Tag Archives: Vital

The Difference in Raw Feeding with Vital Raw

So you may have heard of our new recipe last year, but we’ve been asked so much about Vital Raw that we thought we’d help answer some of your burning questions right here!

What is exactly is Vital Raw?

Vital Raw is Freshpet’s first raw recipe. It’s a grain free refrigerated recipe of raw meat, fresh fruits & veggies. Probiotics are added to help create an environment where pathogens cannot survive, so while this is truly raw food, it that can stay fresher longer in the fridge.

How do I handle and serve Vital Raw?

Vital Raw is conveniently refrigerated and ready to serve right from the fridge. We’ve taken extra care to ensure Vital Raw is free of pathogenic bacteria. Follow good hygiene when handling any type of raw food. Always wash your hands, surfaces and food dishes just as you would if you were preparing a meal for yourself or the family.

What’s the difference between frozen raw & Vital Raw?

Since this meal is not frozen like some raw foods out there, you won’t have to thaw. No thawing means no run off or messy clean-up like many raw feeders are use to.

Vital Raw uses good bacteria to eliminate pathogens, where as with traditional frozen raw food, High Pressure Processing is used to eliminate pathogens. Also Vital Raw meals include fruits and veggies, making them complete and balanced.


Benefits of Vital Raw

Dogs with sensitive stomachs, allergies or dermatological issues can benefit from Vital Raw:

  • A meat-based recipe with 80% or more raw poultry or beef, which means a high protein. High quality proteins are easier to digest and provide nutrients.
  • It’s grain free. No fillers such as corn, wheat or soy.
  • Prebiotics such as Citrus Fiber & Inulin can help to aid in the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.
  • Fruits and veggies not only make this raw recipe a balanced meal, but makes it high in both iron & fiber, providing antioxidant support.
  • Probiotics help support a healthy immune system & improve digestion.


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.





Prairie Paws Animal Shelter

Nothing makes us happier than helping other pet lovers in any way shape form that we can. We’re lucky to have made so many great friends in the pet community that love helping animals just as much as we do. The good people at Prairie Paws Animal Shelter are an extraordinary bunch that we’ve known for quite some time and are always happy to send a few boxes of our recipes to.


Prairie Paws is a state-of-the-art shelter located in Ottawa, Kansas, and has been providing care for animals for over 60 years. That’s right, 60 years! Bea Martin Peck, the founder of  Prarie Paws was a lifelong animal lover and helped build the facility in 1949. She and her group of supporters did a lot of wonderful work that continues to this day.


Now, Prairie Paws is a private non-profit shelter that operates by the same principles it was founded with: they never euthanize for space. Every single animal that walks through their doors are given a second chance at finding a permanent home.


We are so proud and happy to have a great relationship with the good people at Prairie Paws. This past spring, we sent over a few boxes of our Vital and Nature’s Fresh recipes to the shelter for their animals to enjoy. Vicki Whitacre, one of the volunteers sent over a few great photos of the pets. As you can see, they were too busy enjoying the food to look at the camera! Every single one of the animals had nothing but rave reviews for our food, which we couldn’t be happier about! We look forward to the next time we can help these great people.


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





A Very Greyhound Picnic

We’re fortunate to have so many allies in our mission to bring fresh food to pets everywhere. These men and women are behind the rescue centers, non-profit organizations, foster homes and other organizations. They are just as dedicated as we are and do wonderful things every day simply because they love pets. And we want to recognize these men and women for the wonderful work that they do. In this week’s Act of Kindness we introduce you to a very special rescue organization: Greytful Hearts Greyhound Rescue.


Paula and her husband Erik have been greyhound lovers for the past 21 years. Their love for the dogs has been such a big part of their lives that they founded their own rescue organization in 2010: Greytful Hearts Greyhound Rescue, located in Hamburg, PA, and dedicated the group to the memory of Flo, their very first greyhound. Their goal is to place retired ex-racing greyhounds into permanent, loving homes. In addition to having 8 greyhounds of their own, Paula and Erik can foster anywhere between 2-6 foster dogs in their own home! Their dedication to their greyhounds is really incredible.


Greytful Hearts has always been a wonderful friend to Freshpet, and they love to feed their dogs our recipes. Currently, the favorite in the house has been our Vital Grain Free Beef and Bison rolls. Which the greyhounds have been eating right up!


This past June, Paula and Erik decided to throw a little “family reunion” for the greyhounds they have at home and the ones that had been adopted. It was a fun-filled picnic, held in Bubeck Park in nearby Schuylkill Haven. Food and drinks for the humans were served. And as for the dogs? We donated a catering platter of our Meatball Mix-ins and Ready-to-Bake Cookies for them to enjoy. As you can see from the picture, Hudson couldn’t wait to get his paws on the food. The party itself was a hit. All the parents and pups loved reuniting during a beautiful afternoon, and by the end there was hardly any food to spare. Paula and Erik are already planning the next reunion!


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




Zane the Great Dane

The Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League is a DC-based volunteer group that is dedicated to providing the rescue and care of Great Danes that have been abandoned, neglected, or abused. They work tirelessly to supply medical treatment and training with the ultimate goal of placing the rescues in a permanent, loving home. Regina Hill is a foster mom for the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League who brought in a foster pup named Zane.


Zane is a beautiful Great Dane with a severe allergy to anything with feathers. That means no chicken, duck, turkey or eggs. Regina was beginning to find it difficult to find high-quality food without any fowl ingredients. His allergy became so severe that he needed to take 8 Benadryl daily to prevent any allergic reactions. Regina was beginning to find it difficult to find high-quality food without any feather-free ingredients.


She wrote to us telling us about Zane and his particular dietary needs. We sent over a few cases of our Freshpet Vital Grain-Free Beef & Bison recipe, which Zane immediately ate in earnest. A few weeks later we got this wonderful note from Regina.


“I started to incorporate Freshpet Vital to his diet a month ago and I have to admit I am tickled pink with the results.

  1. Zane dives into his food.
  2. His coat it heavier and healthier
  3. His ears no longer scab or bleed
  4. His weight has stabilized
  5. He is satiated and no longer begs for human food
  6. Most importantly he is only taking half the Benadryl he used to.

What more can a mother of a four legged child ask for? Being on a tight budget and having five Great Danes, your donation has significantly helped my family. Great Danes require high quality food and when I foster many of the Danes come in malnourished or worse. Your donation has helped several Danes get healthy and move on to their forever homes.”


We could not have been happier to hear that Zane was feeling better and eating well. As the pictures show, he is one handsome and healthy pup!


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.



Meet Freshpet’s Newest Customers!

One of the best parts of working here at Freshpet is how often we get to give food to rescue pups and kitties all over the country. One of our favorite places is the Hopatcong Pound Project, right here in New Jersey.

This past week, we were delighted to receive the following email in our inbox:


“Thank you for the donation and thanks to Freshpet! A pregnant mom was rescued from being put down and was able to give birth! The babies will be going to good homes.  Thanks for the feeding frenzy!”


We get all kinds of wonderful thank you notes from the shelters we donate to, and it never gets old. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.


vital product customers


Needless to say, the email brightened up all of our days. Making pups everywhere as happy as these cuties are is exactly why we come into work every single day. It’s inspiring to see such resilience and pure joy on the faces of our newest “customers!”


We’re so happy to get these pups started on the right track with our Vital recipes. Giving fresh starts to dogs and cats of all kinds is something that we’d like to strive to do for all the pets in our families.

U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Gus Kenworthy and the Sochi Pups are Going Fresh!

Back in February, the hearts of pet lovers everywhere were captured by the story of U.S. Olympic Slopestyle Skier Gus Kenworthy, and his adopted dogs from Sochi, Russia.


Gus met a litter of puppies living close to the athlete’s village in Sochi. The avowed animal lover fell in love with them immediately and pledged to bring the mother and her puppies home with him. Sadly, two of the pups didn’t make it, but the remaining three dogs were brought to the States with the help of Gus’ friend and photographer, Robin Macdonald, and the Humane Society International.


Fast forward to the present, and the Sochi pups are living in Denver with Gus and Robin, adjusting to their new life. They’re loving their new home in Colorado and are looking and feeling better than ever. Check out the Sochi Pups on Instagram to see Jake, Mishka, and Mama sleeping, playing and loving their new lives.


We were so inspired by this story and wanted to help in any way we could. Fortunately, on a Today Show appearance in February, Gus met our friend Dr. Katy Nelson and was introduced to Freshpet. We decided then and there that those amazing dogs deserved to eat real, fresh food, and Gus agreed. So we started the Sochi pups on a fresh food diet by sending Gus and Robin a supply of Freshpet meals and treats. And (not surprisingly) they have enjoyed every last bit of it.


According to Gus, the Vital Balanced Nutrition Chicken Recipe with Peas, Carrots & Brown Rice has been their hands-down favorite. He can’t even make it to the fridge to get his own food without the dogs rushing to him, expecting their Freshpet to come out of it! And just by looking at the photos on their Instagram, we can already tell the Freshpet Effect is starting to take place: beautiful, smooth coats, clearer eyes and happy faces!


But there’s more! We’ve got a special announcement regarding Gus and the Sochi pups. Check back in with us on June 16th to be one of the first to hear about this very exciting program and how you can join in.

Our Vital Transformation

photo copy

The next time you’re in your pet specialty store looking for our Vital® recipes, you may notice something a little different. Our Vital packages have a new look to them. But don’t worry, pet parents. While the package may have changed, the quality ingredients and delicious taste that keep your pets healthy and happy are exactly the same. Your pets will eat it all up as usual!

And on top of that, the Vital family is growing even larger. Deli Fresh® Turkey and Chicken recipes are joining the team as Vital Balanced Nutrition. They’re the same recipe, now under the Vital name.



To celebrate the debut of Vital’s new look, we’re happy to announce our Vitals Fresh Look sweepstakes! If you encounter these new Vital packages in the wild –er the fridge, snap a picture. You can send it to us by uploading to our Facebook page, tagging it with the hashtag #VitalsFreshLook or emailing us at online@freshpet.com. You’ll be entered to win a grand prize from us at Freshpet. That means more tasty treats for your dogs and cats.

How A Stray Named Jude Found His Appetite, and Spirit, With Freshpet

The following is a story that is sure to warm your heart.


We are proud to introduce Lateefa, who has been involved in the veterinary community for over 20 years. With a heart as big as gold, Lateefa couldn’t help but beam as she described her story to us…


Last August, Lateefa was at the Redbank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey for a client visit when she bumped into the head doctor of the facility. It had been a few years since her last pup, a German Shepherd / Collie mix, and she was finally coming around to inviting another into her home. “I’m thinking about fostering a German Shepherd!” she told the doctor. “Oh geez, don’t do it. You know better than anyone else how exhausting it can be. Are you sure you’re ready?” he replied.


But there had been an absence of love in her house without a pup, and besides, “If I was going to foster a dog, it’d have to be a dog that really needs me and my expertise, right?” thought Lateefa. And so, she decided to give the gift of her love and care to a pup in need.


Lateefa knew that whatever dog she ended up fostering, it was likely that food was going to be an important factor on the road to recovery. So, the doctor at Redbank connected her with Dr. Lisa Weeth, a leading veterinary nutritionist at the hospital who could help advise on the proper food to get her future foster dog eating again.


As it turns out, Dr. Lisa Weeth was one of the nutritionists who helped create the original Freshpet formula. To this day, we still work closely with Dr. Weeth on ingredients, nutritional consultation and recipe ideas to ensure your dogs and cats are getting everything that they need.


See where this story is headed?


Enter Jude. Jude was picked up as a stray on the streets of Helmetta, New Jersey. Jude was believed to be an eight-year-old German Shepherd, weighing in at a dangerously frail 50 pounds – half the healthy body weight for his breed and age. Jude found his way to the Garden State German Shepherd Rescue (GSGSR) in Millburn, New Jersey. A few days later, Lateefa got the call.


Jude Beginning


Having been told about Jude’s condition, Lateefa was nervous and hopeful that she was up to the task. Jude was pretty much barren of any fur from his rib cage to his tail, with a bulging spine from malnutrition. Lateefa had been told by GSGSR that Jude was struggling to eat, but with Dr. Lisa Weeth’s advice about feeding Freshpet in mind, Lateefa was optimistic.


At 2pm on August 8th, 2013, Lateefa met GSGSR to pick up Jude, and braced herself as they opened the car door.


Right away, she thought to herself, “Oh my God…he’s got Mange, too.” Aside from a lack of fur, decrepit body and wounded morale, Jude couldn’t receive physical affection because of his lesions.


While he may have looked at Lateefa with the gentlest eyes you can imagine, “In 31 years, I have never seen a dog as emotionally broken as Jude,” uttered Lateefa. He seemed eager to get into her car, and from there the two drove home together.


Lateefa simply tried to make Jude comfortable for the first few days. With Dr. Weeth’s nutritional advice in mind, a low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber diet was just what Jude would need to find his appetite and put on body weight to aid in his physical and emotional recovery. So, Lateefa pulled out a roll of Freshpet Vital Beef and Bison from the fridge and waited with anticipation to see if Jude would take to it.


Within minutes, the dog that struggled to eat while at GSGSR took right to his new fresh, all natural food. “I love the fact that Freshpet is a natural diet,” says Lateefa, “and for the first few weeks I would feed him ¼ pound of Freshpet with a boiled egg and rice six times a day, just to get his weight up.” Finally, Jude was getting into a healthy eating routine.


It didn’t take long for Lateefa to begin to notice a change in her Jude.


Jude - Eating FP


“I genuinely believe that it was his love for food, his Freshpet, that brought him out of his broken state,” says Lateefa. Jude’s favorite Beef and Bison, along with Lateefa’s amazing communication and one-on-one interaction, is what boosted Jude’s weight and lifted his spirit.


With Jude eating again, Lateefa got another stroke of luck early in her fostering of Jude. Lateefa had kept in touch with the GSGSR to let them know how Jude had been doing, and was so pleasantly surprised to hear that Freshpet had recently donated over 800 pounds of Vital dog food to their shelter. “We haven’t had to buy a roll yet, all of Jude’s food has been donated from Freshpet,” remarks Lateefa. “He’s absolutely in love with beef and bison – he freakin’ loves it!” In fact, Jude loves his Freshpet rolls so much that he won’t touch kibble if Lateefa tries to mix it in, “He just picks out the Freshpet.”


Today, Jude is now over 90 pounds, with a full coat and is finally showing his true personality. “He barks at the deer now – that’s a sound I wasn’t sure he would even make,” says Lateefa.


Jude Montage


The former stray who suffered from physical and emotional heartbreak, with signs of obvious physical abuse from previous owners, now runs and wines and jumps and nudges you for attention…and his food.


“He’s now such a foodie,” says Lateefa, “so much of his happiness came from his food. I really think his Freshpet made all the difference.”


Today, Jude is available for adoption and looking for a forever home that can provide him with the same love and care that Lateefa has so generously given. Thank you Lateefa and GSGSR for the amazing work you’ve done to get Jude back to his normal self, and we can’t wait to hear more about how Jude is doing in the near future!


Do you have a Freshpet Story you’d like to share? Or do you want to learn more about how we work with shelters across the country? Write a review of your favorite Freshpet recipe or visit our Charitable Donations page at Freshpet.org.


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.