Tag Archives: fresh dog food

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U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Gus Kenworthy and the Sochi Pups are Going Fresh!

Back in February, the hearts of pet lovers everywhere were captured by the story of U.S. Olympic Slopestyle Skier Gus Kenworthy, and his adopted dogs from Sochi, Russia.

 

Gus met a litter of puppies living close to the athlete’s village in Sochi. The avowed animal lover fell in love with them immediately and pledged to bring the mother and her puppies home with him. Sadly, two of the pups didn’t make it, but the remaining three dogs were brought to the States with the help of Gus’ friend and photographer, Robin Macdonald, and the Humane Society International.

 

Fast forward to the present, and the Sochi pups are living in Denver with Gus and Robin, adjusting to their new life. They’re loving their new home in Colorado and are looking and feeling better than ever. Check out the Sochi Pups on Instagram to see Jake, Mishka, and Mama sleeping, playing and loving their new lives.

 

We were so inspired by this story and wanted to help in any way we could. Fortunately, on a Today Show appearance in February, Gus met our friend Dr. Katy Nelson and was introduced to Freshpet. We decided then and there that those amazing dogs deserved to eat real, fresh food, and Gus agreed. So we started the Sochi pups on a fresh food diet by sending Gus and Robin a supply of Freshpet meals and treats. And (not surprisingly) they have enjoyed every last bit of it.

 

According to Gus, the Vital Balanced Nutrition Chicken Recipe with Peas, Carrots & Brown Rice has been their hands-down favorite. He can’t even make it to the fridge to get his own food without the dogs rushing to him, expecting their Freshpet to come out of it! And just by looking at the photos on their Instagram, we can already tell the Freshpet Effect is starting to take place: beautiful, smooth coats, clearer eyes and happy faces!

 

But there’s more! We’ve got a special announcement regarding Gus and the Sochi pups. Check back in with us on June 16th to be one of the first to hear about this very exciting program and how you can join in.

Walking Dog in Snow

Dr. Katy: Prepping Your Pet for 2014!

With the holiday season having come and gone, we have so much to look forward to with a brand new year ahead!

 

You’re not alone if you may have indulged a little too much in tasty food and drinks over the holidays as you were enjoying the time with family and friends. While it can be easy for us to head to the gym or make slight changes in our diet to get back to our target weight, it can be more difficult for our pets to shed any unwanted pounds they may have added. According to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, on average dogs gain 0.3 pounds and cats gain 0.4 during the holidays. That is equivalent to 5-7 pounds for a human; a lot of extra weight for a pup or kitty to lug around!

 

As I’ve often said before, keeping a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our pets is critical for long-term health and happiness. Unfortunately, because our pets cannot choose their diet on their own, it’s important for us to make sure they’re putting their “best paws forward” when it comes to nutrition and activity.

 

As we head into 2014, here are my tips on how you can help your pet battle the bulge that he/she may have picked up in the new year, and how to monitor their weight throughout the year:

 

A quick check to determine if your pet is a bit overweight is by feeling around the rib cage.

A quick check for excess weight can be done by feeling for your pet’s rib cage, which should be easy to spot if your pet is at a healthy weight. (Photo: elfin_peaz. Flickr)

 

  1. Check your pet’s weight regularly. You can check your pet’s weight at home by gently running your fingers along their rib cage. At a healthy weight, their ribs should be felt easily and have a thin, silky layer of skin moving over them. If you feel your pet is overweight, make an appointment with your vet to discuss an appropriate action plan. You can read more about how to conduct the “feel test” here.
  2. Portion control. Pet obesity is largely due to the overconsumption of commercial food and treats. Feeding guidelines are usually based on a “healthy adult pet” and one size does not fit all. There are many factors used to determine how many calories your pet needs, like life stage, reproductive status, physical activity, and disease conditions, so be sure to speak with your vet to determine what daily caloric intake is right for your pet. This is what we call “target weight,” or the ideal weight for your pup or cat. And while we love to feed our pets treats, these added calories can push your pet over their target weight – so treat with caution!
  3. Read labels. Cats and dogs are natural carnivores and thrive on fresh, meat-based diets. Many traditional shelf-stable pet foods are carbohydrate-based and contain fillers like corn, wheat and soy, which are harder for your pet to digest. Instead, look for all natural food that has meat as the first ingredient, like Vital Beef & Bison or Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken & Turkey slice & serve rolls. A protein-dense food will also help your pet stay fuller longer and provide longer-lasting energy.
  4. Avoid table scraps. Human food is not appropriate for household pets in most instances. A complete and balanced food made especially for pets is recommended, just like all of the recipes you’ll find with Freshpet.
  5. Regular exercise. Keeping your pet active will help them burn calories and gain muscle tone. For a list of fun ways you and your pet can exercise together this year, visit my blog post on 10 fun ways to exercise with your pet.
 
Taking your pet for a walk is an excellent way for both of you to get exercise, helping to burn calories and release endorphins. (Photo: Kenneth Allen - WikiCommons)

Taking your pet for a walk is an excellent way for both of you to get exercise, helping to burn calories and release endorphins. (Photo: Kenneth Allen – WikiCommons)

 

 
I hope that 2014 brings many amazing experiences and memories with you and your pet, but most importantly, I wish you a healthy (and happy) year ahead!

 

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Freshpet Visits the Bloomfield Animal Shelter

We love spending time with some of the shelters that we work with.

 

Last Friday, when the Bloomfield Animal Shelter invited us to come see how much their pups and kitties were loving our Freshpet donation, we jumped at the opportunity!

 

Over the last few months, we’ve donated more than 1,500 cases of Freshpet Vital food to shelters around the country in time for Thanksgiving. Our friends at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter received more than 500 pounds of their favorite Freshpet Vital Beef & Bison rolls to help their rescues get the proper nutrition and energy they need in hopes of being adopted by a permanent family. So, what did they think of their special delivery?

 

One of the two Bloomfield Fridges filled with Freshpet Vital!

 

When we first arrived, Shelter Manager and Supervisor of Bloomfield Animal Control, Mike, gave us the grand tour. They had not one, but two Freshpet fridges stocked with boxes of Freshpet Vital food! The pups were so excited and were wagging their tails intently as we walked through.

 

After showing us around, Mike brought out Orlando, an absolutely precious pit bull with such a sweet disposition – quite the charmer! Orlando came to the shelter two weeks ago after being picked up by someone as a stray. Given how friendly he was with shelter volunteers and our team, it seemed as though Orlando had previously been living with a family or at least was used to human interaction. This adorable pup joined us outside for some Freshpet taste-testing. He was so excited for an afternoon treat!

 

Here’s our adorable new friend, Orlando, as he eats his Freshpet Vital!

 

Before leaving, we met another new friend of ours, Atlas. This pup was also found as a stray in town, but was really on his last legs when he arrived at the shelter. Without much more than skin, bones and a few very painful-looking sores, Atlas’ weight was at a mere 21 pounds. Thanks to some veterinary attention and endless love and affection from the volunteers at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter, not only are Atlas’ infected sores cleaned up, but he’s beginning to regain his coat and now weighs in at a healthy 42 pounds! Mike said that without Freshpet, not many of the pups that come in with such low weight issues would be able to regain the muscle and fat they need to survive and potentially be adopted.

 

Our new furry friend Atlas, who put on over 20 pounds since arriving at the Bloomfield Shelter!

 

Thank you so much to Mike and the rest of the volunteers over at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter! We loved coming to visit and are so thrilled that the pups and kitties are enjoying their Freshpet food in time for Thanksgiving. We hope to hear about many adoptions for the animals you have taken in soon and thanks again for the work you do every day!

 

For more information on how we work with shelters around the country, please visit our Freshpet Charitable Donations page here.

 

The Bloomfield pups ready for new homes!

 

 

The Bloomfield Animal Shelter has many deserving cats and dogs available for immediate adoption to residents of any community. If you’d like to learn more, please contact them at (973) 748-0194!
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Freshpet and the History of Pet Food

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.

 

A Brief History of Pet Food in the United States

 

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.

 

 

There are now over 10,000 Freshpet fridges throughout the US and Canada!

 

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.

Meet Our Patriotic Pets: Muneca

Last month, we introduced Freshpet TV celebrity Beacon, the Boston Terrier. He was a rambunctious pup with a huge heart and was a blast to have on set.

But lovable fur-kids come in all different shapes and sizes. That being said, we couldn’t wait to introduce the beautiful Muneca, an elegant Weimaraner with gorgeous blue eyes. Let’s just say she turned heads when filming!

 

Mom’s Name: Alexandra

Trainer’s Name: Kevin and Alexandra

Breed: Weimaraner

Age: 3

Where She Lives: Linden, NJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you end up in Alexandra’s family? Well, I’m actually from Bogota, Colombia originally – muy bueno! My name, Muneca, is Spanish for “doll.” My Mom said she named me that because she thinks I’m pretty! Alexandra and Kevin adopted me when I was a puppy and brought me back to the States. It’s been amazing being part of such a loving family.

What Kind of Pup Were You? I think we all realized early on that I had Weimaraner hunting instincts. When Mom brought me to the lake for the first time, I was terrified to go in the water. I’d never swam before and it looked so scary. I wouldn’t even go fetch my favorite ball in that lake. But then I spotted some geese and when they fled to the water, I dove right in after them. I’ve been chasing balls into the water ever since!

Where Do You Sleep At Home? Lucky for me, I have two beds. Things are pretty comfortable at home. One bed is upstairs and the other downstairs. On chilly nights, Mom even gives me a blanket to snuggle under. Girl’s got to have her beauty sleep, right?

You Were Pretty Comfortable In Front of the Camera. Have You Done This Before? Don’t make me blush! I have done this a few times actually. Mom helped me get a part in a Mercedes-Benz commercial. I’ve also been featured on Gilt.com and worked with Nordstrom. But this Freshpet commercial was my favorite because I love their food, it’s the best! Plus I can’t drive a car so Mercedes was different :)

What’s A Typical Day Like? I wake up early and fly down the stairs to chow down on my Freshpet. After I’ve stuffed myself, a quick nap ties me over until the rest of the family is awake. Mom takes me for a morning walk and then we play Frisbee – I love the Frisbee! It helps me stay in shape. While everyone is working, I wait by the door for them to get back and play with me. When they come home I wag my tail like you wouldn’t believe!

 

 

Want to see more commercials? Check out all of the Freshpet TV spots here!

Fresh Food for Good Vision

Fresh Foods for Good Vision

Eye health is a popular topic among pet parents these days because eye diseases and issues can be prevalent in dogs, especially in certain breeds. Fortunately, nature has provided us with quite a few fresh super foods, rich in eye-worthy nutrients that can help keep eyes healthy and strong, and even ward off diseases. Is your pup or kitty’s diet nourishing their eyes? Check out this list of foods for great vision to find out!

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are some of the best ingredients out there to support eye health for pets. They contain everything from eye-healthy carotenoids, phytonutrients, and flavonoids, as well as zinc and selenium. All of these healthy nutrients help with everything from general eye health, to night vision support, to reduction of eye fatigue. Consider these the eye-solution of foods, and be sure to incorporate them into your pup’s diet. Our Vital Slice & Serve rolls are packed with delicious blueberries!

 

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best veggies for eye health, packed with beta-carotene. Broccoli has even been found to protect the retina from free radical damage. Simply boil up a few florets and add to your pup or kitty’s bowl – and don’t forget the leaves, as they contain even more beta-carotene!

 

Carrots

Carrots are loaded with vitamins like vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamins B, C, D, E, and K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium… the list goes on and on. Carrots also protect the eye from UVB radiation and damage from free radicals. Many Freshpet foods contain this nutrient-rich veggie, from our Slice & Serve rolls to our Roasted Meals.

  

Cold Water Fish like Salmon and Tuna

These fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, important for cellular health. Fish is especially high in DHA, which makes up 30% of the fatty acids that make up the retina. We’d recommend our Vital Chicken, Beef, Salmon and Egg roll or our Vital Complete Meals for dogs to get the benefits of these cold-water fish.

 

Eggs

Rich in cycteine, sulphur, and lutein, eggs have been found to protect eyes from cataract formation and reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. And more than that, eggs are one of the best sources of protein out there. Get some for your furball in our Roasted Meals, Vital Complete Meals, and select Slice & Serve rolls.

 

Kale

Kale is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two special antioxidants that act like “internal sunglasses.” So protect your fur-kid from the sun with this high quality veggie. This is another great veggie to add to your pet’s bowl, especially if you have some around the house for yourself.

 

Sweet Potatoes

Often deemed one of the world’s healthiest foods, sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, making them the perfect choice to protect eye health. They also are packed with anthocyanins that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Grab some Dog Joy Sweet Potato treats to give your pup a delicious and extremely healthy snack!

10 Reasons why April is Awesome for Pet Parents

April is a wonderful month all around: winter’s chill begins to fade, the sunshine brings out happy faces, and everyone begins to prepare for the fun of summertime.  But for pet parents, April is one of the best months of all. Here are ten reasons why April is even more awesome when you have a fur-kid or two in tow:

 

10.  Warmer Weather!

The warm weather can cheer the chilliest of spirits, but it makes caring for your fur-kid even more enjoyable. If you’re like us, you love taking a walk in the park with your pup. And meow’s the time to even let your kitty bask in the outdoors (if they like that sort of thing).

9. April Showers

There’s something so enjoyable about snuggling up to your kitty on a rainy day, or stomping through puddles with your pooch. Pets just make rainy days brighter. Even those of us who dislike the rain can appreciate our fur-kids’ greeting us on our way in the door after battling the weather.

8. Baseball is back

Bark if you love baseball! Baseball season is one of our favorite time’s of year, and it’s made even better by the fact that many parks are allowing fans to bring their pups to games. Plus, 162 games watched from the comfort of your home are only made better by the constant, loving presence of your furry family.

7. Earth Day

Though we shouldn’t need a reminder, Earth Day is a great day to put new habits into practice towards sustainability and green living! Saving electricity / gas / cleaning up the neighborhood – all activities that are made much more fun with a pup or kitty around.

 

6. The Freshpet Truck is back!

In the New York metro area, start to see more of our Freshpet Food Truck for dogs and cats in action!

 

 

5. More patches of sunshine near the window

Sometimes it’s the little things, like lounging under a patch of light streaming in through the window. April is sure to deliver the first of many springtime warm patches, something that only pet parents truly can appreciate.

 

 

4. Plant life in bloom

The flora and the fauna start to peek out, which inspires us to dress up in fresh bright colors.

3.  Farmers Markets

We love fresh produce, we love healthy eats, and we definitely love places that we can flock to with our furballs. Farmers Markets are back, and we’re definitely into it. Pet parent bonus: you may find an adoptable pup or kitty while you’re there. There is always room for one more!

 

2. Ice Cream season begins

For some of us, ice cream season never really ends; but for those of us who save cold treats for warmer weather, time to grab a cone (or a cup) for the first time in months. A tasty treat for your pooch as well? Well, that’s quite the bonus. Check out our ice creams and yogurts here.

 

1. April is National Pet Month!

An entire month to celebrate our fur babies? Why yes, that is a great reason to love April indeed.

Freshpet Spring Gift Ideas

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

Treat your pooches or kitties to their very own Easter baskets, filled with treats that are sure to please.

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.

  • What kitty could resist this adorable bow tie collar? Available in many festive colors.
  • Freshen-up your pet’s look with a new leash and collar combo made just for the season.
  • Grab a harness for your pup for those long walks ahead, with bright spring prints to keep him or her looking stylish.

 

 

From all of us at Freshpet, we hope you enjoy the onset of beautiful weather and the Easter holiday!

Petco Award

Freshpet Honored by Petco as Top Innovator in Pet Care

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!

New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Pets

Happy New Year! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new year. Resolutions are a great way to start the year off, whether they are a list of things to accomplish, or just fun ideas to make 2013 your best year yet. We often think of resolutions not only for ourselves, but for our families as well. Here are our top resolutions for your healthy pets.

 

Make exercise with your pet a daily part of your routine

Not only is exercise beneficial to keeping your pets happy, active, and at their optimal body condition, exercising your pets can also provide the same benefits to you! Take a walk each day with your pooch, or spend some time playing with your kitty around the house. It will increase your bond while integrating physical activity into both of your lives. Play also keeps your pets’ mind sharp; even just five minutes per day spent tossing a ball or dangling a mouse can mentally stimulate them!

 

Schedule a check-up       

Just like humans, furkids need to visit the vet once per year; for older pets, the visits should be more frequent (about twice per year).  So while you’re scheduling your yearly tune-ups, don’t forget to make an appointment to take your pets to the vet as well. Dr. Katy Nelson, a veterinarian and Freshpet blog contributor, explains the importance of taking your pet for a check-up:

“By going for wellness appointments, you can hopefully catch changes in your pet’s health early on and prevent conditions from worsening or even reverse them completely. Your veterinarian will do a full physical examination (including oral and ocular evaluations, listen to the heart and lungs and assess weight, joints, changes in skin or coat, and much more) and make recommendations for improved or continued health based on his or her findings. Slight changes in weight, inflammation in the oral cavity or small lumps or bumps can all indicate more serious disease conditions and early intervention could be lifesaving.”

 

Volunteer

Many people resolve to give back to the community in various ways, and volunteering with shelter animals can be a very rewarding way to do so. Visit your local shelter to find volunteer opportunities. Walking the dogs, playing with the cats, and donating money or much needed items like blankets and bowls are all great ways to help a shelter. Even consider fostering a rescue or an expectant mother. This can be a fun way for you to introduce your children to volunteering while enjoying another furball at home. Keep up with how we’ll be giving back this year on our donations blog.

 

Set up play dates

Hosting play dates for your pooch will help socialize her and get her used to new faces and other animals and people. Plus, they’re a lot of fun for owners and pets alike! Visit the dog park, take a walk together, or invite your friends and their pets over for a great day indoors or outside.

 

Re-examine eating habits

The New Year is a great time to look at your pets’ eating routine and make healthy adjustments as needed. Resolve to feed fewer table scraps? Consider swapping in a fresh treat instead. Or try our fresh treats in place of shelf-stable treats, often containing many ingredients that are less than ideal for our pups and kitties. Look for ways to integrate fresher foods into your diet and that of your family members. Our fresh foods and treats are made with wholesome ingredients, gently cooked to maintain more nutrients and keep your pups and kitties happy and healthy.

 

Take more car rides

Getting your pets accustomed to car rides can have lasting benefits beyond just feeling the wind on their furry faces. Car rides are a great way to introduce your pets to new scenery, especially in the cold. And next time you have to take them to the vet, the car ride may not be as frightening.

 

Bonus: Dogs and Cats share their resolutions for 2013

Babble.com put together these adorable slide shows to celebrate the new year. What would your dog or cat’s resolution be? Visit us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us.