The Open Paddock Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Are you looking for a dog food that uses mainly Australian ingredients? Then our ultimate Open Paddock dog food review will come in handy! We teamed up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and devoted dog parents to form an independent panel of experts to learn everything we could about this brand. After several weeks testing out all the recipes alongside our furry friends, we were finally able to agree on the contents of this review.
Our experts have done all the research on this brand so you can make the right choice for your pup. Here’s what you should know:
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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 Paddock Dog Food Review
Open Paddock - 3.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Higher welfare chicken kibble + air-dried meat: Fresh Chicken Meat, Chicken Meal, Field Peas, Rice, Chicken Oil, Chicken Gravy, Beet Pulp, Tapioca, Sea Salt, Salmon Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Potato, Brown Rice, Molasses, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E, Chick Peas, Calcium Carbonate (Limestone), Niacin (B3),Potassium Chloride, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Smoke, Pantothenic Acid (B5),Manganese, Fermented Rice, Riboflavin (B2), Selenium, Garlic Powder, Kelp, Thiamine (B1), Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, Pyridoxine, (B6), Iodine, Biotin (B7), Folic Acid, Alfalfa, Apple, Blueberry, Carrot, Cranberry, Egg, Flaxseed, Parsley, Potato, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Thyme, Yoghurt.
- Named Protein First: Yes
- Dog Food Type: Kibble with air-dried meat, frozen raw food, bone broth and treats.
- Recipe Range: Kibble has three recipes (kangaroo, chicken, and beef); frozen food has cubes, patties and mince (depending on the recipe, the main ingredient is lamb, kangaroo, chicken, or turkey)
- Suitable For: All life stages and puppy-specific recipes.
- Cost: $$$
- Australian Owned: Yes
Open Paddock is one of Woolworth’s home brands, but it has nothing to do with the rest of their offering. Their main offering is a dry recipe that mixes air-dried meat and regular, baked kibble. This option is becoming more and more popular among pet food manufacturers in Australia: including extra meat offers a compromise between cost and quality compared to traditional, double-baked kibble.
Their second main option is frozen raw food, available in cubes, patties, and mince form. These also feature animal protein as the main ingredient and are available in different flavours to fit your dog’s taste. However, this range is sparsely available as of November 2023.
Therefore, today we’ll focus on an Open Paddock dry food dog food review since that’s what most owners are looking for. Here are our thoughts on this brand!
Open Paddock Dog Food Review
This brand features a significant percentage of animal ingredients. The chicken recipe, for example, has air-dried chicken meat as well as chicken meat, chicken “oil” (fat) and chicken gravy (chicken digest). It’s not a surprise most pups really like the taste of the kibble recipes!
As far as the frozen food goes, dogs enjoy the taste as well. Members of our independent panel of experts also mention the smell isn’t too overpowering even when defrosted, although of course the kangaroo recipe still has a stronger smell than most.
Overall, dogs seem to appreciate the flavour and even picky eaters are fine without a topper! We’re giving Open Paddock 5 out of 5 in this category.
Open Paddock claims to use meat as the main ingredient, but is that so?
Looking at the ingredient list, it looks promising! For example, their chicken kibble’s first two ingredients come from meat: fresh chicken meat and chicken meal. Then, after field peas and rice, we find chicken oil and chicken gravy. That’s four out of the first six ingredients coming from animal sources!
The kibble’s 31% crude protein is nice, although the 13% fat percentage is slightly low for our taste. There is no fibre content listed, which is a bit unexpected considering most brands include it in their analysis. They do list their Omega-3 and Omega-6 percentage, and they are in a nice 1-to-6 ratio.
This ingredient list is simple but delivers. Considering the relatively high proportion of animal sources and the listed analysis, we’re inclined to believe their “75% animal ingredients” claim is probably true instead of just marketing.
On top of the meat, the kibble recipes feature field peas and rice to make up the bulk of the food. The remaining ingredients are probably found in very small proportions: beet pulp, tapioca, salmon oil and brown rice.
This brand also claims to have “no added corn, wheat or soy” and it delivers in that regard as well. While none of the recipes are grain-free, they use rice and brown rice instead of corn or wheat. Plus, the oil used is sunflower oil instead of soybean oil, and there is no soy meal in the ingredient list.
We appreciate the use of Australian ingredients as the base of the food. The company claims their recipes use at least 90% Australian ingredients and some recipes (like the wild kangaroo frozen mince) have up to 98%. They also have a QR code on every package that shows the origin of every ingredient, item by item.
For the chicken kibble we tested, all the main ingredients were sourced in Australia, and other ingredients came from the Netherlands, Poland, Thailand, China, and others . It’s refreshing to see a brand being open about their ingredients which is rare in comparison with most competitors.
Of course, we have some complaints as well. Although Open Paddock prides itself on having “AAFCO-compliant recipes”, they don’t share a guaranteed analysis of their food. Instead, they feature a “typical analysis” that might or might not be the same from bag to bag. Guaranteed analysis generally offers more security regarding composition.
Our team liked the meat-to-carbs ratio, as well as some nice extras to round up the micronutrient profile of the food. The guaranteed analysis is the only major qualm we have about the composition of the food. Because of this, we’re giving Open Paddock kibble 3 out of 5 in this category.
Protein content 4/5
Open Paddock claims that all their recipes are based around protein. The chicken kibble, for example, claims to have 75% chicken, while the kangaroo recipe features 74% meat. Their frozen raw food claims to have a slightly higher percentage (between 80% and 84% depending on the recipe).
Of course, a brand’s marketing isn’t always true to the real deal. It’s amazing how many dog foods claim to be high in animal protein when in fact barely 10-20% of the food comes from meat.
In the case of this brand, these claims seem to be closer to reality considering four out of the first six ingredients (!) come from animal sources. It’s important to mention that their touted “75% chicken” (or beef, or kangaroo depending on the recipe) includes ALL animal-derived ingredients. It doesn’t mean that the food is 75% meat, but rather that the meat, meal, and other products (like chicken oil and gravy) come from chicken.
We also appreciate their sourcing policy. For example, the chicken used in the recipes come from RSPCA-approved higher welfare, barn-raised chickens. It is unclear whether all chicken products used in the recipes comes from these facilities, but it’s good to see, nonetheless.
Other recipes also use ethical meat sources: the beef and lamb are pasture-raised in Australia. The kangaroo this brand uses is wild, but that is the case for all kangaroo consumed in Australia .
As for the overall protein percentage in the food, the typical analysis indicates around 30% for their kibble recipes and around 11% for their frozen recipes.
Overall, we like the protein sources chosen for these recipes, and the percentages will be great for most healthy pups. Our team of experts is giving this brand 4 out of 5 stars.
This brand has a few nice extras that round out the nutritional profile of the food. Here are some of the highlights:
PRO TIP: Looking for a fibre-rich topper? Try pumpkin puree. It’s an easy topper that most dogs love and it adds tons of healthy fibre back into their diet. Pumpkin also helps to settle an upset stomach, so it’s great if your dog is having diarrhoea or has recently vomited.
We think it would be nice to have these extra ingredients be more prominent in the overall composition, but at this price point, it’s good enough. The only improvement would be slightly more fibre, but that’s easily solved with a topper. We’re giving this brand 3.5 out of 5 in this category.
Considering this is a relatively small brand, there are plenty of options to choose from. They offer three different kibble recipes (chicken, beef, and kangaroo) and tgree different kinds of frozen raw food (patties, mince and cubes) in several flavours (lamb, kangaroo, turkey and chicken), along with a variety of treats. Although their kibble recipes are categorised as all life stages, they do have a small frozen food offering for puppies.
Despite the general variety, there aren’t many options for pups that need to stick to a single protein or can’t have poultry. Only the kangaroo recipes are single protein, while all others have a mix. Nevertheless, Open Paddock does offer several different air-dried treats that tend to be single protein.
Finally, while there are no grain-free options, the grain percentage in the recipes is low enough to not be a concern for most owners.
Our panel is giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.
For supermarket dog food, Open Paddock is significantly more expensive. Nevertheless, compared with mid-range brands and others that also use air-dried, this brand is relatively affordable. We appreciate that there is the option to purchase smaller 450 gram packages in case you have a smaller pup or just to try it out.
Of course, for those with large pups or with more than one dog, it might be on the expensive side for a supermarket brand. We’re giving Open Paddock 3 out of 5 in this category.
Do Not Buy If…
Although this brand can fit many dog’s needs, our team of independent experts suggest it might not be the best option if you:
Overall, every member of our independent panel of pros like this food. This brand seems to be one of the best options among a sea of mediocre supermarket dog food. There is a high percentage of meat, and we really appreciate that four out of the main six ingredients are meat-derived, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to lower your dog’s carbs without springing for the high-end brands.
If you’re on the market for Australian-based food at a relatively affordable price, then this option might be a good idea!
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- "Higher Welfare Chicken Kibble + Air Dried Meat for Dogs". Open Paddock. Retrieved November 12, 2023. https://openpaddockpet.com.au/products/higher-welfare-chicken-kibble-for-dogs
- "The ethics of eating kangaroo meat". August 12, 2015. Choice. Retrieved November 12, 2023. https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/meat-fish-and-eggs/meat/articles/kangaroo-meat
- Tupler, T. February 1, 2021. "Dog nutrition: Guide to Dog Food Nutrients". PetMD. Retrieved November 12, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_whats_in_a_balanced_dog_food
- Heinze, C. November 8, 2021. "To Chelate or Not to Chelate [Minerals]?". Petfoodology, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. Retrieved November 12, 2023. https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2021/11/chelated-minerals/