For more information on how we work with shelters around the country, please visit our Freshpet Charitable Donations page here.
For more information on how we work with shelters around the country, please visit our Freshpet Charitable Donations page here.
It took a long time, but our fur-kids are finally being fed like we would the rest of our family members: with fresh, all natural ingredients from the fridge.
However, it wasn’t always this way. For nearly 70 years, food options for dogs and cats remained largely unchanged: dry, extruded kibble or canned wet food. But in 2006, with a simple idea that all pups and kitties deserve fresh, all natural and nutritious food, that all changed.
Years before “pet food” was sold, pets ate what we ate. Back in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s, without much knowledge of proper pet nutrition, our dogs and cats ate either what was readily available, like table scraps, or what was cheap. When Purina and many others introduced dry dog food in the 1950′s, the cooking process may have changed, but pets still lacked the proper nutrition and fresh ingredients the needed to thrive. The extrusion process used to make this kibble involved such high cooking temperatures that essential nutrients, like amino acids, were often lost in the process.
Fast forward 70 years and kibble is made much the same way. While the introduction of premium and natural kibble has been a step in the right direction, the production process still involves overcooking ingredients to make our pet’s food shelf-stable for years. So, in 2006, we decided to take a whole new look at pet food.
Knowing that we felt better eating fresher, healthier foods, we asked ourselves: “Wouldn’t our pets, too?” Because we see our pets as family, we believed they deserved to eat like family too. That’s why we began cooking Freshpet recipes using fresh ingredients, while gently-cooking our batches instead of rendering them. This helped us to lock in the essential nutrients our pets need. Finally, because our recipes were made from fresh, all natural ingredients, they needed to be refrigerated, just like the food we eat every day.
It’s pretty hard to believe how little change there was in our pet’s food for so long. But since the introduction of Freshpet, more and more pet parents are heading to their local Freshpet fridge for the fur-kid’s food, like your pup’s favorite Freshpet Select Slice and Serve roll, or your kitty’s favorite Vital Complete Meals. No longer is shelf-stable kibble or canned wet food the only option for your furbaby. Today, your loved ones can eat fresh, all natural and refrigerated food, just like the rest of the family does.
Now that’s what we call pet food evolution.
The Easter Bunny isn’t just for kids anymore – many pet parents are getting creative, with gifts for pups and kitties alike. We love any excuse to shower our fur-kids with love and affection, and Easter is no exception! So we’ve rounded up our favorite gift ideas for Spring.
Easter Basket Finds
For dogs, start with our fresh Dog Joy treats, like Dog Joy Turkey Bacon, Dog Joy Sweet Potatoes, or Dog Joy Ready to Bake Cookies. The bright packaging ties in well with the colors of the season, and the delicious taste and wholesome ingredients are sure to be a hit with your fur-kids! Just remember to hide them only about 10-15 minutes before the basket search begins- and keep the treats in the fridge prior. Add in a holiday-themed doggy toy for extra fun, like these bunny and peep-shaped toys.
For kitties, fill the basket with a selection of our Freshpet Select Roasted Meals for cats or Vital Complete Meals for cats, plus our Freshpet Select cat food in cups. And don’t forget brightly colored toys like these felt catnip balls and Easter Bunny catnip toys.
Avoid the Easter grass in these baskets, however; this plastic decorative is non-digestible for pets and can cause blocking in the stomach or intestines.
Easter Egg Hunt
Who says egg hunts are only for kids? Set one up for your pooches outdoors, or bring the fun indoors for your kitties. Simply scatter and hide treats, then enjoy helping your fur-kids find them all. Be sure to adjust their calorie intake accordingly for that day (though a little extra love for one day never hurts). Our Dog Joy Chicken or Beef Treats are the perfect size for a hunt. For cats, conceal Freshpet Select Roasted Meals around the house!
Keep your pups and kitties safe by keeping a close eye on them. Avoid placing treats into plastic eggs as these can be choking hazards.
You can also hide a few egg-shaped toys for your furballs to locate, like these crocheted squeaky toys, perfect for pups!
If you’ve dyed eggs at home, treat your pets to an extra punch of protein by sharing a few pieces of a peeled hard-boiled egg with them. Many dogs and cats love the taste of fresh cooked eggs, and these snacks are a safe treat for all.
Other Springtime Gift Ideas
We’ve rounded up a few adorable gift ideas to celebrate the warm weather, the re-introduction of bright colors into our lives, and of course, our love of our pets.
From all of us at Freshpet, we hope you enjoy the onset of beautiful weather and the Easter holiday!
During our last Freshpet team meeting, we received a visit from Petco with a very special surprise: they had awarded us with the 2012 Business Development Partner of the Year award! Petco gives out this honor each year to recognize fellow leaders in pet care for going above and beyond the usual needs of consumers. When we created Freshpet just a handful of years ago, we recognized that people had started choosing fresh, natural foods for their families, and decided to make something just as wholesome and fresh for pet parents to feed their fur-kids. As our company grows, we’re proud to be recognized by Petco, a pet store that shares in our goal to better the lives of pets and pet parents.
Throughout the years, Petco has been an outstanding supporter of our fresh food. Early on, Petco recognized the importance and significant benefits of feeding dogs and cats fresh/refrigerated food. In fact, Petco was the first retailer to begin selling Freshpet nation-wide, making fresh food more readily available to more dogs and kitties across the country. Our partnership continues to grow as we both work towards a common mission and continue to push the pet care industry forward. We are very excited for what the future will bring to Freshpet and to our friends at Petco… but mostly to all pups and kitties across the country!
This week’s blog is contributed by Dr. Katy Nelson, a practicing veterinarian for more than eleven years and host of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s News Channel 8. You can check out her blog and watch previous episodes at www.wjla.com/blogs/the-pet-show, or become her fan at www.facebook.com/ThePetShow.tv.
Hi, everyone! I’m a huge fan of Freshpet, but I don’t think anyone is a bigger fan than my dog Papi! He spins in circles every morning and every evening when I pull it out of the refrigerator to feed to him. This food is not only extremely high quality and well-balanced, as evidenced by Papi’s healthy body and coat, but given Papi’s twice daily reaction, it’s also absolutely delicious! So, when Freshpet approached me to answer some questions for their Facebook fans, of course I agreed. Here are the first 5 questions I received, I hope you’ll send yours in, too.
Question 1: Dr. Katy, I have a black cat that looks like she has dandruff – how do I get rid of it and is it something I should worry about? - Freshpet fan Diane D.
Dr. Katy: This is a great question, and unfortunately it’s quite a common occurrence in our kitties. Cats can have dandruff (flaking of dead skin cells), and it’s often due to either a nutritional problem or to improper self-grooming. If your kitty is eating a dry kibble diet alone, it may be she is not getting enough essential fatty acids in her diet to maintain proper skin health. A diet like Freshpet Roasted Meals for Cats, which is rich in protein and fatty acids, can help to keep her skin flake-free and her coat shiny and healthy. Some cats that have dandruff are overweight and unable to groom themselves properly, so the dead skin cells clump together in the areas they cannot reach during regular grooming (usually along the midline of their back). If this is the reason for your kitty having dandruff, consult with your veterinarian on an effective way to elicit weight loss in your cat. Obesity predisposes our pets to serious health issues, including diabetes, arthritis and even cancer, so starting a healthy weight loss program can not only decrease the dandruff problem, but possibly increase your kitty’s lifespan as well.
Question 2: I think my dog was not weaned correctly – she does not chew, just gulps and it’s gone. I’d like her to have a bone, but after the ‘knobs’ are gone, I get nervous and take it from her. Any suggestions? - Freshpet fan Margaret J.
Dr. Katy: I would theorize that this behavior is more dependent on the personality of each dog versus whether they were weaned properly. You can take multiple dogs from the same litter, all weaned the same way, and some of them will sit patiently and chew while others will swallow a bone whole and go on about their business. All that being said, I think you’re doing the right thing by taking away the bones after she chews the knobs down. That’s a much safer option than having her swallow a bone and that may get stuck in her GI tract. You can also explore other options than bones for her to chew on –knotted rope toys or Kongs are more durable than an actual bone and can provide longer term chewing fun.
Question 3: My little dog is on a flea pill and eats Freshpet food. Even though she does not have any fleas, she still chews herself. Why is she doing this, and is there anything I can do to solve the problem? -Freshpet fan Ron A.
Dr. Katy: Itching is not always associated with external parasites, but it certainly can be, so it’s good to hear you are diligently using your flea and tick preventative year-round. Dogs can scratch themselves for any number of reasons – dry skin, allergies (to fleas, to inhaled allergens, to a certain type of food, or even to something that she’s in contact with), boredom, or even metabolic problems (like thyroid or adrenal disease) can be the culprit. Whatever it is due to, though, this is a sign that your pup may be having a real issue. I recommend having her examined by your veterinarian to see if you can figure out why she’s so itchy, and if there is something you can do to help her feel better.
Question 4: My senior cat is diabetic and has what we believe to be senility. He’s thin and has brittle skin which is a struggle on its own. But his yowling at night is getting out of hand. We’ve left on night lights, keep him in his own bedroom to prevent him from getting lost/confused in the rest of the house, but we aren’t sure what else to do. Do you have any suggestions? -Freshpet fan Lisa F.
Dr. Katy: It is so difficult when our senior pets get to this point in their lives. Both dogs and cats do suffer from senility issues as they age, and it can manifest in many different ways – from crying and getting lost like your kitty, to urinating in various spots, or even becoming fearful or aggressive. Keeping her safe is the priority, and it sounds like you are already taking steps to do that. I would encourage you to discuss this with your veterinarian thoroughly. Consider taking notes as to when this happens, or even a video of it happening, so your doctor can have all the facts and know how to best address this. If there are heavy swings in your cat’s glucose regulation, if he has a thyroid or kidney issue in addition to his diabetes, or if he is in pain due to an arthritic condition, there may be a medical way to improve this. If this is “just” senility, then your best bet will be to continue what you’re doing by keeping him safe and trying to decrease his anxiety during these times. Good luck with him, I know how difficult this is as I went through this about a year ago with my own 15-year-old dog suffering from kidney disease. It can be very frustrating, and certainly heartbreaking to watch our pets in this state.
Question 5: I think my one-year-old shih Tzu suffers from acid reflux. What can I do to address this issue and which food is best for her? – Freshpet fan Ana D.
Dr. Katy: Many of the symptoms of acid reflux in our pups are also signs of other issues, so first and foremost, it is important that you get your pooch checked out by your vet. What is it she’s doing that makes you think this? Is she regurgitating food or vomiting after eating? Is she swallowing more frequently than normal? Does she seem to be in pain when she eats? All of these can be signs of acid reflux in dogs, but they can also be signs of other issues that are more serious. There is pharmaceutical help for reflux, if that is truly what is going on with your pup, and a highly digestible moist diet such as Freshpet Slice & Serve Rolls can help as well. However, I recommend you have her thoroughly examined and diagnostics run if she is experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs. As in people, reflux can be a painful disease and lead to further problems down the line if left untreated.
If you have a question for Dr. Katy about your furball’s health and wellbeing, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question could be featured in our next “Ask Dr. Katy” blog.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means the holiday season is officially beginning. With the holidays comes a busy travel schedule as we celebrate with friends and family. We are often asked the best ways to travel with Freshpet food, so we’ve compiled a few options for those planning to bring their fur kiddos along for the ride.
Stock up on fresh food once you’ve arrived at your destination
Freshpet food is available in a wide variety of stores all across the country. If you’d rather wait until you arrive (perhaps you are flying, for example), you can use our store locator to find a retailer who carries Freshpet in your destination city. Or if you are staying with close friends or family, politely ask them to pick up the food for you ahead of time on their next shopping trip. .
Bring Freshpet foods with you from home
This method works best for car trips, where you can easily bring a cooler along. Pack a cooler with your Freshpet food and ice packs, we recommend about one ice pack for every roll or bag of food that you bring. If you’re packing slice & serve rolls that have already been opened, don’t forget to use a plastic bag or saran wrap to cover the open end. Our roasted meals, complete meals, and treats packages are already re-sealable, so skip this step if you’re bringing these foods along. Some fans even opt to cut up pieces of our slice and serve rolls, bag and freeze them for travel purposes. While ok for your pet to eat, freezing the food may change the color and texture slightly.
Finally, for easy clean-up we recommend bringing disposable plates or bowls to serve the food along the way, along with a water bowl.
We wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season, and we hope that wherever you go, you enjoy a worry-free trip with your family.
Fortunately, all the recent health news about obesity, America’s latest health crisis, comes with a silver lining. People are becoming more aware of what they eat, and they’re choosing fresh, healthy food over things with empty calories, additives and preservatives.
Farmers’ markets have become community gatherings where chefs and home cooks shop side by side and the menus in restaurants and homes feature the ingredients that are fresh that day. Children are growing peas and carrots on farms in the suburbs and even in big cities. Television chefs are revamping school lunches to include more fresh vegetables and meat. It’s a trend that’s going in the right direction!
Now that we’re finally cluing in about the importance of eating fresh foods, it’s time to extend the healthy benefits to our pets and offer them fresh dog food and fresh cat food. Instead of feeding them dry or canned food that’s full of wheat, corn, fillers, artificial colors and preservatives, it’s time to give them a fresh alternative.
Keeping food fresh without artificial preservatives protects the nutritional integrity of the ingredients. That’s why all fresh dog food and fresh cat food must be refrigerated, just like the fresh groceries we buy for ourselves and our kids.
People who have been feeding their animals fresh pet food tell us that their animals are healthy and vibrant with shiny coats and bright eyes. We hear stories almost daily about how sick and old pets have renewed appetites and energy after they switched to feeding fresh pet food.
Buying fresh pet food in the grocery store is convenient, too. (Face it, most of us are there more frequently than we’d like to admit!) Fresh pet food has come a long way since the days when concerned pet owners had to cook it themselves.
Feeding pets a healthy diet of fresh meats, veggies and brown rice is simply the next step in improving the whole family’s eating habits!