Pets are Family: How The Farmer’s Dog Became a Well-Known Brand
The Farmer’s Dog got its start when a couple of pet parents decided that their dogs deserved something better than kibble. After all, those burnt-looking nuggets contained some unusual ingredients that probably weren’t the healthiest – and that kibble itself really didn’t seem all that appetizing.
Co-founder Brett’s dog, Jada, was suffering from serious digestive issues. When Jada’s vet thought that there might be a link between kibble and those problems, they recommended home cooking. Brett gave it a try – and Jada started to feel better right away.
Brett and his friend Jonathan felt like dogs everywhere could benefit from meals made with real meat and healthy veggies. They decided to build a company that offered healthy dog food that they’d be happy to eat themselves.
Working alongside veterinary nutritionists, Brett and Jonathan created fresh recipes made with human-grade ingredients. The result? Dog food made without anything weird. It’s perfectly safe for people to eat, but it’s designed to offer dogs complete, balanced nutrition.
At first, the company served just a handful of canine customers around Brooklyn, NY. As orders were cooked up, Brett packed them by hand before they were delivered to their destinations. Dogs loved the food and customers appreciated the quality, convenience, and personal touches that came with it. Naturally, the company grew!
These days, The Farmers Dog delivers millions of meals to tail-wagging customers every month. The fact that the company cooks the food in a commercial kitchen that’s otherwise dedicated to crafting food for humans earned an additional vote of confidence and we decided to join those customers, conceal our identity, and have one of our dogs give that yummy-looking food a try.
How We Tested?
Anyone can read existing reviews of The Farmers Dog and copy what they’ve seen in an attempt to make it their own. That’s not exactly playing fair, in our opinion, but it’s something you might have noticed during your own search for accurate information.
There’s another thing that happens: Some reviewers receive free products and remuneration from companies in exchange for favorable reviews.
We’re not sure if The Farmers Dog participates in programs like these, but we’d like to reassure you that we paid for this food out of pocket, and this review isn’t sponsored or supported by The Farmer’s Dog in any way.
We used exactly the same ordering and payment process everyone else does. And kind of like secret shoppers, we didn’t tell the company that we’d be reviewing the food they sent.
Since our review of The Farmers Dog is completely independent, we didn’t feel pressured to make it all happy and shiny just to please them. Instead, it’s our goal to provide you with a sense of what the actual consumer experience is like.
We provide real reviews because you deserve real in-person opinions, along with pros and cons that can help you make a well-informed decision about whether the product in question is something your own dog will enjoy or benefit from, and whether you’ll benefit in any way.
So…here’s what we did: We ordered from the Farmer’s Dog, making sure to test all the recipes that were on the menu at the time. A real dog ate the food and provided us with immediate, trustworthy feedback. Spoiler alert: He loved it!
Why You Should Trust Our Review of The Farmer’s Dog?
We actually tried this food on one of our dogs. We didn’t copy or aggregate information from other pet parents’ experiences, and we didn’t just regurgitate information offered by the company.
Plus, we wanted to see and smell this stuff for ourselves. Plus, we wanted to know if there’s any difference between the way our dog responds to this food vs. what he normally eats.
Since we’re going to be trying different dog food brands over time, we decided to feed this food to just one dog: Brendan. He’s a four-year old beagle, and he normally eats home-cooked food made with supplements to support overall health. Brendan doesn’t have any concerns, conditions, or special needs. He always passes his checkups with flying colors, and he isn’t a picky eater at all.
We went to The Farmer’s Dog, placed an order just for Brendan, and waited for the first shipment to arrive. We gradually switched Brendan over to The Farmer’s Dog food.
Really, this wasn’t much of a transition, because it looks and smells similar to the homemade recipes we were giving him, but with smaller chunks. He didn’t seem to mind the change in texture.
During the trial period, we looked for any changes in Brendan’s health and behavior. Since he was already at an ideal weight when he started eating The Farmer’s Dog food, we kept an eye on his waistline, too.
Who This Review Is For?
There are tons of dog food reviews out there. We’re not saying that’s bad by any stretch of the imagination – but those reviews are aimed mostly at the average consumer. They seem to be designed to help people decide if pet food is safe, palatable, and nutritious enough for the average dog to eat.
This review is different. We wrote it with extra-engaged pet parents in mind. You’re people like us, who only want the very best for your canine family members. You’re busy, and you think about convenience when you choose products and services for your pets. You don’t mind paying for quality – but you don’t want to waste your money, either!
First things first: We headed over to The Farmer’s Dog and had a quick look around. Wow! The food looked good, and the reviews were pretty convincing.
We liked all the personal touches we found around the site, and we really appreciated how dedicated the company’s owners were to their own dogs.
The fact that Brett started his own dog food company after making home-cooked meals to help Jada get better really touched our hearts.
Still, we weren’t completely convinced. After all, awesome websites and convincing marketing messages can be attached to even the worst products. Like most people, we’ve been fooled before.
Shopping time! We were pleasantly surprised when we were asked to fill in a profile for Brendan. There was no guesswork involved, and that was nice. After answering a few questions, we were set up with a two-week meal plan designed with Brendan’s age, weight, activity level, and general health in mind.
We decided when to have deliveries begin, and that was it.
Time to unbox!
Within a few days, our first box arrived from The Farmer’s Dog. It was well-packed with biodegradable foam (Cool stuff! It dissolves under running water!) plus a friendly warning about the dry ice that kept the food frozen solid on its journey from New York to our house.
A storage container with a feeding guide was included, so we took a look at that first. There was a quick guide to transitioning over to The Farmer’s Dog food, plus tips for opening the packages and storing the food between meals.
The guide also included ingredients lists for all three recipes (Turkey, beef, and pork), plus calories, nutritional analysis, and an AAFCO statement reassuring us that this food is complete and balanced, suitable for fulfilling dogs’ nutritional needs.
Next, the food. We were impressed with the packaging, which provides a clear view of the recipes. It even had a cute label with Brendan’s name on it! At first glance, we could tell that we were looking at a quality product with visible vegetables and plenty of meat. We followed the instructions and placed a few packages into the refrigerator to thaw. The rest went into the freezer.
So Far, So Good. But What Would Brendan Think?
The next day, we gave Brendan his first taste. Let’s just say that his initial review of The Farmer’s Dog food was positive! He ate it (well, inhaled it with his usual lack of refinement is more like it), licked his chops, and went outside to do his thing.
We stored the package with the unused food in the container that came with the shipment. This was fine at first but after a few days, we swapped to a washable plastic container because the compressed cardboard / paper material got a little funky.
No big deal, but if the folks at The Farmer’s Dog are reading, we’d like to suggest providing something washable or maybe providing a few containers so people can swap them out in case of little smudges / spills. Still, it’s nice that they provide a storage container at all!
During his two-week trial, Brendan’s body shape stayed the same. He didn’t have any digestive trouble while he enjoyed this food, he had the same crazy energy he always has, and he licked his bowl clean for all three recipes, so it’s safe to say he loved them!
We didn’t notice any changes to Brendan’s pooping routine or bowel movements but that could be because these recipes were really similar to his usual homemade food. The Farmer’s Dog does mention that changes can happen and (get this!) they even encourage concerned pet parents to submit photos of unusual poo and receive answers / advice. That’s dedication.
What we liked:
- Healthy food with complete nutrition
- Made with real ingredients
- No weird odors
- Brendan loved the taste
- Completely hassle-free
- Pre-portioned and easy to dispense
- Biodegradable shipping materials
- Brendan maintained his healthy weight
- Excellent customer experience
What we did not like:
- A bit pricey compared to “average food”
- Just a handful of recipes to choose from
- The biodegradable storage container got a little messy after a while
How Much Does The Farmers Dog Pet Food Cost?
Ultimately, the price of a subscription with The Farmer’s Dog depends on the size of your dog and whether you’re feeding it as a topper (i.e., offering smaller portions of fresh food on top of another brand) or if you’re feeding it exclusively. The brand’s plans begin at $2 per day and free delivery is included.
The best way to find out how much The Farmers Dog would cost you? Go fill out their questionnaire, and you’ll get a sneak peek at different meal plans and price options. You don’t have to complete an order.
Farmers Dog Returns & Warranty
No bones about it: If there’s a problem with your order, this company will try to make things right. We appreciated their humorous promise, which is printed right on the outside of the box: “If your dog doesn’t love it, send it back. We’ll eat it.”
The truth is, you don’t have to repack the food and send it back to the company if your dog doesn’t like it. Instead, you can donate the food to a local shelter and get a refund.
Is the Farmers Dog A Good Choice?
Absolutely! Brendan loved the food, and it was reassuring to know that it was just as good as the homemade meals we normally give our dogs, minus the tedious, time-consuming processes of cooking and packaging that are part of our usual routine.
Yes, it cost a bit more to have pre-made fresh food delivered than it does to make fresh homemade dog food ourselves, but the time savings along with the pre-portioned servings and the lack of a mess to clean up make the added expense pretty easy to justify.
If you’d love to give your dog homemade meals that are just as good as the food you eat but you don’t have the time or the correct supplements on hand, The Farmer’s Dog is a fantastic choice.
And if you’re still feeding kibble, we’re here to say that this is definitely going to be a big improvement for your dog. They’ll love it and you’ll feel like a better pet parent.
That’s it! Has your pet tried The Farmer’s Dog food? Have any comments about our review?
Have another company or product you’d like us to review before you commit to it yourself? Let us know!