Pet food in the grocery store whose shelf time does not match the half life of uranium? You betcha. Freshpet has arrived.
The refrigerator at the end of the pet food aisle
Not long ago, I noticed a new refrigerator in my grocery store at the end of the pet food aisle. In it was a small selection of pet treats and food. I was intrigued and promised myself I’d look into it more when I had some free time.
When a Freshpet representative offered to send me a sample pack, I looked forward to checking it out.
A first look at Freshpet
The cold pack cooler waiting on my porch when I got home was filled with Freshpet Select slice and serve rolls, Freshpet Select roasted meals, and Dog Joy treats. Honey watched me unpack the box and offered her services as test dog.
Each product included instructions to keep everything refrigerated. And once opened, meals and treats were supposed to be used within a week. The repeated mantra appeared to be as much a marketing tool as advice about food safety.
Why wait? We starting phasing Freshpet into Honey’s diet the very next day. Here’s what we thought.
Appearance and smell
The Freshpet Select roasted meals have a texture and aroma I found tempting. They resemble fresh, soft kibble with occasional bits of chicken meat and carrot. It looked and smelled like something I would serve on my Thanksgiving table.
The slice and serve roll reminds me of bologna with pieces of vegetables and whole meat in the mix. As you can see from the picture, it looks similar to the Pennsylvania dutch treat, ring bologna. The texture is a coarse pate′.
A little less appealing than the food, the treats varied from the scentless (at least to a human) dried sweet potato to the jerky-scented, buffalo tendon fresh chews.
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Palatability (or “taste” to real people)
Honey has always been a good eater. But the Freshpet made her “dance.” She loved the roasted meals and both the chicken and beef rolls.
The treats got mixed reviews. Honey loved the Dog Joy dried sweet potatoes. At first she was ambivalent about the Dog Joy Fresh Bones chicken treats which had the consistency of one of the edible Nylabone products. But I bought the treat again when I needed something to occupy her during a party and she showed much more enthusiasm with the second try.
What I like most about Freshpet is seeing it in a grocery store pet food aisle. It’s the only premium food I’ve ever seen in a supermarket.
And while I love my local pet supply store, it’s really nice to pick up Honey’s food while I’m doing my routine grocery shopping.
It took me a little while to figure out how to feed Freshpet to Honey. She grew up using a Kong Wobbler and Premier Tug-a-Jug to eat her kibble. She’s never eaten dog food out of a bowl. So when I put the Freshpet on a plate, she gobbled it down like she hadn’t eaten in months.
The roasted meals have a soft, kibble-like shape that did work in the Wobbler.
For the slice and serve roll, I cut it into strips and fed it to Honey in a rubber ball with holes in it. It could also be forced into a Kong classic food toy as well.
Once I figured out a method for feeding Honey, Freshpet became very convenient.
I’m not qualified to analyze the nutrition of Freshpet. I was pleased to see whole meats, grains, and vegetables listed on the labels. And the food is minimally processed which is why it must be refrigerated.
But to learn more about the nutritional value of Freshpet, I turned to the the website Dog Food Advisor.
Website creator, Mike Sagman, has a science background and has educated himself in issues related to pet foods. It’s a wonderful site and very helpful.
So I was pleased to find Sagman gave Freshpet Select Slice and Serve his top rating of 5 stars. He has not yet reviewed the Freshpet Select roasted meals but I’ll keep looking for it.
Freshpet also has a line of products that are grain free for dogs with needing a meat-only diet. Laurie Luck, over at the Smart Dog blog, reviewed the Vital line of grain-free food with her dog Lily. Check it out.
The bottom line
Freshpet has a good beat and is easy to dance to. Oops, wrong review.
But seriously, Honey loves it and it appears to agree with her. So we’re staying with Freshpet for now.
It is more expensive than even premium kibble but on par with other fresh foods. And I certainly love picking it up at the grocery store.
So check out Freshpet. You can search for stores in your area that carry it here. And tell them Honey sent you.
Have you seen Freshpet in your area? Have you tried it? Would you? Why or why not?
Freshpet provided free samples for me to try. But I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.