Open Nature Information
Open Nature is a pet food brand owned and sold by Safeway stores in the United States. The launch of Open Nature was announced in 2011, and their products were made available to shoppers soon after.
Since then, Open Nature’s product range has remained stable and hasn’t seen much change or expansion. While this is a positive trait to many who want a stable and consistent brand, it could show the brand is not seeing huge success or growth.
At this time, it is not clear where Open Nature dog food is produced or if a 3rd party manufacturer produces the recipes. However, we highly suspect that Safeway outsources its production.
Many other grocery stores have their own store brands or products produced by a 3rd party as they do not have their own facilities or expertise to produce pet food independently.
Given that Open Nature is a store brand, it is not available for purchase from other retail pet food stores or the large online pet food websites like Chewy or Amazon. Instead, it is only available from Safeway or Instacart orders.
Open Nature Product Range
Open Nature has a dog food range that is modest in size when compared to many other dog food brands. This range includes a mix of dry dog food and canned dog food.
The dry dog food range from Open Nature also contains some specialty recipes, such as grain-free food, grain-inclusive food, and puppy food.
Open Nature does not produce any breed-specific or size-specific dog food which are usually produced by large or more established brands.
Open Nature’s cat food range is similar in size to their dog food range and consists of three dry cat food recipes and six wet/canned cat food recipes. This product size is quite small compared to most other cat food brands.
Like the dog food range, this cat food product range includes some specialty recipes, such as a recipe for kittens. Cat food brands tend to produce less niche recipes and tend to stick to Kitten or Senior cat food.
Open Nature Nutrition
The nutritional profile (Guaranteed Analysis) of most Open Nature recipes is not available to view on their website, which is frustrating to dog owners looking to research Open Nature dog food.
You can see the below example from Safeway’s website where they list the ingredient list, but the Guaranteed Analysis is absent.
However, based on our research, the nutrition offered by Open Nature’s dry dog food is sadly average at best. It includes average proportions of protein and fat and proportions of carbohydrates that are significant.
Most dogs would be better suited to a nutritional profile with higher protein and fat proportions, especially from animal sources.
However, some of Open Nature’s wet dog foods offer more satisfactory nutrition that is low in carbohydrates and high in animal-based protein and fat.
If you would like to learn more about canine nutrition, we would highly recommend checking out our Dog Food Guide for an in-depth look.
The nutritional profile of Open Nature’s dry cat food recipes is similar to their dog food recipes in that information is not readily available online.
However, based on our alternative research, their recipes contain modest proportions of protein and fat and overly large proportions of carbohydrates.
However, Open Nature’s wet/canned cat food is more promising and contains a much higher protein and fat proportion.
This higher proportion of animal-based protein and fat is especially important for cats who are obligate carnivores rather than omnivores, like dogs.
If you would like to learn more about feline nutrition, including what it means to be an obligate carnivore, be sure to take a read of our Cat Food Guide for a detailed breakdown.
Open Nature Ingredients
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
Open Nature uses some of the most common meat and fish ingredients found in pet food recipes. Ingredients like Chicken and Beef are so commonly used because of their relatively low cost and high nutritional value.
Despite their low cost, pet owners should not turn their nose up at these regular ingredients as they are very suitable components of a dog or cat’s diet and can provide a plentiful supply of animal-based protein and fat.
Open Nature does not use any of the less common meat and fish ingredients that are becoming popular among some premium brands. Some prime examples of less common or unique meat ingredients that are being used in pet food include Rabbit, Venison, and Kangaroo.
You can learn more about these unique ingredients and why they are used in our article Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide.
Other Notable Ingredients
Open Nature makes use of the grain Brown Rice in several of its recipes. Grain ingredients, such as rice ingredients, are often controversial additions to pet food recipes, as many consider them to be processed or fillers.
However, Brown Rice is considered by many to be one of the best grain ingredients that can be used in dog food and far superior to others like Wheat or Corn.
This is thanks to the fiber and micronutrients Brown Rice can provide in addition to its base carbohydrate content. These benefits are especially prominent when Brown Rice is compared to White Rice and other grains that lack these nutrients and are therefore considered to be inferior or less valuable.
Sadly, Open Nature also makes use of some grain by-product ingredients such as Brewers Rice and Rice Bran. These grain ingredients are left over after processing or manufacturing and are considered by many in the industry to be low-quality ingredients.
If these ingredients are not sold to pet food companies, they are often used in industrial animal feed, where nutrition is provided at the lowest possible cost.
Chickpeas are a legume and are a prevalent plant-based ingredient in dog food along with other legumes like Lentils and Peas.
They are so popular in the industry, especially the grain-free industry, because they are relatively inexpensive and are high in plant-based protein.
However, in recent years, there have been some concerns about using high volumes of legumes and legume by-products in dog food recipes and an increased rate of canine heart disease.
This is a topic that is too broad and detailed for this page, but if you want to learn more about this, we recommend you check our discussion in our popular article Best Dog Foods Without Peas.
Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes are additional carbohydrate-providing ingredients that feature in select Open Nature recipes.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes are starch ingredients and a staple of human plates. Starch ingredients like these are incredibly dense sources of carbohydrates, and for this reason, their portion size must be tightly controlled to avoid weight gain or obesity.
Sadly, the portion size of these ingredients in some Open Nature recipes is quite significant, which means the proportion of carbohydrates present is large.
Menhaden Fish Meal is found in many pet food brands’ recipes, including some of the more premium brands.
Menhaden Fish are caught and processed for their oils, but the fish meal leftover from this oil-extraction process is very nutritionally dense, especially in animal-based protein.
This product is therefore used to boost the animal-based protein and fat content of some pet food recipes, which is must preferred to plant-based alternatives like Pea Protein.
Read more about Menhaden Fish Meal and why a minority do not support its use in our article Menhaden Fish Meal in Dog Food.
Chicken Fat is found in several of Open Nature’s recipes and is added to pet food to boost animal-based fat levels and improve a recipe’s palatability and taste.
Chicken Fat is chosen for this task as it is relatively easy to source and affordable compared to some alternatives. While less common, some other animal fats are found in pet food, such as Beef Fat.
You can learn more about Chicken Fat, including whether it can trigger a Chicken allergy, in our article Chicken Fat In Dog Food.
Dried Beet Pulp is used industry-wide as a source of soluble fiber in dog food. Soluble fiber can be important to some dogs to ensure they keep regular and consistent digestion; however, it isn’t always required.
Outside of its fiber content, Beet Pulp provides little nutrition to dogs, including a lack of protein, fat, or carbohydrates.
You can read more about Beet Pulp and why some are concerned when it is present in large quantities in our article Dried Beet Pulp In Dog Food.
Open Nature Animal Testing
We have no information on what type of testing Open Nature or Safeway does to test its dog or cat food products.
There has been a strong increase in interest about animal testing, feeding trials, and other related areas. Many pet owners are concerned about if there is sufficient testing done by smaller pet food brands and if their food is safe for long-term consumption.
However, we strongly believe that Open Nature outsources its Open Nature product to a third-party manufacturer. Due to this, the testing of these products is likely carried out by this third party.
We strongly believe that invasive or laboratory-style testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice and one which we hope will be eliminated in the coming years.
Open Nature Recalls
Given that Open Nature is now far from a new or young brand, it shows that their manufacturing processes take quality and safety seriously to avoid contamination or other risks.
We hope that Open Nature can continue this perfect recall record and ensure that their customer’s pets remain healthy and safe.
Despite this recall-free record, we always encourage consumers to be vigilant for any future recalls of Open Nature or any other brand.
Best of Open Nature
Salmon & Chickpea Recipe Review
The above recipe from Open Nature is our favorite of their dry dog food range. This is as this recipe utilizes Salmon as its primary ingredient rather than the typical Chicken. Salmon is an excellent choice for dog food and can provide a plentiful supply of high-quality protein and fat.
Salmon is also one of the best sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are believed to provide several health benefits to dogs, including an improvement in the condition of a dog’s skin and coat and a reduced risk of certain health issues.
This Salmon is joined by a portion of Menhaden Fish Meal, which we discussed earlier. The presence of a portion of Menhaden Fish Meal means that the overall proportion of the recipe that is fish-based is quite high, and as a consequence, so is the protein and fat proportion.
Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Peas make up the bulk of the recipe’s plant-based content and provide the recipe with a mix of carbohydrates, fiber, and select vitamins and minerals.
Beef & Chicken Review
As we mentioned earlier, Open Nature’s wet dog food recipes offer more satisfactory nutrition than their dry dog food recipes. The above Beef & Chicken recipe is a stellar example of this superior nutrition.
The vast majority of the recipe is made up of two ingredients – Beef and Chicken. This combination of two industry favorites provides an excellent proportion of protein and fat that is suitable for the majority of dogs, including those that are more active.
The recipe then includes a small portion of Beef Liver, which, as an organ meat ingredient, can improve the recipe’s flavor and provide vitamins and minerals that are not abundant in traditional meat cuts.
The only other notable ingredients in the recipe are Cassie Gum, Carrageenan, and Guar Gum, which are all binding agents and do not provide noticeable nutrition. However, some prefer dog food recipes that are free from these gums.
Adult Chicken & Chickpea Recipe Review
Based on our research, the best recipe from Open Nature’s limited cat food range is the above Chicken & Chickpea recipe.
Its primary ingredients of the recipe are Chicken and Chicken Meal which are both reputable animal-based ingredients.
Many consumers are cautious about pet food recipes with Meat Meals like Chicken Meal, but they shouldn’t be. Meat Meals have simply had their moisture removed in advance, which means they are a more dense source of nutrition thanks to their lack of moisture.
This combination of Chicken and Chicken Meal provides a reasonable proportion of protein and fat that is suitable for the average cat.
The recipe then uses a mix of Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Peas to provide carbohydrates and fiber. Cats do not need a proportion of carbohydrates this high, but it is a necessary evil to ensure that the price of cat food is not high.
Chicken & Whitefish Dinner Review
Wet cat food is an excellent choice for most cats’ diets as it not only provides nutrition but much-needed moisture, which many cats struggle to take on consistently.
The above recipe uses a mix of Chicken, Whitefish, and Egg to provide the bulk of its nutrition. This unusual combination of meat, fish, and eggs is high in animal-based protein and fat, which is critical for a cat’s obligate carnivore diet.
There are no significant plant-based ingredients present in the recipe, which strongly aligns with a cat’s natural diet, which is mostly free of plant-based content.
Open Nature Features Articles
At this time, Open Nature has not been featured in any of our articles.
Open Nature Full Product Range
Dry Dog Food
Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
Chicken & Chickpea Recipe
Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Canned Dog Food
Beef & Chicken
Beef & Vegetables
Dry Cat Food
Adult Chicken & Chickpea Recipe
Kitten Chicken & Chickpea Recipe
Adult Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
Wet/Canned Cat Food
Shredded Chicken Dinner
Shredded Salmon Dinner
Turkey & Salmon Dinner
Chicken & Beef Dinner
Chicken & Whitefish Dinner
Turkey & Giblets Dinner