The Easter Bunny isn’t just for kids anymore – many pet parents are getting creative, with gifts for pups and kitties alike. We love any excuse to shower our fur-kids with love and affection, and Easter is no exception! So we’ve rounded up our favorite gift ideas for Spring.
Easter Basket Finds
For dogs, start with our fresh Dog Joy treats, like Dog Joy Turkey Bacon, Dog Joy Sweet Potatoes, or Dog Joy Ready to Bake Cookies. The bright packaging ties in well with the colors of the season, and the delicious taste and wholesome ingredients are sure to be a hit with your fur-kids! Just remember to hide them only about 10-15 minutes before the basket search begins- and keep the treats in the fridge prior. Add in a holiday-themed doggy toy for extra fun, like these bunny and peep-shaped toys.
For kitties, fill the basket with a selection of our Freshpet Select Roasted Meals for cats or Vital Complete Meals for cats, plus our Freshpet Select cat food in cups. And don’t forget brightly colored toys like these felt catnip balls and Easter Bunny catnip toys.
Avoid the Easter grass in these baskets, however; this plastic decorative is non-digestible for pets and can cause blocking in the stomach or intestines.
Easter Egg Hunt
Who says egg hunts are only for kids? Set one up for your pooches outdoors, or bring the fun indoors for your kitties. Simply scatter and hide treats, then enjoy helping your fur-kids find them all. Be sure to adjust their calorie intake accordingly for that day (though a little extra love for one day never hurts). Our Dog Joy Chicken or Beef Treats are the perfect size for a hunt. For cats, conceal Freshpet Select Roasted Meals around the house!
Keep your pups and kitties safe by keeping a close eye on them. Avoid placing treats into plastic eggs as these can be choking hazards.
You can also hide a few egg-shaped toys for your furballs to locate, like these crocheted squeaky toys, perfect for pups!
If you’ve dyed eggs at home, treat your pets to an extra punch of protein by sharing a few pieces of a peeled hard-boiled egg with them. Many dogs and cats love the taste of fresh cooked eggs, and these snacks are a safe treat for all.
Other Springtime Gift Ideas
We’ve rounded up a few adorable gift ideas to celebrate the warm weather, the re-introduction of bright colors into our lives, and of course, our love of our pets.
- What kitty could resist this adorable bow tie collar? Available in many festive colors.
- Freshen-up your pet’s look with a new leash and collar combo made just for the season.
- Grab a harness for your pup for those long walks ahead, with bright spring prints to keep him or her looking stylish.
From all of us at Freshpet, we hope you enjoy the onset of beautiful weather and the Easter holiday!
During our last Freshpet team meeting, we received a visit from Petco with a very special surprise: they had awarded us with the 2012 Business Development Partner of the Year award! Petco gives out this honor each year to recognize fellow leaders in pet care for going above and beyond the usual needs of consumers. When we created Freshpet just a handful of years ago, we recognized that people had started choosing fresh, natural foods for their families, and decided to make something just as wholesome and fresh for pet parents to feed their fur-kids. As our company grows, we’re proud to be recognized by Petco, a pet store that shares in our goal to better the lives of pets and pet parents.
Throughout the years, Petco has been an outstanding supporter of our fresh food. Early on, Petco recognized the importance and significant benefits of feeding dogs and cats fresh/refrigerated food. In fact, Petco was the first retailer to begin selling Freshpet nation-wide, making fresh food more readily available to more dogs and kitties across the country. Our partnership continues to grow as we both work towards a common mission and continue to push the pet care industry forward. We are very excited for what the future will bring to Freshpet and to our friends at Petco… but mostly to all pups and kitties across the country!
February is Responsible Pet Parent Month, and in honor of this, we’re looking for the best of the best in pet parents!
Do you know a pet parent who goes above and beyond for their fur balls, and for fur-kind?
If so, nominate them to win the Freshpet World’s Greatest Pet Parent sweepstakes! Submit a friend, co-worker, family member, or community pet advocate below. Freshpet will choose four finalists, and Facebook fans will crown the winner of a $200 gift card to their favorite fresh food retailer.
Don’t forget to check out the rules!
This contest is now closed.
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.
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.
This week is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, a time to express our gratitude to those who care for homeless pets and help them to find forever homes. If you’re looking for ways to say thank you this week, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few suggestions that can really make a difference at your local shelter.
Volunteer your time
Often there is a myriad of volunteering options available at local pet shelters, with jobs from administration to dog walking and everything in between. Each shelter is different in their requirements and time commitments, but if you do have the time to give, volunteering is one of the best ways to give your local shelter a boost. Who doesn’t want to spend a day surrounded by pups and kitties?
Since shelters are non-profit organizations, they are often strapped for resources. This doesn’t mean you need to break out your checkbook (though if you have the means, that is definitely an option)! Shelters often need even basic items like plastic bags.
Here are a few other recommendations:
- Blankets – not only are blankets helpful in keeping pets warm and cozy, but shelters often use blankets to help transition adopted pets into their new homes. The familiar scent of the blanket calms many pups and kittens and helps to make their new home feel more familiar.
- Pet food – healthy food can sometimes be in short supply in shelters, but shelter pets are much more adoptable after they have been fed a nutritious diet. Just remember, if you’re bringing Freshpet, ensure the shelter has the means to keep the food refrigerated.
- Treats – shelter pets deserve a special treat, but often these are overlooked in food donations. Treats are also extremely useful in training pooches, which can help speed along the adoption process.
We work with quite a few pet shelters here at Freshpet, and we’re constantly amazed by the great ideas people come up with to gather donations! Consider hosting a bake sale or garage sale for your local shelter, and donating the proceeds.
Say it simply
A simple “thank you” goes a long way, and that applies to your local shelter as well. Whether it’s dropping by with a homemade card, or some Dog Joy Ready to Bake cookies (and maybe a few human cookies, too), your shelter will appreciate the gesture.
Support those affected by Sandy
Many pet shelters in the areas of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey are suffering in the aftermath of Sandy. Consider donating time, money, or goods to shelters in the area- many are currently using Facebook to put out requests. Or, donate directly to the Humane Society Disaster relief fund here.
Happy Howl-o-ween! We have been seeing a lot of fun, pet-friendly Halloween costumes this year, and the more we see, the more we LOVE. It’s not too late to get a costume for this Wednesday. Here are a few fresh ideas in the final days before Halloween – luckily, there are even some great deals out there!
We hope you have a safe, happy, and healthy Halloween with your family this year!
One of our favorite costume trends this year is dressing your dog as a character. We just love the little arms.
Here are a few very cute ones!
Another popular choice: Dress your pooch as a different, charming animal.
And of course.. a personal favorite here at Freshpet – Bacon!
While there are a lot more dog costumes readily available out there for purchase, we found some great costumes for the cats in your family. Or, try out some of the smaller dog costumes on your kitty – often these will work just as well for our feline friends.
Here are a few costume ideas that will be sure to get your cat in the Halloween spirit while still giving him the mobility most curious cats need!
Over the past month, the near hysteria over the impending bacon shortage has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon. But fear not, Freshpet fans! We are here to set the record straight about whether or not this will affect your favorite furry friend.
Freshpet Dognation® and Dog Joy® Turkey Bacon Treats will not be affected
We know that dogs love bacon – maybe even more than we do! Our delectable Dognation and Dog Joy bacon treats are made with all natural ingredients like real turkey, not pork, so dogs everywhere can continue to enjoy that great bacon taste through the potential shortage and beyond. Bring on the bacon!
A bacon shortage would be a pretty good thing for dogs
While it’s okay to give a table scrap to your pet now and again, bacon itself can be tough on pups. The high fat content is difficult for pets to digest, and can cause stomach issues and lead to weight gain. Turkey bacon is a healthy, delicious alternative to other bacon-flavored dog treats, with less fat and calories. Don’t just take our word for it- check out our blogger reviews to see what their pups think of our turkey bacon treats.
Bonus: Our favorite reactions to the Bacon Shortage
One good thing to come out of the bacon shortage craziness: the jokes!
Here are a few of our favorites:
Aporkalypse became the popular term for the coming shortage:
Many twitter-users chided Mitt Romney and President Obama for not addressing the shortage in this week’s debate.
NBC’s hit tv show Parks and Recreation put together a hilarious mock Public Service Announcement about the shortage, featuring the ever-hilarious Ron Swanson. His suggestion? “Procure as much bacon as humanly possible and hide it in as many locations as you can.”
Not all calories are created equally. More recent veterinary research has challenged the more traditional low fat, high fiber approach to weight loss for dogs and cats. While absolute calorie reduction is essential, studies have shown that dogs and cats fed higher protein diets during weight loss maintain lean body mass (muscle mass) more than when fed higher fiber, more moderate protein diets.
During energy restriction for weight loss it is important to ensure all of the essential nutrients requirements are being met each day, and as such, Veterinary Nutritionists (veterinarians who have undergone specialized training in dog and cat nutrition and are certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition) recommend feeding a diet that has a minimum protein content of 30% of the calories. Freshpet diets that meet this criterion include:
- Freshpet Select Chicken, Vegetable & Rice Recipe
- Freshpet Select Chunky Beef, Vegetable & Rice Recipe
- Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken, Turkey, Vegetables & Rice Recipe
- Deli Fresh Chicken, Vegetable & Rice Formula
- Deli Fresh Turkey, Vegetable & Rice Formula
- Vital Grain-Free Chicken, Beef, Salmon, & Egg Recipe
- Vital Grain-Free Beef & Bison Recipe
- Vital Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
- Vital Grain-Free Complete Meals for Dogs
More recent evidence in people and cats has also shown that individuals fed higher protein, lower carbohydrate diets will actual consume 5-10% more calories per day and still lose weight. This is known as the thermic effect of food, or the difference in the amount of energy required to burn different types of food. Put another way, it takes more energy (calories) to burn 100 calories worth of protein than it does to burn 100 calories worth of starch (simple carbohydrate).
Protein and fat also help promote satiety, or the feeling of fullness, after each meal. Research has shown that higher moisture foods (like all Freshpet recipes) may also help the animal feel full while actually consuming fewer calories.
This week’s blog was written by Lisa P. Weeth, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
The key to losing weight is simple, a dog needs to burn more calories each day than he/she consumes. For animals that are slightly overweight (less than 15% over their ideal body weight), restricting the amount of their current complete and balanced diet in addition to regular, moderate exercise will promote gradual weight loss, but for dogs that need to lose more than 15% of their body weight, what you feed is as important as how much you feed.
Before starting any weight loss plan, pet owners should first meet with their veterinarian. The dog should have a basic health screening, including a physical examination, screening blood work, and urinalysis. This will help determine how much weight the dog needs to lose and screen for any medical conditions that may be unnoticed.
Obesity in dogs is often the result of excess calories, but can also occur with certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, which needs to be treated medically before starting a weight loss plan.
Additionally, obese dogs suffer from a similar ‘metabolic syndrome’ as people do, and it is important to ensure the dog is free from concurrent diseases, such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, or kidney disease, before changing to a higher protein, higher fat diet.
Veterinary Nutritionists agree the optimal rate of weight loss for both dogs and cats is 1-2% of their body weight per week. This helps protect lean body (muscle) mass while preferentially burning fat mass.
Look for Optimal Diets for Weight Loss in Dogs, Part 2 of 2 on the Freshpet blog next week.