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 5 grain free 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Open Farm Wild Caught Salmon [A]
  • Open Farm Pasture Raised Lamb [A]
  • 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 named meats as its main sources 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.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

07/23/2017 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.