Open Paddock Dog Food Review

Open Paddock Dog Food Review
8 Total Score
  • Decent meat
  • Decent ingredients throughout
  • No fillers or nasties
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.

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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:

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.
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.

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

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7 days ago

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?

3 months ago

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

4 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

2 months ago

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!

Last edited 2 months ago by Edward Staughton
16 days ago

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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