Tag Archives: fresh pet food

Love at First Sight- Gus Kenworthy starts Fresh with the Sochi Pups

Our mission at Freshpet is to spread the power of fresh food to pets everywhere. We are wholly dedicated to improving the lives of pets and their parents, because they deserve it. Our Fresh Start program is part of that mission. We’re encouraging pet parents to incorporate more fresh, all natural food into their pets’ diets to see what the power of fresh can do.


Freshpet is making it easy for all pet parents to give their dogs and cats a Fresh Start. Simply visit freshpet.com to receive a coupon, downloadable scorecard to track your pet’s health improvements over time, and helpful tips from Dr. Katy Nelson, veterinary nutrition expert. And because Freshpet believes every pet deserves fresh, for each Fresh Start participant they will donate a fresh meal to the Humane Society International.


As part of the program,  we’ve partnered with Olympian Gus Kenworthy who was so touched after witnessing the multitude of stray dogs in Sochi, that he brought a mom and her pups home with him after his silver medal win. Now Gus is feeding the Sochi pups Freshpet food and treats and is using Whistle Activity Monitors to keep track of them as they grow up healthy and strong. For the next few weeks, Gus will be sharing updates of his and the pups’ journey.


Gus shares the story of how he came to be the proud Papa of three loveable pups , and why fresh food is so important:


Getting to compete at Sochi was one of the highlights of my life so far. I was so lucky to be amongst some of the best athletes in world. What I didn’t expect was to meet the puppies while I was there. I saw the pups with Mama right outside of the Olympic Village and right away knew I had to bring them back with me. I had read and heard so much about the Sochi strays, but once I actually met them it was a totally different story. It was puppy love at first sight I guess you could say. 


That day, I spoke to my buddy, photographer Robin Macdonald, who was in Sochi with me, and we both made a promise to take those pups home with us to Colorado where we’d give them the best possible lives. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


It took a few weeks of back and forth with countless officials and government offices, but I finally had the pleasure of welcoming Mishka, Jake and Mama to Colorado. I can’t thank Robin enough for staying behind to make sure the pups made it over here safe and sound and the Humane Society International for helping the whole process along. It was more difficult than we thought it would be, but it was worth in the end when we finally got to see each other again in New York.


Mama and the pups are loving Colorado. Mama is spending most of her time in Telluride with my Mom and Mishka and Jake are growing faster than ever. I was fortunate that it did not take long at all to potty train the pups when we arrived in Colorado.


We’d already spoken to a few pet food companies, but what I really liked about Freshpet was their commitment to using all-natural and healthy ingredients for the pups. They got in touch with me asking if they could send over some food for the dogs. I can’t wait to see what kind of effect this has on the dogs. Like I said, the pups are already great at eating, so I’m excited to see what kind of appetite they have for their Freshpet food.


Learn how you can give your pets a Fresh Start by visiting our page here.

How To Guide: Feeding & Storing Freshpet

One of the great things about Freshpet recipes is that they’re all-natural meals that are easy prepare and serve, taking the hassle out of cooking for your dog or cat.


Just reach into the fridge, grab your Freshpet roll, resealable meal or stew and dish it out to your pet within minutes. But while it’s easy to do this, we know pet parents out there have adopted many different styles and techniques for serving these delicious meals!


With Freshpet being such a different kind of food for your four-legged family members, we get loads of questions on the best ways to feed and store our recipes. Over the years, we’ve found a few methods we love, all of which we’ll share with you below! For those Freshpet pro’s out there, this may not be any new news. But for new Freshpet parents, hopefully this helps make feeding Freshpet to your pet even easier.



Serving Freshpet’s Slice and Serve Rolls:


Pets everywhere love their Freshpet Slice and Serve rolls! Made with real, 100% farm raised meats and fresh veggies, it’s a crowd favorite. There’s a really easy way to cut the rolls that we like to think we’ve perfected over the years.


Start by poking a hole in the top of the Slice and Serve roll, which in this case is our Freshpet Select Tender Chicken roll. This helps to make it easier to begin slicing. Using the hashmarks on the Freshpet roll packaging, slice off the appropriate amount for your pup based on the recipe’s Feeding Guidelines. Once you’ve got the correct number of slices for your pup’s meal, cut into small chunks, drop into the bowl and voila – ready to serve. Also consider that our rolls are fully “customizable,” meaning you can slice, dice or mash it to your pet’s desired size (great for making tiny bite-sizes for smaller breeds). You can also mix it with other foods too if you’d like!






Storing Freshpet’s Slice and Serve Rolls:


There are a few different ways to store our Slice and Serve rolls that we typically recommend to pet parents. Each is easy to do and safe to store, so it’s really more a matter of preference. Our preferred method for serving pup’s their favorite Freshpet roll is to pre-cut all of the slices and store in a Ziploc bag.



Another great way to store our Slice and Serve rolls is to cap or seal the open end of the roll after a meal. In this case, we used some plastic wrap to keep the air out and to preserve freshness. After serving a meal to your pup, simply cut off a piece of plastic wrap, stretch over the open end and tie with a rubber band. There’s no need to then place it in a Ziploc bag (although you definitely can!) as it should be safe in the fridge as long as you’ve sealed it tightly.



Serving and Storing Freshpet’s Meals for Dogs & Cats:





Whether it’s your kitty’s favorite Freshpet Select Roasted Meals, your pup’s Vital Complete Meals, or one of our Nature’s Fresh Whole Meals, serving this to your fur-kid at mealtime is a synch!   Using a dry measuring cup, pour the appropriate amount of our meals for your pet. This may take a few different cups full of morsels, but pour according  to the Feeding Guidelines that you can find on our packaging. After you’ve said “bon appetit” to your pet simply re-seal the bag, place back in the fridge and you’re all set until the next mealtime!


Some things to keep in mind…

  • Be sure to use our food within 7 days of opening.
  • Always return it back to the refrigerator after mealtime.
  • Never let Freshpet food sit out in your pet’s bowl after mealtime is over.
  • Any uneaten food should be thrown out and not returned to the bag as it can potentially spoil the rest of the fresh food.
  • Feel free to freeze any food you feel your pet cannot finish within 7 days. Just keep in mind color and texture can vary after freezing, but it’ll be safe and healthy to feed!


Do you have a way of serving or storing your pet’s favorite Freshpet recipe that we didn’t list above? Tell us in the comments below.

Dr. Katy: Prepping Your Pet for 2014!

With the holiday season having come and gone, we have so much to look forward to with a brand new year ahead!


You’re not alone if you may have indulged a little too much in tasty food and drinks over the holidays as you were enjoying the time with family and friends. While it can be easy for us to head to the gym or make slight changes in our diet to get back to our target weight, it can be more difficult for our pets to shed any unwanted pounds they may have added. According to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, on average dogs gain 0.3 pounds and cats gain 0.4 during the holidays. That is equivalent to 5-7 pounds for a human; a lot of extra weight for a pup or kitty to lug around!


As I’ve often said before, keeping a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our pets is critical for long-term health and happiness. Unfortunately, because our pets cannot choose their diet on their own, it’s important for us to make sure they’re putting their “best paws forward” when it comes to nutrition and activity.


As we head into 2014, here are my tips on how you can help your pet battle the bulge that he/she may have picked up in the new year, and how to monitor their weight throughout the year:


A quick check to determine if your pet is a bit overweight is by feeling around the rib cage.

A quick check for excess weight can be done by feeling for your pet’s rib cage, which should be easy to spot if your pet is at a healthy weight. (Photo: elfin_peaz. Flickr)


    1. Check your pet’s weight regularly. You can check your pet’s weight at home by gently running your fingers along their rib cage. At a healthy weight, their ribs should be felt easily and have a thin, silky layer of skin moving over them. If you feel your pet is overweight, make an appointment with your vet to discuss an appropriate action plan. You can read more about how to conduct the “feel test” here.


  • Portion control. Pet obesity is largely due to the overconsumption of commercial food and treats. Feeding guidelines are usually based on a “healthy adult pet” and one size does not fit all. There are many factors used to determine how many calories your pet needs, like life stage, reproductive status, physical activity, and disease conditions, so be sure to speak with your vet to determine what daily caloric intake is right for your pet. This is what we call “target weight,” or the ideal weight for your pup or cat. And while we love to feed our pets treats, these added calories can push your pet over their target weight – so treat with caution!


  • Read labels. Cats and dogs are natural carnivores and thrive on fresh, meat-based diets. Many traditional shelf-stable pet foods are carbohydrate-based and contain fillers like corn, wheat and soy, which are harder for your pet to digest. Instead, look for all natural food that has meat as the first ingredient, like Vital Beef & Bison or Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken & Turkey slice & serve rolls. A protein-dense food will also help your pet stay fuller longer and provide longer-lasting energy.


  • Avoid table scraps. Human food is not appropriate for household pets in most instances. A complete and balanced food made especially for pets is recommended, just like all of the recipes you’ll find with Freshpet.



Taking your pet for a walk is an excellent way for both of you to get exercise, helping to burn calories and release endorphins. (Photo: Kenneth Allen – WikiCommons)


I hope that 2014 brings many amazing experiences and memories with you and your pet, but most importantly, I wish you a healthy (and happy) year ahead!


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, pets 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.”



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 pet 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 pets safe, healthy and happy this holiday season.



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 tendencies 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.




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!

Tips for a Healthy & Shiny Coat

Feeding Freshpet promotes healthy & shiny coatYou can tell a lot about your pet’s health from the condition of their coat. A shiny, soft and thick coat generally means they are eating a well-balanced diet and in good health, but a dull, limp or brittle coat could be a sign they are not getting the proper nutrition they need or may be sick.

Here are some tips on how to keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy:

Regularly groom your cat or dog with a brush specifically made for their hair type. If you’re not sure which brush to buy, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Not only does grooming create a special bond between you and your four-legged buddy, removing the dirt and debris from their hair promotes growth and brings out the natural oils in hair that make it shiny. Proper grooming will also help prevent shedding.

In addition to brushing, a healthy pet food rich in the following areas will help keep their coat in tip top condition:

  • Proteins: Poultry, meat, fish, and eggs
  • Iron: Red meat, turkey, liver, dark leafy greens
  • Vitamin A: Fish, eggs, and carrots
  • Vitamin B: Whole grains, meat, fish, and eggs
  • Vitamin D: Fish and fish liver oils
  • Vitamin E: Dark leafy greens

You don’t have to look far to find an all natural pet food recipe that will keep your dog or cat’s coat in great shape. Like all Freshpet foods, our Freshpet Select Roasted Meals for Dogs and Freshpet Select Roasted Meals for Cats are meat-based and made of high-quality proteins, like chicken and chicken liver, and vitamin-rich vegetables, like carrots and spinach, for a 100% complete and balanced diet.

So remember, to keep your pet’s coat radiant and huggable, get brushing and feed them fresh!

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 fillers 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.