The Farmer’s Dog Review: Farm To Bowl Dog Food

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The Farmer's Dog box and contentsReading the nutrition labels of some dog foods can be scary. They often include ingredients you can’t pronounce and who knows what kind of manufacturing process was used. When it comes to dog food, if you wouldn’t eat it then why should your dog? That’s where The Farmer’s Dog comes in.

This company provides human-grade (and tested), grain-free recipes with food sourced from small farms so you can trust it’s real food. Plus you can take comfort in knowing that a certified nutritionist created a balanced and nutritious meal for your pup (without having to do all the cooking and research yourself).

Visit The Farmer’s Dog Website

Article Overview

The Farmer's Dog

4.65 / 5
The Farmer's Dog
Variety 4.0
Nutritional Value 5.0
Pricing 4.5
Customer Support 4.8
Customization 5.0

Pros

  • Choose from three healthy recipes (developed by board-certified ACVN veterinarian nutritionists)
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • Food delivered within days of cooking (never deep frozen)
  • Auto-shipping and you can adjust shipping frequency and pause or cancel anytime
  • Free shipping with ability to ship more food at one time to reduce delivery frequency and environmental impact
  • Made in the USA
  • Plans can be customized and meals pre-portioned to best meet your unique needs

Cons

  • Since the food is so fresh, you may need to freeze it before it’s used up
  • More expensive compared to more traditional dog food options (kibble, homemade)

Key Features

  • Recipes developed by board-certified ACVN veterinarian nutritionists)
  • Complete and balanced meals according to AAFCO standards
  • Human-grade USDA ingredients made in New York
  • Freshly made prepared foods with a short shelf life to ensuring food is as nutritious as possible
  • Meal plans are all grain-free and customized to each dog’s unique qualities, goals and lifestyle – you can adjust the flavors and quantity of packs in each shipment
  • They don’t currently offer a grain-inclusive option, but claim to be looking into expanding their recipe selection in the future.
  • Packages are individually packaged with your dog’s name and date it was made
  • Delivered to your door on a recurring basis

Price

The Farmer’s Dog bases its pricing on your dog’s age, weight, and other factors. Smaller dogs start at less than $3/day. The following price* is based on the profile of a mixed-breed male, 7 years old, 24 pounds, healthy size, no health problems or allergies.

Pro Tip: Mix the food with rice to make it last longer and stretch your dollar.

Coupon

Our readers have access to 50% off your first box. No code needed, just use this link and the discount will be applied!

Our Personal Experience With The Farmer’s Dog

We got the opportunity to test out The Farmer’s Dog on my dog Lexie in exchange for an honest review. She already ate pretty healthily (cooked rice and chicken) so was excited to give this a try.

First, I filled out a quick form with some basic info like my dog’s name and where we live.

The Farmers Dog Step 1 ordering screenshot

Then, I was asked about her size and activity level.

The Farmer's Dog ordring process step 2 screenshot

Finally, I picked out the flavor and entered our shipping details. The ordering process was super easy!

The Farmers Dog ordering process step 3 screenshot

The cardboard box arrived sealed with ice packs and biodegradable insulation to keep the food cold. Upon opening, I found four pouches of food, a reusable cardboard container and feeding instructions.

Inside Farmer's Dog box

I read the instructions which said to put two bags in the freezer and two in the fridge. According to her size and weight, she should get a fourth of a bag per day (since she eats twice a day this is 1/8th of a bag per meal). They also recommended starting by mixing the fresh food with her current food to make a gradual digestive transition, but since Lexie already ate a pretty fresh diet, I wasn’t too concerned about going “cold turkey” on her turkey (pun intended).

Pro tip: Upon thawing out, gently squeeze out the entire bag into the container provided. Once you open the bag, the food tends to stick to the sides of the inside of the bag which is difficult to get out.

The verdict? Lexie LOVES it! She gobbles it down fast and has had much more consistent bowel movements since switching. She’s also lost and maintained a much healthier diet since she was on kibble (and her coat is noticeably more shiny and healthy).

Since it’s refrigerated, I usually zap it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds just to bring it to room temperature. It smells so good that I’ve considered trying it, and I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my adult life!

Video: Unboxing And Eating The Farmer’s Dog

Watch this quick unboxing video to see some of our experience. Not pictured: the biodegradable insulation made of cornstarch which dissolves under warm water in the sink.

What Do People Think Of The Farmer’s Dog?

Positive Reviews

“It’s significantly more expensive than regular kibble, but the health benefits are worth the cost.” – Kate Barrington, Business Insider 8/8/2018

“The plastic pouches were easy to store in my freezer and in my fridge and I just cut the package in half, squeezed the morning meal out, and did the same for the evening meal — no fuss whatsoever. ” -Geraldine, The Kitchn 2/8/2018

Negative Reviews

“Currently, they can’t support dogs on a prescription diet, and there’s no way to specify “no green beans” in case of allergies.” – Jaden, Steamy Kitchen

“The container was not air tight sealed. I ended up using my own tupperware to retain nutrition and avoid harmful bacteria from growing. It would be nice if they could invest in an airtight tupperware in the future.” – A Frenchies Life 8/21/2017

Is The Farmer’s Dog Food Worth The Price?

Visit The Farmer’s Dog Website

The Farmer’s Dog does come with a steep price tag, but the premium food may be worth it to enhance the long-term health and well-being of your dog. Now, not everyone can afford gourmet meals all the time, but it is nice to splurge every once in awhile. The company also offers recipes and nutrient packs so you can make your own healthy dog food at home, but these nutrient packs were on backorder at the time of publishing. Learn more in our interview with The Farmer’s Dog founder, Brett Podolsky.

If you’re looking for alternate fresh meal and dog food delivery options like The Farmer’s Dog, check out our full dog food delivery comparison. We also have some homemade dog food recipes that you can try, if you’re up for making your own dog food.

Why are you considering dog food delivery?

About The Author:

Sadie graduated from the Moody School of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Advertising and minor in Business. Her love of pets started from an early age with her childhood cocker spaniel, Peanut, and two cats. She is currently dog mom to Lexie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

As a professional dog sitter for more than a decade, Sadie has cared for dozens of canines of various breeds, sizes and temperaments. The responsibility of caring for others' pets has helped her understand the importance of giving animals a loving home. She has experience potty and house training as well as teaching dogs tricks such as sit and shake. Sadie is passionate about canine well-being so she feeds her pup all-natural meals and no table scraps.

Sadie and her husband live in Washington DC and enjoy walking Lexie to nearby dog parks or patios and taking her canine companion on trips. Having an adventurous, long-haired Blenheim means frequent baths and home grooming to maintain a clean coat. A small dog also requires more frequent dental care and Sadie is proactive with Lexie's oral hygiene.

She has been covering dog-related topics since 2012 and is proud to share her latest personal experience, resources and information with fellow pet parents. Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Mr. & Mrs. Brown
July 31, 2020 9:18 am

We are sorry and disappointed to report that going into our 3rd week of the Farmer’s Dog food trial that our little 9-year-old Shih Tzu, Skeeter, will not even attempt to eat either the beef or turkey.
When we served him the Farmers Dog food, Skeeter actually lays down on his belly waiting for us to bring him his normal raw ground chuck or chicken breast with carrots and potatoes.
We respectfully requested a full refund and quickly received it. Good customer service.

Susan Williams
July 14, 2020 10:55 am

My dogs ADORE this food! They dance at dinner time. Unfortunately, since I started I have had one customer service issue after another. I switched to this food partly because of the convenience, I was tired of running around town to find enough fresh food. First, there was a glitch in the system and I asked for a rush delivery and their system interpreted that as cancel the order – that has happened twice. I have been emailing back and forth with a very nice customer service agent, because you can’t take to a human being of course, and I cannot seem to get an extra order or two. I want a backlog in my freezer. I am trying to buy more product!!! The amount of stress this has caused completely negates the ease of the food.

Mr. & Mrs. Brown
July 31, 2020 10:30 am
Reply to  Susan Williams

So that you know, The Farmer’s Dog has a freezer shelf life of only 4 months by their own recommendation.

Kathy Turton
July 7, 2020 7:25 am

I started my dog, Lucy, on the Farmer’s Dog in May of 2020 and by June of 2020 she ended up at the emergency vet clinic with pancreatitis. The emergency vet told me they have seen a lot of dogs with this problem after going on the Farmer’s dog and Fresh Pet diets. She said unfortunately by the time they see many of the dogs it is too late for many of them. This diet is very high in fat and is not good for your dog. So please keep an eye on your dog and if they develop symptoms of diarrhea, excessive thirst, and unable to get comfortable please rush them to your vet immediately. The vet told most dogs cannot handle this type of diet and do not need this type of diet. If the cost of putting my Lucy on this diet is to lose her than it is not worth it.

Alexys McGill
June 20, 2020 2:02 pm

I don’t understand all of these negative reviews. I had an issue with my order, but The Farmer’s Dog was so quick to respond and immediately sent out another order due to an error on Fedex’s end. I received the food within 3 days! My dog loves it! Also, the cost of the subscription is listed before subscribing! Therefore, if you are unhappy with the price, don’t buy it! Jeeze people

Zac Wilson
June 13, 2020 12:02 pm

Customer service at farmers dog is absolutely horrible. I mean its not even bad. Its horrible. They dont pick up the phone. They don’t answer emails ( only send auto responders). I liked the idea of fresh food. But bad customer service? Something sounds fishy

debbie
July 5, 2020 12:51 am
Reply to  Zac Wilson

Sorry, but I found that they replied to my multiple emails promptly…my 13-year-old Maltese LOVES it and now has regular bowel movements…homemade food simply does NOT have the vitamins, etc needed for a healthy pet…

Constance
July 7, 2020 8:47 pm
Reply to  debbie

I have a Maltipoo 5-month old pup, right at 6.5 pounds. Would you please tell me how long your Maltese has been on this food? Would it be nutritionally sound for a puppy? How much do you feed your Maltese daily and does that seem a normal amount for the breed?

Alexys McGill
June 20, 2020 1:56 pm
Reply to  Zac Wilson

I found that sending a text message to the customer service number gets you a faster response, probably not as fast as you’d like, but you do get a response within 24 hours (not automated).

david flagg
June 8, 2020 5:48 am

Customer service at The Farmers Dog is not all it’s cracked up to be. I am new to The Farmers Dog and have reached out to them three times for assistance. Their response is “we are busier than normal so please text us/email we will get back to you”. I am disappointed!

Joanna Pereira
May 11, 2020 1:34 pm

These people are a rip off and charge your card without authorization! I called and left a message and no word! I have to cancel my card! Be careful and don’t use them because my dog didn’t touch a single bite of this garbage!

Lin
April 28, 2020 5:59 pm

The 2-week trial turns into a month and half supply and cost (approx. $210). After the first week, they sent me the 2nd box which contain a month supply of dog food. Before your 2-week trial ended, they charged you the next month of food! I cancelled the subscription on the 11th day after I received the 1st box, but they already charged me for the up coming month of food. They should give people 2-full week of trail as advertised on their website. No notice of shipping out the product before trial period ended, only an email notice on the same day when your product is arriving at the door. It’s not a good experience to deal company like this. If you want to give people discount to try your product, you should allow it for the full term.
The food quality is good, but one of my dogs have problem with it.

AJP
April 26, 2020 1:20 pm

I needed a diet that did not include Sweet Potato or Turkey. Perusing through their site it appeared that customized formulas were an option — they asked for input on what were compatible food ingredients for your dog. However, email correspondence with them indicated that they only have three set formulations (all of which include sweet potato or Turkey) and don’t provide any customization or greater variety. Why do they even bother to ask for input of food compatibility?

Cheryl
February 4, 2020 9:19 pm

You HAVE TO BE JOKING. my husband and I wouldn’t be able to afford to eat. You people are nuts.

Breezie
March 14, 2020 8:47 pm
Reply to  Cheryl

We love out Golden. She has skin allergies and we have tried everything. I make her food and use the farmers dog also. Much better than the junk you buy in the grocery store. Well worth the price.

Constance
July 7, 2020 8:49 pm
Reply to  Breezie

What ingredients do you use for your homemade dog food?

Sammie
June 9, 2020 2:26 pm
Reply to  Breezie

May I ask what food you make at home? My golden also has skin allergies just curious what you cook up?

Mr. & Mrs. Brown
July 31, 2020 10:35 am
Reply to  Sammie

Try the supplement Antronex. It’s great for allergies. Our vet recommended it for us. 2 tablets per day does it. Great for all allergens.

Courtney
April 16, 2020 3:45 pm
Reply to  Breezie

Breezie, I have a Golden with severe skin allergies too and am considering trying this since nothing else has worked. How long have you used it? Have you noticed a big difference?

Mr. & Mrs. Brown
July 31, 2020 9:24 am
Reply to  Courtney

Try the supplement Antronex for allergies. Our vet recommended it for us. 2 tablets per day does it. Great for all allergens.

Kevin Kirby
February 13, 2020 2:36 pm
Reply to  Cheryl

Its not that expensive if you love your dogs as family. If you have large dogs – use a mix-in.

Deborah Furey
February 8, 2020 1:57 am
Reply to  Cheryl

Its great food, if you cut out treats or lower treats, it costed me almost the same, but my dog is small.if u have big dog then it would b quite expensive

Donna McCormick
January 29, 2020 3:44 pm

Hi my name is Donna I would like to know if I could put a hold on my dogs food for now her name is Angel I will notify you when you can start delivering again . Thank You

(Admin)
Kimberly Alt
January 30, 2020 11:10 am

Donna, you need to contact The Farmer’s Dog directly.

Brandon
January 22, 2020 12:37 pm

Is this a paid review? In the cons you didn’t mention If you have a large dog the food for a week is more than groceries to feed a 4 person family.

You can literally give your dog rice,carrots, green beans, skinless white meat chicken and that for a week is probably $7-10 in my area.

I don’t give my dog that crap in a bag my vet instructed me on the option listed above. They get grain and meat.

Ryan
December 20, 2019 12:58 pm

I make my own from a vet nutritionist
I control what my 100 # siberian shepard eats. Cook it in a crockpot

Brandon
January 22, 2020 12:37 pm
Reply to  Ryan

Exactly! And it’s 10 times cheaper than this site

Farley’s mom
February 25, 2020 9:07 am
Reply to  Brandon

And less waste. I stopped doing Blue Apron type things because I hated all of the shipping material. This looks to be the same.

James
November 8, 2019 5:19 pm

We have had our 4 Minature Schnauzers on The Farmers Dog food for about 2 weeks or so now with absolutely no problems. Before ordering it I asked a question via email and had a good concise answer quickly. Today I had a question about fat levels in each of the foods and called into customer service and had my question answered, even though we were cut off 2 times the representative kept calling me back until she made me happy.

For over 20 years I have always mixed two top level dry foods for our dogs thinking that if one had a problem it would be cut in half by them only eating half. Also if one of the foods was nutritionally deficient in some area, the other food would help in the same manner. Now I just reduce the amount of those two foods each dog gets and add the Farmers Dog food on top. The dogs are tickled to death and I am glad to provide them with some fresher food at mealtime.

Liz
October 29, 2019 12:17 pm

The Farmer’s Dog … food from New York City? The blurb says New York where I realize there ARE farms but all communication I received came from NYC. Packaging … not sure what they could do given the food must be safe, but I cannot in good conscience participate with the type of packaging involved. I used the food as a supplement to a premium kibble (NOT grain free). Given that is what I intend to do, I can make good home cooked and/or raw supplement to kibble for less money and less use of plastic, etc.

Tani
August 10, 2019 6:18 pm

I noticed that kale was an ingredient. My vet said that since kale is high in calcium it can cause issues for doggs and recommended I not use this food. Just because a vegetable is good for us, doesn’t mean it won’t cause issues for dogs. Please check with you vet before using any of these key foods. You may do more harm than good.

Alia Betts
August 6, 2019 12:22 pm

They won’t call. Text. Or email back. Yet they just charged my card 187.oo for two weeks more food. Nope. Not paying it. Returning your nonsense. Not healthy food. Not nearly enough in portion size. Veterinarian condemns it. Grain free not healthy for your dog. They won’t communicate. Keep charging my card. Another Facebook advertising scam to rip me off.

Vani Bahl
April 12, 2020 1:03 am
Reply to  Alia Betts

Exactly the issue I faced. It appears there is nobody on the other end. Third week into the diet, my dogs showed stomach issues, pain. And my bigger dog pooped blood. I contacted the number on the website. I got an email from somebody called Yuka (not sure if thats person’s real name) saying they tried to call me. When I responded to that email to fix a time for a call, no response! I sent another email- no response still. I went ahead and cancelled the subscription. Cannot place my dogs’ health in somebody’s hands who do not even care to respond to an issue that I am seeing in my dog’s health.

Kevin Kirby
November 26, 2019 4:23 am
Reply to  Alia Betts

What??? Dogs should NOT eat grains – they can not digest them ie) they poop it out. Corn, especially, is a cheap filler and never never never should be in dog food.

Andrea
December 3, 2019 12:12 pm
Reply to  Kevin Kirby

Dogs who don’t eat grains can get heart disease (DCM) and die prematurely. I’ve been feeding my pup the Farmer’s Dog for over a year and she loves it (never loved kibble), but my friend told me that she had just switched to the Farmer’s Dog after making her dog’s food for years (high end cuts of grass fed beef and organic legumes) then he died suddenly chasing a frisbee at age 4. She was told he had developed DCM from the legumes. (She uses straight up kibble now for her new puppy.) I talked to my vet and she urged me to stop any diet that was grain free. (She also pointed out that wild dogs like wolves typically live 3-4 years in the wild so can’t really argue a grain free diet brings longevity) Diets that use fillers like chickpeas and potatoes (which the Farmer’s dog uses plenty) are especially harmful. I agree the Farmer’s Dog has a cute website and dogs love the food, but their customer service is lacking. They won’t return emails and there is basically no way to communicate with them. I have tried to find a kibble that isn’t full of crap and gmo grains. There are a few out there. Not sure what to do really. My dog prefers The Farmer’s Dog but the latest research is showing it could be causing harm.

Deb
June 20, 2020 8:11 pm
Reply to  Andrea

I discussed grain-free with my vet. As long as your dog has taurine in their diet, they are fine with grain-free.

Lindsay
February 13, 2020 1:38 pm
Reply to  Andrea

I have not yet purchased or tried Farmer’s Dog, but while inquiring about legumes this was the response I got from customer service. I am still weighing the options.

“Rest assured, we’ve been following the investigation closely, and the most recent findings have been largely connected to dry food diets. The FDA concern is around products that are both highly processed and predominantly comprised of legumes or potatoes.

As you know, many companies unfortunately abuse the use of lentils or potatoes and use them as a grain-free bulking ingredient. Our recipes are predominantly made of meat and our ingredients are cooked properly (rather than ground raw). While we are very confident about the adequacy of our recipes, we nonetheless lab test them regularly, and they consistently show adequate levels of the amino acids required for dogs to synthesize taurine and be healthy. And given the concerns and lack of concrete information resulting from the investigation, we add supplemental taurine to our recipes to provide additional peace of mind to concerned pet lovers.”

Joyce
August 1, 2019 5:17 pm

I have given my dog this delicious food but found it was too rich alone. I add some dry with it and it is fine. She cannot handle the food alone. I would like to know how I can manage the food on a smaller amount.

Van
September 13, 2019 9:10 pm
Reply to  Joyce

please slowly introduce the dood to your pet over 2 weeks time. Start with a very small amount first with their food they are on now.over two weeks up the new food with less old food.

Robyn Jones
July 18, 2019 10:01 pm

After becoming very interested in Farmer’s, I realized that all the options offered are GRAIN FREE and decided I will NOT purchase this food for my dogs. PLEASE see the FDA investigation and response to concerns about a grain free diet. Dogs that are fed a grain free diet, high in peas, lentils, and potatoes, exactly what the Farmer’s Dog diet is composed of, present with higher rates of DCM, leading to premature death in many cases.

Bottom line is, if you love your furbabies, research their food with reputable sources as you would your own, and heed the warnings. Our pups deserve the best, and that includes effort towards food research.

Darlene Zuber
June 19, 2020 5:32 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

I need to contact Farmers Dog but do not have phone number or email. Can someone help?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
June 22, 2020 10:25 pm
Reply to  Darlene Zuber

Their email is help@thefarmersdog.com

Carolynn
February 17, 2020 10:09 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

The DCM is related to dry kibble! Also taurine is the amino acid our babies need to keep heart muscles strong! Farmers dog adds TAURINE to all of its recipes! Makes me feel better and my boys love it!! My 10 pmonth old scratches all over when I tried grain on the kibble. It feels great to give them real food! Thank you Farmer’s Dog ♡

Ryan
December 20, 2019 1:03 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

Well said

Andrea
December 3, 2019 12:19 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

Exactly! I’ve been using it for years but my friend just lost her dog to DCM suddenly at age 4 after a lifetime on the highest quality grain-free diet that a person could offer their pet. That scared me and now I’m trying to switch back over to kibble but might consider making my own food again since my dog is bumming.

Rashmi
September 2, 2019 12:38 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

Do you have a rice cooker at home? You can just make some brown or whote rice or even substitue some days with oats and mix with any other dog food

Valerie
September 20, 2019 8:40 pm
Reply to  Rashmi

No. The whole point of this supposedly veterinarian/ nutritionist created meal plan is that it’s healthy and in the correct portions. And especially at these prices, the consumer should not have to try to figure how much rice to add. Maybe I should just cook for my dog and skip this overpriced product altogether if it’s that incomplete.

Abby
August 21, 2019 5:03 pm
Reply to  Robyn Jones

I read the ingredients & was appalled. Even after the FDA released studies that dogs should not be fed a grain-free diet, high in peas, lentils, & potatoes because of high occurrences of dog deaths due to DCM, The Farmer’s Dog only has foods with peas, lentils, & potatoes. The Farmer’s Dog needs to offer healthier ingredients, including grains, and NOT high in peas, lentils, & potatoes.

Patricia Parker
April 15, 2019 11:19 am

My 3 yr. Cavachon has become such a picky eater. Won’t eat any kibbles at all. I ordered your food but she still won’t eat it unless I put COSTCO breasted chicken or hamburger meat mixed in with it.
Is it bad for her to always mix with people food but I can’t get her to eat otherwise?
She is such a good little pal except for her eating.

Stephanie Silk
March 29, 2019 4:49 am

I had both my dogs on the plan & just recently my sweet Dior passed away. To my surprise when I got home yesterday, Farmer’s Dog sent me a bouquet of beautiful flowers with a note of condolences. I was so touched by how this company goes above & beyond customer satisfaction & really cares for your furbabies. <3

Mindy Duncan
January 30, 2019 9:14 pm

Just delivered my 2 fur babies meals today!! Huge success!! They both LOVED it!! They had the turkey tonight!! The packaging was very clean and neat..even better that it’s biodegradable ❤️ Very impressed!!!

Deb Damascus
January 26, 2019 9:26 am

I’ve used this food for years after receiving way too many alerts of life threatening substances in commercial dog food – I have two rescues and my daughter uses the food as well for her rescue. My larger dog was overweight and is now looking great – I supplement with sardines and/or salmon from Costco as per The Farmers Dog blog – and I feel so good knowing the food is safe – I have no trouble freezing the food when it comes and my dogs love it – I still subscribe to the pet food advisory and it’s amazing how many brands have major health issues. God only knows what’s in commercial dog food. If you love your pet and you can swing the price, which I don’t think is that bad, there’s no other brand to buy. And customer service is superb.

rose appel
January 4, 2019 3:40 pm

I wan t the best food for my 5 year maltipoo 12 lbs.

Ruth
February 4, 2020 8:36 am
Reply to  rose appel

If you are going to purchase then fresh cooked is the best and the most expensive. Evermore food for dogs is the best of the best. They are a small woman owned company and have been in business for ten years. They are not as well known since they don’t put money into advertising.