The Farmer’s Dog offers a line of fresh, nutritionally-balanced dog food made with human-quality ingredients that’s delivered straight to your door. It’s real, fresh dog food, formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists, balanced to meet your dog’s specific needs. I first noticed their ads plastered all over an NYC subway (pics below), and after a couple months of deliberation, decided to give their food a shot. This is my honest review after feeding my pup, Denver, their pre-portioned meals for 3 weeks.
TLDR; How did my dog like fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog?
So far Denver’s response to fresh food has been pretty remarkable. She’s been jumping in circles in anticipation of food like never before, and I’ve noticed a range of improvements to her health, including better digestion, and fur that’s softer and thicker. We’ll dive in to why in a bit, but first, here’s a bit of context on my dog’s diet and health pre-fresh food.
Meet Denver, my beloved Shepsky
“Denver” is my two-year old, 85-pound, all-white Shepsky. She is an energetic, bumbling beast on the trails, and a loving, protective family dog at home. She also has a sensitive stomach, which means that many a store-bought kibble and wet food formula — as well as most dog treats — send her sprinting to the lawn in desperation.
The vet prescribed her a “sensitive stomach” dog food recipe, which alleviated her irritable bowel, but unfortunately, Denver rarely showed interest in her kibble. To encourage her to eat, I began topping her kibble with doggie-safe food scraps from my kitchen, occasionally scrambled eggs, and other human foods that piqued her interest while I cooked.
Soon I found myself preparing full-on gourmet meals just to get her to eat! I was cooking for her at least twice a week, adding hours to my time in the kitchen and spending a lot more money on groceries. It was a labor of love that honestly I didn’t mind so much, but when I saw an ad for The Farmer’s Dog, it got me thinking…
Could The Farmer’s Dog’s fresh alternative to the standard dog kibble provide the healthy balance of real-food ingredients that Denver needs? Fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients, and developed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists, their product promised more than my personal-doggy-chef approach, so I decided it was worth a shot.
Why The Farmer’s Dog?
The Farmer’s Dog The Farmer’s Dog offers a convenient way to give your pup fresh, quality meals made with real meat and vegetables.
Meals arrive frozen on your doorstep at your desired cadence — I just toss a couple of the pre-portioned packs into the fridge to thaw overnight, and leave the rest in the freezer for a few more days. Each meal is compact so you’ll still have plenty of freezer space for your own food.
While The Farmer’s Dog isn’t the only awesome fresh dog food subscription out there, I chose it because their meals looked the healthiest, and I wanted Denver to try their pork flavor.
Ultimately I’m really happy I pulled the trigger on The Farmer’s Dog because now Denver follows me around at meal time until I take out her food from the fridge. She races me down the hallway to her bowl, and sits (like a good girl!), ears fully erect and tail fiercely wagging until I give her the green light to eat.
Seeing her happy and excited for her dinner is obviously a very welcomed change! As a fellow dog owner, you must know the satisfaction of providing your pup a meal he or she loves.
If you put your dog’s health first, The Farmer’s Dog is for you.
By pre-portioning her food, Denver is guaranteed to never overeat, reducing her risk of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
A heavier intake of fresh proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains work to strengthen her immune system and improve digestion. In fact, I could tell the difference just by looking at her poop. Without getting into too much detail here, I’ll let you know it’s a nice firm consistency, not too dry, not too wet. Overall, very healthy looking. And I gotta say: knowing that her tummy is balanced makes me feel like a dog super mom.
Fresh food also promises a lot for your dog’s long-term vitality, including the ability to build lean muscle, and to keep a healthy body weight. Likewise, a balanced diet yields improved skin, hair, nails, bones, gums, and blood. The list goes on…
Just like humans, dogs are what they eat, and their diets impact almost all aspects of their overall health. Thus I want to give Denver every opportunity to feel her best and thrive! If you feel the same, I’d highly recommend fresh food for your pup too.
Bonus: The Farmer’s Dog uses sustainable packaging.
If you’re like me and have begun seeking out brands that acknowledge their carbon footprint and seek ways to minimize it, you’ll appreciate The Farmer’s Dog’s approach to biodegradable packaging.
Every order from The Farmer’s Dog arrives in a recyclable cardboard box, with insulation padding made from corn starch — which is both biodegradable and compostable.
You can literally melt the foam packaging at home (as I did), by simply placing it in water and watching it dissolve. Wanna see? Watch this video of me unboxing The Farmer’s Dog:
Minimalist materials equal a smaller impact on the environment, which is something I always felt bad about back when I was buying kibble and other dog foods that are wrapped in a lot of plastic.
The Farmer’s Dog’s approach to nutrition is backed by history and science.
Over the last 40,000 years, dogs established their symbiosis with humankind by at first, scavenging for food from our camps, then by hunting alongside us, and finally around 7,000 years ago, through domesticating on burgeoning farmlands. Dogs truly ate as we ate, and their digestive systems have evolved to benefit not just from animal proteins, but from many of the same fruits, vegetables and grains that we do.
Only in the 19th century did an entrepreneur named James Spratt develop the first dog biscuit: a mix of wheat, vegetables, beef, and beetroot. Marketed towards wealthy American and English customers, Spratt created a convenient and attractive dog food while opening the economy to a whole new industry.
Today, the global dog food industry is estimated to be worth $90 billion! And while the dog food industry is prolific and prospering, unhealthily dehydrated kibble still rules the market.
Is kibble really that unhealthy?
Kibble is essentially greased-up doggie vitamins containing over-cooked ingredients (of sometimes questionable integrity and origination). Most of the nutritional quality of these ingredients has actually been cooked out of the food, leaving behind a dry, porous shell to absorb lab-added nutrients, preservatives, and moisture.
In a relatively unregulated industry, the quality between brands ranges a lot, and it can be difficult for owners to trust the product they feed their dog.
Brands like The Farmer’s Dog are disrupting the dog food industry by providing a real-food product— ingredients you can see, and with zero preservatives— that dogs will love and customers can trust.
Can’t I just cook fresh dog food at home?
Yes, in fact, a 2005 study at Purdue University found that by simply adding fresh vegetables to a dog’s kibble, cancer cell growth was prevented and decelerated by 70-90%.
The Farmer’s Dog encourages cooking at home for your pet, and even has recipes for various fresh treats you can give your dog. However, I found that subscribing to The Farmer’s Dog was worth both my time and money. Compared to when I was cooking Denver’s meals at home, my subscription to The Farmer’s Dog:
- saves me money on groceries (on average ~$50 month)
- saves me hours in the kitchen prepping and cleaning up (hard to quantify, but maybe 20 min/day on average?)
- saves me time from another trip to the market (possibly an extra 10 minutes each trip?)
And unlike my home-cooked doggie toppers, The Farmer’s Dog was developed by board-certified pet nutritionists, and meets all standards set by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Their kitchens and facilities are also USDA-inspected, which is almost unheard of when it comes to pet food.
The Farmer’s Dog Review
Nutrition Facts & Subscription Details
|Turkey||USDA turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, parsnip, spinach, fish oil, TFD Nutrient Blend. (Denver’s recipe)|
|Pork||USDA pork, sweet potato, potato, green beans, cauliflower, USDA pork liver, fish oil, TFD Nutrient Blend. (Denver’s recipe)|
|Beef||USDA beef, sweet potato, lentils, carrots, USDA beef liver, kale, sunflower seeds, fish oil, TFD Nutrient Blend. (Denver’s recipe)|
|Pricing||15 lb dog: $23-$40/week, or $3.28-$5.71/day|
35 lb dog: $36-$61/week, or $5.14-$8.71/day
95 lb dog: $73-$133/week, or $10.42-$19/day
|Introductory Discount||50% off your 1st box!|
|Offers Dog Treats, Cat Food, or Other Products?||No, but TFD provides great suggestions for fresh food snacks|
|Vet-Formulated to meet AAFCO and USDA standards?||Yes!|
|Socially Responsible?||Regularly works with dog rescues and other pet-related causes. Uses biodegradable packaging for their products.|
How to transition your dog to fresh food
It is very important to slowly transition your dog onto fresh food, stretching it out over two weeks.
Typically, you can transition your dog to a new recipe over a week-long period, but if you move too quickly with fresh dog food, you can make your pup sick with either vomiting or diarrhea.
The Farmer’s Dog recommends the following two week transition schedule:
- Days 1-8 : 25% The Farmer’s Dog, 75% old food
- Days 9-14 : 50% The Farmer’s Dog, 50% old food
- Days 15+ : 100% The Farmer’s Dog
The Verdict: Will your dog love The Farmer’s Dog, too?
It’s hard not to overemphasize how excited Denver has become since starting fresh food with The Farmer’s Dog.
That said, if your dog isn’t as enthused as mine, The Farmer’s Dog customer service will be happy to assist. I reached out with a few specific questions and received a prompt, kind, and thorough response. And with 50% off your first box, they make it exceedingly easy to try without commitment.
Your dog is hungry for more in life than just kibble. Why not let her try something fresher? My experience with The Farmer’s Dog has been exceedingly positive. Click below to give it a shot, and let us know about your experience in the comments!