Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food (Rolls)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh rolled dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Freshpet Nature’s Fresh product line includes three dog food rolls.

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

  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Chicken (5 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Turkey (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Salmon & Ocean Whitefish (3 stars) [A]

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Freshpet Nature's Fresh Grain Free Turkey Recipe

Rolled Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 39% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 20%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey liver, spinach, cranberries, turkey broth, blueberries, carrageenan, salt, natural flavors, inulin, flaxseed oil, dried ground broccoli, dried ground pomegranate, vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, biotin, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, minerals: calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis39%33%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%57%15%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 57% | Carbs = 15%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The third ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.

The fourth ingredient includes cranberries, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The fifth ingredient is turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The sixth ingredient includes blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

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

After the natural flavors, we find salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

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

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

With three notable exceptions

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

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

Next, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

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

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Rolled Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Nature’s Fresh dog food rolls 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 39%, a fat level of 33% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 32%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 19% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 77%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a rolled dog food containing a notable amount of meat.

However, with 57% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh is a meat-based rolled dog food using a notable amount of poultry or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

Freshpet Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

09/03/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  2. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  • Crazy4dogs

    I only use the Vital grain free raw & cooked in my rotation. DogFoodie is right about carageenan in the cooked. It’s not in the Vital Raw.

  • DogFoodie

    It’s a good choice as part of a rotation, Kelly. I like it and use a couple of varieties of it. I does contain carageenan, which I’m not fond of, so I wouldn’t feed it (or any one food for that matter) exclusively.

  • Kelly

    Here in Ontario I recently saw the tubes of Freshpet food at Walmart. What do people think about this food? I am debating between grain-free or limited ingredient kibble and/or raw or “fresh” food for our 15.6 lb mixed dog. Right now she has a nice coat, good stools, no runny goop in the eyes or ears. I would like to keep it that way but want to make sure we do the right thing in the long run regarding food.

  • LadyBug

    I’m not sure what to think of this food. The ingredients look very similar to the homemade food that I give to my dogs, and that is why I tried it out, but the food is nothing like homemade at all.
    I have to admit the dogs did okay for the most part, but I didn’t like that they had mucosy stools when they ate it. Something was not digesting well in spite of the good ingredient list.
    I also could never get over the weird smell and texture of the meat – like it’s been pickled or something. Anyway, this food’s a good step up from a lot of brands that are loaded with fillers and weird stuff but I was a little disappointed and somewhat skeptical of how “fresh” it really is. I felt like I was feeding my dogs a diet of straight hot dogs or something. I question whether it is a healthy long-term strategy for them but it does make good treats for training.