Which Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Rolled Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition product line includes the 2 rolled dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Vital Balanced Nutrition Chicken Recipe
|Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe
Recipe and Label Analysis
Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
FreshPet Vital Balanced Nutrition Turkey Recipe
Rolled Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, carrots, turkey broth, eggs, brown rice, spinach, rice bran, carrageenan, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), natural flavors, inulin, fish oil, potassium chloride, celery powder, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), salt, peas
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
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 includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The third ingredient is turkey 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 fourth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.
The seventh 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.
The eighth ingredient is 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.
The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.
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 Freshpet product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, we find sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
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 product contains fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Based on its ingredients alone, Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition dog food rolls appears to be an above-average refrigerated product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% 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 77%.
Which means this Freshpet product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical moist dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a moist product containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 58% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 30% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for animals on a low fat diet.
Our Rating of Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Refrigerated Dog Food Rolls
Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition is a grain-inclusive rolled dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Freshpet Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Freshpet through February 2024.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Freshpet Brand Reviews
The following Freshpet dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Freshpet (Brand Summary)
- Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food Review (Pouch)
- Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food Review (Refrigerated Rolls)
- Freshpet Select Dog Food Review (Rolls)
- Freshpet Select Meals Dog Food Review (Pouch)
- Freshpet Vital Grain Free Dog Food Review (Pouch)
- Freshpet Vital Grain Free Dog Food Review (Refrigerated Rolls)
A Final Word
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- 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 ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩