I love dogs more than most people I’ve met – Michelle Beadle
Every dog lover knows how vitally important their best friend’s daily diet is, and the impact and effect that it can have on their lives. And first and foremost, The Farmer’s Dog, regardless of whatever else they may be and whatever else they do, are dog lovers.
The company was started with a simple mission, to turn their unconditional love for dogs into uncomplicated care, by transforming the way that the world thought, and thinks, about dog’s food and their well-being.
Founded on the simple idea that dogs deserve to be fed the same quality of food as their human companions are, and that the bland processed food that continually sold itself as being ‘natural and ‘healthy’ for our canine friends wasn’t what it purported to be, and that they could, and would do better, The Farmer’s Dog has revolutionized the pet food industry.
They were, and are, fueled by love, but they’re also guided by science and up to the minute current nutritional data, and that combination coupled with their belief in putting their principles before profit has seen the firm grow beyond the wildest dreams of the two men who started it to improve the lives of their best friends.
The Farmer’s Dog makes fresh dog food that uses human-quality ingredients, that’s delivered to their ever-increasing customer base. They don’t have a supermarket distribution system and they don’t deal with the online corporate giants, all of the food that they make is sent directly from The Farmer’s Dog to you.
Every meal that they create is specifically designed to cater to the individual dietary needs of the dog that it was made for, and it’s that attention to detail and their openness and honesty that has helped the firm to establish a huge social media presence, which in turn perked the interest of the mainstream press and pushed The Framer’s Dog to the forefront of the industry that they so desperately wanted to change.
With hindsight, the idea that propelled The Farmer’s Dog into the limelight was a simple, but incredibly effective one. That the food that a dog eats should be as healthy and nutritionally balanced as the food that its owner eats.
But it worked, and it continues to work and the company is thriving and every day they get one step closer to achieving their dream of changing the way that every dog owner feeds their four-legged friends.
The Farmer’s Dog Story
We’re all steered to do what we do partly due to experience, but mostly because of our desire to follow our hearts in an attempt to be happy.
The Farmer’s Dog didn’t begin with a grandiose plan, it started humbly and quietly when its co-founder Brett, after chasing his tail trying to find a readily available food that would help to calm and soothe the digestive problems that his beloved two-year-old puppy Jada was suffering, followed veterinary advice and began to make his own dog food.
By creating a menu that drew its inspiration from the pictures on the front of the packets of popular dog food brands rather than the ingredients listed on the sides, Brett put together a simple, effective menu that used fresh produce and proteins and Jada took to it with gusto. The more food that Bret made for her, the more she ate, and the more she ate, the healthier Jada became.
Figuring that if the food that he made for Jada could help her, then maybe it could do the same for other dogs, Brett teamed up with his friend Jonathan (and his best canine buddy, who ironically was named Buddy), to make the sort of food that they thought every dog deserved, and in two thousand and fourteen, The Farmer’s Dog became a reality.
Having learned that the truth was a flexible commodity and that just because it says something on the packaging it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product will actually adhere to that statement,
The Farmer’s Dog set out to do what seemed to be impossible, and make meals using natural ingredients that were based on what dogs actually needed, and wanted, to eat rather than following the staid, traditional ideas that were responsible for forging the direction that the industry had been powered by for far too long.
And their devotion to the concept that their product would, and will be exactly as described, was the breath of fresh air that dog owners across the country wanted to hear.
The Fresh Dilemma
Before we go any further, and look at The Farmer’s Dog and everything that it offers and provides in any more detail, we thought it would be president to take a moment to explain exactly why a diet using fresh and natural ingredients is so important for your dog’s health, and why off the shelf dog food isn’t always the best dietary option for your canine chum,
The main problem that dog food is troubled by, is the lack of controls and the reasonably poor standards that govern its manufacture.
As it isn’t as stringently monitored as human food production is, the companies and brands who make the food that your dog depends on can, and often do fly fast and loose with the truth.
The ingredients that a lot of dog foods are supposed to use are often present, but in much lower quantities than the packaging would have you believe, and dog food that states that it’s made with a certain protein, might contain just five percent of that advertised protein, and could even have sourced it from slaughterhouses whose safety standards and health regulations fall far below par.
Much as your dog might enjoy kibble, and dry dog food, in order to create those bite-sized chunks, the proteins and ingredients that it contains are highly processed, which can significantly reduce any supposed health benefits that the packaging claims it’s imbued with.
It’s also a statistical fact that up to eighty percent of the dogs in American households have some form of gum disease or tooth decay and that sixty percent of our furry friends are also classified as being clinically obese by the Veterinary Society of America.
And what do the majority of those dogs have in common? They’re all fed on a diet of off-the-shelf dog food, which despite the best intentions of their owners, rarely lives up to the hype that’s used in order to sell it to pup parents everywhere.
Fresh, Nutritious, and Delicious – Why Choose The Farmer’s Dog?
Trust has been imperative to the success of The Farmer’s Dog and it’s their adherence to the truth that has, in part, helped them to become who they are. Whatever the label on the packaging says, you can take that as canine gospel, as the company only uses the freshest and most wholesome ingredients in their food.
So what does it mean if a bag of food has The Farmer’s Dog’s brand on it and how is it different? For a start as well as using the previously mentioned fresh proteins and natural ingredients, everything that goes into every Farmer’s Dog meal is human quality.
That means that if you wanted to, you could eat the food that you order for your best friend yourself. In fact, the companies founders Jonathan and Brett are on record as stating that they frequently sample everything on their menus to ensure that they meet their incredibly high standards.
Each and every menu item is also approved by the Veterinary Society of America, which is another big tick in the “should I feed it to my dog” mental checklist that is always omnipresent in the back of every dog owner’s mind.
And, every single meal that The Farmer’s Dog sends out to their customers and their hungry companions is cooked and freshly prepared in USDA (which in case you’re wondering, is the United States Department of Agriculture) approved kitchens. The Farmer’s Dog makes all of their meals in America, doesn’t outsource or rely on any other company to do their hard work for them and they keep everything in-house.
Then there are the customer reviews that the company had garnered along the way, the majority of which are the sort of glowing testimonials that their competition would pay top dollar for.
The Farmer’s Dog however would never resort to those sort of tactics, as they prefer to let their product do all of their talking for them, which it does. And it’s found a willing and receptive audience, who are universally delighted with the food that they’ve been supplied with.
Although, as happy as the humans are with The Farmer’s Dog, they’re not half as delighted as the dogs who eat it are, as the general consensus among the four-legged community is that any bowl that’s filled with food from The Farmer’s Dog, won’t be full for long and is destined to be licked clean.
The Farmer’s Dog Highs and The Farmer’s Dog Lows
While you’re probably thinking that if something seems to be too good to be true, it’s usually because it is, that isn’t the case as far as The Farmer’s Dog is concerned, and, for the most part, they are the exception to that age-old rule.
Even though the service that they offer and provide is, as we’ve just said, exceptionally good, there are a few drawbacks that might give you pause for thought, so we’re going to quickly run through the things that should draw you and your dog to them like a bear to honey, and some of the things that might make you want to circle the honey pot before taking the lid off and diving straight in.
The Farmer’s Highs
So let’s start with the good news first. The Farmer’s Dog only uses completely natural ingredients and none of the food they prepare contains preservatives, so what you read on the label is what’s in the food, nothing more and nothing less.
All of their recipes are designed and put together by certified veterinary nutritionists which means that there isn’t anything in any of their meals that could harm your dog in any way, and any and all allergies that your boy may have are taken into account before their individual dietary plan is created.
The plan that you put in place and decide to follow with The Farmer’s Dog is completely flexible and easily adjustable, and anytime that you want to change it, for whatever reason, you can just log into your account and make any alterations that you want to.
The shipping is free, and you can work out a delivery schedule with The Farmer’s Dog that suits you rather than the courier, so you can ensure that you’ll be home when the food arrives at your door. And the packaging that they use, as it’s eco-friendly and designed to help and not harm the planet, is also simple to dispose of.
The Farmer’s Lows
Let’s start with the most obvious flaw in The Farmer’s Dog’s armor, and surprisingly, it’s also one of the brand’s major strengths.
As the food that they create is fresh, it doesn’t have an incredibly long shelf life and needs to either be refrigerated or frozen (and if you do freeze it, it needs to be completely thawed before it can be served to your dog) as soon as it arrives. Storing the food can be an issue and slightly problematic.
Once you’ve opened the bags that the food arrives in, that’s it, you have to fully commit to feeding your boy the contents, as the bags are not resealable. The meals are prepared and packaged fresh, and as soon as they’re opened, they need to be served and eaten.
Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but as the subscription service The Farmer’s Dog offers isn’t exactly cheap and is going to leave a lasting impression on your pocketbook, you won’t want to waste a single meal that arrives for your dog.
The relatively high cost, compared to the off-the-shelf options, of the food that The Farmer’s Dog supplies could be one of the significant deciding factors that determine whether or not you’ll use the service.
The number of proteins that they use to build their menus is also limited and revolves around four principle choices (chicken, pork, beef, and turkey), which can be frustrating if your dog has any allergies directly related to any of the four or simply refuses to eat any of them.
Again, this is something that you’ll need to consider before you sign up for the food delivery service that The Farmer’s Dog offers.
Signing On The Dotted Line – How Does The Farmer’s Dog Work?
As it’s an online service whose single goal is to generate menus and meals based on your dog’s individual needs and characteristics, 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. Despite the fact that the list of questions that we were asked and had to answer was quite extensive, it only took around fifteen minutes to complete it.
Before we got to the finer details about Neely, it asked the usual run-of-the-mill stuff that any subscription service does and wanted to know where we were based, and our contact details before it moved on to Neely.
It started with the basics, like weight, height age, and breed, and then things became a little more interesting as the questionnaire became incredibly specific and wanted to know how much exercise he liked (he’s not exactly the most active dog, and would rather curl up on the sofa than explore the local dog park), what hs most common behavioral traits were, his body shape (which as he’s a chunky fellow was a little rude, but necessary in order to establish the best diet for him), whether or not he had any underlying health issues or allergies and what his eating habits were.
The answers we were given were pretty much spot on, as we were advised that he should eat around six hundred and fifty calories worth of food a day and offered us, well Neely, four separate menu items that included all of the proteins that they use for their meals – beef, chicken, turkey and pork 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 fourteen-day try it and see if it works for your dog offer that The Farmer’s Dog give all of their new customers, so we sat back and waited for Neely’s first delivery.
They were, and are, quick off the mark, and the initial meals were with us a couple of days later and arrived packed in dry ice and bags that were divided into daily meals, which meant that all we had to do was 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.
So even though the two-week barrier gave us the opportunity to discontinue the service if we elected to, we figured seeing as Neely had enjoyed the food so much we’d keep the service going for a while at least.
From that point on, we were charged just before every order shipped, which was roughly every two months or so, and apart from having to find enough room in our freezer to store the delivery when it arrived (which presented its own set of problems that we were forced to deal with), 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.
As we highlighted the fact that Neely doesn’t have any allergies, health issues and isn’t particularly fussy about the proteins that he will and won’t eat, we were offered the full spectrum of the four menu items that The Farmer’s Dog provides, and we gladly accepted them as it gave us the chance to vary our boy’s diet and make sure that he didn’t become too dependent or attached to one certain meal rather than another. Variety is, after all the spice of a dog’s life. The four meals they supply for Neely are:
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 (we never thought he’d eat it, but he does), and the same nutrient blend along with the main protein.
Beef – As well as the main, 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 the Thanksgiving favorite that Neely is more than a little partial to, 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.
Even though his overwhelming love of Turkey, used to drive Neely to extreme lengths to make sure that he laid his paws on his favorite bird since he’s been firmly ensconced in the grip of The Farmer’s Dog menu, he doesn’t seem to mind which of the four meals he has, as the end result is always the same, a bowl that’s been licked clean, double-checked and then licked again.
Pricing It Out – How Much Does The Farmer’s Dog Cost
They’re incredibly upfront about their pricing plans, and while they start at around two dollars per day for small dogs, the price does rise according to the weight, size, and nutritional demands of your dog.
If you’re worried that the costs might be prohibitive, you can complete the company’s online questionnaire before you sign up which will give you a realistic estimate of how much the service will cost before you make any sort of commitment.
We’ll break down what it costs us to feed Neely using The Farmer’s Dog and hopefully, that’ll give you a rough idea of the costs involved before you go any further.
As he falls into the twenty-five-pound weight category, with a few extras, it costs us roughly five bucks a day to feed him, which works out as thirty-five dollars a week and one hundred and forty a month.
When we’re billed, it’s for two hundred and eighty dollars at a time, but as that happens every eight weeks and there are no extra costs involved (and by that we mean we’re not actually buying dog food from the pet store anymore) it doesn’t seem all that expensive.
However if you have more than one boy in your household, or your dog is a lot bigger than Neely is, we can see how using The Farmer’s Dog could become incredibly expensive, incredibly quickly.
Then there’s the additional worry about whether or not your boy will fall in love with The Farmer’s Dog menu in the same way that Neely did. So what happens if your dog doesn’t actually like the menu that they’ve designed for him?
Well, if that does happen, you can always contact The Farmer’s Dog and they’ll create a brand new menu that works for your boy and won’t charge you for it, as they replace the meals that you can’t use for free.
Or if you decide to stop the service or donate the meals to a shelter, if you’re already in the billing period, The Farmer’s Dog will refund whatever you’ve been charged.
That brings us neatly to the other question that’s probably running through your mind right now. Given how difficult some subscription services make it to stop using their services, what happens if, and when, you want to cancel The Farmer’s Dog?
Unlike a lot of other services, it’s incredibly easy to cancel, you just log into your account and either adjust the frequency of your deliveries or stop the service. It’s that simple.
Listening To The People – What The Reviews Say
We did our research before we even thought about handing over our boy’s dietary wellbeing to The Farmer’s Dog and the fact that you’re reading this, proves that you’re just as cautious as we were.
Here are some of the things customers had to say about The Farmer’s Dog!
“When she started eating healthier, she started being more active, smiling more, playing more!” – Coco’s dad
“If I can invest in her health and be proactive, I think it’s worth it” – Tyene’s dad
And, if we’re honest, as well as the high praise that they regularly receive for the food that they send out to dogs all over the country, there are a few issues that keep on raising their head among their customers.
The main complaint is centered around their customer service team and the way that it often takes them a long time to address any complaints or queries that their customers might have and how it can sometimes take a little too long to cancel the subscription service.
It is an issue that the company needs to address, but it’s one that they’ve taken in hand, and like any small company that’s faced with rapid growth, there are going to be some teething problems along the way.
They seem to have a grip on the situation but it might be something that you want to monitor carefully before signing up, as an order that isn’t canceled in a timely fashion can end up costing you money that you don’t have for a product that you don’t want.
The other issue that customers seem to have with the company is whether or not the ingredients that they use to make their food are actually human-quality.
As they’re noted for their openness and transparency, we can’t imagine for a second that it wouldn’t be, and as we’ve had absolutely no cause to complain about any of the food that we’ve served Neely, we can’t understand why any of their customers might think that this would be the case.
Admittedly, we haven’t actually followed Jonathan and Brett’s lead and tried any of Neely’s food, but as we’ve never had any reason to, we don’t doubt the veracity of the ingredients that The Farmer’s Dog uses.
So Is The Farmer’s Dog Worth The Cost?
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.
But, we can understand how people could see it as a glorified expense that makes little or no sense in an age where times always seem to be incredibly tough. Yes, it is expensive when you compare it to feeding your dog with off-the-shelf supermarket dog food, but truthfully there really is no way to compare the two.
Everything that The Farmer’s Dog does is designed to cater to the individual dietary needs of your dog, and the meals that they supply are made for your dog and your dog alone.
The ingredients that they use are of a far higher quality than anything that you’d find in brand-specific dog food in a supermarket and every meal that they make is cooked with attention to detail and shipped to their customers in a timely fashion.
Whether or not the service that this New York-based company that uses fresh, domestic ingredients in its natural dog food that’s cooked and formulated on site is worth the price that they charge per meal, is for you and you alone to decide.
But if you do decide to use them, you’ll find it easy to sign up for the service on their site and they’ve made it simple to change your plan as often as you want to by simply logging into your account and ticking a few boxes.
As we’ve said, we couldn’t imagine life without The Farmer’s Dog, but at the end of the day, whether or not you choose to take advantage of, and use their service is entirely up to you.