Freshpet Fresh Baked (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes product line includes four dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Freshpet Fresh Baked Beef Grain Free Recipe [A]
  • Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe (3 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Fresh Baked Chicken Recipe (3 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Fresh Baked Chicken Grain Free Recipe [A]

Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Turkey, pea protein, tapioca, ground oats, eggs, brown rice, pea fiber, egg whites, flaxseeds, natural chicken flavor, dicalcium phosphate, sweet potatoes, cranberries, chicken fat, peas, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, spinach, inulin, choline chloride, green tea extract, vitamin E supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%13%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%29%47%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 47%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The fourth ingredient includes ground oats. Oats are naturally rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and low in gluten.

The fifth ingredient lists eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth ingredient includes egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Freshpet Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/03/2016 Last Update

  • Harold Marshall

    I’ve tried dry dog food for my dog training and I must say Freshpet dog food is really good option. I use both Freshpet select and Freshpet cookies twice a week. So far Good experience.

  • Bobby dog

    My grocery store carries it now too. My dog actually isn’t picky. He has quite a list of foods he likes thank goodness!

    He really did enjoy this food though. I will be trying the GF next. My guess is the dried fruit and vegetable pieces appealed to him.

    I feed anywhere from 2.5 – 5 star foods, but as far as smell goes I haven’t run across anything that smells foul to me. I would say fish based kibble might have a stronger odor. If any food smells foul it definitely could have gone rancid. You never know how the food is stored prior to us purchasing it. If it was kept someplace with high temperatures it could go rancid before we ever open the bag.

    The ratings on DFA are mainly based on protein content and ingredients; smell is not factored in. Regardless of it’s DFA rating this food seems to be a five star food for our pups! 😉

  • SpunkyBunks

    I was pumped to see this good product at Walmart of all places, so I gave it a shot. My dog just hit senior status and he can’t eat moist dog foods anymore. He gets sick from them.

    I have been giving my dog the grain-free Chicken flavor and he loves it!. He’s a picky eater too. When I open this bag of dog food, it smells really good, even to me! I’ve tried other 5-star grain free dog foods reviewed on this web site and they smell awful to me. Do you think the protein ingredients go rotten to give off that smell? I’m kind of shocked that those more expensive grain free dog foods have such a foul odor, and they have a 5-star rating, imagine how they taste to our dogs. No wonder my dog wouldn’t touch them unless he was starving. But he eats every last bite of this good kibble and it has a 3.5 star rating.

    Just thought I give my experience with this product.

  • Bobby dog

    Anyone interested in getting a glimpse of the Fresh Pet manufacturing facility check out the T.V. show “The Profit” on CNBC, “Bentley’s Corner Barkery.” They show both the kibble and moist food manufacturing lines.

  • Bobby dog

    My dog really enjoyed the Chicken recipe. He did well on it and maintained a soft and shiny coat while eating it. I even observed him crunching most of the kibble; he usually swallows most bites without chewing. He would even return to his bowl three or four times to lick it clean.
    http://freshpet.com/products/freshpet-fresh-chicken-dog-food-recipe/

    I will be including the GF Chicken recipe in his winter rotation.
    http://freshpet.com/our-foods/our-brands/fresh-baked/

    I contacted the company to see if the kibble would be available at more retailers other than Target. They replied they recently added the kibble line to a few more retailers with more to be added in the future.