The Frontier Pets Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Looking for high-quality freeze-dried food? Frontier Pets is an Australian company offering some of the best dog food money can buy.
What makes it so great? And what makes us such experts on the topic? Well, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists and dog parents to form a panel of independent researchers and discover everything there is to know about this brand and its cuisine. After months of testing and many, many empty dog bowls later, we were finally able to agree on the contents of this review.
Here’s everything you need to know about this brand!
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.
Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Frontier Pets Dog Food Review
Frontier Pets - 4.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Chicken recipe: chicken meat from free-range chickens, chicken offal from free-range chickens, tripe from free-range grass-fed beef, chicken bone from free-range chickens, certified organic carrots, certified organic apples, certified organic broccoli, certified organic zucchini, certified organic sweet potato, free-range eggs, almond meal, hemp meal, green-lipped mussel, seaweed meal (Ascophyllum nodosum), turmeric, sea salt (0.3%). Traces amounts of the following supplements: thiamine, zinc, copper, vitamin E and vitamin D.
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Freeze-dried raw food
- Recipe Range:
- Suitable For: All life stages including puppy and senior dogs
- Cost: $$$$
- Australian Owned: Yes. It’s also Australian made.
If you’re looking for the convenience of kibble and the health benefits of raw dog food, today’s Frontier Pets dog food review is for you. This Australian company is relatively new, and have been making dog food since 2018. They even appeared in season 4 of Shark Tank Australia, where they left without any offers. However, they’ve continued to grow and are now an established independent dog food manufacturer that supports local businesses.
On a personal level, I appreciate the philosophy behind it. Not only they are a local business and source all their ingredients from Australian producers, but they also contribute economically to ethical farming. If we want to end animal exploitation, we’ve got to start supporting businesses that put their money where their mouth is!
We think Frontier Pets is one of the rare companies that actually care… so we like them!
In today’s review, we’ll examine the chicken recipe. The three available recipes have a relatively similar composition, so the chicken is a good benchmark. Here’s what our team of independent experts say you should know!
If you have a picky dog, this brand is a good option to try.
This brand seems to appeal to most dogs, even fussy eaters. Due to the high protein content and the addition of extra offal, the food smells (and tastes) like the main protein. While the strong smell can be a little much for owners, dogs love it. Plus, if you follow the instructions and keep it in a sealed airtight container, you shouldn’t have to worry about a smelly kitchen.
Some members of our independent expert team said their dogs didn’t love the texture of this food. It’s important to remember this is a reconstituted food, meaning it should be mixed with water before feeding. While most dogs don’t mind the watery texture, others might find it too much.
If that sounds like yours, just leave the food out for longer. According to the official site, the pellets should absorb the extra water if given a little more time.
PRO TIP: Reconstituted food is different from adding water to regular kibble! With reconstituted freeze-dried food the goal is restoring hydration levels to the food, not just making the pellets softer.
Considering the positive reaction among most picky eaters, this is a win. We’re giving Frontier Pets 5 out of 5 in this category.
Frontier Pets use high-quality ingredients in their dog food, which we appreciate.
This is one of the few brands that use human-grade ingredients instead of pet-grade. Pet-grade food, although legally apt for cats and dogs, can even be dangerous for dogs. The Australian pet food industry is largely unregulated, and manufacturers can get away with a lot without being concerned about legal repercussions. Pet-grade meat is particularly delicate since the preservatives in it are unregulated.
According to the Australian RSPCA, commercial “pet meat” and “pet food rolls” may contain sulphite or potassium sulphite preservatives. These compounds were linked to thiamine deficiency in dogs and cats, which if left untreated can lead to severe neurological symptoms and even death . Current Australian law mandates that thiamine should be added as a supplement to counteract the effect of these harmful preservatives, but manufacturers can still use ingredients that have them!
As a result, it’s important to select companies that specifically mention using human-grade ingredients in their recipes. The RSPCA also mentions feeding human-grade ingredients is especially key in raw diets . Frontier Pets dog food delivers in this: every ingredient is both human-grade and ethically sourced from local producers. We appreciate their support of Australian ethical producers!
Another great thing is that all ingredients are certified organic. Most recipes have a few fruits and veggies, and eating them raw means your dog is getting everything. Knowing there are no harmful pesticides in their diet is a must!
As for the composition itself, this brand fares well. The chicken recipe has a whopping 45.3% protein, 37.6% fat, 1% fibre and 8% carbs. This is well beyond the requirements of the American Association of Feed Officers (AAFCO), which states adult dogs need a minimum of 18% protein in their diet.
The high fat and protein content in this food is in line with other high-quality raw freeze-dried foods. This analysis shows Frontier dog food will fit dogs of all life stages, including puppies and seniors, if you adapt to the correct quantity.
Our team appreciated that the brand mentions the expected carbohydrate percentage. Unlike most commercial kibble that has between 30% and 80% plain carbs, without even mentioning it in the analysis, this food boasts a moderate amount that will nourish your dog.
We’re giving this brand 5 out of 5 in the ingredient category.
Protein content 5/5
This brand only offers raw, freeze-dried dog food. Because of it, it’s not a surprise the actual meat content is very high.
In fact, the first four ingredients in all recipes come from animal sources. In the chicken recipe we’re examining, the main ingredients are chicken meat, chicken offal, beef tripe and ground chicken bone. While Frontier Pets do not make any claims as to the specific meat percentage in their recipes, it’s clear all recipes are based on animal protein.
All four main ingredients are ethically-raised, human-grade meats sourced from Australian producers. We appreciate the transparency around the sourcing: it’s easy to go on the site and know exactly who and where the producers are for the chicken, beef and pork in the recipes.
As for the animal meat, it’s nice to see a good mix of muscle meat, offal, tripe and bones. While muscle meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, it’s a poor source of other micronutrients. Here’s where offal comes in! Offal is just another word for organ meats: liver, heart, lungs and other internal organs that are packed with micronutrients, healthy vitamins and lots of flavour .
PRO TIP: Picky eaters usually can’t resist organ meats. If your dog is having a hard time finishing their bowl, adding some raw or cooked offal as a topper will make them lick their plate clean.
As we’ve mentioned above, this brand offers three main recipes: chicken, beef and pork. While none of the recipes are strictly single-protein, they have one main protein as the base. So, for example, the chicken recipe has chicken meat, offal and bone paired with beef tripe.
To complement the animal meat, the recipes also have whole eggs that add even more protein and delicious flavour your dog will surely appreciate. There are no legumes added to the recipes, meaning all the protein your dog gets will be from animal sources: this is great to see and shows the brand cares about quality over price.
The available proteins should fit most dogs’ tastes, and we appreciate the inclusion of offal and tripe as a main ingredient. Our panel agreed to give this brand 5 out of 5 in this category.
With recipes like these, is it really a surprise our team liked the additives?
As we’ve mentioned above, the recipes are built around meaty ingredients but also have loads of veggies. All fruits and vegetables are certified organic, which is great to see in raw dog food.
The chicken recipe has apples, carrots, spinach, broccoli and sweet potato as the main veggies. On top of these bulkier items, you’ll find flaxseed meal for healthy Omega-3s, almond meal to add some good fats, kelp and turmeric. The other two recipes are very similar in this regard.
Our team liked the addition of antioxidant extras like kelp and turmeric. These ingredients help keep your dog’s coat healthy and turmeric in particular can relieve joint pain as your dog ages . All around, these recipes are great for most pups!
It’s important to note Frontier Pets doesn’t add a vitamin and mineral pre-mix to their recipes. Although this is usually the norm with most dog foods, it’s not a huge concern with raw food. Serving raw food ensures all the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) naturally present in the food will still be there at serving time. Instead of using a premix, the entire process guarantees your dog gets the nutrition they need in its most natural form.
This is why the addition of offal and tripe is so important: these are rich in micronutrients like iron, manganese and vitamins E, A and B. The brand does state trace amounts of thiamine, zinc, copper, vitamin D and E, just to round out your dog’s intake.
Overall, we’re loving the extras in this food. Frontier Pets get 5 out of 5 in this category!
This is still a relatively small brand that only has 3 manufacturing facilities as of the writing of this article. So, it’s not surprising they only have 3 recipes on offer. There’s chicken, pork and beef.
However, we appreciate the different bag sizes available that will fit most needs. All recipes come in 4 sizes: trial (300 grams), 900 grams, 2.8 kilos and wholesale (5 kilos). Of course, the food has been freeze-dried, so when reconstituted, the food will represent more. For example, the wholesale 5-kg bag makes 20 kg of actual food.
Our team liked the possibility of getting different starter packs. Depending on your dog’s size, there are small (300-gram bags) and medium-sized (900-gram bags) trial bags. You can get these on their own or as a bundle with all three flavours.
One of the best parts of this food is that, unlike frozen raw food, it doesn’t need to be kept in the freezer or fridge. Being freeze-dried, you can store the bags in the pantry. Only the reconstituted food would technically need to be kept in the fridge. This is great if you don’t already have a deep freezer to store all the food.
Our team agreed to give this brand 3 out of 5 in this category since there are “only” three flavours.
This isn’t the most affordable dog food out there. But, in our opinion, quality comes at a price! Raw food tends to be on the expensive side of the spectrum, and air-dried raw food is slightly more expensive. However, keep in mind these don’t need to be stored in the fridge, so technically you won’t spend extra on electricity to keep it cold.
On the other hand, while it is more expensive, remember that the food has been freeze-dried in a way that it has virtually no water. That means you’re not paying for water and bulk, you’re only investing in the actual food. Frontier Pets states that, when reconstituted, the cost per gram is very similar to other high-quality brands.
Of course, getting raw freeze-dried food is always an investment. We appreciate that there are bundles and subscriptions available on the site to save around 10% per shipping.
Since the price is fair, we’re giving Frontier pets 4 out of 5 in this category.
Do Not Buy If…
Our team loved the composition of this food. However, we think it might not be a good fit if you:
Everyone on our team of independent experts agreed Frontier Pets dog food is one of the top dog foods available in Australia. Being raw and freeze-dried, you’ll be giving your dog all the nutrients they need to be healthy, happy and active. We appreciate that this brand sells through their site, meaning you won’t be paying extra to find it at a retailer.
This brand offers very high-quality food for what we think is a fair price, especially considering they only use ethically-sourced, local produce. Plus, being air-dried you won’t be paying for water, only the bulk of the food. This is one of our favourites so far. If you can, give it a try!
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- RSPCA. Are preservatives in dog food a concern? https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/are-preservatives-in-pet-food-products-a-concern/
- RSPCA: What should I feed my dog? https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-dog/
- Dog Nutrition Naturally. What Is the Difference Between Offal, Viscera and Organ Meats? https://www.dog-nutrition-naturally.com/offal.html
- Dogs Naturally Magazine. Turmeric for dogs. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/turmeric-dogs/