All posts by Freshpet

Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Pet with These Monitors

In recent years, webcam technology has taken a step in a pet-friendly direction. Besides watching your furry friends while you’re away, you can interact with them by using one of several cutting-edge pet cameras. Keep an eye on your pets from work or while you’re out running errands to give both you and your pets peace of mind.


Petcube Play

Sleek and stylish, Petcube Play offers audio and visual monitoring capabilities for pet parents. When you download the Petcube app, you can keep an eye on the action at home and receive sound and motion alerts when something isn’t right at home.



With 3x zoom, night vision and a wide-angle lens, Petcube Play’s camera is one of the most versatile in this category. The laser toy is an interactive delight for households with both dogs and cats. Audio is two-way, which adds further versatility, and it comes in multiple colors.


Petzi Treat Cam

Tossing a treat to your pet feels good, even when you’re far away. The Petzi Treat Cam allows you to check in, dispense treats and say hello to your pets throughout the day by using the Petzi app.



The app features a full-screen display and allows you to take snapshots from within the app. You can give multiple people access to the camera with the Petzi pet app, meaning various household members can check on pets throughout the day.


Furbo Dog Camera

The Furbo Dog Camera is another great choice if you want to reward your pup’s good behavior from afar. You simply control the remote treat dispenser using the Furbo app. This particular monitor is ideal for dogs that experience anxiety, thanks to the bark sensor feature that sends a notification to your phone through the Furbo app when your dog barks. The camera also has a speaker you can use to talk to your dog via the app, making it easy to soothe your dog throughout the day.



Furbo’s camera interface is efficient and only runs when you’re viewing from the app, which saves energy. You can’t remotely control the position or zoom, but the wide-angle lens offers a generous point of view and has night vision capability.



How Shelters are Using Scents and Toys to Help Cat Adoption

Out of the 3.2 million cats that enter shelters in the United States every year, only about 1.6 million are adopted. And shelters are starting to do something about it. From giving toys to play with and feeding them quality all-natural cat food to using special scents to keep them calm, shelters are changing their approach to caring for their furry residents to reduce stress and to make the cats more adoptable. Animal shelters are incorporating several interesting methods of looking after their cats’ mental health with enrichment activities designed to increase the number of adoptable cats.


Olfactory Enrichment Defined

According to a research study at the Ashland Cat Shelter, the goal of “enrichment” is to let cats live their best lives by encouraging species-typical behavior while increasing the cats’ ability to cope with challenging situations. Olfactory enrichment, as they call it, approaches this goal using cats’ sense of smell, with the understanding that certain scents are soothing to cats.


Effective Stress Relieving Scents

Have you ever witnessed a cat’s reaction to catnip? Considered almost magical by many cat owners, roughly 60 percent of cats have a strong positive reaction to this mint relative. And it’s not the only scent that cats respond to. BMC Veterinary Research, headed by Sebastiaan Bol completed a study to gauge cats’ response to four different scents:

  • Catnip
  • Valerian
  • Tatarian Honeysuckle
  • Silver Vine

Results showed that nearly all domestic cats love one or more of these scents. Because these scents are safe and non-addictive, shelter workers and owners alike can feel good about providing them to their furry charges. And cats experiencing the stress relief offered by this “euphoria” may indeed prove to be more adoptable than fearful or stressed out kitties.


Other Soothing Techniques

Using scents to help calm and increase the number of adoptable cats isn’t the only adoption strategy out there. Many shelters are using olfactory enrichment along with other techniques such as:

Providing More Toys

Did you know that people spend more time watching cats that have toys in their cage at shelters? The ASPCA’s Adoption Center in New York City did some research and found out that whether or not the cat is playing with the toy, they get more face time with potential adopters. Plus, giving kitties an outlet for having fun helps relieve stress. In addition to standard toys, some low-cost options used in shelters include:

  • Balls of paper
  • Chains of pipe cleaners
  • Paper bags
  • Puzzle toys


Clicker Training

Animal shelter volunteering is about more than just providing a roof and necessities. More volunteers are working to improve the odds of animals being adopted with a variety of strategies. Clicker training is one of the simplest, and it teaches cats to be responsive to commands. This, in turn, makes them more appealing to people looking to adopt. This positive training technique marks desirable behaviors with a click and rewards it with a treat. Because the clicking sound is completely different from everything else in the cat’s environment, it becomes an effective form of communication between people and pets.


Thinking of Fostering a Service Dog? Here’s What It Takes

Fostering service dogs gives you the opportunity to take part in the training and care of dogs who will go on to help their humans in incomparable ways. Fostering a service or therapy dog comes with plenty of doggy kisses and snuggles, but it also requires some work. Foster volunteers do a lot of the heavy lifting during the first few months of a service dog’s life. Here are some things to consider before making the commitment!

What Do Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs Do?

Before you start fostering, it’s necessary to know if the pup in question is going to be a therapy dog or a service dog. Therapy dogs typically work with humans in hospitals, schools and nursing homes. They undergo extensive training, but they aren’t certified and don’t meet all the requirements to work as service dogs.
Service dogs undergo specialized training to help people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service dogs as those who work with people with the following conditions:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Mental illness
  • Seizure disorders
  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Wheelchair-bound

Dog Training

You will be instrumental in your foster pup’s training. In addition to feeding him the best dog foods, you are also in charge of teaching him basic commands and how to wait quietly and patiently in addition to discouraging barking outside of play. Some organizations might require you to attend puppy classes and submit regular reports on the dog’s progress and any issues you encounter.

Socializing Your Foster Dog

Once they’re working in their therapy or service positions, these dogs are expected to always be under control. A big part of your job as a foster parent is to expose your dog to as many different situations and environments as possible. Whether the pup is destined to be a therapy dog or a service dog, he must behave well in a variety of environments. Even though the requirements can vary depending on the organization you work with, most require the dogs to be comfortable with the following:

  • Car and bus rides
  • Walking in densely populated places
  • Walking in parks
  • Hiking trails/walking through forests
  • Exploring new places
  • Group meetings and social settings

Do’s and Don’ts of Fostering Service Dogs

  • Do: Regular grooming, including bathing, trimming nails and brushing teeth
  • Don’t: Feed the dog from the table
  • Do: Return the dog once you’re foster period is over (usually one month to one year)
  • Don’t: Leave the puppy alone for too long
  • Do: Feed your foster pup the best dog food possible. Great nutrition can help with cognitive and behavioral training, and of course overall health
  • Do: Regular training at home and in other environments

If you think you’re up to the challenge, find an organization near you and discuss the opportunity with them. Fill out an application, and get ready for a new adventure.

Why Dogs Eat Grass (And What You Can Do About It)

A lot of popular theories exist to explain the seemingly strange tendency of some dogs to chow down on grass, but not all theories have any basis in fact. If you’re wondering why your pup treats himself to a buffet of grassy roughage and how to prevent it from happening, you may be surprised to learn the explanation isn’t simple.


Debunking Grass-Eating Myths

At some point, you’ve probably heard someone claim dogs eat grass when they feel nauseous or have an upset tummy. According to this theory, dogs somehow know that grass induces vomiting and that vomiting relieves digestive discomfort. Many experts don’t completely support this point of view. According to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, there isn’t enough evidence to determine a single reason dogs eat grass.



The answer is probably both simple and complex. Dogs aren’t exactly known for their eating restraint, and their penchant for pasture picnics may be nothing more than a matter of curiosity. Your pup may simply want to have a taste of whatever wild animal smells happen to be on that particular patch of grass. It’s a puppy mystery that may occur for a variety of reasons on a case by case basis. From a problematic compulsive behavior to the gourmet passion of a veggie-loving pup, the reasons dogs develop a taste for grass are diverse.


What to Do About It

If you’re concerned that your dog’s grass eating behavior is part of a larger pattern of dietary and digestive issues, it’s a good idea to discuss the issue with your veterinarian. If the behavior is only occasional and seems completely benign, you can take some independent steps to break the cycle.


In some cases, your dog may crave the additional fiber found in veggies. Switching to a fresh, tasty food like Freshpet, which contains fresh vegetables in addition to the protein and vitamins your dog needs, shows your pup that there are better — and tastier — ways to add veggies to his diet.



Training also helps solve the problem of dogs eating grass. Teaching your pup to respond quickly and consistently to the “leave it” command makes it much easier to avoid the issue in the first place. Try using the command followed by a round of fetch or something else fun to show him other outdoor pursuits are far more interesting. With a little effort, grass stains on white fur and impromptu al fresco dining sessions will swiftly become a thing of the past.

Best Pet Matchmaking Apps

Did you know there are apps available to help you find the dog or cat that is just right for your needs and lifestyle? Take a look at some of the best pet matchmaking apps and their features.



The AllPaws app has an interface that resembles a typical dating app, but includes the photos and bios of more than 200,000 pets across the country who are waiting for their forever homes. Search using a variety of criteria, such as size, age and special needs, and save your favorites from the search results. When you find the perfect match, the adoption process starts with a swipe. (Available for iOS only.)


Best Feature: You can text shelters directly from the app to ask questions about pets that catch your eye.


Success Story: Laura Tiers found her ideal dog using AllPaws. “I think there’s a misconception out there that rescue dogs are damaged goods,” she said to CBS New York, “but he fits in fine with our family, and we really, really love him.”



“Find fluffy singles near you” is the tagline of this free dog-centric app. You start by indicating the type of dog you want to find. Then, just like Tinder, you swipe left or right to indicate your interest in dogs near you that are a possible match. The app lists about 300,000 adoptable dogs throughout the U.S. and Canada. (Available for iOS and Android.)


Best Feature: You can arrange a meet-and-greet directly from the app.


Success Story: Sookie, who was adopted by Amanda of Bakersfield, California, sleeps on “nothing under 1,200 thread count now,” according to the BarkBuddy website.




The free coMpanion app lets you narrow your search for an adoptable cat or dog by gender, size, age and other factors. It keeps a history of the matches found, so you can easily review previous pets of interest. The app also makes it easy to find shelter locations on a map. (Available for iOS only.)


Best Feature: You can view more than one full-screen photo of many of the pets.


How I Met My Dog

Currently in beta testing in six New England states, How I Met My Dog focuses on behavior and lifestyle rather than breed to find the perfect canine friends for users. After you complete a survey, three “PET” factors — personality, expectations and training style — are taken into consideration to find your “comPETibility match.” When you decide to adopt a dog, you can send the application directly through the app. (Anticipated cost of $49 for unlimited matching; free during beta testing.)


Best Feature: The adoptable pets include shelter dogs as well as dogs who need to be rehomed by their owners.


Success Story: Jamie and Chris adopted their very first match, Izzy. “She was exactly what we were looking for, small-medium and around a year old, with some other specifics,” they said. “The site made it super easy to match us with a dog that would match our personality.”

What Should I Look for in Adopting a Dog?

Many families view their decision to adopt a dog as one of the best decisions they ever made. Set yourself up for adoption success by thinking about the type of dog that’ll be the best fit for your family based on these essential compatibility points.

Energy Level

Energy level is often a make-or-break factor when it comes to some families. In general, dogs are very energetic as puppies and then “calm down” as they get older. However, “calm” means different things for different breeds and sometimes even differs from dog to dog within a specific breed.


This may come as a surprise, but size doesn’t correlate to energy level. Giant breed dogs like the Great Dane actually do well in small homes because they tend to lounge around in between walks. However, the logistics of sharing a studio apartment with a human-sized, four-legged couch potato is another matter. Corgis, on the other hand, are deceptively athletic, despite their small stature. These little dogs are bred to chase and run, and if they aren’t given an appropriate outlet for their considerable energy and intelligence, they can become destructive or even annoying.


If the dog you’re considering adopting is a mixed breed, it’s best to just assume he will need vigorous daily exercise. Senior dogs who just want a loving home to nap in are a notable exception to this safe assumption.


Shedding and Allergies

These are two big concerns for many prospective dog owners, and are also the subject of a lot of misunderstanding. Dogs with curly coats tend to shed less dramatically than dogs with wiry double coats, but just as you lose hair on a regular basis, all dogs with fur shed, particularly as seasons change and they lose their winter coats.


Curly-coated dogs are sometimes described as hypoallergenic, but allergies can come from dander too depending on the person. According to Mayo Clinic, allergic reactions to dogs are most often caused by saliva and urine rather than the fur itself. These allergenic fluids get on the coat and slough off in the form of shed fur and dead skin cells known as dander. Bathing your dog weekly and keeping him out of the allergic family member’s bedroom helps reduce the impact, but this won’t make a big difference for people with severe allergies. Be sure to double check that your sniffles around dogs aren’t allergies to their coat or dander before finding a dog that’s right for you.



Puppies require lots of supervision at first and careful guidance. If you don’t want to get out of bed in the middle of the night for potty breaks — just as you would to change and feed an infant — and are too busy to diligently train and exercise an impressionable, energetic young pup, you should consider adopting an older dog. A puppy won’t be a good match if you’re unable to meet the significant time commitment upfront. But also keep in mind that the puppy stage is just that – a stage. With consistent training and patience, you’ll get to a point where your pup will be an integrated part of your family and home.


Your Own Lifestyle

Adopting a dog will change your life in truly gratifying ways. But it’s also your responsibility to make sure the change is compatible with your desired lifestyle. If your house is often empty due to various work obligations and social engagements, a dog who requires a lot of attention unfortunately won’t be a good fit. A small toy breed may not be the best choice for families who love to go on long-distance hikes and want their four-legged companions to share in the fun.


Be honest with adoption staff and tell them what your life is like. It’s their job to help you find a pooch that fits seamlessly into your family so you can enjoy every moment!




Starting a Dog Park Movement in Your Community

Did you know that dogs who exercise, socialize and play on a regular basis are generally happier and better behaved than those who don’t? A dog park offers a safe place for all these experiences, but these parks don’t exist in all areas. The number of families seeking modern training and care to keep their furry friends happy and healthy continues to grow, and interest in dog parks is growing along with it. If you want to learn how to bring a dog park to your town or neighborhood, the process takes time, but the end result, including wagging tails and a stronger community, is worth it.

Step 1: Find Your Pack

Spread the word about your dog park idea by reaching out in person or social media to everyone you know and to various media outlets, such as local newspapers. Create a dedicated email address and social media pages for your dog park project. Then try to get some local community activists and leaders to support your cause, even if they don’t own dogs.


Once you’ve assembled a group of likeminded individuals, work together to come up with a list of desired features for the park, such as fences and shady areas, in addition to a mission statement and a proposed set of rules for park usage. Hold a meeting in a public location, and be prepared for some debate on a few of these issues.



Step 2: Establish Your Territory

Finding an appropriate potential location for a park is of course your next step in the process. If you know any dog-loving community members with large properties, ask if they would be willing to donate even a half acre to the community for a dog park. A designated dog run doesn’t need to be a huge one to be fun! Your city or county could have undeveloped land that could be purchased. Fundraising might be necessary to cover the cost of some land. This is another good reason to put together a large, diverse group of supporters. People with connections make a big difference when it comes to finding land for a park or doing what it takes to get it funded.

Step 3: Get Official

Getting public approval for the park is an important part, and it’s critical to stay on top of this process. Ideally, you’d want to recruit an experienced supporter to navigate the public approval process. If that doesn’t work, make an appointment with your local government’s parks department (or comparable alternative) to get advice and to get support for the idea.


Today, most local government officials recognize the value of a dog park, but if they don’t, have prepare a pitch that details the community benefits of a safe, fenced area where dogs can play and exercise. Don’t forget to include the impact to the community’s bottom line: Dog parks have been shown to raise property values and make communities more livable, which a total win for the town or neighborhood as a whole!


Step 4: Set a Budget and Earn Your Treats

Once you’ve got official support for the project, get down to the nitty gritty of what the park will cost. Work with your park committee members to establish a potential budget for the total park cost, including upkeep.


Next up, you’ll need to get some public funding. You can also request donations from local businesses and organize fundraiser events with community members. Just be sure to follow all the official IRS rules on fundraising, which can be different depending on where you live.



Step 5: Start Digging and Playing

Once you have the community on board, some land to make it happen, official approval and sufficient funding, you’re ready to build the park. The city will more than likely take over at this point, or you may have to make arrangements with local contractors. Some contractors may donate their services in exchange for official recognition on the park’s sign. It’s a good idea to remain focused on the project until after opening day to ensure any potential problems are handled efficiently and the park remains a valuable community resource for years to come.


Even though the park may belong to the community at this point, you’ll still feel a sense of personal pride at the new dog park that you worked hard to make a reality!


Start A Fresher, Healthier Life with our Fresh With Your Pet 30-Day Meal Plan

Have you recently caught yourself scrounging together a few handfuls of snacks and calling it a meal? Or staring down at a plate of the same old boring, nutritionally questionable food, and feeling like it might be time to make a change?


Change is hard – especially when it comes to changing your eating habits. But research proves that sticking to a new workout or diet is easier when you do it with a friend, and that’s what got us thinking…


What if you could embark on a journey to introduce some healthier, fresher food into your diet alongside your best friend: your pet!


Freshpet is proud to announce that we’re teaming up with our friends at HelloFresh to inspire you to step into a fresher lifestyle, following our #FreshWithYourPet 30-day meal plan.


It’s easy to start – just find Freshpet at a fridge near you here, and get $30 off your first HelloFresh box with the promo code FRESHPET30.


Eating fresher food helps us feel healthier and more energetic, and we know the same goes for our pets. That’s what inspires us to make better pet food with high-quality, fresh ingredients that contain no preservatives or mysterious “meat powders.”





And when it comes to us hungry humans, we know HelloFresh is on a mission to save home cooking with fresh ingredients and fun, easy-to-master recipes. Naturally, we thought it was the perfect solution to rekindling your love for cooking at home and kicking off a healthy habit.



We’d love for you and your pet to try a month of HelloFresh and Freshpet together and see how you feel at the end of 30 days!


More about #FreshWithYourPet


Within the first 10 days, you’ll switch your pet from their regular food to Freshpet’s real and all-natural meals that are ready to eat straight from the fridge. They’re easy to serve up, whether you’re pouring out our Fresh from the Kitchen chicken recipe or slicing up one of our rolls.


Increased energy, a shinier coat, clearer eyes, better digestion and more excitement at mealtime are just some of the benefits you’ll start to see in your pet, even within the first couple weeks.


While they’re enjoying Freshpet, you’ll be on your own healthier path, trying out four weeks of HelloFresh meal delivery service. Choose your own plan and you’ll be able to customize a weekly menu. Recipe cards and pre-measured fresh ingredients are delivered straight to your door. All you’ll have to do is the cooking!


See the full plan here!


Ready to try the #FreshWithYourPet plan at home? Locate a nearby Freshpet fridge here, and use the code FRESHPET30 at to get $30 off your first HelloFresh box.


Be sure to share with us the differences you see and how you’re enjoying 30 days with Freshpet and HelloFresh by using the hashtag #FreshWithYourPet.



See who’s already doing the Fresh With Your Pet Plan



The Dainty Squid


A Mom Inspired

Making Mrs. M

Pet Halloween Costumes You’ll Both Love

We know that Halloween inspires millions of people to slip into costume and create a whole new persona for the night! With one of these adorable costume ideas, your dog or cat can sport a temporary disguise and join in on the fun. Be sure to reward your furry family members with delicious treats for their patience and photo-ready cuteness.

Foodie Family Costumes

One surefire way to get some laughs this Halloween is to dress your pets up as food. A cat dressed up as a carton of milk or a long-body dog breed, like a dachshund, wearing a hot dog outfit is always hilarious. If you have more than one pet, you could dress them as different items that go together, such as salt and pepper shakers, hamburger and French fries, peanut butter and jelly, or even avocado and toast! You could get in on the fun too by dressing as the chef!

Looks From This Year’s Pop Culture Hits

From comic book movies to fantasy TV, there are lots of great costume ideas for pets. Stranger Things is set to make its return on October 27th this year, meaning everyone’s going to be in the mood for Eleven and Christmas light message costumes.


Photo Credit: @dougthepug / @oliverthegoldendoodle


Game of Thrones is a great go-to for pet costumes, whether it’s a trio of little dragons or a little mini Jon Snow. It wouldn’t be too tough to DIY a King in the North costume for your dog or cat—after all, GOT’s own costume designers used cheap Ikea rugs to create the faux fur trim on Jon’s winter coat!


Photo Credit: Philip Lauer


Superheroes remain a great inspiration for pet costumes, and if you want to really capture the spirit of 2017, look no further than Wonder Woman, one of the most successful comic book movies of all time. Dogs and cats both look adorable dressed up as the Amazonian princess, whether you go for an old-school, star-spangled comic book look or a darker, more modern style inspired by the movie.

For a doggy couple’s costume, consider Beauty and the Beast—a simple yellow dress and one of those adorable lion mane wigs plus a blue tailcoat can complete your fairytale pet costume look.


Ideas for Pets Who Prefer to Go Au Naturel

Some pets simply refuse to wear a wig or trot around in a fancy dress. If your four-legged children aren’t open to negotiation, forget about a full-body costume and headgear in favor of a Halloween collar or glow-in-the-dark bandana that only goes around the neck.


If your dog or cat is comfortable with a harness, you can take things even further. Simply strap lightweight items to the harness, being careful to ensure the attachment doesn’t bother your beloved companion. For example, if you attach a superhero cape, make sure it only loosely covers the top part of your pet’s back and is short enough to not to drag or interfere with their tail.


You can interpret a number of different costume ideas using the harness as your foundation. Dragon wings, Wonder Woman’s hidden sword or a tiny saddle with a robot cowboy rider a la Westworld are all great options for pets who aren’t ready for a full costume.

Training Your Furry Family Members to Pose Like Models

Believe it or not, it’s possible to get the best photos of your pets by training them for just minutes a day. With the right commands, plenty of patience and fresh pet food as a positive reinforcement reward, your pet can learn to pose like a pro.


Master the process with these pet photography tips:


Master the “Sit” Command

Before your pup can pose for the camera, he must learn to sit and stay seated. Start with brief training sessions, and gradually increase the time you spend working on it every day. To teach this command, get down on your dog’s level, hold a treat near his nose and move your hand up. As you do this, your dog’s head will follow, and his butt will lower. Once your dog’s butt is on the floor, give him the treat and praise him. Repeat the process multiple times daily, pairing it with the command to “sit.”


Train Your Dog to “Pay Attention”

Training your dog to pay attention with the “pay attention” game is fun and effective. To play, you need a timer, your dog’s leash, a clicker and some bite-size training or cut up some fresh dog treats into smaller sizes.

  1. Put your dog on a leash, and sit in a chair.
  2. Set the timer for one minute, and count the number of times your dog looks at you, clicking and treating each time it happens.
  3. Repeat the process, giving your dog more than one treat for every look.
  4. Repeat it a third time, giving your pup one treat and click for every look.

If your training is working, the number during the third minute should be higher than that in the first minute. If the number is the same or lower, you may need to move to a quieter environment. As your dog improves, play the game in increasingly busy spots.


Practice Makes Perfect

Like everything else in life, the more you and your pooch practice, the better his posing skills will be. Let your pup get used to the feeling of the camera trained on him or her, and make sure you reward him with plenty of healthy treats along the way.


Pet Photography Tips

Now that you’ve trained your pup to pose, you need to start upping your game as photographer extraordinaire. Follow these tips to get the best shots:

  • Time Your Photo Session: If you want your dog to remain calm and relaxed, time your session for after a long walk. Alternatively, if you’re looking for action-packed shots, hold your photo shoot early in the day.
  • Take More Photos Than You Need: The more shots you take, the more likely you are to end up with multiple amazing photos.
  • Lose the Flash: Avoid the strange alien eyes that a flash can give your pup, and opt for warm, natural light instead. Skipping the flash is also less stressful on your pet.


During training and photo shoots, use tasty, nutritious food to reward your sweetheart for his model behavior. The best food choices are fresh, nutritious and delicious. Your pup is sure to sit, pay attention and strike his best pose for the right food.