You’ve decided to switch your pet from shelf-stable to fresh food – that’s great! If we had to guess, you too believe that the future of pet food looks a little something like this: recipes made with fresh, whole ingredients that are gently cooked without preservatives, and are kept in the fridge where meats belong. But what makes fresh food stand out from the rest? It all comes down to the positive physical and behavioral changes you’ll notice in your pet once you make the switch to fresh, healthy dog food.
What changes can I
expect when my dog switches to fresh food?
When your dog says goodbye to kibble and hello to fresh recipes,
they’ll also be welcoming a number of changes to their health and behavior,
- Better digestion: One of the biggest
changes that come with switching to fresh food is improved digestion.
Ingredients like fiber-rich spinach and green beans are easy on your dog’s
digestive system and help keep them ‘regular’.
- Healthier coat and skin: You’ll notice when switching to fresh food that your dog’s coat starts to develop a healthy, shiny glow. This is thanks to the fatty acids found in whitefish and salmon, two popular ingredients in our recipes which help maintain healthy coats and soft skin
- Better eyesight: You may also notice
that your dog has a more keen sense of sight, thanks to ingredients like
carrots, which are a great source of vitamins and minerals linked to supporting
- More energy: The high-quality protein used in fresh food, such as chicken, beef, bison, lamb, and turkey, is packed with amino acids. This helps your dog sustain their energy levels and maintain lean, strong muscles.
What do I need to keep
in mind when switching my dog to fresh food?
While there are numerous benefits to switching your dog from kibble to fresh food, it does require a bit of a mindset shift for owners. The big thing to keep in mind is that serving fresh meals, like Freshpet, is a four-step process.
- Step 1: As soon as the fresh food arrives in your home, it needs to be refrigerated – we recommend storing it in a US standard fridge temp of 35º-40º F for optimal freshness. Once opened, it can last up to seven days in the fridge so long as it’s in an airtight container. If needed, it can be frozen but please read these guidelines.
- Step 2: Measure the correct
amount of food per serving by reviewing the feeding guidelines and cutting at
the packaging marks provided
- Step 3: Once cut, you can slice
the fresh food into cubes or, depending on your pet’s preference, dice smaller
- Step 4: If your dog doesn’t
enjoy their meal cold, you can bring it to room temperature by letting it sit
for 10-15 minutes before serving. We don’t recommend microwaving and uneaten
food should be disposed of after one hour.
It may seem daunting at first, but before you know it, these four steps to feeding the freshest, best dog food will become second nature.
How can I switch my dog from kibble to fresh food?
When making the switch from kibble to fresh food, the key is to
take things slowly. If you transition too quickly, it can result in an upset
stomach and digestive issues, neither of which will be too fun for you or your
Start by feeding both Freshpet and your pet’s current food, and
increase the amount of Freshpet every few days, while decreasing your pet’s current
food. We recommend the following timeline:
- Days 1-3: ¼ fresh food, ¾ kibble
- Days 3-6: ½ fresh food, ½
- Days 7-10: ¾ fresh food,
- Days 11+: Completely
transition to fresh food
By day 11, your dog’s digestive system will have become used to
fresh food and you’re free to say goodbye to kibble for good. If you still have
some of your dog’s old food left over, consider donating it to a local shelter
or rescue organization. They are often happy to accept open packages of food,
as long as they’re within their best-before period.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of what to
expect when you switch to feeding fresh. If you have any other questions about
whether fresh is right for your dog, speak to your veterinarian. They’ll be
able to help to find the best type of food for your dog.