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Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes product line includes four dry dog foods.
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 Fresh Baked Beef Grain Free Recipe [A]
- Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe (3 stars) [A]
- Freshpet Fresh Baked Chicken Recipe (3 stars) [A]
- Freshpet Fresh Baked Chicken Grain Free Recipe [A]
Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Freshpet Fresh Baked Turkey Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, pea protein, tapioca, ground oats, eggs, brown rice, pea fiber, egg whites, flaxseeds, natural chicken flavor, dicalcium phosphate, sweet potatoes, cranberries, chicken fat, peas, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, spinach, inulin, choline chloride, green tea extract, vitamin E supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The third ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fourth ingredient includes ground oats. Oats are naturally rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and low in gluten.
The fifth ingredient lists eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient includes egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 find 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.
Next, 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 Fresh Baked Recipes Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes looks like an above-average dry product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Freshpet Fresh Baked Recipes is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or beef 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
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Notes and Updates
- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 8/9/2016 ↩