Freshpet Select Homestyle Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Freshpet Select Homestyle product line includes two tubbed dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Freshpet Select Homestyle Lamb, Vegetable and Barley
- Freshpet Select Homestyle Chicken, Vegetable and Rice
Freshpet Select Homestyle Chicken, Vegetable and Rice Recipe was selected to represent both products for this review.
Freshpet Select Homestyle Chicken, Vegetable and Rice
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, eggs, carrots, ground oats, chicken liver, brown rice, peas, salt, guar gum, natural flavors, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, biotin, riboflavin supplement, manganous oxide, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, niacin, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||18%||47%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||38%||39%|
The first ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fourth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% 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 two notable exceptions…
First, guar gum is a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 Select Homestyle Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Although we label it a canned dog food, Freshpet Select Homestyle is actually a stew-like recipe sold in refrigerated tubs.
And judging by its ingredients alone, this dog food looks like an average wet 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet food containing only a modest amount of meat.
Freshpet Select Homestyle is a plant-based wet dog food using a modest amount of chicken or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
08/20/2010 Original review
05/29/2012 Review updated
12/21/2013 Review updated
12/21/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩