Freshpet® dog and cat food frequently asked questions.
Freshpet® believes in the difference fresh, refrigerated dog and cat food can make to the health of your pet. Therefore, we have made varieties appropriate for different pet parents and their pets. The choice between Freshpet® recipes depends on the individual needs and preferences of you and your pet. All Freshpet® foods are made according to our nutritional philosophy of fresh, meat-based nutrition and minimal processing.
All Freshpet® Foods:
- Made with all natural, fresh ingredients
- Gently cooked at lower temperatures to retain their natural vitamins and nutrients
- Refrigerated for freshness
- Free of preservatives
- Free of corn, wheat, by-products and fillers
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All Freshpet® foods are made according to our nutritional philosophy of fresh, meat-based nutrition and minimal processing. The foods are available in multiple forms, such as Slice & Serve Rolls and Roasted/Complete Meals, to address the preferences of the pet and the owner (pet’s size, convenience, and flavor preference of pet).
All Freshpet® foods are made in our own plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. All Freshpet® treats are made in the USA and Canada.
Freshpet® is carried in many stores across the country and in Canada, including grocery stores, mass stores, pet specialty, and natural retailers. To find a Freshpet® fridge near you, visit our Store Locator. If you’d like to recommend your local store consider carry Freshpet®, please visit our Request Freshpet® page.
Freshpet® foods are fresh, NOT raw. They have been gently cooked and quickly cooled to eliminate any harmful bacteria or parasites. Our products undergo pasteurization similar to milk or cold cuts.
97% of Freshpet® ingredients come from the USA and Canada. We do our best to source locally whenever possible. No Freshpet® ingredients come from China.
No, Freshpet® foods are not organic. Few, if any, pet foods are 100% organic due to difficulty in sourcing organic ingredients as well as their costliness. At Freshpet®, our focus is on finding the highest quality, freshest, all natural ingredients.
Yes, Freshpet® foods only use all natural ingredients. Because Freshpet® foods do not contain any chemical preservatives (BHA, propylene glycol) commonly found in dry, canned and semi-moist pet food, they must be kept refrigerated.
All Freshpet® poultry, beef and fish ingredients are sourced from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe handling. Freshpet’s lamb is sourced from New Zealand and is natural, free-range, and BSE free.
Carrageenan is an extract from red seaweed found in the North Atlantic coastal regions. It is used in human and pet foods as a thickener or gelling agent to help improve the form and texture of the food.
Inulin, also called chicory root, is a prebiotic which helps with nutrient absorption. It is a high quality, soluble and functional fiber source which aids in the digestion process, especially in products that contain high amounts of fresh meat and fish.
Salt provides the essential nutrients sodium and chloride. Although sodium content in prepared foods is of concern to humans, pets do not suffer from cardiovascular diseases like humans do. Our salt levels are within the ranges recommended by veterinary nutritionists.
The natural flavors are a proprietary blend of ingredients such as vinegar, celery, lemon juice, and natural hickory. The total amount is less than 2% of the recipe. These flavors enhance the natural flavors of the meat.
Some Freshpet® recipes include brown rice, oats and barley. These grains are a good source of soluble fiber for colon health, and are healthy alternatives for pets with allergic reactions to corn and wheat. All Vital recipes are grain-free.
The caramel color used in select Freshpet® recipes is a natural color, made by cooking natural sugars. Just as we use ingredients at home to add texture or color to fresh ingredients, caramel color is used to maintain color and flavors in our Meals. Many of our foods do not use caramel color, like our slice & serve rolls. As with all ingredients, we work closely with veterinary nutritionists to ensure that the ingredient levels in any Freshpet® recipe are safe for consumption.
If switching from dry kibble or canned wet food to Freshpet®, we recommend doing so gradually over a period of 7-10 days. Please refer to our guide on Switching to Freshpet® for more information.
Yes, they can be frozen, however no Freshpet® foods are frozen before you purchase them in your local store. If you choose to freeze the food, you may see a slight change in color and texture when thawed out
Just like the fresh human food you buy, there is a “Freshest if Sold By” date on each product.
- Slice & Serve Rolls: Use opened roll within 7 days. Cover open end with plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag.
- Roasted Meals and Complete Meals: Use contents of open bag within 7 days.
- Homestyle: Use contents of open container within 2 days.
- Cat Cups: Use contents of open container within 2 days.
- Treats, Chews and Bones: Use contents of open pouch within 14 days.
- Cookies: Bake within 7 days of opening. Store baked cookies in an airtight container up to 14 days.
Treat Freshpet® as if you would deli meats at home. We recommend that you do not leave Freshpet® in the bowl for longer than 2-3 hours.
Yes, but make sure to reduce the amount of dry food you give your pet to prevent overfeeding.
All Freshpet® foods are 100% complete and balanced and exceed AAFCO’s minimum standards for canine and feline nutrition. While Freshpet® treats are made of high quality meats and vegetables, they may not contain all the essential vitamins and minerals dogs need. To ensure your pet is getting all the nutrition he requires, feed a complete and balanced food.
Freshpet® foods are meat-based products, so you can expect them to have the same moisture content as fresh, human-grade meats. 70-75% moisture is the natural state of fresh meat. Chicken breast meat contains 74.6% moisture, and fresh turkey meat contains 75.8%. (Reference: USDA database)
No, but keep in mind that Freshpet® foods are concentrated nutrition so you do not need to feed as much as other less concentrated (dry) foods. For working dogs or those experiencing high levels of activity, increase food allowance by 15 to 25%. For overweight dogs, decrease food allowance by 10 to 20% until ideal or desired body condition is achieved.
Why does dry food seem to have more protein than Freshpet® when I look at the Guaranteed Analysis on the label?
The Guaranteed Analysis is used to place a value on four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. However, it doesn’t consider the water content of the product and can be misleading. Even the Food and Drug Administration admits to this problem on its website stating, “To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned (or fresh) and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis.”
To determine the amount of protein on a dry matter basis:
- Subtract the moisture percentage from 100% to determine the dry matter percentage
- Divide the protein percentage by the percent of dry matter percentage
- Multiply by 100.
For a simple example, a product with 10% protein and 75% moisture is within the range of Freshpet foods:
- 100% – 75% moisture = 25% dry matter
- 10% Protein /25% dry Matter = .4
- .4 x 100 = 40% dry matter protein content
This same formula can be used to determine the dry matter fat and fiber contents.
For dogs that have pancreatic problems or compromised renal function (i.e. kidney), high protein diets made from meat and fish should be avoided. If your dog suffers from these conditions, consult your veterinarian to determine if Vital is appropriate for your dog.
Ask your veterinarian if Freshpet® is appropriate for your pet’s specific condition before introducing it into his diet. FAQ > Product Usage > Switching to Freshpet® Link What is the Best Way to Switch to an All-Freshpet Diet? If switching from dry kibble or canned wet food to Freshpet®, we recommend doing so gradually over a period of 7-10 days. Please refer to our guide on Switching to Freshpet® for more information.
Freshpet® treats, chews and bones are all natural, contain no artificial preservatives, and are less processed than traditional offerings. To ensure the freshness of our simple and healthy ingredients, all Freshpet® treats, chews and bones must be refrigerated and used within 14 days of opening.
Yes, Freshpet® chews and bones are a safer alternative to natural bones as they will not crack or splinter.
Freshpet® bones are not suitable for dogs less than 12 lbs. or puppies.
If your dog takes more than one hour to finish a chew or two hours to finish a bone, please return the remainder to the fridge so they can enjoy it another time. If small pieces are left over, please take away from your dog and discard.
The Freshpet® team has always been passionate about providing their pets with the happiness, health and safety that they deserve. Just like most pet parents, they look at their dogs and cats not just as animals, but also as family members.
Learn more about how to contact Freshpet® to suggest a rescue for a donation, or find out how to get involved with a rescue near you, by visiting our Charitable Donations page.