Cons: Expensive, limited recipe selection, food packs must be transferred from freezer to refrigerator to defrost, food packs can be messy to portion after opening, fresh food cannot be left out all day like kibble.
I’ve been a pet editor and writer for two decades, and before that, I worked as a veterinary assistant, so I understand the importance of feeding my dog a nutritious, well-balanced food. I’ve always bought high-quality canned and dry food for my pets, but fresh food takes pet nutrition to a whole new level.
With my 11-year-old tiny poodle, Jäger, I tried out a few different fresh dog food delivery services over the previous year. One of these was The Farmer’s Dog, which debuted in 2014 as an early entrant into the fresh pet food industry.
I can see why Jäger The Farmer’s Dog has such a devoted following after feeding it for a month. Read my Farmer’s Dog review below, which covers everything from the signup procedure to my dog’s enthusiasm for the meals we tried.
The Farmer’s Dog’s Operation
The subscription-based service only employs human-grade ingredients in its meals, which are prepared in USDA-inspected facilities. With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, it delivers throughout the United States. Everything is sent automatically, on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, according on your dog’s portions. It’s simple to pause shipment if you’ll be away.
The registration procedure
I answered questions regarding my dog’s breed, weight, age, exercise level, and health conditions in order to build a meal plan for him. Jäger is a healthy weight who exercises regularly, thus the system assigned him 400 calories each day.
I could pick from four different recipes (turkey, beef, pig, and chicken) and get up to three of them per shipment. I chose turkey, beef, and chicken for my 20-pound dog, which cost roughly $45 per week to feed.
Packaging and delivery
The Farmer’s Dog sent me an email with an expected delivery date, a tracking link, and a notification when the product arrived at my door. Customer care is provided via email ([email protected]) or phone (but I didn’t have any problems) (646-780-7957).
Fresh-frozen food for two weeks was sent in a recyclable cardboard box with dry ice and biodegradable insulation. The food stays cold in the unopened package until 11 p.m. on delivery day.
A recyclable food storage container contains the plastic containers of frozen dinners within the box. I put a few in the fridge to thaw right away. The rest of the packs were easy to keep in the freezer because they are quite flat.
The Farmer’s Dog recipes are preportioned for your dog and come with instructions on how much to feed each day. Every day, my dog ate half a pack. The business offered a smart way for portioning out the servings: I squeezed the food to produce a clear line in the centre of the package, then sliced it in two. There’s a chance of a little leakage, but I’ve never had a problem with it. The food can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
Recipes from the Farmer’s Dog
To guarantee that your dog receives the correct nutrition, all pet food should be labeled complete and balanced. Board-certified veterinary nutritionists create the Farmer’s Dog recipes to fulfill the nutritional standards defined by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, the company also employs a full-time animal nutritionist.
The Farmer’s Dog food is relatively minimally processed when compared to shelf-stable dog food. It must be frozen or refrigerated because it is delicately prepared at low temperatures and has no by-products or preservatives.
It should come as no surprise that the cuisine resembles something I’d prepare for my own human family. The meals include full foods including meats and vegetables, as well as fish oil and vitamins and minerals. All of the chopped ingredients were visible to me. Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, sweet potatoes, lentils, carrots, parsnips, and spinach were among the vegetables used, depending on the dish.
The Farmer’s Dog was a huge hit with my dog. Every time he ate it, he licked the bowl clean. I wouldn’t be shocked if any dog turned his nose up at this stuff, even if he’s not a finicky eater. Looking at his poops, which were little and well-formed, he seemed to be doing well on the meal.
The disadvantages are the same for all fresh food brands. Because custom diets aren’t available, you’ll have to examine the ingredient lists if your dog has a food allergy. To thaw the food, remember to take it from the freezer to the refrigerator. It’s also not a good choice for dogs who enjoy grazing. It can spoil if left out for several hours.
Last but not least
Fresh pet food is obviously more expensive than kibble and canned dog food, and The Farmer’s Dog is no exception, costing between $3 and $13 a day. However, you receive recipes created by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that use high-quality, human-grade ingredients for a higher price. The Farmer’s Dog is a great option if you want to convert to a more natural, minimally processed dog food.