Open Farm is a relatively new player in the dog food industry, offering a variety of freeze-dried and kibble recipes made with high-quality, ethical ingredients. As more pet owners become conscious of what goes into their dogs’ food, Open Farm has quickly grown in popularity for their commitment to transparency and focus on fresh, natural ingredients.
In this comprehensive Open Farm dog food review, we will take an in-depth look at what makes them stand out, including:
- Company Ethos and Sourcing Standards
- Overview of Dog Food Lines and Key Recipes
- Ingredient Quality and Nutritional Analysis
- Taste and Dog Satisfaction Ratings
- Pricing and Where to Buy
- Pros and Cons of Open Farm Dog Food
Read on for a complete guide to Open Farm’s offerings to help you determine if it could be the right brand for your dog!
Company Ethos and Sourcing Standards
Open Farm was founded in 2016 by Isaac Langleben, who sought to create a pet food company with radical transparency. Frustrated by the lack of clarity from big brands on what went into their formulas, Langleben made ingredient traceability a core part of Open Farm’s mission.
Some key aspects that set Open Farm apart include:
- Focus on Fresh, Whole Ingredients: Open Farm emphasizes quality over cost savings when it comes to ingredients. Their recipes favor fresh meats, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and supplements over processed meals, by-products, and synthetic additives.
- Traceability and Sourcing Standards: Open Farm publicly shares where they source their ingredients from and what standards those suppliers meet. They focus on local, ethically raised meats and sustainable produce.
- Nothing from China: Due to quality concerns, Open Farm maintains a strict policy of using no ingredients from China in their products.
- Testing for Nutrients and Contaminants: In addition to having foods tested for macro and micronutrients, Open Farm batch tests for over 200 potential contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides, and mycotoxins.
By making transparency core to their identity and practices, Open Farm aims to raise the bar for ethics and responsibility in the pet food industry.
Overview of Dog Food Lines and Key Recipes
Open Farm currently offers both freeze-dried and dry kibble dog food using similar recipes and ingredients for their product lines. Their offerings include:
- Free Range Beef
- Pasture Raised Lamb
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Chicken & Legumes
- Turkey & Whole Grain
- Beef & Lentil
- Pork & Pumpkin
Oven-Baked Kibble Recipes
- Free Range Beef
- Pasture Raised Lamb
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Chicken & Ancient Grains
- Turkey & Whole Grain
- Beef & Lentil
- Pork & Pumpkin
Of these recipes, a few stand out as excellent choices for most dogs:
Free Range Beef Recipe
Open Farm’s Free Range Beef recipe has beef broth, beef liver, and ground beef as the first three ingredients, making it a smart choice for dogs who do well on beef-based diets. The freeze-dried version also includes sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, green beans, broccoli, cranberries, and blueberries for fiber and additional nutrients.
Pasture Raised Lamb Recipe
Using lamb bone broth, lamb liver, and lamb as its first ingredients, Open Farm’s Pasture Raised Lamb recipe delivers excellent taste and digestibility from its single animal protein source. It also contains nutrient-dense whole foods like chickpeas, carrots, apples, spinach, pumpkin, and blueberries.
Chicken & Ancient Grains Recipe
For dogs with sensitive stomachs, Open Farm’s Chicken & Ancient Grains dry food uses chicken meal, oatmeal, and millet to provide gentle grain-inclusive nutrition. It also has pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, and an antioxidant blend for whole food benefits.
Try this Open Farm recipe if your dog needs…
- A beef-based diet: Free Range Beef
- A limited ingredient or novel protein diet: Pasture Raised Lamb, Wild Caught Salmon
- Gentle digestion support: Chicken & Ancient Grains
No matter which line or recipe you choose, you can count on Open Farm to use high-quality ingredients and avoid artificial additives.
Ingredient Quality and Nutritional Analysis
When evaluating a dog food, looking at the ingredients and nutritional adequacy is key. Here’s an overview of what Open Farm offers:
- Animal Proteins: Open Farm uses named whole meats like beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, or salmon. No anonymous meat meals or by-product meals.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Every recipe contains an assortment of whole fruits and veggies for antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients. Provides natural sources for key vitamins and minerals versus synthetic vitamin packs.
- Grains and Legumes: The grain-free recipes use digestible whole food carbohydrates like chickpeas, sweet potatoes, or lentils. The grain-inclusive foods rely on rice, oats, and millet.
- Supplements: In addition to whole food sources, Open Farm adds supplements like dried fermentation products and chelated minerals to balance the nutritional profile.
- No artificial additives: There are no colors, flavors, or preservatives used. Open Farm also avoids artificial sweeteners like corn syrup or sucrose.
- Protein: 27-29% minimum for freeze-dried, 25-27% minimum for kibble recipes. Primarily derived from meat ingredients.
- Fat: 15-17% minimum for freeze-dried, 15-18% minimum for kibble recipes. Helps support skin, coat, energy levels, and taste satisfaction.
- Fiber: 2-4% for freeze-dried, 3-4% for kibble recipes. Well-balanced for digestive health.
Overall, Open Farm provides above-average protein and fat from quality animal sources complemented by natural fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and supplements. The result is a recipe that delivers complete, balanced daily nutrition without anything artificial.
Taste and Dog Satisfaction Ratings
The finest ingredients mean little if a food doesn’t appeal to a dog’s palate. Here’s what pet owners report about Open Farm’s palatability and digestion:
Taste: Owners say even their pickiest dogs seem to love the taste of Open Farm recipes. The foods have a natural meaty aroma and entice most dogs to eat enthusiastically.
Digestion: The combination of high-quality protein, natural fiber sources, and specially selected carbohydrates means minimal digestive upset when transitioning to an Open Farm diet for most dogs. Stools tend to be small, compact, and consistent on Open Farm foods.
Satiety: Many pet owners remark that Open Farm keeps their dogs feeling satisfied between meals. The ample protein and fat provides lasting energy while the fiber helps dogs feel full.
Skin and coat: The majority of dogs show improvements to skin and coat conditions when fed Open Farm long term. Owners report their dogs have soft, shiny coats and reduced skin problems like dandruff or itching.
Energy levels: Open Farm foods give most dogs sustained energy throughout the day thanks to the optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Owners say their previously lethargic dogs regain healthy activity levels on Open Farm.
Based on hundreds of reviews, Open Farm earns top marks for providing delicious, nutritious dog food that improves wellbeing across the board. Most dogs respond extremely well to the diet.
Pricing and Where to Buy
Open Farm dog foods have an average cost compared to competitors when you factor in the above-average quality. Here are the typical prices and where to purchase:
- $34 for a 3 lb bag (equivalent to about 12 lbs of fresh food)
- Buy online at OpenFarmPet.com, Chewy, Amazon, or in specialty pet stores
- $50-55 for a 24 lb bag
- Buy online or in specialty pet stores
This puts both the freeze-dried and kibble formulas at around $4.50 to $5.00 per pound when taking into account the rehydrated weight of the freeze-dried food. For the ingredient quality and nutrition provided, this very reasonable compared to most premium and super premium dog foods.
Open Farm also offers a subscribe and save program on their website with automatic recurring shipments to save 5-10% on your dog food order. This brings down the effective cost a bit more.
While not the most affordable option, Open Farm provides good value for money based on nutrition profile, ingredient quality, and high owner satisfaction ratings.
Pros and Cons of Open Farm Dog Food
To recap the key positives and negatives of this brand:
- Extreme focus on ingredient transparency and traceability
- Emphasis on fresh, whole food ingredients
- Meat, fruits, vegetables, and supplements provide excellent nutrition
- Most dogs seem to love the taste and digest it well
- Improves skin, coat, energy in most dogs
- Good value for the quality
- Higher cost than economy brands (but reasonable for a premium brand)
- Limited selection of recipes
- Must be purchased online or in pet stores (no big box store availability)
- Some dogs may still do better on a different protein or recipe
On the whole, the pros of Open Farm’s ethics, nutrition, and palatability appear to easily outweigh any drawbacks for most pet owners. The main complaint is cost, but savvy shoppers take advantage of sales and subscribe and save options to make it more affordable.
The Verdict: An Excellent Fresh and Ethical Premium Dog Food
In this extensive Open Farm dog food review, we’ve seen what sets them apart in the market and why they’ve earned such loyal followers. For dog owners wanting a premium diet focused on natural nutrition and transparency, Open Farm is a superb choice that lives up to the hype.
Open Farm exceeds competitors with their meticulous attention to ethical sourcing, ingredient quality, nutritional analysis, and manufacturing standards. This dedication pays off through improved health, happiness, and quality of life in pets fed Open Farm foods.
While it may cost more than grocery store kibble, Open Farm provides measurable value that makes the investment worthwhile for many pet parents. If you’re willing to feed your dog superior nutrition from transparent origins, Open Farm should be high on your list to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
To summarize the key details covered in this comprehensive review, here are answers to some of the most common questions about Open Farm’s offerings:
What types of dog food does Open Farm make?
Open Farm offers both freeze-dried dog food and oven-baked kibble using similar high quality recipes. This includes both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes.
Where is Open Farm dog food produced?
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All Open Farm foods are made in human food facilities in the United States. This allows for strict quality control and the made in USA claim.
Does Open Farm test for contaminants?
Yes, Open Farm batch tests incoming ingredients and finished foods for over 200 potential contaminants and toxins. This includes testing for heavy metals, mold/fungus, pesticides, and other residues.
Is Open Farm a good dog food for allergies?
The limited ingredient recipes like Pasture Raised Lamb offer suitability for dogs with food allergies. You can also choose grain-free or grain-inclusive recipes to tailor it to your dog’s needs.
Is Open Farm dog food high in protein?
Yes, Open Farm provides above average protein levels around 27-29% for freeze-dried and 25-27% for kibble. This protein comes primarily from quality whole meat ingredients.
Is Open Farm worth the price?
For what you get in ethical sourcing, natural ingredients, nutrition, and dog satisfaction, most owners find Open Farm provides good value for money despite the higher price tag. Taking advantage of sales, deals, and auto-ship can reduce the cost.
The Bottom Line
Open Farm earns its reputation as a top choice for pet parents wanting ethically produced dog food with a focus on natural nutrition. If you want transparency into ingredients and care about sourcing, Open Farm sets the bar with their US-made premium formulas packed with fresh meats, wholesome fruits/veggies, digestible carbohydrates, and beneficial supplements.