Dr. Aziza Explains How to Pick the Best Freshpet Product for Your Dog or Cat

When it comes to choosing food for your pet, it can be hard to know where to start. Even once you’ve decided to go with real, fresh food straight from the fridge, how do you know which recipe is best? Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza, is here to answer your top questions about the various types of Freshpet’s healthy dog food products and which ones may be appropriate for different types of health needs and preferences.

How should I go about picking the best protein for my
pet?

There are many factors
that determine the best protein for your pet, including:

  • Food allergies: Does your pet have food allergies? If so, then it is likely due to the protein source in the food. If you have already determined the cause of the allergies, then all you need to do is avoid products that contain that ingredient. If you are not sure, then it is recommended to perform a food diet trial with the guidance of a veterinarian. An effective method uses novel proteins, which are ingredients you know your pet has never received before in its lifetime. For instance, the Vital® Grain-Free Beef & Bison Recipe with Spinach, Cranberries & Blueberries for Dogs would be a great choice for dogs allergic to common proteins found in over-the-counter diets.
  • Dietary recommendations: Veterinarians often make dietary recommendations for medical concerns like dry skin or digestive disturbances, because finding a good product will help address these medical concerns. For example, your vet may recommend a diet that is more gentle on their stomach if they frequently develop diarrhea. Freshpet® Select Sensitive Stomach & Skin recipe is formulated with ingredients like chicken, rice, and pumpkin that are commonly recommended for diarrhea and indigestion.
  • Taste and Texture: A very important factor in determining the best dog food for your pet is their personal preference. Yes, pets can have a preference for certain foods and recipes and it’s often influenced by taste, texture, and smell. I recommend trying out the different formats of Freshpet foods available (ie patties, pate, rolls, shredded, and bagged) to see which style your pet enjoys the most.
  • Get help: If you’re not sure where to start, use Freshpet’s product selector to guide you to the best recipes for you and your pet’s unique needs.

How do I know which format of food I should select for my
dog?

I recommended choosing the format of food based on your pet’s needs and personal preference. Some dogs have severe periodontal disease and will therefore benefit from the rolls or pate formats since they are softer and more gentle on their teeth, whereas others will prefer the texture of the bagged or shredded food. Also, take into consideration your dog’s size – a small breed dog will benefit from the rolls or bagged food formulated in small bites versus those made for a large breed dog.

Why could Spring and Sprout, Freshpet’s plant-based
option, be a good choice for my dog?

Some dogs have very severe food allergies and can benefit from being on a vegetarian diet. Although this is not common, having an option like the Spring and Sprout™ Plant-Based Protein and Cage-Free Egg Recipe for Dogs is a great choice for pets with these unique needs. There are some pet parents that are vegetarian or vegan themselves and do not like handling or smelling meat proteins. With the Spring and Sprout™ recipe, it is possible to keep your home completely meat-free.

Where does the protein come from in Spring and Sprout™?

The protein found in the Spring and Sprout™recipe comes from cage-free eggs and soybeans. This plant-based diet is designed to be nutritionally well-balanced, packed with protein, and environmentally friendly.

How can I tell if my pet has an intolerance to a certain
ingredient?

If your pet is
intolerant to a certain ingredient, you’ll most likely see skin or digestive
problems like itchy skin or diarrhea. If you’re not sure if the symptoms you’re
observing are linked to food, then consult with your primary care veterinarian.

What should I feed my dog with a sensitive stomach?

Dogs with sensitive stomachs can often benefit from diets that are relatively gentle for the digestive system to process. The go-to meal most veterinarians recommend for these types of problems is boiled chicken with rice. If you’re not savvy in the kitchen, however, don’t worry. Freshpet’s Select Sensitive Stomach and Skin is a very good recipe to use. Not only does it have steamed chicken and brown rice, but it also contains pumpkin which is great for constipation and diarrhea.

What are the benefits of my pet going grain-free?

The benefits of going grain-free are mostly based on the pet parent’s preference. It’s very rare to have a gluten or grain allergy in dogs, but if your pet has been diagnosed with one, then grain-free diets are perfect for your pet. Thankfully, Freshpet has many options for you to choose from! I recommend trying Freshpet’s Vital chicken or beef and bison recipes to meet your dog’s needs.

How do I know if my dog should go grain-free?

Grain-free diets are the
center of many debates within veterinary medicine. Some studies have linked
grain-free diets to increased risk of certain kinds of heart disease, but the
mechanism that causes this link is still being investigated. However, if you
have a pet that is predisposed to developing heart disease then it may be best
to not go grain-free. Ultimately, it’s important that you discuss with your
primary care veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist to determine if your pet
is a good candidate for grain-free diets.

If you’d like a second
opinion on which recipe to chose, schedule an appointment with your pet’s
veterinarian. They’ll be happy to talk through the different options and make
recommendations based on your pet’s health history.

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