Finding the right food for your furry companion is no easy task. You want a blend that meets all their nutritional needs, tastes great, and is sourced from trusted suppliers. Two prominent players in this space are Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs. This detailed comparison will help you understand the offerings, pros, and cons of these brands to make a more informed decision.
Farmer’s Dog: More Than Just a Meal
Farmer’s Dog has garnered significant attention for its unique approach to dog food. The company prides itself on its high-quality, human-grade ingredients and personalized meal plans.
Farmer’s Dog treats each pet as an individual. They tailor meals to your pet’s specific needs, based on factors like age, breed, size, and health status. By using human-grade ingredients and cutting out the middlemen, Farmer’s Dog delivers fresh, highly nutritious meals right to your doorstep.
The Farmer’s Dog offers pre-portioned meals in eco-friendly packaging, making feeding times a breeze. Owners report that their pets adore the taste and show noticeable improvements in their overall health and vitality. Also, its comprehensive online portal makes managing deliveries and meal plans easy.
On the downside, Farmer’s Dog food is a significant investment compared to conventional dog foods. It also doesn’t currently meet the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) guidelines, which some pet parents and veterinarians regard as a trusted standard.
Just Food for Dogs: Prioritizing Nutrition and Science
Just Food for Dogs takes a scientific approach to canine nutrition, creating diets designed to optimize health and longevity.
Just Food for Dogs focuses on crafting vet-formulated, fresh food diets for dogs. All their meals are cooked in USDA-certified kitchens, and they boast a team of veterinary nutritionists and vets to ensure optimal pet health.
Just Food for Dogs provides a wide variety of meal options, allowing you to select different formulas that best suit your dog’s taste and nutritional requirements. Plus, they have both fresh frozen and shelf-stable options, adding to their convenience. Their commitment to scientific research and nutritional expertise gives many dog parents peace of mind.
As with Farmer’s Dog, Just Food for Dogs is more expensive than typical commercial dog food. Some users have also reported inconsistent meal quality, although these instances seem to be exceptions rather than the norm.
Analyzing Ingredients: A Closer Look
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs use human-grade ingredients in their recipes. However, there’s a difference in their approach to formulating these diets.
Farmer’s Dog uses a select few ingredients, focusing on simplicity and quality. They include a lean source of protein, vegetables, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals in their food. Their recipes are kept relatively simple, avoiding the use of common allergens or low-quality fillers. This results in meals that are easy to digest and suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
In contrast, Just Food for Dogs offers a wider range of ingredients and formulas. Their meals incorporate a broader variety of proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates. This diversity in ingredients allows them to cater to a more extensive range of nutritional needs and taste preferences. However, it might not be the best choice for dogs with specific food allergies.
The Buying Experience: A Matter of Convenience
Both companies provide an easy-to-navigate online shopping experience. Upon signing up, you’re guided through a series of questions about your pet, including age, breed, weight, activity level, and health concerns. This information helps them tailor a meal plan to your dog’s specific needs.
Farmer’s Dog automatically calculates the meal portions based on the information you provide, which takes the guesswork out of feeding. The meals arrive frozen in a recyclable box, and you can store them in your freezer until it’s feeding time.
Just Food for Dogs, on the other hand, provides both fresh frozen and pantry fresh (shelf-stable) meals. This dual option offers more flexibility, especially for pet parents who travel frequently with their dogs. Plus, they have physical locations in some states, giving you the option to pick up your order in-store.
Delivery and Subscription: Tailoring to Your Schedule
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs offer flexible subscription models. You can adjust, pause, or cancel your subscription at any time without incurring penalties. This flexibility ensures that you’re not locked into a service if your circumstances or your dog’s dietary needs change.
Farmer’s Dog provides bi-weekly or monthly delivery options, while Just Food for Dogs offers weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly deliveries. Thus, Just Food for Dogs might be more appealing if you prefer more frequent deliveries or need a shorter lead time to modify or cancel your order.
Community and Customer Service: Ensuring Support
Both companies have responsive customer service teams. However, Just Food for Dogs has a slight edge due to their extensive network of in-house vets and vet nutritionists. They offer free nutritional consultations, which can be incredibly beneficial for pet parents navigating their dogs’ health issues or allergies.
Farmer’s Dog has an active online community where pet parents can connect and share their experiences. It’s a valuable resource, providing real-life insights and practical tips from fellow Farmer’s Dog users.
Price Comparison: Considering Your Budget
When it comes to cost, both brands are significantly more expensive than typical commercial dog food due to their use of high-quality, human-grade ingredients and personalized meal plans. Just Food for Dogs tends to be slightly more affordable than Farmer’s Dog. However, the final cost for either brand will depend on your dog’s size, age, and dietary requirements.
Bottom Line: Which is Best for Your Dog?
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs aim to provide healthier, more nutritious alternatives to standard commercial dog food. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities.
If you value personalized meal plans and easy-to-serve packaging, Farmer’s Dog might be your top pick. However, if a scientifically-backed, vet-approved diet is what you’re after, Just Food for Dogs may be the better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the primary proteins used by Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs?
Farmer’s Dog offers three primary protein sources – beef, turkey, and pork. Each of these is accompanied by a selection of fresh vegetables and fruits. Just Food for Dogs has a more diverse menu, offering beef, chicken, fish, turkey, venison, and lamb. Their recipes also include a broader variety of vegetables and fruits, along with carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and rice.
2. Can I customize the meals?
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs provide personalized meal plans. They ask you detailed questions about your pet to tailor meals to their specific nutritional needs. However, Just Food for Dogs goes a step further by offering custom diet plans developed by their in-house veterinary nutritionists for dogs with unique health issues.
3. How often do I need to order?
Both brands offer subscription-based services that can be modified to suit your needs. With Farmer’s Dog, you can choose to have your meals delivered every two weeks or every four weeks. Just Food for Dogs is slightly more flexible, offering weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly delivery options.
4. What is the shelf-life of the meals?
Both brands deliver meals that are fresh-frozen to maintain their nutritional value. Once thawed, Farmer’s Dog food should be used within three days, while Just Food for Dogs meals can last in the fridge for up to five days. Just Food for Dogs also offers shelf-stable meals, which can be stored unopened at room temperature for up to two years.
5. Are the meals vet-approved?
Just Food for Dogs prides itself on its meals being vet-formulated and approved. They have a team of veterinary nutritionists and vets ensuring their meals meet high standards. Farmer’s Dog also consults vets in their meal formulation process, but they do not have a veterinary team on staff.
6. Can I change or cancel my subscription easily?
Yes, both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs offer flexible subscription models, and you can adjust, pause, or cancel your subscription at any time. This is particularly useful if your dog’s dietary needs change, or if you need to pause deliveries while on vacation.
7. Are these diets suitable for puppies?
Both brands offer meals that are suitable for puppies. However, it’s always important to consult with a vet when deciding on a diet for a puppy, as they have different nutritional needs compared to adult dogs.
8. Do the brands offer a trial pack?
Yes, both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs offer trial packs. These allow you to test the brand’s meals before committing to a full subscription, helping ensure your dog enjoys the food.
9. Are Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs meals grain-free?
While some of the meals offered by Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs are grain-free, they also provide options that contain grains. It’s important to remember that unless your dog has a specific grain allergy, there’s no need to avoid grains in their diet. In fact, recent studies have suggested a link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs.
10. What are the packaging and environmental impacts?
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs are committed to sustainable practices. Farmer’s Dog uses recyclable packaging and includes a reusable freezer bag with every delivery. Just Food for Dogs uses recyclable or compostable containers for their meals, and their pantry fresh meals are packaged in recyclable Tetra Pak cartons.
11. Are these meals good for dogs with allergies?
Both brands aim to cater to dogs with specific dietary needs, including allergies. Farmer’s Dog meals are simple, limiting potential allergens. On the other hand, Just Food for Dogs offers a wider range of ingredients and custom diet plans developed by their in-house veterinary nutritionists for dogs with unique health issues, including food allergies.
12. What should I do if my dog doesn’t like the food?
Both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs have customer-friendly policies and prioritize your pet’s satisfaction. If your dog doesn’t enjoy their meals, you can reach out to the respective customer service teams who will work with you to find a solution, which may include switching recipes or canceling your subscription.
13. Can I feed these meals to my cat?
While these meals are formulated with dogs in mind, Just Food for Dogs does offer a separate line of meals specifically formulated for cats. Farmer’s Dog currently only caters to dogs, and their meals should not be fed to cats, as cats have different nutritional requirements.
14. How do I transition my dog to these new foods?
When transitioning to a new food, it’s generally recommended to do so gradually over a week or two. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food in with their old food, gradually increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the old food each day. This slow transition helps avoid digestive upset.
15. Are these meals suitable for senior dogs?
Yes, both Farmer’s Dog and Just Food for Dogs cater to all life stages, including senior dogs. The questionnaire you complete when signing up will ask for your dog’s age, which is considered when formulating their meal plan.