Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food Review (Refrigerated Rolls)

Rating:

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh rolled dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Freshpet Nature’s Fresh product line includes 5 dog food rolls.

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

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Beef Recipe (5 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Chicken Recipe (5 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Multi Protein Recipe Grain Free [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Turkey Recipe Grain Free (3 stars) [A]
  • Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Salmon and Ocean Whitefish Recipe Grain Free (4 stars) [A]

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

Freshpet Nature's Fresh Beef Recipe

Rolled Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Beef, chicken, beef liver, beef broth, peas, eggs, carrots, brown rice, rice bran, carrageenan, natural flavors, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, 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) = 9.1%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%27%19%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%51%15%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 15%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Both beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The fourth ingredient is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

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

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

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

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, 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, we find 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.

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

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Rolled Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food rolls looks like an above-average wet product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

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

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 73%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a moist dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 35% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Freshpet Nature’s Fresh lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free rolled dog foods using a generous amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials

08/25/2019 Last Update