All posts by Katie

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What to Pack for a Day in the #FreshOutdoors

The crisp fall weather is one of our favorite times of the year.  It’s cool enough for us and our pets to endure outside activities for longer periods of time, and the sun is still shining to keep us warm. So there’s no better time to grab your gear and go for a hike with the family and the dog.

 

If you’re planning to go on a hike with your dog, here’s a few things to think about when packing. Many of these tips apply to other outdoor activities too!

 

The Pack

To get started you’ll need a pack that will fit all of your personal items for the trip ahead, as well as items to keep your dog happy, hydrated and safe. So make sure you bring one along that is big enough to carry everything but compact enough to not weigh down your stride.

Another option is having your dog wear a pack to help divide the load. A healthy dog can carry about 25% of their weight. Some breeds can carry much more while others might not be equipped to carry anything at all. Ask your vet to see what they suggest for your dog. A good starter bag is the Kurgo Wander Pack. It’s lightweight but strong and accommodates dogs 30 to 85 pounds.

 

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Clothing and Boots

Some people may think dog clothes can be silly, but in this case they can be completely functional if you’re trying to keep your pet warm. You’ll want something durable, that will retain heat and be appropriate for the weather. If it’s raining, get something water-resistant or waterproof. As the weather turns to snowy, you’ll want a more heavy duty jacket. But for cool fall days, we love the  Ruffwear’s Climate Changer™Fleece Jacket.

 

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Also rough terrain can make your dog’s footing uneasy on the trail. If you know your trail will be rocky, consider boots if you think your dog can benefit from them and wear them throughout your hike. We recommend Ruffwear’s Summit Trek Boots for their sturdiness.

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Leash and Harness

We absolutely love the idea of a hands-free experience when hiking with your pet. This leash from Olly Dog wraps around your waist and features an elastic on the length of the leash for a tangle and tug-less adventure. If you have an easily excitable dog, find a good harness to keep them on track with you.

 

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Food Essentials

Enjoy the trails!  Just keep in mind that even though the scorching sun isn’t beating down  you can’t trek for hours on end. Allow your dog to ease into hiking especially if they’re older. And remember to pack plenty of water and treats to keep them comfortable. We recommend our Dog Joy Sausage Slices for a day trip. They’re thick and meaty slices to satisfy your dog with a savory taste.  Also a collapsible bowl will be handy when serving up water. Try Popware’s Collapsible Travel Cup which includes a handy carabiner.

 

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If your hiking adventure will be more than a day trip, remember to pack enough of dog food for your stay in a cooler that will keep everything fresh. Our Freshpet Select Roasted Meals are easy to serve and resealable, making them great for camping.

 

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Thank You: Dorothy and All The Hardworking K9s

When Dorothy Holmes reached out to tell us about donations for her local K9 unit we were absolutely touched. But after finding out that she was the mom of five dogs, one cat and a parrot, we weren’t surprised by her love of animals.

 

Moving into a second month now, police forces and their K9 units have been on a manhunt for Eric Frein, the man believed to have killed a Pennsylvania State Trooper while wounding another in an ambush. The Barrett Township community, including Dorothy, have been worried about their safety and what else Frein might be capable of doing.  Authorities and volunteers have been tirelessly looking for the suspect while we still wait for his capture.

 

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Dorothy decided to show her gratitude to the hardworking K9s assisting the search by delivering Freshpet treats to the Pleasant Valley Veterinary Hospital, who were collecting donations of treats to gift to the dogs. She then contacted our team to encourage us to donate what we could.

 

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We love that Dorothy got involved when her town was actively paying it forward. No one should forget about the many dogs on duty helping to keep our cities safe. We decided to send Dorothy and her family a bunch of Freshpet meals and treats to say thank you helping out her community.

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We encourage you to seek out ways to give back to your local K9 units, which could mean delivering treats too! It’s a great way to let them know that they’re appreciated and doing an important job. If you reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter about supporting your K9s, we’ll send coupons to use toward getting treats to donate. Expect to put mouth-watering smiles on their faces.

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We Love Central Park… and Marnie The Dog

We had such a fun time at the 12th Annual My Dog Loves Central Park Fair hosted by Central Park Paws.  Not even a little rain could keep back a crowd of dog lovers and their pets for an event at their favorite spot for walks!

 

It was great to see hundreds of dogs decked out in their best Halloween costumes. The Freshpet Truck was parked at the Naumburg Bandshell for all the dogs to stroll over for a bite to eat and try out our new Vital Raw patties. We’re happy to say that they ate (and licked) our truck clean of rolls and treats.

 

We were also happy to invite one of our favorite Instagram pups and pal, Marnie the Dog, out to enjoy the afternoon with us and meet some of her fans. SO many of you come out to have a moment with Marnie and get your pictures taken. Along the way all of you who visited helped to raise $170 for Social Tees Animal Rescue on behalf of Marnie the Dog. Proceeds will go to vet procedures for senior dogs.

 

Some of our favorite snaps from the event are collected below, but we want to see your photos too! Share them with us on Twitter or Instagram.

 

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Thank You: Calvin, Hobbes and Abby

A week ago we asked our Facebook community to share words of comfort to three Freshpet dogs going through end stages of cancer. In response, we were overflowing with messages of strength, heartfelt quotes and stories of those going through the same thing.

 

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Andrea’s photo of the card sent for Calvin & Hobbes 
 

Dog mom Lisa reached out to tell us about Abby. Her beautiful girl stopped eating after being diagnosed, but Freshpet rolls got her excited about dinner time again. Her favorite treat was Wag-gurt. Then Andrea sent us a note sharing with us that both her pups Calvin and Hobbes were battling cancer but found that Freshpet meals and treats helped to brighten their appetite.

 

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Lisa’s photos of Abby

 

We were so moved by not only Lisa and Andrea’s letters, but all of your condolences, that we decided to surprise Abby, Calvin and Hobbs with a Thank You. A special card with some of your Facebook messages and care packages filled with their favorite Freshpet meals. Sadly, since we sent our packages, Abby and Calvin lost their battle to cancer. We’re happy to hear that Hobbes is still fighting through. Both parents were touched by your heartwarming words. Lisa shared, “Abby received her surprise from Freshpet. Thank you so much for all the goodies and the kind card. It meant a lot to us… She was truly a special dog, a once in a lifetime dog.” Andrea was also surprised and thankful for the gesture saying, “You know your dogs are extra special when their ‘chefs’ send them something special.”

 

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We’re so happy all of you chimed in to complete this gift to their dogs. It’s always wonderful to see our community care about one another especially during difficult times of loss.

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Adopt a Dog Cheat Sheet

October is Adopt a Dog month, which means persuading your friends into getting a dog… a little more than you usually do. This is your perfect time to shine.

 

We find that people can be on the fence about adopting and need some more compelling (and fun) reasons to get to the shelter. We’re all about bringing a new pet into the home to build a family and give an adorable animal a loving home. Here’s a cheat sheet to prep you for your conversation with that pet-parent to be.

 

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You’re Looking For a Running Buddy
What better way to get active and stay fit? You’ll always have a workout buddy to get out there and persuade you with all their tail-wagging energy.
You Could Use a BFF

He’ll always be down for a good comedy or ordering in on a Friday night. Trust us.

 

Grandpa Could Use a Companion

We miss Grandma and Grandpa just as much as they miss us when we’re not around. So why not surprise them with a companion to share some fun and hugs.

 

You Could Use a Pick-Me-Up

Dogs are actually amazing in the “warm and fuzzy” department. Pets are actually proven  to make you feel physically and emotionally good. It could be from all their unconditional love.

 

You’re Saving a Cute Face

When you adopt you’re likely to be saving a puppy’s life compared to other alternatives of getting a pet. Puppy mills for example don’t always give dogs the proper care and attention they need.  To learn more about puppy mills visit HumaneSociety.org.

 

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Fido

There is a silly misconception that when you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you’re getting an abused, sick or aggressive pet. Many dogs lose their homes for reasons out of their control. So don’t let the word “adopt” become synonymous with sick.  They can be just as healthy, if not healthier than a lot of the dogs you know!

 

Resources

Ready to look? First, locate and visit your local animal shelter and get acquainted with the dogs up for adoption. Need more resources? Here are a few places to help you, a friend or family member find a dog (or two) of their own.

 

We wish you the best of luck in persuading your friend to bring home a new family member. After all love is a four legged word.

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DIY: A Modern Touch to the Pet Bed

We love a good DIY. So when we came across this pet project we had to put it on our bucket list of weekend to-do’s and share! If you’re looking for a way to update your pet’s sleeping arrangements

 

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You’ll need some supplies from the hardware store, a pop of paint color and a bold fabric print. But it will be well worth your time. Your pet will be excited to have a space of elevated style to call their own. See the step by step process on A Beautiful Mind.

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Thank You: For Dr. Katy and Catherine Violet Hubbard

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have Dr. Katy Nelson as our resident veterinarian for Freshpet and have her medical expertise on topics of pet health behind the scenes. She’s also an amazing pet advocate, which is something we can always get behind.

Most recently she has gotten involved as a producer for “Tell Them I Am Kind,” a documentary telling the story of Catherine Violet Hubbard. On December 14, 2012, Catherine was sadly one of 20 children killed in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. From a young age, Catherine was drawn to all kinds of animals, and had always dreamed of working with them one day. By age six, she already printed out business cards for “Catherine’s Animal Shelter” naming herself as “Caretaker.”

Catherine’s family has decided to make her dream come true and open The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown later this year.  “It will be a place for kids to play with and learn about animals, just as Catherine had loved to do,” says Dr. Katy. It will also be a safe haven for local rescues to live.

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So as a Thank You to Dr. Katy as well as a little girl who unconditionally loved animals, we’re donating to this new sanctuary inspired by young Catherine Violet Hubbard. You can help in your own way by sharing or donating to “Tell Them I Am Kind” to help bring her story to life. To learn more visit TellThemIAmKind.org.

 

 

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The Sochi Pups’ Big Reveal

It’s been nearly seven months since Gus Kenworthy first met the Sochi Pups and began the journey to give them a new life. Gus-and-Stick Back in May, we were lucky enough to meet Gus and the pups, and offered to help them start their new life on the right paw, with a diet of fresh, all natural food and treats. Now, the pups are happy, healthy and thriving in Denver. After three months, Gus reveals how a Fresh Start has made all the difference to Mishka and Jake: I can’t believe it’s been six months since Robin and the Humane Society International helped me bring Momma, Mishka and Jake home. The dogs have become my best friends, and I can’t imagine life without them. They’ve grown up so much, and it’s funny to see how different their personalities have become. Mishka loves to play all the time, and she’s a huge cuddler. Jake is a bit calmer. He loves sneaking off to be alone, especially when I give him a Freshpet Sweet Potato chew. When I first started feeding them fresh food, Freshpet gave me a scorecard to help track their transformation. At first I wasn’t sure I’d see much difference, but looking back now I can see how far they’ve come. They have so much energy and are always ready to play, they are strong and athletic and maintain a good weight. I can’t wait to get them out into the snow with me as I start training- I know they can handle it. Their coats are shiny and soft- they still feel like puppies. And, their eyes are very clear. Jake always gets compliments! Best of all, they are always stoked to eat. I can’t even go to the fridge to take out a snack for myself without them running into the kitchen looking for a treat. People are constantly coming up to me and asking how they can adopt dogs like this, and I tell them- you shouldn’t have to. You can go and get a great dog at your local shelter. There are so many rescues that need to be taken care of right here in the U.S. 

 

10358414_1421675594771617_150925919_n We’re thrilled to have been able to help Mishka and Jake grow into healthy, strong, and beautiful dogs. We can’t wait to see what’s next for all of the Kenworthy clan; we know there are good things to come. We’re also happy to announce that because of you, we’re able to donate $5000 to Humane Society International to aide in their Street Dog program. Thank you from all of us at Freshpet for following the Sochi Pups’ Fresh Start.

Watch Gus tell the story of the Sochi Pups below:
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Kitten & Puppy Nutrition by Dr. Katy Nelson

Bringing a new puppy or kitten home for the first time is so exciting, and there are many things you need to plan for ahead of time. One of the most important is how you will nourish your new little one. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions from new pet parents:

 

How long does it take for my puppy or kitten to grow into an adult?

This answer is very dependent upon the size your pet will be as an adult.  Kittens and puppies grow at an incredible rate from birth to about six months old. After six months, kittens and small breed dogs’ growth rate starts to slow down as muscles begin to fill out and bones begin to harden.  Large and giant breed dogs, however, can continue to grow for up to two years! The best way to ensure your pet’s growth stays on the right track is to provide them with regular veterinary care and proper nutrition.

 

I don’t like the food my puppy or kitten was eating before, how do I make a change?

For the first week or two after you bring your new pet home, it’s best to continue feeding them the same type and brand of food they were eating before. Changing their diet too quickly can cause gastrointestinal upset.  Once they’re settled and you’re ready for a change, gradually increase the new food and decrease the old food over a period of 7-10 days or until they are eating 100% of the new food.

 

Do I need to buy special kitten or puppy food?

Typically kitten and puppy food contains higher levels of protein and fat per serving than adult food to help support their rapid development, but buying it is not necessary. If a pet food is labeled “complete & balanced for all life stages” it is appropriate for young and old alike. However, you will need to adjust the amount you feed so be sure to talk with your veterinarian about the proper amount for your pet’s life stage and carefully read the recommended feeding guidelines on the packaging.

 

How much should I feed my puppy or kitten?

In general, kittens and puppies from two to fourteen months old should be fed up to twice the normal adult requirement. Every couple of months, as their growth rate slows down, you will need to reduce the amount they eat to keep them from becoming overweight. To sustain their energy levels even throughout the day, I recommend splitting their daily feeding amount into three or four smaller meals. Giving your new bundle of joy treats is okay in moderation, as long as they do not account for more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.

 

As always, be sure to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.  Best of luck with your new addition!

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Freshpet Thank You #1

Every letter we receive from pet parents matters to us. They make us proud to do what we do, and inspire us to continue to bring the power of fresh food to pets each day.  We’re so grateful to all of our pet parents, and so we want to say “Thank You” as much as we can.

Our first Thank You goes out to the amazing pets and pet parents who took time out of their busy lives to share their stories with us on camera. “Letters” is about them, their pets, and the dedication they all share to keeping their pets happy and healthy.

We’ve already surprised them with a trip to NYC and a day of filming, but we think the cast deserves a bit more. So, our Letter pets are getting a four month supply of Freshpet and for their parents, a special coffee table book to commemorate the entire experience.

We really can’t thank them enough.