Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition (Rolls)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Dog Food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition product line includes two rolled dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe (3 stars)
  • Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Chicken Recipe (4 stars)

Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

FreshPet Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe

Rolled Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 38% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 21%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey liver, turkey broth, peas, carrots, eggs, brown rice, rice bran, carrageenan, natural flavors, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, dried kelp, flaxseed oil, inulin, celery powder, 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) = 6.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis9%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis38%33%21%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%58%15%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 58% | 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 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 fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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

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

The seventh ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth ingredient is 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 four notable exceptions

First, carrageenan is 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.

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

In addition, 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.

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 Vital Balanced Nutrition
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition 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 38%, a fat level of 33% and estimated carbohydrates of about 21%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 83%.

Near-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 rolled product containing an moderate amount of meat.

However, with 58% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% 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 Vital Balanced Nutrition is a meat-based rolled dog food using a moderate amount of turkey or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


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

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
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

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

09/05/2016 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
  • iluvmyshihtzu

    Please read my comment & start your Maltese on plain cooked white chicken. If he has diarrhea, you can add a small amount of white rice until his stools are normal for the 2nd day. Then gradually add a jar of single vegetable babyfood or a 1/8th cup canned plain pumpkin. Add supplements & other healthy veggies on top last. It. This method cured Coliris in both our Shihtzus. Good luck!

  • Patty Thompson

    I make our 2 Shihtzus food. I’ve done a lot of research & used our vet’s advice. Freshpet Rolls are tasty & dogs like it…BUT..
    1.A dog never needs a carbohydrate. If given anything, use steamed broccoli flowerettes, cauliflower, green beans added on TOP & to the side of mostly meat meal. These are low glycemic carbs, full of nutrients & natural fiber that help a dog feel full if they want to eat more than a healthy amount of are on a lower calorie diet for weight management. Peas, carrots are higher in calories. Canned pumpkin is awesome or sweet potatoes YOU COOK & mash up adding nothing! You can use a Stage 2 babyfood vegetable with no more than 40 calories per jar. Mixed “like vegetables” like sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin” mixed but only mixtures that are not on the “Dog No No list”. No need for fruits.
    Brown Rice or Rice bran?? A dog’s digestive system isn’t long enough to digest brown rice ~ added calories/carbs & no nutritional value. A small amount of Psyllium Husk POWDER is enough fiber (1/4 t for 10 lbs body weight) with lots of liquid added. And fresh water always!
    Lastly, “inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.”. Chicory root, STARCH compound?
    I took a fiber supplement with Inulin & it hurt MY stomach terribly! I’d never give it to my dog.
    If this is the one with eggs ~WAIT! First, give your dog a few bites of cooked egg to be sure it’s NOT allergic. One of ours is very allergic to eggs.
    Supplements last us a year! Liquid vitamins are 99% absorbed. Chewable vitamins are about 33% absorbed. We buy frozen boneless chicken breasts (least expensive brand). Beware that dark meat is fattier chicken & has twice the calories.
    It doesn’t cost us anymore to cook boneless chicken, pull apart the tender lean meat, add cooked liver occasionally but not gizzards (tough), use a jar of babyfood veggie, add liquid high grade dog vitamins, liquid cold water fish oil, a t of bone meal powder & 1/4 t Psyllium husk powder, add 2 ~ 4 oz of chicken broth from the cooked chicken with no seasoning & whisk powdered supplements, liquid supplements into. babyfood until smooth, add chicken (be sure you know calorie amount your dog needs daily). Ours get 3 oz chicken mixed with the above & a steamed veggie on top. Beware of canned vegetables ~ calorie count varies. Carrots are higher but carrot babyfood is not. Also, sodium content. Spinach is a good added veggie steamed & shredded.
    Use any meat that YOU would eat. Keep in mind chicken & fish are lower calorie/fat. Beef, Pork, lamb are higher. Wild game if you have a hunter in family is BEST. No cooked bones. Raw big bones only w/o sharp points. No chicken/poultry bones.
    A few blueberries is excellent for kidney function. No white potatoes or white rice.
    You’ll save a lot in vet bills & your dog will live longer & the older years won’t be full of health issues like arthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, seizures, etc. We give our dogs canned food on occasion if we’re out of chicken, etc. but it’s 95% beef, or 95% chicken, etc). Do not go by just protein. Dogs are meat eaters! Think of what a wolf eats when it kills prey. Everything is from the animal.
    If a dog is ill, not acting right, seems to hurt, a rescue dog that’s starved, there are very few illnesses that the correct diet won’t heal.

  • Shelby Constable

    Well yeah, obviously.

  • Bobby dog

    Please take your dogs to a Vet.

  • Shelby Constable

    This product has made both of my dogs incredible sick. Neither will eat and are both getting sick. My maltese got the worst of it. He is still very lethargic and seems as if he is almost dizzy when he walks. He falls over and doesn’t act normal at all. I’m worried about my babies. I will never purchase this food again.

  • Empathy

    Get your Yorkie spayed!

  • Amateria

    That is so weird.
    I would at this point in time never buy their food let alone consider it after all those mold comments all over the web, I’ve actually been reading about it right now and some of mold pictures are absolutely gross.
    Whether it’s still an issue or not wouldn’t change my mind on it, because the problem went on for over a year and that’s disturbing.

    Just noticed how high the fat is on this one jeebus.

  • mahoraner niall

    i really dont know why, but my stor sells this in the meat section!

    sure, i know it has real meat, but honestly, unless you make your dog food at home, no one would even expect dog food to be with the human food!

    lol i can see it now, a person brings home a tube of fresh pet beef and tries to cook it and when they look at the package they see the dog. lol

    “oh, thats why my dog was staring at the tube while i was cooking”

  • Pitlove

    Just brought this food into work, so I took home a roll for Bentley to try. I think I found his doggie crack, he loved it!

  • theBCnut

    Keep the ingredient list. In the future you should compare it to foods that he does well on and other foods that he shows reactions to, so that you can figure out what he is reacting to, so you can avoid that ingredient in the future.

  • Rachel Tate

    Heard great things about this food so, I bought a bag for my lil chi-pom. When I first opened the bag it smelled so yummy and looked really good. My fur baby loved it! The next day after him eating this food he started itching and acting so crazy. Found out he’s allergic to the food! 🙁

  • Sarahbg

    My Chizer, Chihuahua & Schnauzer, was a picky eater from the start. At first he would eat a hard dog food I bought from a specialty pet store, until he had a bad bout of tummy trouble last year. I searched for what foods to feed him to help harden his stool & came across the “bland food diet”, basically rice & boiled chicken. He absolutely loved it… But that caused a problem in itself because he wouldn’t touch the hard food any more. I started researching raw & cooked diets but I didn’t think he was getting enough nutrients. We out him on a ton of different wet & dry foods, until last week we went through the “FreshPet” isle at Petsmart & decides to get the bag that looks like little rolled up pieces of steak & shreds of white chicken, along with cranberries, spinach etc. Let me just say, I’m no longer worried he’s not eating right or getting the right nutrients, he LOVES his new food & I do too. It’s so easy, you have to keep it refrigerated & when ready to feed I give my little guy 2/3 Cup, pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds & it’s ready to go. I’m so glad they made a dog food that’s more natural & full of meat rather than fillers & products you don’t even know what it is. This food is more suited for carnivores & their natural eating habits!
    Oh & one more thing, FreshPet also has fresh treats as well! No more fake crap, but real meat, veggies & fruits to snack on now!

  • theBCnut

    I’m so sorry to hear about your boy. That sounds like he has some pretty serious issues going on and I’m glad you have found something you can tempt him with. I hope you find some way to help him get better.

  • Heather M Watson

    My dog has not eaten in 15 days. He has a feeding tube to sustain him. I have offered him his favorite canned food, chicken, steak, canned cat food, baby food,a variety of high end dehydrated foods, the list goes on. He has shown interest in nothing! Until tonight I opened a beef and bison roll and his eyes lit up!!! He ate about half a pound. I’m so happy! He is healthy weight is 103, he is down to 92.

  • Cyndi

    The salt content issue was put to rest by HDM with her conversation with people at Freshpet. You can find that info here in the featured comment….

  • chiapink

    Better check the salt/sodium content, is supposed to be fit for human consumption, so taste it, if you like cambell’s soup right out of the can I guess it is not too bad, just keep in mind that dog’s do not sweat so the salt causes alot of health issues, i.e. heart, edema etc later up the road, if interested read the former reviews that do mention this.

  • Paw Paws


  • Joe

    I wish you well.

  • Paw Paws

    Paw Paws
    9 days ago

    I don’t think anything we feed
    our dogs are choices they would make for themselves if they were living
    in the wild like they’re ancestors or cousins the wolfs. I’ve never seen
    a video of wild chickens, because there are no such thing chickens are
    domestic man made fowl. but yet its the main meat used for dog food. we
    based dog food on the study of science, and animal testing, “gee lets
    see what happens to these dogs if we it feed this” group A” , Group B”
    etc. so I figure we domesticated the animal, we changed what it was
    meant to be and actually created all new species of dogs, so what ever
    you feed them, as long as it meets the nutritional needs , vegan or
    meat, doesn’t much mater

    Joe >Paw Paws
    9 days ago
    We domesticated these animals
    10,000 years ago. There are recent studies that show that they can
    digest carbs actually better than previously assumed.There have been
    studies conducted on vegetarian dogs and regular dogs —vegetarian dogs
    had less incidences of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis or
    heart disease.Dogs with liver cirrhosis –per veterinarian studies do
    better on a vegetarian diet than on a meat based diet.That is why
    sometimes vets prescribe a vegetarian diet for certain
    conditions,according to my holistic vet.

    Paw Paws>Joe
    8 days ago

    I wasn’t arguing with you
    Joe…..but it seams that you feel only your opinion matter and only
    your voice should be heard according to all the posts I have read of
    yours so I will be putting you on my ignore list now. goodbye Joe.

    Joe>Paw Paws

    8 days ago

    This is a public forum. Why don’t you ignore my posts and why do you keep replying to mine then? I truly feel sorry for you!

    —————–end ——————-

    until today that was the only interaction we ever had
    I made a statement of how I feel about the choice between meat or vegan to no one at all just a public point of view, I did not say vegan was good or bad, or that meat was good or bad, as you can plainly see I feel as long as its healthy its your choice., you are the one who replied to me, voicing your opinion about vegan as though my opinion was not relevant, I decided to see what else you had to say on the subject and saw the same thing over and over, your opinion counting and no ones else mattered to you. so I politely said I was not disagreeing with you and I would ignore you as my opinion did not mater in your eyes. but you wouldn’t leave it alone, you had to add your special brand of rudeness. which I did not reply to.

  • Joe

    I never scrambled to find scientific evidence.I have provided them since the beginning.I would like to know what ‘artificially synthesized amino acids’ are and which foods have them.None of the vegetarian foods I have seen on the market contain them I know of.Which product are you referring to? Where did you read something like this online?

  • Joe

    Where is YOUR disclaimer about possible risks regarding your advice? In my humble opinion I believe you should have a disclaimer, or do you think you don’t need one regarding possible risks they come along with your advice ?

  • Shawna

    You do make me laugh Joe!! You can’t enter the disclaimer AFTER the fact.

    I found this interesting..
    “In contrast to other terms for legally operative language, the term disclaimer usually implies situations that involve some level of uncertainty, waiver, or risk.” So you admit there is uncertainty and may be risk with your advice….. Glad you understand that.

    This, like every other conversation you are involved in, is doomed to go nowhere so I shall say my goodbyes…

  • Joe

    My disclaimer is stated below.I’m sure yo have a disclaimer too.

    The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. We can not and do not give you medical advice. The information contained in this online site and emails is presented in summary form only and intended to provide broad consumer understanding and knowledge. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or advice of your physician or other health care provider. We do not recommend the self-management of health problems. Information obtained through me is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. Should you have any health care-related questions, call or see your physician or other health care provider promptly. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.

  • Joe

    My advice has been over and over again to talk to a qualified veterinarian.

  • Shawna

    So quick question for you — what gives you the right to give advice but not me?

    You pull this every time you’ve been one upped.. Your “friend” has something witty to say, which you repeat and you divert the conversation to asking the vet or expert.. You are definitely predictable!!

  • Joe

    My friend just said:”Shawna-Shawna-Shawna-there you go again”.

    There are DIFFERENT studies-some show you should lower phosphorus in the beginning stage in dogs.Studies show MIXED results.All you are referring to is ONE study not the ENTIRE picture.I’m going by what the general consensus is among researchers and among most veterinarians these days based on ALL research up to this date.

    You are also inaccurate on the liver issue.People should consult with a qualified veterinarian.

    You are again contradicting the general consensus among researchers. You pick and choose your studies.

    You are not a licensed veterinarian or a licensed expert in the field. What gives you the authority to know it all?

    Don’t sweat-ask the vet! (had to giggle…)

  • Shawna


    Here’s one instance where you don’t know what you are talking about and it shows. A liver SHUNT is VERY VERY VERY different than other forms of liver disease. In shunts, the ammonia created by some proteins (mainly animal protein) BYPASSES either wholly or mostly the liver where it should be converted to urea. Urea is not harmful in the blood unless the kidney can’t keep up. But ammonia in the blood is very toxic. The animal protein is not the issue however — it is the DEFECT of the liver.

    You seem to be implying that every case of liver disease should be treated like a shunt and that is simply not even remotely true.. 🙁

    And yes, phosphorus is a problem in later stages of KD or if high blood phosphorus but again, it is not the phosphorus but the fact that the dogs kidneys are not functioning that creates the problem by not removing phosphorus. This information is in the articles you linked to.

  • Joe

    Now you have edited your post—ok.i think you should stop falsely accusing others.I have made it very clear that I knew that tofu is made out of soy.Shawna was referring to soy beans not tofu.She doesn’t mind tofu but she mentioned soy-I did not understand why she would bring up soy(beans) since i recommend tofu and not soy(beans).I said i did not say soy I said tofu.

    When I say I did not say milk I said yogurt does it mean I don’t know that yogurt is made out of milk?Of course not.And tofu and soy are two separate products with different nutritional value,bio-availability and phosphorus levels.In soy beans phosphorus is very high while in tofu it is very low.

    Why are you so negative to everyone?

  • JellyCat

    There we go again. Unbelievable, you want to defend your nutritional choices so much you scramble to provide the “evidence”.
    I already told you that feeding your dog healthy vegan food is almost impossible. But you don’t even suggest feeding healthy vegan, as long as it doesn’t contain animal matter. Sure enough you can find amino acids in plants if you ingest enough and then digest enough. This why all vegetarian kibbles add those acids artificially – artificially synthesized amino acids. And of course everything else that has beneficial properties in vegan kibbles, if raw, is highly processed.

    Meat is good for the species that evolved to thrive on it.

  • Joe

    That is exactly what I could say about the ‘sub optimal’ nutrition a lot of people feed their dogs on this forum.

    f your belief would be correct than why are so many dogs on a diet high on meat protein getting cancer,liver and kidney disease, bone issues, arthritis etc. and vegetarian dogs or dogs fed less meat (with meat substitutes) are doing in comparison very well or even better?.In fact there are many reports that show dogs live to be very old on vegetarian food even.I am not saying that every dog should be a vegetarian dog but there are health concerns with meat, esp.conventional meat.

    What concerns me is the HIGH amount of meat protein some people recommend.People should consult with a qualified veterinarian who is informed about the advantages AND disadvantages of certain diets.For instance copper in meat puts a strain on the liver and phosphorus in meat puts a strain on the kidneys-ask your veterinarian.Studies have shown protein amounts are not that big of an issue but very low protein is.The question is:What is quality protein and how much does the dog need?All the amino acids in meat is fond in plant protein as well.As far as I know that THERE IS NO STUDY OR EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT VEGETARIAN MEAT SUBSTITUTES SUCH AS QUINOA OR TOFU ARE BAD but there is alot of hearsay about them. My friend just said:”Quality protein doesn’t mean meat,meat,meat.”

    And regarding the theories which promoted in the 80s that plant protein is generally inferior to meat they have been proven wrong.I think for instance Quinoa or Tofu are great choices and good examples of healthy quality proteins low in phosphorus (or lower than meat) with good bio-availability and digestibility.

    Dog Health survey of 300 vegetarian dogs:

    Eating to much meat can also make dogs sick:

    Whole Food solution for liver disease in dogs:

    Study shows phosphorus is more important than protein amount in kd

  • JellyCat

    And yet you provide suboptimal nutrition to your dog and trying to convince the others that your choices are superior.

  • Joe

    Of course not.The problem is:Veterinarians are lacking in certain areas.The issue is with some people on the internet who are filling these areas not everything is accurate what they say and there is a lot of hearsay and pseudo science going on.The scientific studies are still valid-but a lot of times people pick and choose what they want.
    I personally take ALL the information (scientific studies which show MIXED or VARIOUS results at times) into consideration and thanks to my education and experts I know in the field I think I’m able to exercise good judgment.

  • JellyCat

    But you do believe everything your vet and fellow vegans tell you.

  • Joe

    That is exactly the point:You can’t believe everything you read on the internet!

  • JellyCat

    Joe, you said “Just because some people have a certain view this doesn’t mean other views are invalid.”.
    Well I strongly disagree. Sometimes, people’s opinions are invalid. However, it is OK to be wrong or biased, it’s just human. The only issue is that when such individuals are trying very hard to convince others it becomes harmful.
    As far as veterinarians and nutrition, you know it doesn’t take specific credentials to be able to read scientific literature. Do you believe everything you read on the internet? Do you never question treatment choices your Dr. and DMV. suggest? Do you trust your car mechanic in everything they say? Do you trust manufacturers claims? Or do you actually choose to engage your brain?

  • Joe

    I did not lie-don’t you construe my
    words. And I did not attack you-I said something in general in a positive way on v-dog-no need to be rude.Here is what you said:”I have read of yours so I will be putting you on my ignore list now. goodbye Joe”.Did not understand why you had to do that.

  • Paw Paws

    if I could find away trust me you would be on my ignore list, if you can
    tell me how to accomplish this please do. and not knowing that tofu is made from soy, is an uneducated statement so I was not wrong is saying so. and it would also appear you lie,
    My first comment on Vdog forum I stated that I was not disagreeing with you to someone else, and you bit my head off.!!

  • Joe

    When I replied to your post on v-dog in a positive way you replied in an offensive way back and obviously made it clear to us that you don’t like me to reply to your posts. You said:”I have read of yours so I will be putting you on my ignore list now. goodbye Joe”-So why don’t you ignore me then?

    Because of people like you (and the group you agree with) people like me don’t like to post but this doesn’t mean that there is not an entire community out there supporting my view.We know the different research and we look at ALL factors.We like to talk to our experts in the field with credentials in nutrition who oppose a lot that is hearsay.Regarding this topic:If you would read the question the people had originally ask you see her veterinarian said the same thing I did in regards to the phosphorus that ‘is the issue not the protein'(their word).

    P.S.I understand you follow patty-among others.

  • Paw Paws

    lol if you read back even further you will see that Joe just likes to stir up trouble on this topic, unfortunately he is very uneducated on the subject, all we can do is hope he moves on 😉

  • Joe

    Don’t want to start the conversation again at all but I think you misunderstood me.I said “I did not mention soy I mentioned Tofu” and this doesn’t mean I don’t know what Tofu is made of. Shawna clearly has been stating she doesn’t mind Tofu but soy or soy isolates (as far as I remember)-there is a big difference between tofu and soy.I always knew tofu is made out of soy since I have eaten tofu for decades.Tofu is still a separate product and not all Tofu contains soy isolates.Tofu has a different nutritional value than soy and while it is made out of soybeans it is much healthier-for instance it contains much less phosphorus and it is easier to digest.The fact I recommend Tofu as a healthy meat substitute doesn’t mean I recommend soy beans or soy isolates-I personally don’t eat them.I grew up with Tofu.I eat it every week.

  • Zyekitty

    Please stop arguing about my stupid tofu comment. I thought it was funny that you didn’t realize that tofu had soy in it..ha..ha. Apparently I’m eating soy protein isolates and I don’t know what they are or that they could cause cancer…so I guess I don’t really know what’s in my food either. Jokes on me.

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve never had tofu, didn’t know soy was in it & that tells me I never will. Soy doesn’t like me much.

  • Joe

    Down voting is very childish-your friends do it to me all the time.I look at the 5 upvotes they give you and then I get the 5 down votes-you get 3 up votes I get 3 down votes etc.-obviously always from the same people.I would not complain if I was you– you have usually only one or two-you have 5-8 regular contributors (plus some followers) who are helping you out down voting me.

  • Shawna

    🙂 The affects of free glutamic / aspartic acids accumulate with exposure and time so even though things are good now, that could change..

    They add the stuff to increase the protein content but also to enhance the taste of foods. Most processed foods have it in one form or another so we can get lots of exposures without knowing it.. 🙁 I bought some powdered coconut milk once (should be safe) but low and behold it had “sodium caseinate” which is another source derived from dairy protein.. Ughhhh

    Surely there are some brands of tofu that don’t have these (they are referred to as excitotoxins) included. May just take some investigative work to find one.. 🙂

    Thanks for the heads up about not down voting me? I’ve been getting them for the past couple weeks. I wonder who it could be? 🙂

  • Zyekitty

    thanks, I didn’t know that…might need to cut down on my tofu consumption. I guess I’m guilty of not knowing what’s in my food as well.

    ps.I didn’t down vote you, I appreciate the advice.

  • Joe

    I give up-this doesn’t mean I am weak— sometimes giving up means that you are strong enough to let it go.

  • Shawna

    Nope, my ego is not the issue here.. In fact, you are making me feel better about myself and especially my knowledge base.. 🙂 Simply can’t reason with someone who is unreasonable so I won’t keep trying..

    In my opinion though, if you could keep your ego in check you just might learn a thing or two (and not take the credit as your own)…

  • Joe

    Did I insult your ego?

  • Shawna

    Okay, now that your link isn’t supporting your view, we should listen to our vets or a different expert.. Mkay…….. Once again, I’m done….. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe

    There are several studies on the subject some of them show mixed results and have different suggestions.I would listen to my veterinarian or any other expert on kidney disease.

  • Shawna

    Have YOU read your studies? Italicized emphasis theirs.

    I took this right from the article you linked to “In summary, the available data and the opinion of the Work Group support the proposal that dietary phosphate restriction should be initiated when blood PTH levels begin to rise (Stage 2) and/or when serum phosphorus levels are elevated at any stage of CKD.

  • Shawna

    No, I’m saying she listed the ingredients and it was in the ingredient list. The post is above Joe, you can see for yourself.

  • Joe

    Now you are saying the tofu the person ate contained it?Because she said she ate Tofu and the Tofu contained it.It looks to me Tofu may contain it but then you say you are not against Tofu.

  • Shawna

    Well apparently since Zyekitty listed the ingredients in the tofu she ate “the night before” which included this ingredient, I would say that the person I RESONDED to eats it..

  • Joe

    Really?Why do you mention this then? Who eats that stuff?

  • Shawna

    BUT THEY DON’T EAT PROTEIN ISOLATES!!! What part of this are you missing?

  • Shawna

    Awesome!! ME TOO!!

  • Joe

    Perhaps you should visit Asia.People there often eat more healthy than us.

  • Shawna

    WOW Go back and re-read.. Zyekitty lists the ingredients in the “tofu” eaten the night before which INCLUDE soy protein isolate. It’s not my opinion, it is fact and there is LOTS of research on the matter if you simply take the time to look it up rather than immediately getting on the defensive simply because I said it…

  • Joe

    I understand in early stage phosphorus may not be elevated but experts still recommend lowering it in early stages.Have you read my studies?

  • Shawna

    Phosphorus is NOT an issue in non-kd dogs.. Did you even read the article you linked to? It clearly discusses why phosphorus is an issue and even states that in stage one of the disease it may not be necessary to lower phosphorus..

  • Joe

    Why do you point out the (in your opinion) “dangers” in ‘isolated soy protein’ when the subject is tofu?

  • Shawna

    Please read what I wrote Joe — “soy protein isolate” is the key here.. I even mention I have no problem with tofu.. Soy protein isolate is a concentrated source of the proteins in soy that have been processed in a manner so as to free them — which is not natural and has consequences.

    For more info Neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock’s book “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills”.

    For what it’s worth, soy is not the only protein that they use in this manner. Dairy is used to make sodium caseinate (and others), Brewers and nutritional yeast are sources among many others.

  • Joe

    If phosphorus in meat puts a strain on the dog’s kidneys and the high quantities of meat doesn’t cause an issue this doesn’t mean that it would not cause an issue in most dogs.

  • Joe

    So in Asia people are eating LOTS of tofu—are you telling us that people there suffer from high incidences of:

    “multiple sclerosis, brain damage, temporary blindness, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus etc.”


  • Shawna

    WHAT?? I don’t understand the analogy?

  • Shawna

    Not to change the subject here Zyekitty – and I’m not opposed to tofu in general – but “isolated soy protein”, is a source of freed glutamic and aspartic acids (think MSG, AKA monosodium glutamate) and can cause, if consumed in large enough quantities for long enough times, things like multiple sclerosis, brain damage, temporary blindness, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus etc.

    You may not eat it enough to cause a problem but thought I’d mention just in case..

  • Joe

    You have given Audrey natural remedies for kidney support.Inspite your diet high in phosphorus your dog is still alive—As i said earlier my grandfather was a heavy smoker.Just because he did not get lung cancer doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.

  • Zyekitty

    I read Joe’s comment about tofu and soy last night after I ate tofu for dinner and thought it was quite amusing, since the only ingredients in my tofu were Water, Soybeans, Isolated Soy Protein, Gluconolactone, and Calcium Chloride. That’s right off the ingredients list on the box.

  • Joe

    My friend just said:”She (Shawna) needs to do more research before she goes any further.”

  • Shawna

    Afterthought — apparently Audrey’s “longevity” has no relevance on the matter even though that is your main theme…???

  • Shawna

    Oh Joe, I think I could say the same thing.. Please remember AGAIN — I eat primarily veggies with a small amount of organic (and whenever possible free range) meats.

    Why do I keep fighting? It’s really quite simple, because you are pretending to know something about canines and kidney disease when in fact you are learning as you go and it is the posters on this site that are having to correct you and lead you to the more factual and accurate information.. I thought we were making headway but I am wrong. Well other than getting you to admit that you eat eggs and are not, in fact, a vegan.

    Edit — if you quit pretending like you know more than you do about canine kd, I’ll have no reason to post to you and will once again not waste my time on vegan matters.

  • Joe

    I get kick backs from my good karma baby.

  • Shawna

    That makes me giggle too!! 🙂 That really is funny Joe… For the record, I get kick backs from nobody…

    Curious though, do you get kick backs from the soy industry? Or maybe Monsanto?

    You didn’t answer my question either? You stand by quinoa and whole eggs for dogs with kidney disease?

  • Joe

    Had to giggle—my friend just said:”Are you sure they (Shawna etc.) are not getting kick backs from the meat companies?”

  • Joe

    Shawna I believe in longevity That is why I feed the diet I feed.If everyone would agree with me then we would not have any slaughter houses.Most people do eat meat and believe in it.How about eating less and add healthy vegetarian foods?Why do you keep fighting?Life has many paths.

  • Shawna

    So you stand by quinoa (edit – and whole eggs) then?

  • Shawna

    PS — Per this “History of the Research” on soybean, the biological value of tofu is 65%. To be fair, the BV of a whole egg is 100 but the BV of egg white is only 88%. Still MUCH higher than tofu.

    I think it should also be noted that these BV’s are for humans not dogs. I imagine animal based proteins (maybe red meats – venison) would have a higher BV in canines?

    Edit — forgot to post the link

  • Joe

    I think the recommendations I have made are very healthy ones, no worries.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Just more processed, that’ll make it better.

  • Joe

    The subject was bio-availability in soy(beans) not Tofu.Of course we all know that Tofu is made out of soybeans but Tofu is much healthier than soybeans.

  • LabsRawesome

    Am I crazy or is Tofu made from soybeans?

  • Shawna

    Interesting, I had it in my head you were a vegan but that is not true obviously… Glad to see you understand the value of adding some animal based proteins to your and especially your dog’s diet!!

    And I apparently did miss this comment you made (sorry about that).
    “Have you thought about reducing the meat content and add certain meat
    substitutes (with low phosphorus) with things that have a high
    bio-availability, for instance eggs, Quinoa or Tofu?For instance Quinoa
    has all essential amino acids-the same found in meat.Soft Tofu (per 100
    gr.) contains only 52 mg. phosphorus while chicken breast has 196 mg.,
    Turkey 210 mg and Beef 203 mg.”

    For the record, your advice is problematic in that whole egg (due to the yolk as you NOW mention) is high in phosphorus — reason why I’ve been stating “egg white” all along. You also mention quinoa which after some research I have found does have a relatively high bioavailability BUT as I’ve mentioned before is HIGH in phosphorus. To put it in perspective…..

    100 grams of grass fed ground beef has 19g of protein, 13g of fat and 175mg of phosphorus


    100 grams of cooked quinoa has 4g of protein, 2g of fat and 152mg of phosphorus

    Yes, the beef has more but due to the much higher amounts of protein and fat the animal will have to eat less of it to meet the same nutritional needs then if eating quinoa… That’s a pretty problematic blunder when discussing a kd dog.

    Tofu has considerably less phosphorus but the bioavailability is much lower…

    I’m not sure which product was used in the article you linked but the brand and processing seem to have a major factor in the total phosphorus of the end product. The closet I could find to the one linked shows a nutrient profile of

    100 grams has 5g of protein, 3g of fat and 62mg of phosphorus. Again, the dog would have to eat considerably more tofu to get the same amount of protein nutrition and calories as from grass finished meat.

    Sometimes you have to look at the big picture…

  • Joe

    No Shawna you are (again) mistaken.I did mention egg a couple of times.I personally eat two eggs a day and my dogs eat eggs too.Egg yolks are high on phosphorus too.My veterinarian recommends to give 2 full eggs to 1 egg without the yolk.
    On last thing.”Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”Dalai Lama

  • Joe

    I have never suggested soy, I have suggested Tofu.Soy and Tofu have different bio-availability and phosphorus levels. Soft Tofu (per 100 gr.) contains only 52 mg. phosphorus while chicken breast has 196 mg., Turkey 210 mg and Beef 203 mg.

    There is a difference between vegans and vegetarians.Some vegetarians eat eggs.

  • Dr J

    Never heard of this before, but boy cheap it ain’t even compared to high end food like Orijen…..

  • Shawna

    The egg reference is new to me.. I hadn’t seen that from Joe til this post was edited to include it. Apparently we are getting through to Joe!!! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    The Tofu that you suggested is made from Soybeans. That’s when you suggested Soy. Or didn’t you know that?

  • Joe

    The aforementioned study did not find that protein amount was as important as phosphorus amount.

    “Necropsy also was performed on the remaining 24 dogs after they were euthanatized at the end of the study. Dog survival was significantly enhanced by 0.4% P diets (vs 1.4% P diets), but survival was not significantly influenced by amount of dietary protein.”

    It appears that you disagree with the interpretation of the conflict (because studies show mixed or sometimes conflicting results) by the aforementioned quote of Dr. Richards (a veterinarian).

    He did say though:”….the general consensus among researchers is that there probably is not much benefit to the kidneys in protein restriction…”

    It is up to us to take all the data into consideration and make smart diet choices.Isn’t the best answer to feed good quality protein low in phosphorus in kd dogs?A qualified veterinarian could probably answer any questions people may have in regards to the sometimes conflicting studies.

  • You said, “people should consult with a qualified veterinarian.”

    Maybe you should take your own advice and consult this previously posted article published by this “qualified veterinarian” – a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania:

    Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function

    The title says it all. However, if that doesn’t do it for you, then maybe you should check out the 47 footnotes listed at the end of that very same paper.

    In any case, if you’re still having trouble understanding that a low protein diet isn’t the same thing as a low phosphorus diet OR that a meat-free, 100% plant based diet isn’t biologically appropriate for a dog, then maybe you should study these words by Benjamin Franklin who said:

    “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

  • Joe

    It appears to me this is an entire other conversation and this forum is not the appropriate platform.Perhaps a veterinarian can explain this complex issue.Hint: stones.

  • losul

    I have no argument with that quote, especially the last sentence.

    Now can you tell me what is excessive calcium for a canine either with or without kd?

    From your own referenced article, second paragraph down from that quote;

    “Excess dietary phosphorus, low dietary calcium to phosphorus ratio, low magnesium intake, and renal disease resulting in a failure of phosphorus excretion are all causes of renal calcium and phosphate crystalization.”

  • Joe

    I personally would not give extra calcium if my dog had kidney failure.It appears that the idea is to lower calcium among phosphorus.This issue is a bit complex.I would consult with my veterinarian.

    “Excessive dietary levels of calcium and phosphorus can also lead to mineralization of kidneys in normal animals. Diets should contain proper amounts of these minerals.”

  • Joe

    In an important study it was determined that phosphorus is more important in kd than protein in dogs.

    Am J Vet Res. 1992 Dec;53(12):2264-71.
    Effects of dietary phosphorus and protein in dogs with chronic renal failure.

    “Necropsy also was performed on the remaining 24 dogs after they were euthanatized at the end of the study. Dog survival was significantly enhanced by 0.4% P diets (vs 1.4% P diets), but survival was not significantly influenced by amount of dietary protein.”

    This is how Mike Richards, DVM explains it:
    “There has been a lot of controversy in veterinary medicine about the validity of the theory that lowering protein levels is beneficial to the kidneys, for chronic kidney disease. At the present time, I believe that the general consensus among researchers is that there probably is not much benefit to the kidneys in protein restriction, except in acute kidney disease. However, there is some benefit in phosphorous restriction in the diet and low protein diets are usually also lower in phosphorous than normal diets.”

    As I said before:I find that people should consult with a qualified veterinarian.

  • losul

    why do you say that calcium should be kept lower on kd? what is lower?

    You do know that sometimes extra calcium is reccomended for patients with kd, as a phosphate binder? You can google that.

    Granted too much calcium can result in hypercalcemia, but too little will result in hypocalcemia which is just as serious. Balance is important, and balance with other minerals and vitamins is important.

    Do you know the proper levels Joe, for a canine?

  • Shawna

    I know we’ve dropped this Joe but I wanted you to know that I’m well aware of phosphorus restriction and have been commenting on it for a very long time. Here’s a post from 6 months ago

    For the record, they have discovered via science that senior dogs need more protein than adult dogs due to their general decreased ability to digest foods. Phosphorus does NOT need to be restricted in the diet of a non KD dog — even if a senior.

  • Please note you are referencing a non-veterinary (human) source. This information may apply differently in the case of canines.

    And also notice that the document you are referencing recommends adjusting the amount of phosphorus intake to an appropriate level as it relates to blood levels of the patient.

    In medicine, this logical method of dosing is known as a “sliding scale”.

    That’s why I recommended a previous reader today follow the instructions of her veterinarian.

    Sweeping recommendations like what you prescribed for that reader and the ones you keep making here to others may actually be harmful to some animals.

    Frankly, Joe, I’m troubled by your militant, autocratic, one-size-fits-all obsession with the vegetarian cause.

    Please keep in mind you have previously accused others here of practicing medicine without a license for doing precisely what you yourself have done here today.

    In addition, many of your remarks have been laced with discourtesy and hostility.

    Please remember, you are a guest here. And posting on this website is a privilege that can be revoked. Please consider yourself duly warned.

  • Pattyvaughn

    When being the operative term.

  • Shawna

    Thanks Joe, you too!

  • Joe

    shawna I wish you the best!

  • Shawna

    What am I supposed to be looking at Joe?

  • Joe

    When a person has a dog with kd it is best to look at all the different data of all the different foods and make smart choices.

    Putting others ‘down’ for pointing out errors is certainly inappropriate.

  • Shawna

    “Stocked up for that time when…” sweety.. Trouble comprehending today?

    100 grams of egg white, raw/fresh has 15.0mg of phosphorus with HIGH biological value

    100 grams of cooked quinoa has 152mg of phosphorus. Not sure of the BV of quiona but my guess is less than animal proteins.

    100 grams of soft tofu has 62mg of phosphorus with a lower BV than egg..

    When phosphorus needs to be lowered, plain and simple — egg wins by a mile…… Tripe also and excellent option..

  • Joe

    Since when did I suggest soy? I have suggested Tofu and Quinoa.These contain high bio-availability and high amounts of good quality protein.
    Glad you start lowering phosphorus with Tripe.

  • Shawna

    As you know, soy has a lower BV than animal based protein.. Apparently, if we follow Joe’s recommendations, the bioavailability of a protien is irrelevant even though it is the toxic blood that ends up killing the dog with kd.. Sheesh!!!!! 🙂

    For the record, I have cases of venison, lamb and buffalo tripe stocked up for that time when I do need to get Audrey’s phosphorus lower… 🙂

  • Joe

    Suggesting a ‘diet very high in meat protein’ in senior and kd dogs is irresponsible.Protein is fine without the excessive amounts of meat protein containing excessive amounts of phosphorus.Ask your veterinarian.End of story.See below that meat has excessive amounts of phosphorus.If you find exceptions fine.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m not trying to fight Joe, I’m trying to kindly pointing out some incorrect information that you posted for the readers’ sake. Some people are here looking for advice so it’s best to keep the discussion factual.

  • Joe

    That is true and ‘general’ is what I meant. If lamb,beef,turkey and chicken are high in phosphorus and I say that ‘meat is high in phosphorus’ I think we can all agree that this is a fairly accurate statement.If tripe is an exception it is still an exception and most meats are very high on phosphorus.Why do you fight?Why do you split hairs?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Don’t go changing your words on me. 🙂

    You didn’t say “in general” you said “A diet high in meat protein is a diet high in phosphorus.”

  • LabsRawesome

    You are making assumptions. You do not know actual percentages. The meat has to be balanced with bone and mineral supplements. And again, Shawna’s KD dog is 7 and 1/2, so I would take her advice over yours any day.

  • Joe

    Are you saying it was incorrect that ‘meat in general is high on phosphorus?’Tripe is the only exception I know.You can see on the list that meat is 4 times higher than soft tofu (chicken, Turkey, Beef).

    What is your point? A meat based diet is ok with kd? Can you give me an example?What would you feed a dog with kd?

    Read again:

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m not suggesting that anyone feed tripe all day, every day. I was just pointing out that your previous statement was incorrect. 🙂

  • Joe

    Now you see how I feel with the down votes I get from basically always the same people.
    Shawna has been suggesting previously to our conversations to kd dogs and senior dogs a diet ‘high in meat protein’-nothing else in regards to the phosphorus content.End of story.

  • Joe

    If you want to feed Tripe all day every day…is that what you suggest?Calcium also should be kept lower on kd.For people with kd dogs it is best to discuss the facts with qualified veterinarians and get a list of what to avoid-and then make smart diet choices based on phosphorus content of the various foods.
    Here is a list of the phosphorus content of the different foods.

  • LabsRawesome

    What does your grandfathers smoking habit have to do with a dog born with KD? Absolutely nothing. Let’s keep on subject, please. I personally do not know the percentages of calcium/phos, ect. that Shawna feeds. Where did you get the percentages? And again, thanks for all your childish down votes.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “A diet high in meat protein is a diet high in phosphorus.”

    That’s not necessarily true Joe. Tripe is approximately 48% protein yet it contains only about 0.5% phosphorus (on a dry matter basis). It also has an ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1:1.

  • Joe

    My grandfather was a heavy smoker and lived to be very old-this doesn’t make smoking healthy-her diet previously given as discussed previously high in phosphorus did not harm that dog-this doesn’t mean phosphorus doesn’t put a strain on kidneys in any dog in any stage of kd or not.

  • LabsRawesome

    Now I’m just repeating myself. Shawna had dealt with a dog, born with kidney disease. and managed to keep her alive and healthy for 7 and 1/2 years. I would take her advice over yours any day.

  • Joe

    My mother has had kd and I know all about diets.She had the best doctors in the world.My friend is a veterinarian and I read veterinarian magazines.

  • LabsRawesome

    Please read losul’s post above, and Dr. Mike’s post below, they have the explanation to your statement, I’m not going to retype the same info that they already have. Obviously Shawna knows what she is doing. How else do you explain how well her KD dog is doing? She has dealt with the disease for years. What is your actual experience with a live animal with kidney disease?

  • Shawna

    Hi Susan and Annie,

    Labs is correct :).. My dog Audrey has had kidney disease since birth and is now 7 1/2 years old and still in the early stages of the disease.

    Your vet is correct that phosphorus is problematic in kidney disease but I’d like to direct you to the article Joe linked to. Please note that in that article they mention that phosphorus does not need to necessarily be lowered in the early stages (stage 1) of the disease. Do not lower the phosphorus too much before it is necessary. (Edit — here is the comment I’m referring to in that article “In summary, the available data and the opinion of the Work Group support the proposal that dietary phosphate restriction should be initiated when blood PTH levels begin to rise (Stage 2) and/or when serum phosphorus levels are elevated at any stage of CKD”. Nutritionist Mary Straus has some great info on the subject on her website.

    As much as you can, it is also important to control the toxins in the environment. Example — when I learned of Audrey’s diagnosis I looked up the material safety data sheets or the Center for Disease Control on common products in my home. I discovered that items (back then at least) like my Swiffer mop cleaning solution and Clorox laundry whitener as well as some candles, cleaning products etc put further stress on the kidneys and added to the toxic blood that is caused by the kidneys not being able to function properly. So I eliminated those items from my home.

    Some supplements that can be helpful — HIGHLY recommend a HIGH quality probiotic and a certain prebiotics which act as “nitrogen traps”. I use the human product made by Fiber 35 Diet called Sprinkle Fiber. I also highly recommend a supplement by Standard Process called Canine Renal Support. Some other supps to look at are spirulina, food grade activated charcoal, burdock root (also a good prebiotic), enzymes, bottled water that is lower in sodium and higher in a certain type of calcium called calcium bicarbonate (like Evian), organic turmeric which is anti-inflammatory as well as anti-fibrotic (helps prevent scar tissue) etc.

    Do not vaccinate for ANYTHING again. Audrey has never had a rabies vaccine — she is exempted for life because of her kd diagnosis. She has also only had her first set of puppy shots (while still with the breeder). Also no more heartworm or flea/tick meds as all of these will add to the inflammation and toxic load of the body.

    Mary discusses diet on her website. Nutritionist Lew Olson also has some good info on her website — her dog Bean lived with kd for five years.. I would only feed grains IF following a recipe. Rice is known to bind with minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium making them unavailable to the body. This is NOT a good thing. I would also stick with animal based proteins but try to feed organic and grass finished if possible. I would DEFINITELY check on the sodium content as well as phosphorus content of this food. If I’m remembering correctly others have said it is quite salty — which could be a big problem.

    Darwins has a new kidney disease diet formulated by a vet that may be a solution for you. It is a raw diet but because they use egg shell instead of bone as the calcium source you may be able to lightly cook the food. This appears to be an excellent diet and one I plan on feeding my Audrey once necessary..

    There is TONS more info I could share with you if interested… Best of luck in keeping your baby healthy for as long as possible!! With a good deal of dedication and planning it can be done.

    Edit — sorry meant to include this.. If/when you need to significantly restrict phosphorus look at proteins such as egg whites and green tripe. Egg whites are much lower in phosphorus than vegetable sources of complete proteins (aka quinoa and soy). Eggs, at 100% biological value, are the standard by which the biological value of other foods are compared.

  • Joe

    A diet high in meat protein is a diet high in phosphorus.Phosphorus puts a strain on the kidneys.And the lack of knowledge about the phosphorus issue and meat/kd diet concerns me.People should consult with a qualified veterinarian.
    Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer at the National Kidney Foundation, suggests to lower phosphorus also in the beginning stages of kd.

  • losul

    I tried posting this earlier, but got lost in disqus land somewhere. So here’s another try.

    What Mike said about the lack of calcium in your homemade meals is VERY concerning for ANY dog, but it becomes even that much more so if you are mindful of or trying to reduce uptake/absorption of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus work antagonistically, increased ingestion of one decreases uptake/absorption of the other. So calcium will bind with some of the phosphorus and be excreted without ever being absorbed and having to be filtered by the kidneys as long as calcium is ingested in the right proportions to the amount of phosphorus ingested. So the amount of overall phosphorus can be a concern, but also the amount of calcium in relation to phosphorus, i.e. the calcium to phosphorus ratio. It’s the ratio that i think Joe is confused about. I believe AAFCO standards call for a ratio of between 1.1:1 and 2.1:1. Calcium is always listed first in the ratio because it should always be higher than the phosphorus, even in an otherwise healthy dog. What that ratio means (pertaining to AAFCO), is that there should be between 1.1 and 2.1 parts calcium for every one part of phosphorus. A food very high in phosphorus can also have a very low, or even much too low and very dangerously low, ca:ph ratio. If you are preparing your own food as stated without the addition of calcium, that food is indeed one of those, where the phosphorus is much higher than the calcium. If I were looking to reduce phosphorus, I would be mindful of the overall phosphorus content, but I would also look for a calcium to phosphorus ratio at the higher end, around 2:1 or so. (2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus.)

    When trying to reduce phosphorus and adding calcium, it’s probably best to use purer calcium sources. Bone has high amounts of calcium, but also fairly high amounts of phosphorus, the same thing with dicalcium or tricalcium phosphate, so purer calcium (like eggshell or coral) sources would be more appropriate.

    The fresh pet website only gives the required guaranteed analysis-protein, fat, fiber, moisture. You would have to call or write them about other levels. They may or may not reveal these to you. I would also inquire about the sodium levels, as I believe freshpet contains ABNORMALLY high sodium levels as means of a preservative, and I think this food may not be appropriate at all for your dog.

    If it were me, I would be mindful of phosphorus and sodium, but would still want to continue feeding high quality animal proteins when possible. I agree with seek the help of a qualified nutritionist or veterinarian. Shawna also is very knowledgeable in this matter and can be very helpful.

    One more thing, you said you are giving loads of Omegas. Omegas are good, but not mega Omegas.

  • LabsRawesome

    Really, Joe? I find that hard to believe. Also, I never said that she should feed a diet high in phosphorus. I merely suggested that she get some advice from someone that has been dealing with a dog with kidney disease for several years.

  • Joe

    Was not me (down vote) but I understand who all do it to me no matter what.I see what is going on here–We all make mistakes and as we learn more we can change.I find it irresponsible to feed a dog with kd a diet high in phosphorus-my grandfather was a heavy smoker and lived to be 88 years old—this doesn’t mean smoking is good for you.You should ask your veterinarian or doctor about kd and phosphorus–it is common knowledge.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Shawna, if your around today, this person needs some help. Thanks for the down vote, Joe. Shawna has a dog that was born with Kidney disease, and wasn’t expected to live past 1. Her KD dog is like 5 or 6, she must be doing something right. 🙂

  • The nutrient content of any dog food is directly dependent upon the amount of bone and mineral supplements included in each recipe.

    Not simply the meat.

    Unfortunately, by feeding only cooked meat and white rice, you could also be depriving your pet of much needed calcium.

    The answer may not be to completely eliminate meat but rather to feed the precise amount of calcium, phosphorus and protein that would be biologically appropriate for your pet’s condition.

    I wouldn’t guess. Discover the exact amount of each nutrient that is present in your pet’s diet so that you do not create a new health problem. To do that, you must take the time to refer to the product’s website or contact the company directly.

    If your dog suffers from kidney disease, you should follow the diet as recommended by a qualified veterinarian.

  • Joe

    I’m not Mike but your veterinarian is right.Meat in general is high in phosphorus.Usually phosphorus/calcium is approx 1:1 (1%) which is high for kd.I have had many conversations with people promoting a ‘high protein meat diet’ in dogs and while protein itself is not an issue (and certain protein restrictions can be) high meat protein comes with high phosphorus and other substances which can cause health issues. Phosphorus puts a strain on the kidneys.That is my concern with diets very high in meat protein.
    The National Kidney Foundation says to avoid ingredients with the letters “PHOS” at their root. And as it also occurs in many natural products, its presence may not be immediately obvious.

    Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer at the National Kidney Foundation, says:
    “Other studies have suggested that once diagnosed with kidney disease, weight loss may slow kidney disease progression, but this is the first research study to support losing belly fat and limiting phosphorus consumption as a possible way to prevent kidney disease from developing.”

    Dr. Vassalotti adds:
    “A good rule of thumb is that if the food comes in a package, it’s likely to be high in phosphorus. Approximately 90% of phosphorus additives are absorbed by the body. This study suggests limiting the amount of processed foods in your diet may be an easy way to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.”

    In analogy, that is why vegetarians do often better, pursuant to some studies, who have kd because plant proteins are lower in phosphorus. I’m not saying that your dog should not eat meat at all. Have you thought about reducing the meat content and add certain meat substitutes (with low phosphorus) with things that have a high bio-availability, for instance eggs, Quinoa or Tofu?For instance Quinoa has all essential amino acids-the same found in meat.What also concerns me in the diet is salt.Did your vet give you a list of which foods to avoid and which foods are best for kd?If not you can google those for humans online to look at.

    If I would be you I would add some meat substitutes and see what your vet thinks about that.
    Have you thought of searching help with alternative medicine?Perhaps western or Chinese medicine may have alternatives to the conventional therapies as well such as herbal products, acupuncture etc.
    Hope this helps!Good that you caught the kidney failure in beginning stage.Perhaps you can find remedies to prolong the progression.

  • Joe

    I’m not Mike but your veterinarian is right.Meat in general is high in phosphorus.Usually phosphorus/calcium is approx 1:1 (1%) which is high for kd.I have had many conversations with people promoting a ‘high protein meat diet’ in dogs and while protein itself is not an issue (and protein restrictions can be) high meat protein comes with high phosphorus and other substances which can cause health issues. Phosphorus puts a strain on the kidneys.That is my concern with diets very high in meat protein.
    The National Kidney Foundation says to avoid ingredients with the letters “PHOS” at their root. And as it also occurs in many natural products, its presence may not be immediately obvious.

    Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer at the National Kidney Foundation, says:
    “Other studies have suggested that once diagnosed with kidney disease, weight loss may slow kidney disease progression, but this is the first research study to support losing belly fat and limiting phosphorus consumption as a possible way to prevent kidney disease from developing.”

    Dr. Vassalotti adds:
    “A good rule of thumb is that if the food comes in a package, it’s likely to be high in phosphorus. Approximately 90% of phosphorus additives are absorbed by the body. This study suggests limiting the amount of processed foods in your diet may be an easy way to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.”

    In analogy, that is why vegetarians do often better, pursuant to some studies, who have kd. I’m not saying that your dog should not eat meat at all. Have you thought about reducing the meat content and add certain meat substitutes (with low phosphorus) with things that have a high bio-availability, for instance eggs, Quinoa or Tofu?For instance Quinoa has all essential amino acids-the same found in meat.What also concerns me in the diet is salt.Did your vet give you a list of which foods to avoid and which foods are best for kd?If not you can google those for humans online to look at.

    If I would be you I would add some meat substitutes and see what your vet thinks about that.
    Have you thought of searching help with alternative medicine?Perhaps western or Chinese medicine may have alternatives to the conventional therapies as well such as herbal products, acupuncture etc.
    Hope this helps!Good that you caught the kidney failure in beginning stage.Perhaps you can find remedies to prolong the progression.

  • Susan and Annie

    Hi Mike, my dog was diagnosed with early stage kidney disease. Since then, she’s been on home cooked meat, white rice and veggies, plus loads of omega. It is laborious and expensive, so I added fresh pet Vital for evening meals. My vet has said the issue with kidney disease is phosphorous, not protein. What is the phosphorous content and how does it compare? Is the bagged less content of phosphorous than the tubes? Thank you.

  • InkedMarie

    Im on my iPad & can’t copy and paste but if you click on a particular flavor, scroll and it’s on the bottom, if I remember correctly.

  • leamlass

    I must have overlooked it, thank you for your response

  • InkedMarie

    It’s on their website.

  • leamlass

    Can anyone give me the measurements for serving ? Thanks.

  • Heyllahn

    Could you review the Complete Meals version, please? =) The one that comes in the bags.

  • TraciKnoppe

    We adopted a Toy Poodle this summer, and he was underweight. I tried many, many foods – and he would barely eat even one bite! We found one combo that he would he some; but it wasn’t the best for him – and I knew it. So I bought Freshpet Vital (the ziplock bag, not the roll kind) and he loved it! I’m so relieved. The ingredients looked good, and much better than most dog food out there.

  • Kelly

    it’s people like you Phyllis who ruin stuff for the rest of us. get over yourself. kiss my butt…..really? you are ridiculous.

  • Roxana Valencia

    Vital Salmon for yorkies if fine?? my yorkie needs food without chicken, I’m trying salmon, before to buy this product I want to know if it’s fine… Now my yorkie (2yrs old) is pregnant. thank you!

  • Hi Dee,

    As I mention here and at the bottom of every review, “Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.”

    Hope this helps.

  • dee

    Why was the vital turkey recipe given a 3.5 rating while the overall product rating was a 5? Should I be concerned about feeding my dog the turkey recipe?

  • Wendy Marcotte

    have beeen trying to buy the vital 3 lb bag of morsels and all my Pet Smart stores are out ! I live in Edmonton Alberta Canada Is there a problem with this food such as a recall please email me

  • gracie’s mom

    Lighten up Phyllis…have you not been to a dog park? Where’s the first place a dog goes?

  • gracie’s mom

    Allie…are you sure it was this brand that you purchased? I’ve NEVER seen anything like that and I’ve been buying this product for at least 6 months now. It’s been nothing but a super high quality product. I disagree with you completely.

  • gracie’s mom

    This is the only food my dog will eat…I’ve tried everything from dry to canned food…almost every brand known to mankind. Out of complete frustration, I picked this up at Whole Foods, and voila — she loves it. I’m relieved and grateful she likes something. So even though it’s a little on the expensive side, I’m happy to pay for something that is good for her and that she enjoys. I will say, she wasn’t much of a chicken fan, was mildly interested in the salmon recipe, but loves the turkey. I wonder if it’s the fruit that is the deal-maker for her.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That may severely unbalance the diet. You should not add more than 20% to a balanced diet without considering how you are going to make up for the fact that you are unbalancing it.

  • Deborah Mihalko

    If your dogs are loosing weight on this product, it’s due to the very low carb content and this is not unusual – especially in high metabolism breeds like Italian greyhounds. We have Chinese crested and experience the same thing. Just add 1/3 cup of baked, smashed sweet potato to your dogs meal and that will fix the problem in a healthy, natural and inexpensive way.

  • I use the bagged morsels and my corgis think it’s the best thing ever !

  • StacyM

    I got a sample of this from a local pet store and my dogs did not like this at all. They both sniffed it and walked away. Only topped their regular kibble with it. Glad I didn’t pay to try this. My dogs are not picky eaters either.

  • Shar Tay


  • Hound Dog Mom

    If you’re interested in feeding a “fresh” type non-kibble food but want to avoid carrageenan you could use a pre-mix (such as The Honest Kitchen’s Preference, Dr. Harvey’s, Sojo’s or Urban Wolf) and add your own fresh meat or you could try a dehydrated food (like The Honest Kitchen or Grandma Lucy’s) where you add water and the end product is similar to a homemade food. These options would probably be similarly priced to a food such as Fresh Pet.

  • Shar Tay

    Agreed…I’m having a very difficult time finding these kinds of food with no carrageenan.

  • karen

    My two fussy little dogs – Rosie, a Shih Poo and Henry, a Shih Tzu, absolutely loved the Lamb and Whitefish roll. I’m in the habit of cooking for them every day so it was incredible to see them wolf this down. They like very few canned foods and fewer kibbles. They loved both the treats and this rolled food! I was very surprised to see them so happy eating this food!

  • Catherine Molony

    I started my 2 Italian Greyhounds on the Lamb and Whitefish Vital about 6 weeks ago.  They love it!  However, they have both lost weight on it.  They were at a good weight when they started it.  I added a third meal to keep them from continuing to lose but was wondering if there is something I could add to supplement since this food is pretty expensive?  I go through about 6 tubes in a week and a half.  Trying to stay away from kibble.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I wouldn’t have a problem with my dog eating cartilage. It’s good for the joints.

  • Allie

    I would give the bagged product 10 stars, it is excellent, not like the rolled, which in the package I bought had huge pieces of un-edible cartilage throughout. My little hairless has a hard time gaining/maintaining weight but this zip-bagged food (refrigeration case) keeps him fit & healthy! Plus it gives him more hydration than dry kibble, avoiding his tendency toward constipation, but not so much as canned food that often gave him loose stool. LOVE the bagged bites, especially if you have a dog with sensitive G.I. issues!

  • Allie

    I don’t know how you can give this product (rolled) 5 stars. It is HORRIBLE! I had used the formed bites and that version is excellent, but on vacation we purchased this and there are huge pieces of cartilage or something that I had to pick out at every serving so that my tiny dogs wouldn’t choke on them (they were literally that big, that my 2 chihuahuas were in danger of choking).
    AVOID the rolled product, and stick to the formed bites, they put all the unusable parts into the rolled batches! NEVER will buy the rolled again, what a waste of money!

  • Pingback: Vital Complete Meals question! - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community()

  • BryanV21

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but I’m guessing it’s a commercial for Vital. Problem is… this site has nothing to do with Vital, besides reviewing their food.

  • Phyllis

    I do not like the commercial you have on TV with the signs on the dogs.  Most are cute but the one that says kiss my but if very offensive to me.  When we are trying to teach our young children to be nice and not dirty mouth I don’t think we need to see this on TV; especially since it is for our precious pets.

  • Rob

    also, deli fresh slice and serve rolled (5 stars) red flags carrageenen.but does not mention it in the contents breakdown . found same in other brands as well. may be safe but a little more consistency in the listings would help make a more informative choice

  • Rob

    I noticed the dfa forgot to include the possible long term possible biological heath of using carrageenen like was included on fresh pet’s (rolled)under 5 stars as well.

  • Lisa24k3

    mine was not in a tube but in a bag, the still loved it!

  • Lisa24k3

    my poor sick 14 yr old westie loved it!!! i have had the hardest time getting him to eat dog food, he would only eat canned tuna and canned chicken. brought this home, he ate it out of the bag!!!   i think this is good enough for any one ( but at $7,50 a pound it should be!)

  • Breuulz_24

    You must be uneducated to be so surprised this food contains that. You consume all those minerals on a daily basis, without them you would have a vitamin deficiency and would be close to death if not dead. If you consume those compounds and minerals in high concentrations, of course it would be very deadly. But that goes for almost anything on this planet. Too much of anything can kill you.  However, all these minerals make up a max of 0.1% of the product. You should take a course in nutrition because clearly you lack common sense when it comes to essential minerals that are needed for things such as, red blood cell production. 

  • Ron

     Mike Here is the website I found for it, in case
    you had not seen it.

  • DNA, also known as Dried-N-Alive, looks like an interesting product. It’s already on my To Do list. However, due to my current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to it. So, check back soon.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Dawn

    Just throwing this out there..Im doing it here because I JUST posted here..I have no idea where to post something you just want people to know? I just found a brand new product..don’t know if anyone heard of it? using it? its only sold in ONE place as of yet (a little creepy) but it is brand new. Its called
    D.N.A. and its sold at  It looks very good and different..But Im always SCARED of brand new products…I hate my Fur Babies to be the Guinea pigs. LOL again just throwing it out there. Mike have you heard of it?
    I searched forever and only found their actual website and that it is sold at the above online store. I did write the Co. & he wrote back Immediately. I wrote because his site was sooo vague. Again…just sharing info!

  • Dawn

    you can order it online or
    Don’t know if thats available to you?

  • Dawn

    FAIRLY safe…eeekkk I do not like the sound of that..I like the words it IS SAFE.  :O/ and I just bought so much to add to their rotation,!

  • Dawn

    I just wanted to let you know..and Im praying its old and the store just hasn’t changed the ingrediants…but..HAD to let you know…I JUST ordered all of the above vital tubes online..its on the way to my home as I type! I happened to go back to NATIONALPETPHARMACY.COM & check the ingreds.(I’ve used all freshpet products before) I couldn’t believe my eyes!!! When I read the Ingreds under the Vital
    Chicken, beef, chicken liver, salmon, eggs, vitamins and minerals (calcium sulfate, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, niacin, manganese proteinate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite), carrageenan, natural flavors, inulin, green tea extract.
    I will let you know what their answer will be. (I hope they write back..they always have before!) On thier actual website it does NOT say those ingreds. BUT….better safe then sorry. Just wanted to give you all this info.
    Take Care

  • Chantille

    I started feeding my dog (who has food allergies) vital. He is being weaned from blue buffalo to the vital turkey recipe, its only been a week but he is doing so much better I can see a massive difference!!! 🙂

  • Anne Adelson

    Thanks, Mike, for posting the NAS figures and the clear math comparison. That does help! I feel better now, though it’s clear that Freshpet’s “no preservative” fresh food is highly preserved indeed. Next to prepared raw, it still seems like the next best thing (plus my little maltipoo will actually eat it).

    Thanks again.

  • Hi Anne Adelson… The Freshpet rep appears to be correct in her conversion of the 0.3% figure to 1.25% dry matter basis. However, AAFCO does not publish a maximum sodium content for its nutrient profiles.

    AAFCO’s minimum sodium content for adult dog food is 0.06% dry matter. So, the 1.25% sodium figure is 20 times the minimum. Is that too much?

    Well, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) uses mg/kg of body weight rather than the percent of dry matter weight of the food. But unlike AAFCO, NAS does suggest a minimum sodium content of 5 mg Na/kg and publishes a safe upper limit of 15 g/kg. Some quick math says that the SUL of 15 g is actually 3,000 times greater than the minimum.

    So, using this reasoning, your dog should be fairly safe at 1.25%. Hope this helps.

  • Anne Adelson

    Hello again,
    I inquired with the Freshpet company about sodium content in their Vital varieties. Someone from the company wrote back and informed me that Vital Bison & Beef has : 0.30% as fed, 1.10% moisture free, and the other flavors would be similar. I was hoping she would tell me the amount in mg, but is there a way to tell if this is an acceptable amount or too high as she expressed it? I have been feeding my dog Vital (she turns her nose up at everything else) and I think it’s a great food, with sodium being my only concern.

    Anne Adelson

  • Hi Dawn R… Yes, indeed. FreshPet does appear to have a number of reasonably priced a good quality products. And many are already on my To Do list. However, due to my current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to them. Thanks for the suggestion (and the reminder).

  • Dawn R

    Hi Mike!

    Freshpet -Vital recently came out with a product they are calling a complete meal. It is sold at Petsmart/Petco in their refrigerated area and is in a resealable bag. If I remember correctly it is a combination of eggs, chicken, beef and turkey. Do you have any plans of reviewing ths one? I’m curious to see if this one will be rated a 5 like their rolled product?

  • Hi Barbara… Since each dog has its own unique energy requirements (just like people), there’s no way to reliably predict the exact serving size that’s right for each pet. I’d suggest starting with the package’s feeding instructions. Or check out our dog food calculator link located in the left menu bar on every page of this website.

    Always measure the food with a real measuring cup. Not a scoop. Never guess. Keep an accurate record of how much you’re feeding.

    Be sure to weigh your dog periodically (every few weeks or so). Then, simply adjust (titrate) that serving size up or down to establish and maintain your pet’s ideal weight.

    In the end, it’s the only real life method you can scientifically rely on.

  • Barbara

    Also, how much should i feed him a day? he is a senior and not very active?

  • Barbara

    I have a 14 year 20# poodle, who had stomic problems 2 months ago, so I started feeding him my own home cooked food, prime chop meat, cooked carrotts, brown rice and some seasoning, meat loaf. He is 100 % better, with a lot more energy. Problem a lot of work…..
    I tried freshpet Vital Beef and he loves it. Is the Freshpet deli fresh as good and the beef vital. He does have a sensative stomic, but he gets board w/food. and I would like to switch him on and off between chicken and beef?

  • “Ryo”

    What is this? A decent rolled dog food? GREAT! 😀
    I agree with M.C. here…. the liver does seem to be a little concerning though. Even though, this is a great food. But the only problem is (gasp! YES AGAIN! :() they don’t sell it where I live. Most people here can care less about what their pets eat…. -head desk-

  • Hi Anne… You appear to be using the calculator correctly. Our computations suggest feeding about 1.03 pounds per day (which is about twice as much as the company suggests). Not sure why so much difference.

    In any case, I’d suggest starting with the package’s feeding instructions. Weigh your dog every few weeks. Then, adjust (titrate) that serving size up or down to establish and maintain your pet’s ideal weight.

    In the long run, it’s the only reliable method for determining the ideal serving size for your dog.

  • Anne

    Hi Mike-
    Thanks for the super fast response. Your suggestion is exactly what I did: I entered 20lbs, typical activity, and the 1219 kcal per kg. The result was to feed .47kg per day. Isn’t that the same as a pound? (Vital recommends a half pound per day for a 20lb dog.) Am I doing something wrong?

  • Hi Anne… Your results produced by our calculator have nothing whatsoever to do with what the food is made from. But rather its caloric content. And of course, there will be some variation between what the company recommends and what our calculator suggests.

    Our calculator requires that you input either calories per cup or calories kilogram. When checking the company’s posted in formation, I notice they don’t give calories per cup but only calories per kg. You should not be using the 277 calories per half pound figure. You should only use the 1219 calories per kg number provided.

    Please be sure you are entering the correct information.

  • Anne

    Hi Mike-
    For Vital (as I’ve seen before with Primal Raw), their serving suggestion doesn’t match up at all with the results of your dog food calculator. With the Turkey Recipe that you reviewed here, for example, the package recommends a 20lb dog be served .5 lbs per day, which is 277 kcal. Using your dog food calculator, a 20lb dog of average activity level should be getting a whole pound, or about 2 cups per day (576 kcal of Vital Turkey Recipe). That is a huge difference! Do you think this is because the product is mostly meat, and therefore the caloric requirements are somehow less?

  • Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. They do list the proportions of meat to liver to egg to other ingredients on their Freshpet Deli Select rolls (though the ingredients list rolls them out in a slightly different order than what is suggested by the descriptive packaging). At any rate, thanks for your insight. As far as I have seen, all liver sources are from named meats. There is one category of more generic “poultry liver” in some of their formulas (none of the Vital ones, I don’t think), but their website states that all poultry liver comes from chicken or turkey.

  • Hi M.C… Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t disclose much about the actual amounts of each component. So, we’re all left to guess at the actual proportions. I personally am only concerned when organ meats aren’t specifically attributed to a named species. I don’t worry too much about turkey versus beef. But my warning system goes into alert mode whenever I see an anonymous description like just the vague word “liver”.

  • Nice to see this review here. Love your site. We recently did a writeup on several of the Freshpet/Vital products on our website, after being selected for their Blogger Program. (If it’s okay to promote my own link, my long, narrative review is here:

    I agree that the Vital line is very good, though I do have some concern about the amount and sources of liver in proportion to the total ingredients. With turkey and chicken, I’m not as concerned… when it comes to beef and lamb, I am a little more hesitant. What are your thoughts on liver or other organ meats as a regular ingredient? I note that Primal Raw, which is something else we regularly feed, usually has liver meat lower on the list of ingredient items, and usually after other organs like heart.

    We liked the Salmon and Ocean Whitefish recipe the best because it contains no liver. And it is, from what we have seen, harder to find a grain-free, fish-based dog food, especially one made with wet, fresh, or raw ingredients.