The Farmer’s Dog offers a subscription-based cooked dog food that’s customized for your dog. While the company started out making the food, they’ve grown to the level where the food is now made in USDA kitchens around the country.
The foods are shipped frozen, direct to consumers, and freshly cooked just before shipping. The recipes are formulated based on a dog’s breed, age, activity level, ideal weight, and sensitivities.
The Farmer’s Dog dog food review was based on these criteria.
The Farmer’s Dog Review
Package Ingredients For The Chicken Dog Food Recipe: USDA chicken, brussels sprout, USDA chicken liver, bok choy, broccoli, fish oil, 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, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Using our evaluation criteria, The Farmer’s Dog is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:
For our The Farmer’s Dog: dog food reviews, there are a few concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:
Carbohydrates in this line average 27% as calculated, which is high for a cooked dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.
Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals
This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.
Unnamed Animal Ingredients
Unnamed animal ingredients are a sign of low quality. These foods contain fish oil that can be made from any type of fish. Unnamed animal ingredients are often a less expensive, low quality ingredient that can be made from rendered waste of many proteins.
Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with The Farmer’s Dog line:
These recipes lose an ingredient safety point for being cooked. Cooking uses some heat with processing, which can cause a loss in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and phytonutrients. Heating foods will cause losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Minimal or no processing is preferred.
High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients
These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
Is The Farmer’s Dog A Good Dog Food?
The Farmer’s Dog offers “gently cooked” foods that are considered less processed than canned and kibble. Minimal or no processing is preferred since heating foods cause losses in some active enzymes, amino acids and phytonutrients.
There are four protein choices – Chicken, Beef, Turkey and Pork, with average protein of 38%, which is acceptable, and fat of 27%, which is quite a high level of fat. The carbohydrate content varies for each recipe, with Turkey especially high at 35%, as calculated on a dry matter basis. This is disappointing for a company whose marketing is highly critical of kibble.
There are a few additional concerns that don’t affect the score of The Farmer’s Dog, but are worth mentioning:
Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio
It’s worth noting that The Farmer’s Dog does not state the omega6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.
Does Not State Farmed Vs Wild Caught Fish
These foods don’t specify whether the fish is farmed or wild caught. Farmed fish is less nutritious than wild caught fish and does not contain the same healthy fatty acid balance.
THE FARMER’S DOG FOOD RECALLS
The Farmer’s Dog has had no dog food recalls.
We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:
Are the Ingredients High Quality?
Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:
- Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
- Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
- Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
- Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
- Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
- Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?
How Safe Are the Ingredients?
Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:
- How processed is the food?
- Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
- Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
- Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
- Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?
Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. Dogs Naturally has partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.