Tag Archives: dogs

How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Dog

You love your furry family member, and you refuse to settle for anything less than a fabulous friendship. So what do you do when you just can’t seem to create the ideal relationship you always envisioned? Consider these steps to getting closer to your dog.


Set Boundaries and Provide Leadership

According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, an animal behaviorist and Professor Emeritus at Tufts University School for Veterinary Medicine, leadership plays an important role in the human-dog bond. Obedience is a good indicator of a strong bond, and dog parents often feel slighted when their pups don’t listen. It’s your responsibility to provide clear leadership and a strong routine that discourages disobedience.


Establishing clear leadership doesn’t mean forcing your dog into submission. If your goal is to improve your relationship, use leadership as a way of showing love. Contrary to some false assumptions, dogs “don’t care about being at the top of the hierarchy,” Dodman says. Instead, they want to “clearly know” where they fit in. If you show your pup that you’re the top dog, they’ll feel more secure, and that will improve your relationship.


However, as Dodman notes, “It’s important to provide clear leadership in a non-confrontational way.” You’re not going to strengthen your bond by making your dog afraid of you. Instead, you want to set boundaries and enforce them in an emotionally neutral way. That may require some patience on your part at first. Simple acts like requiring your dog to sit before receiving meals sets a clear hierarchical structure. If your dog doesn’t want to listen, don’t yell or lose your patience. Wait until they sit, and then praise him or her exuberantly while handing over their food. Loving rewards for good behavior make your dog even happier to be in your company.


Treat-based positive reward training is a challenge for dogs who aren’t food motivated, but sometimes the quality of the reward is the issue. All-natural and fresh dog food options from Freshpet can be a very effective motivator, especially if your pup has previously only eaten a bland diet. Being high in protein with fresh fruits and veggies, Freshpet might be just the thing for your pup. When it comes to food, understanding dogs isn’t hard. If they like it, they want more of it. Once you show your dog that good behavior is rewarded with something delicious and praise, your relationship will improve.


(Source: All We Are Blog)


Spend Quality Time Together

Spending quality time with your dog is an important step in improving your bond. As with your human friends and family, sharing fun experiences with your dog enhances your relationship. The idea that your presence is enough to make your dog happy is a common misconception, but just as some people aren’t happy without a lot of interaction, some dogs need you to put more work into making life together interesting.


There are many ways to treat your dog as an active companion in your life. Take him on hiking and camping adventures or simply have fun by playing fetch, tug of war or hide-and-seek every day. Sharing hobbies is also a good idea. Activities that enhance agility and herding skills are increasingly popular ways to reinforce leadership and strengthen bonds through teamwork. These types of activities are equally fun for you and can also make communicating with your dog easier.


Invest in Cutting-Edge Training

Modern dog parenting that forges strong bonds is all about treating dogs like individuals with hearts and souls. A strong bond leads to a dog that listens and obeys, keeps an eye on family members and wants to be part of the pack. If your pup seems indifferent, the latest dog training approaches could help turn your relationship around. Check with local vets and pet stores to find the best training sources in your area.


Every dog is different, and it may take some trial and error to find the best ways to really create the ideal leadership bond with your pup. The process of discovery will help you get to know your dog better and understand her unique likes and dislikes. Strong relationships are always a two-way street, and when you put in the effort, you can expect to be rewarded with an outpouring of canine love in return.

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.

Get Your Dog Beach-Ready

After a long, harsh winter, summer is finally here! Just like kids who are excited about getting out of school and looking forward to the warm weather ahead, our four-legged friends want to spend some more quality time with us and what could be better than a day at a pet-friendly beach!


As with children, we’ll want to pack up everything that our dog will need to have a blast at the beach, ocean, lake, river or whatever waterfront playground we’ll be enjoying on our sunny day.



Safety First

Dependent upon what you’ll be doing on your journey, if your dog will be going out onto the water for an extended period of time, boating, sailing, or paddleboarding, they’ll need a life jacket. Some people think that all dogs are natural born swimmers and that’s simply not true. While some breeds are better in the water than others, even the best of swimmers might not be able to make it safely to shore in case of an accident. Better safe than sorry, get them a life vest to save their life in case of a catastrophe.





Stranger Danger

Be sure to bring along the proper restraints. Keep their collar on and have a good, strong leash with you at all times, just in case. You could run into an aggressive dog and you’ll want to keep your pooch protected. Be on the lookout for other hazards like broken glass, sharp rocks, coral, fish hooks, garbage and other dangerous items hiding in the sand and water. And speaking of water, don’t allow them to drink too much salt or even “fresh” water as too much of it can be unhealthy.



Action and Distraction

While most dogs have a blast at the beach with their favorite toys, a ball or frisbee for a rousing game of fetch, they can’t play the entire time they are there. Bring along some distractions for much needed downtime like chew toys and treats to calm them down. Look for signs that they may be overtired or too hot, excessive panting, drooling, difficulty breathing or confusion. Don’t run them ragged, they’ll need a break now and then.



Water, Shade & Sand

It almost goes without saying that your dog will need plenty of fresh water, but sometimes we forget about shade and the hot sand. If you’re familiar with the area you’ll be visiting and know there is shade available, you’re probably okay. But if not, you should bring a large umbrella that can provide enough protection for both you and your dog should the heat become too much. Most dogs will not get a sunburn, but you will need to be aware of heat exhaustion with overheating.



When bringing blankets and towels, don’t forget to pack an extra one for your pup to protect them from the hot sand. Even the most active swimmers and water-loving dogs need to rest and they’ll need some shade and someplace to lie down on something that isn’t the scorching sand.



Rinse and Repeat

We’ll want to wash off all that sand, salt water or even fresh water from our skin and hair and our dog is no different. Don’t forget to rinse off your dog and give them a nice bath when you get home to help prevent bacteria and fungus from growing into an unhealthy skin condition for your beloved pet.


Repeat? Take them on another summer adventure in the great outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with you best friend.




We Love Central Park… and Marnie The Dog

We had such a fun time at the 12th Annual My Dog Loves Central Park Fair hosted by Central Park Paws.  Not even a little rain could keep back a crowd of dog lovers and their pets for an event at their favorite spot for walks!


It was great to see hundreds of dogs decked out in their best Halloween costumes. The Freshpet Truck was parked at the Naumburg Bandshell for all the dogs to stroll over for a bite to eat and try out our new Vital Raw patties. We’re happy to say that they ate (and licked) our truck clean of rolls and treats.


We were also happy to invite one of our favorite Instagram pups and pal, Marnie the Dog, out to enjoy the afternoon with us and meet some of her fans. SO many of you come out to have a moment with Marnie and get your pictures taken. Along the way all of you who visited helped to raise $170 for Social Tees Animal Rescue on behalf of Marnie the Dog. Proceeds will go to vet procedures for senior dogs.


Some of our favorite snaps from the event are collected below, but we want to see your photos too! Share them with us on Twitter or Instagram.


Calvin, Hobbes and Abby

A week ago we asked our Facebook community to share words of comfort to three Freshpet dogs going through end stages of cancer. In response, we were overflowing with messages of strength, heartfelt quotes and stories of those going through the same thing.



Andrea’s photo of the card sent for Calvin & Hobbes 

Dog mom Lisa reached out to tell us about Abby. Her beautiful girl stopped eating after being diagnosed, but Freshpet rolls got her excited about dinner time again. Her favorite treat was Wag-gurt. Then Andrea sent us a note sharing with us that both her pups Calvin and Hobbes were battling cancer but found that Freshpet meals and treats helped to brighten their appetite.



Lisa’s photos of Abby


We were so moved by not only Lisa and Andrea’s letters, but all of your condolences, that we decided to surprise Abby, Calvin and Hobbs with a Thank You. A special card with some of your Facebook messages and care packages filled with their favorite Freshpet meals. Sadly, since we sent our packages, Abby and Calvin lost their battle to cancer. We’re happy to hear that Hobbes is still fighting through. Both parents were touched by your heartwarming words. Lisa shared, “Abby received her surprise from Freshpet. Thank you so much for all the goodies and the kind card. It meant a lot to us… She was truly a special dog, a once in a lifetime dog.” Andrea was also surprised and thankful for the gesture saying, “You know your dogs are extra special when their ‘chefs’ send them something special.”



We’re so happy all of you chimed in to complete this gift to their dogs. It’s always wonderful to see our community care about one another especially during difficult times of loss.


6 Reasons to Feed Your Family Fresh

The philosophy is so simple: fresh, real food is better for our families and ourselves. The power of fresh food has so many positive effects it’s hard to count them all. This week, our friend Dr. Katy gives us her 5 reasons why fresh is best for the whole family. Take it away, Dr. Katy!

Fresh food tastes better!

My dogs Papi and Eddie have always been great eaters, but I had never seen them be so excited for food as when they began to eat Freshpet Select Chicken and Vegetable rolls. The meals are made with ingredients that come from balanced, local sources, making for especially well-nourished and especially tasty ingredients. I know that I enjoy a meal of fresh ingredients much more than something from the shelf, and Papi and Eddie would agree!

It keeps us looking and feeling great

Foods like vegetables and fruits are rich with vitamins and antioxidants that make are wonderful for my family’s us feel like a million bucks every day. And, as we all know, the better we look, the better we feel. Fresh proteins and more fatty acids help promote smooth skin, help with muscle tone and it just makes us feel fantastic.

It energizes us!

One of the biggest differences that I notice when eating fresh food is how I feel after finishing a fresh meal. The food is highly digestible and nutrient dense, so my body easily turns the food into energy for me. And the same definitely goes for my kids and dogs. They’ve got levels of energy that they haven’t had since they were puppies. As far as Fresh Starts go, feeding them fresh food has been a huge difference.


We feel healthy all the time

There’s no such thing as a cure-all for sickness. But I believe that since making the commitment to feeding my whole family fresh food, we’ve all had less sickness and allergies to deal with. The ingredients in fresh food are jam-packed with nutrients that are healthy and strengthen our bodies to fight off illnesses and allergens. Feeding fresh food and keeping my family healthy is a choice I will make 100% of the time.

I feel good about what I’m feeding my family

There’s a great feeling that I get when I know that I’m nourishing my household with the best food available for them. It means that I’m taking good care of them by giving them meals that are tasty and will keep them healthy for a long time. I’m happy as long as my family is happy and healthy!

Eating and feeding fresh has made all the difference in my family and countless others. And the best part is that it’s never too late for you to start! Visit the Fresh Start site to begin giving your pets fresh, natural food that they’ll absolutely love.

Summertime for the Sochi Pups

The summer season is in full swing, even in Denver, Colorado where Gus and the Sochi Pups reside. That means lots of outdoor playtime for the happy family. Here’s a glimpse of what the Sochi Pups’ summer break is like from Gus himself:


When I met the pups in February, it was in the thick of the winter in Sochi. It’s a little surreal seeing them here in Colorado in the warm weather, but here they are. And I couldn’t be more excited to be with them during their first summer.


These guys have a busier social schedule than I do. We’re constantly on walks, playing in the park right by my house or taking long hikes through the woods and water. And Jake and Mishka enjoy every single second of it. You can see the smiles on their faces when they’re running around in the trees, grass and water. They’re real outside dogs. I guess they’re starting to take after me!


One of our favorite things to do is go out to the park with my buddy Robin. While they’re there, they get right into running and playing around with the other dogs. They both being around other dogs, but Mishka is definitely the more social one. He could probably stay at the dog park all day if we let him.


At the end of the day, when the two are tired from all their outdoors time, they plop down on the same bed and fall right asleep. I don’t think I’ve seen brothers get along this well.


The only thing that will wake them up from their slumber is when I head to the fridge. When they hear that fridge door open, they run over to the kitchen immediately, hoping to get some Dog Joy Turkey Bacon Treats or Dog Joy Sweet Potato Treats that they’re both obsessed with. I’m glad that they’re eating well. The food gives them the energy they need to play outside to their hearts’ content.

They’ve come a long way since the first time we met in Sochi, and I’m just excited to be with them for every step.


Give your pets the Fresh Start they want and deserve by visiting our site here. With each sign-up, we’ll make a $1 donation to the Humane Society International’s street dogs program to help more pups like Jake and Mishka.

Welcome to the Freshpet Family, Carlton!

It’s always exciting to bring in a new member of the family, and that’s exactly what we did this past week. Our own Katie welcomed Carlton Banks Ellis, a 92lb German/Dutch Shepherd mix, into her home.


And like any typical new parent, she hasn’t been able to stop gushing about her new “baby”! She loves to show us new photos of Carlton, giving us updates about his adventures of learning how to walk on a leash, and telling stories about his first thunderstorm at home.


It’s wonderful to see Katie and her boyfriend Willem giving Carlton the affection and home he really deserves. Prior to being adopted, Carlton was rescued from a kill shelter in New York City in May by the organization Ready for Rescue. While under the care of Ready for Rescue, it was discovered that Carlton had cancer in his right paw, right underneath his pads, making it difficult for him to walk. Thankfully, the cancer was operated on and he has fully recovered into a healthy pup.


Katie and Willem met Carlton about a month ago at a boarding kennel in Bedford, New York and fell in love with his goofiness and sweet attitude immediately. In just a week’s time, they brought him home with them to Jersey City. During his first weekend at his new home, Carlton was introduced to our Vital Beef and Bison recipe which he loved, immediately eating around the kibble to get to. Katie says he’s also really fond of the Dognation Beef Treats, which they’ve been using to help train him.


Since moving into his new home, Carlton’s been (literally) a huge joy to have around. He even visited our offices last week. He loved roaming around and meeting everyone. He’s quite the socialite, making sure he spent time mingling with someone from every department. We look forward to mingling with him around the office again soon!


For Katie, it’s been a wonderful experience being able to give such a great dog like Carlton the love and care he needs. We’re happy to bring him into the extended Freshpet Family!


If you know of a pet or family member who deserves a Tail of Good, we want to hear from you! Email us at online@freshpet.com, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.





Get Well, Beau!

We met Wade and his pup Beau after they wrote to us saying how much Beau loved his new Freshpet Select recipes after discovering it at their local grocery. After trying Freshpet for the first time, the picky eater in Beau was gone and they haven’t looked back since.


Unfortunately, Wade wrote to us again recently saying that Beau had fallen ill. Beau is in the best of care, with his vet and his dad Wade right by his side. But he’s battling a tough infection, and things aren’t looking good at the moment. Wade has shown tremendous resilience, but he cares so much for his Beau and doesn’t want to lose him. He’s keeping up hope, and has asked that we keep him and Beau in our thoughts and prayers as he fights the infection.


So, that’s where you come in!


We want to show Wade and Beau that the Freshpet community is pulling for him! Share your well wishes for them in the comments, and we’ll make sure they hear each and every single one of them. Together, we’ll all let Beau know that we’re standing right behind him in his time of need.


If you know of a pet or family member who deserves a Tail of Good, we want to hear from you! Email us at online@freshpet.com, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.






Freshpet’s Newest “Intern”

All of us that work at Freshpet are pet lovers of the highest order; it’s almost a requirement in order to be employed here! So when one of us gets the chance to take care of a pup or kitty, even for a little while, we immediately volunteer. And that’s exactly what our Social Media Manager Zack did this past week.


Jackson is a little terrier mix adopted from the North Shore Animal League in Long Island, New York. When he was first adopted, Jackson was a bit skittish and territorial. But he’s become quite the little social pup since his adoption a year ago. But nowadays he spends his time living in Brooklyn with his mom. This past week, she was headed off to Hawaii on vacation and asked Zack to take Jackson for 10 days. As a dutiful godfather to Jackson, he immediately said yes.


For the next couple of days Jackson stayed in an East Village apartment, where he waited patiently for Zack to come home every evening. But a small apartment is no place for a puppy to spend all his time, so Zack decided to bring Jackson to the Freshpet offices with him as an unofficial “intern” of the digital marketing team. The whole office welcomed him with open arms, with everyone coming over to meet the newest member of the extended Freshpet family.


Jackson spent his two days at the office running around, exploring, and (of course) eating a lot of delicious Freshpet recipes! Though he is generally a finicky eater, he couldn’t get enough of our Freshpet Select Chicken, Vegetable and Rice recipes and loved chewing on our Dog Joy Turkey Bacon treats throughout the day. Needless to say, he was sent home to his mom with a goodie bag from his new friends at Freshpet. We can’t wait until the next time he visits!


If you know of a pet or family member who deserves a Tail of Good, we want to hear from you! Email us at online@freshpet.com, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.