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Open Farm Salmon & Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food - Review

The launch of Canadian pet food brand giant Open Farm on the Australian market in mid-2020 may have gone relatively unnoticed in many pet households, however reading customer reviews, it appears to be popular. Some Australian pet owners may be disappointed they can only access a fraction of Open Farm's pet food range for dogs and cats (exclusive to Pet Circle) but there are already many great recipes to explore.

Introducing the Open Farm difference

Open Farm’s mission is to provide a revolution in sustainable, ethically-sourced and super premium holistic pet food

Open Farm diets are made formulated in Canada (and manufactured in the USA) with top quality proteins and superfoods. Every product is also proudly produced with a focus on transparent sourcing and traceability, humane production animal welfare standards, ethically sourced ingredients, and sustainable fishing practices.

All pet food companies claim to deliver a complete and balanced meal for our companion animals. This means that their recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels estimated by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages (updated regularly) but few go beyond that!

A change noticeable over the past 3 to 4 years has been the growing interest in rotational feeding. Though not a new concept for most pet owners, it is gaining in popularity with pet food suppliers who’ve come to realise that variety is the spice of life for our pets too

It makes sense for us to eat from the widest variety of food choices so why would our dogs not benefit from the same philosophy? To meet this new market demand, the larger pet food companies now compete to offer not only more exotic flavours but also a variety of textures, e.g. dry food as well wet food and freeze dried raw.

In Australia, the Open Farm range is exclusively distributed by Pet Circle who contacted us last month to explore if we’d be open to trialling some of their flagship products for this range to share our views on:

✔️ Open Farm Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains (Dry Dog Food / Dry Cat Food)
✔️ Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Stew (Wet Food) and
✔️ Grain-Free Homestead & Chicken recipe (Dry Dog Food / Dry Cat Food samples)

What is in the Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food?

This is a high protein diet with 90% of protein from meat sources and only 10% derived from wholesome grains so overall a much lower-carbohydrate diet than most.

Some may recall that in late 2018 a team of veterinarians found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. The following year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to pet owners and veterinarians about the potential association between these diets - which have become quite trendy - and DCM.

This is probably why many pet food companies are now promoting a range of new recipes made without peas, potatoes and legumes. There's also no corn, wheat or soy here either! Even the fruit and vegetables are non-GMO. But first and foremost, this dry dog food contains no rendered poultry, meat meals or meat by-products.

This tasty high protein, gluten-free recipe is loaded with:

✔️ Wild-caught Ocean Wise® certified Salmon plus Ocean Whitefish Meal & Herring Meal (but not as smelly as the cat variety!). 
All fish is sustainably sourced to avoid overfishing and destruction of ecosystems, and to ensure that fish have lived a natural life free from antibiotics.

✔️ Wholesome ancient grains like steel-cut oats, sorghum, millet, quinoa, and chia seeds 

✔️ Superfoods like coconut oil, salmon oil, pumpkin and turmeric.

✔️ A long list of Vitamin supplements including Taurine and Mixed Tocopherols (preservatives for shelf life). Find the full list on the Open Farm Australian Website.

This dry dog food is suitable for all life stages, except for the growth of large-size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult) and lactating dogs.

The nutrient profile is Crude Protein (min 26%), Crude Fat (min 15%), Crude Fibre (min 4.5%), Moisture (10%) with the remainder comprising of Vitamins & Minerals.

We never use calories to measure our food intake or our dogs' but if you do, this would be the Calorie Content (calculated): 3750 kcal me/kg, 425 kcal me/cup.

Our Experience with the Open Farm range 

Another big tick for this range is the wide choice of novel single protein meals so if your dog has a known sensitivity to salmon, why not try their Catch of the Season Whitefish formula or if you don't want grains at all, you could try their other varieties: Grain-Free Homestead Turkey & Chicken or Grain-Free Pasture-Raised Lamb and there's a Grain-Free Wild-Caught Salmon variety too!

Because all pet food companies (dry food, wet food and raw alike) can be affected by production issues prompting a recall, we do applaud the efforts of Open Farm to provide 100% transparency and traceability with their Open Farms Traceability Feature so you can find out exactly where each ingredient has come from in your dog food.

When we tried it, this feature did not work for us because we'd been automatically redirected to the company's new Australian website but we understand this feature will be added soon.
However, using the US website at, it worked fine the second time around.

We were surprised at how small the kibble size was for dogs (but it is a trend we’ve noticed over the years) and fully expected our Belgian Shepherds to struggle with it, especially trying to retrieve it out of their slow food bowls but they surprised us. 

Our Malinois used their tongues a fair bit more than usual and may not have chewed as much inhaled this food but it all went down quickly (and never back up!) every single time. 
However at 14, our senior Conner does not have the best teeth so after a few days, we decided this was a bit too difficult for him and reverted to his former (softer) diet.

Aramis is wild at heart too so this is a match made in heaven!

Over the years, we've changed from being 100% kibble feeders to including some raw and lightly cooked meals but if you need a staple in your pantry (for your next lockdown...), we think this new Open Farm range is definitely worth exploring and we would be happy feeding this recipe to our dogs again.

A minor criticism is that all feeding guides use dog weights measured in pounds and feeding portions in cups so you’ll need to work out exactly how much to feed your dog's daily

All our dogs weigh around 30kg (or 66 pounds) so this would equate to feeding 2 cups a day for a less active dog like our senior and 3 cups a day for a more active dog like our Malinois twins. We’re not a huge fan of measuring using cups, preferring to use scales to ensure we feed our dogs the right quantity each time; we erred on the side of caution feeding each dog approximately 250g/day.

As they do receive the occasional dog treat or biscuit, we also trialled the Open Farm Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Stew.

Because this product's Nutrient Profile includes only 8% Crude Protein, we would only use it as a meal topper unless you have a very small dog (1 pack daily for a 5.5kg dog).

We smeared a third of a pack on each of our dogs' kibble on some nights (feeding slightly less dry food but it wasn’t the most precise measurement).

It reminded us of some of our casseroles (maybe the day after) and our dogs certainly enjoyed this hearty ground beef and visible vegetable small chunks (pumpkin / carrot / green beans / spinach / red lentils etc).

The Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Stew is available as a set of 12 packs (340g each) slightly bigger than your usual juice poppers but the content is definitely a lot chunkier!

Apart from all 3 dogs really loving it, we found this product very versatile: keep it in the fridge in summer to add some coolness to our dogs' bowl and do the opposite in winter, warming it up slightly (no microwave!) on a cold day. 

When travelling in a caravan /camper with a small dog, we can see the appeal and convenience of the packaging - light and easy to stack up on shelves. We’d definitely consider using this again as a meal topper.

We did experiment offering the Beef Rustic Stew dog variety to our cat Arya but she was not so easily fooled (she did exactly the same with the Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains kibble formula)!

In line with their commitment to sustainability, you can recycle your Open Farm packaging through the Open Farm Pet Food Bag Recycling Program. We certainly know where our boxes will be recycled first here...

Price & Where to Buy:

RRP: $34.99 (1.8kg) - $129.00 (10kg) for Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains, $69.99 for Rustic Stew (all varieties, 12 packs) exclusive to

On this particular food, you’ll save 10% on all options if you opt for Auto-Delivery (you can choose your frequency and are also free to cancel any time). If you tend to forget to order your pet food and regularly run out, this is not a bad idea?

Connect with Open Farm Pet Food on Instagram @openfarmpet and on Facebook.

Disclaimer:  a 10kg bag of Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains, a 12-pack of Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Stew and samples of other varieties were sent by Pet Circle to trial the Open Farm range and complete this review.

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