we will take a closer look at three of the most popular The Farmer’s Dog food recipes:
1. Chicken Recipe
The Farmer’s Dog chicken recipe contains the highest amount of protein and is sure to be a hit in terms of flavor. Not only is it packed with protein from the chicken and chicken liver, but it also includes nutrient-rich vegetable sources like brussels sprouts, bok choy, and broccoli. Don’t forget the benefits of fish oil, which is part of each recipe The Farmer’s Dog offers.
The chicken recipe was a bit waterier than the beef and turkey recipes but that did make it easier to remove from the packaging. For dogs that aren’t used to fresh foods, the veggies may cause a bit of gas as they move through the digestive system, but that happens to the best of us.
All recipes from The Farmer’s Dog are crafted using the AAFCO guidelines to ensure safety and quality in addition to meeting your specific dog’s needs. As a protein source, chicken can cause allergies and sensitivities in some dogs, but if your dog does well with chicken, you really can’t go wrong here.
2. Beef Recipe
The Farmer’s Dog beef recipe includes beef, sweet potatoes, lentils, carrots, and beef liver. This recipe has the second-highest protein content but is highest in overall caloric content per serving. Like the other recipes in The Farmer’s Dog has to offer, it also includes fish oil, which is a great source of omega 3’s that help support skin, coat, and joint health.
If your dog does well with beef as a protein source, this recipe is fantastic and packed full of your dog’s needed vitamins and nutrients. Beef can cause some gas and even some loose stool when you first switch over, especially if they are not used to beef as the main source of protein in their usual diet.
Overall, the beef recipe and all other recipes from The Farmer’s Dog are tailored specifically to your pup and meet the AAFCO standards for pet food safety and quality. Your dog is sure to love the rich beef flavor that is brought out with both the fresh beef and the included beef liver, and you can have peace of mind knowing they are getting exactly what they need.
3. Turkey Recipe
Turkey is an excellent protein source for dogs that are prone to allergies or sensitivities that can result from other proteins like beef or chicken. This recipe contains turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach as the top ingredients.
It does have the lowest amount of protein and calories compared to the others but on the flip side, has an excellent fat-to-protein ratio and overall balance of nutrients. To top it off, it meets those AAFCO standards like all recipes from the company.
The added chickpeas are a great source of additional protein and fiber, the carrots, broccoli, and spinach are also full of beneficial nutrients. This recipe didn’t cause the gas or looser stools during the transitional period as I noticed with the others. Now, that may not be the case for all dogs but was a huge plus for our household.
Our Experience with The Farmer’s Dog
I had the delight of reviewing The Farmer’s Dog food and let me tell you, my boys were very happy about it.
Ordering and Shipment
The online ordering experience is a breeze, you simply fill out specific information about each of your pups and The Farmer’s Dog does the rest.
The shipping updates were on point, and I got notified the second it arrived at my doorstep. The food was packaged flawlessly, and it was frozen solid. They even included the resealable containers and some insulated bags, which is great!
Unpacking and Preparation
When I opened the box, I instantly knew this process was going to be a breeze. Each package was individually labeled with each dogs’ name and the recipe. The included instructions give you all the information you need about the food and how to transition.
I have three big dogs, so of course, it takes up some room in the freezer, but hey, they are worth it! Since all the food was frozen, I set some in the refrigerator to thaw and waited until it was ready. Once the food thawed, it was time to let the dogs assume their role. Of course, I started off using the food as a topper to their usual kibble to help them transition.
You must have scissors to cut the package and the packaging is fairly thick, so the sharper the better. The food smelled like people’s food without the seasoning, it certainly didn’t have a traditional dog food smell. It’s a very mushy consistency, so it was hard to squeeze the food out of the package, so once I got most of it out, I used a little water and swished it around to loosen what was stuck to the package so nothing went to waste.
So, What’s the Verdict?
What the Dogs Have to Say
I have three dogs and each of them took instantly to The Farmer’s Dog’s fresh food. There wasn’t a recipe they didn’t like. Two of the boys aren’t picky eaters, but the big guy tends to be a bit questionable about what you feed him. He’ll typically examine it closely and give it a good once over with his nose before deciding to trust what you’ve offered him. He didn’t even hesitate with this food, he took right to it.
I did get a few stares after they finished their bowls as if to say, “so, you’re not giving us more?” They weren’t so keen on the transitioning part and would have much preferred to dive into it headfirst, but that’s why I’m here. I will say, their bowls have never been cleaner.
What I Have to Say
We all know it’s the dog’s opinion that truly matters here, but I’ll give my two cents.
I will admit, there was some gas after the first couple of feedings, but I fully expected that and it resolved after a couple of days. I will say that I noticed the least amount of gas with the Turkey Recipe. There was an instance of loose stool (but no diarrhea) with two of my three.
Gas and/or loose stool is a completely normal part of any food transition, though. I’m actually very impressed with The Farmer’s Dog food and the entire process. Especially since two of these boys have more sensitive digestive systems.
A quick warning to those with rotten pups, lock your trash can or recycling bins because mine decided that after dinner they weren’t quite done. They snuck the packing out of the bin to make sure it was licked perfectly clean. That’s mom’s fault though, she didn’t lock the lid.
The Farmer’s Dog was a huge hit for all my dogs and the transition may have been slightly smelly, but overall, very smooth and I was very satisfied with the experience. It was a real pleasure getting the opportunity to provide a detailed review.
Not only does The Farmer’s Dog provide top-quality fresh food you can feel comfortable feeding your dog(s) but they really go the extra mile in terms of customization and convenience.
Even though we try our best to educate ourselves on the ins and outs of our dog’s nutritional needs, we can be left in a sea of confusion. It seems like a never-ending struggle to keep up with what’s good and what’s bad. It’s nice to know there’s a brand out there created by fellow dog owners that shared our struggles and strived for a solution.
Fresh food may be more costly and take up more fridge and freezer space, but it’s taking the pet food industry by storm for a reason, and that reason is the health and well-being of our beloved companions.