Other Great Sites
Stay informed! Make sure you sign up for new and updated foods, food recalls and important dog food and health information:
Open Farm Dog Foods is a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto, where their foods are formulated. Owner Jacqueline Prehogan and her husband founded the company because she wanted to make high quality foods that met her animal welfare, sustainability and transparency standards.
Open Farm sells foods in Canada, US and Australia and this review covers the foods sold in the US. The US foods are manufactured in Minnesota by a family-owned and operated company in Minnesota named Barrett Ag Service, with two facilities making 150 different pet and animal foods.
Open Farm claims to be passionate about finding the most sustainable and ethical ways to obtain quality protein and ingredients without compromising their values.
The company does appear to make an effort to use better quality ingredients, and claims to be meticulous about sourcing. Their marketing uses terms like humanely-raised, ethical sourcing, traceable ingredients and sustainability. These are descriptions that sound good but have no legal meaning under pet food regulatory standards.
Some ingredients do appear to be better quality. For example, their beef recipes use grass fed, pasture raised , grass finished meat, and fish recipes contain wild-caught fish. The company claims some of the produce is organic or non-GMO. The produce in the freeze dried food is all organic, and the freeze dried foods have very good scores with the only points deducted being for excessive added vitamins in some of the recipes. .
But these standards are inconsistent, and this is borne out by the fact that they add excessive vitamin and mineral premix. This indicates poor quality ingredients that don’t meet pet food nutritional standards without the addition of these nutrients.
The use of sunflower oil in most foods is another quality concern. Seed oils are highly processed and are high in omega-6 fatty acids that can lead to systemic and gut inflammation. The foods also contain coconut oil, which has been shown to cause undesirable changes in the gut lining.
When it comes to ingredient safety, some lines have foods known to have high pesticide or herbicide levels, and others are known to be genetically modified. These are important safety concerns, especially when they appear in the top 5 on the ingredient list. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers post a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. This is especially true of crops (like legumes) that are known to be spray dried with glyphosate. GMO foods have limited safety studies and they lack nutrients compared to non GMO foods.
The average score of Open Farm Foods and each sub-brand are listed below. Click on any line below to view the individual foods and scores.
With an average score of 4.4, Open Farm’s Ancient Grains line is considered a high risk dry dog food. It’s high in carbohydrates, averaging about nearly 38%, with proteins at almost 28%.
Excessive vitamin and mineral premix suggests poor quality or overly processed ingredients.
Some ingredients are known to contain higher pesticide or herbicide residues risk. Brown rice is another safety concern because of potential arsenic contamination.
Although the Salmon recipe is stated to be wild-caught fish, it’s worth noting that it’s Pacific salmon, and some Pacific fish has been contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
With an average score of 6.6, Open Farm’s Rustic Stew line is considered a moderate risk wet dog food. The line is high in carbohydrate content, at 33%. Protein averages 48%. Its excessive added vitamin and mineral premix suggests lower quality ingredients, with nutrients likely lost in high heat processing.
The food also contains ingredients known to contain higher pesticide or herbicide residues. Even though these are non-GMO ingredients, non-GMO status doesn’t guarantee that foods are grown without these chemicals.
The fish proteins are wild-caught. Again, the salmon is Pacific salmon, which is a concern due to some Pacific fish being contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Open Farm Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food is considered a low risk dog food with an overall score of 10. The food contains an average of 8.8% carbohydrates and 42% protein.
Otherwise, these foods contain higher quality ingredients like grass fed, pasture raised, grass finished beef, wild caught fish (except for added salmon oil which appears to be farmed) and organic produce.
Open Farm Gently Dog Food is considered a moderate risk dog food with an overall rating of 6.6 . Carbohydrates average about 15% and protein almost 41%. The company doesn’t disclose the cooking temperature or time in these foods, so it’s not clear whether the “gently cooked” description is accurate.
As with the other lines, there’s grass fed, pasture raised and grass finished beef as well as wild caught salmon in the recipes. Again, the fact that it’s Pacific fish raises a concern about radiation.
Excessive vitamins and minerals are added despite a few better quality ingredients. Safety concerns include foods with higher pesticide or herbicide residues as well as a genetically modified ingredient,
To date, there have been no recalls involving Open Farm dog foods.