Farmers Market Dog Food Review

WebsiteFarmers Market
Country of originAustralia
Available fromPet Circle

Imagine you take your kids to a local restaurant. Above the door is a sign “Premium Natural Beef” with an image of a succulent steak, carrots, and peas. As you enter the restaurant you see further assurances, such as a sign saying “Premium Quality” and “From farm to plate”.

I’m sure, based on this, you’re expecting premium quality?

But what if it’s not?

What if it’s not actually beef, but some concoction with added flavourings and colourings to look like prime beef? Maybe a stack of cereal by-products, wheat, rice, sorghum, vegetable meal, or barley? Perhaps with some bits of beef, poultry, or fish thrown in?

With Farmers Market dog food, when you read the ingredients, this may not be far from the truth.

Farmers Market dog food review

What the marketing says

On the packet you find the words “Premium Natural Food for Dogs”, “Premium Quality”, “From Farm to Bowl”, and a picture, like we said earlier, of a succulent steak, carrots, and peas.

I’m sure by now you’re questioning how accurate a representation this is of Farmers Market dog food?

It turns out the brand is made by the Real Petfood Company. If you’ve read anything negative about Woolworths Baxters or Ivory Coat then they’re two more of the many brands from this manufacturer, one of Australia’s largest producers of home brand and private label dog foods.

Farmers Market Dog Food Review

I struggle to recommend any brand from this company based on reams of negative feedback I’ve received from all manner of Australian pet owners like yourself, a lot of which suggest their products can cause sickness.

Nevertheless, Farmers Market dog food is very popular. Perhaps because of the marketing, perhaps because of the availability and price, or perhaps because the kangaroo formula is so Aussie you absolutely must buy it and feed it to your dog.

Kangaroo happens to be a great lean protein for dogs, but only if there’s a decent amount in the food. If that’s what you want, here’s a list of decent kangaroo dog foods.

Okay, so there’s “air-dried bits” – you can read the benefits of real air-dried food in the Eureka and ZIWI Peak reviews. The benefits in Farmers Market are questionable, which you’ll find out soon.

Related: Recommended affordable dog foods.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients…

What the ingredients really say

Further down the page you’ll find the original ingredients which weren’t great in terms of canine nutrition. Sadly, as of updating this review (March 2023), it seems the ingredients have gone down hill. These latest ingredients, taken from the Woolworths website, show how a pet food can worsen once consumer loyalty has been established.

The main ingredients you will find to be as follows:

Meat and Meat By-Products (Beef, Poultry and Fish) and/or Poultry By-Products, Wholegrain Wheat, Cereal By-Products and/or Vegetable Meal, Rice and/or Sorghum and/or Barley

This brings me back to my introduction paragraph. Is this what you were expecting? Some hash of meat by-products, grains, grain by-products, and vegetable meal (whatever that may be concocted from).

You may see meat as the first ingredient as a good sign, but what if the wheat is in the same amount, and the cereal by-products as well. And the rice or sorghum or barley or whatever hash that is which comes 4th?

Is there much meat at all?

What by-products? Leftovers from human meat production? Remnants?

There are so many dog foods which come across better than this, which I expect will be far healthier for your dog…

Farmers Market Dog Food Review

The last thing I’ll say about Farmers Market dog food, with all it’s glorified packaging and marketing, is they use a typical analysis rather than a guaranteed analysis. What that means to you, is they can’t even guarantee the amount of protein and fat in the food (the stuff your dog needs the most), which is usually a way of concealing there’s more carbs (or sugars) than you may think.

You have to question if you want to feed the above concoction of ingredients to your dog. I wouldn’t feed it to mine. No sir.

If you buy your dog food at Woolworths or Coles there are, thankfully, some better options. Click on those respective links for reviews of pet foods available at those big supermarkets.

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Where to buy Farmers Market dog food

If you must…


Ingredients of Farmers Market dog food (With Chicken Plus Air Dried Inclusions):

Meat and Meat By-Products (Beef, Poultry and Fish) and/or Poultry By-Products, Wholegrain Wheat, Cereal By-Products and/or Vegetable Meal, Rice and/or Sorghum and/or Barley, Vegetables (including Peas and Sweet Potato), Animal Fat (Poultry and/or Beef), Palatant, Beet Pulp, Salt, Whole Linseed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Vitamins and Minerals, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Inulin, Oils (Vegetable and Fish), Natural Preservative, Natural Colour, Natural Antioxidants, Yucca Extract, Taurine.

Previous ingredients:

Beef Meal, Chicken Meal, Carrots, Peas, Wholegrain Wheat and Oats, Poultry Fat Stabilised with Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Vegetable Protein, Chicken Protein, Beef Liver, Beet Pulp, Chicken Gravy, Parsley, Whole Linseed (source of Omega 3 & 6), Kelp Meal, Garlic, Salt, Canola Oil Stabilised with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Inulin (Prebiotic), Yucca Extract, Essential Vitamins and Minerals, Natural Antioxidants.

Typical analysis

Typical analysis of Farmers Market dog food (With Chicken Plus Air Dried Inclusions):


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3.9 Total Score
Farmers Market Dog Food Review

The glorified packaging and claims of premium quality don't seem to ring true when you consider the main ingredients in this food for meat-loving dogs. Farmers Market dog food is one of many brands from the Real Petfood Company, who you may be aware of from negative consumer reviews for Ivory Coat and Woolworths Baxters.

  • Ambiguous cereals and cereal by-products (probably from wheat).
  • More wheat.
  • More grains in the form of rice or barley.
  • Packaging seems a very deceiving view of what the product really contains.
  • No guarantees of protein and fat levels, which suggests more carbohydrates.
David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

  1. This article is quite misleading as the “air dried inclusions’ version isn’t a replacement for the “original recipe” version. They are both available. You show the photo of the original packet but comment on and review the “air dried” ingredients.I’m still buying the original from my local Coles. And still great.

  2. My dogs are both keen on F.M Dry beef biscuits. I don’t buy the chicken as once you know all about chicken farming and what goes in to them there- I don’t eat chicken myself.
    Unfortunately, I’m finding the puppy biscuits very hard to find. Coles and Woolworths where I live, don’t even stock them now.
    I’ve been using them for several years and have had no problems at all.
    I have 2 German Shepherds.

  3. Great dog food this, my dog loves it especially the one that contains Apple. He hasn’t been drinking water nor has he had any other side effects from it. An Australian made dog food that is good for your dog and supports the country.

  4. I bought this brand of dog food to try something different as it looked quite good, 2 days later both of my dogs were in emergency with gastric problems vomiting white froth and shitting blood. I didn’t think at first it was the food but after talking to my best friend he told me exactly the same thing happened to his dog after eating the same brand of food. $1800 later my dogs are recovering still not eating so I’d be very careful buying this product. I won’t be using it again and am quite angry in what happened.

    • What food did you switch from? this usually happens when you haven’t slowly introduced the food over a period of 1-2 weeks, 2 weeks being preferred for most dogs and even up to a month for others.

  5. Apparantly based on Facebook it’s voted the number 1 pet food in Australia, the feeding guides from memory were huge, so it’s not very digestible, the problem is they have that consumer voted system, the last time I checked that on a brand of mayo it said it won the vote but only 1300 people voted, Australia is 30 million people plus, 1300 is a tiny number.

  6. Noticed the rating of Farmers Market was recently changed from 4 stars to 3.5 stars. What was the reason?

  7. Hello! Have any of guy seen the new pet food sold at Coles? Called Natures Table? Would love to hear your thoughts!

  8. I switched to Farmer’s market Chicken about 2 months ago due to cost as I’m getting a 3rd dog in a few weeks. They were on Applaws, but if I get FM on special, it’s pretty much half the price of Applaws. I’m a pensioner, so cost matters a lot. The only difference I’ve noticed is a bit more poop, but they seem to be doing fine on it. I have to point out that mine get 1/2 a scrambled egg and a small amount of chicken stock added in the mornings, they have chicken necks for lunch and share people-quality tinned sardines and fresh cooked mixed veg at night mixed in their kibble. They also get bits of fresh veg, salad and fruits while I’m cooking and cheese etc as well. Their coats are gleaming, they’re full of life and their vet has nothing but praise for their condition, so it seem’s to be going well, so far. I’ll stick with it for now but have to admit, I prefer buying a GF food. Also, a note about the ant topic below – while mine were on Applaws, I had a friends dog stay for a few days and she’s on Black Hawk puppy. The ants loved her poop and didn’t go near my dog’s poop… Lastly, does anyone think there would be issues switching between the chicken and beef variety? A few people have said it’s the best choice of the two but my Whippet gets upset tummies easily and I don’t want to rock the boat.

    • You could switch over to the beef variety slowly as you finish off your current bag of chicken FM.
      I am also on a pension and have a greyhound I normally feed Ivory Coat but when money gets tight or if I run out I’ve fed the Beef FM variety with no issue 🙂

    • Sounds like you’re putting plenty of thought into their diet which is probably more helpful overall than a mindless big budget anyway. On the subject of affordable foods, have you also looked at chicken frames? They’re a bit bulky to store in large quantities in a freezer, but around here they go for 50-75c apiece.

  9. As others have said it should be noted that the Beef variety is the pick of the two.

    The Chicken variety’s ingredients as listed:

    Chicken Meal, Meat Meal, Carrots, Wholegrain Wheat, Peas, Chicken Fat Stabilised with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Source of Vitamin E), Vegetable Protein, Oats, Chicken Protein, Beef Liver, Beet Pulp, Chicken Gravy, Parsley, Whole Linseed (Source of Omega 3 & 6), Garlic, Kelp Meal, Salt, Canola Oil Stabilised with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Inulin (Prebiotic), Yucca Extract, Essential Vitamins and Minerals, Natural Antioxidants.

    I would pick the Beef variety over the Chicken variety because it has two specified meat meals (beef meal and chicken meal) where as the Chicken has one specified (chicken) and one unspecified, with the Chicken wheat is higher on the ingredients list and the more favourable grain oats is lower on the list rather than at the same location, plus peas are higher on the list than grains in the Beef variety.

    Still a very similar food and very impressive for a supermarket food.

    If I had to recommend a supermarket brand that is widely available I would recommend this as an affordable dry food for the average pet dog that doesn’t have high energy demands or as an emergency back up to regular food.

    I have personally used this when I ran out of IC and fresh food; my girl tolerated it very well, had slightly more gas than normal but was otherwise fine with it.

    • Farmers market shredded beef and the chicken are the only brand my dog will eat. Unfortunately Cole, Woolies and IGA are regularly of stock. This sends us all in a panic and we travel to Mornington, Rosebud, Rye and Mornington to try to stock up.
      Would love to hear if anyone knows where it is most likely to be in stock.

    • Let’s just hope that they’re turning over enough of it to justify the shelf space. It would be a shame if it went the same way as Applaws, leaving only the truly horrible options for the vast number of people who buy pet food from a supermarket.

      • Agreed.
        It’s always a shame when a good food stops getting shelf space or is changed for the worse to maintain its shelf space.

  10. I am always switching up dog foods for my dogs (their main food is applaws and raw but at the moment we are on a leaps and bounds phase which they are thriving on) as I am excited to try all the different foods. I always joke about my dogs being able to eat anything because they have iron stomachs and with all the different brands of food they eat on top of left overs, raw and canned food they are always fit as a fiddle.
    Farmers market excited me because it seemed to be a new supermarket food that could compete with applaws and it seemed good quality. At the time it came out my local woolworths stopped stocking applaws so I thought it could be a replacement. I bought the beef bag and my dogs as expected did great on it so I went back to buy another bag when they had finished the initial one. Woolworths only had the chicken formula so I decided to give that a go thinking it would be about the same quality as the beef.
    A week went by and the dogs showed no ill effects apart from slightly runny poo that I thought nothing of. During the second week my oldest dog started to get really itchy. Then my other dog started getting itchy! I thought they had fleas but after treating them and looking (both have extremely short hair) I found nothing. Then both of them started getting flaky and my youngest got explosive diarrhea.
    I don’t know what was causing this but after my oldest dog started vomiting frequently I changed the food. As soon as they were on a different food (natures gift) it all stopped. Bear in mind that my dogs have gone for months on meato’s and never had a reaction like this to any other food. I switch their food regularly and never in my life have I dealt with something like this.

    • In keeping with your experience, I can’t recall the details but do remember examining the contents of all the Farmers Market varieties and coming away with the impression that the adult beef formula was clearly the pick of the bunch. I have a vague memory that some of the puppy formulas are using unnamed “meat” as well which isn’t very encouraging.

      • I noticed that as well. It seems to be the only difference. I am not sure if that is what caused the reaction or not

      • I had a look at all the formulas and all the chicken ones have “meat meal” as the 2nd ingredient, so the beef definitely wins.

  11. Earlier today I was cleaning up the outdoor area where the dog eats her meals and saw something curious. Exactly two pieces of kibble had been spilled about 6 inches apart on a concrete surface from her morning snack, and as it happened one was Farmers Market and the other was Taste of the Wild. After perhaps 4 hours there were ants covering the Farmers Market kibble while the Taste of the Wild was ant-free. I doubt this tells us much at all about the ingredients, but it was just interesting to behold.

    • This is very interesting. Ants are much more attracted to sweet foods, and not very attracted to meats and proteins (which is what a dog food should be).

      An interesting study can be found here –

      There’s a chart in the study which shows no ants were attracted to meat. Zero. Zilch.

      • Reply
        Gail Kanaszyc Kalina February 7, 2017 at 12:43 am

        Actually, some ants are protein/grease eaters, but they’ll eat sugar too. Need to know what type of ant was on the food, before you can determine if it was after protein/fat or sugar.

        • I actually did a more scientific test following this post, where I placed a single TOTW high prairie, Farmers market and Meals for mutts (just whatever I had available at the time) kibble on an A4 sheet of paper and placed it on a paved area where at least two species of ant that I know of are active. No idea of their correct names so I shall refer to them here as little red buggers and little black buggers.

          Anyway it was a complete anticlimax. Checking activity every couple of hours just revealed a multicultural red/black ant party where nobody had any particular preferences but everyone was hungry. In fact I’m pretty sure they were laughing at the stupid primate who delivered them a three course meal. My shepherd certainly was.

    • It tells us heaps, ants love sugar, stop feeding the high carb sugar kibble “Farmers Market” & stick with the TOTW kibble…. People need to start emailing these kibble companies & ask these companies like Farmers Market, can they PLEASE replace the Wheat with Sweet Potatoes, more healthy ingredients…
      My boy loved eating the Farmers Market kibble but after eating it he was always eating grass so I gave the rest of the kibble away…….I’ve been rotating Patches TOTW Roasted Lamb kibble with Pro Pac Ultimates Bayside Whitefish, he loves his Pro Pac Ultimates, it’s real crunchy & he’s not eating grass after he eats……MidWestern Pet Foods make Earthborn Holistic & also make Pro Pac Ultimates & it’s a bit cheaper then their Earthborn Holistic kibble, Pet Circle sell the 12kg Grain Free Pro Pac for $89 or their kibble with Brown rice for $80.. I’m ordering a bag of Pro Pac Ultimates Meadow Prime Lamb tomorrow…

      • That’s interesting and I’d certainly be willing to buy the sugar angle, but looking at both of the websites I’m not seeing carb/sugar numbers listed either way. Calorie-wise one is 3450kcal/kg (FM) vs 3600kcal/kg (TOTW Pine forest) which doesn’t seem terribly significant. Perhaps it’s some fragrance thing, or some wackadoodle chemical thing that means a lot to ants and nothing at all in the dog food context?

        Either way she’s getting less of the Farmers Market and more of the grain-free quality stuff, hence this transition period.

        • Hi, yes most kibble companies do not list carbohydrate % or Sugar % you can email the companies & ask…..
          Earthborn Holistic list their Carbohydrates under Guaranteed Analysis section, their Primitive Natural has only 17.5% Carbohydrates, next their Great Plains-25% Carbs, then Coastal Catch at 29% carbs….
          TOTW Appalachian Valley Small Breed formula & Wetlands Formula both have 28% carbs then the High Prairie formula has 29% carbs then Southwest Canyon formula has 33.5% carbs then Pine Forest formula
          has 34.5%, Carbs & in the Farmers Market Beef formula it has 39% carbs but that’s only if the moisture is 10% & the ash is 8%, moisture & ash is not listed on Farmers Market site..??.
          1 Cup of Wheat flour has 95.39% of carbohydrates….

        • They don’t have to list carb and sugar % which is why they don’t, they also feel it might confuse pet parents by doing so.

          You can easily tell the carb content by adding protein, fat, moisture, ash and fibre and than subtracting that number from 100.

    • That’s really interesting Alan! I’ve noticed ants are more attracted to some foods than others, and they’re mostly attracted to sugary or greasy foods.

      • Indeed. Once upon a time I used to work with electronics deployed outdoors, and always found that microwave equipment attracted ants, while infrared equipment attracted midges/tiny flying critters. To this day nobody can tell me why (beyond the simplistic amateur guesstimates).

  12. I bought a bag of the Adult Beef & Veggies formula at Woolworths it was on special last week, I thought I’ll give it a go I’m not one to buy supermarket pet foods but I liked the ingredients, Beef Meal & then Chicken Meal being 1st & 2nd ingredients then carrots & peas…
    I opened the Beef & Veggies kibble bag this morning & this kibble smells BEAUTIFUL, even my kitten wanted Patches breakfast, she wanted Patch breakfast & wouldn’t eat her own breakfast, the kibble size is a really good size small, so very easy for dogs that gulp their meals to digest the smaller kibbles……BUT I really wish Farmers Markets leaned more towards bringing out a grain free kibble or a kibble with Sweet potatoes & Brown Rice instead of adding the Whole Grain Wheat….
    My boy has IBD & Skin Allergies, he’s sensitive to certain ingredients & wheat is one of them, wheat makes him itch & start to smell real yeasty & how I know this is, when his IBD is really bad the only thing that really helps him is feeding his toast, dry white bread toast, it seems to settle his stomach, stop the vomiting & nausea & firm up his poos but then the itchy smelly skin starts if he eats toast for more then 2-3 days but the toast really helps his stomach & bowel….I’m crossing my fingers this isn’t the case with this new Farmers Market Beef & Veggies & Patch doesn’t get itchy, I really like the fiber% it’s only 3% another good thing, dogs don’t need high fiber diets, they have a short bowel, their digestive tract is not made to digest a high fiber diet…
    So far, Patch isn’t licking his mouth after eating his Beef & Veggies kibble he ate for breakfast licking (nausea) is something he does when he feels sick after eating kibbles, he’s doesn’t have any gas or wind pain & he’s not whinging for me to rub his stomach, so Patch has given this kibble 5 stars so far, I’ll be back in 1 week if he starts to smell yeasty & itch…..
    To Farmers Market PLEASE look into making a kibble that’s grain free or 1 grain & Sweet Potato kibble & not a grain free kibble with the chick peas, lentils, garbanzo beans etc, Chickpeas lentils are very hard to digest & I’ve noticed a few people whinging on the Dog Food Advisor American site about all these new grain free kibbles coming out that have Lentils, Garbanzo beans, Chick Peas, Pea Protein, Pea fiber, Pea flour, Peas, Peas & more Peas, we don’t what any grain free pea kibbles….I suppose it’s cheap & easy…

    • Hi Susan,
      Our pug has skin issues as well; have you checked out Augustine Approved website? It provides a recipe to make your own dog food. I get dog mince (often ground chicken carcass) from my local butcher and make my own, it’s a bit of a pain and you need a decent blender or food processor as it requires chopping a lot of veggies. The dogs love it and I feel like I’m giving them decent food. I do give grain free dry food as well, but primarily eat home made. Might be worth a try for you!

      • Hi Gwyn, yes I went thru Jacqueline Rudan a Naturopath that makes the “Natural Animal Solutions ” Supplements to put Patch on a raw balanced diet cause Patch has IBD & Skin Allergies, the raw diet didn’t work for Patch at the time he kept regurgitating the raw up into his mouth then having bad acid reflux so now I cook the raw cause Patch couldn’t have the bones it can be cooked & I supplement the cooked meal with Natural Animal Solutions “DigestaVite Plus” power & I also feed him “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb & rotate with other Grain Free kibbles like Holistic Select, Salmon & Pro Pac Ultimates Meadow Prime Lamb…. I’ve tried all the Australian made kibbles & they all put fish or Salmon oil in the kibbles & Patch can’t have the fish or salmon oil, he gets his acid reflux… “Follow “Rodney Habib” on his F/B page, Rodney also runs “Planet Paws” F/B page, the man that makes Augustine also follows & has met Rodney Habib when Rodney came to Australia last year for the big Dog Expo show….

  13. Now that I know what chicken gravy is, I’m reluctant to buy the new Blackhawk after I run out of Artemis lol.

    I might try Earthborn after instead as I’ve read good things about it, so why not.

    • Digest is labelled in so many ways – flavour, natural flavour, gravy, palantant, broth, and others.

      • It would be virtually impossible to buy any dry food or canned foods than since both have some form, just have to trust its good quality.

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