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Freshpet Dog Food Review

Dog Food February 25, 2020
Freshpet Dog Food Review
Amy

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Freshpet Dog Food Review

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Freshpet Dog Food Review

If you are searching for fresh “home cooked” style dog food but don’t want to commit to a subscription service, Freshpet dog food maybe right for you.

Freshpet offers a selection of refrigerated dog foods along side the kibble you might normally buy locally. It combines meats with fruits and vegetables to make foods and treats for pets.

Quick Summary: We liked it but there are better options

What I like most about Freshpet dog food is it is available in many retail stores near me and I do not need a subscription to buy the food.

However there are better fresh options, a crop of new fresh cat food delivery competitors offer better, fresher dog food delivered right to your home.

Here are our favorite fresh dog food delivery companies you can choose from today. Most offer a heavy discount on your first order so you can see how your dog likes it .

Click here to read our full reviews:

How We Tested:

  • We purchased 3 types of Freshpet dog food recipes
  • We spent a few days testing them on several dogs
  • We did not receive these products in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money

Quick Picks (Flavors)

FRESHPET SELECT FRESH FROM THE KITCHEN HOME COOKED CHICKEN RECIPE FOR DOGS: This is made mainly with Chicken, Cranberries, Carrots, Pea Protein, Pea Fiber, Ground Oats, Natural Flavors, Vinegar, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, and Spinach.

FRESHPET SELECT GRAIN FREE CHICKEN RECIPE WITH SPINACH & POTATO FOR DOGS: This recipe starts with Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Spinach, Potatoes, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Chloride, and Celery Powder.

FRESHPET SELECT TENDER CHICKEN RECIPE WITH CARROTS, PEAS & BROWN RICE FOR DOGS: This recipe is made with Chicken, Carrots, Chicken Broth, Peas, Eggs, Chicken Liver, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Chloride, and Celery Powder.

Freshpet Dog Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Brand Score

Freshpet Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Several recipe and product lines to choose from
  • No subscription needed
  • Some product lines can be found in local stores
  • Includes grain and grain free meal options
Cons
  • Some products lines are pricey
  • Roll packaging is not easy to open
  • High filler content
  • Can be hard to find in stores
Pros
  • Several recipe and product lines to choose from
  • No subscription needed
  • Some product lines can be found in local stores
  • Includes grain and grain free meal options
Cons
  • Some products lines are pricey
  • Roll packaging is not easy to open
  • High filler content
  • Can be hard to find in stores
Ingredients
Pricing
Customization
Quality
Customer Reviews
Recall History
Recipe Variety

About

In 2006, Freshpet set out on a mission to revolutionize the way all pets are fed by making fresh, natural food. Today they are in over 1 million pet homes with a retail network of over 20,000 fridges across North America.

Freshpet believes in the integrity of their food by vowing to never use meat meals, powders, preservatives, or additives.

It means ensuring as many pets as possible have access to their food in their community. In addition they partner with shelters and rescues to increase their visibility and provide the pets in their care with the food and resources they need until they find their forever homes.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

According to Freshpet, 97 percent of their ingredients come from the USA and Canada while 70 percent of that come from local farms. All Freshpet poultry, beef and fish ingredients are sourced from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe handling.

Freshpet lamb is sourced from New Zealand and is natural, free-range, and BSE free. The poultry used in their Nature’s Fresh recipes are antibiotic and hormone free.

In 2013, Freshpet opened a new 25$ million manufacturing facility, the Freshpet Kitchens, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This facility was built to with human-grade manufacturing standards in mind. In 2018, it announced an investment of $100+ million to expand its pet food production operations at its current location.

Unlike traditional shelf-stable pet foods, Freshpet ingredients are cooked only once at lower temperatures. In addition, the food does not contain any processed meat meals or by-products, and is made in small batches to preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients.

How Does Freshpet Work?

Freshpet is the first in the fresh dog food category to be distributed across North America and is available in over 20,000 stores in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands as well. This is the easiest way to get your hands on Fresh Pet foods but if it is not available in your area, don’t worry. Fresh Pet also has a website with several options for ordering your dog’s food and having it delivered to your doorstep.

If you choose to use the website, there is a handy tool called product selector. This questionnaire will take you through a series of questions about your dog, asking for name, breed, sex, weight, age and dietary needs. You can then choose the types of meat your dog prefers and what ingredients you prefer he doesn’t eat, like grains or soy. After answering a few more questions about shopping preferences, you will be given suggestions on what Fresh Pet recipes will work best for your dog.

Freshpet Dog Food Review

At this point you can choose to order from their suggested online retailers like Amazon Fresh and Prime or select the “find near me” button. After putting in your zip code, a list of local retailers will pop up showing where you can buy Fresh Pet dog food. I noticed not all recipes are available in stores but managed to find some of those suggested for my dog.

Products

Fresh Pet offers 5 dog food product lines as well as dog treats.

Freshpet Select – This product line is made with fresh ingredients delivered daily.  It is 100% natural, and contains no preservatives or by product meals.

Vital – Vital recipes are 100% non GMO, all-natural, and are made in the USA.  This product line offers grain free and chicken free choices for special diets and contains no preservatives, meat by-products or rendered meals.

Natures Fresh – This product line is considered holistic nutrition. Each recipe is made of carefully selected and locally sourced ingredients that are GAP certified. These recipes are antibiotic free and made with vegetarian fed chicken and turkey.

Deli Fresh – This line offers protein-rich, grain free dog food recipes made of anti-biotic free chicken with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. This recipe is also non gmo.

Homestyle Creations –  This product line of custom dog food recipes allows you to mix-and-match 100% natural meals .The pure chicken or beef patties can be served alone as a complete meal. There are also mixers in this line to use as toppers.

Fresh Treats – Freshpet Dog Joy and Freshpet Dog Nation treats are cooked in the USA. Real meat is the #1 ingredient and there are no by products or artificial flavors in these products.

Analysis/Review of Freshpet Dog Food Recipes

SELECT FRESH FROM THE KITCHEN HOME COOKED CHICKEN

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 17.0% Min
  • Fat – 6.5% Min
  • Fiber – 1.00% Max
  • Moisture – 66.0% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Cranberries, Carrots, Pea Protein, Pea Fiber, Ground Oats, Natural Flavors, Vinegar, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid,Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate


We decided to start with a recipe from the Select product line for this dog food review. This recipe uses chicken ingredients defined as farm raised and 100% natural. This product is available in 1.75 lb. and 4.5 lb. bags.

The carbohydrate ingredients in this recipe are cranberries, carrot, ground oats and spinach. We also see pea protein and pea fiber at the top of this ingredient list which are considered a legume.

Cranberries can provide your dog with benefits like a high dose of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

The carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

Ground oats are relatively high in protein, fat, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. Many of the antioxidants that oats contain, such as linoleic acid and vitamin E, can supplement liver, skin, fur, etc.

Spinach contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and K. It also contains iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and roughage, which stimulate the digestive tract.

Pea protein and pea fiber are often used in “grain free” dog food to avoid fillers and boost the protein content. Pea protein is a starchy filler and high in insoluble fiber. Pea fiber is a vegetable protein, not animal protein that your dogs body requires.

Vinegar maybe added as a natural preservative in fighting bacteria. It has also been known to offer improvements in skin and coat condition, as well as a reduction of itching and scratching.

Carrageenan has been found to be indigestible and without nutritional value. It is used in dog foods to fill, thicken, and emulsify.

SELECT GRAIN FREE CHICKEN RECIPE WITH SPINACH & POTATO

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 9.0% Min
  • Fat – 6.0% Min
  • Fiber – 2.0% Max
  • Moisture – 76.0% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Spinach, Potatoes, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Celery Powder, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate


This chicken recipe uses protein sourced from 100% natural farm raised chicken. Chicken broth is the second ingredient and contains collagen, which is good for joint health, and glycine, an amino acid that helps detox your dog’s kidneys and liver. Chicken liver is high in protein, fat and vitamin A.

The recipe also includes a mix carbohydrates such as spinach and potatoes

Spinach contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and K. It also contains iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and roughage, which stimulate the digestive tract.

Potatoes are primarily a source of complex carbohydrates.They do contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and many other nutrients that dogs need.

This recipe also contains egg as a source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium.

Pea fiber is a vegetable protein, not animal protein that your dogs body requires. It is often used as a filler in dog food to boost protein levels.

Carrageenan has been found to be indigestible and without nutritional value. It is used in dog foods to fill, thicken, and emulsify.

SELECT TENDER CHICKEN RECIPE WITH CARROTS, PEAS & BROWN RICE

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 9.0% Min
  • Fat – 6.0% Min
  • Fiber – 2.0% Max
  • Moisture – 78.0% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Carrots, Chicken Broth, Peas, Eggs, Chicken Liver, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Celery Powder, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E, Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate


This chicken recipe offers protein sourced from 100% natural farm raised chicken. Chicken broth is in the top ingredients and contains collagen, which is good for joint health, and glycine, an amino acid that helps detox your dog’s kidneys and liver. Chicken liver is also in the top ingredients and is high in protein, fat and vitamin A.

The next group of ingredients are carrots, peas, eggs, brown rice, and rice bran.

The carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

Peas are carbohydrates rich in dietary fiber and small amounts of beneficial vitamins. Some examples of these beneficial Vitamins are Vitamin K and Manganese.

This recipe also contains egg which is a source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium.

Brown rice is full of natural fiber, which helps a dog’s digestion. It is also an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins D, B and minerals.

Rice Bran is a low-cost ingredient and is used to fill out dog food. This is as the outer layers of rice containing the majority of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Carrageenan has been found to be indigestible and without nutritional value. It is used in dog foods to fill, thicken, and emulsify.

Taste Test

Sampson tried all three recipes on a rotation and mixed with his kibble. The instructions state to gradually increase the new food and decrease the previous food to help make a smooth transition.

I stored the packages in the refrigerator and took them out when needed. The Select Fresh From the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken did come in a resealable bag for easy service.

Our taste test began with the Select Fresh From the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken recipe and it was a hit. I did like that it looked fresh and I was able to see chunks of real ingredients, like carrots and cranberries among the chunks of chicken. Sampson didn’t stop to examine the food and had managed to eat it all, leaving only his kibble behind.

Opening the rolls packages was a bit tricky and did require scissors. Once they are cut, the food slides out in one tubular piece. I put the unused portion in a container for the next meal.

Sampson testing Freshpet Select recipes

My dog seemed very excited about the Select Fresh Grain Free Chicken recipe. While it looked less appealing than other fresh dog foods he didn’t seem to mind. I cut the tube shaped food into chunks and served it up. My dog inhaled it and then did a victory run around the house to show me how pleased he was.

The Select Fresh Tender Chicken recipe had the same texture and had the same results from my dog.

The Downside of Freshpet Dog Food

Freshpet dog food might end up costing more than subscription dog food companies depending on the product line and recipe you choose. While it may not be the most expensive service out there, it is definitely on the higher side if you choose Select recipes.

Freshpet Monthly Cost Comparison

DOG FOOD BRANDDOG SIZEMONTHLY COST
Freshpet40 to 60 Pounds$90.00 to $300.00
Nom Nom50 To 80 Pounds$ 224.00 to $ 280.00
Ollie45 To 75 Pounds$ 210.00 to $ 260.00
Pet Plate50 To 65 Pounds$ 180.00 to $ 224.00
Grocery Pup50 To 65 Pounds$ 260.00 to $ 280.00
The Farmers Dog50 to 65 Pounds$ 250.00 to $ 240.00
Spot and Tango50 to 60 Pounds$ 252.00 to $ 275.00

Because it is fresh food it must be refrigerated and this can be problematic if you need to travel with your dog.

While Freshpet is available in stores locally, you may have to try more than one to find the recipes you want. Not all stores carry the same items or product lines.

One small complaint is the rolls packaging is not easy to open. It will require scissors and may get messy when removing the food from the tube shaped packaging.

Is Freshpet Good Dog Food

Freshpet dog food is a decent high protein dog food which is good for most dogs. With so many product lines and recipe options you should be able to find a meal plan that works for your dog if he has health issues.

What I like most about Freshpet dog food is it is available in many retail stores near me and I do not need a subscription to buy the food.

While most of the recipes have a good amount of protein there are several questionable ingredients that are used to thicken up the food. Having a dog that tends to be a little overweight I would probably not buy Petfresh dog food on a regular basis for fear he would also thicken up.

Freshpet Dog Food Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Where Can I Buy Freshpet Dog Food?

Freshpet does not deliver directly to your door. But depending on where you live and product availability, Freshpet can be purchased online via these retailer partners:

  • Amazon Fresh
  • Prime Now
  • Instacart
  • PeaPod
  • FreshDirect
  • SHIPT

Additionally, many local grocery and pet stores carry Freshpet dog food. You can search your area on the Freshpet website for retailers closest to you.

What are the Benefits of Feeding My Dog Freshpet dog food?

Freshpet’s foods are made of all-natural, high quality ingredients. Nature’s Fresh recipes only use chicken that follows the standards developed by the Global Animal Partnership. Freshpet foods are 100% complete and balanced and exceed AAFCO’s minimum standards for canine and feline nutrition.

Is Freshpet Dog Food Grain Free?

Many recipes and products Freshpet offers are grain free. However, many do contain some form of grain. You will want to read the label for the grain free options.

Does Freshpet Dog Food Need to be Refrigerated?

Freshpet recommends serving their food fresh from the fridge for the best results, but you can choose to freeze any unused portions for later use. Be aware that you may see a slight change in color and texture when thawed, but this won’t change the nutritional value or taste of our meals. No Freshpet food is frozen before being purchased at your local store.

Amy

Amy Brown is a lifelong animal enthusiast who enjoys writing about dogs and rescuing them. She writes for various pet related websites, including her own, CatMania.net.
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