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Open Farm Raw Mix Dog Food Review

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: May 24, 2024

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Open Farm Raw Mix Dog Food earns The Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Open Farm Raw Mix product line includes 6 dog foods.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Open Farm RawMix Front Range & Ancient Grains Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1.

Beef is naturally rich in all eleven essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is menhaden fish meal. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.2.

Fish meat is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is pork. Pork can be defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered pork” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.3

Pork is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The seventh ingredient is herring meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, herring 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.4

The eighth ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.5

Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The ninth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

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 4 notable exceptions

First, 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, coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.6

Because of its proven safety7 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.

In addition, 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.

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

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Open Farm Dog Food looks like an above-average raw dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 32%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

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

Our Rating of Open Farm Dog Food

Open Farm Raw Mix is a grain-free and grain-inclusive raw dog food using a significant amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1, 4: Association of American Feed Control Officials

2: Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials

3: Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of meat by the Association of American Feed Control Officials

5: Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition

6: 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

7: 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.

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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