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The Farmer’s Dog Review 2024: Is Simpler Better?

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Author Jessica White
Jessica White Writer
Updated on Jun 5th, 2024
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

The Farmer's Dog is a standout choice for quality-conscious pet owners. This fresh dog food subscription service stands out for its convenience and high-grade recipes. Developed with veterinary input, the meals are both nutritious and appealing to dogs. The service simplifies the lives of pet parents with its straightforward ordering process.

Unlike other dog food services offering a wide array of choices, The Farmer's Dog focuses on a select range of high-quality, vet-formulated meals. This approach ensures each recipe meets the highest standards. The review is based on my colleague's firsthand experience when he tested it out with his dog, Baxter.

My thorough The Farmer’s Dog review, complemented by my colleague's practical test with his dog, shows it is a user-friendly service prioritizing pet health. It emphasizes appropriate portion sizes, nutrient-rich formulations, and the use of high-quality ingredients. It caters to the overall well-being of our 4-legged companions.

Pros

Cons

High-quality human-grade meat and veggiesOnly 4 recipes available
Nutrition that exceeds AAFCO standardsTakes up space in the freezer
Meals tailored to your dog’s needsCan be pricey

The Farmer’s Dog Meals

Plans and Recipes

Photo of 5 packs of The Farmer's Dog food including chicken, beef, and turkey set out on a carpet

The Farmer’s Dog currently features 4 meals. These include turkey, chicken, beef, and pork recipes that are fit for any breed at any life stage over the age of 8 weeks. My colleague chose the turkey, beef, and chicken recipes to try with his 1 year old dog named Baxter.

Screenshot of the health conditions and prescription diet screen during signup that lists various issues that may affect your dog such as allergies, joints, diabetes, and weight loss

The service creates a personalized meal plan to suit your dog’s breed, age, size, and more. You’ll be guided through the selection process by answering questions about your pup. If you mention health troubles or dietary needs, his or her plan will be adjusted accordingly. This won’t change the content of the recipe, but the selection of meals and feeding recommendations will change.

The Farmer’s Dog also offers an innovative DIY plan, catering to those who prefer a hands-on approach to their dog’s nutrition. This plan provides pet owners with The Farmer’s Dog nutrient blend, which can be added to home-cooked meals prepared from store-bought ingredients.

Snap Stick are a treat option from The Farmer's Dog. You can see these once you've created an account.

Additionally, after signing up, customers gain access to treats available exclusively to members. This approach ensures that pet owners can provide their dogs with a diet that's both nutritionally complete and tailored to individual preferences.

Ingredients

All the ingredients are gently steamed to ensure nutritional integrity. Overcooking food can lead to nutrient degradation in a way that makes them less absorbable for your pup. Gently cooking food ensures nutrient absorbability while increasing food digestibility.

Ingredients are sourced from local farms, reputable food suppliers, or other suppliers who deliver human food following USDA standards. Many veterinarians recommend The Farmer’s Dog dog food, especially for dogs that need to shed some weight.

I also like that the company doesn’t add preservatives or growth hormones. This means the food is less shelf-stable, but that it’s as close to its original form as possible. Eating food as close to its original form as possible is best for all pups, especially if they have any medical concerns or sensitive stomachs. 

Each recipe mixes human-grade meat and veggies plus vitamins and minerals. All The Farmer's Dog recipes follow the same formula, with proteins and veggies as the main ingredients. For the purpose of my The Farmer’s Dog review, I’ll analyze Baxter’s turkey meal.

Screenshot of an image of the Turkey recipe in a bowl and a full list of ingredients used in the recipe below including turkey, chickpeas, carrot, and broccoli

The protein source in this recipe is turkey, which is rich in 10 amino acids essential for a dog’s health maintenance and growth. The veggies combine chickpeas (rich in fiber), carrots (minerals and beta-carotene), broccoli (vitamin C), parsnip, spinach, and a proprietary nutrient blend.

You’ll also find ingredients like fish oil, taurine, and chelated minerals. Fish oil is rich in EPA and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial for dogs. Taurine is an important amino acid that keeps a dog’s heart healthy, and the chelated minerals are easier to absorb since they’ve been chemically attached to protein.

Nutrition

The Farmer’s Dog recipes are all designed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Each exceeds the nutritional levels required by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. The meals are gently cooked in human food facilities to human-grade standards. They’re quickly frozen to make sure all the ingredients retain their properties and to kill any pathogens that may be present in raw foods. 

Image of a bowl of The Farmer's Dog fresh food surrounded by a range of fresh vegetables and chickpeas

The Farmer’s Dog turkey recipe looks like good quality wet food based on the ingredients listed on the label. The ratio of fat to protein shows the recipe contains generous amounts of meat. 

Dry matter typical analysis:

  • Protein 38%

  • Fat 26%

  • Fiber 2%

This is supported by the data presented in the label's Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude protein 8% min.

  • Crude fat 4.5% min.

  • Crude fiber 1.5% max.

  • Moisture 76% max.

You’ll also receive a personalized recommendation on how much to feed your dog. Portioning is paramount, and it's different for each dog depending on their weight and activity level. This amount will also depend on whether you plan to feed full meals, mixed with your regular dog food, or as a topper. Find out more about this in Baxter’s testing experience.

What Makes It Different

There are several differences between The Farmer’s Dog and some of its top competitors. You may want to consider the following points if you’re considering ordering food for your dog.

Higher than Average Protein Content

Its meals have some of the highest protein content of any other dog food manufacturer. On average, its meals contain roughly 9.75% crude protein, at minimum. Few other dog food companies can say the same.

Food Quality

The Farmer’s Dog sets itself apart by using human-grade ingredients, including fresh proteins and vegetables, in its meals. The AAFCO-approved recipes are gently cooked at low temperatures in a USDA-certified kitchen and then flash-frozen to preserve freshness, taste, and nutrient density, a process not commonly matched by many competitors.

Sustainability of Packaging

The Farmer's Dog packaging elements are all recyclable. Depending on your delivery, you'll either receive corn starch insulation, which can be dissolved under running water and safely washed down the drain, or an alternative insulation that is curbside recyclable. This approach extends to the food packs and plastic wraps, which are fully recyclable after a simple rinse.

Unboxing

My colleague reported that The Farmer's Dog package arrived in commendable condition, noting only a slight dent on the box's corner. While the outer box lacked personalization, the Feeding Guide and individual food packages inside were customized with Baxter's name.

Photo of The Farmer's Dog cardboard delivery box with recycling and storage information clearly printed on the box flaps

After opening your delivery box, you’ll find clear instructions on handling the dry ice and information about the biodegradable nature of all packaging materials. My colleague was really impressed by this level of detail in the packaging as it reflects the company's environmental consciousness and care for the product's integrity.

Inside the box, the frozen food bags were neatly packed alongside treats and feeding instructions. Despite some minor tears in the dry ice packaging, likely caused by the food bags during transit, the contents were well-preserved and mess-free. The frozen food remained in perfect condition for hours and was still frozen when he opened the box 6 hours after delivery.

Photo of a goldendoodle stood next to an open delivery box showing the dry ice and insulation

The package included eco-friendly cooling elements. These are either dry ice or reusable cold packs. The frozen food requires immediate freezer storage and can be safely refrozen if it arrives defrosted but still very cold. For feeding, simply defrost the necessary amount. The food stays fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, provided it's kept at the recommended temperature, making the storage process both practical and eco-conscious.

Baxter’s Testing Experience

The Farmer's Dog provides detailed instructions on portion sizes, tailored for each dog. This personalized approach facilitated the transition from Baxter's old food to the new meals by gradually increasing the percentage of The Farmer’s Dog food from 25% to 100% over a week.

Photo of the Feeding Guide included in Baxter's delivery box from The Farmer's Dog explaining how to gradually introduce the new food

In terms of preparation, The Farmer’s Dog proved slightly easier than Baxter's usual food. Unlike his previous routine of mixing dry kibble with warmed canned food, my colleague only had to cut open the bag and serve, skipping the heating step.

However, portioning the food was less straightforward. This was because Baxter was eating the food as a topper rather than a full meal. This situation could be improved by marking the bags with lines indicating 25%, 50%, and 75% portions. Without these, he had to estimate the amounts, which was a bit inconvenient.

Photo of a sliced pack of The Farmer's Dog recipe

As they used the food as a supplement, my colleague recommended cutting the frozen food into smaller portions to prevent it from thawing for more than 4 days. He also highlighted the need for ample freezer space due to the size of the food bags. According to the guidelines, the portion sizes were appropriate for 2 meals per bag when used full-time.

The food's quality and appearance were noticeably superior to Baxter's regular dry food. The fresh, colorful ingredients in the meals really stood out. It definitely looks like a more appealing option, as the fresh ingredients could be easily identified.

Photo of Baxter, a goldendoodle, sitting and looking at his prepared bowl of food next to a photo of Baxter eating the food from his bowl

Baxter, not a fussy eater, eagerly devoured the fresh food without hesitation. My colleague also noticed a reduction in Baxter's daily bowel movements. This is often the case when dogs are fed a high-quality diet. However, it could also be attributed to the dietary transition period.

Overall, they found The Farmer’s Dog to be of a very high quality but noted its cost as significantly higher than Baxter's regular food. This makes it a less viable option for them in terms of consistent feeding.

Prices

Starting from

Minimum Order

Shipping Fee

$1.02 per day incl. taxes
(with 60% off your first order)

2-week trial for an active, tiny 5 lb Chihuahua, for example

Free

$3.40 per day incl. taxes
(with 60% off your first order)

2-week trial for an active, mid-sized 55 lb Aussie Shepherd, for example

Free

$8.20 per day incl. taxes
(with 60% off your first order)

2-week trial for an active, very large 200 lb Central Asian Shepherd Dog, for example

Free

The Farmer's Dog prices range from $1 to $12 per day, depending on each dog’s size, age, and breed. Larger dogs require more food, and this makes it more costly as their food is shipped more frequently to manage order weight. Conversely, smaller dogs receive fewer frequent shipments due to their smaller portion requirements.

My colleague paid $44.93 for Baxter’s food, with an additional $11.99 for treats. By reducing the food quantity by 25% to supplement their dog’s diet rather than providing full meals, the daily cost was $3.21 for their 62 lb Goldendoodle. This approach not only helps in checking for dietary compatibility but also in managing expenses.

Screenshot of a pop up on The Farmer's Dog with a topper plan option showing the price reduction from $76.64 to $28.54 per week for Baxter's plan

The Farmer’s Dog offers the flexibility to choose multiple recipes and portions, topper options, or even a DIY recipe kit. This kit includes The Farmer’s Dog nutrient blend to add to home-cooked meals with store-bought ingredients. The costs for this option vary, and you must take into account the lack of convenience compared to cooked recipes being delivered to your door.

Yes, The Farmer’s Dog has premium pricing. However, it's important to emphasize the value derived from the top-quality ingredients and the positive impact on a dog's health and wellbeing compared to standard kibble. For those hesitant about the cost, The Farmer's Dog provides options to lower expenses, such as using the food as a topper or mixing it with other foods. 

To make the initial trial more affordable, I suggest using our discount code: Get 60% off your first box! This will help you judge the value of the recipes for yourself. Another way to reduce costs is to extend the time between future shipments, but you’ll need lots of freezer space.

Shipping & Delivery

The Farmer’s Dog offers free shipping to all 48 contiguous states. As my colleague experienced, the process starts automatically with the first order. This initial order is termed a Trial Box, giving 2 weeks for pet owners to observe how their dogs adapt to the new diet.

After placing an order, my colleague noted that The Farmer’s Dog was ready to dispatch without specifying dates or times. Living in a suburban area of a major U.S. city, they received an engaging email with a tracking link, featuring a cartoon of a journeying truck and a happily wagging dog. Clicking the link redirected them to a FedEx site to access updates at each stage of the shipment. 

Photo of a The Farmer's Dog delivery box outside next to some steps

The package arrived just 2 days after the order was placed, without any delivery issues. My colleague was informed via email about the imminent arrival on the same day, with instructions that they could safely leave the package outside until midnight. Throughout the process, The Farmer’s Dog maintained excellent communication, providing updates about the order and helpful tips on transitioning a dog to its food.

How The Farmer's Dog Works

The Farmer’s Dog has a very easy ordering system. Everything starts and ends with your dog’s specific needs in mind. The signup process begins by answering the personalization questions.

How to Sign Up

  1. Head to The Farmer’s Dog’s website. To start the personalization questionnaire, click the Start Today button on the homepage. This will take you to the questionnaire. 

Screenshot of The Farmer's Dog home page with the Start Today button highlighted

  1. Click on Continue to start the personalization questionnaireYou will need to complete all the sections to create a customized plan for your dog.

Screenshot of the start of The Farmer's Dog questionnaire

  1. Answer the in-depth signup questionnaireYou will need to answer questions about your dog’s weight, body type, allergies, health conditions, and more. If you aren’t sure which option to choose, hover your cursor over them to read additional information so you can pick the right answer for your dog. 

Screenshot of The Farmer's Dog questionnaire with dropdown answers to complete including age and breed

  1. Review your recommended recipes. It’s important to keep in mind that you can accept it and move forward with the order, or you can change it manually by clicking on Change Recipes.

Screenshot of Baxter's recommended plan screen with suggested recipes

  1. Enter your shipping and payment information. Your payment and order will be processed, and you will see a delivery window for when to expect your meals. Note that you can only pay by credit card.

Screenshot of the Checkout screen for delivery, shipping, and payment details

During the process, you will be able to adjust the amount of food you order for your pup. For example, you might want to order a reduced amount of food to feed as a 50% plan or feed as a topper instead. You’ll also have the option to add treats to your order if you want to.

You won’t be able to see the price until you’ve gone through the whole questionnaire. This makes sense, as the meals and food amounts are customized to specifically meet your dog’s needs.

Managing Your Subscription

Your account stores your dog’s profile, order history, and shipping details. You can easily make changes to your subscription, such as pausing or canceling your plan, adapting your shipping frequency, protein type, or your dog’s details.

Customer Service

Customer service is easy to reach via email or phone. If you do need to call, the phone lines are open 24/7, and you can also use social media to contact The Farmer’s Dog. However, I’m very surprised that there’s no live chat option or app through which to more immediately and easily manage your subscription.

My colleague reported that he felt the customer support was A+. He contacted them by phone when he had trouble completing his order, and it was answered in just 3 rings. He found the agent to be really friendly and helpful.

The rep walked him through a few troubleshooting steps and figured out that he had incorrectly filled out one of the fields on the order page. She stayed on the phone with him until the order was confirmed. His separate email inquiry was also responded to within a few hours.

Screenshot of The Farmer's Dog FAQ page

The FAQ section has answers to common questions but isn’t as extensive as I’d expected. For a pricey human-grade dog food service, I imagined the FAQ would be more easily searchable and extensive, especially regarding specific ingredients, recipes, and vitamin and mineral information.

If your dog doesn’t enjoy The Farmer’s Dog meals, there’s an accommodating solution in place. The company is willing to send out different recipes for your dog to try, ensuring you find the right fit. Alternatively, if you choose a refund, the only requirement is that the food is donated to a shelter. This policy not only helps your pet but also supports dogs in need.

Screenshot of the Cancel My Subscription screen with a question asking the reason for canceling followed by a range of various options

You have the option to pause your subscription for up to 6 months, which is quite convenient. However, if you decide to cancel, be prepared for a series of questions aimed at offering cost-saving alternatives or adjusting your plan. My colleague mentioned that this process felt a bit tedious, but appreciated the convenience of handling everything online, avoiding the need for a phone call to customer service.

The Farmer’s Dog Recalls

The Farmer’s Dog has a clean record when it comes to recalls. This goes to show just how serious the company is about a strict cooking process and rigorous safety standards.

How The Farmer’s Dog Compares to Other Pet Food Services

  • The Farmer’s Dog vs Ollie: Ollie offers the choice between fresh or baked food options. The Farmer’s Dog focuses exclusively on fresh, human-grade ingredients, customized for each dog's dietary needs. While Ollie's variety caters to different preferences, The Farmer’s Dog delivers personalized meal plans with sustainable packaging.

  • The Farmer’s Dog vs Spot & Tango: While Spot & Tango offers both fresh and dry food options, The Farmer's Dog focuses solely on fresh, refrigerated meals. This specialization allows The Farmer's Dog to concentrate on meticulously crafted, customized meal plans. 

  • The Farmer’s Dog vs We Feed Raw: While We Feed Raw focuses on a raw meat diet, appealing to owners interested in a natural, ancestral approach, The Farmer's Dog offers gently cooked, fresh meals. These are crafted from high-quality, human-grade ingredients, catering to dogs with specific dietary needs and those with sensitive stomachs.

The Bottom Line: Is The Farmer’s Dog Worth It?

I definitely think The Farmer's Dog is worth it in the realm of dog food delivery services. Especially if you prioritize high-quality nutrition for your pets. It provides meals crafted from fresh, human-grade ingredients, tailored to meet the specific dietary requirements of each dog, so your pet receives the utmost in nutritional care. 

The personalization of meal plans and the convenience of home delivery add significant value, making it a great choice if you’re looking for the best for your furry companions. The Farmer's Dog, while offering exceptional meals, may not fit within every pet owner's budget. Don’t forget that you can choose to use its recipes as a topper to add an extra nutritional boost to your pup’s meals.

If you are concerned about the cost – particularly if you have a large dog – you could explore our comprehensive article on the best human-grade dog food for a range of healthy alternatives. Don’t forget that you can also take advantage of our coupon code and test out the benefits for your dog: Get 60% off your first box! .

FAQ

Do vets recommend The Farmer's Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog works with board-certified veterinary nutritionists to formulate its meals, and it has a full-time animal nutritionist on staff. Also, vets all over the country recommend its recipes for weight loss and general health improvement.

How much does The Farmer's Dog food cost per day?

The cost per day depends on the size of the dog and its level of activity. Generally speaking, its breed and age are good indicators in this case. The food for a 10 lb dog can cost around $4/day, while a 55 lb dog can set you back around $9/day.

Is The Farmer's Dog food grain-free?

All 4 recipes featured by The Farmer’s Dog brand are grain-free. These recipes contain human-grade ingredients and have generous amounts of fresh meat as the main source of quality protein.

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