The Open Farm Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
If you’re looking for an ethical kibble, this Open Farm dog food review is for you. To find out everything there is to know, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists and dog parents to form an independent panel of experts. We then spent months researching every offering by Open Farm, having our own dogs serve as a testers, before coming together and deciding on the contents of this review.
So, our experts have gathered everything you need to know about this brand: is it good? Should your dog try it? Here are the basics:
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
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 Open Farm Dog Food Reviewed
Open Farm Dog Food - 3.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Humanely Raised Turkey, Humanely Raised Chicken, Ocean Whitefish Meal, Russet Potatoes, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Green Lentils, Field Peas, Coconut Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Ocean Menhaden Fish Meal, Tomato, Apples, Pumpkin, Natural Flavour, Flaxseed, Sun Cured Alfalfa, Carrots, Chicory Root, Salmon Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, selenium, Yeast, Calcium Iodate, Rosemary Extract, Taurine, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Dicalcium Phosphate
- Named Protein First: Yes (first three ingredients)
- Dog Food Type: Grained and grain-free dog food, a small selection of wet food.
- Recipe Range: Grain-free: salmon, white fish, lamb, turkey & chicken, puppy. Grained: chicken and salmon.
- Suitable For: Adults and puppies
- Cost: $$$
- Australian Owned: No
Dogs seem to love the taste of this kibble, and looking at the high meat percentage, it’s no surprise! We appreciate that Open Farm doesn’t add any artificial flavouring so the appetizing smells come from the actual meat.
Smell-wise, this is a typical kibble but most people don’t complain about it. Keep in mind this brand doesn’t offer kangaroo recipes, which are usually noticeably smellier than other meat flavours. The bigger bags aren’t resealable, so many owners on our team of independent experts preferred to transfer the kibble to another container. Other than that, the taste of this kibble seems to be pretty nice, and several picky eaters appreciate the recipes!
Considering the success with picky eaters, we’re giving this brand 5 out of 5 in this category.
Open Farm prides itself on choosing ethically-sourced ingredients to create premium recipes. The overall composition is also pretty good, even considering it’s kibble.
According to the label, the “target nutritional guidelines” indicate that the food has a whopping 33% crude protein, 16% crude fat, 4.5% crude fibre and 30.5% carbohydrates. This is pretty nice and goes beyond AAFCO guidelines that mention that adult dogs need a minimum of 18% crude protein in their diet.
We also appreciate the inclusion of carbohydrates in the nutritional breakdown. Most kibble recipes don’t mention any carb percentages since they tend to be higher for dog standards . Even though dogs are omnivores and can have a diet comprised of up to 50% of carbohydrates, feeding around 30% carbs allows for more protein and can be better for long-term health .
A detail we don’t like here is the lack of “guaranteed analysis”, using “target nutritional guidelines” in its place. Even though AAFCO recommends having a guaranteed analysis, some brands prefer to omit it. This is because a guaranteed analysis implies constant testing and a commitment from the brand to keep the composition the same.
Using target nutritional guidelines gives the brand more flexibility but it can also mean more variability from bag to bag. This won’t be a concern for most dogs, but if you have a very sensitive pup that cannot deal with small variations, maybe this isn’t the right choice for you.
Another great point is their transparency, an uncommon trait in the Australian pet food industry! On top of the detailed ingredient list, you can track every single ingredient in your specific bag. To do this, just locate the bag’s lot code and type it here: you will know everything that’s in the bag, the origin of every item and its purpose (i.e. Cod skins for extra Omega-3). We like this feature because it keeps the brand accountable and makes it easy to know where everything comes from!
As for the actual ingredient list, it looks pretty nice and there are no artificial flavourings or preservatives. We love that the first three ingredients in all recipes come from animal sources. In the case of the chicken and turkey recipe, it has turkey, chicken AND whitefish meal as the first ingredients, followed by potatoes, garbanzo beans, lentils and field peas. Considering these ingredients are the bulk of the food, it’s clear that protein makes up around half of the total. This is great news, especially for a kibble.
We appreciate the use of diverse carbohydrate sources, as well as the use of potatoes above legumes. Potatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, powerful micronutrients to round up your dog’s diet!
Everyone on our team of independent experts loved the nice composition and high protein intake, but we’re taking off one star because of the lack of guaranteed analysis.
Protein content 4/5
As we’ve mentioned, Open Farm recipes are very focused on meat. This is refreshing to see when most commercial dog foods use more carbs to lower production costs. With this brand, all recipes include at least 2 or even 3 types of animal meats as the first ingredients. On top of the main animal proteins added, most recipes have at least one extra protein (like fish meal) further down the list.
The main feature of Open Farm’s protein choices is that the recipes only use humanely sourced meats. Sadly, this is fairly uncommon in Australian dog foods. This brand uses meats from humane facilities and the fish used is caught in the wild following Ocean Wise and Seafood Watch standards.
The fish recipe is particularly interesting since it uses seasonal whitefish instead of a fixed fish species. This helps with fauna conservation, although the slight changes from one bag to the next might affect sensitive dogs.
We like the meat choices and looking at the very respectable 33% crude protein, this brand offers low-carb, balanced recipes that will fit most dogs' lifestyles. The nutritional composition and protein percentage in these recipes are on par with “active dog” recipes in other brands, which are generally the best option.
Now, even though this brand tries to be sustainable, it’s important to note this kibble has a large carbon footprint. This is because the processing facilities are located in North America. For example, the lamb and cattle are sourced from New Zealand, and then processed in North America to be sent to Australia for sale. Definitely not in line with their ethos although normal for pet food not produced in Australia.
Overall, we like the protein sources from this brand and the focus on meat, but we’re taking off one star because of the carbon footprint.
On top of the nice meat and carb sources, Open Farm adds plenty of extras to round up the micronutrient profile in these recipes. Since it’s a long list, we’ve grouped these extras according to what they add to the food:
These are the major extras in the food, but the recipes also include natural preservatives (vitamin E/tocopherol and rosemary extract) as well as dicalcium phosphate to help with tartar control.
Overall, our expert panel liked the additives in these recipes so we’re giving Open Farm 4 out of 5.
The food range available in Australia is smaller than the one available in North America. This isn’t surprising, considering the production facilities are in North America and it’s a Canadian brand.
As of the writing of this article, Open Farm offers both traditional and grain-free kibble. There is also a small selection of wet food but availability seems to be spotty and it might be difficult if you want to make the full switch.
Another thing to note is that all recipes are labelled as “all-breed” and, unlike other brands, Open Farm makes smaller kibble to fit smaller dogs. There is also a puppy recipe available that is slightly higher in calories and is also built around high-quality protein.
On the flip side, there are no specific recipes adapted for large-breed puppies. Considering the high protein and fat percentage in the kibble, the recipes are complete enough for large-breed puppies. Nevertheless, portion control to regulate the growth of a large puppy can be tricky, and it’s easier when using a breed-specific food.
PRO TIP: Large-breed puppies can eat regular puppy food if you control the portions appropriately. If you won’t feed breed-specific puppy food, ask your vet for advice on how to portion your pup’s food.
Because of the relatively small selection and lack of large-breed puppy food, our team agreed to take off 3 stars.
This is a mid-range food and the price reflects that. The 2-kg bags might be slightly too expensive for us, but it's nice just to try them out.
We were able to find discounts and bundles online, and that’s definitely what we’d recommend if you’re interested. There are discounts available for auto-delivery options, which are particularly useful if you’re feeding a large pup or have a pack at home.
Overall, we feel the retail price matches the quality of the ingredients. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.
Do Not Buy If…
This is a great option for many dogs, but our panel of independent experts suggest you might want to keep looking if you:
We like the composition of this food and the company’s ethos. Using only humanely raised protein is a big plus, and few pet food companies are focusing on it. The traceability of the ingredients is also a big plus that we haven’t seen before. On the flip side, this food isn't Australian and the long-haul travel isn’t at all sustainable.
Overall, our team of independent experts would recommend this as a good upper mid-range food that will agree with most dogs.
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- Open Farm. Ingredient tracing. https://openfarmpet.com/transparency/
- PetMD. Feeding your adult dog FAQ. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/feeding-your-adult-dog-faq
- Rankovic, Alexandra et al. Role of carbohydrates in the health of dogs. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/255/5/javma.255.5.546.xml
- PetMD. What to know about dogs eating coconut oil. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/what-to-know-dogs-eat-coconut-oil