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The Farmer's Dog - Is Fresh Dog Food Worth It?

The Farmer's Dog

Is Fresh Dog Food Worth It?

The Farmer’s Dog is “a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science, and driven by love.” They use human-grade USDA ingredients and personalize your plan according to your dog’s profile.

If you have a special pup in your life (or three…) you know what is it like to want to give them the best food you can find. I have tried a plethora of brands, made and cooked my own dog food before, and even went over the deep end on a raw kick in my quest to give my pups the best nutrition I can. Some of these options were much more sustainable for us than others. All this to say, I was understandably thrilled to try The Farmer’s Dog for 2 weeks. Could this be a solution to fresh food at an affordable price? For my pack, it certainly saved money for the smaller members!

COUPON: Save 50% off your first order. No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Megan Kirkland, MSA Reviewer, Mother of Dogs
September 2, 2020| 24 comments

About The Farmer’s Dog

The Subscription Box: The Farmer’s Dog

The Cost: Plans start around $2/day. Pricing depends on your dog’s size and nutritional needs.

COUPON: Save 50% off your first order. No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: USDA grade food prepared fresh then frozen in easy to portion packages.

Ships to: The 48 contiguous states

Pros & Cons

The Pros
  • Human-grade and super healthy food.
  • Preportioned packets make feeding easy.
  • Food is easily frozen to save for later.
The Cons
  • For a larger dog, this subscription is likely more expensive than their current everyday food.
Is It Worth It?
  • For the smaller dogs in our house, yes! We spend about the same amount. Tucker’s bill is a bit higher, but I still would love to supplement his diet with food from The Farmer’s Dog.
I’d Recommend The Farmer’s Dog If You
  • Are interested in fresh food for your dogs.
  • Have a pup with a limited ingredient diet.
  • Like the idea of pre-portioned packets coming to your home automatically.

The Sign-Up Process

The first thing you’ll do when signing up is fill out a detailed (but not in any way exhausting) quiz about your dogs.

For the sake of this review, I am going to sign Piper and Tucker up, as Charlie (my pug) has been on a special diet recently. Piper and Tucker are also both the most drastically different of my three dogs, so I feel like this is a great trial for this food.

Piper: 13-year-old MinPin. Sassy. Half-blind. One tooth left. Perfect.

Tucker: 5-year-old Standard Poodle. Stoic, but super happy. New leash on life.

The questions are all very easy to answer, but also give The Farmer’s Dog team a good baseline. After answering all of these questions, your dog’s plan pops up for your approval. This is also an opportunity to choose between turkey, beef, and pork recipes.

Piper’s plan ended up costing $1.65 a day, which is less than her normal food. I was really surprised by this!

Tucker’s plan ended up costing $6.59 per day, which is significantly more than his normal dry food. I expected this since dry food is always less than wet, and he consumes a lot of food in one day.

This is also a good time to look over the ingredient lists of each food blend if you have any personal restrictions for your home.

My First Delivery

Before we dive into this, I thought it might be important to calculate how much I actually spend on dog food right now, though the prospect terrifies me.

The Cost Compared to Dry Food

Let’s start with Piper. She gets 1 can total each day of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe for Seniors. A case of 12 costs $22.68, meaning we spend about $1.89 a day on her food. We usually buy a case at a time online, but I have had to buy them individually before at PetSmart and Target when in a pinch, and they are a whopping $3.69 each there! Piper’s daily food cost with The Farmer’s Dog is $1.65, which is savings either way, but HUGE savings compared to the single can price.

Tucker eats dry food, and a lot of it. He is currently on dry Blue Buffalo food, and depending on how big of a bag we buy at a time, he generally costs about $2.00-$3.00 per day to feed. In contrast to Piper’s bargain total, Tucker costs $6.59 a day to feed with this sub. It feels pricy, but that is still less than a Chipotle burrito or a giant latte with modifications.

How It’s Packaged

Our delivery arrived frozen solid and thoughtfully packaged inside a large box.

 

Each pup also received a paper with their feeding guide. These pages have helpful info on transitioning between Piper and Tucker’s old food and this new deliciousness. It suggests slowly easing them both into their new food, by combining it with their old stuff and gradually moving to full Farmer’s Dog food.

 

Because I am going to have open bags each day, a disposable container was also included for storage. This was actually a nice little addition that came in handy for both pups, but mostly Piper since she had smaller portions.

Each pouch was clearly labeled for either Piper or Tucker, and included how much of each pouch they should be served per day. Tucker gets a whole pouch a day, where Piper only needs 1/4 pouch per day.

The Food

 

 

Tucker received 7 pouches of beef food and 7 pouches of turkey food. It looks like a ton of food and I am glad I had recently cleaned out my freezer!

 

Piper received 2 pouches of each because she is a dainty little lady.

We feed all of our pups twice a day, so I ended up giving Tuck half a pouch in the morning and half at night. Piper was a little harder to guesstimate since she would need 1/8th a pouch per meal to equal 1/4th total a day.

The food itself looks like legit real food, which makes sense, because it is. The turkey even smelled surprisingly appetizing to my nose. You can actually see bits of veggies inside too! I decided to try out the turkey recipe for the first few days. It admittedly doesn’t look like a lot at first (especially Piper’s portion) but I fluffed it with a fork and then it suddenly became what felt like a ton of food!

The dogs were obsessed with this food. Tucker especially surprised me so much. He is a big boy, but has always been pretty indifferent about food. He certainly enjoys it, but it isn’t an obsession like it can be for Piper and Charlie. He never barks or carries on as I fill his bowl, and he finishes his allotment calmly and without ceremony. After his first taste of this food, he was hooked. He literally licked his bowl for 15 minutes after everything was gone and then carried it to the living room, dropping it on the floor at my feet. This would have been cuter if it wasn’t his massive stainless steel bowl and we didn’t have hardwood floors, but I will take the startling CLANG he created as two paws way up. He also has taken to doing this really cute wiggle dance when he seems me opening a pouch! Piper set to eating with much enthusiasm, also licking her bowl way after it was empty, in total disbelief that her food was gone.

The beef took a longer adjustment time than the turkey did, but I think that is because all of my dogs have a more poultry-based normal diet. Tucker had some loose stool after his first beef meal, but nothing that was too traumatic for either of us. Both he and Piper enjoyed this food just as much as the turkey blend after their tummies adjusted.

The Verdict

I am really impressed by this dog food. Did I notice some massive changes in my dog’s looks or energy levels? No, but this was only a 2 week test period. I know in my bones that fresh food is just healthier for any dog, and I do feel like mine deserve the best. This plan is obviously going to be a lot more cost-effective for smaller dogs and could be prohibitive for some people out there with larger pups. I would absolutely consider making this Piper’s full-time food, especially since it would literally save me money as well as be better for her! Tucker is a lot more to budget, but I know he loved the food, and since he is a larger and more active dog I still want to make it work for him, too. There is also a part of that wonders if even if this fresh food just accounted for only half of his diet, this would still be a huge nutritional improvement over 100% dry food, right? I would need to do more research but the prospect of buying as much as I could afford for him and supplementing his dry food diet with it is really appealing too. Since it is frozen, a plan like this would be really easy to execute too. All in all, the only one who wasn’t totally thrilled with this subscription was Charlie, since he didn’t really get to partake. (Sorry Charlie!) If you are searching for a fresh dog food subscription, I highly recommend this one. Give it a try and see what your pups think!

COUPON: Save 50% off your first order. No coupon needed - just use this link.

 

Did I miss any details for new subscribers to The Farmer’s Dog? What do your pups think of this fresh food?

$30
$60
your first box50% off
$30
$60
your first box50% off

The Farmer's Dog

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Comments (24)

  1. I am confused. This was posted 7 months ago. Why was it reposted today as if it was new content? I read the post looking for an update or something and didn’t see anything. Is it just that Farmer’s Dog paid for a sponsorship for it to be reposted and the sponsorship was not disclosed or something? There has definitely been some weird things going on with MSA over the last several months. As a nearly daily reader for 5+ years, it disappoints me to see these kinds of changes.

    • I agree with Chelsea. What’s up?

    • Hey Chelsea! I just updated the general format of the review and thought a repost might be nice for readers who might have missed it before because it felt relevant for myself and my pups right now. Sorry for the confusion!

    • also curious! and also, maybe a dog blog or an account w/ some dog related business would be better?

  2. Great review, thank you Megan. My pups have passed on (still a bit too sad to bring another into our family yet) but I would be so into this if I still had to feed a much-loved pooch. I love that you are so concerned about their health and happiness!

  3. My pug currently eats Answers raw food and is obsessed with it. When I go to put it in his bowl, he literally whines and can barely sit still. This ends up being a little pricier than Answers but I am debating trying it.

  4. I hope you have a savings account for veterinary dental bills, because this stuff is going to rot your dogs’ teeth right out of their heads.

    • Piper only has one left, so no worries!

    • My dog has been on Rx wet (canned) food for years (he refuses to eat the dry). He has regular dental’s and his teeth haven’t ‘rotted’ out of his head. In fact, he just had one this week and no teeth needed to be extracted and none loose. I’d rather feed dry because its easier and more convenient but we haven’t had teeth issues due to wet food. Some breeds are more prone to tooth decay and dental issues though.

      • Nyx, my Rottweiler who passed away in November, had to eat prescription wet food for years because of her IBD. Her teeth were fine.

        Jet, My Rottweiler who passed away in 2012, ate dry food all her life and had to repeatedly get dental cleanings (and one extraction).

        So, it’s not even the breed, in some cases, it’s just the dog.

      • Yeah for sure, it just depends. I’ve had huge dogs (120 pounders) and they always had great teeth. I think the smaller breeds typicalLy have more problems.

  5. LOVE this review, especially the captions for your dogs! I had three dogs, but am down to one lonely pug, so it’s easier for me to budget healthy “real” food for her. What I’ve been doing is mixing dry food with real food so that she has full nutrition, and she’s super happy.

    • We have a pug too, named Charlie. He has been having some reflux weirdness going on, so much to his dismay, he was excluded from this review. They are the best!!

  6. I would see if your library has copy of “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats”. It looks like at least 2 revised editions have come out since I last had a dog but it was a lifesaver back in the day when my dog used to get hot spots from fleas. You might find a recipe that you could supplement Tucker’s food that would still be easy to make but much more cost effective and maybe he would give that a paws up 🙂

    • I totally want to dive back into home made dog food, but sadly between school and subscriptions, I have zero time! I will totally see if I can get my hands on this book though, especially since my schedule becomes much less insane in June 🙂

      • You could see if a friend or coworker who is interested in fresher food for their dog would be willing to prepare in bulk and you provide $ for ingredients and time. For example, we recently tested some fresh food sold at a local grocery store with my grandmother’s terrier mix and she loved it. We’re going to test Farmers starting later this week and if it works one of my grandmother’s caregivers has offered to add portions to fresh meals she makes for her dogs and bring them each week. We would just pay her for ingredients and time. Something like this might be a good solution to help with your larger dog to keep costs down.

  7. I wish they had a Farmer’s Cat! I have 3 cats and would love to try something like this.

    • Stay tuned for my review of Smalls in a couple of days, which is very similar but for cats.

  8. I have a 65 lb English Bulldog. At the recommended one pouch per day, the cost per month would be $360! I’m using the 2 week trial I received as a food topper for his usual dry food. It’s a great product and he loves but, but the pricing is obviously not realistic for most people with medium to large dogs. I made sure to cancel the auto ship as soon as I received the sample box.

    • I had to spend $500 a month for Nyx’s prescription food for years (she was an 85-pound Rottweiler) but yeah, wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t absolutely necessary (it was the ONLY thing she could eat without having IBD-related issues).

  9. I have 3 GSDs ranging from 55 -90 pounds. I cook their food everyday, they eat fresh vegetables, cooked meats, rice for dinner. Meats include chicken breast, pork loin, angus burger, salmon, chicken and beef livers. They eat oatmeal cooked on the stove with ground turkey or beef, hard boiled eggs for breakfast. They do get treats from bark box and cookies from 3 dog bakery. But they do not eat dry or canned food. It cost less than $300 a month to feed 3 dogs. I put in their weight and info just to be curious how much this would cost, and it is almost $300 for the 2 girls and $400 for the boy, so a whopping $1000 a month!

    • Wow, can you cook for me too 😉😂

  10. Megan, you could use the fresh food as a topper or partial mix in the dry food for your larger dog. I want to eventually make homemade food for my dogs but haven’t yet made the leap. This may be a good in between until I get there.

    • I think this is where I am in my head. He absolutely loves it, and I want to give him the world of course!

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