The Farmer’s Dog: Everything you need to know
For pet owners in the know, being able to order bulky supplies like dog food for doorstep delivery is one of the best modern conveniences available.
But if your four-legged friend is anything like ours, then you know the struggle of finding healthy food that they'll actually want to eat.
So we had the pickiest dog we know test out The Farmer's Dog food delivery service.
Here's what Brody, the 14-year-old Boston terrier, and his human Jared thought about the food -- and everything you need to know before you order for your own pup.
What is The Farmer's Dog?
As we mentioned, this is a door-delivery dog food service. But it's also more than that.
According to The Farmer's Dog website, what sets them apart from, say, ordering a bag of dry food from Amazon is that they're offering fresh "real food." What does that mean, exactly? The brand uses human-grade meat and vegetables prepared in USDA-approved kitchens. Basically, it's supposed to be so high-quality that you yourself could eat it if you wanted to. In fact, the brand even claims to have human taste testers (though you won't catch us trying it).
The food is free of preservatives, processed kibble, powders and fillers. The company claims that it's delivered "within days" of cooking and is never frozen or stored. We don't know exactly how many days there might be between the preparation and the arrival, but the idea is that the food is more or less the doggie equivalent of farm-to-table.
The human's experience
After subscribing to The Farmer's Dog, Jared said his experience was mostly a positive one: "My end impression is the same as my initial impression: It's a no-brainer that I would like to use this for my pet, but is it worth the extra money? I think the answer just depends on each person's budget."
Here's the breakdown of each step in the process:
The online experience: The online setup process is simple and streamlined, and there's a simple questionnaire that covered the dog's size, health, preferences and more. However, it can be a bit difficult to understand exactly what the pricing will be. The most information you can find on their website is that plans start at $2 a day with free shipping. But how much it can go up from there isn't fully explained.
The packaging: The food arrives in impressive packaging with insulation and dry ice, which means that the next step after receiving the delivery (and putting the food into the fridge) is to get rid of the dry ice and dissolve the biodegradable insulation foam in the sink. It could become a chore to do this process every two weeks. Whether that's practical for you depends on if you're ordering food online to simply avoid a trip to the pet store or if you're doing it to get the highest possible quality of dog food (without cooking it yourself).
Overall, the food is packaged nicely, and it fits easily into the fridge. Because it doesn't have a gross or overpowering smell, you likely won't mind keeping it next to your other food. It also comes with a convenient disposable container to keep the food fresh.
The delivery: A new shipment arrives every two weeks, but you can pause it whenever you need (for instance, if you're going out of town). You're also able to set a delivery window to make sure you're home to receive the food so you can get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible.
The cost: Price depends on the breed size, dietary needs or restrictions, and the number of dogs. Jared found it difficult to estimate what the total would come to until after the process started. For Brody, it ended up costing $36 every two weeks, which is about four times more expensive than the canned food he previously ate. While it would be easier to justify spending this much if Brody had specific health issues, Jared says he's definitely happy with the food, and that's enough justification for now.
The dog's experience
For most of Brody's life, he ate dry food with no problems. But now that he's getting up in age and has had some teeth removed, he recently transitioned to soft wet food from a can. At first, he loved the canned food and couldn't eat it quickly enough. However, the novelty soon wore off, and he lost interest in his meals.
Now with food from The Farmer's Dog, Brody is racing to his bowl once again -- but it's still too early to say whether his enthusiasm will last longer than it did with the canned food. In addition to his missing teeth, Brody has a mild poultry allergy, and Jared appreciated that a questionnaire was sent before ordering to cover such concerns. In the end, it's all about making sure Brody is happy and healthy, and The Farmer's Dog -- though expensive -- is worth it for that.
The Farmer's Dog vs. other dog food deliveries
If you're a dog owner, you likely know that The Farmer's Dog isn't the only way to get dog food delivered to your door. Here's how this service stacks up to other popular options.
Nom Nom: In addition to dog food, Nom Nom also delivers cat food and treats, so if you have a feline in the house or if you want more choices, you might want to consider this brand. However, this food subscription is more geared toward pets with digestive issues, so it may not be worth the expenditure for those whose pets don't have specific dietary restrictions.
Ollie: Ollie's dog food is similar in many ways to The Farmer's Dog and Nom Nom (it's made from real food, it's delivered, it's customizable, etc.) but it's meant to be stored in the freezer rather than the fridge. This might make it a better option for those who prefer to receive fewer deliveries in larger quantities.
Sarah Pitts is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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