I love dogs more than most people I’ve met – Michelle Beadle
The deepest desire of every dog lover’s heart is to give their best friend a long and healthy life. To that end, there are few things that promote a pet’s well-being more directly than a natural and balanced diet.
Thankfully for us, The Farmer’s Dog has boldly answered the call. The company was started by dog lovers themselves, on a simple mission to turn their unconditional love for dogs into uncomplicated care for all pet owners alike. Based on the premise that all dogs deserve to be fed the same quality of food as their human companions (good riddance, soggy and smelly kibbles 🤢), The Farmer’s Dog has challenged themselves to do better, and in so doing, has revolutionized the pet food industry.
The Farmer’s Dog didn’t start off with too grandiose a plan, but rather was a quiet invention of Brett’s (co-founder) after trying to find readily available dog food to soothe the digestive problems that bugged his 2-year-old puppy Jada. After chasing his own tail and being unable to find a suitable option, Brett followed veterinary advice and began making food for Jada himself.
After finding some success with Jada’s improving health, Brett began wondering if the food could also help other dogs in need for dietary overhaul. 🤔
Brett then partnered with his friend Jonathan, and in 2014, the duo birthed The Farmer’s Dog.
The product? Dog meals specifically designed to cater to the individual dietary needs of each dog it was made for. In fact, this thoughtfulness undergirds even the production of the meals. Far from the mass-produced dried pellets which our dogs are often fed with, The Farmer’s Dog produces all of the food on their own, and has it sent to customers directly. 😍
It’s this intentionality and thoughtfulness that has resonated so deeply with dog lovers all over the country, with a huge social media presence as evidence of their impact. If you’ve not been acquainted with this amazing brand and what they can do for our furry friends, boy do we have something great to share with you. 🐶
Human-quality food, furreal?
Among its many noble beliefs, The Farmer’s Dog vowed not to simply rely wholesale on pet food labels and what’s pictured on the bag or can, because the “food” advertised never quite lives up to its branding. The brand notes that a host of ingredient label tricks have allowed companies to mislead consumers, with numerous studies showing pet food to contain ingredients not listed on their label, or conversely to leave out ingredients from the list.
Some alarming examples are as follows:
- Powders like “Chicken Meal” may contain meat from diseased livestock
- Natural and/or artificial preservatives can keep pet foods shelf-stable for years on end
- Kibble is extremely processed regardless of the ingredient claims (or pictures)
- Foods can hide behind misleading labels (eg: “Made with beef” may just mean 3% beef, or less!)
Since pet food production in the US is held to alarmingly low safety and quality standards, mistakes like these slip by on the daily. Loose labeling and marketing regulations don’t help either. 😡
As a result, over 80% of dogs continue eating commercialized dog food, which happens to correspond directly with the prevalence of dental disease in dogs. In addition, nearly 60% of dogs are overweight and obese. 50% over the age of 10 will develop cancer, and many dogs don’t even make it to 10 years of age. Depressing, right? We know. 😢
As such, the brand has turned this very problem on its head and have found that the key to our furry friends’ well-being is simply real food in their bowls. And the effects of delivering on the promises of real food have been manifold. 🙌🙌🙌
Why The Farmer’s Dog?
What exactly makes The Farmer’s Dog stand out is their transparency in their products. So you can take them at their word when they say the bag of food prepared uses completely natural ingredients that are preservative-free, with every meal prepared being human-quality.
The founders themselves have even stated on record that they frequently sample everything on their menus (themselves!) to make sure that the food meets their incredibly high standards. And if it’s good enough for them…😏
All of their recipes are designed and put together by certified veterinary nutritionists, which means that these meals don’t include any harmful substances. For dogs with specific allergies, these would be taken into account in drawing up each individual dietary plan. 🤩
As another check and balance, each and every menu item is also approved by the Veterinary Society of America, and all meals are freshly cooked by kitchens approved by the US Department of Agriculture. The brand has deliberately opted to do all cooking in-house, avoiding any quality control deficiencies which may arise from outsourcing. We love that commitment. 💯
Finally, the brand has also made it extremely easy to get on board. They offer a completely flexible and easily adjustable meal plan, which may be altered through the brand’s website and your own account. If the dog doesn’t love the food, the brand will send additional recipes to give it a second shot, or customers may instead receive a refund if they choose to donate the food to a shelter. We love that no-wastage life! 😎
Shipping is also free and can be put on a delivery schedule, ensuring that the meals keep coming as and when required.
As an added bonus, the brand also uses eco-friendly packaging designed specifically not to harm the planet. They’ve truly thought of it all, haven’t they? 🤯
Our head-to-tail experience with The Farmer’s Dog
As an online service whose single goal is to generate tailored meal plans, the first thing that The Farmer’s Dog asks you to do is to fill out a questionnaire about your dog.
And as we needed to try the service to see if it really did live up to expectation, we decided to sign on the dotted digital line for our Boston Terrier, Neely! 🐶
The list of questions was pretty extensive, which is expected for a product that relies on a wealth of knowledge of its furry consumers. Even then, it only took around fifteen minutes to complete it. 👌
It started with the basics, like Neely’s weight, height, age and breed, but soon after delved into much more specific prods, including how much exercise he liked (he’s not exactly the most active dog, and would much rather curl up on the sofa than explore the local dog park), what hs most common behavioral traits were, his body shape (which if we’re being honest…he’s a little bit of a chunky monkey), whether or not he had any underlying health issues or allergies and what his eating habits were. If anything, this’ll be a good test of how well you know your pup. 😂
The answers we were given were pretty much spot on with what we expected. We were advised that Neely should eat around 650 calories worth of food a day and we were offered 4 separate menu items that included all of the proteins that they use for their meals – beef, chicken, turkey and pork. Works perfectly for us, as Neely isn’t exactly a fussy eater. 😇
After we’d completed the questionnaire, signed off on the menu selection, and entered our billing information, we were then able to take advantage of the 14 day test period given to all of the Farmers’ Dogs’ new customers.
A quick jiffy later, the first set of meals arrived like clockwork a few days later, packed in dry ice and bags that were divided into daily meals. This essentially idiot-proofed the process, needing us to merely fill Neely’s bowl with one bag every day and he did the rest. 🥳 The reviews were right, and he got stuck straight in and before we knew it, Neely had cleaned his bowl out entirely. 🤤🤤🤤
You’re probably wondering what exactly was on the menu. As Neely doesn’t have any allergies or health issues, and isn’t a picky eater, we were offered the full spectrum of the 4 menu items that The Farmer’s Dog provides, and we gladly accepted them as it gave us the chance to offer Neely a wider range of food options. Variety is, after all the spice of a dog’s life. 😎
The 4 meals they supplied for Neely were:
Pork 🐖 – Which mixes green beans, sweet potato, cauliflower, pork liver, potato, fish oil, and The Farmer’s Dog’s patented blend of nutrients with the primary protein.
Chicken 🐓 – Which includes bok choy, brussels sprouts, fish oil, broccoli (which we were frankly amazed that he loved), and the same nutrient blend along with the main protein.
Beef 🐄 – Accompanying the hearty protein, this meal includes the nutrient blend (that features all of the vitamins that Neely needs), sweet potato, lentils, carrots, beef liver, kale, fish oil, and sunflower seeds.
Turkey 🦃 – Along with this Thanksgiving favorite (Neely’s clear favorite, might I add), this meal includes parsnips, broccoli, spinach, fish oil, and the patented blend of nutrients that makes sure that he gets all of the vitamins that he needs.
Neely clearly favored the turkey, but this didn’t matter all that much as we got the same end result of every meal: A bowl that was licked clean, double-checked and then licked again. 😘😘😘
From that point on, we were charged just before every order shipped (roughly every 2 months or so), and we’ve never had an issue with the service. The food arrives as regular as clockwork, we store it and thaw it and Neely eats it. Foolproof. 💯
On reflection, the only thing we’d caution new customers of is that since all meals served up were fresh, these would either have to be refrigerated or frozen upon receiving them. The meals may then be served cold (if refrigerated) or even thawed (if frozen). Warm water may also be added, if the dogs prefer warmed food. This means fridge space has to be reserved for our furry friends, and some time may need to be set aside for food prep – a worthy investment in our opinion. 👍
Is it worth it?
Since it all sounds amazing, all that remains is pricing and figuring out if The Farmer’s Dog’s offering falls within budget. Lucky for us, the brand is incredibly upfront about their pricing plans and the initial questionnaire provides a realistic estimate on what you’re likely to fork out.
The plans start at $2 per day, but rises according to the weight, size and nutritional demands of the dog. As an estimate, Neely fell within the 25-pound weight category, which placed his meals at roughly $5 per day. This works out to around $35 per week, and $240 per month.
We’re billed 2 months at a go, meaning that amounts to $280 per billing cycle. That said, we’re pleased to report that we haven’t been charged any hidden fees. Compared to the price of kibbles bought from a commercial pet store, the $140 per month doesn’t seem all that outrageous, especially considering the exponentially increased health pay-off. 👌👌👌
If, after making a purchase, you have a change of heart or your dog doesn’t appear to fall in love with the recipes the way Neely did, the subscription is incredibly easy to cancel or adjust (in frequency). Like we mentioned above, refunds are available if you decide to donate the food to a shelter.
What other customers are saying
Don’t just take our word for it – consider the tons of reviews generated after over the 2 million meals that The Farmer’s Dog has served up in their past 7 years of service.
“When she started eating healthier, she started being more active, smiling more, playing more!” – Coco’s dad. Absolutely music to a pet owner’s ears.
“If I can invest in her health and be proactive, I think it’s worth it” – Tyene’s dad
The brand has helpfully featured a whole bunch of reviews on their site, categorised specifically according to the benefits generated through the dogs’ consumption of the meals: From pleasing picky eaters to helping a dog achieve its optimal weight, the benefits of their offering clearly seem to be making a real impact. 🥳
Our final verdict
Bearing in mind the brand’s amazing mission and equally-inspired product, we’re of the humble view that a subscription with The Farmer’s Dog is most definitely a worthy investment. (Neely whole-heartedly agrees.)
For us, the service that they provide is more than worth it and we couldn’t imagine life without it, nor would we want to deprive Neely of the meals that he adores.
We understand that the investment may be steep for a few pet owners – in which case it may be worth considering how to do a little home-research and DIY some solutions for better dog-meal prepping. However, for those who have some cash to spare, why not leave it to the experts who literally take care of it all on your behalf? 😉
The Farmer’s Dog discounts
There are currently no discounts available. However, on Black Friday and during other promotions, we have noticed The Farmer’s Dog had offered 50% off your first box – no discount code needed. So keep an eye out for them!