Review of Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food
Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food earns The Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Open Farm Gently Cooked product line includes the 4 wet dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Open Farm Grass Fed Beef||4||M|
|Open Farm Surf and Turf||4||M|
|Open Farm Homestead Turkey||4.5||M|
|Open Farm Harvest Chicken||4.5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Open Farm Harvest Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Open Farm Harvest Chicken
Frozen Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, carrots, kale, butternut squash, apples, pumpkin, zucchini, water, flaxseed, coconut oil, salmon oil, potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, salt, chicory root, chia seeds, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, dried kelp, turmeric, cinnamon
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||29%||25%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||53%||19%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The third ingredient is kale, which is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. This dark green vegetable is especially rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, vitamin K and calcium.
And like broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a natural chemical believed to possess potent anti-cancer properties.
The fourth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The sixth ingredient is pumpkin, a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The next ingredient is zucchini. Zucchini is a type of squash high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Open Farm product.
With 7 notable exceptions…
First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, coconut oil is a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
In addition, salmon oil is rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, this food includes chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
We also find chia seed in this product. Chia seed is an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.
However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
We also note that this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Based on its ingredients alone, Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food looks like an above-average wet dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 83%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flax and chia seeds, this still looks like the profile of a fresh-cooked dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 53% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for pets on a low-fat diet.
Our Rating of Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food
Open Farm Gently Cooked is a fresh, human-grade, grain-free dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand 4.5 stars. The 2 poultry recipes receive higher ratings due to their lower fat-to-protein ratios.
Open Farm Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Open Farm.
No recalls noted
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Open Farms Brand Reviews
The following Open Farm dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Open Farm Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)
- Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food Review (Fresh)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
09/15/2021 Last Update