Open Farm understands that pet parents want the very best for their furry companions. That’s why they’ve made it their mission to create nutritious, natural pet food from responsibly sourced ingredients. But does Open Farm deliver on its promises of premium quality and sustainability?
In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Open Farm’s sourcing, manufacturing, and quality control practices. We’ll break down the pros and cons of their dog food formulas, analyzing the nutrient profiles, ingredients lists, and real customer reviews. Read on to find out if Open Farm is the best choice to fuel your dog’s health and happiness.
A Closer Look at Open Farm’s Sourcing and Ingredient Quality
Ethically Raised Meat as the First Ingredient
All of Open Farm’s dog foods feature an ethically raised meat or fish as the first ingredient. This includes free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and turkey from heritage breeds raised without antibiotics or added hormones. Open Farm only partners with family farms they’ve vetted for responsible practices.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Open Farm incorporates nutrient-dense fresh produce into their recipes like carrots, apples, pumpkin, spinach, and blueberries. This adds important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants missing from meat-based diets. The fruits and veggies come from regional, trusted farmers.
Superfoods for Enhanced Nutrition
To boost the overall nutrient profile, Open Farm also includes superfoods like coconut oil, pumpkin, flaxseed, and turmeric. These provide healthy fats, fiber, omega-3s, and compounds like glucosamine to support joints.
No Artificial Additives
You won’t find any artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners in Open Farm recipes. They stick to all-natural ingredients to avoid unnecessary additives found in much pet food.
All ingredients are certified non-GMO, meaning they are not genetically engineered or modified. This includes the meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, grains, and oils.
How Open Farm Dog Food is Made
Open Farm owns their own USDA-certified pet food kitchens to closely oversee each step of the process from ingredients to finished products. Here are some key details on their manufacturing:
- Human-grade facilities and equipment: Everything meets strict standards for human food production. This ensures safety and quality.
- Stringent food safety procedures: Includes frequent equipment cleaning, micro testing, and safety protocols for every batch.
- US-sourced ingredients: The meat, produce, grains and supplements come from trusted farms in the United States or Canada.
- Small batch cooking: Food is cooked in small batches for optimal nutrient retention and consistent results.
- Third-party auditing: Regular audits ensure facilities and processes meet the highest standards.
- Random product testing: In-house labs test for nutrient levels, bacteria, and other quality criteria.
- Sustainable practices: Kitchens run on renewable energy to reduce environmental impact. Ingredients are sourced from eco-conscious suppliers.
With full control from ingredients to finished food, Open Farm ensures quality and safety at every step.
Analyzing the Nutrient Profiles of Open Farm Dog Food
To properly fuel dogs, diets must deliver complete, balanced nutrition. Let’s look at how Open Farm formulas stack up against guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Adequate Protein from Quality Sources
- All recipes contain at least 18% protein, meeting AAFCO minimums. The protein also comes from quality whole food sources instead of plant-based meals.
- Meat, fish or eggs are always the first ingredient, providing more essential amino acids compared to plant proteins.
- Natural carbohydrate sources like legumes and whole grains complement the protein, resulting in complete proteins.
Appropriate Fat Content and Profiles
- Open Farm formulas provide between 10-18% fat, falling within AAFCO recommendations. Higher levels support more active or growing dogs.
- The recipes obtain fat from nutritious whole foods like fish, flaxseed, and coconut oil. This supplies essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coats.
Limited Carbohydrates from Quality Sources
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and oats make up the natural, grain-free carbohydrate sources. Whole foods provide important vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Most recipes contain under 30% carbs, lower than many commercial dog foods. Limited carbs help prevent obesity and diabetes.
Nutrient Boosts from Fruits, Veggies and Supplements
- Every recipe contains antioxidant-rich produce like blueberries, carrots, apples and spinach.
- Added supplements include chelated minerals, dried fermentation products, zinc proteins, and vitamin E for a natural boost.
- Real foods provide supplemental nutrition versus laboratory-made vitamin packs.
Overall, Open Farm recipes meet and often exceed AAFCO standards thanks to their whole food ingredients and careful formulation.
Comparing Open Farm’s Best Selling Dog Food Formulas
Open Farm offers a variety of recipes under their Free-Range Chicken & Ancient Grains and Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains lines. Here we break down the details of their best selling formulas.
Open Farm Free-Range Chicken & Ancient Grains Puppy Recipe
- First five ingredients: Free-range chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, chicken fat, millet
- Protein: 28% min
- Fat: 16% min
- Fiber: 6% max
- Nutrient profile supports growing puppy’s needs
- DHA boosts brain and eye development
- Contains probiotics for healthy digestion
- 342 kcal/cup supports high puppy energy needs
- Small kibble size, ideal for puppy chewing and crunching
Open Farm Free-Range Chicken & Ancient Grains Recipe
- First five ingredients: Free-range chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, peas, chicken fat
- Protein: 24% min
- Fat: 14% min
- Fiber: 6% max
- Provides complete, balanced nutrition for maintenance
- Lean protein and fat levels suit most activity levels
- Contains joint-supporting compounds like glucosamine
- Probiotics and omegas support healthy digestion and skin/coat
- 342 kcal/cup meets energy needs of active dogs
Open Farm Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains Recipe
- First five ingredients: Wild-caught salmon, garbanzo beans, peas, salmon meal, sunflower oil
- Protein: 24% min
- Fat: 14% min
- Fiber: 6% max
- Rich in omega-3s from wild-caught salmon
- Nutrient profile supports skin, coat, joint, heart, and brain health
- Natural fish flavor dogs love
- 342 kcal/cup provides moderate calorie levels
- Easily digested recipe for sensitive tummies
The combinations of quality proteins, fats, carbs, and micronutrients make these recipes suited for puppies to adult dogs with different health needs.
In-Depth Look at the Ingredients in Open Farm Dog Food
Let’s analyze the ingredients lists on the back of the bag for additional insights into the formulas.
Lean, Ethically Sourced Proteins
Chicken, salmon, turkey, and eggs provide essential amino acids. As the first ingredients, they deliver concentrated protein versus meal further down the list. Only meats from free-range, pasture-raised animals are used, free of antibiotics and hormones.
Fruits and Vegetables
You’ll find nutrient-packed produce like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, apples, spinach, and blueberries. Since the ingredients are whole foods, dogs benefit from naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Ancient Grains and Legumes
Grain-free options include healthy carbohydrates like chickpeas, peas and lentils. Ancient grains like millet provide fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. They have a lower glycemic impact compared to refined grains like corn or wheat.
Omega-3 rich oils like flaxseed, salmon, and sunflower provide energy density and support skin/coat health. Coconut oil supplies beneficial MCTs for brain function. There are no cheap fat fillers like animal by-products.
Chicken or fish broth concentrates enhance taste and palatability. Natural mixed tocopherols keep fats from spoiling while also providing vitamin E.
Balanced Vitamin and Mineral Packs
Their nutrient packs provide targeted amounts of essential vitamins, chelated minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin, and probiotics absent from whole foods alone. This balances out the recipes.
While the ingredients lists are more involved than foods with 5-10 ingredients, each one serves a nutritional purpose. No questionable additives are included.
What real customers have to say about Open Farm Dog Food
Beyond the ingredients lists, first-hand customer feedback provides real-world insights into Open Farm’s formulas. Let’s look at what pet parents highlight in reviews:
Positive Impacts Reported in Dog’s Health and Wellbeing
- More energy, active play and improved stamina
- Shinier, softer coats and less shedding
- Better digestion with smaller, firmer stools
- Decreased ear infections, itching and hot spots
- Puppies steadily gaining weight and meeting milestones
- Seniors maintaining healthy weights and mobility
Picky Dogs Love the Taste
- Enthusiastically finish meals every time
- Lick bowls clean asking for more
- Choose it over table scraps or treats
- Chicken and salmon recipes are dog favorites
Convenience of Kibble Form
- Crunchy kibble easier to serve than raw or homemade meals
- Portable for travel, walks, or outdoor adventures
- Allows free feeding during day for grazers
- Easy to use in food puzzles, Kongs, or snuffle mats
- Versatile enough to mix with some canned food or raw meat
Critical Feedback on Open Farm Dog Food
- Higher price point than big name brands
- Occasional quality control issues like stale or moldy food
- Some picky pups prefer a different recipe
- Rare dogs had digestive upset switching over
- A few noted smaller stools than expected
Considering the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Open Farm seems to deliver on their promise of nutritious and delicious dog food. There are always exceptions and room for improvement with any brand.
How Much Does Open Farm Dog Food Cost?
For a premium dog food made with ethically raised meat and fresh regional produce, Open Farm offers competitive prices. Here are some average cost comparisons:
- Open Farm (4lb bag): $15 to $20
- Other premium brands like Merrick or Blue Buffalo (4lb bag): $15 to $25
- Grocery store brands like Pedigree or Purina (4lb bag): $10 to $15
When you break down the per day or per meal costs, Open Farm aligns with similar high-end brands, yet delivers significantly higher quality nutrition. Feeding trials found dogs did well when fed 25-30% less Open Farm by volume too, further stretching your dollar.
Pros and Cons of Feeding Open Farm Dog Food
Let’s recap the key positives and potential drawbacks to consider when choosing Open Farm dog food:
Open Farm Dog Food Pros
- Ethically raised meat and fish first ingredients
- Nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables
- No artificial additives or preservatives
- Meticulous quality control procedures
- Balanced nutrition meeting AAFCO standards
- Exceptional palatability even for picky eaters
- Convenient dry kibble formulas
- Competitive pricing for premium pet food
Potential Cons to Consider
- Slightly pricier than grocery store brands
- Limited protein options compared to other brands (only chicken, salmon, turkey)
- Grain-free formulas don’t work for some dogs
- Occasional packaging and expiration date issues
- Must order online direct or through select retailers
On the whole, Open Farm offers so much upside compared to any potential drawbacks. The pros combined with rave customer reviews make it a standout brand.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Open Farm Dog Food
Is Open Farm human grade dog food?
Open Farm is not officially certified as human grade. However, their facilities and processes meet USDA standards for human food production. Their recipes resemble homemade meals with recognizable ingredients you would cook with.
Does Open Farm dog food have probiotics?
Yes, select recipes like the Puppy Formula contain probiotic supplements added to support healthy digestion and immunity. Probiotics are “good bacteria” that populate the gut.
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Is Open Farm a good dog food brand? What do vets recommend?
With their focus on fresh meats, fruits and veggies without additives, Open Farm adheres to many veterinarian recommended criteria for quality dog foods. Their standards even surpass those of big brands more commonly prescribed. Always consult your own vet for personalized recommendations.
Is Open Farm grain-free? Do they offer gluten-free recipes?
Open Farm offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes. The Free Range Chicken and Wild Caught Salmon lines do not contain gluten ingredients like wheat. Instead they use gluten-free ancient grains like millet and chickpeas as carbohydrate sources.
Is Open Farm safe for puppies?
Yes, Open Farm’s Puppy Recipe delivers optimal nutrition to fuel growth and development. It contains 28% protein, 16% fat, and 422 calories per cup to meet increased needs. The Small Breed Puppy formula adjusts nutrient levels for smaller puppy’s needs. DHA supports brain development.
What is the shelf life of Open Farm dog food?
Unopened bags have a shelf life of 14 months from the date of manufacture. Opened bags should be used within 6 weeks. Bags have a Best By date stamped for your reference. Pay attention to proper storage guidelines and your dog’s actual acceptance.
The Verdict: Is Open Farm Worth Investing In?
At the end of the day, every pet parent wants quality nutrition for their dogs and value for their dollar. When you factor in Open Farm’s ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, and testing processes combined with rave reviews, this brand delivers.
Dogs thrive on the recipes thanks to the optimal protein-fat-carb ratios and added nutritional boosts from real foods. The taste satisfies even picky pups. While a premium diet, Open Farm offers competitive pricing and proven performance.
If you read the fine print and align with their philosophies on quality, animal welfare and sustainability, then Open Farm is certainly worth investing in for your dog. Switching could be one of the best decisions for supporting your pup’s health and happiness long-term.