Freshpet Review: Is it the King of Fresh Dog Food?


Freshpet has established its name in the pet food industry by offering refrigerated meals. I’ve come across various products from this brand, including their Freshpet Select, Vital, and Nature’s Fresh lines—each designed to cater to the different nutritional needs of dogs. Their approach to using only fresh ingredients and minimal processing is particularly noteworthy, as it aligns closely with the growing demand for high-quality, preservative-free pet foods.

Therefore, this Freshpet review will explore the specifics, examining its product range, ingredient quality, and nutritional value. We’ll also consider how Freshpet compares to other market offerings. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or new to the world of dog care, this review aims to provide comprehensive insights to help you make an informed decision about your dog’s dietary needs.

Freshpet’s History in Brief

Founding and Early Days

Freshpet dates back to 2006 when a group of pet lovers and entrepreneurs got together with a vision to revolutionize the way we feed our furry companions. They noticed a gap in the market for fresh, refrigerated pet food made with real ingredients—you know, the stuff you’d stock in your fridge.

After extensive research, development, and taste-testing, the Freshpet team discovered a way to keep pet food fresh without preservatives and mystery ingredients commonly found in traditional kibble. Their solution? Refrigeration. By ensuring their products are chilled from production to store shelves, Freshpet guarantees that every meal is as fresh as possible.

Expansion and Recognition

As news spread about this innovative approach to pet food, Freshpet quickly gained popularity. Pet owners praised the brand’s dedication to quality and transparency. Freshpet products soon became available in stores nationwide, from large retailers to local shops. The brand also received recognition through awards and praise from industry experts and animal lovers alike.

Today, Freshpet is a household name in pet nutrition. Their commitment to freshness, quality, and innovation has earned the trust of millions of pet parents worldwide.

Product Recalls

Freshpet has had two notable product recalls due to potential Salmonella contamination, both involving specific lots of their products.

The first recall occurred in June 2021, when Freshpet voluntarily recalled one lot of Freshpet® Select Small Dog Bite Size Beef & Egg Recipe Dog Food. This recall was prompted by the potential for Salmonella contamination, identified in a 1-pound bag marked with a sell-by date of October 30, 2021. The issue was discovered before any reports of illness or adverse reactions, indicating proactive measures by Freshpet to prevent health risks to pets and their owners.

The second incident took place in June 2022, involving Freshpet Select Fresh From the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken Recipe. This product was also recalled due to the potential presence of Salmonella. The affected product was packaged in 4.5-pound bags, with a sell-by date of October 29, 2022. Similar to the previous recall, this was a precautionary action following the discovery that a small batch of this lot had been inadvertently shipped to retailers. Again, no illnesses or adverse effects were reported at the time of the recall​

Freshpet Review: Product Lines

Let’s explore product lines that make this brand a household name. We’ll discuss their pros and cons, and list a few products in each product line.

Freshpet Select

Freshpet Select Roll Tender Chicken Recipe Refrigerated Dog Food with Carrots, Peas and Brown Rice - Never Any Preservatives - No Meat Meals or By Product Meals (2 - Pack) (6 lbs. Each)

I’ve noticed that one of the key selling points of Freshpet Select is its emphasis on freshness. From the moment of production to the point of sale, Freshpet maintains a strict cold-chain process, ensuring that each meal remains refrigerated to preserve its quality and nutritional integrity.

Freshpet Select offers a diverse menu to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. From classic chicken and vegetable stews to innovative blends like beef and pumpkin risotto, each recipe is thoughtfully formulated to provide a balanced and complete meal for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Additionally, Freshpet Select offers options tailored to specific dietary needs, such as grain-free or limited-ingredient recipes, catering to dogs with sensitivities or allergies.

For example, the Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Recipe with Garden Vegetables features succulent chicken as the primary protein source, paired with a vibrant medley of garden vegetables, including carrots, peas, and spinach, to provide a well-rounded nutritional profile. What sets this recipe apart is its tender texture achieved through gentle cooking methods that preserve the natural flavors and nutrients of the ingredients.

Freshpet Vital

Freshpet® Select Multi-Protein Complete Meal: Chicken, Beef, Egg & Salmon Recipe for Dogs

This product line prioritizes real meats like chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, and several fruits and vegetables, to ensure dogs receive essential nutrients for optimal health. It balances nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support dogs’ overall well-being at every stage of life. Additionally, Freshpet Vital offers several options, including wet and dry food varieties, catering to dogs’ preferences and dietary needs.

One example in this line is the Freshpet Vital Chicken, Beef, Salmon & Egg Recipe Grain-Free Fresh Dog Food. I’ve learned it has a premium blend featuring real chicken, beef, and salmon as primary protein sources to provide essential amino acids for muscle development and energy. Eggs are another source of protein and healthy fats, while sweet potatoes and peas offer complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. This grain-free formula is enriched with fruits and vegetables, such as cranberries, carrots, and spinach, which provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune function and overall well-being.

Nature’s Fresh

Freshpet Select Small Dog Bite Sized Chicken Recipe, 1 lb

I’ve had the chance to explore Freshpet’s Nature’s Fresh product line, and I’m impressed by the emphasis on natural ingredients and wholesome nutrition. One standout feature is the variety of recipes available, all crafted with real, farm-raised meats like chicken, beef, turkey, and salmon.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the attention to detail in the ingredient selection. Nature’s Fresh recipes aren’t just about protein; they also incorporate a range of fruits and vegetables to provide a well-rounded nutritional profile. From sweet potatoes to cranberries, these ingredients not only add flavor but also contribute essential vitamins and minerals to support my dog’s overall health.

One standout option is the Freshpet Grain-Free Small Breed Chicken Recipe, tailored specifically for small dogs. It features real, farm-raised chicken as the main protein source, providing essential amino acids for muscle development and energy. Like all Nature’s Fresh meals, the Grain-Free Small Breed Chicken Recipe is refrigerated to maintain its nutritional integrity.

Deli Fresh

Freshpet Salutem Vita Select Deli Fresh, Chiken Recipe with Cranberries & Spinach, Grain Free, Complete Meal Bag 6 lbs

This line includes a variety of fresh meats like chicken or turkey, which serve as the primary protein sources. Commonly accompanying these meats are nutrient-rich vegetables such as spinach and carrots, and sometimes fruits like cranberries, which are known for their antioxidant properties. These ingredients are chosen for their health benefits, such as supporting digestion and enhancing skin and coat health. Additionally, this line often incorporates ingredients like rice or potatoes to provide wholesome carbohydrates.

For example, the Deli Fresh Grain Free Chicken Recipe with Cranberries & Spinach from Freshpet is a particularly interesting choice for pet owners looking for a grain-free diet for their dogs. This recipe uses fresh chicken as the main protein source, which provides essential amino acids that dogs need for their muscle development and overall health.

From my perspective as someone deeply involved in animal health, the addition of cranberries and spinach in this recipe is quite beneficial. Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants and can help support urinary tract health, while spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, supporting immune and digestive health. I also value the inclusion of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are excellent nutrition for promoting healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Nutritional Analysis: The Top Ingredients in Freshpet Dog Food

As someone who values transparency and quality in pet food, I find Freshpet’s offerings to align well with what I seek for my dogs’ dietary needs. Let us analyze the ingredients in detail.

Protein Sources

In my review of Freshpet’s ingredients, I first looked into their protein sources, which are predominantly high-quality meats like chicken, beef, and turkey. I appreciate that they often use specific meat cuts, such as chicken liver, which are rich in nutrients and essential for a balanced diet. However, it’s worth noting that some Freshpet recipes include meal products, which while still nutritious, might not be as premium as whole meats.

Vegetables and Fruits

Freshpet also incorporates a variety of vegetables and fruits into their recipes, such as spinach, carrots, and cranberries. These additions are not just for show; they play crucial roles in providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, helping with digestion and overall health. Spinach, for instance, is packed with iron and vitamin K, while cranberries are beneficial for urinary tract health. The use of real vegetables and fruits instead of derivatives or fillers makes a significant difference in the nutritional value of the food.

Carbohydrates and Grains

Carbohydrates in Freshpet foods often come from wholesome sources like brown rice and barley, which are good for energy and are easier on the stomach than more refined carbs. I’ve noticed that they do offer grain-free options as well, which substitute grains with alternatives like chickpeas or potatoes, catering to dogs with specific dietary needs or allergies. This flexibility in carbohydrate sources allows pet owners to choose what best fits their dog’s health requirements and preferences.

Additives and Preservatives

One of the things I respect about Freshpet is its minimal use of additives and preservatives. Their commitment to fresh, refrigerated food means that artificial preservatives aren’t necessary, which is something I’m particularly vigilant about. They do use natural preservatives like vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), which also provides an antioxidant benefit. This approach aligns well with my preference for a natural diet for my pets, avoiding chemicals that could potentially harm their health over time.

Freshpet Review: Pros and Cons

Examining the pros and cons of a popular brand like Freshpet is essential for pet owners who strive to provide the best for their furry friends. Let’s do that.


  • Uses fresh, whole ingredients for better nutrition
  • Recipes include real meat, fruits, and vegetables
  • Minimally processed to preserve nutrients
  • Offers both grain and grain-free options to cater to different dietary needs
  • Packaging and portioning make for convenient feeding
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors used
  • Regularly includes vitamins and supplements for enhanced health benefits
  • Available in a variety of recipes to suit different tastes and dietary restrictions


  • Higher price point compared to many other pet food brands
  • Requires refrigeration, which may be inconvenient for some pet owners
  • Some recipes include ingredients like pea protein and carrageenan which can be controversial

Freshpet Dog Food Buying Tips

I find that Freshpet offers unique options that cater to diverse dietary needs. In this section, I share some buyer tips specifically tailored for selecting Freshpet products, drawing from my experience and knowledge in pet nutrition. These tips will help you make the best choices for your pet, considering both their health and your lifestyle.

Check the Ingredient List

When selecting a Freshpet product, the first thing I always do is check the ingredient list. Freshpet is known for using fresh, high-quality ingredients, but it’s still important to look for specific meats as the first ingredient, such as chicken, beef, or turkey, rather than vague descriptions like “meat” or “animal.” For pets with allergies or sensitivities, avoiding products with common allergens like wheat or soy is crucial.

Consider Your Pet’s Dietary Needs

Freshpet offers a variety of recipes, including grain-free and grain-inclusive options. If your dog is sensitive to grains or has a specific health condition that a grain-free diet might benefit, Freshpet’s grain-free line could be a good choice. However, if your dog is healthy and without grain sensitivities, their grain-inclusive foods can offer balanced nutrition with beneficial fibers.

Evaluate Preservation and Storage

One of the unique aspects of Freshpet is that its foods are refrigerated, which helps maintain the freshness and nutritional quality of the ingredients. However, this means that the products require proper storage in your home. Ensure you have enough refrigerator space to store the food safely. Also, consider how quickly your pet will go through each package to avoid wastage.

Compare Cost and Value

Freshpet tends to be pricier than some other brands due to its use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and the refrigeration requirement. Evaluate your budget and consider the cost per serving to determine if Freshpet fits into your pet care budget. Remember, investing in good quality food can potentially reduce future vet bills by keeping your pet healthier.

FAQs about Freshpet

Where is Freshpet dog food made?

Freshpet dog food is made in the USA, specifically in their kitchens located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The company emphasizes local sourcing of ingredients and prepares its food in small batches.

Does Freshpet dog food require refrigeration?

Yes, Freshpet dog food requires refrigeration because it is made with fresh ingredients and does not contain preservatives typically found in traditional dry and canned dog foods.

What types of dog food does Freshpet offer?

Freshpet offers a variety of dog food types including rolls, pouches, and patties. These come in multiple recipes catering to different dietary needs such as grain-free options and foods designed for specific life stages or health concerns.

Are there grain-free options available in Freshpet’s product line?

Yes, Freshpet offers grain-free recipes, which are beneficial nutrients for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. These recipes typically use meats, vegetables, and alternative carbohydrates like sweet potatoes.

How long does Freshpet dog food last once opened?

Once opened, Freshpet dog food should be used within 7 days. It’s important to keep the food refrigerated and tightly sealed when not in use.

Has Freshpet dog food ever been recalled?

Yes, Freshpet has issued recalls, notably in June 2021 and June 2022, both due to potential salmonella contamination. These recalls were specific to certain lots and were conducted as precautionary measures.

Is Freshpet dog food suitable for puppies?

Yes, Freshpet offers recipes suitable for puppies. These are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth, ensuring they provide the necessary nutrients for puppies.

What are the primary ingredients in Freshpet dog food?

The primary ingredients in Freshpet dog food typically include fresh meat like chicken, beef, or turkey, vegetables, and fruits. These ingredients are chosen for their quality and nutritional value.

How does Freshpet ensure the quality of its dog food?

Freshpet ensures the quality of its dog food by using high-quality, natural ingredients, adhering to strict safety standards, and producing its food in small, controlled batches in the USA. This includes routine safety and quality checks throughout the production process.

Freshpet: A Reliable Choice for Quality and Freshness

Based on my experience and thorough review of Freshpet dog food, I find this brand to be a commendable choice for pet owners who prioritize natural and fresh ingredients for their dogs.

Firstly, the fact that Freshpet is made with fresh, natural ingredients and requires refrigeration speaks volumes about its quality and freshness. Another aspect I appreciate about Freshpet is its variety. The brand offers multiple types of food, such as rolls, pouches, and patties, catering to different preferences and dietary needs. This includes grain-free options, which are essential for dogs with specific allergies or sensitivities. As someone who has raised dogs with different dietary needs, I understand the importance of having such options available.

Freshpet’s approach to making pet food in small batches allows for better control over the production process, ensuring each batch meets their high standards. However, it’s also important to acknowledge the recalls that have occurred. While recalls are concerning, the proactive steps Freshpet took to manage these incidents reassure me of their commitment to pet safety.


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