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Freshpet Review [Must Read for Healthy Pets!]

FreshPet review
  • Protein/Carb Ratio - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Quality of Ingredients - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Value - 5/10
    5/10
7.1/10

Summary

Freshpet offers fresh, high quality dog food but it’s likely not a good match for medium or large dogs. Having to drive around to different stores to find the right food you need can be a hassle, as well as buying enough to feed larger dogs. The worst is when the refrigerated section that carries Fresh Pet is out of stock. I strongly recommend the online fresh dog food deliveries over this.

We analyzed 1386 dog food formulas and reviewed 119 dog food brands to understand their company values, product selection, and quality of ingredients. We did this by creating an algorithm to rate each dog food based on the nutrient content and top 10 ingredients. All dog food brands were ultimately graded based on Protein/Carb Ratio, Quality of Ingredients, and Variety.
The Farmer's Dog quality

There are better fresh options.

Freshpet can conveniently be purchased at most pet stores but a crop of new fresh dog food delivery competitors offer better, fresher dog food delivered right to your door.

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 (spoiler alert – they will!)

Freshpet has been on the leading edge of the fresh dog food market which has now taken off into a very popular trend, offering fresh meals for pets since 2006. You’ve undoubtedly seen Freshpet in your local pet store or grocery store as they have over 19,000 fridges across North America selling their refrigerated dog food.

Traditionally Freshpet has been sold as “rolls” that you keep refrigerated and cut up to give to your dog in portions specific to their size, though Freshpet does offer bagged refrigerated dog food and treats today as well. Freshpet is not “raw” dog food, it has already been cooked and pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria before leaving their kitchen.

All of the meats used in Freshpet are sourced from North America and all of their food is made in Pennsylvania before it’s shipped out across the US.

Before we jump into a closer look at the Freshpet food itself I think it’s also worth mentioning their socially responsible environment policies. Freshpet uses 100% wind power for their kitchens, sources ingredients locally so less transportation is required, and they have planted over 25,000 trees to offset their carbon footprint as they work towards having zero carbon footprint in the future.

Unboxing

Freshpet is most often sold in rolls of meat, which honestly isn’t the most appetizing looking products as seen below. Then again, not many dog foods are appetizing to humans.

When you’re feeding your dog a roll, you’ll find markings along the packaging showing you 1/8th lb increments so you can cut off the right amount for your dog at each feeding time.

freshpet review

The roll pictured above is a 1lb roll of food. For a dog 40-60 lbs, Freshpet recommends at least 1lb of food a day which means the dog would eat 1 full roll a day. This is a bit concerning to me because with dry dog food you buy one bag and it will last you 4+ weeks. If I wanted to feed a large dog Freshpet, I would be going through 2+ rolls a day and it seems that I would run into issues with the Freshpet fridges not stocking enough for my needs.

Quality

Freshpet cross section

Comparing Freshpet to traditional dry dog foods you’ll see right away that Freshpet has no preservatives, meat meals, and a host of other questionable ingredients you can find in most dry foods.

Freshpet has freshness you can see when you handle the dog food, as chunks of vegetables are readily apparent throughout. I will say that the meat itself doesn’t look the most appealing to a human, it resembles a large bologna roll though the ingredients are probably much better than whatever’s in bologna! With that said, fresh dog food from companies such as The Farmer’s Dog look a lot more pleasant to the eye.

Given that this food is always fresh, it’s safe to say it’s a very high quality dog food.

Full Ingredients and Analysis

Here’s a breakdown of what makes up the Freshpet Vital Chicken Dog Food recipe 

Full Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Peas, Carrots, Eggs, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Flaxseed Oil, Inulin, 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 is a very limited ingredient dog food overall and contains all of the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy dog. You might be wondering what “carrageenan” is, which is an natural extract from red seaweed used to form the texture of the food.

Here’s a look at the overall nutrients of this Freshpet recipe. Note that this is the dry analysis of the food which accounts for the moisture level of this fresh food so we can evenly compare it with dry dog foods.

  • 37.5%

    Protein

  • 29.2%

    Fat

  • 26.8%

    Carbs

Overall, Freshpet is a very high protein dog food which is great for the majority of dogs. If your dog has kidney issues or other specific health concerns, check with your vet first to see if Freshpet is a good option for your dog.

Freshpet Product Lines

Freshpet has a variety of product lines today to fit both your dog’s dietary needs and preferences as well as your own needs such as time constraints.

Here’s a breakdown of the current product lines Freshpet offers –

  • Freshpet Select
  • Freshpet Vital
  • Freshpet Treats
  • Nature’s Fresh
  • Deli Fresh

With so many product lines, it can be hard to know what option to choose. I would suggest you check out Freshpet’s product selector tool which will ask you some questions about your dog and give you customized recommendations as to what food will be best for them.

Taste Test

Sasha tasting FreshPet

Sasha’s first time trying Freshpet wasn’t a resounding stamp of approval, but she did eat the food. It just took her a bit to sniff it out before digging in. Sasha isn’t a picky eater at all, but I’d suspect most dogs will get used to Freshpet shortly after being introduced to it and you won’t have issues with feeding.

Downsides of Freshpet

There are some downsides of Freshpet worth mentioning. For starters it is definitely more expensive than dry dog foods, but that’s the cost of fresher ingredients.

Another thing to consider especially with the rolls of dog food is you’re going to be storing this in your fridge with all of your other food all the time. Some people might not like the idea of having opened packages of dog food in the same fridge as their own food.

If you have a really picky eater or a dog that likes to nibble throughout the day rather than eat all at once, Freshpet might not be best for you. Freshpet recommends that food sit out no longer than 2-3 hours before you need to return it to the fridge so it doesn’t spoil.

For me, an owner of both medium and large dogs, I would be concerned with running out of Freshpet food or having to run all over to different stores in order to find what I need. If you have a small dog this wouldn’t be a concern, but I often only see a handful of rolls in the Freshpet fridges at any given time. Since Freshpet doesn’t ship directly to your house like many fresh dog food delivery services, running out of the right dog food becomes a real concern.

Where to Buy Freshpet

Freshpet can be found in most pet stores and major grocery stores. You can also use Freshpet’s store locator to track down a spot near you.

How Much Does Freshpet Cost?

The cost of Freshpet dog food will vary a good amount based on what style of the food you buy. The most affordable option is to buy the rolls of dog food. For a 6 lb roll of Freshpet, it should cost you around $12-13. For a 50 lb dog, you’ll be feeding them around 1 lb of the dog food each day. This works out to roughly $2.17 per day.

The bags of Freshpet such as the Freshpet Selects are much higher in price. For a 4.5 lb bag the cost is ~$20. A 50 lb dog would require about 4 cups of this dog food per day, and there’s only ~6 cups total per bag. This equates to ~$13 per day. You’ll probably want to avoid going this route unless you have a small dog!

Can Freshpet be Frozen?

Freshpet is never frozen during the manufacturing and transit process, but if you get it home and need to freeze some of it in an attempt to keep it from spoiling that is perfectly fine. When it thaws it may have a different color and consistency, but the nutritional value will remain the same.

Can Freshpet be Heated?

I suppose you could heat your dog’s Freshpet, but there’s really no reason to. Freshpet is made to be refrigerated and fed to your dog cold, so I would avoid heating the dog food.

If your Freshpet is frozen and you need to thaw it, it’s best to leave it in the fridge for a day or two and let it thaw out slowly. If you’re really in a jam I would suggest putting it in a sealed bag then putting it in a pot of warm water to speed up the process.

20 thoughts on “Freshpet Review [Must Read for Healthy Pets!]

  1. Petfresh chicken/turkey is a great product. The chubs freeze well. I heat about a half cup for 30 seconds mix with 1& 1/2 cups high quality Blue Buffalo dry food twice a day. My 8 year old Labradoodle loves it. He’s healthy and our Vet says to keep on doing whatever it is as Ollie’s in great shape.
    Yes it’s pricey, but I’ll have my friend for many more years , I save money on vet bills, no skin problems, bad breathe etc.

  2. My 7 year old Maltese loves fresh pet. She would let her food sit for hours before eating, now she eats her food right away. Other foods left her with a stinky breath, but not fresh pet.

  3. I have 3 dogs between 10 and 13 lbs. Ive been feeding them freshpet sence they were puppies. There health, loving and happy. Thankyou freshpet.

  4. Have a question. I have an overweight Dachshund and feed him Freshpet. I also add a few cooked green beans. He isn’t much of a walker. Needs to lose weight. Is the Freshpet and beans a good idea?

    1. yes string beans are great, my dach who also tended to get chubby , would eat till he popped, my vet recommended giving him string beans anytime he wanted to eat

  5. We have been trying to find a food that our 11 year old smooth fox terrier will eat. She wasn’t finicky about food until about 1 year ago when she began turning her nose up at everything we tried feeding her. Fresh Pet has changed that. She now digs into her bowl veraciously and licks it clean twice a day! We buy the 1.5 lb tubes. At her weight (20 lbs) she only eats 1/2 lb. per day. In our area (Seattle) these tubes cost about $5.50 each. The tubes actually last about 4 days each, not three you’d think. I think it’s because the ends seem to be much bigger than what the 1/4 mark on the packaging suggests, so we’re able to stretch it out over 4 days. So it works out to cost right around $40 per month. Which is less than we were paying for the expensive dry and canned food that she hated! (Pro tip: the tubes are just fine in the fridge next to the people food. Just put it in a Zip lock storage bag. Simple solution.) We love Fresh Pet!

  6. My dog Hurley will be 14 in September, he has been overweight for atleast 10 yrs now! He should be around 25 lbs but is always around 31-32 lbs. Started using Petfresh exclusively and let me tell you he has lost about 5 lbs! He looks fantastic, he’s so much more vibrant and playful, especially for a dog his age! The moment I pull his food out of the fridge he jumps up and down like crazy, he absolutely loves it!! Thank U Petfresh, we have our puppy back!

  7. Freshpet is an awesome company. They have incorporated nutrition for dogs and cats at an affordable price. The reasons that woodwhiskers give for not making Freshpet ‘ideal’ are not enough to sway the every-day pet parent from being a little inconvenienced to drive to another store to find a Vital product that may be out of stock. Perhaps woofwhiskers can afford to shelve out $70 per week to have dog food delivered but the reality is we, the every day rescuers and ordinary pet parents cannot, and we are happy to pay $17 for the same comparable nutritional value that these fancy, schmancy delivery companies boast about. So if this is the only substantive critique offered, my dogs and I will hop in the car and stick with Freshpet. As for the look of a roll, my dogs’ noses go to the flavor and not to the vision of their food arriving in a cardboard box wrapped in cute packaging and poured into their dishes. Freshpet is planting trees, not cutting them down to produce boxes to ship pet food. They have made it available for those of us who go to a market on a regular basis. This family loves Freshpet and it is super nutritious and that’s what matters most to us. Freshpet is an awesome fresh food alternative for my wet noses and they have thrived on it.

  8. I have six rescues dogs. Their ages range from 3 to 13 years, varied health and dental issues. Fresh pet has made the job of feeding them a nutritious diet a relief. I buy the large chicken roll that they prefer over the beef for some reason. Their overall health and mental attitude has improved. I buy the large roll every five days. Send coupons please! I will spend the money for quality and taste that will ensure their happiness. I also like, Nudges treats. Bag says all the right things and boasts glucosamine in the ingredients.

  9. Carrageenan has been researched to have harmful gastrointestinal effects–including ulcers, inflammation, and colon cancer in animals, though FreshPet will assure the public, shortly, that the FDA has cleared it.

    From Wag.com, but also found in numerous other sources:
    Carrageenan is a natural resource additive used in many human foods, as well as pet foods. Carrageenan has been found to be indigestible and without nutritional value. It is often used in canned dog foods or moist or wet dog foods to fill, thicken, and emulsify. Carrageenan has been known to cause a multitude of problems, leaving some to wonder why it is still allowed in our foods and the foods we give to our dogs

    The study aforementioned is provided here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/pdf/ehp0109-000983.pdf

  10. I’ve been raising dogs my entire life and my wife and I believe that Fresh Pet is one one the most excellent foods produced for pets . My dogs absolutely love this food and will stand on there ear for this outstanding product. We will continue to use this product and like other comments believe my friends will be with us a lot longer and enjoy the beautiful animals God has allowed us to love have and enjoy and live the wonderful life they deserve.

  11. I stopped feeding my dogs grain free petfresh because it isn’t grain free! My Cavalier still got infected ears from allergies. After I quit giving them petfresh she was fine. Really disappointed in your product!

  12. Our 11lb. Smooth fox terrier named Glory was on Natural Balance dry dog food with a tsp.of wet on top. She developed Pancreatitis and then our vet recommended the low fat Royal Canine and she was on antibiotics. She is not a picky eater but she did not eat it as enthusiastically and when reading the can it had ingredients that we felt were not very great. She was recovering slowly but still did not have her full energy level back so we decided to try fresh pet. In two days she was back to her old self and gobbled up her food.She now has more energy than ever and she doesn’t have bad breath like sh did before! She is almost 8 yrs.old and she acts like a puppy, she is so much fun! We will defiantly keep her on Fresh Pet. She has had the Salmon roll, the chicken roll and the small bites Chicken chunks in the bag. She loves them all! Thank you fresh pet!

  13. I just bought FRESH PET today and then noticed that it contained Carrageenan! I have taken text from the ‘Medical News Today’

    Degraded carrageenan, or poligeenan, is not safe to eat. Research in animals indicates that it causes gut tumors and ulcers, and may even trigger colon cancer.

    Because of the possible danger, fewer studies have investigated the potential effects in humans.

    Findings like these have led the International Agency for Research in Cancer to list poligeenan as a possible human carcinogen.

    This means that the agency has reviewed the evidence that poligeenan can cause cancer in animals and concluded that it may have the same effect in humans.

    Some scientists are concerned that food-grade carrageenan is also dangerous. This is because various studies, dating back to the 1960s, show that the substance may degrade and become toxic when it mixes with stomach acid.

    The medical community is unsure to what extent carrageenan degrades in the digestive system. This means that we do not know if any amount is toxic. It is important to note that no related studies have involved human participants.

    Findings of a review from 2017 indicated that even non-degraded carrageenan can cause inflammation and bowel disorders, suggesting that this substance may contribute to ulcers and IBD.

    However, authors of a 2018 review concluded that there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions about the exact health effects of carrageenan.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that eliminating carrageenan from the diet can provide relief from digestive problems, such as bloating and IBD. However, these reports are not the result of scientific research.”

    What are you thoughts on this??

  14. For some reason – my dog will only eat Fresh Pet if I heat it up with some ground turkey or chicken. I scrambled it all together with some extra peas and carrots. Is it okay to heat Fresh Pet?

  15. We switched to Freshpet about 3 weeks ago. My Elkhound has been extremely picky for months now and won’t eat crunchy food nor wet food. Our rottie wasn’t as picky. So far we have had great luck with Freshpet. They both love it and eat their food right away instead of letting it sit. We don’t follow the recommended serving sizes though, we cut them down.

  16. A few years ago, our boxer developed liver cancer which was fatal. During her last few months while she could not get much nutrients from her food. I found Fresh Pet and began feeding her this instead. It was perfect for her. Her diarrhea went away and she was much happier overall. We fed this to her for about four months until her last few days when she went downhill. I am convinced that she would have been in pain and not lasted as long as she did without Fresh Pet. Any other food gave her diarrhea and obvious pain as she could not digest dry foods or much of the canned foods.

    Our new boxer has benefited from this and we continued to give her Fresh Pet as well.She loves it and has done great on it.

    I find it odd that inthe review above, a negative is trying to find Fresh Pet. We have multiple places here in town that sell it, and I never have an issue buying it.

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