Freshpet Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Vet, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Freshpet dog food a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. 


One of the first brands to promote fresh food for pets, Freshpet has been on the market since 2006. Freshpet is available at many pet food retailers and is instantly recognizable as the rolled food in the refrigerator. Along with that, Freshpet also offers bagged refrigerated dog food and treats.

There’s a lot to like about Freshpet, including its cooked and pasteurized foods, meats sourced from North America, and commitment to the environment. Learn more about the pros and cons of Freshpet dog food.

divider-pawAt a Glance: The Best Freshpet Dog Food Recipes:

Freshpet Food Reviewed

Who makes Freshpet and where is it produced?

Freshpet is an American pet food company that produces both dog and cat foods. The brand was founded in Secaucus, NJ, in 2006 by Scott Morris, Cathal Walsh, and John Phelps, all former pet food executives. The factory opened in Quakertown, PA, in 2006, followed by another in Bethlehem, PA, in 2013. The brand is public on NASDAQ as of 2014.

All Freshpet ingredients are sourced in North America from farmers and growers with the same commitment to the company’s environmental responsibility. All meat is 100% farm-raised and shipped to the kitchens in Bethlehem.

Which type of dog is Freshpet best suited for?

Freshpet offers a range of product lines and recipes for puppies, adult dogs, and small dogs. Recipes are available in grain-free and grain-inclusive, with meat as the primary source of animal protein. Freshpet offers complete and balanced nutrition in each recipe and for each life stage, but it may be expensive for pet parents on a budget.

Which type of dog might do better with a different brand?

The rolled dog food recipes contain one pound of food. According to Freshpet, one pound is recommended per day for a dog that weighs 40 to 60 pounds. A larger breed would need two rolls a day (if not more), and that may present issues with shortages or costs.

Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

As the name suggests, Freshpet offers fresh, refrigerated ingredients balanced for your dog’s needs.

Animal Protein Sources

Regardless of the recipe, Freshpet features animal protein sources like beef or chicken as the first ingredients to provide the amino acids dogs need. Other animal sources include organ meat, such as beef liver, and beef broth for flavor and moisture.

Quality Carbohydrate Sources

Freshpet recipes have a combination of ingredients like oats, cranberries, carrots, brown rice, and rice bran that provide carbohydrates,  fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. All of these ingredients offer nutrition for a dog.

australian shepherd dog eating, steel bowl
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

Macronutrient Breakdown

All foods for humans and animals alike are broken down into macronutrients, or protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Depending on the recipe, Freshpet offers above-average macronutrients. The rolled Chunky Beef Recipe has a dry matter protein of 46%, a fat content of 27%, and a carbohydrate content of 18%.

Controversial Ingredients

Freshpet does have some controversial ingredients, including carbohydrate sources that may skew the overall protein content. Though most of the protein in Freshpet comes from animal sources, which are the primary ingredients, some protein may come from ingredients like peas, and soy flour. These less expensive products can boost the protein content significantly. Peas are also a legume, which may have contributed to the cases of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs reported by the FDA.

Dog eating in a dog bowl
Image Credit: Karsten Wineagart, Unsplash

A Quick Look at Freshpet Dog Food

  • Responsible ingredient sourcing and made in USA
  • Animal protein sources as primary ingredients
  • Excellent nutritional breakdown
  • Fresh, refrigerated food
  • Multiple product lines and food formulas
  • Some controversial ingredients
  • Cost-prohibitive
  • May be subject to local shortages

Recall History

Freshpet has had a few recalls due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria in 2021 and 2022. Both recalls involved a single lot for contamination and the product was accidentally shipped to retailers in a limited geographic area.


Reviews of the 3 Best Freshpet Food Recipes

1. Freshpet Healthy & Natural Dog Food Fresh Beef Roll

Freshpet Healthy & Natural Dog Food, Fresh Beef Roll

This rolled recipe features 100% natural US-farm-raised beef as the first ingredients and no meat meals or byproduct meals. The food is formulated for small, medium, and large dogs as an adult maintenance diet with exceptional protein and vitamin- and antioxidant-rich vegetables. The rolled dog food is conveniently marked for perfect portions and keeps in the refrigerator for 7 days after opening. Large dogs or multiple dogs may go through a roll more quickly, which is difficult when it has to be refrigerated and may be out of stock locally.

  • Beef as first ingredient
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Fresh
  • Minimal shelf life
  • Must be refrigerated
  • May be out of stock locally

2. Freshpet Select Roll Small Wet Dog Chicken & Turkey Recipe Refrigerated Wet Dog Food

Freshpet Select Roll Small Wet Dog Chicken & Turkey Recipe Refrigerated Wet Dog Food

This nutrient-dense, soft-texture recipe is formulated for small dogs with no grains, gluten, soy, or fillers. Appropriate for all life stages, the roll features chicken and turkey as first ingredients and plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables like cranberries, pumpkin puree, blueberries, and spinach. Like other rolled recipes, this product comes in a one-pound roll that must be refrigerated and keeps for 7 days. Still, this food may be cost-prohibitive for pet parents on a budget and may be subject to local shortages. It has a minimal shelf life, so you can’t stock up like you can on kibble.

  • Chicken and turkey as first ingredients
  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh
  • Minimal shelf life
  • Must be refrigerated
  • May be subject to local shortages

3. Freshpet Dog Food Nature’s Fresh Salmon Recipe

Freshpet Dog Food Nature's Fresh Salmon Recipe

Formulated for dogs with food sensitivities with chicken, this recipe provides salmon and ocean whitefish as the sole sources of animal protein. This salmon recipe uses verified non-GMO, responsibly and ethically sourced salmon and fruits and vegetables to support your dog’s lean muscle mass and skeletal health. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids provide essential nutrients for skin and coat health. Like other rolls, this food has markers for correct portions and keeps in the refrigerator for 7 days. If your dog requires more than one pound of food a day, it may be cost-prohibitive and difficult to source locally.

  • Fish sources of protein
  • Responsibly and ethically sourced
  • Fresh and refrigerated
  • Cost-prohibitive
  • May be difficult to find with shortages

What Other Users Are Saying

According to reviews, many users are happy with Freshpet for their dogs. Here are some notable reviews:

  • Chewy: “I love that it is fresh wholesome food that I don’t have to worry about my dog eating.”
  • Petsmart: “I went from a dog who would barely eat every day to a dog who begs for this food regularly.”
  • Amazon: As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. Check them out.


Freshpet is a pioneer in the fresh pet food revolution. Since its start in 2006, Freshpet has had minimal recalls and expanded its product lines to include both rolled and bagged varieties, all refrigerated, and options for puppies, adult dogs, and small breeds with grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Though Freshpet is an excellent option, it can be inconvenient and cost-prohibitive for some, especially with large dogs. Because of its minimal shelf life, you can’t stock up and may struggle to find food regularly at local suppliers due to shortages.

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