Dog food has come a long way from boring, hard-to-eat, dull-tasting kibble. This change is partly due to the introduction of fresh foods using high-quality ingredients. Fresh, healthy dog foods have become the top pick for many owners. One company that has been in the fresh dog food market for almost two decades is Freshpet.
Freshpet is recognizable for its fridges, which are common in pet stores and many grocery store chains. The brand is also available from some online retailers. They make dog food rolls, which may be their most well-known product. All recipes focus on offering dogs tasty, fresh nutrition.
Freshpet uses natural ingredients, and recipes include animal proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Have you considered trying Freshpet for your dog? We look closer at the brand and what goes into its products in our Freshpet dog food reviews.
At A Glance Flavor Favorites
Freshpet Grain Free Chicken
Best For Digestive Health
Freshpet Vital Benefits Digestive Health
Best Small Breed
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Small Dog
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Freshpet (FP) was founded in 2006 by a group of former pet food executives. The founders, Scott Morris, Cathal Walsh, and John Phelps, aimed to make fresh, high-quality foods for pets that were not over-processed or unappealing. They focused on refrigerated options that are of the same quality of nutrition people feed themselves. The recipes use no preservatives and, therefore, require refrigeration.
FP also owns several other sub-brands. These include Vital, Nature’s Fresh, Homestyle Creations, Sprig & Sprout, DogNation, and Dog Joy treats. The brand is a big name in the pet food industry and paved the way for many newer companies offering fresh pet food.
Freshpet has had two recalls in its history. The most recent occurred in June 2022. This was a voluntary recall due to potential salmonella contamination. This recall affected one product: FP Select Fresh From the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken Recipe. FP issued this recall after a product lot designated for destruction was mistakenly shipped to retailers in a limited market.
FP issued another recall before that in June 2021. This recall affected one product, FP Select Small Dog Bite-Size Beef and Egg Recipe. The majority of that product was intercepted before hitting store shelves. FP received no reports of illness, injury, or adverse reaction regarding this recall.
Range Of Recipes
Freshpet makes a range of recipes. These include freshly cooked, wet meals and treats. The brand specifically makes food rolls and fresh foods and offers options for adults, puppies, and small and large dog-specific recipes. Recipes come in rolls or shredded. Currently, the company offers at least 41 different recipes through all of its sub-brands.
Product Lines Include:
- Select – the Select line offers loaf, shredded, and bite-sized meals. The Select line of recipes includes grain-free and grain-inclusive options.
- Vital – Vital is a gently cooked, limited-ingredient line. The Vital line has grain-free as well as sensitive stomach formulas.
- Deli Fresh – This line is grain-free and focuses on protein-rich recipes. These recipes all use antibiotic-free poultry, as well as freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. The Deli Fresh line is available in both roll and shredded form but is only available to purchase in Costco stores.
- Homestyle Creations – This natural, protein-based line offers complete and balanced nutrition. Every recipe in the Homestyle Creations line preps and cooks in small batches.
- Nature’s Fresh – This line uses sustainably sourced, humanely raised ingredients. The Nature’s Fresh line is available at specialty stores, including Whole Foods Markets.
- Sprig & Sprout – Sprig & Sprout is a plant-based dog food line that utilizes eggs as the primary protein source.
- Dog treats– Freshpet makes two lines of meat-based doggie treats. These include the Dog Joy and the DogNation treat lines.
All FP recipes use only US-raised, 100% farm-raised meats. Over 95% of the ingredients come from North America, while 4% are non-domestic. Freshpet recipes use natural ingredients with zero artificial or chemical preservatives, flavors, or colors.
Farm-raised meats include beef, chicken, bison, lamb, turkey, and fish. Ingredients also include eggs and organ meats. Produce includes spinach, potatoes, carrots, peas, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, blueberries, and green beans. The company does make some options that include whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and rice bran. Many formulas also include supplemental ingredients such as sunflower and fish oils.
All FP formulas are complete and balanced and meet AAFCO’s minimum standards. Every recipe is formulated and approved by Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo, the resident veterinarian and Head of R&D. The company also created the “Freshpet Nutrition Council, a group of board-certified DVMs, DVNs, DACVNs, and PhDs who guide, supervise, and validate our research.”
Pros & Cons
|Freshly cooked foods crafted by board-certified vet nutritionists
|Not all products are easy to find
|Wide recipe variety
|High-quality real animal proteins
|Some dogs may not like the texture of food rolls
|Limited use as food goes bad after 7 days
|No artificial ingredients or fillers
|High-quality real animal proteins
|Made in the USA
Freshpet Dog Food Reviews
This brand makes several product lines, and we have taken a look at some of the top picks to review. These include products from different lines and for a variety of nutritional needs.
Freshpet Grain Free Chicken Review
- Limited-ingredient recipe
- Uses farm-raised chicken and vegetables
- Includes organ meat
- No meat meals or by-product meals
- 303 kcal/½ lb
- Available in 1.5 or 5-pound rolls
Freshpet Grain Free Chicken is a limited-ingredient recipe that uses natural U.S. farm-raised chicken and vegetables. This high-fiber recipe includes spinach and potatoes—a tasty grain-free loaf. You can mix in rice if you’d like or purchase the grain-inclusive option.
Freshpet Beef And Garden Vegetable Review
- Grain-inclusive recipe
- Includes chicken, beef, and beef liver
- No fillers, nitrates, or nitrites
- Whole grains support heart health
- 327 kcal/½ lb
- Also available in turkey and chicken flavors
Freshpet Beef and Garden Vegetable Roll is a grain-inclusive recipe featuring beef, chicken, beef liver, vegetables, and healthy grains. This food roll recipe uses all farm-raised proteins and vegetables. There are no fillers, nitrates, or nitrites. The recipe includes whole grains to support heart health.
Freshpet Vital Benefits Digestive Health Review
- Digestive health formula
- Gently cooked
- Promotes gut health
- Prebiotics for digestive health
- Probiotics support the immune system
- 266 kcal/cup
Vital Benefits Digestive Health includes fresh ingredients, prebiotics, and probiotics to support digestive health. The recipe is gently cooked and offers high protein. It includes organ meats, eggs, oats, rice bran, spinach, pumpkin, and carrots.
Freshpet Select Sensitive Stomach & Skin Review
- Fresh, steamed recipe
- Developed for sensitive stomachs and skin
- Includes organ meats
- Pumpkin puree for healthy digestion
- Grain-inclusive recipe
- 254 kcal/½ lb
Select Sensitive Stomach & Skin recipe is a steam-cooked food roll for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. The recipe features real meats, organ meats, eggs, and pumpkin puree. It also includes healthy grains like brown rice and provides a tasty, balanced meal for all breeds.
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Small Dog Chicken Grain Free Review
- Small breed-specific nutrition
- Slow-roasted recipe
- Low-temperature cooking
- Shredded, not a loaf
- Resealable bag to preserve freshness
- 297 kcal/cup
Nature’s Fresh Small Dog is a grain-free recipe developed for smaller breeds. The recipe is slow-roasted and shredded and uses vegetarian-fed chicken with farm-grown vegetables. It comes in a resealable bag to preserve freshness.
Nutritional content varies by recipe. However, most offer a good balance of protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals. The Grain Free chicken recipe, for example, contains 10% crude protein (min), 7% crude fat (min), and 1.5% crude fiber (max).
Recipes contain a vitamin and nutrient blend including choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, vitamin b12 supplement, vitamin d3 supplement, folic acid, dicalcium phosphate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, and calcium iodate.
One ingredient that is lower on the quality list is carrageenan, a thickener made from red seaweed. Carrageenan has zero nutritional value and can sometimes irritate the stomach. The brand does not use corn or wheat gluten fillers or artificial color or flavor, which is a very positive point.
Overall, the ingredients are primarily high-quality, minimally processed, and have no low-quality fillers. This makes FP a higher quality brand than many, especially the overprocessed kibbles that line many store shelves.
Where Do They Make The Food
FP foods are manufactured in the USA. The company has facilities in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and Ennis, Texas. The Freshpet brand is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey.
How Does Freshpet Work?
Products can be purchased in many grocery stores, pet stores, and online. Some lines are only available through specific retailers, and the prices vary. The company does have a helpful tool on its website that helps owners find a retailer, both in person and online, of the product they want.
The brand does offer a custom meal plan. Owners must set this up exclusively through Petco.com.
How Much Does It Cost
Prices vary depending on the retailer. However, most 5 to 6-pound rolls run between $5 and $20. Shredded formulas also vary but start at about $20 per 1-pound bag.
Personal Experience With Freshpet
I have purchased and fed my dogs Freshpet food rolls on many occasions. I often purchase the chicken recipe, both with and without grains. It is easy to chop up and serve. I generally use it as a topper for my older pup, Daisy, a Labrador Pitbull mix. As she ages, she has become pickier about her meals. She likes the feel and flavors of fresh foods. Adding this to her kibble makes it more flavorful and nutritious.
I like that it is easy to find in stores and serve. Additionally, because I can purchase it at the store, I do not need to commit to a subscription or have my freezer filled with frozen meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we discuss some of the most often-asked questions about Freshpet dog food. If we missed yours, share it with us in the comments below.
Is Freshpet dog food good?
Yes, Freshpet is good dog food. It is of higher quality than many kibbles, uses top quality ingredients, with no unnecessary fillers. FP is an affordable, above-average pick for your dog.
Can I feed Freshpet to my puppy?
How long does Freshpet last in the fridge?
Most products last up to 7 days once opened. The company advises pet owners to throw away any uneaten food in the bowl after an hour.
Looking For Other Fresh Food Options For Your Pup’s Bowl?
Finding the best fit for your pup’s nutrition is an ongoing process. As they age, dog’s nutritional needs change. If you’re not sure this brand is right for you, that’s ok. There are many other fresh dog food options to consider. These include raw nutrition as well as subscription options. Supplements can also be helpful in boosting your dog’s nutrition. Just be sure to consult with your vet before adding them to your pup’s diet.