Freshpet Dog Food: A Deep Dive into Online Reviews

As more pet owners consider healthier and more nutritious options for their pets, fresh pet food brands like Freshpet have gained significant attention. However, like with any product, Freshpet has received mixed reviews, highlighting both its benefits and potential drawbacks. In this article, we’ll critically analyze various Freshpet dog food reviews sourced from the popular online community, Reddit.

The Appeal of Freshpet

Pet owners have been drawn to Freshpet due to its fresh, refrigerated dog food that mimics a more natural diet. Some Reddit users have reported improvements in their dog’s health, such as better coat quality, improved digestion, and increased energy levels after switching to Freshpet. One user noted their dog maintained a steady weight and exhibited a healthier coat after two years on Freshpet.

Moreover, for dogs that are fussy eaters or have difficulty eating traditional kibble, Freshpet seems to be a hit. Multiple users mentioned their dogs’ increased excitement and enthusiasm during meal times when Freshpet was introduced.

Freshpet and Digestive Health

There is a consensus among several Reddit users that Freshpet can be beneficial for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. The fresh ingredients and absence of preservatives are said to reduce digestive issues and promote regular bowel movements.

Concerns with Freshpet

Despite the positive feedback, Freshpet isn’t without its critics. Some users pointed out potential risks associated with the brand. For instance, there were concerns about recalls due to salmonella and mold issues, implying that careful handling and storage are essential when using this product.

Furthermore, the inclusion of legumes and peas in Freshpet’s recipes has been a point of contention. Some dog owners worry about the possible link between these ingredients and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition that has been associated with certain dog diets.

Freshpet and Nutritional Guidelines

Another concern raised on Reddit was Freshpet’s compliance with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. These are established nutritional standards designed to ensure pet foods are complete and balanced. Some users claimed that Freshpet’s guidelines might be misleading, with one user noting a lack of AAFCO feeding trial statements on many of their dog food formulas.

Freshpet as a Complete Diet

While Freshpet seems to be popular as a ‘topper’ to enhance the flavor of regular kibble, some users were skeptical about using it as a standalone diet. They suggested that despite the brand’s appeal, it might not provide a comprehensive, balanced diet needed for optimal health.

The Price of Freshpet

Lastly, the cost of Freshpet was a commonly mentioned downside. Many users found the price point to be higher than other brands, making it less accessible for some pet owners.

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Freshpet: A Closer Look at Ingredients

When considering any dog food brand, the ingredient list should be your first stop. Freshpet prioritizes using fresh, whole ingredients, which is a major selling point for many pet owners. However, this isn’t without controversy. Peas and legumes, for instance, are included in many of Freshpet’s recipes. While these ingredients can be a good source of protein and fiber, they have been under scrutiny in recent years due to potential links to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). It’s important to be aware of this when considering Freshpet, particularly if your dog is a breed predisposed to heart conditions.

Freshpet’s Food Safety and Quality Control

Quality control is another crucial factor in selecting a pet food brand. Unfortunately, Freshpet has faced some criticism in this area. There have been instances of recalls due to salmonella contamination, and some customers have reported mold in their products. While these instances are not everyday occurrences, they do highlight the importance of closely inspecting the product before feeding it to your pet. Freshpet’s food, unlike dry kibble, requires refrigeration and careful handling to prevent spoilage and maintain safety.

Is Freshpet a Balanced Diet?

Freshpet is often hailed as a tasty topper or treat for dogs, with many reporting their pets showing increased interest in meals when Freshpet is added. However, some are wary of feeding Freshpet as a full diet. The skepticism comes from a lack of clarity about whether Freshpet meets the nutritional guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO’s guidelines are designed to ensure that pet foods provide complete and balanced nutrition. This lack of clarity may cause pet owners to question if Freshpet can serve as a standalone diet.

Freshpet’s Impact on Digestive Health

Many Freshpet users on Reddit reported seeing improvements in their dogs’ digestive health. This includes more regular bowel movements and less digestive upset. These anecdotal reports suggest that Freshpet’s fresh ingredients may be easier on a dog’s stomach than more processed alternatives. However, it’s worth noting that every dog is different, and some may require an adjustment period when switching to a new food type or brand.

The Cost of Freshpet

Freshpet’s commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients comes with a higher price tag. While many pet owners are willing to pay more for a product they believe is healthier for their pets, it’s crucial to assess the value for money. Some Reddit users have compared the cost of Freshpet to other fresh food subscription services and found Freshpet to be more affordable. However, compared to traditional dry or canned dog food, Freshpet is undoubtedly a more expensive option.


Freshpet offers an enticing alternative to traditional dry or canned dog food with its fresh and natural ingredients. While many dog owners have seen positive changes in their pets after incorporating Freshpet into their diet, it’s essential to consider the criticisms and potential risks. Always consult with your vet to determine the best dietary plan for your furry friend.

FAQs about Freshpet dog food

Is Freshpet safe for dogs?

Freshpet is generally considered safe for dogs. The brand uses high-quality ingredients, including real meats, fruits, and vegetables, to create their recipes. They avoid artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors, and their products are made in the USA. However, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes to ensure your dog receives the appropriate nutrients for their needs.

How long does Freshpet last in the fridge?

Freshpet dog food should be kept refrigerated at all times, as it does not contain artificial preservatives. Once opened, the food should be used within seven days. Unopened packages can be stored in the refrigerator until the expiration date on the package. If you need to store the food for a more extended period, it can be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator before feeding.

Is Freshpet human-grade dog food?

While Freshpet uses high-quality, human-grade ingredients in their recipes, their products are specifically formulated for dogs and not intended for human consumption. It’s essential to remember that the nutritional needs of dogs differ from humans, and Freshpet dog food is designed to meet those unique requirements.

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What breed of dog is in the Freshpet commercials?

The breed featured in Freshpet commercials is a Border Collie named Angus. Angus is shown enjoying Freshpet dog food, highlighting the brand’s focus on using real, high-quality ingredients to create recipes that appeal to dogs’ tastes and nutritional needs.

Do vets recommend Freshpet dog food?

Some veterinarians may recommend Freshpet dog food, particularly for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, or specific dietary needs. However, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet, as they can help you determine the best food for your dog’s unique needs.

What are some common customer complaints about Freshpet dog food?

While many dog owners have had positive experiences with Freshpet, some common complaints include the food’s short shelf life, occasional mold issues, and higher cost compared to traditional kibble or canned dog food. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if Freshpet is the right choice for your dog.

Is Freshpet suitable for senior dogs?

Freshpet dog food can be a good option for senior dogs, as their recipes are made with high-quality ingredients that can be easier to digest than traditional kibble. However, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian before changing your senior dog’s diet, as they may have specific nutritional requirements or health concerns that need to be addressed.

How does Freshpet dog food compare to raw diets?

Freshpet dog food offers a more convenient alternative to raw diets, as it is pre-cooked and formulated to provide a balanced nutritional profile. While raw diets may provide benefits such as improved coat condition and increased energy levels, they also come with risks, including potential bacterial contamination and an imbalanced nutrient profile. Freshpet provides a safer and more convenient option for those looking to feed their dogs fresh, high-quality ingredients without the hassle and risks associated with raw feeding.

Are there grain-free options available in Freshpet dog food?

Yes, Freshpet offers grain-free options for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to grains. Their grain-free recipes focus on using high-quality proteins and vegetables to provide essential nutrients, without the inclusion of grains such as wheat, corn, or soy.

Can Freshpet dog food help with my dog’s food allergies?

Freshpet dog food may help alleviate symptoms related to food allergies due to its use of high-quality, limited ingredients. Many dogs with food allergies react to common proteins or fillers found in traditional kibble. Freshpet’s recipes often feature novel proteins, like bison or venison, and exclude artificial additives and fillers, which may benefit dogs with food sensitivities. However, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before switching your dog’s diet to address food allergies.

Is Freshpet dog food suitable for puppies?

Freshpet dog food offers recipes specifically formulated for puppies, ensuring they receive the appropriate nutrients for healthy growth and development. When selecting Freshpet dog food for your puppy, look for products labeled as suitable for puppies or all life stages. It’s essential to consult your veterinarian to determine the best feeding guidelines and dietary choices for your growing puppy.

How does Freshpet dog food’s cost compare to other dog food brands?

Freshpet dog food tends to be more expensive than traditional kibble or canned dog food due to its use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and the refrigeration requirements. However, the price may be comparable to other premium dog food brands or raw food diets. It’s essential to weigh the benefits of feeding your dog Freshpet dog food against the increased cost when deciding if it’s the right choice for your dog and budget.

How can I transition my dog to Freshpet dog food safely?

To transition your dog to Freshpet dog food safely, start by gradually mixing the new food with their current food over a period of 7-10 days. Begin by replacing 25% of their old food with Freshpet, then increase the ratio of Freshpet to their current food by 25% every few days. This gradual transition will help prevent digestive upset and ensure your dog adjusts to their new diet without any issues.

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Is Freshpet dog food suitable for dogs with specific health conditions?

Freshpet dog food may be suitable for dogs with specific health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney issues, as their recipes often focus on high-quality proteins and low-glycemic vegetables. However, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before switching your dog’s diet to address a specific health concern. They can help you determine if Freshpet is the best option for your dog’s unique needs and provide guidance on any necessary dietary modifications.

How do I store Freshpet dog food?

Freshpet dog food requires refrigeration to maintain its freshness and quality. Keep the food in the original packaging and store it in the refrigerator at temperatures between 34°F and 40°F (1°C and 4°C). Once opened, use a resealable lid or plastic wrap to keep the food fresh and prevent it from drying out. Freshpet dog food typically has a shelf life of 7 days after opening, so be sure to use it within this time frame.

Does Freshpet dog food contain preservatives or artificial ingredients?

Freshpet dog food prides itself on using fresh, natural ingredients and avoiding the use of artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. The recipes rely on natural preservation methods, such as refrigeration and vacuum sealing, to maintain the freshness and quality of the ingredients. This ensures that your dog receives a wholesome, nutritious meal without the potential risks associated with artificial additives.

Can I mix Freshpet dog food with other types of dog food?

Yes, you can mix Freshpet dog food with other types of dog food, such as kibble or canned food, to provide variety in your dog’s diet or transition them to a new food. However, it’s essential to ensure that the combined diet still meets your dog’s nutritional requirements and does not lead to overfeeding or an imbalance of nutrients. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the appropriate ratios and feeding guidelines when mixing different types of dog food.

How can I determine the appropriate serving size of Freshpet dog food for my dog?

The appropriate serving size of Freshpet dog food for your dog depends on various factors, such as their age, weight, activity level, and specific dietary needs. Freshpet dog food packaging typically includes feeding guidelines based on your dog’s weight, but these are only a starting point. It’s essential to monitor your dog’s body condition and adjust the serving size as needed, with guidance from your veterinarian, to ensure they maintain a healthy weight and receive the necessary nutrients.

Can I heat or cook Freshpet dog food before feeding it to my dog?

Freshpet dog food is pre-cooked and can be served straight from the refrigerator. However, if your dog prefers their food slightly warm, you can heat the food for a short time in the microwave or a warm water bath. Be sure to mix the food thoroughly and check the temperature before serving to avoid hot spots that could burn your dog’s mouth.

Are there any potential drawbacks to feeding my dog Freshpet dog food?

Some potential drawbacks to feeding your dog Freshpet dog food include the higher cost compared to traditional kibble or canned food and the need for refrigeration, which may not be convenient for all households or situations, such as traveling or camping. Additionally, some dogs may not adapt well to the change in diet, leading to digestive upset or other issues. It’s essential to weigh these factors against the potential benefits of feeding your dog Freshpet dog food and consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

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