Open Paddock Dog Food Review

Country of originAustralia
Available fromWoolworths

Open Paddock dog food can be found on the shelves of Woolworths amongst other brands we would like to see abolished. Need I mention Baxters and Smitten which are made by the same manufacturer as their dreadful Essentials range.

Thankfully Open Paddock is made by a different manufacturer and looks pretty good at first glance. It’s a kibble + air-dried dog food which has become a trend in recent months.

For our Open Paddock dog food review we’ll delve into the Chicken formula to find out whether it’s good, not good, and worth the money. The beef formula is same same but different meat.

Open Paddock dog food review

What the marketing says

There’s a few claims on the Open Paddock packaging which sound really good, such as “ethical and sustainable”, “RSPCA approved chicken #1 ingredient”, and “Higher Welfare Barn Raised” with a picture of a chicken.

They state “75% Fresh Chicken & Animal Ingredients”, “25% Rice, Superfoods, Oils, & Essential Nutrients”, “No added corn, wheat, and soy”, and no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives either.

Open Paddock Dog Food Review

Some of those statements may be a little misleading, but overall still suggest a decent product. There’s a glamorous picture of fresh ingredients which is merely an illustration to be ignored and likely won’t represent the true ingredients.

Being an “All Life Stages” means Open Paddock dog food contains the minimum nutrients for the puppy phase as well as adult.

What the ingredients really say

I’ll start by saying Open Paddock looks to be a pretty decent dog food. Compared to other supermarket brands it positively glows, and may well be the one to chose if Woolworths is your preferred store. It’s also a welcome addition to their range, so credit where credit is due.

But is it as good as our best rated brands?

It’s a shame to see a “typical analysis” rather than a “guaranteed analysis”. The amount of protein in the food looks really good at 31.8%, but unfortunately being a “typical” figure this isn’t guaranteed. It could be much less for all we know.

Fat of 13.3% is slightly on the low side, which is a shame as animal fats are an excellent energy source for a dog.

Fibre doesn’t appear to be listed (let me know in the comments if I’m wrong!)

I’ll get to the positive parts in the moment (of which there are many), but while we focus on dubious factors it’s not clear whether the higher welfare chicken is only the first chicken ingredient, or includes the subsequent chicken meal, chicken oil, and chicken gravy ingredients as well – perhaps not, so don’t assume it is.

Open Paddock Dog Food Review

Chicken looks to be the main ingredient which is really good to see. You may be surprised how many dog foods say “Chicken is the first ingredient” when the reality is it’s only 10% to 20% of the product. With Open Paddock we find a strong combination of fresh chicken meat (possibly the air-dried pieces) and a protein-dense dried chicken meal.

The 75% claim (wet weight) is inclusive of chicken oil and chicken gravy which are added for fat and flavouring.

Air-dried pieces of chicken will have retained more nutrients than chicken cooked at high temps into a kibble, so that’s a plus.

Field peas and rice as the 3rd and 4th ingredients can be considered significant, likely in an equal proportion. Peas have a number of nutritional benefits. They’re another source of protein (not as easily digested as meat) as well as digestible fibre, vitamins and essential nutrients. They’re in a reasonable moderation as well.

Rice will be white rice rather than the more nutritious and lower GI brown rice, and as the main source of carbohydrates will offer your dog energy. Rice can be considered a filler, especially with a dog being of the order carnivora, but isn’t in excess in Open Paddock.

We find some smaller inclusions which come after salt (about 1%). Such minor inclusions of potato and brown rice seem insignificant, so perhaps they’re trying to make the ingredients sound more diverse. It’s good to see salmon oil but again this is only a small fraction of the formula.

The list of super-healthy-sounding ingredients at the end, such as fruits, veggies, and herbs, are in the smallest amount of the lot. Specks of dust perhaps?

A summary

Open Paddock dog food is decent overall. It boasts a decent meat content, and peas and rice in a considered proportion.

As far as dog foods go you really can’t complain about the ingredients. You could substitute, say, white rice for brown, perhaps ramp up some of the smaller inclusions, but that would inevitably lead to a more expensive product.

Speaking of price, it may seem pricier than other supermarket brands, but as a dog food it seems very well priced given the ingredients.

Looks good!

Where to buy Open Paddock

Open Paddock dog food is available in Woolworths.

Ingredients

Ingredients of Open Paddock dry dog food Chicken formula:

Fresh Chicken Meat, Chicken Meal, Field Peas, Rice, Chicken Oil, Chicken Gravy, Beet Pulp, Tapioca, Sea Salt, Salmon Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Potato, Brown Rice, Molasses, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E, Chick Peas, Calcium Carbonate (Limestone), Niacin (B3),Potassium Chloride, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Smoke, Pantothenic Acid (B5),Manganese, Fermented Rice, Riboflavin (B2), Selenium, Garlic Powder, Kelp, Thiamine (B1), Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, Pyridoxine, (B6), Iodine, Biotin (B7), Folic Acid, Alfalfa, Apple, Blueberry, Carrot, Cranberry, Egg, Flaxseed, Parsley, Potato, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Thyme, Yoghurt.

Typical analysis

Note: Open Paddock dog food has a typical analysis rather than a guaranteed analysis which provides assurances of minimum values.

Typical analysis of dry dog food as of June 2021:

Protein31.8%
Fat13.3%
Crude Fibre?
Carbohydrates *36.9% estimated (but can vary as typical analysis)
* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

Open Paddock dog food recalls

There are no known recalls at the current time. Australia does not have an official body in place to regulate and issue recalls, and as a new product there is little consumer feedback at the time of writing.

Previous recalls:

  • None.

Calling Aussie pet lovers – join the mailing list!

8 Total Score
Open Paddock Dog Food Review

In terms of supermarket brands of dog food we find Open Paddock to be really good. If Woolworths is your supermarket of choice then Open Paddock dog food is worth considering.

PROS
  • Decent meat
  • Decent ingredients throughout
  • No fillers or nasties
CONS
  • Protein and fat percentages aren't guaranteed and may vary
  • No fibre percentage listed

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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

19 Comments
  1. Hi,I have been using open paddock for my spoodle for a while now and she loved it…recently she has turned right off it and won’t go near it? Have you changed the recipe at all in bothe the chicken and kangaroo? Now looking for another product ☹️

  2. After reading your excellent reviews I have just started giving Open Paddock to my fur babies. Previously I was giving them Natures Goodness and more recently Nood, with a Black Dog Bigga biscuit for breakfast.

    Are you able to advise if Open Paddock, with a higher protein and fat content and your knowledge of the ingredients, would be more likely to cause weight gain, given serving quantities are the same.
    Thank you, and keep up the good work

  3. Great to hear free range eggs are used!
    Free range chicken would be great too.
    I supplement my dogs’ diets with free range chicken wings and niblets.
    My dogs are healthy and active with great coats.
    An advantage is I can feed my puppy with the same food as my 5 year old dog.
    Both love it.

  4. I have been eager to hear some feedback on this food as it sounds good but have contacted open paddock over 3weeks ago and no reply as yet on exact contents I would like to know if ok to give my 13 yr old dog this as she has been on a very expensive brand which is low fat after reading lower carbs are probably more important thankyou

  5. Food went rancid well before the use by date, contacted the company (who acknowledged receipt) but they never responded.

    Poor quality control.

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) September 26, 2022 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Matilda, just to add to your comment in respect to Open Paddock, storage since leaving the manufacturing facility can also play a part – i.e. in transport, at a retailer, with the consumer etc.

  6. Didn’t know where else to put this. The woman’s voice On the advertisement is horrifying. That is all.

  7. My Cardigan Corgi at 3 months old swallowed a whole chicken neck which lodged in his intestine causing significant damage resulting in surgical removal of 30 cms of intestine. As a result he was plagued with digestive problems. I have had him since he was 7 months old and he is now 19 months. I have fed him dry food recommended by veterinary surgeon, almost every brand from the supermarkets as well as several found on the internet – in total between 12 and 16 different brands and kinds. None of these had any effect on his constant diarrhoea. Eight months ago I found gluten free foods did help his problem then three months ago I discovered Open Paddock. He is now fed half cup gluten free commercial chicken meat together with 1.5 cups of Open Paddock dry food daily and he is thriving. His faeces are now normal and his erratic behaviour has calmed – he is now a different dog, he is bright, happy and healthy.

  8. The ingredients list says “rice” and also “brown rice” and further down “fermented rice”. Can you please tell me the benefits of fermented rice in dog food? I’ve never seen it in any other brand. Also Molasses. Is this just for a sugar hit?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) May 23, 2022 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Jill, I think the most important point of consideration is brown rice, fermented rice, and molasses are found in a very small amount (as is everything listed after sea salt in Open Paddock). Most ingredients have some kind of benefit in moderation, if not cost saving, as do rice, fermented rice, and molasses. Molasses can be a source of vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Fermented rice may have a perceived benefit for gut health. Brown rice is a source of vitamins D and B as well as fiber. Quality of such ingredients or why they’re included is often open to speculation, but given the moderation in Open Paddock I personally see no issues here.

  9. My dog died nearly two years ago after eating Baxter’s dry food,I got refund from Woolworth,but no response from manufacturer, because I’m not well my neighbor bought some Baxter’s dry food nearly two weeks ago for my new dog,I had no option but to feed her this product as I couldn’t get to shop to replace and didn’t want to offend my neighbor,my dog had a seizure four nights ago,minor but scary again.i replaced with open paddock after reading up on it, vets agree d with my decision,lulu can’t get enough so far and her constantly itching paws from other brands has eased as well, being a pensioner I have to budget sparingly but $44 a 6kg bag is peace of mind,and there is nothing more important, thank you open paddock, finger’s crossed

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) February 20, 2022 at 2:35 am

      Hi Steve, I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your dog, and the Australian pet food industry should hang it’s head in shame. It’s hard to believe what they get away with, with no accountability or compassion.

  10. I went looking for a new dog food because my dog was scratching constantly although there didn’t seem to be any external cause. Knowing dogs can have food allergies, I decided to switch from the major brand I was using to something more natural and found Open Paddock on the shelves at Woolies. Smokey has been on it for about 3 days and already I have noticed he is scratching less. Another great benefit is that it is Australian owned and made. Something that we Aussies need to look more at doing and buying. Yes it is more expensive and I would hope Vets would also promote it as a good dog food kibble. Smokey now eats all his Open Paddock in the morning feed which with the former dry food he would mostly leave in his bowl until his night feed. Smokey is a 25kg dog and whilst it says to feed 2.5 cups, I have knocked it back to 2 cups with one cup mixed into his wet food – !/2 tin, night feed which he really seems to now like.I only hope Woolies keeps it on the shelves.

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) January 10, 2022 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Kate, good to hear the improvement in your dog’s allergies. It’s always worth considering what may’ve caused the reaction with the previous food as it’s useful for choosing other foods in the future. If the old diet contained cereals/wheat then my guess is that would be the culprit, or if not possibly one of the specific meat proteins or preservatives in the old food.

  11. Did a bit of a further delve into the chicken and they state they use RSPCA approved chicken so that’s a good sign!

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 17, 2021 at 2:04 am

      By the looks of it it’s only for the first chicken ingredient, so may not be the case for “chicken meal” as the second ingredient. Cunning wording, or perhaps a marketing faux pas.

      • But what about the Molasses listed in the ingredients…isn’t that a sugar?

      • Great news – I can confirm that all chicken is RSPCA approved – including the chicken meal. Open Paddock is committed to transparency and integrity as well as the highest quality nutrition, and we are very excited to bring this caliber of specialty petfood to to grocery (Woolworths) shelves!

        • I have also emailed Open Paddock to check whether ‘eggs’ listed in ingredients of their various products are free range. They confirmed via fast return email that all eggs used are free range and will follow up my suggestion that this is labelled in future. I’ll suggest they add fibre content as well by return email.

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