All posts by Katie

Obie Dog

Obie’s Big Change

A little while back, we heard the story of Obie, a very cute dachshund that happened to be a bit bigger than average. Obie tipped the scales at 71 pounds, over 40 pounds above the average dachshund’s weight. While his abnormal figure led to a career on the talk show scene and Internet fame, many worried (ourselves included!) about Obie’s health.

Big Obie

Thankfully, Obie was put into the care of a family that put him on a strict weight-loss regiment that included diet and exercise. In a year and a half, Obie lost a total of 54 pounds. If this were the Biggest Loser, he would have won by a landslide.

 

These days, Obie is a fit 30 pounds and is one active dog. According to an update from our friends at Dogster, Obie loves to go on walks and hikes with his family. And have we mentioned he looks absolutely great?

 

Helping Your Dog Fight Obesity

 

One of the first things to consider when helping your pet avoid weight gain is his or her diet. Foods high in carbohydrates, like many dry kibbles or treats, can be difficult for pets to digest and cause excess weight gain. Freshpet recipes are great for weight loss or prevention because they are low in carbs, high in meat content and do not contain simple carbohydrates like corn or white rice. Many of the Vital rolls are grain-free, and Freshpet Select rolls are made with complex carbs like brown rice, which is high in fiber and helps our loved ones feel fuller, longer.

 

Obesity in our pets is not always due to food content, but rather food quantity. As pet parents, it is our responsibility to effectively exercise portion control when feeding our pups and kitties. Freshpet Slice and Serve rolls have portion measurements that are easy to use, making it easy to manage portion sizes.

 

We’re so happy and inspired that Obie is doing and feeling great. Make sure to like his fan page on Facebook to get more updates from this fit pup.

Handsome Dan

Reintroducing the “Vicktory Dogs”

Much like most of you, we are suckers for a happy ending, especially when it follows a truly devastating story. That’s why we were so pleased when we read an article by our friends at Barkpost about the “Vicktory Dogs,” the dogs that were rescued from NFL player Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring.

 

In 2007, after the dogs were discovered at Vick’s home, many people thought that the dogs needed to be put down because they were dangerous creatures. Thankfully, individuals and organizations like the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary stepped in and spoke on behalf of the dogs. In fact, they took in 22 of the dogs and introduced them into better lives.

 

Now with a little bit of much-needed love and affection, the dogs are doing better than ever.

 

Here are a few of the highlights:

 

Cherry, one of the dogs, found himself on the TV show “Dogtown” and is enjoying the benefits of being an Internet celebrity.

 

Handsome Dan, another one of the dogs was adopted by a family and even enjoys spending time and looking after his new baby (human) sister!

 

The rest of the dogs are leading equally fulfilling and happy lives. The resilient spirit that these dogs have is really amazing. It really is an inspiration to all of us.

Read all of these amazing stories here.

sleepy cat

Giving your Dogs and Cats a Good Night’s Sleep

It seems like we can’t go a week without reading (yet) another new study about how a good night’s sleep is important to our health. It’s no secret that sleep is extremely beneficial to us. So, what about our pets? They need a good night’s rest as well. But what does that mean exactly?

 

Sleep For the Dogs

 

Dog parents know that sometimes it feels like their dog is always sleeping or taking a nap. Unlike us humans, dogs don’t get their sleep in one session, instead they take a series of short naps throughout the day. In total, dogs can sleep anywhere from 12 to 14 hours each day to get the amount of rest they need. Sleeping habits can also depend on age, breed, and activity levels.

 

To help your dog get the good rest he needs, tend to his evolutionary needs. Remember that his ancestors lived in the wild, in dens and caves. Make sure your pup has a comfortable and safe place to rest by creating a bed and a sleeping area just for him.

 

Exercise and diet also play a large part in your dog’s sleep. A low-quality diet can slow a dog down because he lacks the appropriate nutrients he needs for energy. So make sure to feed your pet with nutrient-rich foods like our Freshpet meals and rolls. Lack of activity and exercise may cause a dog to become lethargic and sleep more than necessary. If your dog is sleeping more than 14 hours a day, give him some more exercise!

 

Sleep for the Cats

 

There’s a reason why it’s called a cat nap. it’s no secret that cats sleep a lot; in fact, they spend most of their day (an average of 18 hours) sleeping! Due to their evolutionary traits, cats are most active during dawn and dusk (sometimes pestering their parents), when their wild ancestors went out to hunt. The rest of the day is spent to conserve their energy.

 

So because cats sleep all the time, it’s important for you to learn what kind of sleep cycle is normal for your cat. Note whether they’re a cat napper, a deep sleeper during the day, or a night sleeper. Changes in sleep patterns can be a sign of a health issue, which is something you should consult your veterinarian with. Try and keep up with your cat’s sleep to give her an easy and comfortable routine. And, as is the case with training any pet, patience is a virtue!

 

The ultimate sleep: Enter to win The Madison Bed

 

Since comfort is always important when it comes to your pets getting great sleep, we wanted to help you, our dedicated fans, give your pets a more comfortable place to sleep. Our friends at Lazy Bonezz will be giving away one of their Madison beds to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is post a funny photo of your pet sleeping on our Facebook page and “like” Lazy Bonezz on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Be sure to enter by Thursday 4/24!

 

Good luck and sweet dreams!

 

spring_cleaning

Spring Into the Season with Your Pets

Since it’s now officially spring, we can finally start thinking about spring cleaning. After all, it is always better when everything is fresh and new. While you’re cleaning your house and emptying out your closets, remember to include the dogs and cats of your family in the process. The winter months were just as long for them! So here are a few simple, yet crucial things you can do to include your dogs and cats in the spring cleaning.

 

Grooming We don’t need to tell you how good it feels to get a fresh cut. The same should go for your dogs and cats. Take them to the groomer to give them a good wash and trim. Now that it’s getting warmer out, their winter coats should be left behind. Your dogs and cats will look and feel lighter. There’s nothing like celebrating spring with a new ‘do!

 

Exercise Winter pounds are a real thing for both you and your furry family. After all those months of being cooped up inside, it’s time to get outside and moving. Whether you’re going for a jog or a bike ride, bring your pup along. They’ll be more than happy to run with you. There’s no better workout buddy! Check out more exercise tips here.

 

Travel Plans The arrival of spring means that summer vacations are right around the corner. If you’re planning to head out of town and planning to leave your pets behind, make sure to arrange their boarding options soon. As is the case with your own vacation, the earlier you plan the better!

 

Visit the Vet There’s no better time to pay your veterinarian a visit than in the springtime. He or she will give your dogs and cats a thorough check-up and prepare them for the outdoor months of spring and summer. April is Heartworm and Lyme Disease Awareness Month as well, so make sure to get your dog back on his preventative medication, because the warm months bring on those pesky bugs.

 

Restock on Toys, Leashes, and Collars Isn’t it nice when you get a new wardrobe for the spring? We recommend treating your dogs and cats the same way. Chances are, after a long winter season, their toys and collars will have gone through some wear and tear. The start of spring is a good time to throw the old away and invest in some replacements. Your pets will always appreciate a whole new slew of toys to play with.

 

Clean up their Beds In a perfect world, dogs and cats would be able to make their own beds. Since that isn’t the case, your pets beds should be included on your spring cleaning list. Run their bed covering or sheets in the washer and dryer, just make sure to use non-scented detergent and softener. Scented versions may irritate your pet’s

Noa and Lucy

The Team Cuddle Freshpet Faves

We’re pretty sure it’s not possible to overdose on cute photos, but we have to be getting close. There have been thousands of entries in the #FreshpetTeamCuddle contest, and every single one of them has been fantastic. We’ve got some good looking fans out there! If you haven’t yet checked out the finalists, check them out at Momma’s Gone City.

 

So because we have had such a great time looking through all these pics of kiddos, kitties and pups we’ve decided to add one last category: the Freshpet Faves! These are our 10 absolute favorite photos. We think you’d agree. Tell us which photo you think should be the Freshpet favorite! The winner will get a very special Freshpet gift basket. Now without further ado, here are the Freshpet Faves!

Freshpet Fave 4 Freshpet Fave 5 Freshpet Faves 6 Freshpet Faves 7 Freshpet Faves 8 Freshpet Faves 9 Freshpet Faves 10

Team Cuddle Fave 1 Team Cuddle Fave 2 Team Cuddle Fave 3

Tell us which of these are your favorites. While the most popular photos aren’t guaranteed to win, we’ll definitely consider the fan vote! Enjoy the cuddles, everyone.

Vital

Our Vital Transformation

photo copy

The next time you’re in your pet specialty store looking for our Vital® recipes, you may notice something a little different. Our Vital packages have a new look to them. But don’t worry, pet parents. While the package may have changed, the quality ingredients and delicious taste that keep your pets healthy and happy are exactly the same. Your pets will eat it all up as usual!

And on top of that, the Vital family is growing even larger. Deli Fresh® Turkey and Chicken recipes are joining the team as Vital Balanced Nutrition. They’re the same recipe, now under the Vital name.

Vital

 

To celebrate the debut of Vital’s new look, we’re happy to announce our Vitals Fresh Look sweepstakes! If you encounter these new Vital packages in the wild –er the fridge, snap a picture. You can send it to us by uploading to our Facebook page, tagging it with the hashtag #VitalsFreshLook or emailing us at online@freshpet.com. You’ll be entered to win a grand prize from us at Freshpet. That means more tasty treats for your dogs and cats.

photo 4

The Freshpet Truck Hits NYC!

Phew!

 

Yesterday was a big day for us here at Freshpet. Our friend Dr. Katy was a guest on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda (where she got to feed some Olympic champions our Freshpet Dog Joy treats), and the Freshpet truck hit the streets of New York!

 

In honor of National Love Your Pet Day, we asked pet parents all day long to take the #FeedFresh pledge, promising to feed their pups and kitties fresh, nutritious food. Find out more about the pledge here: freshpet.com/feedfresh. The truck was a big part of it, with pet parents all over the city pledging to #FeedFresh in return for a coupon or 1lb slice & serve roll.

 

Zack, one of the newest members of the Freshpet team, shares his experiences on the only food truck for dogs and cats:

 

photo 2

We got our day started in the morning by hanging out in the downtown neighborhood of TriBeca where we met our pal Bumper who LOVED our Dog Joy Turkey Bacon strips. It was a real pleasure to tell pet parents about Freshpet. They were all super excited to give our recipes a try! Afterwards, we made our way to the East Village where we met some of the hippest pups and pet parents in town! Sandy the pit bull, in particular, was feeling very social and hung out with our truck team for quite some time!

 

From there, the truck made its way to Union Square and Madison Square Park. It was a very busy time of day, but there were plenty of pets and pet parents out on the town that were eager to taste Freshpet for the very first time. Z the Chow, whose dad told us is usually very finicky with his food, couldn’t get enough of our Dog Joy treats!

photo 1

 

As the day wound to a close, the truck had one more stop to make: the Meatpacking District on the west side of Manhattan. The neighborhood hosted Social Media Week, a yearly gathering of the best minds and personalities on social media. And as we all know, the Internet LOVES pets, so we had a lot of fun talking with the pet-loving social media-ites. It was a great day to take the Freshpet truck out into the city. Despite the chilly weather, the pets and their parents were out in full force. And we were happy to give some Freshpet recipes away to our new friends! If you missed out on the fun, don’t worry! You can still take the #FeedFresh pledge AND get a coupon for free Freshpet here: freshpet.com/feedfresh

FreshpetTodayShowpost2

Dog Food Good Enough to Eat (Especially if you’re a Gold Medalist)

Today was an exciting day.

Today, our friend and partner Dr. Katy Nelson was a guest on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda, talking about, what else? Fresh food for our beloved dogs and cats!

 

Well, little did we know that not only would Freshpet get a mention (hooray!), but that Dr. Katy would spend the morning hanging out with Olympic Champions and dog-lovers Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen and Nick Goepper. And some adorable rescue pups ready for adoption!

We can always count on Kathie Lee and Hoda for a lot of fun, but with these three in the mix, anything could happen. Well, hilarity did in fact ensue when all three of the boys started chowing down on Freshpet.

Watch the clip below to see all of the excitement:

As a bonus, here is Olympian Gus Kenworthy eating Dog Joy Turkey Bacon… in gif form.

Olympians Eating Dog Food

 

And don’t forget- if you haven’t taken the #FeedFresh Pledge, you can still do so to get a coupon for free fresh dog food and fresh cat food!

Dr. Katy Answers More of YOUR Fur-Kid Questions!

 

 

With so many great fur-kid questions, Dr. Katy has come back to help with what you’d like to know regarding your fur-kids. In response to your questions from Monday, please see her answers below!

If your question was chosen by Dr. Katy, please send us a private message on Facebook to receive your Freshpet goodie!

 

Freshpet parent Jodi H. asks…  I have a seven-year-old boxer that has recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Just wondering if the Freshet diet she is on and the Freshpet treats are high in fat?

High cholesterol in dogs is not necessarily a diagnosis of a problem, but more of a part of a work up of disease. Cholesterol levels are used to supplement the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease (an adrenal gland disorder) and diabetes. Triglycerides are much more of a problem in pets than cholesterol, and should be assessed in your pet if you have concerns. Diet is not directly linked to cholesterol levels in dogs, as it is in people, but in situations where triglycerides are elevated, dietary therapy can be used to help lower them.

 

Freshpet parent Tiffany asks… Dr. Nelson, I have a neutered male cat and understand that urinary tract infections are common. I feed him only Freshpet.  Do you have any recommendations as to how I can prevent a future infection?

Actually, urinary tract infections are not as common in male cats as they are in female cats. If your cat has appeared to have a UTI in the past, what you are more than likely seeing are occasional flare-ups of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

At times of flare-ups, treatment should be instituted by a veterinarian to control symptoms and prevent them from progressing. A variety of therapeutics have been found to be effective, so work with your veterinarian to determine the therapy that is right for your kitty.

But as you pointed out in your question, an important part of treatment of FLUTD is prevention of further episodes.  Diet plays a huge role in this.  Cats typically do not drink a sufficient amount of water to keep their urine diluted.  Therefore, a fresh moist food is considered ideal as these foods are higher in water content than kibble alternatives and tend to lead to more diluted urine.

 

Freshpet parent Aejin asks… What can I do to improve the condition of dog’s teeth?

Just like in people, there is no substitute to brushing your dog’s teeth for prevention of periodontal disease. Studies have shown that a minimum of three times a week is needed to prevent tartar build-up, but daily is required to reverse gingivitis. There are numerous products out there to make the process easier for you and your pet:  finger brushes, regular soft-bristled brushes, flavored toothpastes (do NOT use human toothpaste with fluoride), etc. Chew toys vary in efficacy, and with severe dental disease are not advised, as teeth can be weakened and could potentially break.  Bones and other hard toys are discouraged in these situations, as well.

Regular, anesthetized prophylactic cleanings done in your veterinarian’s office are the very best way to get a thorough cleaning of the teeth, and are the only way to clean below the gum line, where the most dangerous bacteria tend to gather. Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about this process, and to have a dental exam done on your pet.

 

Freshpet parent Rob asks… My cat can only eat food without wheat in it. I feed him Freshpet, but he’s having trouble with hairballs. Is there a supplement I can give him to help with this issue? Something natural, perhaps?

Without having additional information, I can advise only up to a point. Hairballs are often blamed for a variety of actual diseases, and the reason so many hairball remedies are considered “ineffective” is because frequently they’re being used to treat something that is a symptom, rather than addressing the real problem.

We really need to clarify the difference between coughing and vomiting when we begin a work up for ‘hairballs’ in cats. In my opinion, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to start by giving your kitty a lion cut.  If the vomiting decreases, or ceases, with elimination of the hair, then you’ve got your answer and your solution all at once.  However, if the vomiting persists with the absence of hair, then it’s time to talk with your veterinarian about instituting a work up to find what is troubling your kitty.

Tots and Pups Updated Photo

We’re On Team Cuddle…Are You?

We couldn’t be more excited to announce our newest contest: Team Cuddle!

 

Inspired by the adorable cuddling duo Theo and Beau that has taken the Internet by storm, we’ve partnered with Momma’s Gone City and Mommy Shorts to bring you the search for the cutest cuddling photo…and we want you to join in on the fun!

 

Team Cuddle is a celebration of the moments of love that we share with our families, which of course includes our pups and kitties, too. Nothing beats snuggling on the couch with your kids and pup, or your kitty nuzzling up against you when you wake up in the morning.

 

And it’s moments like these that remind us just how lucky we are to have all of this love in our lives. As we’ve seen with Theo and Beau, these moments make for beautiful photos to capture and share with others.

 

So, Freshpet fans, grab your cameras or dig up some old photos, and get into the cuddling mindset as part of Team Cuddle!

 

 

 

Here’s How it Works:

 

We have four downright adorable categories for you to enter, including the following:

Kiddos and Kittens  |  Tots and Pups  |  Sibling Snuggle  |  Family Cuddle

Team Cuddle Blog Collage

 

Starting today, grab your best cuddling photo that you feel fits into one of the categories above and enter in any of the following ways:
  • Post your favorite cuddling photos to the Mommy Shorts Facebook page
  • Tag your cuddling photo on Instagram using #FreshpetTeamCuddle, and be sure to tag @Freshpet @MommyShorts and @MommagsGoneCity to enter!
  • Or, email your entry to TeamCuddle@Freshpet.com. Just be sure to mention which category you’d like to enter :)

 

When you submit your entry, don’t forget to include the first names of all of the family members involved (including your pets, too) in order to be eligible to win. But be sure to enter before midnight on March 3rd, as we’ll be announcing the cutest cuddling moments as our Freshpet Team Cuddle Finalists the following morning. ** And note that you’re only allowed one entry per category, so make sure it counts!

 

And the fun doesn’t stop there. We’ll need your help in choosing our favorite entries, who will be named either one of our Category Winners or, better yet, the Grand Prize Winner, so be sure to “Like” your favorite entries in the Mommy Shorts Facebook album! If your photo proves to be too cute to handle, you might win any of the following prizes:

  • The Grand Prize Winner will receive a cash gift card in the amount of $1,000
  • Four Category Winners will receive a cash gift card in the amount of $250
  • The winners of the “Kiddos and Kittens” and “Tots and Pups” categories will also receive Freshpet Prize Packs, stuffed with Freshpet food, treats, t-shirts, coupons and more!
We’re just getting started and we can’t wait to update you more all about this lovable contest. So grab your loved ones and get cuddling for what is sure to be a fun-filled next few weeks!