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For this review of The Farmer’s Dog, SPY.com recruited Cookie, a French Bulldog, and her “Millennial Mom”. You can follow Cookie on Instagram at @cookiemonster_thefrenchie and on TikTok at @Cookiemonsterthefrenchie.
My experience with dogs had always been that as soon as their food was put down, they would run to eat, and they would eat until the bowl was clean. This was not my experience with Cookie. At first, I was concerned, but the vet assured me that some dogs are pickier than others, and some dogs eat when they feel like it and not necessarily any time food is put in front of them. I tried changing her dog food, and I soon bought the most expensive, fanciest and healthiest kibble I could find. I had heard about wet food, but even the most expensive dry food was still cheaper than wet. I wanted to make sure Cookie was getting good food, but I didn’t want to have to break the bank while doing it.
That’s when Cookie and I first discovered The Farmer’s Dog, a fresh-food delivery service for pet owners. The company promises to deliver “human-grade” dog food that’s always prepared fresh and customized to your dog’s nutrition needs based on their breed, size and age. The Farmer’s Dog has developed a reputation as one of the best dog food brands in the world, especially for pet parents looking for the healthiest dog foods. It’s also famously expensive. For a small-breed dog, The Farmer’s Dog will cost about $30 per week for a 2-week trial. For large dogs, the cost can be twice as high.
I first tried The Farmer’s Dog because I saw a promotion that let you receive the first box for free. I thought for the cost of $0 why not try it. (Unfortunately, that offer is no longer available, but you can save 20% on your first trial order right now.) Truthfully, I figured I would cancel the subscription before the next box of food was shipped because Cookie was so picky that I couldn’t imagine her loving any food.
Once it arrived, I learned just how fast Cookie could finish her food.
So, is this bougie dog food still on the menu? Keep reading for our full The Farmer’s Dog review and find out if this healthy dog food is worth it for your pup.
- Healthy meals prepared with fresh ingredients
- Vet-formulated meals with USDA-certified meat
- Delivered directly to your door
- Customized plans and meals
- No preservatives
- Very expensive for dog food
- Biodegradeable containers could be more secure
- We recommend using your own containers after opening a pack
The Farmer’s Dog Review: Getting Started
Setting up your online account and customizing your dog’s meal plan is fast and simple. The first thing you’ll do is create a profile for your dog with all the basics: age, breed, weight, build and lifestyle. You can then choose which recipes your dog would like (Cookie gets the turkey, beef and chicken) and customize your plan based on whether or not you will be feeding your dog 100% fresh The Farmer’s Dog meals or mixing it with other food.
Cookie gets a mix of Farmer’s Dog and dried food, which can be one way to cut down on the cost of this custom dog food service. If I can afford it, I will feed Cookie only meals from The Farmer’s Dog; however, as a single dog mom living in New York City, sometimes you just can’t have it all.
The Farmer’s Dog also gives you options for how many days of food you get in one shipment. The cost of food per day is lower if you opt for delivery every 56 days. However, living in a city like New York, with an apartment-sized fridge and freezer, I get delivery every 28 days so I can make sure I still have some room left in the freezer for myself.
The Farmer’s Dog: Unboxing the Meals
What are the deliveries like? If you’ve ever ordered a human meal delivery service, then you should have a good sense of what to expect. One box comes with 28 days’ worth of food packaged with ice packs. Each individual pack contains 1-2 days of fresh dog food. These packs come frozen and labeled with your dog’s name, which is a nice personal touch. It also comes with instructions for feeding and how to ease your dog into the new food.
As excited as your dog may be about the new food, I always recommend starting by mixing the new and old food to allow your dog’s stomach to adjust. Then, slowly add more of the new food and less of the old food. Otherwise, make sure to bring plenty of poop bags on your next few walks…
The packages are easy to fit in the freezer and just need to be taken out to defrost a few hours to a day before (depending on kitchen temperatures). Once the pack is opened, it will need to go in the fridge for storage. The Farmer’s Dog provides what I think is supposed to be a reusable container, but personally, I prefer to use any takeout container I already have.
The Farmer’s Dog: The Taste Test
As I mentioned earlier, Cookie is a very picky eater. I order the turkey, beef and chicken meals from The Farmer’s Dog, but your meals may differ from Cookie’s because of the way The Farmer’s Dog personalizes meal plans. When evaluating a dog food, nothing is more important than the taste test. So how does Cookie feel about The Farmer’s Dog?
She loves it, and so far, it’s the best dog food I’ve found for my picky eater. Cookie finishes The Farmer’s Dog meals faster than any other dog food brand I’ve tried. I do try to mix fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog with a dry kibble as a way to save money and make the deliveries last longer. Or, at least, that’s what I try to do, because despite my attempts to mix The Farmer’s Dog with dried food, Cookie has a knack for eating around the dried food while eating every last bite of The Farmer’s Dog.
Are There Any Drawbacks Besides the Cost?
If there’s one thing I don’t love about the Farmer’s Dog (and really, I think it may be the only thing), it would be the packaging. I have seen other fresh dog food brands provide plastic containers to store the food in the fridge until eaten (essentially Tupperware with some paw prints on them), and I think for what Farmer’s Dog costs, it would be great to offer customers something like that. I know the containers they provide are biodegradable, and I am all about being eco-friendly, but the food soaks right through the material and I only get one use and a smelly fridge out of it.
The Verdict: Is The Farmer’s Dog Worth It?
Even if you like the idea of feeding your dog fresh, healthy wet food every day, you might still be on the fence because of the price tag. So is The Farmer’s Dog Worth It? If you can afford to treat your pup to The Farmer’s Dog, then it is 100% worth it in my experience. I do think the packaging could be improved, but on the whole, Cookie and I love The Farmer’s Dog.
Yes, it’s definitely expensive, but you can mix the fresh food with your kibble of choice to make it last longer and get the most out of your subscription.
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