We Tried The OG Fresh Dog Food Subscription And We're Totally Obsessed
It's normal for your pup to eat better than you, right?
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If you’ve ever wondered if your dog’s kibble is actually good for her — after all, what’s really in those mysterious brown pellets — you might have thought about switching to fresh food.
But the change can be a bit intimidating — do you really want to cook every meal yourself? And if you try a subscription, how do you know if it’s really worth the hype (and price)?
The Dodo decided to help you out.
We put our office dogs to work testing fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog, one of the original fresh food subscription services, to see if it’s really as good as promised.
Spoiler alert: It is. And it’s earned our pups’ Paw of Approval. Here’s why our dogs (and their parents) are totally obsessed with it.
What Is The Farmer’s Dog?
The Farmer’s Dog is fresh dog food made with human-grade ingredients (which means it’s dog food that is technically totally fine for you to eat, too).
The food is precooked, pre-portioned and shipped straight to your door, so you can give your dog the benefits of a fresh food diet without having to do any of the work.
The company claims their recipes can help improve dogs’ overall health with fresh ingredients and balanced nutrition — the company was created when the founder’s dog, Jada, had severe digestive issues and was cured by a fresh food diet.
Subscription plans start at $2 per day, though they can vary significantly based on things like your dog’s size and activity level, any diet goals and how many dogs you have in the home.
We chose three office pups who weren’t in love with their current food to try it out (and a few are picky eaters, to make the judging extra rigorous).
So … Did They Actually Eat It?
Beacon and Storm transitioned to only eating The Farmer’s Dog food, while Bean ate meals that were half The Farmer’s Dog and half his regular food.
But regardless of the ratio, all three dogs were instantly hooked on the fresh food.
“Beacon was immediately obsessed with The Farmer's Dog food. As soon as we unpacked The Farmer’s Dog, Beacon licked the frozen/wrapped blocks of food. When I take it out to feed her, she sits right next to me and whimpers for it.” — Eric. A
“So, Bean was immediately absolutely OBSESSED. He'd be SO excited for dinner.” — Christina C.
“Storm was obsessed. Couldn't eat it fast enough. Way more excited than she ever is about her regular old kibble.” — Keren M.
Our pups tried a few different flavors, and some of them loved different recipes more than others. But they all found a flavor they were obsessed with.
“Beacon loves the pork, beef and turkey meals, but oddly does not love the chicken meal, we have learned. She loves chicken in general, but I think she doesn't enjoy the brussel sprouts that are mixed throughout.” — Eric A.
“Bean really loves it so much. Except the turkey one. For some reason he doesn't like the turkey option. But he went insane for the beef and chicken!” — Christina C.
“We had three varieties, and Storm gobbled all three.” — Keren M.
What Pets Loved: It’s Too Good To Waste A Single Piece!
All three of our normally picky dogs loved the food so much that they would immediately scarf it down (and didn’t want to leave a single piece behind).
“Bean would lick the bowl CLEAN as soon as I put his food down in the morning. He inhaled it and would, like, dance for it. He'd wiggle so hard.” — Christina C.
“Beacon gobbles it down quickly and licks the bowl continuously, even when it's empty. She often goes back to lick the bowl hours later for good measure. — Eric A.
“We found food on the floor and on the wall. I think Storm ate with too much excitement!” — Keren M.
All three parents also said the excitement of a tasty meal seemed to make their dogs happier overall.
“Beacon is so much happier to eat her food. In that regard, it seems like her quality of life has gone up.” — Eric A.
“I felt like Bean was happier too. He'd show me so much love after he ate. Like thanking me.” — Christina C.
“Storm usually eats in fits and starts, but not with this. She devoured it and was very happy.” — Keren M.
What Parents Loved: How Healthy It Is!
Our pup parents were stoked to see their picky pets inhaling their new food, especially since they felt confident that the meals were super healthy for their BFFs.
“We are overjoyed to see Beacon so happy over her own healthy food. We love how you can easily see what is in her meals, like full chickpeas and broccoli florets.” — Eric A.
“We feel bad Storm hasn't been eating this way all along. It was super clean, and we appreciate how healthy it is.” — Keren M.
“You can visually see the vegetables in it.” — Christina C.
One of our testers even noticed an improvement in his dog’s overall health pretty quickly after starting on The Farmer’s Dog.
“Beacon’s poop is more regular these days, her fur seems softer and shinier and she looks like she's lost some weight (which she needed to lose).” — Eric A.
Our pup parents actually loved the packaging, too, from the easy-to-follow instructions to the personalization to the eco-friendly material.
“I thought it was packaged SO nicely and kept cold. I also thought it was so cute and personal that they wrote Bean's name on everything. That made me so happy!!!” — Christina C.
“We love the ease of delivery, as well as the environmentally friendly packaging. It comes with corn starch foam packaging that you can dissolve in your sink with water.” — Eric A.
“It was easy to deal with the packaging and follow directions.” — Keren M.
With a minimum price of $2 per day, our pet parents weren’t thrilled that the cost adds up to at least $60 each month (and more for bigger dogs) — even though they said the price is worth it for pet parents who can afford it.
“It's pretty expensive. We are hoping to be able to continue getting The Farmer’s Dog for Beacon, so long as we don't see it dent our wallets too much.” — Eric A.
“I think it's quite pricey, but I do think it's worth it.” — Christina C.
That being said, two of our three testers want to keep using it after the trial period. (The third parent would love to continue if it fit in her budget.)
“We have tried many different kibbles with Beacon, and she has never liked her food no matter what. This is the first time we've seen her excited about her own food, and we don't want to lose that.” — Eric A.
Our Takeaway: It’s Pricey, But SO Worth It
All three pet parents (and their pups) would enthusiastically recommend The Farmer’s Dog to other families.
Considering how choosy our three judges usually are, it’s a testament to The Farmer’s Dog food quality that all three dogs immediately fell in love.
All our dogs and dog parents gave The Farmer’s Dog top marks. While the price might be a bit high for budget-conscious pet parents, the convenience of the deliveries, the top-tier ingredients and the health benefits all add up to earn The Farmer’s Dog our very enthusiastic Paw of Approval. (Because how can you argue with a picky dog licking their bowl clean?)
The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here.
If you have a product you love that you want to share with other pet parents, send a tip to email@example.com.