Tag Archives: fresh dog food

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.

Dr. Katy’s Tips for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

Happy Holidays from Freshpet! As you’re preparing your home for upcoming celebrations, don’t forget these tips from veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson to keep your furry ‘kids’ safe, healthy and happy this holiday season.

Decorations

Decorating the house is one of the most delightful traditions this time of year, but Christmas trees can present hazards to pets that are drawn to the lights, tinsel, and ornaments. Ensure your tree is secured in a sturdy stand to prevent pets from knocking it over, or consider anchoring it to the wall to prevent tipping. Hang any breakable ornaments high enough to be out of your pets’ reach. Sometimes it is best to keep the tree in a room that your pup or kitty cannot enter on their own, or at least have a baby gate to keep the furry ones away.  My theory is if it doesn’t look safe for a toddler, it’s probably not safe for your pets! Keep electrical cords and wires out of your pets reach as chewing on these can lead to harmful electric shock. Avoid long strands of ribbon hanging off of your wrapped presents, and if you have cats at home, avoid the tinsel. Cats are very attracted to this string, but swallowing it can cause serious harm to their digestive tract.

 

Holiday Shrubbery

Many popular holiday plants are actually poisonous to pets if ingested. Mistletoe, poinsettias and holly can cause our pets to have upset stomachs, while lilies can potentially damage your cat’s kidneys. Opt to avoid these plants if you have animals in the house, and instead choose a pet-safe bouquet, such as  faux flowers and holiday foliage, or a fragrant and beautiful arrangement of oranges with cloves.

 

Gift Giving

Many families give their pets gifts around the holidays, which is a tradition I am a big fan of! There is nothing cuter than helping your dogs or cats open up their presents with the whole family around. When choosing toys, be sure they are large enough for your pet to play with without swallowing. Know your pets chewing tendancies when choosing toys- if you’ve got an aggressive chewer, avoid toys that may break into smaller pieces that can become choking hazards. If your pet is not one that destroys their playthings, then a stuffed squeaker toy may become a favorite.  And tasty treats are always a hit this time of year. Just remember, if you pick up Freshpet treats, be sure to keep them in the fridge until it is time to open gifts. Or, consider making a healthy homemade treat like Freshpet’s Ready to Bake Cookies!

 

Table Scraps

Though it can be tempting to feed your pets leftovers from a great holiday meal, try to avoid it. Many of the foods we eat during the holidays are definitely not intended for our cats and dogs, especially sweets and fatty or spicy foods (these can cause anything from mild GI upset all the way to a life-threatening case of pancreatitis). Instead, have a few Dog Joy treats handy to involve your pup in the celebration. Dog Joy Turkey Bacon treats are a tasty and safe alternative to human leftovers, and in proper portions, won’t cause your pet to have to ‘loosen up their waistband’ like we may have to.

 

Holiday Parties

Just like children, pets can become overly excited when there is a lot of commotion in the home. So, when you’re having a holiday party, be sure there is a quiet place that your pet can retreat to, like an interior bathroom with the vent fan on (for white noise), or a bedroom that’s insulated from the celebration. Stock the spot with fresh water, a few toys, and comfy bedding to snuggle up in.  And just in case the worst happens and your pet manages to slip out the front door, make sure you have your pet’s microchip or collar information up to date so that you can be easily reached when your pet is found.

 

I hope that you and your pets have a wonderful, and safe, holiday season!

beaanddave1

Eat Fresh, Not That!

Dave ZincZenko knows a lot about nutritious foods. His Eat This, Not That book series gives us simple tools to eat healthier by making smart decisions at mealtime. Now, his pup Bea is spreading his mission to the world of pet food. When we found out that Bea is a fan of Freshpet, and wanted a way to spread the word to her fellow pooches and kitties, we jumped at the chance to help her! So we sent Bea a collection of healthy, delicious Freshpet foods and treats, and she and Dave sent us a little story to pass on to our Freshpet fans. But Bea needs your help spreading the word about fresh food! In return, we’re giving away another Freshpet gift basket to four of our lucky fans. Here is how you can help:

1. Re-tweet our post about Bea’s story

2. Re-pin one of Bea’s photos on Pinterest

3. Share our post on Facebook

 

We hope you enjoy meeting the beautiful Bea:

 

MEET BEA; THE NEW FACE OF FRESHPET.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS A MODEL, SHE KNOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING FRESH TO MAINTAIN HER FUR COAT AND ENVIABLE CURVES…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…AND HER STAGE DADDY ALSO KNOWS THAT FRESHPET GIVES HIS GIRL THE EDGE IN THE DOG EAT DOG WORLD OF MODELING…

 

TO QUOTE BEA; “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, AND I AM A FRESH PET.” AND IN THE

WORDS OF HER DADDY; “EAT THIS, NOT THAT BEA!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND AFTER THE BEST SUPPER IN THE WORLD, BEA GETS HER BEAUTY SLEEP AND DREAMS ABOUT HER NEXT FRESH MEAL…

 

Ask Dr. Katy

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 online@freshpet.com. Your question could be featured in our next “Ask Dr. Katy” blog.

Holiday Travel with Freshpet Food

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.

How Do You Keep Your Professional Puppy Busy?

Deuce the Freshpet Office Dog in the Freshpet Office

Deuce watched the Freshpet Food truck pull up outside the conference room.

Deuce loves to go to the Freshpet office with me, but he’s still a high-energy puppy. He loves Freshpet’s new Fresh Bones, Sweet Potato Treats and Fresh Chews but neither of us can just snack all day. (By the way, the two-legged Freshpet employees always have a selection of healthy snacks in the kitchen, too! I’m partial to grapes and watermelon, myself!)

Having Deuce in the office is healthy for me, too. Not only does his presence make me happy, but he requires a break every so often. Remember when only smokers got a chance to go outside in the middle of the day? Dog-friendly companies’ workers get to take a little walk, clear their heads and let puppers do their business, too!

He’s a power chewer who loves to shred rope bones, shoes and everything else he can sink his teeth into, so I keep a supply of toys at the office.

What do you do to keep your busy pup content while you’re at work? 

Have You Spotted the Freshpet Food Truck?

Deuce and the Freshpet Food Truck Picture - Picture of the Freshpet Food Truck

Deuce drove the Freshpet food truck. Not too fast or the dogs on top will start whining!

Anyone who’s ever watched a food show on TV can tell you that food trucks are a very hot trend right now. The Freshpet Food Truck has tongues (and tails) wagging all over New York City. It’s the first food truck for dogs! It travels all over and introduces Freshpet fresh dog food to New York’s best friends.

We go to adoption events and help out local shelters with food donations, too. We know those adoptable dogs have been through a lot, so giving them some fresh, healthy dog food is the least we can do!

The truck has a counter that invites big dogs to “paw up to the bar,” a doggie door for smaller dogs and schoolbus-style signs that pop out and invite dogs to “paws” for a minute.

The pack of dogs on top looks so real that people on the sidewalk stop and stare. Drivers honk and wave while tourists take pictures.

The Freshpet Food Truck has its own Twitter account (@FreshpetTruck) so New Yorkers can find it on its appointed rounds. Sometimes Deuce even makes an appearance! Follow us and come out and introduce yourself while your dog tries fresh dog food. We’d love to meet you.

Do you want the Freshpet Food Truck to come to your event? Drop us an email at online@Freshpet.com.

Getting to Know You. Getting to Know All About You.

border collie with fresh pet food(Now you’ve got that song stuck in your head. Sorry about that! )

We know that Freshpet’s fans are our kind of people. You care about your animals like we do…like they’re part of the family! Please tell us why you feed your dogs and cats fresh food on our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.

Feedback, suggestions and photos from people who feed their pets Freshpet foods make our day. We especially love photos and videos of Freshpet pets. We answer every post, often with our dogs sleeping on our feet.

I wish Deucey was asleep, but he’s biting my elbows! Puppies.

How to Change Your Dog’s Food to a Fresh Diet

How to Change Your Dog's Food to a Fresh Diet If you’re thinking about feeding your dog fresh dog food, here are some tips for making a healthy change. Changing your dog food doesn’t have to be a stressful process, but it should be a gradual one.

Consider Your Dog

Freshpet fresh dog food comes in many formulas and flavors including grain-free, meat, poultry and fish varieties, so there’s a Freshpet fresh dog food flavor that’s sure to work for your best friend. Dogs that are still growing should get Freshpet Puppy food. If your pet has allergies, choose a formula that avoids his sensitive ingredients. If you’re currently feeding a specific protein (such as lamb, beef or bison), stick to it for the time being. There’s time to try new proteins after your dog adjusts to the change from dry or canned to fresh.

Pay attention to the feeding guidelines on the side of the package. Our Slice and Serve rolls have markings much like a stick of butter, so you can feed the right amount of food based on your pet’s weight.

Take Your Time 

The switch to fresh pet food should be done slowly and gradually. Start by introducing one part new food to three parts old food then, over the course of a week or so, gradually increase the new food until he’s eating only fresh, natural dog food.

Observe His Preferences 

Try putting the fresh dog food in the same bowl with the dry and see what your dog prefers. We’ve seen many dogs work around the dry or canned food and actively seek out the fresh! It’s easy to tell what they like.

Control the Variables 

Never switch his food, treats, shampoo and schedule at the same time. You’ll never know what’s working and what’s not. Stick to the status quo and change one thing at a time.

Pay Attention to the Results

Are you seeing less “mess” in the yard? It’s probably because your dog is digesting and absorbing fresh food better. Are his eyes clearer? His coat shinier? Because there are no corn or wheat ingredients and no byproducts in fresh dog food (just fresh veggies and meat) they often look and feel better. If your dog experiences diarrhea or stomach upset, likely the transition is happening too fast. Try slowing it down and stretch the transition out over a couple of weeks.

Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask your vet about your dog’s specific food needs. The vet can help make the transition easier. Also, our customer care team can provide lots of great tips for changing your dog’s diet to fresh dog food and can help you choose the fresh pet food that will work best for your dog.

Fresh Is Best

Fresh Is Best | Fresh Dog Food & Fresh Cat Food 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!