Farmers Market Dog Food Review

Farmers Market Dog Food Review - Including Puppy & Grain Free

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Looking for an affordable dry kibble with reasonable ingredients? This might be the one. In today’s Farmers Market dog food review, we researched everything you need to know about this brand. Now you can make an informed decision to feed your dog only the best food.

  • Farmers Market is widely available at most Australian supermarkets, and comes at a reasonable price point.
  • The first ingredient in all recipes is animal protein meal.
  • Their kibble recipe selection is limited to 3 different recipes, including their puppy option.
hungry jack russell

Farmers Market Dog Food Review


Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 5/5

Some owners report a strong smell, but this is understandable given meat is the first ingredient in all recipes. In general, most dogs enjoy the taste of Farmers Market.

The high amount of animal protein sources in most recipes, that include chicken meal, meat meal, chicken fat and chicken protein, make this a highly palatable option for most pups.

If your dog is an especially fussy eater, you might want to add a bit of extra fresh meat on top of the kibble, but many owners mention their dogs love the flavour of their kibble. When it comes to flavour, this one is a winner!

Ingredients 4/5

Farmers Market has a reasonable ingredient list, especially considering it’s a supermarket food. We really like that within the first 5 ingredients, in most recipes 3 of them come from animal sources.

However, one thing we don’t agree with is the use of wholegrain wheat. This cereal is high in gluten, and is one of the most common causes for food allergies among dogs. According to the American kennel club, wheat is the third top allergy-provoking ingredient for dogs [2]. This is especially concerning if your pup already has food allergies, has shown food intolerances in the past or has a sensitive tummy. If that’s the case, this might not be the brand for you.

PRO TIP: Try to avoid wheat and corn if your dog has a sensitive tummy

We do like the inclusion of carrots and peas, as well as other veggies, which offer great micronutrients to round out your dog’s diet.

Because Farmers Market ingredient list is pretty clean and full of easy-to-understand ingredients, we’re giving it 4 out of 5 in this category.

Protein Sources 3/5

When it comes to protein sources, Farmers Market pet food is in good standing. The first and second ingredient in their kibble recipes is always animal protein, in the form of chicken and meat meal. While meal-type animal protein is good, it still comes second to actual cuts of meat. However, it’s still a good option for a nutritious diet.

The protein content in Farmers Market dry kibble is a good 28% minimum, in line with AAFCO’s recommendations of at least 18%. Nevertheless, it’s important to note the inclusion of wholegrain wheat and peas, as well as vegetable protein. These probably account for a significant portion of that protein percentage. This can be misleading if you’re looking for only animal protein to offer your dog.

The AAFCO recommends to only feed brands that offer at least 18% crude protein – RSPCA [1]

Since wheat is one of the cereals usually responsible for food allergies in dogs [2], it would be better if the wheat content was replaced by oats. The latter have much better digestibility and don’t have such a high gluten content.

All in all, we really like the protein sources of this brand, and only because of the wheat we’re taking off 2 stars.

Additives 3/5

The additives in this brand are mixed, some are really good, but some we don’t like at all. Let’s start with the nicer ones:

We really appreciated the use of extra veggies to round up our dog’s nutrition. On top of carrots, peas or apples, Farmers Market includes beet pulp -for extra fibre- parsley, whole linseed -for its omegas-, vitamins and minerals. They also include chicory root inulin, a type of prebiotic that will nourish your dog’s gut microbiome and help with nutrient absorption.

Inulin allow the body to absorb more nutrients and helps the animal feel fuller for longer. – Vet Know How [3]

It would be nice to see some extra fruits and maybe berries, but all in all it looks good.

Nevertheless, some of their recipes have extras that could be less-than-ideal, especially in larger quantities. For example, their chilled dog food has Sodium Tripolyphosphate, a preservative used to keep food fresh and also helps with dental health. However, STPP has been shown to cause gastrointestinal distress and even neurotoxicity in large quantities [4].

In general, Farmers Market dry kibble has a better composition than their wet and chilled options.

Because of the doubtful extras in their chilled and wet recipes, we’re taking off 2 stars.

Variety 3/5

This brand has a small variety of flavour options, although they go beyond kibble to also offer chilled food, wet food and treats.

Their kibble line has 3 recipes, two for adult dogs, and one for puppies. Their adult options are chicken & farm vegetables and beef & farm vegetables, while the puppy kibble is chicken & beef liver flavour. However, upon closer inspection their adult recipes look almost identical in their composition, so their flavour must be very similar.

In regards to their chilled and wet options, they offer different protein flavours like lamb, but don’t come in puppy-appropriate recipes.

Because of it, we’re giving Farmers Market 3 out 5 in this category.

Price 4/5

Farmers Market is known to be a widely available dry dog food at a reasonable price. In general, we agree with that statement. For the price, it has a good enough ingredient list, and bags are easy to find whenever you’re out.

This brand is also frequently on sale, so it’s even easier to save some extra cash when stocking up on dog food.

While it is relatively affordable, it isn’t available in big bags. This can be a problem if you’re feeding one or more large or giant dogs, because 13 kgs of kibble won’t get you through the month!

Since we don’t think they offer large enough bags, we’re taking off 1 start. This is otherwise a good brand if you’re limited to supermarket dog foods.


Farmers Market Puppy Food

hungry Labrador retriever puppy

Our Farmers Market pet food review wouldn’t be complete without diving deep into their puppy options. However, their puppy recipes are very limited. In fact, they only offer one kibble recipe for puppies, without special recipes or kibble size for small or large breeds.

This means they wouldn't make our list of the best puppy food options.

Small and Large-Breed Puppy Options

While specialty kibble for large or small puppies isn’t essential, it can make it easier to feed your little one. Of course, you can always dampen the kibble to make it easier to chew for smaller mouths, but large breed puppies are another story.

PRO TIP: Large-breed puppies have different needs than small and toy-breeds, and their diet should reflect that

As we have already mentioned, large puppies have different nutritional needs. While they need calorie-dense foods, it’s also important to measure their meals carefully. An overfed large puppy will grow too fast, which in turn can weaken their bones and cause joint problems once they reach senior age. To avoid these issues, owners should measure every meal carefully, taking care not to overfeed. However, if you choose a large-breed puppy food, they usually are less dense in calories and it’s more difficult to give them too many calories at once.

This means that while Farmers Market puppy food is nutritious for a growing pup, if you have a large or giant-breed puppy you will need to be especially careful with portions.

Ingredients and Flavours

Farmers Market only has one flavour for puppies: chicken & beef liver with farm vegetables. The composition is fairly good, in line with their adult kibble recipes. The first ingredient is also chicken and meat meal, and wheat is included within the first 5 ingredients. This is less-than-ideal, but expected at this price-point.

If your little one doesn’t show allergies or intolerances, the chicken and meat recipe shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re dealing with a sensitive tummy, wheat could aggravate the problem.


Don’t Buy If…

While this is a great option for many dogs out there, Farmers Market might not be the right choice for your pup if you:

  • Don’t want to feed wheat to your dog: while the rest of the ingredients are fairly good, wheat is within the first 5 ingredients in most recipes. Wheat is one of those ingredients that can be controversial, and while many brands claim it’s healthy or at least doesn’t have any negative consequences, vets have other opinions. Although dogs can in fact digest starch, their consumption should be limited and shouldn’t be the base of their diet.
  • Have a large-breed puppy and can’t precisely measure their kibble: as we already mentioned, large-breed and giant-breed puppies need to be properly nourished, but not overfed, to ensure their health. Since Farmers Market only has a single type of puppy food, you’ll need to carefully monitor their daily intake, and adapt it to their needs. If you overfeed your pup, they’ll have higher chances of brittle bones and joint problems as they get older. There are other options at this price-point that offer large-breed puppy kibble that’s slightly less calorie-dense.
  • Want to offer chilled and wet dog foods to your pup: although practical, the composition of this brand’s chilled and wet foods is less than ideal. While they are grain-free, their additives can be harmful in large quantities and something you don’t necessarily want to base your dog’s diet around.

Farmer’s Market Dry Dog Food: The Verdict

For a supermarket food, this is a reasonable option. In fact, at this price point, it’s a good thing that the wheat and corn amounts are kept to a minimum. However, there are other options, both grain-free and with rice, that could fit your little one better if you spend 20 or 30 more.

Want to read more dog food brand reviews? Check out the below:

References
  1. RSPCA Australia. “What should I feed my dog?”. Available https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-dog/
  2. Can Dogs Eat Wheat And Other Grains?. American kennel club. Available https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-wheat/
  3. Nutrition info. Benefits of chicory for pet's digestive health. Vet know how. Available https://www.vetknowhow.co.uk/blog/benefits-of-chicory-for-pet-s-digestive-health
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2020). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 24455, Sodium tripolyphosphate. Retrieved October 5, 2020 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium-tripolyphosphate
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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