Open Farm Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Open Farm Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Open Farm product line includes three dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Open Farm Homestead Turkey and Chicken [A]
  • Open Farm Farmer’s Market Pork and Root Vegetable [A]
  • Open Farm Catch of the Day Whitefish and Green Lentil [A]

Open Farm Catch of the Day Whitefish and Green Lentil was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Open Farm Catch of the Day Whitefish and Green Lentil

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Ocean caught whitefish, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), ocean caught whitefish meal, field peas, green lentils, ocean caught menhaden fish meal, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato, natural flavor, flaxseed, sunflower oil, cranberry, pumpkin, carrots, apples, sun cured alfalfa, chicory root, salmon oil, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, rosemary extract, vitamins: vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, minerals: zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%16%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%33%38%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast. Whitefish is rich rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient includes garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.

Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.

The third ingredient is whitefish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The next two ingredients include peas and lentils. Both peas and lentils are quality sources of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas and lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is menhaden meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2

Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

The eighth ingredient includes tomato, a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, this recipe includes dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Open Farm Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Open Farm Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the garbanzo beans, peas, lentils and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Open Farm is a grain-free plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of whitefish meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Open Farm Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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08/08/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  3. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.
  • Gord Gray

    I am in Canada… I don’t think we can get pure vita here. Also never heard of pet Tao. Not sure of the price but many people like Victor and zignature. Here in Canada first mate make an excellent canned food… not sure if it’s available where you are.

  • Stephen

    Been on fromm game bird(gr.free) ..so you think it would be oK to rotate with Pure Vita? Also starting to add canned food from Pet Tao. Its a work in progress

  • Gord Gray

    Hi Stephen… I rotate between good quality food daily with no issues. Brands I like are Orijen, acana, Fromm, GO, open farm. Sometimes my local pet food store will offer other good quality foods on sale and I will purchase them too! Acana is my favourite so I make sure one of their feedings is acana. I feed three times a day(smaller portions). It’s good to rotate proteins. Prevents boredom and it’s easy to detect any food allergies!

  • Stephen

    You rotate brands you say. How do you go about it and how often?

  • Mary L.

    Tried Open Farm Turkey/Chicken for our dogs. We normally mix 3 brands and then rotate one periodically, mixed with either Honest Kitchen or home cooked. We started by using Open Farm as treats, they all like it. One mill rescue has a very sensitive GI tract that, despite several attemps to transition to different foods/brands, could only be controlled with prescription food to this point. We’ve been very slowly transitioning to Open Farm and now reached 50% mixed with the Rx food and no issues – we hope to reach 100%.

  • Charles Mounce

    No, it was created by a few vegetarian Canadians who also own Canada Pooch. They wanted a humane option for kibbles and is why they use humane certified and seasonally caught meat. They also offer Terra cycle which recycles the bag. They hope to make apparel or leashes out of the bags if the brand gets big enough.

  • Charles Mounce

    This is going to sound disgusting but you may want to look into Answers Fish Stock for your dogs issue. I hope I helped

  • Krissy Wejrowski

    I started my 5 month old puppy on this after trying her on five or six different foods. After eating each food for about 3-5 days, she would turn her nose up to it and I would have to beg her to eat. Her stools were large and soft, somehwat runny and she would need wet food mixed in with her kibble in order to eat it.

    I picked up a small bag of Open Farm Catch of the Day and decided to try it. She LOVES fish, so I thought what the heck, its grain free and made in the US and CA, so why not? I was going to try Orijen, but after the reports of problems with the opening of the KY plant, I decided against it. Anywho, I gave her some of this food and she gobbled it up! It’s been a couple weeks now and she still loves it. She may leave less than 1/8 cup of kibbles in her bowl, but she always comes back to finish it within the hour (she gets distracted..lol). I felt that she needed a little bit more protein, so I’ve been mixing her FAVORITE of Rawbbles Fish kibbles in with her food now.

    Her stools are solid, formed and significantly less now! I also love that you can input the lot # of the bag and see where the ingredients came from, all the animals used to make the food are humanely raised, and its a rotational diet. I hope they develop another flavor or two, because this food has been great thus far!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Storm is poultry-intolerant/allergic (it’s a stronger intolerance/allergy than the alfalfa is (so far anyway)) …that’s the only reason why he hasn’t had the chicken/turkey recipe.

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    Thanks for your reply… I currently add tripett salmon to their food …also use first mate salmon and tuna. So you didn’t use the chicken/turkey recipe…is it not as good as the others?

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    Thank you…he has very few health problems currently…he has been on phenol for 11 years to control seizures… I know it’s not good for him but they have controlled his seizures … I figure I would add another good quality food for a bit more variety… What’s your opinion on Fromm and acana? I only feed grain free!

  • Storm’s Mom

    I fed Open Farm (the Pork and Whitefish recipes) several times prior to Storm developing what I believe to be an alfalfa intolerance, and he did very well on it each time. As the alfalfa is so far down the ingredient list, and isn’t alfalfa meal, I think there may be very little of it in the formula, so I may try it again soon to see how he does on it. I always mixed it with Tripett as a topper, though, as I was/am a bit concerned that there’s not much meat protein in either of the Open Farm recipes I tried.
    Edit: whoops, meant to reply to Glenda… ๐Ÿ™

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Glenda,
    My girl did fine on Open Farm; I’d feed it again. I like a big variety so give it a shot! You’re doing well to have a 13yr old!

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    How did your dogs do on this? I want to add another food to my rotation of Fromm and acana. Would you advise doing this for an older dog? He is a 13 year old beagle

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    How are you dogs doing since you changed from acana? I am thinking of adding this to my rotation (fromm and acana). I have a beagle and a basset hound. My beagle is 13.. Hope it’s ok to add another food to the rotation!

  • rescuemomma

    My dogs love this! I usually but Acana, but they were beginning to have problems with the size of the kibble. So I tried this, the kibble is very small, perfect for my chihuahuas! and the same high quality I have come to expect. Thank you Open Farm!

  • Azul

    You have to buy a membership to get the Editor’s choice list. If you’re interested, look in the column on the left side of the screen. It’s under the heading Need help?

  • Katy

    What is on the editors choice list? Just curious

  • Stacie Martin

    Just FYI, Certified Humane does NOT allow Debeaking or tail docking!

  • Minne_gurl125

    Yeah it’s weird it’s not. I thought AAFCO required it now. I know this is great food though, I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t made the Editors Choice list

  • InkedMarie

    I just opened a bag of the turkey & chicken for Ginger; curious to see how she does.

  • martined

    Still way better than what some of the protein goes through involved in most dog kibble. Glad for one company to strive for better lives of the animals used for their products. Also, they are involved with “Ocean-Wise” which only allows for sustainable fish species to be used. Costs more for ‘happy meat’.

    I heard that ag rules in Canada only specify 1 hour sleep required for chickens. Open Farm uses poultry farms that require 6 hour sleep period (basically lights get turned off). Canada has horrible ag regulations… this is a Canadian company using American grown ingredients…. sad they couldn’t find enough (and most likely affordable) Canadian producers.

    Factory farms and slaughter houses need to go. Meat may be double or triple the price, so be it.

  • theBCnut

    You should be able to find it somewhere on their website, but no guarantee.

  • Minne_gurl125

    Is the calorie content posted anywhere?

  • Storm’s Mom

    I don’t mind it so much if the other ingredients are in the same ballpark, so to speak.. it’s when they stick poultry in a “fish” formula (labelled as such, or ingredients-wise) or something like that that makes my blood boil. Like, how is it necessary to have chicken or turkey in a fish formula?! Drives me nuts. Or when all their formulae have poultry, as is the case with Trufood Baked Blends, I’m sure it wouldn’t kill them to just leave it out of one formula. If you’re going to come out with a “line” of food, it’d just be nice if it were an actual differentiated line, rather than basically the same food with a minor tweak in each formula.

  • DogFoodie

    I have some on hand for Bella. I think I’ll open it tonight! Unfortunately, there are things in each variety that Sam can’t have. Bella’s been eating the treats – she loves ’em, but then she loves all treats.

  • Dori

    I don’t understand why so many companies feel the need to add some poultry ingredient somewhere in their ingredients! Annoys the hell out of me. I realize it’s an economic issue but there are so many poultry sensitive/allergic animals that you’d think they’d want to tap into that market.

  • Trufood Baked Blends. I edited my above sentence. Thx! Core Air Dried is like sliced up Pupperoni pieces.

  • It’s plastic on both sides. Not soft and fuzzy.

  • DogFoodie

    Are you guys talking about the Wellness Core Air Dried or the Wellness TruFood Baked Blends?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Haven’t tried that one yet.. did see it on the shelf, though, so perhaps I’ll try that next. Although, while I don’t remember the exact price of it, I do remember thinking that it was really expensive, like C4d mentioned.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, that’s why I’d add tripe or a meat-based/low carb topper to it.

  • Dori

    Sandy, is the velcro made of plastic or the more fabric like velcro typically sold in hardware stores?

  • Dori

    Wish the carbs weren’t so high in this food. That’s the only thing I can see wrong with this food. Well, that and the fact that the protein of too low for what I feed.

  • SandyandMila

    I do like the Velcro idea.

  • I don’t think that is necessarily the case. A pet food manufacturer can order bags from a bag manufacturer.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh my, they have all kinds of “yummies” on that site! Thank you.

  • SandyandMila

    I found this food recently at a local store and it was right next to Wild Calling dry. They both use the Velcro, do you think they’re made by the same company?

  • DogFoodie

    I have a container of tripe from MPC in the fridge that I probably should’ve already finished. Since I can’t remember when I put it in there, I’m going to pitch it. Think I should open it and grab a big whiff to see how it smells first? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Yes, they even ate it for dinner plain since I was short on energy and patience tonight. I went to the Parker County Peach Festival today. I was using it as a crunchy topper to wet foods. I only use 1/4 cup as a topper. I like the Velcro bag too instead of the regular ziplock at the top.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It’s awfully expensive for me. Did your dogs like it? It reminds me of Purina’s Canyon Creek Ranch. I never used it but the package and the see through bag remind me of it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    That’s probably why the dog’s just love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • There’s no escaping the smell of tripe! It’s still there after freeze drying. You get accustomed to it after a while. Or maybe my allergies are just keeping me from fully smelling it! I bulk order tripe from GreenTripe.com so I’ve been paying a wholesale price.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Sandy!
    A while back (a long while), I think it was you that told me that you get a good deal on freeze dried or dehydrated tripe. Does that ring a bell? I recently bought some K9 Naturals frozen green lamb tripe. My dogs love it and it seems to help with digestion. It’s just soooo stinky when it is thawing! I was thinking that maybe dried tripe would be easier on ME. LOL!

  • Wellness Core Baked Blends is like cookie crumbs!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Teeny tiny kibble alert! Perhaps the smallest I’ve ever seen..smaller than Nature’s Logic, I’m pretty sure, although it’s a different shape so hard to say for sure. Flatter and longer than NL… the shape reminds me of a boat seen from above. Received a couple samples of Open Farm at a store that just started carrying it, and Storm tried the Farmer’s Market one tonight with some Tripett as a topper. Has a fresh but mild smell (I smelled it before opening the tripe haha). Storm gobbled it up, and considering he usually doesn’t do great on garbanzo bean-heavy kibble (his poops get massive), this one seems to have agreed with him quite well. Would only feed it with a meat-based canned topper, but I’d consider it a viable option for a rotation change-up from time to time.

  • Lisa Bresnan Zafar

    Doggiefood.com is now carrying it here in the US. Haven’t tried it yet.

  • Gloria

    I looked up the organization that certifies that these animals are humanly raised. This is what I found …

    What it means: Animals have access to clean and sufficient food and water, are able to perform natural behaviors, and have enough room to move around freely. Chickens are uncaged inside barns or warehouses unless they are โ€œfree-range.โ€ Dairy cattle must have a minimum of four hours of exercise per day. Pork and beef processors are held to higher standards for slaughtering farm animals than required by the federal Humane Slaughter Act and must comply with certain environmental standards. Third-party inspectors who are animal welfare experts verify that Certified Humane producers are in compliance

    Whatโ€™s prohibited: Cages, crates, tethers, growth hormones, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, restrictive farrowing crates for sows, and forced molting in birds through starvation.

    Whatโ€™s allowed: Debeaking (birds) and tail-docking (pigs). Outdoor access and natural daylight are not required for all species.

    I got this at http://www.redrover.org/decoding-humane-food-labels. They are the one in the middle. Still don’t like some of the stuff they allow …..

  • Pam c

    I found this Pet $aver Healthy Pet Superstore. It was priced higher than Acana grasslands, pacifica, and probably ranchlands. So for now I’m going to pass on it.

  • LabsRawesome

    Thanks Jayna, I’ll check Trader Joe’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jayna Carter

    In my area, Trader Joe’s and Vons (surprisingly!) carries it.

  • Jayna Carter

    If you look at the ingredients, the 1st 3 ingredients are high in protein. Humans and dogs need macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) in their diets every day, but a balance. “Carbs” is not a bad word – veggies, legumes, fruit, etc. have carbs. Carbs are only not good if you’re looking at processed food: white bread, French fries, potato chips, etc. The media has confused people SO much over the years with all the fad diets, it’s sad! The ratio in this dog food is really a perfect balance of healthy ingredients! I’m a Holistic Nutritionist, btw ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will be posting this on my Blog (livingorganicallywithjayna.com) which is nutritional advice and yummy, healthy recipe’s for humans – but humans should put healthy food in their pets as well ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to research the protein, fat, carb ratio – you can go to:http://www.livestrong.com/article/300129-the-best-ratio-of-carbs-protein-fat/

    I hope this helped!

  • DeloresMelon

    My local shop (in Maryland) just started carrying this. Going to give it a try!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Aiken, thanks for the info. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aiken

    The kibble is small and is spherical. Surprisingly no strong fishy smell which is nice. My dogs gobbled it up after inspecting it. I will most likely add this to my dogs rotating food choices. From my knowledge is that they manufacture their foods in the US but they are Canadian based.

  • LabsRawesome

    Ok TY. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aiken

    I was given a free sample by my local pet store (Global Pet Foods) in Canada. I’m gonna get back to you once it try it out for both my dogs.

  • It sounds great — checked on their site and it seems it’s only available in Canada. Clicking on the green icon shows the store in a pop-up. I have Topper (Border Collie) on Wellness Core Puppy, which is a great food except–he’s not keen on it. I would really love to give feed him home cooked food, but I am concerned about getting all the nutrition for him — he’s 9 months old. If anyone in the US is feeding this, let us know how you get it. Thanks!

  • Dori

    Sorry Labs. Never even heard of it. Let us know if you get any info on it. Uh oh! I just realized the carbs are really high. Shoot!

  • LabsRawesome

    TY ๐Ÿ™‚

  • aquariangt

    I tried that too, it just gave me my location as a ping on the map, no stores. I checked chewy, wag, and petflow too. I’d like to try that pork, since I only have one pork food in rotation

    EDIT: I emailed them. Will post any information I get here

  • LabsRawesome

    Here’s open Farms site. http://www.openfarmpet.com/ Site says no artificial preservatives and Ethoquin free. Also, certified humane and China free. Has anyone tried this food? If so, which store carries it? I tried their store locator. It just gives a location on a map, no store name.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m a vegetarian, and I still didn’t know. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • GSDsForever

    Yup! LOL. Just think of hummus, which, by the way, most dogs seem to love.

    Must be a benefit to being a vegetarian: knowing all the legumes out there. Either that or a love for Mediterranean foods.

  • Dori

    Chickpeas is the English translation of Garbanzo beans. Hummus (sp?) is also the same thing just pureed or pulverized garbanzo beans (chickpeas).

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Wow, I never knew that garbanzo beans and chickpeas were the same! That should really come in hand for Lily’s elimination diet.