Tag Archives: Freshpet

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Freshpet Puts on the Chef’s Hat for a Fridge Challenge Meal

After six weeks of the Freshpet Fridge Challenge, we’ve been thrilled to see how pet parents are viewing fresh foods in a different light when it comes to feeding us and our fur-kids.

 

So, after chronicling the Fridge Challenges taken by Dr. Katy Nelson and other pet bloggers, it was our turn to cook for ourselves using only shelf-stable foods! However, as we soon found out, life without the fridge is not only difficult, but can be a bit frightening.

 

Yesterday, members of the Freshpet team headed to the grocery store to see what shelf-stable ingredients we could find for a fridge-free dinner. We had a plan, which was to build a well-balanced meal that included the following:

 

  • A good source of protein
  • A green vegetable
  • Some sort of carbohydrates
  • Keep our meal to a reasonable price

 

With this simple strategy in mind and shopping basket in hand, we headed to the pasta aisle to tackle our carbohydrate portion of the Fridge Challenge meal. We grabbed a big box of bow tie pasta along with a large jar of pasta sauce, which pained us because we love to make homemade pasta sauce with local ingredients. Next, we wandered over to the canned meats section of the grocery store. Next to the canned tuna, tucked away on the top shelf, lay canned chicken, which we decided to try because it was high in protein and seemed like a much better option than SPAM! Lastly, we grabbed a small container of parmesan cheese and a can of green beans. After all, how much different could canned green beans taste than fresh green beans?

 

What we picked up at the store for our Fridge Challenge Meal!

What we picked up at the store for our Fridge Challenge Meal!

Checkout was a breeze and light on the wallet, which was one upside of our shelf-stable meal. When we got home, cooking was a synch – another upside of shelf-stable foods. All we needed to do was boil water, cook the pasta and combine the ingredients. However, this came with a price. When we cracked the lids on the cans, we were surprised to find that the canned chicken looked and smelled more like tuna, while the green beans had been floating in some sort of liquid. This was a bit unnerving, but we pushed on for the taste test anyway!

 

After we combined the pasta, pasta sauce, cheese and canned chicken, the meal certainly was not the most delicious we’ve ever tried. That’s what happens when you lack the flavors in fresh pasta sauce, seasoned chicken or market green beans. Right away, we missed that flavorful pop in every bite – such is the life of shelf-stable eating.
When we got around to cleaning up, there was yet another unanticipated result of our shelf-stable evening: no leftovers! On the back of almost all canned food, you’ll find the words “Refrigerate After Opening.” Unfortunately, that meant that the leftover pasta in the pot, remaining pasta sauce and extra cheese had nowhere to go but the trash as we couldn’t crack open the fridge – what a waste!

 

No more than 45 minutes later, we were hungry again. Slouched over on the couch and in what felt like a food coma, we longed for something else from the fridge, but knew it was off limits. As we quickly learned, the simple carbohydrates in the pasta and pasta sauce weren’t providing much energy from which our bodies could feed. Moreover, the higher sodium content found in canned pasta sauce and canned green beans made us question whether our Fridge Challenge meal could hold a candle to fresh food at all. At least the canned chicken was high in protein, but when mixed with everything else, it became apparent that without fresh options, healthy eating truly is a challenge!

 

Chicken Green Beans Dinner

 

The noticeable drop in our energy levels and lingering hunger really made us think about what a shelf-stable diet would do to our health. Doing this everyday, at least twice a day, certainly would have an impact on our bodies. As Fridge Challenge blogger “Keep the Tail Wagging” asked, “Remember the movie Super Size Me?…It’s astounding what difference removing fresh food from our diets makes.” 

 

But that’s what our pups and kitties were doing for decades until 2006, when we introduced healthier, fresher meals from the fridge. If anything, this meal and the Fridge Challenge in general only further reinforces the positive impact that fresh food has on our bodies, and in the lives of our pets. As we continue to serve our babies food from the fridge, whether by itself or in combination with dry kibble, it’s comforting to know that they are getting more of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and energized…which is just the way we like them!
Freshpet's Katie Helps Hand Out Freshpet in Central Park!

Freshpet Joins Pups in Central Park for Dog Fair

We had so much fun at last Saturday’s My Dog Loves Central Park Fair in New York City’s Central Park.
It was such a beautiful day outside and we loved getting to spend so much time with hundreds of pet parents. There were so many different breeds of pups there that we just couldn’t get enough!

 

 

Freshpet's Katie Helps Hand Out Freshpet in Central Park!

Freshpet’s Katie Helps Hand Out Freshpet in Central Park!

 

We brought the Freshpet Truck with us, which is always a big hit with human kids and fur-kids alike. With pet statues on top and huge pet stickers, it’s becoming a My Dog Loves Central Park Fair icon. Between 11am and 3pm, pet parents and their pups walked up and tried free samples of our delicious food and treat recipes. Each pooch that stopped by got to take home one of our one pound Freshpet Select Slice and Serve rolls to try at home – talk about lucky dogs! We also brought boxes and boxes of our Dog Joy Chicken Treats, Dog Joy Beef Treats and Dog Joy Turkey Bacon– the pups were gobbling them right up.

 

Freshpet friend and veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson joined us for her first My Dog Loves Central Park Fair experience too. She helped the Freshpet team greet the park patrons and hand out samples to all of the pups. It was so great to have her on hand, and we think that pet parents would agree. Dr. Katy not only answered many pup-related questions, but she also helped people sign up for our Freshpet Fridge Challenge to have a chance to win free Freshpet for a whole year!

 

Dr. Katy enjoying her first Central Park Paws Fair!

Dr. Katy enjoying her first Central Park Paws Fair!

We love going to local events like these because they remind us of the strong bond between people and their dogs. Every sample we handed out and pet parent we talked to reminded us of why we love what we do. When we see the way pups and their parents interact together, its clear why keeping their dogs healthy with nutritious, fresh food like Freshpet matters so much.

 

There were so many exotic breeds there too – including a Puli! He was so sweet and posed for many pictures because the kids absolutely loved him. But our favorite part of the day was when a stroller full of chihuahuas came by around 1pm. Their mom brought them over with these adorable collars and they were just the cutest. We gave them the Dog Joy Turkey Bacon treats and they couldn’t get enough – every Freshpet team member was spoiling them rotten!
A family of Chihuahuas paid us a special visit!

A family of Chihuahuas paid us a special visit!

We can’t wait for next year’s My Dog Loves Central Park Fair! To see where you can find the Freshpet truck next, be sure to click here.
Your next visit is the perfect chance to ask about your pet's weight.

Dr. Katy Weighs In On Your Fur-Kid’s Weight

We want to keep our fur-kids in the family for as long as possible.

 

Maintaining their health is critical in helping them live long, happy lives. Yet, today over 60% of pets in the United States are clinically obese. Extra weight can lead to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer for our dogs and cats. This is a scary reality that many pet parents face, but it’s an issue that we can work together to solve.

 

Your next visit is the perfect chance to ask about your pet's weight.

Your next visit is the perfect chance to ask about your pet’s weight.

 

We checked in with Dr. Katy Nelson, Freshpet friend and veterinarian, to help put together some advice on managing your loved one’s weight and how Freshpet recipes can help! Here’s what she had to say:

 

Why Maintaining a Healthy Weight is Important for Our Little Ones

 

Sometimes, we think of pudgy pups and kitties as cute, fluffy, or even big boned. But the reality of the situation is that that extra weight can really do damage to their general health. When our fur-kids are overweight, they’re lugging around extra pounds that create a sedentary lifestyle, or put extra strain on their heart and joints. To avoid dangerous conditions like diabetes, it is important to keep their weight in check.

 

How To Determine if Your Fur-Kid is Overweight

 

If you suspect your pet is overweight, I highly recommend scheduling an initial appointment with a veterinarian to analyze your pet’s body weight. However, there are a few simple tests that you can use at home to see if a check-up is necessary.

 

One quick test is to put your hands around your dog or cat’s rib cage. When pressing down gently, you should be able to feel his or her ribs. If you have to put a significant amount of effort and really dig in to feel the rib cage, he or she may be carrying excess weight. Another commonly used test is to look at your pet’s chest –  if his chest is not deeper than his belly, he may be overweight.

 

Feeling for your pet's ribs is a great weigh to determine if there's excess weight.

Feeling for your pet’s ribs is a great weigh to determine if there’s excess weight.

 

How Freshpet Can Help Your Loved One Avoid Obesity

 

One of the first things to consider when helping your pet avoid weight gain is his or her diet. Foods high in carbohydrates, like many dry kibbles or treats, can be difficult for pets to digest and cause excess weight gain. Freshpet recipes are great for weight loss or prevention because they are low in carbs, high in meat content and do not contain simple carbohydrates like corn or white rice. Many of Vital Slice and Serve Rolls or Complete Meals are grain-free, and Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Rolls are made with complex carbs like brown rice, which is high in fiber and helps our loved ones feel fuller, longer.

 

Obesity in our pets is not always due to food content, but rather food quantity. As pet parents, it is our responsibility to effectively exercise portion control when feeding our pups and kitties. Freshpet Slice and Serve rolls have portion measurements that are easy to use, thus helping follow Feeding Guidelines and manage portion sizes.

 

How You Can Help Your Pet Lose Weight

 

The first step to help your fur-kid lose weight is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Typically, the vet will do a general examination and possibly blood work to rule out any underlying health issue leading to excess weight.. Each pup or kitty is different, and your veterinarian can help identify the specific causes, or resulting conditions, that may be resulting in his or her obesity.

 

When meeting with your veterinarian, be sure to discuss suggested changes to your pup or kitty’s diet, as well as calorie counting. The goal should be to establish your little one’s ideal weight, then work backwards from there to chose a target daily caloric intake. It is important to note that simply because the Feeding Guidelines may suggest a certain portion size, doesn’t necessarily mean that is the appropriate amount to feed your loved one. I recommend feeding your pet in accordance with their target weight, as established with your veterinarian, not their current weight. From there, pledge to track the amount of food and calories you give your pets each day. Calories are fairly easy to keep an eye on, as pet foods are required to list calories on the package. On the Freshpet website and all Freshpet packaging, under Guaranteed Analysis, you’ll find the calorie count for their recipes.

 

With proper feeding and regular exercise, you can help keep your fur-kid healthy and happy for years to come!

For more information, listen to Dr. Katy’s Radio Interview on Pet Obesity Here

FFC - Two Little Cavs

Two Little Cavaliers Tries Week Without Fridge

Featured: Two Little Cavs’ Busy Schedule Means More of the Pantry

 

#freshpetfridgechallenge

 

To bring awareness to the fact that we rely so heavily on our refrigerators, the Freshpet #FridgeChallenge makes us take a step back and think about just how often we open the fridge door to pull something fresh, healthy, and nutritious out.

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FFC - Two Little Cavs Featured Photo

Keep the Tail Wagging Forgoes the Fridge

Featured: No Fridge Feels Like “Super Size Me”

I am blogging on behalf of Freshpet and I received compensation for my time for sharing my experience and views on the Freshpet Fridge Challenge; all my views are my own. 

 

Love this food - but not too often!

Love this food – but not too often!

 

Yummmm! Not the healthiest meal, but I’ll take a couple bites.  Just not 2x a day, every day.

 

Over on Keep the Tail Wagging, I’ve been writing about the Freshpet Fridge Challenge that I’m participating in.  Thankfully, today is the last day and I can go back to eating fresh food.  The one thing that I took from this challenge is that with kibble, our dogs are eating a fast food diet.

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FFC - Cat Tipper

Follow CatTipper’s Fridge Challenge

Featured: CatTipper Reflects on Seven Days Without the “Magical Fridge”

 

 

Today marks the end of our seven-day #FridgeChallenge, the challenge put forth by Freshpet to bloggers to live without the refrigerator for seven days. (Pets were exempt from the challenge but we weren’t allowed to use the refrigerator for our own items.)

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FFC - Dog Splendor

DogSplendor Takes the Fridge Challenge

Featured: After the Challenge, DogSplendor Believes in Fresh for All!

 

 

This past week I’ve been sharing insights from my participation in the Freshpet Fridge Challenge. The challenge was established to bring attention to the importance of fresh foods in your dog’s diet. And while my dogs didn’t go without fresh food for the length of this challenge, I did, and let me just say, it really drove home the importance of fresh for all!

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Dr. Katy Answers Questions Featured Image

Dr. Katy Answers More of Your Questions about your pups and kitties

 

With so many great questions about pups and kitties from Monday’s Mini-Challenge, Dr. Katy has answered three more below.

If your question was chosen by Dr. Katy, please send us a private message on Facebook to receive your Freshpet goodie!

 

Freshpet parent Tiffany asks… Dr. Nelson, I have a neutered male cat and understand that urinary tract infections are common. I feed him only Freshpet.  Do you have any recommendations as to how I can prevent a future infection?

 

Actually, urinary tract infections are not as common in male cats as they are in female cats. If your cat has appeared to have a UTI in the past, what you are more than likely seeing are occasional flare-ups of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

 

At times of flare-ups, treatment should be instituted by a veterinarian to control symptoms and prevent them from progressing. A variety of therapeutics have been found to be effective, so work with your veterinarian to determine the therapy that is right for your kitty.

 

But as you pointed out, an important part of treatment of FLUTD is prevention of further episodes.  Diet plays a huge role in this.  Cats typically do not drink a sufficient amount of water to keep their urine diluted.  Therefore, a fresh, moist food is considered ideal as these foods are higher in water content than any kibble alternatives and tend to lead to more diluted urine.

 

Freshpet parent Aejin asks… What can I do to improve the condition of dog’s teeth?

 

Just like in people, there is no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth for prevention of periodontal disease. Studies have shown that a minimum of three times a week is needed to prevent tartar build-up, but daily brushing is required to reverse gingivitis. There are numerous products out there to make the process easier for you and your pet:  finger brushes, regular soft-bristled brushes, flavored toothpastes (do NOT use human toothpaste with fluoride), etc. Chew toys vary in effectiveness, and with severe dental disease are not advised, as teeth can be weakened and could potentially break.  Bones and other hard toys are discouraged in these situations, as well.

 

Regular, anesthetized prophylactic cleanings done in your veterinarian’s office are the very best way to get a thorough cleaning of the teeth, and are the only way to clean below the gum line, where the most dangerous bacteria tend to gather. Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about this process, and to have a dental exam done on your pet.

 

Freshpet parent Rob asks… My cat can only eat food without wheat in it. I feed him Freshpet, but he’s having trouble with hairballs. Is there a supplement I can give him to help with this issue? Something natural, perhaps?

 

Without having additional information, I can advise only up to a point. Hairballs are often blamed for a variety of actual diseases, and the reason so many hairball remedies are considered “ineffective” is because frequently they’re being used to treat something that is a symptom, rather than addressing the real problem.

 

In my opinion, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to start by giving your kitty a lion cut. Should the hairballs continue or begin to worsen, perhaps resulting in an upset stomach, it is likely time to talk with your veterinarian about instituting a work up to find what is troubling your kitty.

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that in-person veterinary recommendations are always the most appropriate way to deal with questions about your pet. Dr. Katy’s answers are well-informed, however, it can often be difficult to determine the best course of action without her seeing your pet in-person. As such, we recommend that prior to taking action, please visit your personal veterinarian to determine what’s right for you and your pet.

FFC - Lille Punkin

Lille Punkin’ Takes on the Fridge Challenge

Featured: With Fridge Broken, Lille Punkin’s Challenge Was All Too Real

 

 

The following is part of a series of content in partnership with Freshpet! Opinions are my own. Awhile back, we told you about our dead fridge and how we were going to be taking a week with no cold food.  Well, that week turned into a week and a half. I was not happy.

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