Review of Open Farm Dry Dog Food
Open Farm Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Open Farm product line includes the 8 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.
- Open Farm Wild Caught Salmon [A]
- Open Farm Pasture Raised Lamb (4.5 stars) [A]
- Open Farm Homestead Turkey and Chicken (4.5 stars) [A]
- Open Farm Farmer’s Table Pork (4.5 stars) [A]
- Open Farm Catch of the Season Whitefish (4.5 stars) [A]
- Open Farm Grass Fed Beef [A]
- Open Farm Puppy [A]
- Open Farm Senior [A]
Open Farm Grass Fed Beef was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Open Farm Grass Fed Beef
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Humanely raised beef, ocean whitefish meal, field peas, sweet potatoes, beef livers, pumpkin, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), garbanzo beans (chickpeas), herring meal, red lentils, green lentils, flaxseed, natural flavour, sunflower oil, carrots, cranberries, chicory root, dicalcium phosphate, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, sun cured alfalfa, apples, zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, selenium yeast, salmon oil, turmeric, taurine, vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative), niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||16%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||33%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains up to 73% 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 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
Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fifth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth ingredient item is pumpkin, which is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
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 garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, beans 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 ninth ingredient is herring meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
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 Open Farm product.
With 8 notable exceptions…
First, we note the use of lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, 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.
In addition, this food contains salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
We also find chicory root in this recipe. Chicory 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.
This product also lists 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.
Another notable inclusion is taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this recipe incorporates selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Open Farm Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Open Farm Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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%.
Which means this Open Farm product line contains…
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 legumes and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Open Farm is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Open Farm Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Open Farm. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- 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 ↩
- 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. ↩
06/16/2020 Last Update