Freshpet Select Slice and Serve (Rolled)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Freshpet Select Slice and Serve product line includes 4 rolled dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (Puppy).

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Freshpet Select Slice & Serve Chicken, Vegetables & Rice
  • Freshpet Select Slice & Serve Chunky Beef, Vegetables & Rice
  • Freshpet Select Slice & Serve Puppy Chicken, Vegetables & Rice
  • Freshpet Select Slice & Serve Chunky Chicken, Turkey, Vegetables & Rice

Freshpet Select Slice & Serve Chunky Chicken, Turkey, Vegetables and Rice was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Chunky Chicken, Turkey, Vegetables and Rice

Rolled Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 25%

Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, eggs, poultry liver, chicken broth, carrots, brown rice, peas, rice bran, carrageenan, salt, natural flavor, 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) = 7.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis11%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%26%25%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%49%20%

The first two ingredients in this dog food include both chicken and turkey. Chicken and turkey are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of (poultry)”.1

Chicken and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The fourth ingredient is poultry liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many “wet” products.

The sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

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 includes 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.

The ninth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

The tenth ingredient is carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

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 one notable exception

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

Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Select Slice and Serve looks like an above-average wet dog food.

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 41%, a fat level of 26% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 29% for the overall product line.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical rolled dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Dog Food is a meat-based rolled product using a significant amount of beef or poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Special Alert

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

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

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

10/02/2011 Original review
02/23/2012 Review updated
08/29/2013 Review updated
08/29/2013 Last Update

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of chicken by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Crazy4cats

    Hi All-
    After the numerous discussions about the Fresh Pet and the final results being good, I bought some. I thought I’d give the pups a rest from their regular canned topper. I think it looks a little like the pimento loaf lunch meat that I loved when I was growing up. So, I had to give it a taste. It was not yummy, but not real yucky either. And it definitely did not taste overly salty to me. My dogs, of course, ate it with no problem. I would recommend this food!

  • Shawna

    He’s sure cute no matter what actual breed..

    LOL!! Love the mental picture from your shedding description!!! :) Thankfully, mine don’t shed but boy when they blow their coats.. I keep shedding brushes at work and in the car..

    I think between the numbers you were given, the number HDM reported and those Aimee reported we can put this issue to rest and determine that the amounts Freshpet reports to have in their products are not going to be detrimental to an otherwise healthy dog. I rescind my earlier concerns about the salt content!!! :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Thanks again!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The allicin is released when the garlic is crushed, so as long as the cloves are whole the allicin content shouldn’t be affected. It also shouldn’t matter which days your dogs receive garlic as long as you don’t feed it more than 3 – 4 times per week.

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you, I haven’t fed for a while, but would consider in the future if my budget allows. On another note. I have a question about garlic if you have the time. I bought a bag of fresh peeled garlic that I have been cutting and feeding three times a week. My questions are: 1. Will buying this type of garlic still have the active ingredients since it has not been cut or processed? 2. Can I feed any 3 days, or should it be 3 in a row for maximum benefits. Thank you, I hope all is well with you, your dogs and school!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    As Aimee has pointed out already, the NRC has set the safe upper limit at 3.75 grams sodium per 1,000 kcal. Given the values Fresh Pet has provided me with this puts the food at 2.27 g. sodium per 1,000 kcal. Well below the safe upper limit.

    It’s also important to keep in mind that dogs don’t always suffer from the same health conditions that we as humans do.

    According to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition:

    “Essential hypertension is not considered a common problem in dogs; therefore higher intakes of dietary sodium and chloride have not been considered harmful in young, healthy dogs…High sodium and chloride intake is contraindicated in dogs with certain diseases that may have a hypertensive component such as obesity, renal disease and some endocrinopathies.”

    This food does have a much higher level of sodium than most kibbles (kibbles are generally closer to ~0.3%) but it also important to remember that nearly every moist food (aside from maybe raw foods) will contain more sodium than dry foods.

    In short, I would have no issue recommending this product for a young to middle-aged, healthy dog. Based on what I know, it appears to be a great product (much better than kibble or canned) and I don’t think it would cause any adverse effects.

  • Crazy4cats

    Let me know if you find out anything. I haven’t fed it for a long time as I had to decrease my pet food budget. But, still interested for the future.

  • InkedMarie

    That’s my question as well. A FreshZpet conversation is going on on another forum I’m on.

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you. Is that sodium percentage acceptable in your opinion? I have nothing to compare to.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    For those interested, Freshpet got back to me today concerning my inquiry about their sodium levels and use of sulphites/nitrites. They told me the sodium is 0.97% sodium on a dry matter basis and non of their formulas contain sulphites or nitrites.

  • Firov

    Hey Shawna. That’s Shadow. He’s actually supposed to be a Pomeranian, but I think he’s some sort of genetic mutant, since he weighs almost 27 pounds. I suspect he’s what’s known as a “throwback” which is more similar to the breed that originated Pomeranians. I don’t mind at all though.

    As for his shedding, you wouldn’t believe it. I’m reasonably certain that little dog can actually sweep a solid beam of fur at any object of his choosing like some sort of doggy super power. Unfortunately, he usually does that to me as I’m leaving for work. Furthermore, he seems to shed constantly, year round, no matter how often I brush him..

    He’s a great little dog though, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Anyway, back on topic, I heard back from Freshpet. According to them Freshpet contains 0.299% sodium content. That works out to around 0.6781 grams for a 1/2 pound portion, which is what I feed Shadow.

  • Shawna

    Too funny!!

    I checked my email, read Patty’s response and then noticed the email right above it was Dr. Josh Axe and the title of his article “7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday — Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits.”

    Here’s the link if anyone is interested :) http://www.draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/?utm_source=DrAxe.com+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2cb5b75573-Kombucha&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c497e2bf69-2cb5b75573-276261399&mc_cid=2cb5b75573&mc_eid=cbdb47a509

    The picture in the link is NOT what kombutcha looks like. Anyone who watched the movie “The Big Wedding”, Susan Sarandon’s character pours a glass of kombucha tea from the spout of a huge glass container sitting on the kitchen island.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yikes!! I’m with Losul on that one!!

  • losul

    Oh wow, Shawna.

    I think I would be afraid of going to sleep with that thing in my house!!!

    Reminds me of the old Steve McQueen movie, “The Blob”, LOL.

    Here’s a little on the beneficial fungi on aged meat;

    “The process of dry-aging usually also promotes growth of certain fungal (mold) species on the external surface of the meat. This does not cause spoilage, but actually forms an external “crust” on the meat’s surface, which is trimmed off when the meat is prepared for cooking. These fungal species complement the natural enzymes in the beef by helping to tenderize and increase the flavor of the meat. The genus Thamnidium, in particular, is known to produce collagenolytic enzymes which greatly contribute to the tenderness and flavor of dry-aged meat.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_aging

  • Shawna

    You are very welcome, and thank you!!!

  • Shawna

    Okay, I’m such a ditz… The thought of mold on aged meat, as HDM would say, skeeved me out. But as I was reading your post above I thought about the kombucha tea I made and drank for a while. A starter, called a SCOBY, is used to make the tea. SCOBY stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. You make a batch (not just one cup) and the SCOBY actually floats in the tea and once most of the tea is gone you use the SCOBY and small amount of left over tea to start a new batch. The SCOBY also grows and you can make baby starters from yours to share with others (I got mine from my boss). If not careful, pathogenic bacteria and yeast can get in and ruin your SCOBY.

    I actually drank tea with something like the linked picture floating around the top of it and aged beef skeeves me out… LOL!!! I wonder if the mold on aged beef is a beneficial kind, like that in a SCOBY, or a pathogenic kind? My guess is a beneficial kind??

  • aimee

    Hi Losul,

    I look at it as if I’m not willing to eat something because I think it poses a safety issue for me than I won’t feed that to my dog.

    I don’t know that pH plays any role in this products shelf life.

  • losul

    Wow Aimee,

    I guess we have mostly differing fears.

    I’m not afraid to feed my dog most raw meat. You are. I’m afraid to eat most raw meat. You are too I assume? I have a small fear of sampling dog food right out of the can, and that’s almostly the fear of a bad taste, not that I’m going to get ill. I have little fear of sampling a commercial raw dog food that I trust and that I cook to make safe for my own consumption. I have a fear of eating a refrigerated dog food roll right out the frig, without knowing the extent of cooking, or “pasteurization”, the manufacture date, and the claims of no preservatives, so yes I was afraid to eat it right out of the roll. I thought all day about and decided before even slicing the first piece off and looking at it that I couldn’t sample it that way. If I didn’t already have those fears, I would much rather have ate it “as is” because at that point it looked and almost smelled sort of appetizing. After cooking it my fears were completely changed- that it would taste as bad as it looked and smelled. I very nearly gave up on tasting it period, but that was my next fear, having to come back on her and report that I just couldn’t do it, and never knowing for myself. So I forced myself.

    So when I hear that you just casually chuck a piece of it into your mouth and wishing you had mustard and Ritz to go with it I got a very good chuckle myself. :))

    The aged meat is large cuts, even wholes or halves, but at least large cuts, not ground meat or even steaks. The majority is still mostly covered in fat. It’s hung or racked under tightly controlled temperature, humidity, and with good air circulation. Most microbe growth, if any, is going to occur on the surface which is later trimmed off. Most of the kinds of mold growing on them while aging are desireable, and contributing enzymes to aid the

  • aimee

    Shawna,

    Thanks for the compliment. It really means a lot coming from you.

    I wouldn’t say that it is my research leads me to I support and feed foods from Purina so much as I’d say I look for particular criteria in dog food manufactures and I find certain manufactures less offensive than others.

  • aimee

    You’re welcome

  • Shawna

    I know you are right, of course, but you’re not helping here Patty!! LOL!!!

  • Shawna

    Thanks Aimee. Between your comments and Losul’s taste test my concerns are definitely beginning to wane. I would still like to here the response to the two emails but I’m definitely more comfortable.

  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL!! I love aged beef, but I really have to not think about it. I mean rotting meat is rotting because you have let the enzymes in the meat start to break it down, OK so you have to throw in a handful of bacteria too, but otherwise aging meat is just like letting it begin to rot. I really don’t want to think about it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as you keep the word “intimate” to its actual definition, instead of the pop culture definition, then I suspect that’s the same reason others have.

  • InkedMarie

    Good post & I agree about down votes. I personally laugh when I get them.

  • aimee

    I only asked for the Na content on the one formula so I can’t comment on the line.

    My opinion is that the salt content would be of minimal impact in most instances. I find that the idea that salt plays a significant role in these problems in dogs is falling/has fallen to the wayside.

    For example Jack’s cardiologist said Na level has no bearing on when he will develop CHF and once in CHF the level of salt intake isn’t as important. as keeping whatever level he is on steady.

    There are proposed mechanisms whereby salt would have an adverse effect on kidneys in dogs but so far research hasn’t really borne them out. So no real data that supports a benefit of reduced Na levels in kidney patients. That said there is no need for Na levels over requirements except perhaps for the role in palatability.

    In regards to seizures, ingesting a very very very high salt at one time will raise blood levels relative to the brains level and water will shift out of the brain leading to seizures.

    If relatively high salt content is ingested over time without access to water, salt levels in both blood and brain climb. Now if you allow the animal free access to water, blood levels drop relative to brain and water rushes into the brain leading to seizures.

    Another scenario would be the dog on bromide for seizure control. Changing the diet to one with an increased salt content in a dog stabilized on bromide will change the bromide level and could cause loss of seizure control.

    This isn’t to say I’d choose this salt level for a dog with heart or kidney problems. To put it in perspective I just don’t look upon the salt levels in this diet any differently that I’d look at say “high” phos or protein levels in the yet to be diagnosed renal or shunt patient

  • Shawna

    Okay, well not sure I’ll ever eat aged beef again!! That mental image is going to be hard to get rid of!! :)

    I thought possibly pH too as they specifically mentioned vinegar (or maybe it was lemon juice) in their description of natural flavoring..

  • Shawna

    Thanks Losul, that’s really very kind of you.. It really has nothing to do with this current discussion though.. It seems that forums are a magnet for those with subversive agendas.. I saw it on the Do More For Dogs Yahoo forum, and then on Dr. Becker’s forum for the two(ish) years it was open and I noticed it here as soon as I started posting regularly. Anyway, long story short I’ve been thinking about it for a while but probably won’t.. I hope you can feel comfortable enough at some point to open yours up again!

    Thanks again!

  • aimee

    I nearly bust a gut reading through all your trials and tribulations. I just lobbed off a piece chewed it up a bit and remember thinking if I had a few Ritz crackers I could make a lunch of it LOL

    What does that say about my culinary skills : )

    As far as preservation.. I see it as a “multi modal” approach cooking than sealing, refrigeration and I do think the salt plays a role possible pH as well.

    What wigs me out more is aged beef.. gets a nice crust of mold on it that is then cut off and discarded. : P

  • losul

    Shawna, please don’t make yours private. I often like to go back and read/reference your posts. It will pass quickly for you, you are much loved!

  • losul

    LOL!!!!

    I think I only call you Patti when i feel a little more intimate towards you. :))

  • losul

    Firov, just want you to know, what I bought is not going to be wasted. Wasting food goes against my grain. I bought the 6 lb roll, partly because it was much less per pound (cheapskate), and partly because I never considered it to be a bad food, and it would be used. My dog has now had 2 servings, which he happily gulped, most of the rest has been divided into 3 ounce portions and will be given to my dog over a period of time. Even though Freshpet doesn’t advise freezing, I have already tried it. Froze, thawed and served with no apparent, superficial, bad effects, ie. water separation, etc.

    Even if my suspicions would end up unfounded, ( as yet to be determined for me, I still have real concerns about LT and and majority based feeding, just as I would have for most any food, ) I think it it adds to a learning experience, wouldn’t you agree? And if my concerns would turn out to be unfounded, then those concerns can finally be put to rest. So good, no?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I was going to say “Well, if you can’t remember my name yet…Now I am holding a grudge!!!” But I guess since you are one of the few that get my so called sense of humor, I guess I’ll have to forgive you that too. LOL! I won’t mention who else on this website keeps refering to me by that spelling, at least one of them has a good reason.

  • losul

    I had to leave for bit Patti, had unexpected company. I know you didn’t hold any real grudge and I also know You were the only one willing respond to me, when others wouldn’t, for a very long time. Thnx.

    Sense of humor, shewww, you totally crack me up sometimes!!!

  • Shawna

    Hi Firov,

    Yeah, between Valentines and the weekend I don’t expect you or HDM to get a response till some time next week.

    Aimee is, in my opinion, likely the smartest person on this site and she does extensive research. That said, her research leads her to support and feed foods like Iams, Purina (the food you referred to as “crap”), Science Diet and such. Aimee’s data is a piece of the puzzle but, personally, I’d like some additional data. It’s not that I distrust Aimee it is simply that research findings can be as subjective as taste. Science Diet and others are foods designed around research after all…

    I too found some additional information in Merck Vet Manual as well as data about safe upper limits. I’ll post it after we get responses to your and HDM’s emails. If you are around long enough you will learn that if I am wrong I am the first to admit it. I have to be SURE I’m wrong :) but if so I recant my concerns/opinions.

    As you state, we all have the same agenda here — to have the healthiest pets possible.. And as long as everyone stays civil, as they have in this debate, we can all learn from the data discussed and discovered. That is the thing I love most about Mike’s site. That and Mike allowing us the opportunity to have these, sometimes heated, discussions!!! Thanks Mike

    For the record, I’ve stated several times that as part of a rotation I’m not concerned about the sodium content of this food (except for pets that might need reduced sodium). For those that know me this shouldn’t be any big surprise as there really isn’t any food, including raw ones, that I would feel comfortable feeding exclusively—-rotation is just too important in my opinion.

    I’ve also been admiring the gravatar pic of you pup!! Very cute.. Although different colors, reminds me of my Poms.. I can’t imagine the amount of fur that comes off your baby when he/she blows his/her coat!!! UGHHH Even with regular grooming I have more fur on me then I think the Poms do during those times of the year.. :)

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    What dog foods do you feed?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m one of the ones you got off to a bad start with, but thankfully I’m not one to hold a grudge, because I have thought for a long time that you have a lot to add and I enjoy your posts and your sense of humor.

  • losul

    No the downvotes don’t effect me much at all anymore, as they did in the past. I’ve gotten very used to them, although granted I’m getting a few more than usual this get go. This was the first time I’ve even mentioned them for probably near a year.

  • losul

    LOL!!!. Thank you C4C.. Really, I try hard not to attack or offend, but as Shawna said, I kind of got off to a bad start here, some 18 months ago.. You have a great day too and thanks again.

  • losul

    HDM also sent an EM to Freshpet, I believe.

  • Firov

    Shawna, I still haven’t heard anything from Freshpet in response to my e-mail, but that’s not a surprise since I only sent it on Friday evening.

    As long as their response lines up with Aimee’s information though, I’m still thinking this is a very high quality, and more importantly, safe dog food. Certainly for healthy dogs, though in your case, with a dog that is already experiencing kidney failure it makes sense to be cautious.

    You have a great point about reports of it tasting salty being subjective. I do admire Iosul’s dedication to the cause, as I don’t know that I’d eat dog food, but a taste test will only tell so much, since taste so subjective anyway. What is salty for some is bland to others.

    Anyway, Aimee has given us great information, and I hope to have some additional hard information to throw into the discussion soon.

    Also, losul, I wouldn’t worry, or even care, about down votes. They don’t actually have any impact from what I can tell.

    While I disagreed with your initial response to my question, which was seemingly based off of a hunch, I think it’s important to remember that we’re all here for a common cause… to make sure that our four legged friends stay happy and healthy.

  • Crazy4cats

    Losul-
    I think you were just looking for an excuse to eat dog food again. Lol! Also, if someone comes on here and asks for an opinion on a dog food, they better be ready for it because there are many that are more than willing to give one. If it’s any consolation, I always look forward to your responses. I just don’t like when posters personally attack each other and I’ve never noticed you doing that. Have a great day!

  • Shawna

    I’ve been contemplating making mine private too…

    We started off a little rocky, if memory serves. But I think we’ve become friends and I respect how you think even if I may not agree with you!! :)

  • losul

    Yes, I’ve very much noticed all your downvotes on this food, and a few others also. For me it’s nothing unusual, nearly all my posts no matter how innoculous get a least one, been like that for most of the last 18 months. I recently made my posting history private, makes it alot harder for the persistent miscreant(s) to find those posts they miss immediately. Unfortunately now if someone with good intentions wants to see my past posts more than a few days, it’s near impossible.

    I’m still interested also, and my questions to Aimee.

    edit: perhaps another time on the Darwins.

  • Shawna

    I would like to hear your issues with Darwins Losul!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And I agree, I’ve likely had more down votes on this thread the last two days then all the other threads and thousands of posts combined over the last two plus years I’ve been here. The food obviously does have a strong following which is a good sign. I also felt more comfortable with your report that it was maybe a bit salty but not excessive like many others have reported. Just goes to show how subjective taste can be.. :)

    I am still interested to hear what HDM and Firov hears from the company though.. As well as Aimee’s response to my questions to her.

  • losul

    You know I very much like Darwin’s, but I’ve had some issues with them that I was really hesitant and didn’t really discuss on DFA much at all, just a little bit (caustiously ) on a thread other than Darwin’s. The reason being it’s such a popular food, and evidently I’ve been some kind of pariah on DFA for a very long time, all the backlashes aren’t fun. Shouldn’t have to feel that way but thats the way it is for me. I intend to order Darwin’s again sometime in the future.

    Also there’s a big difference between someone questioning and a “basher” with an agenda. I despise the latter as much or more so than a “pumper.” I know that you do too, the kind that lie, slander, use fraud, et

    Probably I came off too brash in my first reply to Firov on Freshpet, but I still have unanswered questions.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s exactly how I feel.

  • Shawna

    I agree Losul. And to add to that, there is not one food I feed that I would feel comfortable feeding exclusively — although Darwins would come the closest. I think rotation is just too important.

  • Firov

    Thank you Aimee! These are exactly the kind of hard facts we needed to finally put this debate to rest.
    I’m happy to see that the salt levels are well within safe and healthy levels, which makes me feel that much better about feeding this to Shadow on a long term basis.
    Again, thanks for your contribution. You’ve done all of us a great service.

  • losul

    Well said, and a very good point.

    I don’t understand all the heat. Anyone can question any of the dog foods I feed, even my favorites. I’m not going to get riled about it.

    I want to know, and can accept if there’s something maybe not all roses with my choices.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    lol as appetizing as it looked I had to take a pass. I’m not as brave as you!

  • losul

    Thank you HDM. Did you get some to sample? :)))

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Was just at the grocery store so I checked out the Fresh Pet. The best by date was May 14th for the current lot. And you’re right, it doesn’t appear to be cryovaced.

  • losul

    I don’t think that’ll ever happen, not even the bleached white tripe sold in grocery stores!!!

  • losul

    Actually, I wouldn’t desire to try any of them again. The one I spoke of just caught me off guard as to my expectations. It looked real good like cubed meat chunks. The texture turned out to be mushy, very gritty, and not a pleasant taste, which I concluded was not meat chunks cut off a piece of meat, but ground, formed and then cubed. Still that really says nothing as to the quality of the product, so I won’t say which.

    I would eat the Darwin’s again if I had a reason, but beef this time, without out bone bits in it.

  • losul

    The chubs are not cryovacced. The are in plastic wrapper tubes with the ends bunched and held with crimped heavy wire staples, such as you would find with a chub of ground beef, chicken, turkey, or sausage.

  • losul

    Aimee, thanks for the info. I really struggled to sample it. The product looked and smelled good out of the frig, actually kind of appetizing, but I could not convince myself it was safe to try that way.. I determined that the only way for me was to thoroughly heat it first. That brought on it’s own problems. A small slice in the microwave quickly lost form and turned to wet mush, and the look and the smell was disgusting. After cooling it quickly became drier and crumbly. Couldn’t get myself to try it. Later I took another slice and attempted to fry it in a skillet, it faired better, but it still lost form, became mushy, and didn’t hold together well, and the smell was still repulsive. There was no noticeable grease when cooking either way. Nevertheless, I began to sample a bite and quickly gagged. I thought I had a strong stomach. Determined to sample it, I later managed to chew it up very thoroughly and adequately before spitting out.

    I thought it was maybe a little salty, but nothing that stood out. I didn’t notice any grit or bone particles at all, but was grainy in texture. To me the taste was as repulsive as the smell, and I think sure some of that was from liver, but something else I couldn’t pinpoint.

    Do you find it odd that this product could have such an extended shelf without any preservatives of any kind? What I bought the other night has an exp. 14 + weeks from now.
    ———————————
    “What Is A Retail “Chilled” Food System?

    Actually, a retail “chilled” food system is misnamed. It is simply an extension of conventional retail pasteurized food systems.

    1. Food is cooked and transferred hot to a package, which is sealed and cooled, or
    2. Food is cooked, cooled, transferred without pathogen contamination to a package, and sealed or
    3. Packaged food is cooked, cooled, and then, kept chilled to control the outgrowth of spores that survive pasteurization.”

    “Why Not Frozen Food? What is the major advantage of refrigerated pasteurized food vs. frozen food? Mainly, it is convenience. Frozen food will have a shelf life of 6 months or more. However, frozen food must be thawed. The thawing process requires time and energy. Expensive, energy-intensive equipment is also required to freeze and hold the food products frozen. Normally, foodservice operations do not need the long shelf life of frozen food. Chilled foods, some of which can have a shelf life of 60 days, are much more efficient to handle.”

    “What is Safe?

    “Safe” is usually defined as undetectable vegetative infective pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7, usually in a 25-gram sample. The 10-5reduction for Salmonella spp. is based on the principle that there are, at most, about 103 Salmonella spp. per gram of beef normally present in the retail marketplace. Pasteurization of food reduces this hypothetical population to a safe level of 1 vegetative cell of Salmonella in 100 grams of sample.

    It is important to know that naturally contaminating spores of Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, and Bacillus cereus survive pasteurization and will be present in the food. However, the outgrowth of these pathogenic spores in extended-shelf-life, chilled food products during storage is prevented by maintaining appropriate refrigeration temperatures.”

    http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Chillfd.html

    ——————————-

    I found this which may or may not be relevant here, nevertheless very interesting. I’m not trying to compare this product to hot dogs, this product obviously has MUCH less fat and contains healthy veggies + rice. Apparently manufacturers can get lactic acid cultures, or bacterial cultures to produce nitrites or to get them to convert to nitrates “naturally” when combined with things such as celery juice or powder, salt, etc. They then are able to label them as “uncured”, “natural”, etc.

    “Don’t count on the label to help much. Those pricey “natural” and “organic” hot dogs often contain just as much or more of the cancer-linked preservatives nitrate and nitrite as that old-fashioned Oscar Mayer wiener.

    And almost no one knows it because of arcane federal rules that make the labels on natural and organic hot dogs, luncheon meats and bacon virtually impossible to decipher when it comes to preservatives. That includes products made from beef, pork, turkey and chicken.

    “If you actually surveyed consumers going out of their way to buy no-nitrate products, they’d be very surprised to learn that there’s plenty of nitrates in there,” said Bruce Aidells, a chef and cookbook author. “It’s very misleading.” In a role reversal, food manufacturers are now pushing the federal government for more truthful labeling that would allow them to tell consumers clearly that some products contain nitrate and nitrite, just from natural rather than synthetic sources. The current rules bizarrely require products that derive the preservatives from natural sources to prominently place the words “Uncured” and “No nitrates or nitrites added” on the label even though they are cured and do contain the chemicals.

    “Nitrite is nitrite and consumers should be aware of what they’re eating,” said Marji McCullough, director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, which recommends that people reduce consumption of processed meats because of studies that link them to colon cancer.

    The United States Department of Agriculture says it is aware of the labeling problem and may take a fresh look. “We feel strongly that labels should help consumers make informed decisions and we are open to reviewing additional information to enhance accuracy in labeling,” said a spokesman for the department. Nitrate and nitrite have been used for centuries to cure meat, giving products like hot dogs, bacon and ham their characteristic flavor and color and killing the bacteria that causes botulism. Today, conventional meat packers typically use a synthesized version known as sodium nitrite.

    But companies that label their products natural or organic must use natural sources of the preservatives. They usually employ celery powder or celery juice, which are high in nitrate. A bacterial culture is used to convert that to nitrite. The resulting chemicals are virtually identical to their synthetic cousins. When the products are packaged, both conventional and natural products contain residual amounts.

    A study published earlier this year in The Journal of Food Protection found that natural hot dogs had anywhere from one-half to 10 times the amount of nitrite that conventional hot dogs contained. Natural bacon had from about a third as much nitrite as a conventional brand to more than twice as much.”

  • Shawna

    Hi dchassett and Pam c,

    I agree with Hound Dog Mom but have some additions.

    In the later stages of the disease when the kidneys are not able to effectively filter the blood urea nitrogen (aka BUN) from the blood, lowering protein helps alleviate the amount of BUN the body produces. It doesn’t help protect the kidneys at all but it does help alleviate symptoms which are caused by the build up of BUN and other wastes.

    BUT a “low” protein diet is not the right answer. In fact they have determined that a diet too low in protein increased all cause mortality. It is much better to feed a moderate to “lower” protein diet that is “HIGH QUALITY” protein. The better the quality of the protein the less BUN.

    More high quality protein can be included in the diet if “nitrogen traps” are used as well. These cause BUN to be eliminated via the colon/feces preventing the need for the kidneys to have to filter it out.

    It is also VERY important in most stages of the disease to watch phosphorus content. A build up of phos CAN damage the kidneys when they are already damaged (not when healthy). Phosphorus is in carbs to. As an example — the grain/seed quinoa (considered a health food) has more phosphorus than equal amounts of moderate fat hamburger.

    It is also important to avoid kibble as the quality of the protein in kibble is worse than that of other processed foods. The vets I have spoke with have prescription canned but not one of them suggested it would be healthier than their prescription kibble – even for my little 9 pound kd dog who wouldn’t eat so much to make canned cost prohibitive. In addition to the quality of the protein, kibble is dehydrating and even more problematic for already damaged kidneys.

    So the vet likely was correct in saying that lower protein could be beneficial, since sub-q fluids were needed, but for the wrong reasons and he/she left out a whole bunch of data that would be beneficial to know in the overall health of the pup.

  • Shawna

    Those of us who ferment our own foods would have to disagree with you Mike.

    Dr. Mercola interviews what some consider an expert in fermentation. She says “Juice some celery. This is used as the brine, as it contains natural
    sodium and keeps the vegetables anaerobic. This eliminates the need for
    sea salt, which prevents growth of pathogenic bacteria” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/15/caroline-barringer-interview.aspx

    Added salt/sodium is not required in fermentation but batches can go horribly wrong and salt can help prevent that. I add only 1/4 tsp of salt to 4 cups of packed veggies and have yet to have a batch go bad. Hmmm, I usually add LOTS of garlic too though… That definitely has an impact :)

  • Shawna

    Thanks Aimee!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you, Aimee!

  • aimee

    Hi Dr Mike,

    This issue has come up before and this is what I posted at that time.

    “Like you I have tasted Freshpet. It was some time ago. As I remember I

    didn’t care for the texture ( grit from ground bone??) but I thought it

    was quite tasty!

    I didn’t notice it being salty (hmm wonder what that says about my standard diet : )

    In regards to salt content the NRC set the safe upper limit for Na at

    3.75 grams/1000 kcals based on research reporting a negative K balance

    at level of 5 grams Na /1000 kcals ( but after two weeks at that Na

    level, K balance was restored)

    The
    Na level in Freshpet select chicken rice and vegetables is
    2.11grams/1000 kcals. Well below the Safe upper Limit set by NRC.”

    I
    don’t know of any studies that conclude that a level of Na such as we
    find here would cause any health problems in a healthy animal.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Actually dogs in the later stages of kidney failure should have reduced levels of protein in the diet. High protein diets are only appropriate in the early stages of the disease before thee dog becomes uremic. I can’t say for sure what stage of the disease this dog is at but because it’s requiring sub-q fluids and doesn’t appear to be doing well I have to assume the dog is in the later stages – in which case the vet would have been correct in recommend a low protein diet. The issue is just that some vets recommend reducing the protein to early and/or are under the assumption that protein can damage the kidneys of a healthy dog.

  • Pam c

    I know she’s getting food from the vet and generally speaking vets write down instructions as well as the diagnosis.

  • dchassett

    Your friends vet, IMO, is giving her terrible advice. She should be on a high protein, low carb diet. It could be that with the bad news about her dog she misunderstood what she was being told. Often when we go to vet, or our own doctors, we are trying to take so much info in that we don’t always remember everything correctly. Always good to get things on paper.

  • Pam c

    Yeah I just talked to someone with a small dog(10 yo) that had deteriorating kidneys. Her dog isn’t doing that well and has to have liquids put under his skin for hydration.

    She said the vet told her to feed high carb/low protein dogs. When I asked why she said that all the protein was very hard on the kidneys. No other explanation.

    The dog isn’t too keen on what they’re feeding…I’m guessing Rx.

  • dchassett

    I feed, for the most part, raw with the exception of THK. As I said, I was questioning why the inclusion of both. I realize the the sodium selenite was minimal in its inclusion but I didn’t think that foods needed or even included both. Anyway, I’m out in this discussion. As I said earlier, this food is not for my dogs, it was just my general inquisitive nature as to why companies or people do what they do. I’m that way all the time. I’m, sometime to my exhaustion, a why kind of a person. Drives my husband nuts.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    How much salt does it take to inhibit bacterial growth and act as an effective food preservative?

    Here’s an interesting article to help put this hypothesis into proper perspective:

    Misconceptions About Preserving Foods with Salt

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Salt is only effective as a preservative in notably higher concentrations.

    I’m surprised there’s been so much criticism regarding the salt content of this food. Has someone obtained the actual measured salt content of this recipe?

    Without knowing the true sodium content of this (or any) recipe, simply seeing it listed qualitatively on a label is not nearly enough information to publicly condemn a food product. So, you’ll frequently find it listed on a majority of pet food labels.

    I apologize if I’ve missed that figure in a previous comment. However, please keep in mind, sodium is a natural nutrient required by all living organisms.

    Instead of frightening others with concerns over the sodium content of this or any pet food, someone should first contact the company and request a nutrient analysis.

  • Firov

    Fair enough, and that’s actually not a bad question.

    I believe I may have an answer for you as well. From my research into the matter it appears that Sodium Selenite is primarily used as a delivery mechanism for Selenium, which, like salt, is an essential element of cellular biology.

    So in this case it’s there not to provide the sodium, but rather the Selenium. A lot of high quality dog foods use Sodium Selenite for that very reason. Check your own preferred food (unless it’s raw), and I bet you’ll see it there too.

    Also, based on it’s position as the absolute last ingredient I have to assume that very little is actually used, and so it likely doesn’t constitute any kind of threat.

  • Shawna

    I had to look that up, no idea what that was.. :) Vacuum sealed..

    I hope I’m wrong about the salt content but I found even more folks who have tasted the food and commented on how “salty” it was. I don’t know that the info is correct so didn’t comment earlier but one person wrote this “and me and the dogs all had a taste, all I can say is, I thought dogs weren’t supposed to have alot of salt!!!! this stuff is akin to eating a salty wiener, before boiling. This led me to, of course, call the co. and ask: Why the heck does the company use so much freakin sodium? Genieve, or however you spell it, said it isn’t much, its only 535 mgs. of salt per 8 oz’s of food, HELLO, Campbell’s soup has 925 mgs and thats
    for a human…..” http://itchmoforums.com/pet-food-questions-and-researching-foodsingredients/delifresh-dog-food-rolls-t8729.0.html

    Interested to know what you find out and to get to the bottom of this.. :)

  • dchassett

    I wasn’t wondering why they include salt, I know the reason, we all need salt. I was wondering why salt AND sodium selenite. That was all. Just wondering.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The thought of deli meat just skeeves me out. I’ve never been able to eat it.

    I’m sure the quality of meat in Fresh Pet is similar to a deli meat or the cuts/grades of meat that would end up in something like bologna or hot dogs but, in light of what it’s being compared to, I think that’s pretty good. I mean it’s not a homemade food using meat off the grocery store shelf but I’m sure it’s a lot better than anything that winds up in kibble (not to mention less processed). Jmo.

    The other thing I got to thinking about is, if the product is crovaced that could explain the long shelf life. Meat that has been cryovaced is good for like 6 weeks in the fridge.

    I emailed Fresh Pet inquiring about their sodium content and whether or not they can verify that their products are free of nitrates and sulphites. I’ll post whatever I find out.

  • InkedMarie

    I have to ask, which would you never try again?

  • Firov

    I can think of one good reason. Because salt is a biological requirement of dogs, cats, humans, and most other mammals.

    At this point, I don’t know that it’s “too” salty, or that it even has “so much salt”? Do you? I certainly haven’t tasted the stuff to find out, and I rather expect you haven’t either.

    However, I’ve sent Freshpet an e-mail asking about their salt content. When they get back to me I’ll post the response.

    I don’t actually expect this is a serious problem, since everyone complaining about the salt content has failed to do any real research and is instead operating off of their “intuition” or “hunches”, but I’d still like to get some facts involved in this discussion.

    Also, I still haven’t had much luck in finding the effects of salt on healthy dogs (keeping in mind that some salt is absolutely required for them to remain healthy, or living for that matter). From what little I have found, it seems dogs are vastly less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases than humans, especially as caused by sodium intake.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything I’d take to the bank just yet.

  • Shawna

    Yep, I’d prefer to avoid carrageenan too.. It’s a bit harder to find wet foods (raw being the exception) without it though..

  • dchassett

    And why so much salt. Why else would they be including salt and sodium selenite if not as a preservative. Too much salt for my girls and we don’t have any kidney issues. Just not for us. Not crazy about the carrageenan either.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sugar(in all it’s many forms) is a preservative too. That’s what sugar cured ham(yum!) is all about.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yeah, I want the turkey that is sliced right off the breast and the roast beast sliced right off the beast(or the roast, whatever) right in front of me, not the one that they could have added things to.

  • LabsRawesome

    I get my lunch meat from the Deli, no ingredient list. As previously stated I wouldn’t have any problem feeding Freshpet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Definitely not a major ingredient.
    With all the talk of comparing this to bologna and hot dogs, I went and read the ingredients on the lunchmeat that my husband likes, but I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    turkey breast, water, white turkey, salt, less than 2% of autolyzed yeast extract, flavorings, turkey stock, turkey flavor, dextrose, brown sugar, honey, modified corn starch, maltodextrin, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

    One serving has 23% of your DV of sodium. It’s sell by date is April 11, 2014. Which just goes to show you don’t need a whole lot of those things to get the job done, a little goes a long ways.
    I’d say it is comparable to a presliced lunchmeat, which is not too bad, but I wouldn’t want to feed it as a sole ration. I might as part of a rotation.

  • LabsRawesome

    I agree, but it is such a small amount. Natural flavor is only 2% of the food, so not a major ingredient.

  • Shawna

    Agree, but we each have to walk our own path don’t we.. :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    He definitely wasn’t joking.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dogs and cats both get congestive heart failure. No, they don’t get heart disease at the same rate as humans, but they do still get heart disease and of a type that is affected by excessive salt consumption, so what do you think their point is, except to obfuscate.
    Yes, every living thing needs sodium, but not at the level that food tastes salty, that alone is a dead give away that something is too high in sodium, especially fed as a sole diet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I didn’t say or imply in any way that they are born into the company. That doesn’t mean that they just walk in off the streets. They don’t hire people to be executives in a company that don’t understand the company and the industry. Those execs didn’t get hired and then wake up one morning to discover what they were actually making. They don’t hire execs in the tech sector that don’t know the tech industry and have an understanding not only of where the company is at within that industry, but also an understanding of where it needs to go.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Proprietary does mean that they don’t have to tell you everything that is in it. I has a friend that is allergic to nutmeg and cinnamon and every company that lists “spices” on their ingredient list, if called and asked, will tell you that it is a proprietary blend and they won’t disclose, even if you tell them you have an allergy and you just want to know that it doesn’t have x and y. And “such as” definitely implies that they are not giving the entire list, just an example of what may be found on the list. Not that this is applicable, because they list salt seperately, but salt is a flavor enhancer and a preservative, so are sugar and several other “natural” ingredients.

  • Firov

    Quite right. It “only” kills 99.999% percent of them according to the FDA regulations. Which is why Freshpet, or pasteurized milk for that matter, can’t save indefinitely in the refrigerator. It massively slows the spread of those microorganisms, but doesn’t stop them entirely.

    Anyway, I agree completely. Let us drop this line of conversation. At this point both the horse AND his rider are in their graves.

  • Shawna

    No since pasteurization is not intended to kill ALL pathogens, I don’t see but I’ve said my piece and am dropping it.

  • Firov

    There really isn’t any real controversy here from what I can tell. Just not understood.
    Freshpet is pasteurized (Yes, I know. You hate pasteurization.) and then immediately packed in the vacuum tubes for shipment. It can save for weeks unopened because the product is, effectively, sterile. The vacuum tubing it’s packaged in prevents it from being tainted, at least until it’s opened.
    This also explains why Freshpet strongly urges you to use the entire tube within 7 or so days of opening the package, since it’s exposed to bacteria and other micro-organisms which will spoil it over time.
    It’s really no different from how pasteurized milk is able to sit on the shelf for weeks on end, despite the fact that it has no preservatives in it.
    See? No controversy.

  • Firov

    The legality argument probably isn’t the best argument in favor of raw milk. It’s outright banned in almost half of the United States, all of Canada, all of Australia, and it’s usually heavily regulated elsewhere.

    Furthermore, there have been a number of studies done that show even modern milk contains hazardous bacteria. The most recent study I can find is from the Cornell University, in conjunction with the CDC, where they sampled raw milk from thousands of raw milk tanks. They found that up to 10% of the tanks were tainted.

    http://milkfacts.info/Current%20Events/Position%20Statement%20%20Raw%20Milk.pdf

    So yes, I maintain that the risk of serious disease is not worth the risk of missing out on some nutrients and amino acids that milk can provide, especially since those can always be gained through other sources or supplements.

    If you want to feed raw milk to yourself and your family there’s really nothing anyone can do about it. But, I hope I’ve put enough doubt in others so as not to do so until more is learned.
    Look, this conversation about milk pasteurization is so far away from the topic at hand that we can’t even see it anymore from here.
    The salt thing is at least a reasonable discussion point, since there are currently some unknowns on that and it directly relates to the Freshpet.
    So yes, right now we don’t know exactly how much salt is in the product, and frankly, I haven’t been able to find much information on how healthy dogs react to salt in the first place. I do know this. I haven’t noticed any excessive urination from my dogs in the last couple of days, and I’ve been feeding them Freshpet.

  • Shawna

    Raw milk can be purchased in certain states — do you really think that would be allowed if raw milk truly caused serious disease? It’s more about politics and money than food safety.

    Yes, pasteurization does impact bacteria — both the kind that harms and the kind that builds the immune system and makes the one consuming said bacteria healthier. Penn state discovered that these bacteria can actually stimulate the immune system by priming neutrophil white blood cells.

    You state that pasteurization has a marginal impact — the bioavailablity of protein is actually pretty important. Not to mention that synthetically derived nutrients are felt to be inferior to those made by nature and that’s of the ones they actually add back in. In nature there are eight forms of vitamin e. They add back in alpha-tochoperol and “mixed” tocopherols but I have yet to see any of the tocotrienols (there are four) added back in. And it is one of the tocotrienols that science has discovered is the major cancer fighter. What other nutrients have they yet to discover?

    Nope, what I said is I would chose canned over Freshpet for my kd dog Audrey. Audrey actually gets raw with a tiny bit of canned topper. The only time she gets ill is if I’m gone too much and hubby has to feed kibble more than occasionally. Kibble affects Audrey so badly that I’ve now insisted he feed her separate from the other seven dogs and feed her canned. I’ll say it one more time, it’s the salt not the pasteurization that concerns me.

    Yes, I did realize that and that’s why I also added the statement that 75% of the kindeys can be gone (irreversible damage) before symptoms appear and a diagnosis can be made.

    If you want to feed this food to your dog exclusively there’s really nothing anyone can do about it. But, I hope I’ve put enough doubt in others so as not to do so until more is learned. As a part of a rotational diet in a healthy pet, probably not worth worrying about though.

  • Firov

    Obviously pasteurization is going to impact the amount of micro-organisms (that is it’s purpose, after all) and possibly damage some amino acids, however, my statement wasn’t that pasteurization had no impact on the food.

    Rather it was that the reward for eating raw food, a marginal increase in vitamins, minerals, and as you pointed out, amino acids, isn’t worth the increased risk of tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, Q-fever, and any number of other diseases.

    Also, I find it somewhat peculiar that you state canned foods are superior to Freshpet on account of the pasteurization, when canned foods are actually cooked, and not simply pasteurized.

    Finally, as to the salt intake study, I hope you realized that study was performed with animals that were already suffering from kidney failure. Furthermore, they didn’t even specify the type of animal. Dogs are not going to have the same reactions as, say, gerbils. Or rats. Or humans, for that matter. Now, I’m not saying you want to give your dog tons of salt, but the fact of the matter is, some amount of salt is necessary for them, just as it is with humans.

    Plus, at this point, as Labs has pointed out, it’s an academic discussion since no one really knows how much salt is in this, or any other, dog food.

    So far the discussion on salt is, at best, speculation. At worst, superstition.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes that would either confirm or deny peoples suspicions. I can honestly say, I don’t know the sodium contents of any of the foods I feed. No cases of increased thirst or urination though.

  • Shawna

    If I cared more (or planned on feeding it) I would, but I don’t so… :) I hope if someone does contact them they will post the response here though..

  • LabsRawesome

    Right, I saw that on their site too. Someone should call the company and get actual numbers.

  • Shawna

    I tried to look up the numbers and I can’t find them posted — red flag. They even talk about the salt in their Q&A and their only comment is it is within ranges accepted by nutritionists (or something like that). Yet folks here on this thread discuss increased urination and a salty taste. Hmmmmm????

    Okay, here’s what they actually say “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.” http://freshpet.com/faqs/

    It is obvious that they have been questioned so why not simply list the amounts? And as the data on renal health suggested, cardiovascular disease is not the only potential problem from excessive consumption of salt. Again, too many questions for me.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes I did see your post on sodium and kidneys, and of course I agree. But the problem here is, we don’t know the actual sodium content of this food. Some are guessing that it’s high, but we do not know that for a fact. Someone should get the numbers.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, the only way to know the sodium content would be to contact the company. Some people might notice increased urination, idk but just look on any page on this site, you will find rave reviews, and not so great ones as well. As you know every dog is different, and not all foods will work for all dogs.

  • Shawna

    You know I agree with that Labs.. I only brought that up because Firov implied, no directly stated, that pasteurization only damaged some mineral and vitamins.

    Because of the potentially high salt content of this food, I personally would chose canned if I have to chose one or the other for Audrey — which is what I stated in the very beginning. Did you see my post on how sodium impacts the kidneys?

  • LabsRawesome

    Eww, gross! losul, you need help. lol.

  • Shawna

    Real, fresh food does not last in the fridge for more than 3 or 4 days without some form of preservation. Even cooked food.. The controversy is over how are they then preserving the food in order to make it stable for WEEKS not days. Is it simply the cooking and the salt? How much salt are they using to preserve the food that long if only cooking and salt (as we all know through personal “experimentation” that cooking alone will not keep food stable for weeks). What long term affects, if any, does “higher” amounts of sodium have for the dog?

    Just too many unanswered questions in my opinion.

  • LabsRawesome

    Shawna, of course cooking is going to impact the food, no doubt. But meat based rolled food, and canned is going to always be superior to kibble. And not everyone is going to be willing or able, for whatever reason to feed raw.

  • Betsy Greer

    I don’t think he was joking, Labs! I fully expect he’ll get back to us soon and let us know exactly what he thought of his meal of Freshpet!

  • Shawna

    I didn’t see it but did read it on their website. I know in human food “natural flavor” is a way to get neurotoxic MSG into the food — which is natural albeit a cause of brain damage. :)

    My whole beef with FreshPet is the salt though.. I want to know more about the sodium content before I would EVER give this to Audrey. I posted data showing how increased salt intake could increase renal damage. With others reporting it has a salty taste and increased urination — I personally wouldn’t risk it. I find it very odd that they don’t list the actual nutrient content of their foods anywhere on the site, that I could find. That further gives me caution.

  • Shawna

    Again, this is the case with any pet food but whose to say the USDA inspected meat didn’t FAIL inspection due to tumors or something?

    You don’t think pasteurization impacts the amino acids in a food? Even relatively low temperatures can damage Lysine which then would impact the bioavailability of the whole protein.

    Humans have been eating raw for a very long time — I personally rather enjoy sushi. My hubby eats his steak near raw — prime rib anyone. And steak tartar is considered a delicacy. The issue is not the raw food but rather the handling of the raw food.

  • LabsRawesome

    Shawna, I posted this to losul last night, not sure if you saw it- Per Freshpet website-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.

  • Firov

    I think it’s important to note here that the ingredient list specifically states “chicken” and “turkey”. Not “chicken meal”, or worse, “meat byproducts”.

    Both of those have a very specific definition, laid forth by the AAFCO and enforced by the FDA. In this case, they MUST be the “clean flesh of slaughtered mammals and is limited to…the striate muscle…with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh.”

    So yes. Simply by paying attention to the federally regulated definitions, you can tell what kind of meat goes into a product. See either the FDA’s or AAFCO’s websites for more detail on that.

    As for your concerns about pasteurization, the only reason I can see that someone would fear it is the fact that it can result in the loss of a statistically insignificant amount (5-10%) of some vitamins and minerals. Personally, the risk vs reward of eating raw food isn’t even close to worth it, at least for me.

    That said, dogs are going to be better suited to handling raw food than humans as they’re not vulnerable to a lot of the bacteria that we are. So feeding your dog raw is, probably, the best approach. Eating raw yourself? Well, that’s another matter, but hey, it’s your body.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, that was Firov’s original question. Should he feed Freshpet or kibble. I said (of course) Freshpet would be more species appropriate, and he should feed it over kibble.

  • LabsRawesome

    I feel exactly the same way. I don’t get all the “imagined” controversy on this thread. And the “imagined” ingredients, that do not appear on the ingredients list. And I really didn’t get how or why Freshpet was being compared to Bologna, and hot dogs. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think everyone condemning Freshpet, is way off base.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi All-
    I think with all this back and forth with the pros and cons of this freshpet dog food, proves even further how important diet rotation is. It’s very important to feed a variety and not feeding any one food 24-7 for the life of your pet.

  • Shawna

    I didn’t read the original post till just now — although the potentially high salt content of the food is still a major concern for me with long term, exclusive feeding, I would agree with you that kibble isn’t a suitable alternative…

  • LabsRawesome

    losul was jokingly saying that he, himself, was going to eat Freshpet. Although, I think he did actually cook and eat some Darwin’s raw food.

  • Firov

    Of course they do.

    “Executives” aren’t born into a corporation, where they remain until their death. There are any number of reasons an executive might move corporations, such as receiving a better offer from another company in the same sector, a desire to move to a company with better upward mobility, wanting to start up their own company, or being forced out as a result of politics.

    This is especially prevalent in the tech sector, which is the only sector I really pay attention to, however I assume it happens just about anywhere. Remember, these “executives” are actually people, and these people will find the opportunity which provides them the best chance of success. If that means moving to a different company, then that’s what they’ll do.

    Even corporation CEO’s move around from time to time, and I imagine these “executives” were a lot lower than the CEO of Purina.

  • Shawna

    I think people are missing something important here — “salt” is a preservative.

    ” It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives (and used to preserve Egyptian mummies as well).” http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si_HistoryOfSalt.asp

    Kidney disease is a major disease in the dog and cat population. And the unfortunate thing about kd is that approximately 75% of the kidneys are gone before symptoms appear. Your pets kidneys are beyond repair by the time the disease can be diagnosed.

    “How does salt contribute?

    Animal studies have shown that increasing salt intake increases the amount of protein excreted in the urine and markedly increases the rate of deterioration of renal function in experimental forms of renal disease.
    Studies where salt intake has been reduced in animals with experimental
    renal disease show a slowing of the rate of progression of the disease. – See more at: http://www.worldactiononsalt.com/salthealth/factsheets/kidney/#sthash.0mSpSlSj.dpuf

    Have there been any studies to show increased salt intake in healthy pets is safe?

  • Shawna

    You may be right!! Let’s hope that is the case.. :)

    Because of Audrey’s kidneys and the reports of increased urination on this food as well as a “salty taste”, I would not feed it to her without knowing more than what can be found on their website.

  • Shawna

    I have yet to have any cooked food last weeks in the fridge Mike? They may not use synthetic preservatives but salt is definitely a preservative and many here have mentioned an increase in urination when on this food and that the food “tastes salty”. What can that do to a dog’s urinary tract with long term feeding?

  • Shawna

    Can you determine the quality of the meat used from the ingredient list? What if the majority of the beef product is actually “pink slime”? How bout the quality of the veggies and grains? Of course, this is the case with any food…

    I would be even more concerned if an “Executive” of a company had no background in the field they were being hired into. I don’t have to work for Purina to form my opinion of them.

    I disagree with you about pasteurization. Have you heard of the “raw milk movement”. Yep, I’m one of those. And my dogs eat raw – and not the raw that has been subjected to high pressure pasteurization but REAL raw..

    And, for what it’s worth, one of my foster babies (a seven week old puppy) came in eating Freshpet so I have had some exposure to it. I got her off it and on raw. Something that can last in the fridge for many weeks, in most cases, isn’t “fresh” no matter what the name of the food implies.

    Lastly, I have a dog that was born with kidney disease, now almost eight years old, and I go through great pains to ensure she has the best possible diet I can provide. The high salt content of this food, as others have described — I have not personally tasted it — causes me some serious concern. Do they know what that much salt can do to a dog as a staple diet?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    You said, “I’m inclined to think this is an extremely high quality food.”

    And I would tend to agree. Just because some pet food company executives from Purina uncover an unfilled need in the marketplace doesn’t necessarily mean this interesting and apparently well-made product should be compared to Oscar Meyer bologna.

    The only thing this product shares in common with bologna is the shape. And nothing more.

    Actually, after studying their ingredient lists, I do not find any of the kinds of items being discussed in this thread.

    FreshPet products are unique in that they are fresh-cooked. And because they’re refrigerated, these products don’t need to contain ANY preservatives at all. Sweet.

    So, they can be cooked (pasteurized) and served at home reasonably close to fresh.

    And from what I can tell, FreshPet makes some rather innovative dog foods. Like raw, cooked dog foods are catching on. And they’re a nice alternative to the most unnatural dog food of them all all — those factory-made, human-engineered food pellets known as kibble.

    I’m inclined to like these products. No, they’re not raw. However, they are indeed absent the many controversial issues associated with raw foods. And they fulfill an important niche in the marketplace.

  • Shawna

    No they do not have to list the ingredients in “natural flavoring” — that’s how they sneak MSG into people food. Per the AAFCO definition for natural flavoring, at least, does have to be made from animal or plant material.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Executives in a company don’t just walk in off the street. They are the driving forces within the company. I’m much more likely to believe that from all the complaints over the years about Purina’s quality, that they realized there was a niche they could fill and maybe make a ton of money.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hey losul have you tried Tripett yet? :) lol

  • losul

    It’ll have to be late tommorrow, and probably only after I have a couple glasses of wine. I did pick up a chub of the Freshpet Select chicken, vegetable, and rice formula slice and serve at Walmart. The price is reasonable, $12.86 for a 6lb chub or $4.76 for a 1.5 pound chub. The expiration date is 5/26/14, which is 14+ weeks from today.

  • Firov

    Iosul, I’d be interested in hearing your review. Yours has been the only consistently negative voice towards Freshpet that I’ve seen in my research.

    As such, I’d be interested to see what you think of the product once you actually use it.

    If actually using Freshpet can convince even a diehard opponent such as yourself that it’s not a bad food then I’ll feel that much more comfortable feeding it to Shadow.

    From my own research, and based off the ingredient list and various recommendations, including my veterinarian, I’m inclined to think this is an extremely high quality food.

    Let us know what you think.

  • Firov

    Simply comparing the ingredient list of Freshpet to that of the Purina garbage, I’m inclined to think these execs left Purina because they weren’t happy with the quality of the product.

    I don’t know that it’s fair to condemn someone just for having worked at Purina, or Iams, or some other horrible pet food company. Especially not if they seemingly left it to create a better, safer, higher quality food.

    Especially since we really don’t know how long they worked at Purina in the first place. For all we know, they were hired on, saw the horrible quality of the product, and then left to do better.

    Finally, I’m not sure why you are concerned about pasteurization? It’s probably the greatest development ever made, at least for food safety. If you drink milk, you’re consuming a pasteurized product.

  • Firov

    I wasn’t counting on it turning into such a long discussion.

    Iosul, as to your concerns, while I appreciate your opinion on this matter I don’t believe it’s grounded in fact here.

    Prompted by this discussion I did some research and talked to my veterinarian to make sure it’s safe. From everything I can find, there are no preservatives in Freshpet, beyond the refrigeration.

    As to your concern about it being able to save for weeks without “preservatives”, keep in mind that “gentle cooking” Freshpet advertises goes by a different name in the rest of the food industry… “pasteurization”. Yes, the same thing they do to make milk sterile and safe for long term storage. Once the food is pasteurized it’s immediately packed in the air tight vacuum tubes they’re shipped in, which, in theory, should prevent the spread of bacteria.

    Not surprising then that it can save for weeks under refrigeration, or that it must be used within 7-10 days of opening.

    Furthermore, my vet highly recommended this food, claiming that, if you can afford it, it’s some of the best commercial food on the market right now.

    The only negatives I can find regarding it are “hunches” and “I suspect”s like Iosul’s, which is better than I’ve seen for most other dog foods.

    Thanks again for the advice everyone.

  • losul

    LOL. Darwins was a piece of cake, cooked of course! I’ve sampled 3 canned foods since, one of them I would never try again.

  • LabsRawesome

    Maybe he has decided to make a better food, I would have no problem feeding this. Jmo.

  • Betsy Greer

    We’ll look forward to your review!

    I still remember when you sampled Darwin’s! : )

  • LabsRawesome

    LMAO.

  • losul

    This one doesn’t use meals, but pet food manufacturers don’t always disclose the ingredients (preservatives and possible palatibility enhancers) in their meat meals that they get from a supplier.

    Anyway, I’m ready to drop it for now, what a fiasco I got into,unintentionally. Going to go to Walmart tonight and sample some myself.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes same manufacturer. I still don’t get the big controversy. I don’t see anything on the ingredient list that would worry me.

  • losul

    I didn’t realize his post was on a different thread, but same manufacturer and very similar ingredients , no?

    http://freshpet.com/products/chicken-vegetable-rice-dog-food-formula-3/

  • LabsRawesome

    That food is called Deli Fresh Slice And Serve. This page is for Freshpet Select. Um, aren’t they 2 totally different foods?

  • jackie greene

    Aren’t you working on the editors choice section with Dr Sagman? How can you not know what the label requirements for a dog food are?

  • Shawna

    From the article, I got the impression that the SO2 was both natural in these meats and added before going to the manufacturer.. HOWEVER, in re-reading the article Fresh Pet meat appears to be a product that is sold to many manufacturers and may not have any commonality with Freshpet Select at all. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    I hope no one thinks your comment has anything to do with FRESHPET SELECT.

    There is NO SULPHUR DIOXIDE IN FRESHPET SELECT!

  • Shawna

    Or, they know how to turn a profit and saw a niche..?? Hard to know.. :(

  • Shawna

    They say in the article you link to “ast year, Queensland newspaper The Courier-Mail bought a selection of fresh pet meat brands from supermarkets and had them independently tested. Despite claims from manufacturers about the levels in their particular products, the testing revealed many products had far higher levels than what had been claimed. One product was found to have 435 times the sulphur dioxide levels than what was claimed on the packet.” YIKES

  • Cyndi

    That concerns me now too. I didn’t know that, but maybe the former Purina execs are “former” because they didn’t like the crap Purina uses in their food?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m not positive what Fresh Pet does or does not use to preserve it’s foods or what the labeling requirements are but I did find this, so you may be onto something: http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/household/backyard/pets/pet-food-reviews/page/fresh-pet-meat.aspx

    I haven’t bought Fresh Pet in years but if I recall I do believe the product is good for a month or two.

    I still think it’d make a much better option than kibble. Possibly better than canned, I’d have to look into it a bit more though. Of course with canned you get into BPA and what not so it’s just trading one evil for another there.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Wow! That would concern me too. I’ve never bought it, and now never will.

  • Shawna

    Interesting – - per this article “The 7-year-old company, founded by former Purina executives, is trying to establish a new category in an industry long dominated by kibbles and cans.” http://news.yahoo.com/pet-owners-buy-organic-raid-fridge-feed-fido-163426500.html

    I probably shouldn’t be this way, but that alone would cause me some concern over feeding.. Just me though…

  • Shawna

    I tend to agree with you on this one losul. I’m not sure about nitrites but they do pasteurize the food and then add what seems to be a significant amount of salt which would further preserve.

    I would feed canned, over this food, to Audrey without knowing more about the preservation process.. Just me though.

  • losul

    it’s quite possible then, this guy wasn’t telling the truth.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/deli-fresh-slice-serve-dog-food/#comment-1155479700

  • Cyndi

    Just to add my two cents here, I buy Fresh Pet for my Bailey occasionally, The farthest expiration date that I have seen on a roll I’ve bought was 3 weeks away & it says right on the roll to use it within 7 days after opening it.

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    Question

    “You think that Nitrates are used to preserve Freshpet rolls but they are not listed as an ingredient on the label?”

    losuls answer

    “Not sure, but I suspect so. Have they defined the “natural flavoring” and the “chicken broth”?”

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    If you were very aware of the indredients list that was just above you when you posted your comment you would have known that Freshpet does NOT use Nitrates before you accused them of using them.

    losul, there is no need to drag this debate down into the gutter with your rude comment to me

    “Maybe you should review before putting you’re foot in you’re own mouth.”

    I never accused you of putting your foot in your mouth. You probably a nice guy who made a false statement about freshpet and just can’t let it go!

  • losul

    I said I enjoy hot dogs some times, but know better than to eat them everday.

    And, I never said that they lie on the label.

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    Now you say you “have no personal problem with them at all, in fact I (you) think it is probably pretty good as a supplemental food,” ?

    You compared them to hot dogs and said you are “Not sure, but I (you) suspect” (freshpet is lying on their label) for crying out loud!

  • losul

    zj, I’ve been around here quite a long time, I’m very aware of the ingredients list, have been for a long time. Maybe you should review before putting your foot in your own mouth.

  • losul

    I have no personal problem with them at all, in fact I think it is probably pretty good as a supplemental food, but I wouldn’t want to feed it as a staple, which is what the original person asked.

    If you care to scroll down a ways, quite a number of people have had problems with excessive drinking, excessive urination, claims of being very salty, etc, when used as a staple.

  • http://www.petfinder.com/ zj

    Anything is possible. What is up with you and freshpet? You beginning to sound like you got a personal problem with them. Let it go already!!!