Open Farm is a relatively new player in the dog food industry, but they’ve made quite a splash with their commitment to ethical and transparent sourcing of ingredients. As more pet owners become concerned about where their dog’s food comes from and how it’s made, Open Farm’s values really resonate.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Open Farm’s sourcing standards and manufacturing practices. Whether you’re considering switching your dog to an Open Farm formula or are just curious to learn more about their ethical approach, read on for the full scoop!
An Overview of Open Farm’s Sourcing and Ingredients
Open Farm was founded in 2016 by Isaac Langleben, who was disturbed by the lack of transparency and questionable ingredients used in most commercial pet foods. He set out to create a brand that was radically transparent about every component in their formulas.
Here are some of the standards Open Farm adheres to when sourcing ingredients:
- Non-GMO: Open Farm uses no genetically modified ingredients. All fruits, vegetables, grains and meats are sourced from non-GMO verified providers.
- Humanely Raised: All meats must meet Certified Humane standards, meaning animals are cage-free, never administered hormones or antibiotics, and spared unnecessary pain.
- Sustainably Caught Fish: Seafood is pole and line caught to reduce bycatch. Fish meal comes from trimmings to prevent overfishing.
- Fruit/Veggieseconds: Produce seconds (funny shaped or imperfect produce) helps reduce food waste.
- Thoughtfully Sourced: They avoid ingredients from China and other regions with poor oversight. Eggs are cage-free.
Open Farm also puts great care into their manufacturing process. Their recipes are prepared in small batches in a human-grade facility. They forego artificial preservatives and unnamed by-products.
Now let’s take a deeper look at each ingredient category and Open Farm’s ethical sourcing practices.
Open Farm’s Protein Sources and Sourcing Standards
Protein makes up the bulk of any high-quality dog food. Open Farm utilizes the following ethically raised protein sources:
Chicken, Turkey and Duck
All poultry must meet Certified Humane standards. This means:
- Cage-free with ample space for natural behaviors
- Never administered hormones or antibiotics
- Fed an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products
- Spared unnecessary pain and stress
Poultry is sourced from family farms in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The small scale allows for exceptional oversight into how the animals are raised.
Beef must also adhere to the Certified Humane program. Additional requirements include:
- Cattle are grass-fed and grass-finished
- No feedlots or confined spaces
- No added hormones or antibiotics ever
- Humane handling to minimize fear and pain
Beef comes from family-run ranches in Kentucky. Open Farm visits ranches frequently to ensure standards are upheld.
Sustainably caught wild salmon helps provide Omega fatty acids. Requirements include:
- Pole and line caught to reduce bycatch
- Caught in pristine Alaskan waters
- Meet Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch standards
Eggs must be:
- Source-verified to ensure standards
- Produced using humane practices without cruelty
Open Farm uses eggs from family farms in the Midwest. Hens enjoy space to move about freely.
Like other meats, lamb is Certified Humane:
- 100% grass-fed and finished
- No antibiotics or hormones
- Free to graze on open pastures
- Handled humanely to reduce stress
Lamb is sourced from family farms in New Zealand.
Carefully Selected Fruits, Veggies and Carbs
In addition to premium proteins, Open Farm includes nutrient-dense fruits, veggies and carbs like:
- Sweet Potatoes: An excellent source of vitamin A, potassium and fiber. They use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes which are richer in antioxidants. Sourced from the Carolinas.
- Pumpkin: Provides vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Sourced from the Midwest.
- Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamin C. Grown in America.
- Cranberries: Contain disease-fighting antioxidants and help promote urinary tract health. American grown.
- Chickpeas: Great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Mostly sourced from North America.
- Coconut Oil: Provides lauric and caprylic fatty acids to improve skin/coat. Sustainably sourced.
- Oats: Whole oats provide B vitamins, minerals, fiber. Grown in the Canadian prairies.
Open Farm avoids corn, wheat, soy and rice, instead focusing on premium carbohydrates.
Why Open Farm Avoids Controversial Ingredients
Many competing brands use cheaper or potentially harmful ingredients like corn, wheat, soybean meal and by-products. Here’s an overview of why Open Farm leaves these out:
While corn is a common carb in pet food, there are a few concerns:
- High Glycemic Index: Can spike blood sugar compared to carbohydrates like sweet potatoes.
- Common Allergen: Dogs may develop allergies to corn.
- GMO Corn: Genetic modification is concerning without long-term studies.
- Aflatoxins: Corn crops are susceptible to toxic fungal contamination.
For these reasons, Open Farm avoids corn in their recipes.
Wheat and soybean meal
Like corn, wheat and soybeans are cheap sources of carbs and protein. However:
- They are common allergens for dogs
- Most soy and wheat crops are GMO
- Soybean meal may contain pesticide residues
- Soy toxins can potentially lead to bloating
Due to these concerns, Open Farm leaves these ingredients out. They utilize digestible alternatives like oats, chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
Meat and poultry by-products
By-products are organs and miscellaneous parts leftover after processing meat. While not inherently bad, there are drawbacks:
- Mystery ingredients increase risks of contamination.
- Heavily processed at high temps, losing nutritional value.
- Can include unsavory parts like hooves, beaks, feathers.
For transparency and quality control, Open Farm avoids unnamed by-products.
Many brands add preservatives like BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin to prolong shelf life. However:
- Synthetic preservatives may be carcinogenic in high doses.
- Dogs’ livers struggle to metabolize large amounts.
- Preservatives don’t provide any nutritional value.
Open Farm skips artificial preservatives by gently cooking in smaller batches and flash freezing food quickly.
By carefully selecting each ingredient and avoiding controversy, Open Farm provides exceptional nutrition from ethical sources.
Inside Open Farm’s State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility
Open Farm’s factory in Alberta, Canada adheres to the strictest standards, so you can feel good about how your dog’s food is handled:
- Human-grade facility that exceeds safety protocols
-controlled to avoid cross-contamination
- Food prepped in small batches for optimal nutrients and safety
- Gently cooked at lower temps to retain nutritional value
- Industry leading food safety system with HACCP
- No artificial preservatives added
- Flash frozen quickly to -18oC to lock in freshness
Additionally, their facility earns the highest-level BRC Grade A food safety certification. This confirms the processes and food quality system meet the global gold standard.
So not only does Open Farm source ethical ingredients, but they also cook and handle them with utmost care.
An In-Depth Look at Open Farm’s Dog Food Formulas
Now that we’ve covered Open Farm’s sourcing and manufacturing standards, let’s take a closer look at their grain-free recipes. We’ll compare the ingredients and nutritional makeup of each formula.
Open Farm Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe
- First Five Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, whole green peas, chicken meal
- Protein Sources: Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken meal
- Carb Sources: Peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes
- Fat Sources: Canola oil, chicken fat
- Nutritional Breakdown:
- 38% protein
- 18% fat
- 3,515 kcals/kg
This high protein formula gets multiple sources of poultry to support muscles and energy. Digestible carbs and oils provide a balance of carbohydrates. It’s a great option for active dogs.
Open Farm Grain-Free Beef & Lamb Recipe
- First Five Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, lamb, chickpeas, beef meal
- Protein Sources: Beef, lamb, beef liver, beef meal
- Carb Sources: Chickpeas, peas
- Fat Sources: Canola oil
- Nutritional Breakdown:
- 34% protein
- 15% fat
- 3,395 kcals/kg
With two premium red meat sources, this formula offers complete protein and amino acids for muscle maintenance. The chickpeas add digestion-friendly fiber. It’s ideal for dogs with poultry sensitivities.
Open Farm Grain-Free Wild Caught Salmon Recipe
- First Five Ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, chickpeas, whole green peas, sunflower oil
- Protein Sources: Salmon, menhaden fish meal
- Carb Sources: Chickpeas, peas
- Fat Sources: Salmon, sunflower oil
- Nutritional Breakdown:
- 32% protein
- 18% fat
- 3,670 kcals/kg
The wild-caught salmon adds omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Lower protein and fat makes this a good choice for less active dogs. Chickpeas provide tummy-friendly fiber.
Open Farm Grain-Free Turkey & Poultry Recipe
- First Five Ingredients: Turkey, turkey meal, chickpeas, turkey liver, whole green peas
- Protein Sources: Turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver
- Carb Sources: Chickpeas, peas
- Fat Sources: Canola oil, flaxseed
- Nutritional Breakdown:
- 34% protein
- 16% fat
- 3,665 kcals/kg
With premium turkey muscle meat and organ meat, this formula provides complete nutrition in a single protein source. The moderate fat and calories make it suitable for most dogs.
Ingredient & Nutrition Breakdown Comparison Table
|Formula||Protein Sources||Carb Sources||Fat Sources||Protein||Fat||Calories|
|Chicken & Turkey||Chicken, turkey, liver||Peas, potatoes||Canola oil, chicken fat||38%||18%||3,515|
|Beef & Lamb||Beef, lamb, liver||Chickpeas, peas||Canola oil||34%||15%||3,395|
|Salmon||Salmon, fish meal||Chickpeas, peas||Salmon oil, sunflower oil||32%||18%||3,670|
|Turkey & Poultry||Turkey, liver||Chickpeas, peas||Canola oil, flaxseed||34%||16%||3,665|
This side-by-side comparison lets you see the unique protein sources, carb sources, fat sources and overall nutrition profile of each formula. You can choose the one that aligns best with your dog’s needs and preferences.
Omega Fatty Acid Content of Open Farm Formulas
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin, coat, joint and brain health. Here’s the omega breakdown of Open Farm recipes:
- Chicken & Turkey: 2.2% Omega-6, 0.32% Omega-3
- Beef & Lamb: 2.1% Omega-6, 0.2% Omega-3
- Salmon: 1.9% Omega-6, 1.1% Omega-3
- Turkey & Poultry: 1.65% Omega-6, 0.3% Omega-3
The Wild Caught Salmon recipe is highest in omega-3s thanks to the salmon oil. But all formulas provide an optimal ratio for complete nutrition.
Testing and Quality Standards Ensure Safety
In addition to strict sourcing and manufacturing protocols, Open Farm formulas undergo extensive testing:
- PAW Check: Every batch is tested for pathogens, bacteria, mold, heavy metals and other contaminants.
- Shelf Life Studies: Formulas are stored on stability for over a year to ensure excellent frozen shelf life.
- Feed Trials: Dogs test eat food for 60-90 days to monitor palatability and nutrition.
Thanks to this rigorous testing at every stage, Open Farm ensures the highest standards of safety and quality.
Open Farm Dog Food Reviews: What Owners Are Saying
With quality so closely monitored, it’s no wonder Open Farm earns rave reviews from pet owners:
- “This is absolutely the best dog food on the market. The ingredients are humanely raised and sourced…I 100% trust this company.”
- “My dog’s coat is very shiny now and his energy levels are great since starting Open Farm. And he loves the taste too!”
- “I switched from a premium brand to Open Farm and noticed less shedding and smaller poops right away. My dog clearly digests the food better.”
- “Love how transparent Open Farm is about every single ingredient. My dog gobbles up the Beef & Lamb recipe!”
- “The ingredient quality is superb. This gives me peace of mind that I’m feeding my pup the best of the best.”
Across reviews, owners praise the ethical sourcing, transparency, and visible improvements in their dogs on Open Farm formulas.
Where to Buy Open Farm Dog Food
Open Farm is sold both online and in select pet specialty retail stores. Here’s where you can find it:
- OpenFarmPet.com: Order directly from the Open Farm website with free shipping on orders $49+.
- Amazon: Select recipes available for convenience on Amazon.com.
- Petco: Many locations now carry Open Farm formulas. Use the store locator to find it near you.
- Local pet stores: Available at some independent pet shops. Check their websites or contact them.
You can also sign up for autoship on the Open Farm site for 5% off each delivery.
Open Farm Product Line Overview
Beyond dog food, Open Farm offers other pet food and treats:
Dog Food Recipes
- Chicken & Turkey
- Beef & Lamb
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Turkey & Poultry
- Pork, Butternut Squash & Apple
Cat Food Recipes
- Chicken & Turkey
- Salmon & Chicken
- Beef & Pork
- Trainers for dogs
- Fish Skins for cats
They are continually innovating new ethical recipes to add more variety.
Open Farm’s Product Guarantees
Open Farm stands so strongly behind the quality of their products that they offer exceptional guarantees:
- 100% money-back: Full refund if you or your pet aren’t fully satisfied for any reason.
- 100% quality: If you ever question the quality or nutritional value of a bag, they will refund your money, no questions asked.
- 100% authentic: If you suspect any ingredient isn’t as represented, they will refund your purchase.
It’s hard to find another brand offering such confidence in their sourcing and production.
Is Open Farm Worth the Higher Price?
With all of Open Farm’s ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices, their dog food does cost more than grocery store brands. But most owners say the higher quality is worth it:
Pros of Open Farm Food
- Peace of mind knowing every detail of ingredients
- Radical transparency unmatched by big brands
- Exceeds safety standards of competitors
- Made in the USA and Canada under strict oversight
- Clear improvements to skin, coat, energy in pets
Cons of Open Farm Food
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- More expensive than low-cost brands like Purina
- Must be ordered online or found in pet stores
- Limited protein options currently
For owners wanting the highest quality nutrition from ethical sources, Open Farm provides superb value despite the higher cost. But budget seekers may prefer more affordable grocery brands.
Is Open Farm Dog Food the Right Choice?
With their meticulous sourcing, top-notch manufacturing, and revolutionary transparency, Open Farm goes above and beyond to craft ethical and nutritious pet food.
Here are the types of owners who will appreciate Open Farm formulas the most:
- Ingredient-conscious owners: If you want to know details about every component, Open Farm leaves nothing out.
- Ethical sourcing matters: Those wanting humanely raised meats, sustainable seafood and produce seconds to fight waste.
- Seeking grain-free: Dogs with allergies or sensitivities do well on Open Farm’s grain-free recipes.
- Active dogs: The higher protein formulas are great for dogs needing lots of energy.
- Will pay more for quality: Owners willing to invest more for radically transparent and ethical production.
Thanks to their meticulous oversight and exceptional transparency, Open Farm has earned the trust of countless pet owners seeking the best for their dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Open Farm Dog Food
Is Open Farm human-grade dog food?
Open Farm is not technically classified as human-grade dog food, but they adhere to extremely high safety and quality standards. Their manufacturing facility exceeds human food production standards and all ingredients are fit for human consumption. So while not labeled specifically as “human-grade,” Open Farm surpasses typical pet food norms.
Is Open Farm Made in the USA?
Open Farm ingredients are sourced from trusted providers in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Their manufacturing facility is located in Alberta, Canada which has stricter governmental pet food regulations than the US. So while not made in America, the majority of ingredients are sourced from North America.
Is Open Farm dog food grain-free?
Yes, all Open Farm dog food recipes are 100% grain-free. They replace grains with digestible carbohydrates like chickpeas, peas, sweet potatoes. This makes their formulas suitable for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities.
Is Open Farm AAFCO approved?
Yes, all Open Farm recipes are formulated to meet AAFCO nutrition standards for complete and balanced dog food. This ensures the formulas provide optimal nutrition.
Is Open Farm dog food high protein?
Open Farm formulas range from 32% to 38% protein. The Chicken & Turkey and Beef & Lamb recipes are on the higher end at 34-38% protein, making them excellent choices for active dogs or those needing more protein. The Salmon recipe is slightly lower at 32% protein for less active dogs.
What meat is used in Open Farm dog food?
Open Farm uses high-quality meat ingredients like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and salmon. All meats must meet stringent ethical sourcing standards like Certified Humane. This ensures the animals are humanely raised in a sustainable manner.
Is Open Farm easy to digest for dogs?
The easily digestible carbohydrate sources like chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and peas make Open Farm one of the most digestible dog foods. Dogs with sensitive stomachs tend to have less gas, bloating, and healthier stools when fed Open Farm formulas.
What is Open Farm’s shipping policy?
Open Farm offers free shipping on all orders over $49 shipped within the continental USA. Shipping takes between 2-4 business days after processing. Open Farm refrigerates their food before shipping it with gel packs to ensure freshness.