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The Farmer’s Dog vs Just Food For Dogs: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Written by: Chelsea Mortensen

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

The Farmer's Dog vs JustFood ForDogs Dog Food - Featured Image

The Farmer’s Dog vs Just Food For Dogs: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

When you make the jump from kibble to fresh food, the number of choices can be astounding. With so many companies offering fresh food options, it can be hard to decide where to go. The Farmer’s Dog and Just Food For Dogs are two of the most popular fresh food companies, and they might look similar at first glance. But there are significant differences in their offerings.

Here’s an in-depth comparison of these two brands.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Just Food For Dogs

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Just Food for Dogs Just Food for Dogs
  • Made from fresh ingredients
  • USA-harvested whole rice
  • Gluten-free
  • Second place
    The Farmer's Dog The Farmer's Dog
  • Made from fresh ingredients
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • USDA-certified
  • We love both The Farmer’s Dog and Just Food For Dogs, but Just Food For Dogs has a slight edge in our book. It offers many more options and varieties of food, including novel proteins, specialty diets, and grain-inclusive options. It also has a slight edge when it comes to nutrition. But The Farmer’s Dog isn’t anything to sniff at either, especially since it’s more a convenient and sometimes cheaper option.

    Read on to learn more about what we like and dislike about each brand.

    About The Farmer’s Dog

    The Farmer’s Dog is a popular fresh food company that operates on a subscription service. All its food is freshly prepared in USDA-certified kitchens. It uses a mixture of fresh meat, vegetables, and added vitamins and minerals to make healthy fresh food that’s free of fillers or preservatives. Once you enter your dog’s information on the site, it will calculate ideal portion sizes and start sending you a variety of fresh meals on a regular basis.

    About Just Food For Dogs

    Just Food For Dogs was started in 2010 with a focus on transparency. Like The Farmer’s Dog, it offers fresh pet food as its main food line, and you can even go and see the food being prepared in many of its kitchens across the country. It also offers a line of dry food. The foods are made with fresh meat, fruits, veggies, and added vitamins and minerals. The ingredient list is comprehensive and offers explanations for what each item does to your dog’s health.

    The 3 Most Popular The Farmer’s Dog Food Recipes

    1. Turkey

    white dog eating The Farmer's Dog turkey recipe fresh food

    The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is a delicious recipe with turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach as its main ingredients. It is a grain-free recipe containing chickpeas. This is a controversial choice because legumes and grain-free recipes have been linked to heart issues in dogs. However, the other ingredients are great for a dog food. Its dry nutrition breakdown is 38% protein, 26% fat, and 2% fiber. This is an ideal option for active, high-energy dogs.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • High protein diet
    • Lots of green veggies
    Cons
    • Contains chickpeas as second ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • Not ideal for less active/overweight dogs

    2. Beef

    The Farmer's Dog fresh food in bowl with hungry dog

    The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe uses USDA beef, along with sweet potatoes, lentils, and carrots. The high-quality beef is a great option that many dogs will salivate over. Lentils are the third ingredient and are currently controversial for being used to replace grains in dog food. It is extremely high in fat and protein, with 41% protein and 31% fat. This makes it a good option for pets that need a high-fat, high-protein, lower-carb diet, but it might be too much for many dogs. If your dog is allergic to poultry, though, this might be a good choice.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • High protein diet
    • Poultry-free for dogs with allergies
    Cons
    • Contains lentils as third ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • May have too much fat/protein for some dogs

    3. Chicken

    The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food

    The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe uses USDA chicken, Brussels sprouts, chicken liver, bok choy, and broccoli as its main ingredients. This is a grain-free diet, but it avoids peas, lentils, and other legumes, which are the most likely cause of heart disease in grain-free diets. It is another high-protein, high-fat formula with 49% protein and 37% fat. Although some active dogs and growing puppies might enjoy this diet, it’s important to serve it carefully to avoid overfeeding. This food might be too fat- and protein-heavy for many dogs. It is also a little low in fiber, with about 1% fiber content.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • Lots of green veggies
    • High protein diet
    Cons
    • Grain-free
    • A little low in fiber
    • Common allergen
    • May have too much fat/protein for some dogs

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    The 3 Most Popular Just Food For Dogs Food Recipes

    1. Chicken and White Rice

    Just Food for Dogs Chicken and White Rice

    The most popular fresh food at Just Food For Dogs is Chicken & White Rice. This recipe is made with chicken thighs, gizzards, and liver as the main protein and white rice, spinach, carrots, and apples as the main plants. Chicken is a great protein source for many dogs, though it can be an allergen. Rice is a good grain choice because it’s easily digestible, but we prefer whole-grain rice to white rice. Spinach, carrots, and apples are all ideal vitamin sources.

    On a dry-matter basis, this food contains 29% protein, 11% fat, and 4% fiber. This is a little lower in protein and fat than most of the other recipes on this list but still well within the recommended range. This makes it ideal for older or overweight dogs, but large breeds and highly active dogs might want a higher protein option.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • Contains healthy meat and veggie balance
    • Digestible grains
    • Ideal for older, overweight, or less active dogs
    Cons
    • Better choices available for active dogs
    • Common allergen
    • Not whole grain

    2. Fish & Sweet Potato

    Just Food for Dogs Fish & Sweet Potato

    Another popular food by Just For Dogs is its Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe. This uses wild-caught Alaskan cod as the main protein source. This is supplemented with sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, green beans, and broccoli as the main vegetables. The wild-caught cod is a great protein alternative to poultry or red meat and is a low-fat protein source full of fatty acids. This is a grain-free food that contains legumes, which is a cause for concern, since most dogs are healthier on a grain-inclusive diet. This food is very high in protein at 39% dry matter and high in fiber with up to 17%, but it’s low in fat at around 11%. Overall, this food is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs or weight gain issues.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • Allergy-friendly
    • High in fiber
    • High-protein, low fat
    Cons
    • Grain-free
    • Contains legumes

    3. Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni

    Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni

    The Just Food For Dogs Ground Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni contains ground turkey, macaroni, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, turkey liver, and cranberries. Turkey is a great choice for active dogs and is full of healthy minerals like selenium, iron, and zinc. Whole wheat pasta is a great healthy grain option, and the fruits and vegetables included add many other important nutrients.

    This food is about 32% protein, 13% fat, and 10% fiber. This is a great mix for most dogs, as it is high in protein but not so high that an older or less active dog will get too much. The slightly lower fat content also helps ensure that dogs maintain a healthy weight. Some active dogs might prefer a higher fat diet, though.

    Pros
    • Meat is first ingredient
    • Delicious, healthy option for most dogs
    • High in protein, low to moderate fat content
    • Healthy grains
    Cons
    • Active or underweight dogs might prefer slightly fattier food

    Recall History of The Farmer’s Dog and Just Food For Dogs

    Both food companies have had an extremely clean record when it comes to dog food recalls. The Farmer’s Dog has had no recalls, while Just Food For Dogs has had just one. That recall happened in 2018 when a type of Listeria bacteria contaminated its green beans. Listeria causes signs like diarrhea and vomiting in humans and dogs. Just Food For Dogs recalled the food and made its recipes without green beans until it could resolve the issue and ensure that all its food was safe again.

    Finny enjoying her The Farmer's Dog turkey recipe

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    The Farmer’s Dog vs Just Food For Dogs Comparison

    Taste

    • Winner: Tie

    Both The Farmer’s Dog and Just Food For Dogs create delicious, well-crafted meals that most dogs will love. If you let your dog try all the options, there’s no telling what they’ll pick! What your dog likes best will depend on their personal taste. Both companies source high-quality meat and vegetables for their main ingredients, and there’s not one clear winner on taste.


    Nutritional Value

    • Winner: Just Food For Dogs

    Just Food For Dogs Beef and Russet Potato Recipe Fresh Frozen

    Both use fresh, high-quality ingredients and offer a high-protein diet of about 30% to 40% protein. The Farmer’s Dog has meals that tend to be higher in fat and lower in fiber than Just Food For Dogs recipes. Most of its recipes are grain-free and contain peas, chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes that may be linked to health issues.

    Just Food For Dogs food tends to be lower in fat and higher in fiber. It offers a greater variety of meal options, with some meals optimized for weight loss or gain. It also has options for dogs with special dietary needs. Some of its meals are grain-free or include legumes, but most do not. It has also conducted extensive clinical research on its foods to ensure the long-term health of its customers’ dogs.


    Price

    • Winner: It depends

    Fresh food is pricey, but a small difference in cost can add up. Just Food For Dog offers the cheapest fresh meal option out of either brand, Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni, but its prices are more variable, so if you buy a variety of foods, The Farmer’s Dog may end up cheaper. Just Food For Dogs also offers cheaper dry food options.

    Both offer free shipping on their subscriptions. Just Food For Dogs also offers one-time purchases with a flat $10 shipping. The Farmer’s Dog also offers a partial meal plan that makes it easier to mix kibble and fresh food. This is a huge money saver that gives The Farmer’s Dog bonus points in affordability. Just Food For Dogs lets you customize the amount you get, so you can buy half as much food, but it isn’t an automatic option. In the end, The Farmer’s Dog gives you more flexibility in budget, but it isn’t always cheaper.


    Selection

    • Winner: Just Food For Dogs

    just food for dogs beef and russet potato recipe

    When it comes to selection, The Farmer’s Dog has only four meals available: chicken, beef, turkey, and pork. These meals are fairly similar in nutritional value and may not work well for dogs that need special diets.

    Just Food For Dogs has a much bigger selection. This includes more grain-inclusive options and novel proteins like lamb and venison. It also offers a line of veterinary foods, such as renal support, joint support, and critical care support, that are ideal for specialized diets. It has a line of dry food too, if fresh isn’t your thing.


    Convenience

    • Winner: The Farmer’s Dog

    The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription-only option, but it is incredibly easy and simple to use once it’s set up. When you buy from The Farmer’s Dog, you fill out a beginning questionnaire about your dog and their needs, and then it sends you pre-portioned meals on a regular basis. It also makes it easy to order a variety of meals.

    Just Food For Dogs offers both subscription and one-time purchases. Like The Farmer’s Dog, it has a questionnaire that helps you match food to your dog’s needs. However, it doesn’t send you pre-portioned meals; instead, it just tells you how much to add to your order and which foods are most likely to work well. It’s set up primarily for dogs that eat the same meal every day. Overall, it’s a little more cumbersome to set up, and the lack of pre-portioned meals makes it less convenient.


    Overall

    Both options are quite good, but Just Food For Dogs has an edge because of its variety of food options and its slightly better nutritional value. However, that doesn’t mean The Farmer’s Dog is a poor choice—in fact, it might be better if convenience is your biggest factor or if you prefer grain-free foods.

    Final Verdict

    Overall, we think that Just Food For Dogs offers the best nutrition with its great options and ingredients. We love the company’s transparency and ethos, and its foods are absolutely delicious! But even though we picked it as the winner, its edge is slight. If your dog doesn’t have any specialty diet needs and you like the ease and simplicity of ordering what The Farmer’s Dog offers, it might be a better choice for your dog.

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