Fresh Pet Vital: Gently Cooked Dog Food

Founded in 2006, freshpet is one of the largest gently cooked dog food brands on the market, with over 20 different recipes of different compositions, and with different ingredients – including novel proteins, and single-protein recipes. Freshpet can be found in most large retailers – from Walmart to Petco, even local grocers, making it the most widely available lightly cooked brand, and one of the most affordable options for pet parents looking to feed fresh food.

FreshPet Dog Food offers a large variety of different gently cooked diets for dogs. These recipes range from high to moderate protein, and are typically high in fat (greater than 50% on a caloric basis). Carbohydrates range between restricted (at less than 10% on a caloric basis) to moderate (at greater than 30%). Foods are also offered in a large range of life-stages, breed sizes and ingredients. Since these foods are refrigerated rather than frozen, some preservatives are used for shelf-stability purposes, and food are not produced in a way that is compatible with human-edible or human-grade standards – similar to most traditional pet foods.

OVERVIEW:

Company Answered Questions: No, information was obtained from the company website.

Who formulated the FreshPet diets? Did you work with a particular consulting group, or a particular individual to formulate your recipes – if so could you provide the name of the person/group that did.

Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo (PhD in Food Science) while consulting with: Lisa Weeth DVM, DACVN, Beth Hamper DVM, DACVN, Melissa Brookshire, DVM, Kelly Swanson, PhD Animal Nutrition & Nutrigenomics.

Do you have anyone on staff with an animal nutrition, food science, animal science, or veterinary background? If so, what is their education level and experience in the field?

Freshpet employs full time Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo, who is a qualified veterinarian with a PhD in Applied Biochemistry and Food Science.

Where do you source your ingredients from? What do you require from suppliers as far as paperwork so ensure ingredient consistency? What testing do you do on ingredients coming into the facility? In particular do you test for: pathogens (salmonella, listeria, e.coli, campylobacter), mycotoxins, and heavy metals? If you do not do testing yourselves what type of certificates of analysis or third-party testing do you require on ingredients coming into the facility?

A team of individuals from Quality Assurance, Procurement and Research & Development looks at and approves of each one of FreshPet’s suppliers and ingredients. Ingredients/Supplements are examined for organoleptic properties, proximate analysis, vitamin/mineral profiles, microbiological safety. Then each ingredient is monitored for ingredient traceability, sustainability and consistency. On a regular basis raw ingredients are measured and sampled to compare to the suppliers Certificate of Analysis and any variations trigger rejections of ingredients going forward.

Where the FreshPet recipes manufactured? Do you own your own manufacturing facilities? Are any other pet foods or human foods manufactured at the same facility, if so which ones? How is the equipment cleaned between batches? If you use a co-packing facility or a facility that also manufactures other food items how do they prevent cross-contamination between batches?

A majority of the FreshPet products are produced in the Kitchens in Bethlehem, PA. A small amount of products are produced using an outside manufacturer (un-named) that follows procedures outlined by FreshPet.

What post-manufacturing testing is performed on the FreshPet products? Do you test for: pathogens, mycotoxins, metal fragments, guaranteed analysis, thyroid hormone, the full nutrient profile of amino acids, and essential fatty acids? Do your products undergo a “test and hold” procedure where the food is held for several days to wait for all quality control testing to come back prior to shipping it out to the customer?

All cooked recipes are sent for microbiological analysis and are tested for listeria, salmonella, anaerobic bacteria, enterobacter, yeast mold and lactic acid bacteria. All of the tests are done prior to being released to the market. Additional quality control measures are checked every 30 minutes in production of things like color, pH, inclusion and packaging checks. Hourly recipes are checked for microbiological analysis.

Have the FreshPet recipes undergone AAFCO feeding trials? If not, do you have plans to do so?

Some of the FreshPet recipes have AAFCO feeding trials, but others are formulated to AAFCO nutrient standards.

Have you done digestibility trials on your diets, if so could I have the digestibility data?

Some FreshPet recipes do have digestibility trials, the rest are unknown.

Has your company ever had a recall? If so, what have you done to prevent this from ever happening again?

Yes, June 13th 2021: FreshPet Voluntarily Recalls select products for potential Salmonella contamination.

RECIPES:

Chicken & Rice Recipe

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Peas, Carrots, Eggs, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil, Inulin, Salt, Celery Powder, Spinach, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

AAFCO Statement: Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 29%
  • Carbs: 27%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat: 54%
  • Carbs: 17%

Beef & Bison Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Bison, Beef Broth, Spinach, Cranberries, Blueberries, Pea Protein, Carrageenan, Salt, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Celery Powder, Fish Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

AAFCO Statement: Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 8.5%
  • Fat: 8%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 33%
  • Carbs: 28%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 58%
  • Carbs: 17%

Turkey & Rice Recipe

Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Carrots, Eggs, Brown Rice, Spinach, Rice Bran, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Fish Oil, Celery Powder, Salt, Peas, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

AAFCO Statement: Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 8%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 33%
  • Carbs: 23%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 59%
  • Carbs: 14%

Chicken, Beef & Salmon Puppy Recipe

Ingredients: Chicken, Beef, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Sweet Potato, Egg, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Spinach, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Celery Powder, Salt, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

AAFCO Statement: Freshpet Vital Grain Free Puppy Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth, including growth of large size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult).

Balanced for puppies, including those with an adult weight over 70lbs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 11%
  • Fat: 8%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 46%
  • Fat: 33%
  • Carbs: 17%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 58%
  • Carbs: 9%

Salmon & Ocean Whitefish Recipe

Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Broth, Spinach, Cranberries, Blueberries, Ocean Whitefish, Sweet Potatoes, Lentils, Sunflower Oil, Pea Protein, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Celery Powder, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Inulin, Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid.

AAFCO Statement: Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 29%
  • Carbs: 29%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 53%
  • Carbs: 19%

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