The Farmer’s Dog fresh-cooked, small-batch dog food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The Farmer’s Dog product line includes 3 refrigerated formulas.
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.
- The Farmer’s Dog Pork Recipe [A]
- The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe (4.5 stars) [A]
- The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe (4.5 stars) [A]
The Turkey Recipe was selected to represent all 3 products in the line for this review.
The Farmer's Dog Turkey Recipe
Refrigerated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: USDA turkey, parsnips, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli, spinach, fish oil, vitamins & minerals [tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, vitamin B12 supplement, taurine, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid]
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||18%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||37%||36%|
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”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second 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 third ingredient lists 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 recipe.
The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.
The seventh ingredient is 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 commendable addition.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we find 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 zinc amino acid chelate and other chelated minerals… minerals chemically attached to protein and which make them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals like these are typically found in better quality recipes.
The Farmer’s Dog
Dog Food Review
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.
Which suggests The Farmer’s Dog contains near-average protein, near-average fat, and above-average carbs when compared to a typical refrigerated recipe.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, this still looks like the profile of a refrigerated formula containing a moderate amount of meat.
The Farmer’s Dog is a grain-free refrigerated dog food using a moderate amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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
- 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 ↩
- 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 ↩
08/29/2019 Last Update