Freshpet dog and cat food frequently asked questions.
Freshpet believes in the difference fresh dog and cat food can make to the health of your pet. The choice between Freshpet recipes really depends on the individual needs and preferences of you and your pet. To find a recipe that fits your family, use our Fresh Food Selector.
All Freshpet foods are:
- Made with all natural, fresh ingredients
- Minimally processed to retain essential vitamins and nutrients naturally found in our fresh ingredients
- Free of artificial or chemical preservatives
- Free of corn, wheat, and rendered meals
Learn more about our wide selection of fresh foods here.
All Freshpet refrigerated foods are made in our very own Freshpet Kitchens in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Freshpet treats, raw foods, and non-refrigerated foods are made in the USA and Canada by carefully selected partners that are required to strictly adhere to our high quality food and safety standards.
Freshpet makes both cooked and raw foods for pets. Freshpet refrigerated cooked foods undergo pasteurization similar to milk and other freshly prepared foods. Freshpet raw foods are blended together with probiotics, “friendly” bacteria used to reduce or eliminate bad bacteria.
97% of Freshpet ingredients come from the USA and Canada. 70% of Freshpet ingredients come from local farms. No Freshpet ingredients come from China.
No, Freshpet foods are not organic. Few, if any, pet foods are 100% organic due to difficulty in sourcing organic ingredients, as well as their costliness. Our focus is on finding the highest quality, freshest, all natural ingredients.
Yes, Freshpet foods only use all natural ingredients. Freshpet foods never contain any artificial or chemical preservatives (BHA, propylene glycol) commonly found in traditional dry, canned and semi-moist pet food.
All Freshpet poultry, beef and fish ingredients are sourced from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe handling. Freshpet lamb is sourced from New Zealand and is natural, free-range, and BSE free. The poultry used in our Nature’s Fresh recipes are antibiotic and hormone free.
Freshpet uses fresh meats because they are fresher, held to higher quality standards, and are never pre-processed. Our fresh meats only include muscle meats, are never frozen or heated prior to being included in our recipes, and must be used within 7 days. Meat meals can include varying types and qualities of meat and waste products, are highly processed, and can have a shelf life of up to one year. Learn more about the differences between fresh meats and rendered meals here.
Tapioca is a gluten-free starch naturally derived from the root of the cassava plant that is used in some Freshpet recipes to help combine the fresh ingredients together. It is often used in human foods such as soups, sauces, cheese and gluten-free bakery items.
Carrageenan is an extract from red seaweed found in the North Atlantic coastal regions. Freshpet uses small amounts of undegraded carrageenan as a thickener or gelling agent to help improve the form and texture of our food. Carrageenan has been found safe for use in both human and pet foods by the FDA, USDA, and is deemed natural by the National Organic Standards Board.
Inulin, also called chicory root, is a prebiotic, which helps with nutrient absorption. It is a high quality, soluble and functional fiber source, which aid in the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, especially in foods that contain high amounts of fresh meat and fish.
Natural flavors are a proprietary blend of natural ingredients used to enhance the flavor of our fresh foods.
Freshpet uses minimal amounts of salt and potassium chloride (lite salt) in our recipes to help combine our fresh meats. Our salt levels are within the ranges recommended by veterinary nutritionists.
While all of our foods are made of fresh, high quality ingredients, Nature’s Fresh recipes only use chicken that follows the standards developed by the Global Animal Partnership – The 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Ratings Standards. These standards are used to rate how pigs, chicken and cattle are raised for meat.
All Whole Foods Markets in the United States use these standards to certify their producers’ animal welfare practices. For more information on the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Ratings Standards, please visit: http://www.globalanimalpartnership.org/the-5-step-program/
When switching from another brand of pet food to Freshpet, we recommend doing so gradually over a period of 7-10 days. Please refer to our guide on Switching to Freshpet for more information.
Yes, they can be frozen, however no Freshpet foods are frozen before you purchase them in your local store. If you choose to freeze the food, you may see a slight change in color and texture when thawed out.
Just like the fresh human food you buy, there is a sell by date on each package of Freshpet food. Once opened, we recommend you use our foods within:
- Rolls and Patties: 7 days
- Bagged Meals: 7 days
- Single Serve Cups: 2 days
- Dog Treats: 14 days
- Non-refrigerated Food: 2-3 weeks
What is the difference between the “freshly made on” dates and the “sell by” dates on Freshpet non-refrigerated foods?
The “freshly made on” date on the front of the bag lets you know exactly when the food was prepared and packaged. The “sell by” date on the back of the bag tells you the latest date the food should be purchased in store.
Treat Freshpet refrigerated foods as if you would freshly prepared foods at home. We recommend that you do not leave refrigerated food in the bowl for longer than 2-3 hours.
Freshpet foods are 100% complete and balanced and exceed AAFCO’s minimum standards for canine and feline nutrition. While Freshpet treats are made of high quality meats and vegetables, they may not contain all the essential vitamins and minerals dogs need. To ensure your pet is getting all the nutrition he requires, feed a complete and balanced food.
Freshpet refrigerated foods are meat-based foods, so you can expect them to have the same moisture content as fresh, human-grade meats. 70-75% moisture is the natural state of fresh meat. Chicken breast meat contains 74.6% moisture, and fresh turkey meat contains 75.8%. (Reference: USDA database)
Why does traditional dry food seem to have more protein than Freshpet refrigerated foods when I look at the Guaranteed Analysis on the label?
The Guaranteed Analysis is used to place a value on four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. However, it doesn’t consider the water content of the product and can be misleading. Even the Food and Drug Administration admits to this problem on its website stating, “To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned (or fresh) and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis.”
To determine the amount of protein on a dry matter basis:
- Subtract the moisture percentage from 100% to determine the dry matter percentage
- Divide the protein percentage by the percent of dry matter percentage
- Multiply by 100
For a simple example, a food with 10% protein and 75% moisture is within the range of Freshpet foods:
- 100% – 75% moisture = 25% dry matter
- 10% Protein /25% dry Matter = .4
- .4 x 100 = 40% dry matter protein content
This same formula can be used to determine the dry matter fat and fiber contents.
For pets that have pancreatic problems or compromised renal function (i.e. kidney), high protein diets made from meat and fish should be avoided. If your pet suffers from these conditions, consult your veterinarian to determine if Freshpet is appropriate.
It’s always best to ask your veterinarian if Freshpet is appropriate for your pet’s specific condition before introducing it into his or her diet.
Freshpet treats, chews and bones are all natural, contain no artificial preservatives, and are less processed than traditional offerings. To ensure the freshness of our simple and healthy ingredients, all Freshpet treats, chews and bones must be refrigerated and used within 14 days of opening.
Yes, Freshpet chews and bones are a safer alternative to natural bones as they will not crack or splinter.
Freshpet bones are not suitable for dogs less than 12 lbs. or puppies.
If your dog takes more than one hour to finish a chew or two hours to finish a bone, please return the remainder to the fridge so they can enjoy it another time. If small pieces are left over, please take away from your dog and discard.