Frequently Asked Questions
Recommending Freshpet for Healthy Pets
Freshpet believes in the difference fresh, refrigerated dog and cat food can make to the health of your patients. Therefore, we have made varieties appropriate for different pet owners and their pets. The choice between Freshpet recipes and forms depends on the individual needs and preferences of your client and their pet. All Freshpet foods are made according to our nutritional philosophy of fresh, meat-based nutrition and minimal processing. Also, availability and retailer preference/location may be a consideration.
All Freshpet foods are:
- Made with all natural, fresh ingredients
- Gently cooked at lower temperatures to retain their natural vitamins and nutrients
- Refrigerated for freshness
- Free of preservatives
- Free of corn, wheat and fillers
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All Freshpet foods are made according to our nutritional philosophy of fresh, meat-based nutrition and minimal processing. The foods are available in multiple forms, such as Slice & Serve Rolls and Roasted/Complete Meals, to address the preferences of the pet and the owner (pet’s size, convenience, and flavor preference of pet).
Freshpet is carried in many stores across the country and in Canada, including grocery stores, mass retail stores, pet specialty, and natural retailers. To find a Freshpet fridge near you, visit our Store Locator.
If you’d like to recommend that your local retailer consider carry Freshpet, please visit our Request Freshpet page.
All Freshpet foods are made in our own Freshpet Kitchens in Bethlehem, PA. All Freshpet treats are made in the USA and Canada.
Freshpet foods are fresh, NOT raw. They have been gently cooked and quickly cooled to eliminate any harmful bacteria or parasites. Our products undergo pasteurization similar to milk or cold cuts.
Read more about Quality and Safety.
97% of Freshpet ingredients come from the USA and Canada. We do our best to source locally whenever possible. No Freshpet ingredients come from China.
No, Freshpet foods are not organic. Few, if any, pet foods are 100% organic due to difficulty in sourcing organic ingredients as well as their costliness. At Freshpet, our focus is on finding the highest quality, freshest, all natural ingredients.
Yes, Freshpet foods only use all natural ingredients. Because Freshpet foods do not contain any chemical preservatives (BHA, propylene glycol) commonly found in dry, canned and semi-moist pet food, they must be kept refrigerated.
All Freshpet poultry, beef and fish ingredients are sourced from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe handling. Freshpet’s lamb is sourced from New Zealand and is natural, free-range, and BSE free.
Carrageenan is an extract from red seaweed found in the North Atlantic coastal regions. It is used in human and pet foods as a thickener or gelling agent to help improve the form and texture of the food.
Inulin, also called chicory root, is a prebiotic which helps with mineral absorption. It is a high quality, soluble and functional fiber source which aids in the digestion process, especially in products that contain high amounts of fresh meat and fish.
Salt provides the essential nutrients sodium and chloride. Although sodium content in prepared foods is of concern to humans, pets do not suffer from cardiovascular diseases like humans do. Our salt levels are within the ranges recommended by veterinary nutritionists.
The natural flavors are a proprietary blend of ingredients such as vinegar, celery, lemon juice, and natural hickory. The total amount is less than 2% of the recipe. These flavors enhance the natural flavors of the meat.
Some Freshpet recipes include brown rice, oats and barley. These grains are a good source of soluble fiber for colon health, and are healthy alternatives for animals with sensitivities to corn and wheat. All Vital recipes are grain free. Consult the ingredient list for each specific product for more detailed information.
The caramel color used in select Freshpet recipes is a natural color, made by cooking natural sugars. Just as we use ingredients at home to add texture or color to fresh ingredients, caramel color is used to maintain color and flavors in our Meals. Many of our foods do not use caramel color, like our Slice & Serve Rolls. As with all ingredients, we work closely with veterinary nutritionists to ensure that the ingredient levels in any Freshpet recipe are safe for consumption.
Feeding Freshpet at Home
All Freshpet foods are 100% complete and balanced and exceed AAFCO’s minimum standards for canine and feline nutrition. While Freshpet treats are made of high quality meats and vegetables, they may not contain all the essential vitamins and minerals dogs need. To ensure pets are getting all the nutrition they require, feed a complete and balanced food not solely treats.
Yes, but make sure your clients reduce the amount of dry food offered to prevent overfeeding.
Yes, they can be frozen, however no Freshpet foods are frozen before purchasing them. If clients choose to freeze the food, they may see a slight change in color and texture when thawed out similar to freezing ham or other fresh meats.
Just like the fresh human food you buy, there is a “Sell By” date on each package.
- Slice & Serve Rolls: Use opened roll within 7 days. Cover open end with plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag.
- Roasted Meals and Complete Meals: Use contents of open bag within 7 days.
- Tubs: Use contents of open container within 2 days.
- Treats, Chews and Bones: Use contents of open pouch within 14 days.
- Cookies: Bake within 7 days of opening. Store baked cookies in an airtight container up to 14 days.
Treat Freshpet as if you would deli meats at home. We recommend that not leaving Freshpet in the bowl for longer than 2-3 hours.
We recommend the calories from treats not exceed 10% of the dog’s total calories per day. Intakes higher than this increase the risk of creating nutritional imbalances in the diet and obesity.
Freshpet foods are meat-based products, so you can expect them to have the same moisture content as fresh, human-grade meats. 70-75% moisture is the natural state of fresh meat. Chicken breast meat contains 74.6% moisture, and fresh turkey meat contains 75.8%.
The Guaranteed Analysis is used to place a value on four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. However, it doesn’t consider the water content of the product and can be misleading. Even the Food and Drug Administration admits to this problem on its website stating, To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned (or fresh) and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis.
To determine the amount of protein on a dry matter basis:
- Subtract the moisture percentage from 100% to determine the dry matter percentage
- Divide the protein percentage by the dry matter percentage
- Multiply by 100
For a simple example, a product with 10% protein and 75% moisture is within the range of Freshpet foods:
- 100% – 75% moisture = 25% dry matter
- 10% protein / 25% dry matter = .4
- .4 x 100 = 40% dry matter protein content
No, but keep in mind that Freshpet foods are concentrated nutrition so pet parents do not need to feed as much as other less concentrated (dry) foods. For working dogs or those experiencing high levels of activity, increase food allowance by 15 to 25%. For overweight dogs, decrease food allowance by 10 to 20% until ideal or desired body condition is achieved.
Probably no more so than any other diet, but we are very proud of our palatability driven by fresh ingredients and minimal processing. And with any highly palatable food, pets will always ask for more. Â With that in mind, it is even more imperative to reinforce appropriate feeding guidelines and only deviate from that based upon the animal’s unique energy requirements.
For dogs that have pancreatic problems or compromised renal function, high protein diets made from meat and fish should be avoided. If the pet parentâ€™s dog suffers from these conditions you may want to monitor the animal closely or make another more appropriate diet recommendation.
Freshpet contains high levels of protein and phosphorous, and should not be recommended to healthy or compromised patients with the following conditions:
- Pancreatitis and hyperlipidemia
- Renal disease
- Liver disease or liver disease associated with hepatic encephalopathy
- Protein-losing enteropathy
However, if the animal is inappetent, a short term feeding is not ill advised in an effort to stimulate eating and get some energy into the patient.
Freshpet treats are all natural, contain no artificial preservatives, and are less processed than traditional offerings. To ensure the freshness of our simple and healthy ingredients, all Freshpet treats must be refrigerated and used within 14 days of opening.