Freshpet Select rolled dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Freshpet Select product line lists five rolled dog foods, four 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 Chunky Beef
- Freshpet Select Tender Chicken
- Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Puppy
- Freshpet Select Grain Free Tender Chicken
- Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken and Turkey
Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken and Turkey was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken and Turkey
Rolled Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken broth, eggs, carrots, peas, brown rice, rice bran, carrageenan, natural flavors, salt, vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, minerals: zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||27%||19%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||51%||15%|
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 chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth 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 canned products.
The fifth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient includes 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.
The eighth 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 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.
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, this dog food includes carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, this recipe 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 Rolled Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Select rolled dog food looks like an above-average 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 44% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.
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 dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
Freshpet Select is a meat-based rolled dog food using a significant amount of beef or poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
03/02/2015 Last Update
- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of chicken by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩