Freshpet Select Dog Food (Rolls)


Rating: ★★★★★

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 Chunky Chicken and Turkey
  • Freshpet Select Grain Free Tender Chicken (4 stars)

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

Protein = 46% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 19%

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
Guaranteed Analysis10%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%27%19%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%51%15%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 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 lists 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 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 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 19%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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

Freshpet Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

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

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

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

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

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

09/02/2016 Last Update

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

    How hard is it for someone to use the freezer??? So funny I have seen these comments that it doesn’t last long enough etc. well duh, it’s real food dude. Do you buy deli meat and eat it two weeks later? Hope not. Buy the role then slice it up into 2-3 days worth of food chunks. Put one in fridge and rest in freezer. Every couple days take another chunk out! Seriously though am I the only one who thought this through??!

  • FR

    My eleven year old Great Pyrenees has a bacterial lung infection/pneumonia, his Vet has him on Cipro and he is doing well. However, he completely went off of his dry kibble four weeks ago. I think his throat is sore from the infection and coughing. I have supplemented his food for some time with home cooked and FRESHPET TENDER CHICKEN ROLLS. With him not eating the dry food at all, I have been feeding him this food to ensure that even though he is not feeling well, he does not lose weight. I always cut up the logs so it is easier for him to eat. Tonight I found several pieces of heavy dark brown paper mixed in with the food! I have no idea why this is in this food, but I am not a happy camper. I’m not feeding my dogs trash! I have complained to the company, awaiting their (lack of) quality control department to explain this one to me! For the price of this food, or any price, this is not acceptable!

  • Beastman

    My four dogs have been eating Fresh Pet Select Beef & Chicken rolled food for over 5 years, and they love it. They have no health problems as some of these reviews are quick to blame the food. First go to your vet and get a determination on what is actually happening to the dog before you set the blame.

    Karma (American Eskimo 16 years young)
    Ana (Papillon 16 years young)
    Bazi (Papillon 8 years young)
    Gaige (Papillon 8 years young)

    They love Fresh Pet Select.

  • Nhu Huynh

    Hi, do you know if it’s good to mix freshpet with dry food? I am currently feeding my puppy (8months) freshpet roll, but due to some mold problems and stuff, I decided to switch him into a better dry food brand (at least until I found something better). I am switching him to Nulo (according to a few people, it’s pretty good). And I am currently doing a small switching, only add 1/4 cup into his 1 lb freshpet meal (he eat twice a day, 2 lbs a day). But he still diarrhea, and I don’t know if I am doing it wrong somehow?

  • aimee

    Hi Diva,

    Despite people who should know better perpetuating that myth, there are no enzymes in a raw diet of muscle and fat that contribute to digestion of the food.

  • Amateria

    Oh yeah I forget about that also (absolutely nothing new with me, I’ve been given physio excercises that I haven’t even started yet and it’s been two weeks…)
    Since my mum cooks his meat and veggies together and she cooks it on low heat but for a few hours that maybe indeed all the enzymes are cooked to death.

    Thank you for the help ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Diva Chloe

    I’ve come to think all enzymes are destroyed in manufactured dog foods. So maybe that’s possibly why many dogs have problems with it-certainly digestive problems. So the raw food may supply those enzymes giving him normal bowel movements.

  • Amateria

    Yeah I did check it out myself but everyone had their own opinion on it and I was like whose right? It’s likely it may be the eating too fast as he has always scoffed his food down, but I do find it odd that raw food firms it up and he scoffs that down also, perhaps something in the ingredients helps.

    I have been unable to catch any of his poos after the Ziwipeak canned tripe food, we’re currently in winter here and I don’t really want to follow him out and wait around until he goes.

  • Kathy Green

    I researched and learned that orange poop can be a sign of the dog eating too fast and since they do not digest food like humans, it doesn’t collect bile like it should, so it gets diarrhea (sometimes orange/yellow) and mucus. However, I also learned it can sometimes indicate a more serious health problem, but since mine were just at the vet for their annual exams, I’m assuming this is food related, so for the time being they are on home cooked, boiled turkey and a little rice and pumpkin until I get them over this.

  • Amateria

    Don’t use the food so I’m sorry about this reply but since your talking about orange poop I wanted to reply in hopes that maybe someone can shed some light on it, as our older guy always poops orange mucous covered poop and I did do a google check on it and heard that it’s no necessarily that bad, but I want to be 100% sure about what may be causing it.

    He eats chicken, rice and veggies as his main meal for around 7 years now, his poop looked more normal when I added K9 Natural to his diet or any other raw type food, the kibble he gets didn’t seem to change very much and he also gets Ziwipeak bags and I bought 2 cans also, I will have to see if I can catch a poop while he’s on the canned as I believe raw food gives him perfect poop, which is a problem as my mum won’t change his food and he also has pancreatitis so she likes to keep him on what he’s been doing good on for his most of his life. Is it possible to just leave him on the food his on and just supplement with raw, canned and the likes? Or is this sort of chronic orange poop not very healthy and shouldn’t be there long term?

    PS! I decided not to hijack the post below but I kept the writing the same I may or may not fix it at a later date! Please be advised.

  • Kathy Green

    I slowly added this food to my 2 dogs’ diets and now they are passing orange liquid poop. One of them just had a stool exam a good week ago and it was normal. I’m concerned about this food. The dates are fine and I used the roll within 5 days. Anyone having problems with this dog food?

  • Pitlove

    Fresh Pet does actually state on the packaging to use within 7 days of opening the food. It’s in small print, but it is there.

  • Dana

    FYI – I read earlier comment about unexpired food. I have found that FP only lasts about one week after opening the roll. It gets a funky smell. I have had the same problem with refrigerated human food. Not sure why FP doesn’t have a warning on the roll about spoilage after opening.

  • Dana

    My 13 year old rat terrier is addicted to FP. Every night about 6:00 pm he starts his ritual anxious begging. This is not the way he was before FP. About three years ago he began losing teeth and we began the trials of soft food substitutes. Everything gave him the runs. A messy butt is not fun with a lap dog. Then we tried FP. Nice firm poop. Bingo.
    We also have two Saint Bernards which are meat sensitive. I also think they are corn and rice sensitive. We are looking for a food source that is Swiss vegan. Anybody have suggestions.

  • Barbara Hammond

    Ok, ok…..mea culpa! mea culpa! I seemed to have overlooked the “un”. Still, I’m sorry for your loss….

  • Sarah Thomas

    It was the large beef roll

  • Sarah Thomas

    If you read my post, you would have seen that I READ THe DATE! It was not expired.

  • Barbara Hammond

    I’m not being critical here, but, shouldn’t you have checked the date yourself? No matter what I buy (food) I always check the date. So sorry for your loss.
    If you find food that has expired, bring it to management’s attention.

  • Phyllis Lulla Migasi

    Thank you.

  • Phyllis Lulla Migasi

    Thank you

  • Cannoli

    What a beautiful dog you have. I guess it’s true what I read about dog owners. They tend to look as pretty as their owners

  • Phyllis Lulla Migasi

    Thank you

  • Azul

    Awe, so cute!!

  • Phyllis Lulla Migasi

    Thank you.

  • Cannoli

    not necessary as these are complete meals. Tasty as both my pup and I can attest to that

  • Phyllis Lulla Migasi

    Is it necessary to feed my chihuahua dry food along with this as well?

  • Azul

    Exactly. Common sense should have been used.
    I can’t imagine someone watching this occur and
    their first thought being, I should get on the internet and ask random people what they think might be the cause.

  • Amateria

    Of course, but I do tend to write a specific way and I don’t condone google searching of a diagnosis I’m simply stating what I feel may have been the cause.

    But by no means are you supposed to stand around and watch and than come here and tell people about it because you have no idea what you should do, even though it’s meant to be obvious.

  • Azul

    What would you do if a human child began flopping on the floor,
    urinating, and not breathing?
    Please take your dog to the vet asap.

  • Azul

    Diagnosing a dog using Google is a bad idea.
    It is actually very dangerous.
    A seizure is an emergency situation.
    When the dog seized he should have immediately been
    taken to the vet.
    No one should be guessing what they think is the “most likely”
    cause. SMH

  • Amateria

    Most likely from the carrageenan per what I just read as I don’t see it happening with anything else, a lot of pet foods have removed that ingredient due to its uncertainty amongst everyone.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I second Azul’s comment this is an emergency situation and he needs to be seen by a vet!

  • Azul

    You should take him to the vet immediately.

  • Kimberly Barwick Rudelitch

    I have a question…i have a 9 year old doxie who had to get some teeth removed recently due to his age and being a small dog that was a rescue and didn’t have the best care early in life. I purchased this to supplement his kibble. I feed just kibble in the morning and mix a little less than 1/4 with a little kibble in the evenings. This si the second evening he ate it, and i think he had a seizure? He began flopping not he floor, urinated and wasn’t breathing. It lasted a little over a minute. He has NEVEr had a seizure and was wondering if it could be the food? could he have had a reaction to an ingredient?

  • Gabriella Stance

    Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss. We just lost one of our dogs as well. It is so heart breaking. Though our baby was old, I am concerned about continuing with Freshpet for our other dog. We use the rolls. I have seen other mold complaints dating back a year, but they all seem to be with the bits, not the rolls. Please respond if you can to let us know if you were using the rolls or the kibbles. If it was the rolls, I will stop using ASAP. Now I carefully inspect it each time I feed her, and am considering making her food. My heart goes out to you.

  • mslneenyo

    Hi Sarah, I have a 10+ rescue(a stray) i have him on Fp Vital. He loves it, but the past two days he’s bleeding also and has a bit of diarrhea. I just bought 5 rolls of Chicken Vital. now i’m going to wean him off this “natural” food from VP. He’s also lethargic. He may be older than 10, the shelter guessed at his age.. poor little guy!!

  • Nancy Mitchell Zapata

    My 13 year old Yorkie (rescued at 9) was a very picky eater..we had to play games to get him to eat, along with many trips to the vet due to his sensitive digestive system. He’s been loving the rolled Fresh Pet and I have to stop him from begging for more…he seems more active and happy to eat and no more playing silly games to get him to eat…and we tried everything out there for him to try…he like Ceasers but I didn’t know the rating on that so I talked to a dog trainer and she suggested Fresh Pet mixed with a little dry food now and then..I finally can relax and have a happy dog that loves his food.

  • Summer Smith

    I’d say you can mix. I do sometimes with my dog. Kibble (at least a good quality one) is not poor dog nutrition as other poster stated. But just watch the amount you’re feeding. It’s easy to overfeed those little ones. I know!

  • Janet Hermann

    Hope you filed a report. Very sorry for your great loss. Here is a link to article about mold in Petfresh and under that is others that also had problems with it.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Sarah-

    So sorry to hear about your dog. That is simply awful.

    I use Fresh Pet frequently and we carry it at my work. I haven’t had any issues personally and neither has any of our customers. I would absolutely report this to the FDA, the company and to the store you bought it at. They might not be storing this food properly and need a heads up. Sometimes the company will send a rep to double check this as well.

  • Sarah Thomas

    Thank you for your condolences. No, we haven’t filed a report but I will talk to my vet about doing that. He was so loved and way too young to die.

  • theBCnut

    So sorry for your loss. Have you and your vet filed a report with the FDA? It’s really important that suspected food is reported.

  • Sarah Thomas

    My dog has been eating fresh pet beef blend for three years, he bled to death from his rectum last night due to highly toxic mold found in his unexpired food. He did well with it for so long and then this tragedy. Beware!!!

  • tksirius

    Not sure about mixing, but Kibble is considered poor dog nutrition, because it is high in starch and carbohydrates.

  • Katie

    My dog Wiggins just loves Pet Fresh. I have been feeding this for a while, and I just found this website and am so glad to know it has five stars. He jumps up and down all over the kitchen whenever I walk to the fridge. And I am so glad to be feeding him such a good food. You’re the best, Dog Food Advisor!

  • Bullfrog

    We are using the refrigerated tubes. I saw there was a very large tube for large dogs, you only want a week’s worth of this, as it says once open to use it in a week.

  • Darci1990

    Just bought this for my chihuahua about a month and a half ago, and she goes bananas over it! Her favorite is the beef flavored roll. She is so picky and usually wastes her food until I bought this. Highly recommend! It’s good for her too since it’s natural and high quality.

  • RhesusNegative

    lol, the vegan in me thank you!

  • yhene

    Hi there, we have been feeding this puppy food to our 13 week old Shih Tzu. But I’m mixing in his kibble…is this ok?

  • SUnsan

    If only Target would get the rolled food… then i’d never step foot in a Walmart again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Michele Clemens

    I feed my senior bichon the fresh pet select in a tube and she loves it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, I only do visual inspection myself. A strainer is too much for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bobby dog

    I was chosen by the company to receive a complimentary bag via mail to try out. When I posted my review the kibble hadn’t been reviewed yet so I posted here. I forgot about it until today. I will post another review on the FP kibble page.

    C4C and I were discussing whether or not I could find veggie pieces in Bobby’s bm. I just wasn’t into straining it so I only did a visual inspection. lol

  • Crazy4dogs

    Just curious, I did see Freshpet select at Walmart the other day, but I think it was grain inclusive. How much does it cost? I usually buy the Vital, if it’s on sale.

    Edit: I didn’t realize that you were talking about the kibble until after posting and re-reading. I think the only time I’ve seen whole pieces of vegetables is when I’ve fed Sojos or THK. That’s why I grind before rehydrating. I agree with Aimee on this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bobby dog

    I of course shop at a Wal-Mart that doesn’t carry it! That’s okay because my grocery store does. I still plan to throw the GF chicken in his winter rotation.

  • Litldog2

    Some Walmart’s have it.

  • Heather Dye

    I switched my 4 lb Chihuahua to the Freshpet roll about a year ago and saw a significant change in her right away. Her skin and coat improved and she began to display more energy and just overall seemed to feel better. She is very picky though, and goes through periods where she acts like she doesn’t want it anymore, but I am persistent and keep her on it because it does seem to benefit her overall health. When she has her picky moments, I mix some cooked egg in, or a bit of cooked rice, or some other kind of fresh food that I know she likes and won’t harm her. It seems to work to get her eating it.

  • I shouldn’t open my mouth before clicking on the website Chad provided, but, I have to wonder if it could have anything to do with the Chelated Minerals. That’s the first thing that came to mind and now since I just started using the rolled Freshpet as a much healthier way to hide my little guy’s medication in, I’ll check out the site. I didn’t even know until today that they make a kibble and if the Chihuahua and I are as happy with it as the rolled version, it may end up being his new dry food. He’s insulin dependent and has liver issues so I’ve been researching for months, but just couldn’t find one food that met all his needs. Many expensive, foods which have a reputation for being very high quality, have several of the toxic, artificial ingredients, included on DFA’s “Red Flag Ingredients” list. Freshpet really surprised me, and wouldn’t you know, after all the time and effort researching & learning about this stuff, it was the boyfriend who saw it in Walmart one day and without even knowing what to look for on the label, just grabbed a roll and bought it! Go figure, lol

  • Goldenmama

    I have two large dogs. I think the reason why the packaging is small is because the food do not have any preservatives, nor like the kibble that can be for years on a shelve or pantry.
    You can buy few bags or tubes at one like a do that will last you few weeks if you don’t want to do multiples trips to the store.

  • Bobby dog

    Just finished a bag of Freshpet Fresh Baked Kibble Chicken recipe. Bobby loved it, did well on it, and maintained a soft and shiny coat while eating it. I even observed him crunching most of the kibble; he normally swallows each bite without chewing. He would even return to his bowl three or four times to lick it clean.

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

    I did not visually observe any vegetable pieces in Bobby’s stool. I don’t have an extra strainer lying around so a visual inspection is as far as it went!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • hdmetalman

    I have been buying fresh pet for about 6 months now, our aging los apso and he has become more picking with age. I mix have dry with a 1/4 serving of the wet tube, he has put some of his healthy weight back on and is more active again. So in my book this as been great product for our Carter.

  • Jlyo

    Ive been very slowly transitioning her to freshpet dry food and she loves it and so far so good ๐Ÿ™‚ and like your mother-in-law’s dog, mine has had more energy already!

  • Anatasha Hsieh

    Beneful is one of the worst dog foods available. My mother in law switched from beneful to a high quality dog food (taste of the wild) for her senior Chihuahua about a year ago. This 12 year old dog went from acting like an old dog to being like a young pup again in a matter of weeks. Night and day.

  • Weirdanimalboy .

    Hmmm. Thinking about getting a retired racing Greyhound hearing how they are usually fed a specially prepared diet while they are still used for racing, they would be okay transitioning to this. But LabsRawesome making the comment about how small the food is in a single packaging makes me have doubts about being able to realistically feed this and run back and forth to the pet store every two or three days.

  • jstdez

    Can you mix the fresh pet with some kibble? It might make him feel more “full.”
    Are you giving him occasional healthy treats? My Lab likes Mother Hubbard large size biscuits for in-between meal treats.

  • Bellos Mom

    That happened to me when i microwaved lunch meat a few months back….never to do it or eat lunch meat again. Id say there is something added to the processed “meat” roll to make it “spark” or “arc”…maybe a chemical to preserve it? That is strange though..after my lunch meat “sparked” it tasted funky..i threw it away. I feed my dog Wellness and he loves it! He also cleans his plate and it smells and looks like quality food. The ingredients are very similiar to fresh pet. I dont have to refrigerate it until its opened so thats a plus. I might try freshpet food one day but i dont know about the sparks or arcs…makes me leary especially after all the stories about antifreeze being added to dog food.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Just checked, and a 3.5lb bag is $12. Pretty pricy for 3.5lbs, by Target standards anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bobby dog

    I didn’t look at it any further than the website. I got an e-mail today from Freshpet about the kibble line. It might be on Target’s site, IDK.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Yes, unfortunately. Maybe if it is popular they will release bigger bags. Also, I didn’t see the price of the foods anywhere on the page BD linked to. Anyone know what the prices are?

  • LabsRawesome

    Freshpet kibble is only available in 3.5lb and 10.5lb bags. It would be good for small dogs, but people with large/multiple dogs, we need bigger bags.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Cool! The protein is a bit too low for my liking, but it is waaay better than most of the crap dog food they sell at target.

  • Bobby dog

    Fresh Pet is introducing a kibble line at Target:

  • Crazy4cats

    I am going to guess that they are not because their website does not state that they are. Usually companies like to advertise that information. Here is their site: It is a great food though!

  • Kayla

    Are all the ingredients non-GMO?

  • Crazy4dogs

    If he’s doing well and at a good weight, I would stay at the amount you’re feeding him. When dogs like their food they will ask for more even if they don’t need it. My dogs alway like to check their bowl after they’ve eaten just to see if they missed something.

    I do pull the bowls and wash them after each meal, since I use wet/fresh food, to prevent a bacteria buildup. I actually have 2 bowls for each dog, 1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner. They go into the dishwasher every night. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laurysabel

    I think that for a 20 pounds dog, the amount daily should be 1 cup daily. You can divide in two portions if you wish. I read it on the bag of the food that I give to my dog. I hope that’s correct.

  • Jlyo

    my 5lb. chihuahua has a VERY sensitive stomach, im looking for options that are safe for her, but the more reviews i read the more confusing it becomes. she’s been on beneful for most of her life, but with all the bad things happening with that food, i want to switch to something that has a good track record and doesnt harm dogs. any advice is welcomed. thanks.

  • David

    I’ve been giving my dog freshpet for the last few months. He loves it. He’s a rescue and has had issues with guarding food in the past. But since he loves this so much, he scarfs it down rather quickly. One one hand I’m happy because he likes it a lot more than other wet or dry food mixtures I would give him.

    The problem is that I feel he’s not getting enough to eat. He’s 20 pounds and I feed him the recommended amount (1/4 pound twice a day). He’s been going to his dish throughout the day/night asking for more food. Something he never did before the switch.

    Anyone have similar experiences or suggestions? He’s at a much healthier weight since we’ve made the switch. But I hate that he doesn’t seem to be full from his meals.

  • Misty

    This is all I feed my babies now. After years of struggling and switching foods they’ve never been better. I have a senior male min pin and a young female chihuahua. He as allergies to just about every food I’ve ever tried not to mention struggled with weight for years. I’d tried every diet food even the vet prescribed and he never could average out. Since eating this he’s leaned out to a healthy weight in no time, which I never even expected from the product. I love that it’s healthy and I can get it almost anywhere in case I run out late at night. They won’t eat anything else now and he hasn’t thrown up anymore at all. He use to throw up and wet the bed from most every food. Only downside is it def doesn’t help breath and every dental stick and treat I’ve troed messes with his tummy:/

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve never heard that. I thought carrots are high in vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for the eye. I know vitamin A is fat soluble and could be toxic in high doses (human or canine), but that would mostly apply to commercially produced Vitamins. You or a dog would have to eat A LOT of carrots! Not my favorite site, but here’s a link discussing carrots:

  • Crazy4cats

    I was following you until the carrot comment? I think carrots are fine for dogs as long as you don’t feed too many because they are a little high in sugar. Also dogs may not digest them as well as humans. But, otherwise, they are good for their teeth and full of fiber. I’ve never heard anything about carrots negatively affecting their eyes. Anyone else?

  • Allymax

    Garlic keeps fleas and ticks away without having to use pestcide-type meds. My last girl who died at 15 ate it raw and cooked; my current rescue only likes it cooked – a little taste once or twice/week. Many treats and foods use garlic. A vet eye specialist who studied food affects on canine eyes told me never to give my dogs carrots because they negatively impact dog eyes.

  • BoxerBliss

    This dog food is great! My little dogs love this food! I mix it with some canned to help it last longer and I have to say this is their favorite dog food so far. They all have soft fur, but after being on this awhile it became softer which I didn’t think was possible!

  • Debbie leland

    My little hairy mix breed ( 5 lbs. ) had a rough coat & scaly skin…just yucky, kind of hair one didn’t want to pet. A month on FreshPet & she has good skin & beautiful silky fur.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    It should be fine for your tiny pup, but I would give a very small amt, of course a smaller amount than for a 5 lb. pup.

  • Vivian Lipscomb

    I have a 1.5 lb chihuahua puppy. The Freshpet Vital Dog Food says it is okay for puppies to seniors, but the directions start at 5 lbs. Would it be okay to give her this?

  • Meg Gummerson

    My 15 year old Standard Poodle had somewhat lost interest in eating occasionally and had dropped some weight. A client mentioned that her Schnauzer had started eating enthusiastically when she began feeding Freshpet. I did the research, saw it was a 5-star rated food, and bought some to try. I mix it with her dry kibble and she is eating with enthusiasm! She ‘cleans her plate’ every time and is back to her old self!

  • Chad M
  • Chad M

    Although it’s not recommended, I prefer to microwave my dogs wet food for 15 seconds to warm it up from the fridge as it gets him more motivated to eat.

    However, I’ve noticed now with two rolls of Freshpet that the food “arcs” while microwaving. I heard it the first time I’ve served it and just now actually saw a spark in the food through the microwave window.

    I’m ‘nuking’ it in a glass bowl, so there’s no chance of metal in there. The packaging is plastic, so that’s not it either. So what in the heck is in the freshpet that’s causing it to arc in the microwave as if there’s metal in the food?

  • Janet Dietrich

    Tks for the info ๐Ÿ˜€

  • DogFoodie

    Here’s a great article that explains both sides of the argument:

  • Janet Dietrich

    I have heard different opinions on whether to give dogs garlic or not …why is this so controversial?? Tks in advance.

  • James

    Thank you.

  • James

    She is a basset hound,, sharpei mix.. She loves Love!
    This is her theme song.. (ok so we all spoil her and sing to her all the time).

  • Crazy4cats

    Well you certainly can’t argue with that picture. So cute! I think she likes you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Oh my gosh! Your pup is a big baby, isn’t she!? So cute! : )

  • James

    I have tried to rotate my dog’s food from this.. she will only eat the freshpet select roll of beef. I tried other flavors in this brand and style.. she wants nothing to do with it. I have tried dry kibble.. highly rated dog food and she won’t go near it.. the best she will do besides this is raw beef. before freshpet select i used to buy lean ground beef (6lbs) and then blendtec (blender) 2 lbs of mixed fruits and vegetables (that were dog friendly). I would mix them together well, then I would make 1oz. meatballs. I would then freeze them. She would get 1/2lb (8 meatballs) in the morning and 8 at night. She loved it as much as freshpet select. The cost was near 3 bucks a pound, but LOTS of work and space in the freezer. Freshpet select is about 2 bucks a pound and it is slice and serve. When serving raw meat I keep it in the freezer for a few days to help aid in bacteria issues. I know it’s not fool proof.. but it helps.

  • 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 โ€œImmortal Health Elixirโ€ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    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.”

  • 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


    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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    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


    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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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

    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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    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.”


    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.

    “Donโ€™t count on the label to help much. Those pricey โ€œnaturalโ€ and โ€œorganicโ€ 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.

    โ€œIf you actually surveyed consumers going out of their way to buy no-nitrate products, theyโ€™d be very surprised to learn that thereโ€™s plenty of nitrates in there,โ€ said Bruce Aidells, a chef and cookbook author. โ€œItโ€™s very misleading.โ€ 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 โ€œUncuredโ€ and โ€œNo nitrates or nitrites addedโ€ on the label even though they are cured and do contain the chemicals.

    โ€œNitrite is nitrite and consumers should be aware of what theyโ€™re eating,โ€ 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. โ€œWe feel strongly that labels should help consumers make informed decisions and we are open to reviewing additional information to enhance accuracy in labeling,โ€ 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”

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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)

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

    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.

  • 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

  • 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.. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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…..”

    Interested to know what you find out and to get to the bottom of this.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.

    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… ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.”

    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. ๐Ÿ™‚

    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).”

    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:

    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.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    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?

  • 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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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


  • 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?

  • 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.

  • zj

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


  • Shawna

    Or, they know how to turn a profit and saw a niche..?? Hard to know.. ๐Ÿ™

  • Shawna

    They say in the article you link to “ast year, Queensland newspaper The Courier-Mailย 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:

    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.

  • 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.”

    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.

  • 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.

  • zj


    “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”?”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

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