Freshpet Nature’s Fresh rolled dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Freshpet Nature’s Fresh product line includes 4 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 with Garden Vegetables and Grains (5 stars) [A]
- Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Salmon and Ocean Whitefish (3 stars) [A]
- Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Chicken with Carrots, Peas and Brown Rice (5 stars) [A]
- Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Turkey with Spinach, Cranberries and Blueberries (3 stars) [A]
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Beef with Garden Vegetables and Grains 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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||27%||19%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||51%||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 includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient lists 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 two 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.
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 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 43% and a mean fat level of 32%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 17% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical rolled dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a moist dog food containing a notable 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. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh is a meat-based rolled dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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
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.
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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.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
02/10/2018 Last Update