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The Farmer’s Dog Food Review (Fresh)

The Farmers Dog Food Review

Rating:

The Farmer’s Dog earns The Dog Food Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

In this review…

We’ll take an in-depth look at The Farmer’s Dog… and we’ll rate each of its recipes. And we’ll answer these important questions:

  1. What is The Farmer’s Dog? How does it work?
  2. Who makes it?
  3. Has The Farmer’s Dog been recalled?
  4. Which flavors and recipes get our top ratings?

But first…

What Is The Farmer’s Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog is a premium subscription service that produces fresh, custom-made food for your particular dog. And then delivers it… refrigerated… direct to your door.

How Does the Service Work?

First, you’ll answer a few questions about your dog’s age, weight, breed, activity level and allergies. This creates a custom feeding profile.

Next, you’ll choose a “flavor”. Set up a delivery schedule. And soon, fresh-made pet food arrives at your home, packed in dry ice.

The Farmer's Dog Food Squeeze Package
Refrigerated Squeeze Package (Photo credit: The Farmer’s Dog)

Who Makes The Farmer’s Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog is made at USDA-inspected facilities located within the United States.

The company was founded in 2014 by Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev. The following video describes the pair’s inspiring story and contrasts The Farmer’s Dog with ordinary dry dog food.

Who Designed The Farmer’s Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog is designed and formulated by a team of veterinary specialists, board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

Has The Farmer’s Dog Been Recalled?

As of our most recent update, The Farmer’s Dog has never been recalled.

Is The Farmer’s Dog a Healthy Food?

Unlike brands that use computer programs to verify their nutrient content…

The Farmer’s Dog was tested using a method we consider superior to AAFCO’s own gold standard system… live feeding trials conducted on real dogs of multiple breed sizes and ages… over a 6-year period.

So, all 4 recipes are considered nutritious for all ages and breed sizes, including large breed puppies.

Where Can I Buy The Farmer’s Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog is not sold in stores. It’s only available direct from the company.

Is The Farmer’s Dog Raw?

No… It’s gently cooked at lower temperatures. So, each recipe avoids damage to delicate vitamins and nutrients during high-heat processing.1

What If My Dog Doesn’t Like the Food?

The Farmer’s Dog has amazing customer service. If your dog doesn’t like the recipe you ordered, there’s no need to return it. The company will send you a different flavor, at no cost to you.

Which Recipes Get Our Top Ratings?

The Farmer’s Dog offers 4 recipe options. Here’s what makes each one different.


Farmers Dog Fresh Beef Recipe

Beef Recipe

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, sweet potatoes, cooked lentils, carrots, beef liver
  • Protein: 39% (dry matter)
  • Fat: 29% (dry matter)
  • Carbs: 24% (est)
  • Fat-to-protein ratio: 73%

Beef Recipe contains the second highest protein level in The Farmer’s Dog product line. Includes fish oil, a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids for better joint health. A top pick. Highly recommended.

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Farmers Dog Fresh Food

Turkey Recipe

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, spinach
  • Protein: 33% (dry matter)
  • Fat: 19% (dry matter)
  • Carbs: 40% (est)
  • Fat-to-protein ratio: 56%

Although Turkey Recipe has the lowest amount of meat protein in the brand’s offering, it also exhibits the most favorable fat-to-protein ratio. Exceptional nutrient balance. Recommended with confidence.

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Farmers Dog Chicken Recipe 275

Chicken Recipe

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, brussels sprouts, chicken liver, bok‐choy cabbage, broccoli
  • Protein: 46% (dry matter)
  • Fat: 34% (dry matter)
  • Carbs: 12% (est)
  • Fat-to-protein ratio: 74%

Chicken Recipe boasts the highest protein content of any product in the line… with zero legumes. Contains an organic zinc compound and 2 other chelated minerals. Nutrients typically found in better recipes. Highly recommended.

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Farmers Dog Pork Recipe

Pork Recipe

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Pork, sweet potatoes, potato, green beans, cauliflower
  • Protein: 36% (dry matter)
  • Fat: 28% (dry matter)
  • Carbs: 28% (est)
  • Fat-to-protein ratio: 78%

This recipe gets 100% of its animal protein from fresh pork and pork liver. The formula is rich in omega-3 fish oil for optimal heart health and silky coat. Another exceptional pick. Highly recommended.

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Farmers Dog Fresh Food
The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe

Review and Rating of The Farmer’s Dog

Rating:

The Farmer’s Dog fresh-cooked, human-grade dog food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Farmer’s Dog product line includes the 4 fresh-cooked foods listed below.

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

Product Rating AAFCO
Pork Recipe 4.5 A
Beef Recipe 5 A
Turkey Recipe 4.5 A
Chicken Recipe 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

The Farmer’s Dog Turkey was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

The Farmer's Dog Turkey Recipe

Refrigerated Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 40%

Ingredients: Turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, spinach, parsnips, tricalcium phosphate, salt, fish oil, choline bitartrate, taurine, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%19%40%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%38%34%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 34%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this recipe is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2

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

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

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient lists carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

Farmers Dog Chicken Recipe 275
The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe

The fourth ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.

The fifth ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score3 of 91.

The sixth ingredient includes parsnip, a root vegetable closely related to carrot and parsley. Parsnips are high in complex carbohydrates and rich in B vitamins, fiber and other essential nutrients.

The seventh ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorus. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

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 3 notable exceptions

First, we find fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a welcome addition.

Farmers Dog Fresh Beef Recipe
The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe

Next, we note the use of 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.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients only, The Farmer’s Dog appears to be an above-average wet product.

However, ingredient content alone doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the product’s meat content. We also need to take a closer look at the label’s Guaranteed Analysis data.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 40%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.

Which suggests The Farmer’s Dog contains above-average protein, above-average fat, and below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet recipe.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, this still looks like the profile of a fresh dog food containing a generous amount of meat.

Farmers Dog Pork Recipe
The Farmer’s Dog Pork Recipe

Our Rating of The Farmer’s Dog

We find The Farmer’s Dog to be an outstanding, grain-free wet food. Each human-grade recipe uses a generous amount of fresh named meat as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.


What Do Others Say About The Farmer’s Dog?

Buyer review… “Our Havanese puppy ‘Chutney’ is a very picky eater and The Farmer’s Dog is the only thing he eats without fuss.”

Read more buyer reviews at TheFarmersDog.com



Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about choosing and feeding The Farmer’s Dog:


How can I switch to The Farmer’s Dog without making my dog sick?

In this video

Dr. Gary Richter shares a simple feeding tip that can help lower your dog’s risk of getting sick when you switch to a fresh food, like The Farmer’s Dog.

It’s best to switch your dog to a fresh food like The Farmer’s Dog gradually.

Start by mixing 20% “fresh” with 80% “old” food. Then, slowly increase that amount to a full 100% over the next 8 to 9 days.

Schedule Old Food Fresh Food
Days 1 and 2 80% 20%
Days 3 and 4 60% 40%
Days 5 and 6 40% 60%
Days 7 and 8 20% 80%
Day 9 0% 100%

What allows The Farmer’s Dog to claim it is “human grade”?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that products claiming to be “fit for human consumption” must be officially “edible”.

The word “edible” is a legal standard. “Human-grade” is not.

In order for The Farmer’s Dog to be deemed edible, every ingredient in its recipe must be human edible and manufactured, packed and stored in accordance with USDA regulations.

USDA FSIS Logo


How can I be sure The Farmer’s Dog is healthy?

Each of The Farmer’s Dog recipes was designed by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.

And unlike most commercial dog foods that use only computer simulations to determine their compliance with AAFCO nutrient profiles…

The Farmer’s Dog was tested using a method we consider superior to AAFCO’s own gold standard system conducted on real dogs of multiple breed sizes and ages… over a 6-year period.

The Farmers Dog Review
Photo credit: The Farmer’s Dog

Is The Farmer’s Dog recommended for puppies?

Some fresh dog foods are not safe for all ages and breeds.

That’s because…

Large breed puppies have a higher risk of developing a crippling and permanent form of hip disease if they’re fed a fresh diet that contains too much calcium… while they’re still growing.4 5

Fortunately, The Farmer’s Dog is considered safe for ALL adults and puppies, including those of larger breeds.

Large breed dog with bilateral hip disease
Large Breed Dog with Hip Dysplasia

What keeps The Farmer’s Dog fresh?

Since The Farmer’s Dog contains no preservatives, it must be kept refrigerated or frozen.

In most cases, fresh dog food can last for months, as long as it remains frozen and sealed in its original package.

Once a container is open and defrosted, it should be kept in the fridge and used within 4 days.

Fresh Dog Food Package
Squeeze Package (Photo credit: The Farmer’s Dog)


A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do 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.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. Tran QD and others, Effects of extrusion processing on nutrients in dry pet food, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 88:1487–1493 (2008)
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  3. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  4. Lauten SD, Nutritional Risks to Large Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years, Vet Clin Small Anim 36 (2006) 1345–1359.
  5. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, “What Is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

03/13/2022 Last Update

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