Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food Review

Open Farm offers a range of product options from gently cooked, kibble, and freeze-dried. Founded in 2014, Open Farm is a relatively new pet food company that has carved out a space within the industry by focusing on ethically and humanely raised meats, transparency, and being environmentally conscious. Each ingredient can be traced from the bag to its origin, and any pet owner can scan a QR code in order to see the testing done on individual diets for pathogens.

Open Farm Gently Cooked dog food offers four different recipes for adult dogs. All recipes are grain-free, however, none contain potatoes, peas or legumes. There are three single-protein recipes (beef, turkey, and chicken), and one multi-protein recipe (beef & salmon). All of the Open Farm cooked recipes are high in protein, high in fat, and low to restricted in carbohydrates (greater than 27% protein, greater than 55% fat, and less than 12% carbohydrates on a caloric basis).

Diets with these ingredients and composition may be ideal for picky dogs, dogs who are sensitive to carbohydrates due to intolerances, and active dogs who need higher protein and fat for energy and muscle recovery.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: No. The information gathered below was from their website in December 2021.

Who formulated Open Farm Dog Food? Open Farm lightly cooked dog food recipes were formulated by a team of animal nutritionists and food scientists. Open Farm employs someone with a Master’s in Animal Nutrition and a PhD Food Scientist and consults with other nutritionists and pet food experts as well.

Where does Open Farm source their Ingredients from? Open Farm sources their ingredients from human-grade suppliers, using certified humanely raised meats and ocean-wise fish within their recipes. All incoming ingredients are sourced throughout the USA and Canada and are fully traceable. Open Farm requires suppliers to give a certificate of analysis and perform quality control testing prior to ingredients coming into the facility.

Where are Open Farm’s Human Grade Dog Food Recipes Manufactured? All gently cooked Open Farm diets are manufactured at a human-grade facility in Ohio.

What Quality Control Procedures does Open Farm Lightly Cooked Dog Food perform on their foods? Open Farm sends out samples to third-party labs for independent testing after the foods are produced to test for nutritional value along with pathogens like salmonella, e coli, heavy metals, and mycotoxins. Products are held by the company until the negative pathogen testing comes back from the lab. Each Open Farm package contains a QR code that you can scan to see the results!

Has All Provide Invested in Digestibility or AAFCO Feeding Trials? No AAFCO Feeding Trials or Digestibility trials were mentioned on their website.

Are Full Nutritional Profiles Found Online for the Open Farm Recipes? Full nutritional analysis can be found on all the Open Farm recipes.

Has Open Farm Dog Food ever been Recalled? No.

RECIPES:

Open Farm Lightly Cooked Beef Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, carrots, kale, beef liver, zucchini, butternut squash, pumpkin, water, flaxseed, tricalcium phosphate, salt, salmon oil, potassium chloride, sunflower oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, chicory root, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, ribofavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, niacin supplement, dried kelp, tumeric, cinnamon.

AAFCO Statement:Open Farm Grass-Fed Beef Gently Cooked Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 8%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 35%
  • Carbs: 17%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 61%
  • Carbs: 12%

Open Farm Lightly Cooked Surf & Turf Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, carrots, kale, salmon, beef liver, butternut squash, pumpkin, water, flaxseed, coconut oil, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, chia seeds, chicory root, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, ribofavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, niacin supplement, dried kelp, tumeric, cinnamon.

AAFCO Statement: Open Farm Surf & Turf Gently Cooked Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs only.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 8.5%
  • Fat: 7.5%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 42%
  • Fat: 33%
  • Carbs: 15%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 31%
  • Fat: 58%
  • Carbs: 11%

Open Farm Lightly Cooked Turkey Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Turkey, kale, carrots, apples, butternut squash, pumpkin, water, flaxseed, coconut oil, salmon oil, tricalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, chia seeds, chicory root, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, ribofavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, niacin supplement, dried kelp, tumeric, cinnamon.

AAFCO Statement: Open Farm Homestead Turkey Gently Cooked Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.

Balanced for adult dogs only.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 43%
  • Fat: 31%
  • Carbs: 16%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 56%
  • Carbs: 12%

Open Farm Lightly Cooked Chicken Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Chicken, carrots, kale, butternut squash, apples, pumpkin, zucchini, water, flaxseed, coconut oil, salmon oil, tricalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, chia seeds, chicory root, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, niacin supplement, dried kelp, tumeric, cinnamon.

AAFCO Statement: Open Farm Harvest Chicken Gently Cooked Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance. 

Balanced for adult dogs only.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 48%
  • Fat: 29%
  • Carbs: 11%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 55%
  • Carbs: 7%

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ( FAQ )

Where to buy Open Farm fresh Dog Food?

Open Farm’s lightly cooked recipes can be either purchased online through their website or found in select quality dog food stores within the USA and Canada. You can access their full menu of recipes and set up a meal plan fairly easily online with delivery to your home, and if you set up re-occurring delivery you will receive a discount on your subscription.

How do you store and feed Open Farm gently cooked Dog Food?

The Open Farm gently cooked recipes are sold frozen and must be defrosted prior to feeding. If you purchase via their website the foods will be shipped on dry ice to your door. Then you will need to thaw out the portion of food you will need for feeding your pup. Foods should defrost overnight in the fridge, however, if you do need to defrost an Open Farm dog meal more quickly you can use one of two fast-thaw options.

The first is placing the food in the plastic package within the bowl of cool water and rotating it until defrosted. The second is removing the food from the plastic package and placing it into a microwave-safe container. Then using your microwave’s defrost setting to thaw the food. Both of these methods are considered food-safe and will not influence the nutritional value or safety of the food.

Do not heat up Open Farm lightly cooked recipes on the stovetop, or leave them on the counter to defrost. Re-heating the food to high temperatures can affect the nutritional value of the food. Some vitamins are added by companies after the cooking process in their raw forms because they are heat sensitive. And leaving food on the counter to thaw is not considered food-safe per the USDA.

For full instructions on how to store and feed Open Farm lightly cooked recipes check out their website or call their customer service line.

Is Open Farm Lightly Cooked Food Balanced for Puppies?

No, the gently cooked recipes by Open Farm are not balanced for puppies only for adult dogs.

Open Farm vs. Kibble – how does it compare?

The main differences in the Open Farmed cooked vs. kibbled recipes come down to the processing and preservation method. Kibbled diets typically use one of two processing methods – either high heat for a short period of time or low heat or a long period of time. This is done to both cooks the food to remove pathogens and to dehydrate the food to help with shelf stability. In contrast with a lightly cooked recipe that cooks only enough to remove pathogens but not to dehydrate, this leads to a less processed final product.

The other difference between a lightly cooked vs a kibbled product is the use of preservatives. Lightly cooked dog foods use the freezer as the tool to preserve the foods, whereas a kibbled product needs to rely on some type of antioxidant or combination of herbs to do so. Many natural kibbled products will use Mixed Tocopherols (vitamin E) and Rosemary Extract as a preservative, but other products may use synthetic antioxidants like BHA/BHT or chemicals as a form of preservation.

Is Open Farm a Raw Dog Food?

Open Farm actually sells a variety of different products – including freeze-dried raw. The main difference between their freeze-dried raw and lightly cooked products has to do with the ingredients and preservation method. Open Farm’s gently cooked recipes are 100% human-grade, meaning they are from start to finish sourced and produced within the human food chain. The Open Farm raw is not human-grade as the production of raw pet foods is not allowed to occur in a human food processing facility.

Another difference is the processing method, lightly cooked food is cooked just enough in order to remove potential pathogens. Freeze-drying involves a combination of freezing the product, then lowering the pressure, and removing ice (moisture) by a process called sublimation. Previous research on digestibility of both cooked and freeze-dried products shows they have similar results as far as high digestibility for dogs, suggesting they have similar benefits. As Open Farm does test and hold for pathogens on both products they are both free of pathogens, however, it should be noted that freeze-drying does not kill pathogens.

Can Open Farm be Used as a Topper?

Yes, the Open Farm menu and recipe options were created for pet parents who are interested in rotational and combination feeding. Since Open Farm has kibbled, freeze-dried and gently cooked options pet parents can easily mix and match products to suit their lifestyle and budget. Gently cooked diets are great options as toppers for picky dogs, or to supplement kibbled products to provide a variety of fresh foods to support the microbiome. The Open Farm cooked recipes can also be offered as a meal topper for senior dogs, or those who need to gain weight in order to encourage them to eat.

How much does Open Farm Lightly Cooked Cost?

The cost of Open Farm Human-Grade Dog food will depend on the size and activity level of your dog. But if we consider that the average 50 lb dog will eat about 1000 calories per day, and the chicken recipe is $142.49 per 18 lbs and 37 calories per ounce. That means that a 50 lb dog would need to each about 27 oz of Open Farm per day and the cost of feeding that dog would be around $13.37 per day. This amounts to the price of $401 to feed Open Farm lightly cooked to a 50 lb dog each month. Depending on what you are currently feeding this might be more or less expensive but if you would like a quote for your dog check out their website’s calculators under each recipe on their menu.

Are Open Farm Recipes Good for Dogs with Allergies?

There are two types of allergies that we typically see in dogs that can be managed with food- one is food allergies, and the other is environmental allergies. Though both of these conditions can have similar clinical signs like yeast infections, itchy skin, and skin redness/irritation – their management with food is different.

For dogs with seasonal allergies, we typically look for higher protein, higher fat diets that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids – and though all of the Open Farm Lightly Cooke recipes are high in protein and fat, the Open Farm Surf and Turf and the Open Farm Beef recipe both have a lower omega 3 to 6 ratio which can be more anti-inflammatory and help with skin disease, along with other inflammatory conditions.

For dogs with food allergies, we want to choose diets that they are not allergic to! This might sound simple, but it can be difficult if your dog is allergic to multiple proteins. Every dog is unique and dogs can be allergic to any food that contains proteins, however, the most common dog food allergens are chicken and beef. This means that out of the Open Farm Lightly Cooked recipes, the Turkey recipe may be the best choice for dogs with suspected food allergies.

Are Open Farm Meals Good for Dogs with Loose Stools or Diarrhea?

Typically when we look for dog foods for pups that suffer from loose stools or diarrhea we want to reach for highly digestible, low-fat options. However, there are many different causes of loose stools in dogs, from food intolerances to fiber-responsive loose stools. As all of the gently cooked Open Farm recipes are high fat, low fiber, they may not be a good choice for dogs with sensitivities to fat or that need a high fiber diet. For dogs with food intolerances, the Open Farm Lightly Cooked Turkey Recipe may be a good choice, but this is highly dependant on your dog and their needs.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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