Open Farm Dog Food Review: Must Read Before Buying

Filed in Dog Health on May 16, 2021

Open Farm Dog Food Review

If you’re like many dog owners, it’s hard to find healthy dog food that’s free of additives and unnecessary ingredients, especially at local stores.

In response to this problem, Open Farm offers a dog food containing wholesome ingredients that are carefully selected for quality.

Their meats contain no antibiotics or growth hormones, and their fruits and vegetables are all non-GMO. In addition, they only use ethically sourced ingredients to make sure animals are treated right.

They offer a wide selection of products delivered directly to your door. You can sign up for recurring food shipments whether in dry form (kibble) or wet form (canned wet food, flash frozen meat, or gently cooked fresh products). But is Open Farm a good dog food? Read more to find out.

In this Open Farm Dog Food review, I’ll help you decide whether their service is worth the price. I also discuss important benefits and features of their plans, the price, how customers view their products, and more. They made my list as one of the best fresh dog food available.

As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy and you pay nothing extra.

What is Open Farm?

Open Farm Dog Food Box

My box of Gently Cooked Dog Food by Open Farm

Open Farm is essentially a healthy pet food maker/brand. They started out with the desire to feed fresh and nutritious food to the founder’s dog, Bella.

Since then, Open Farm has worked to create healthy food that is environmentally sustainable. They use Certified Humane meats plus fresh, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.

Open Farm delivers high quality dog food right to your door. Their company has three core values:

  • Transparency: All of their food ingredients are clearly labeled. With their small batch process, you can view the source of the ingredients in your pet’s food. Open Farm believes that the ingredients in your dog’s food shouldn’t be a mystery.
  • Premium Nutrition: Food is made with the highest quality ingredients available. All meat is free of antibiotics or growth hormones. Fruits and vegetables are all non-GMO and often organic.
  • Ethical Sourcing: Open Farm uses ingredients from local, family farms. Fish used in their recipes are caught in the wild, ensuring they are free of antibiotics.

Coupons:

Get 15% off your 1st order or 20% off subscriptions at Open Farm (Use coupon code DOGENDORSED15 for all orders or DOGENDORSED20 for subscriptions).

Where Does Open Farm Get Their Ingredients?

Open Farm seeks to provide the best ingredients, ethically sourced from local farms.

All of the meat used in Open Farm’s food is Certified Humane. This means that no antibiotics or growth hormones are used.

While Open Farm’s meat is not Certified Organic (meaning fed all organic food), the ethical treatment of farm animals ensures the health and sustainability of the meat in your dog’s food.

The fish used by Open Farm are exclusively ocean caught using sustainable fishing practices.

Ocean Wise and Seafood Watch standards guide Open Farm’s fishing practices. While farmed fish can be full of growth hormones and antibiotics, wild caught fish do not contain these unwanted elements.

Open Farm believes in using fresh, local and non-GMO fruits and vegetables in their food. They use local produce sources to minimize the environmental impact.

Ninety percent(90%) of the produce used is grown in-state or in a state near the manufacturing facility. Forty percent(40%) of the produce used is grown in the same town as Open Farm’s processing facility.

Most of the ingredients are grown or sourced from within the United States and Canada. However, coconut oil and certain vitamins and minerals are not available in North America.

For these, Open Farm sources ingredients from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Open Farm doesn’t use any artificial flavors or preservatives. They do not use meat or poultry meals or byproducts. The fish meal used is created in small batches and contains ocean caught whitefish.

“Natural flavoring” on their labels refers to dehydrated whitefish in powder form, which is mixed with tocopherols (vitamin E) and salt.

After their food is produced in their Minnesota facility, Open Farm’s dog food goes through lots of quality assurance testing by third party testing facilities. Before the food is packaged, test results have to come back clear.

The facility is audited by the USDA, FDA, AIB International, and Certified Humane. This ensures that the strictest food safety standards are kept by Open Farm.

What Types of Meal Plans Does Open Farm Offer?

There are four different food options for feeding your dog through Open Farm. You can purchase any of the meal types on a recurring basis by subscribing to their program.

Dry Food

Open Farm’s dry food is high protein and gluten free. Single source proteins are listed as the first ingredient on each bag of dry dog food.

Cost: Dry food starts at $18.99 for a 4 lb. bag. That makes their dry food approximately 30 cents per ounce, but you can save with a subscription.

Freeze-Dried Raw Food

Freeze-dried raw food offers easy-to-serve meat for your dog. 85% of its weight is protein from raw animal ingredients. It’s mixed with organic fruits and vegetables to give your pet vitamins and antioxidants.

Cost: Freeze-dried raw food is $9.99 for a 3.5 ounce bag. That makes this option approximately $2.86 per ounce (less with a subscription).

Wet Food

Open Farm’s wet food line is called Rustic Stew. It’s made with 100% human-grade ingredients. It’s a wet food made with ethically sourced meat. It can be a meal topper (over dry food) or an entire meal.

Cost: Rustic Stew is $47.99 for a 12 can case of food. Each can is 12.5 ounces. That means Rustic Stew costs about 32 cents per ounce (less with a subscription).

Gently Cooked

My 8 lb box of their Harvest Chicken Recipe

My 8 lb box of their Harvest Chicken Recipe

Their Gently Cooked food line is meant to be used as a completely balanced meal or as a topper. It’s made with 100% human-grade ingredients and cooked with the sous-vide method, then frozen and shipped to your door.

If you order online, you can buy either an 8 lb or 18 lb box containing individually sealed and cooked pouches of their recipes. The smallest size per pouch is 1 lb, so each one may last a couple of days depending on the size of your dog and their appetite. For example, my toy poodle weighs 12 lbs, so I use one pouch over 2 days. Their retailers do carry 8 oz and 72 oz packages as well for individual sale.

To feed the food to your dog, thaw the pouch in the fridge for a day, then serve.  As far as expiration, the pouches last about 5 days once in the fridge.

There are 4 recipes available: Homestead Turkey, Harvest Chicken, Beef, and Surf and Turf (Salmon and Beef). You can trace every ingredient back to its source. All of the meats and fish are certified humanely raised.

They give you a 10-day guide to transition to their food to slowly introduce it into their diet.

Cost: Gently Cooked food starts at $79.99 for an 8 lb box, and $149.99 for an 18 lb box. You can get a 5% discount with a subscription or use one of my coupons in this blog post to lower the cost.

Key Benefits of Open Farm

There are several benefits to Open Farm’s high quality dog food.

Availability

Open Farm food can be purchased online or in over 5000 pet store locations. It’s shipped to many areas of the United States and Canada. Free samples of Open Farm’s product may be available at many in-person retail locations.

Highest Quality Meats & Fish

All meat is sustainably and ethically farmed. Open Farm’s “fish-of-the-season” rotating ingredient list allows open ocean fishing of in-season fish. Their labels indicate exactly which kind of seasonal fish is in each batch of food.

Low Glycemic Foods

Open Farm’s food doesn’t use corn, rice, sugar, tapioca, or potato starch. This helps them provide a low glycemic food that is suitable for a variety of dietary needs.

No Fillers

You won’t find corn, wheat, soy, or other fillers on Open Farm’s ingredient labels. Additionally, some recipes are potato free. This means that all foods are full of the best ingredients, providing added nutrition for your pet.

“Do Some Good”

Open Farm recyclable box

My recyclable box of Open Farm’s Gently Cooked Food

The initiatives by Open Farm seek to improve farming practices by supporting positive environmental change. In addition to these efforts, all of Open Farm’s packaging is 100% recyclable. They’ve created a nationwide pet food recycling program.

Gently Cooked

The Gently Cooked product line provides home cooking quality for your pet. All ingredients are 100% human-grade food. The food is sous-vide cooked, cooled, then frozen for shipment to pet stores or your home.

What Do Customers Say about Open Farm?

Customers have a lot of positive things to say about Open Farm:

  • Even picky eaters love it.
  • It’s improved their pet’s health.
  • It’s good for sensitive stomachs.
  • For dogs with allergies, the simple ingredients are allergen-friendly.
  • Customers note that it doesn’t smell bad.

Are There Drawbacks to Open Farm?

In this Open Farm dog food review, I have discussed the positives. Despite all of their good qualities, Open Farm’s food has some drawbacks.

High Cost

Their dog food can be quite expensive, depending on which food you select.

While the dry food can be as low as 30 cents an ounce, their freeze-dried meat is nearly three dollars an ounce. Especially if you’re feeding a larger dog, this price can add up.

Limited Availability

Although shipping is available to the United States and Canada, there are several areas still waiting on Open Farm’s availability.

In the United States, they don’t ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. In Canada, they don’t ship to Nunavut, Yukon, or the Northwest Territories.

Additionally, Open Farm cannot be shipped to PO boxes because their ingredients need to be temperature controlled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before buying Open Farm dog food, you may have questions. Below are some frequently asked questions about their services.

Is the food gluten free?

Yes, the food is gluten free. However, it’s made in a facility that processes gluten, so it may not be suitable for very sensitive pets.

Is Open Farm organic?

Not all of Open Farm’s ingredients are organic. They focus on being Certified Humane, meaning that their meat sources are fed no antibiotics or growth hormones, but may not be fed organic food.

This ensures a good quality of life for farmed animals.

Can I get a free sample of Open Farm?

Open Farm is available at many retailers. Using the tool on their website to locate a store near you, you can find locations that offer free samples of Open Farm.

Conclusion on Open Farm Dog Food Review

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Open Farm Dog Food review. You can get 15% off your 1st order or 20% off subscriptions at Open Farm by using coupon code DOGENDORSED15 for all orders or DOGENDORSED20 for subscriptions.

So is Open Farm a good dog food? They get high marks from customers and provide your dog with high-quality, ethically sourced food that you can trust. Their Gently Cooked line of foods offers human-grade ingredients cooked with a sous-vide cooking method to preserve nutrients.

Unlike other online food options for your pet, Open Farm does not offer pre-portioned packages of their food. To determine how much food your dog should be eating, consult your veterinarian or use the quiz resources on Open Farm’s website.

Although the price of some of their products are high, Open Farm offers a high-quality dog food brand. Their variety of grain-free options puts them above many of their competitors in this area.

If you’re interested in sustainably sourced food and green initiatives, Open Farm may be the right food for your dog.

Comments (20)

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  1. karen hunyadi says:

    does this company have a nutritional vet on staff? how is the quality and safety of their food monitored? thanks

    • Todd says:

      Hi, I spoke to the company and they don’t appear to have a nutritional vet on staff, but they provided additional info to me:

      All of their recipes are formulated at their head office in Toronto with the support of various nutrition, animal science and food manufacturing experts. They have animal nutritionists and food scientists who hold masters degrees and PhDs in Animal Science, Formulation and Animal Nutrition. These experts ensure that their recipes are formulated to meet the nutrition pets need to optimize their health and longevity.

      All of their recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO. In addition to formulating their recipes to meet AAFCO standards and requirements, they have many check and balances in place to ensure the nutritional integrity of their recipes.

      Their foods and treats are tested by 3rd party accredited labs for nutritional profile, pathogens, heavy metals and other contaminants, to ensure they meet their strict nutritional and food safety standards. They source high quality ingredients, maintaining significant control and traceability throughout their supply chain, and ensure that the foods they make are healthy and safe.

  2. C. Barrass says:

    Is this brand available in UK. I have a very fussy French bulldog. I have tried most things but he is only happy eating liver, kidney, chicken and heart purchased from supermarket. I add kibble but he eats around it and is always left in bowl. I need a complete food to give my dog all vitamins he needs to keep him healthy for a lot of years to come. Please help/advice as I am at my wits end; he is 3yrs 7mths

    • Todd says:

      Based on Open Farm’s information online, unfortunately they only ship to the U.S. and Canada. I would do some searches for premium kibble in the UK or something similar. I do not have any knowledge on UK brands unfortunately, but feel free to share if you find anything.

    • Michelle says:

      Have you tried looking at online sellers to see if they will ship Open Farm to you? Their wet and dry food are listed on Amazon’s U.S. site, you may be able to order it for shipping to the U.K.? Good luck! I tried Open Farm this week for my fussy cats and they loved it, I hope you can find it.

  3. Diane says:

    Prices are considerably higher than mentioned in this article. My dog’s freeze dried raw beef has gone from $42 per bag to $70 just in the past year. I also found the food has been changing with every bag. Last two bags I bought one my dog wouldn’t touch and the other gave him the runs. He used to love this food, now not so much. Sad to say I’m once again looking for a new food

    • Todd says:

      Hmm I’m not showing higher prices on their website. I show $49.99 for both of the freeze dried raw beef in the 22 oz size for a one-time purchase (Surf and Turf recipe and Grass Fed beef recipe). Could it be Canadian prices that have gone up?

  4. Rose Deibler says:

    I’m hoping NONE of the ingredients come from China, can I be reassured of that?

    • Todd says:

      According to the company, yes you can be assured that you will never find an ingredient from China. The majority of their ingredients are sourced (meaning origin, not place of purchase) from North America. They do have a few Non-North American ingredients, but meet their quality and safety standards.

      Their Grass Fed Beef comes from Australia and New Zealand. Their Lamb also comes from New Zealand. Their coconut oil comes from Thailand and the Philippines. Some of their vitamins which are not available in North America are sourced from Europe. Additionally, their salmon oil comes from Chile at certain times of the year.

      They let you trace each ingredient in every single bag by using your lot code search on their website: https://openfarmpet.com/pages/transparency

  5. Val says:

    How come Open Farm uses ingredients like peas, lentil, beans in their venison dry food if these ingredients are known for causing DCM (enlarged heart), congestive heart failure (CHF) in medium/ large dogs?. My dog is very allergic to most of the meats, except venison, but I am afraid to use Open Farm venison for above reasons. Please advise.

    • Todd says:

      Hello, I contacted the company on your question. Here was their response:

      “We very much understand the concern as about two year ago, the FDA stated that taurine deficiencies in dogs may be associated with DCM, a heart disease that can result in congestive heart failure. They have recently produced an update of lack of a conclusive link but we are happy to help with any questions! Our dog kibble recipes are an animal protein based diet, ~80 to 90% of our protein is sourced from animal ingredients. This is important in providing an abundant amount amino acids to your pup, including cystine and methionine which are the natural precursors to taurine. Dogs produce taurine naturally when fed a well balanced and animal protein rich diet. In addition, we have added a taurine supplement to our dry recipes to be 100% certain there is ample availability in the diets.

      We use a small amount of legumes in our original line of dry recipes as they are higher in fiber, lower on the GI index and typically easy for pups to digest! Our Ancient Grain recipe line contains wholesome grains such as quinoa, steal-cut oats and chia seeds which are also digestible for our pups!

      As the studies develop, it has become clear to experts that the root cause of DCM is simply unknown at this time and may involve multiple factors. We are closely watching any developments as they become available and consulting with our Animal Nutritionist. If you wish to add an additional sources of naturally occurring taurine you could always use our Freeze Dried Raw as a meal topper! These recipes include 85% meat, organs and bones and a ton of amino acids. These recipes can be meal mixers or complete diets and are free of peas, lentils, chickpeas and potatoes.

      Please rest assure that all our recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles as we take creating healthy meals very seriously and complete more testing than required. Our batches are thoroughly tested by a 3rd party lab to ensure they are safe to consume and to ensure they meet our nutritional integrity standards. The taurine, methionine and cysteine levels in Open Farm products have been tested using the approved AAFCO methodology – and our levels of methionine and cysteine exceed the requirements for a complete and balanced diet.

      We do hope this information is helpful. We are very passionate about the continued progression in nutritional science and stay abreast of industry research and new insights that can help us further elevate our foods and the nutrition solutions we provide pet parents.”

  6. Sue says:

    Does Open Farm offer a food specifically geared towards large breed dogs?

    • Todd says:

      I received a response from the company:

      “Many of our Original Grain-Free recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages including growth of large-size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult).

      The majority of our Ancient Grains Recipes do exclude the growth of large breed puppies due to the variation in calcium that may occur. We always pack our recipes with real food ingredients to provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals. AAFCO sets a calcium maximum for large breeds at 1.8%. While our formulation for these recipes targets ~1.2% minimum, a variation could occur in our ingredients which can result in the level reaching the max or slightly exceeding the level for larger breeds. In our recipes, our whitefish meal is an amazing natural source of calcium for our pups! Fish and fish meal can have a variance in calcium levels from batch to batch and due to the nature of variations and to be absolutely certain we have excluded large breed to ensure we are meeting the AAFCO requirements.

      If you are looking for an grain inclusive option for your pup, I would recommend our Puppy Recipe with Ancient Grains as this is formulated to be suitable for all puppies, including large breed 😀

      We have some other delicious options for large breed Puppies! These recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages including growth of large-size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult). Here are a list of our recipes that include the growth of large breed puppies: Turkey & Chicken​, Beef recipe​, Whitefish​, Salmon​, Pork​, Lamb​, Puppy​, Puppy Ancient Grains​, and Senior​.

      These recipes do not include the growth of large breed puppies and should be avoided as a complete meal until your puppy is an adult: Turkey Ancient Grains​, Chicken Ancient Grains​, Beef Ancient Grains​, Salmon Ancient Grains​, Lamb Ancient Grains​, Whitefish Ancient Grains​, Pork Ancient Grains​, and Venison​.

      We currently only offer one size of kibble for our Dry Recipes but our kibble was specifically designed for dogs of all sizes including larger breeds. You can rest assured that we have run many tests and trials to ensure that the food is healthy for both small and large pets. We have many large doggy Open Farmers who are doing great on the food! Smaller kibble, like ours, can be seen in higher quality, high protein recipes as it allows us to cook our kibble at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time.”

  7. Sherry says:

    With the debate over grain free or not do they have a recommendation for smaller dogs? I have a 10 year Cairn Terrier that is very healthy and has been on Acana grain free most of his life. I have begun using a freeze dried raw as a topper ,,he gets welly tails senior supplement and omega 3 oil. I have started to change to open farm. So deciding on grain free or ancient grains with all the debate with heart issues.

    • Todd says:

      Let me check into that with the company and get back to you.

    • Todd says:

      They responded “For this visitors pup, I would suggest our Senior Dry Recipe as it offers some added benefits for our older and less active dogs. Our Senior Recipe is a great choice for pups as they age or as a weight management solution for dogs of any age as they are lower in fat and calories. This recipe is packed with meat to keep dogs thriving and still feeling satisfied with a slightly less crude protein for less active pups! Our Senior Recipe also offers Hip and Joint Support! This recipe contains an excellent amount of therapeutic levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for our pups to thrive!”

      They also addressed your concerns about grain-free but it is a similar response to Val in the comments section.

  8. Lynn says:

    Does Open Farm produce a grain-in food with larger kibbles? I would love to use it with my Great Danes, but the sample I have, is very small kibbles size

    • Todd says:

      Hi, I spoke to Open Farm who said they currently only offer one size of kibble for their Dry Recipes but their kibble was specifically designed for dogs of all sizes including larger breeds. They have tested it out to ensure that the food is healthy for both small and large pets. They said they have many large doggy Open Farmers who are doing great on the food. According to them, smaller kibble can be seen in higher quality, high protein recipes as it allows them to cook their kibble at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time.

  9. Lisa says:

    I think open farm looked to be a very high quality and variety food for my pup (dachshund). We use Ollie for base food but I wanted to add some dry crunch and felt it good to offer him variety. Plus the wet food as a topper.
    Living in FL it’s good to have back up food available incase of weather issues and just in general having a good source of backup for him.
    All was fine for a few months until he began having breath issues (we brush his teeth daily) bouts of soft stools. Not outright diarrhea but stomach issues. We had blood work and stool checks done and nothing was medically wrong.
    After his last one I limited his intake of food (plain chicken and pumpkin) to verify what is going on. Slowly adding a food for 1-3 days. I found he is sensitive to Open Farm. Infact even just a small bit of kibble onto his food in one day his breath turned and I knew. I stopped the kibble and his breath cleared. So it’s something he is sensitive to in the ingredients that’s apparently in both the senior kibble (he’s 11) and the wet stew.
    Maybe time to visit an allergist for us. The local shelter is going to get quite a donation this week.

    • Lisa says:

      UPDATE: I contacted Open Farm for some options because I’d really like to use their product for my pup. I wrote their contact form and expressed the situation and if they had any idea on sensitivity or thoughts and one of their nutrition staff contacted me via email and phone. She took such care to give her thoughts I left off feeling as if I had a friend in that company! I’ll be trying to add their ancient grain option into his diet and see! Fingers crossed. 🙂

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