Fresh With Your Pet
Almost two weeks ago, our family got involved in a promotional food delivery program called Fresh With Your Pet, a partnership between Freshpet and HelloFresh. We’re half-way through the month-long regimen and I have to say, so far, we’re pretty happy!
Freshpet produces a line of food for dogs and cats. They describe their product as “real, all natural pet food made from scratch with the freshest ingredients… meals are crafted using real meat and veggies you can see. We never have any preservatives – that’s why you’ll find us in the fridge on the pet food aisle.”
HelloFresh is a meal delivery service that sources ingredients from independent producers and delivers top quality products nationwide. Their chefs work with dietitians to create more than a dozen healthy new recipes each week.
This project came at very opportune time: both of the humans and the canine in our household recently started watching what they ate in an effort to lose a few pounds.
The humans are using a calorie-counting app and the dog is on a program recommended by our vet. The healthy ingredients in both the Freshpet and HelloFresh meals are making watching our caloric intake easy, while enjoying tasty food to boot!
Before starting Bodhi on the Freshpet diet, I consulted with Dr. Christina Moore, Urban Dog’s resident expert on dog health. She checked out the ingredients of the food and gave it a “thumbs up!” (You can read more about Dr. Moore’s thoughts about dog nutrition here.) She also said it’s important to be careful when changing a dog’s food regimen so as not to cause gastrointestinal distress. When Dr. Moore changes her dogs’ diets she starts with a ratio of 25% new food to 75% old food on day one. She slowly increases the amount of new food to 100% by day five. The folks at Freshpet agree: “Most pets can switch right over with no problem, but some may have sensitive stomachs. Freshpet always advises a gentle transition over the course of a week or so, to help make sure the change doesn’t upset anyone’s tummy.” Bodhi’s transition took him six days; he had no apparent stomach problems during any part of the process.
We started with Freshpet’s Tender Chicken Recipe rolls. They look like a giant sausages. You chop off slices and then cut them into cubes for serving. It’s made with chicken, peas, carrots, and brown rice. After the first week, we started to mix things up and served Bodhi their Fresh From the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken Recipe. This food comes in a bag and consists of loose pieces of chicken meat, carrots, spinach, and cranberries. Bodhi loved the food immediately! While I was preparing his dish he sat nearby… waiting (somewhat) patiently… drooling.
After a week it was pretty clear to us that Bodhi was really enjoying this food. And we also noticed something that was a really big deal for us! As a puppy, Bodhi suffered a very serious congenital disease. One of its lingering effects is that he strains a lot when he goes to the bathroom and his poop is usually pretty soft. Almost immediately after switching to Freshpet, we found that he strained less and his stool was firm. I’m certainly not a doctor or a scientist, but like all dog owners, I pay a lot of attention to my dog’s bathroom habits! While I can’t say for sure the Freshpet food was the reason for this improvement in Bodhi’s poop, the “evidence” certainly seemed to suggest it!
And regarding Bodhi’s weight loss? He continues to shed pounds; he has two more pounds to go to reach our vet’s target.
We also got some samples of their Dog Joy Turkey Bacon treats. Needless to say, Bodhi loved these too. Just look at how he eyes the rasher!
To compare your current dog food to Freshpet, click here.
And to read more about Freshpet in general, click here.
I have to say I really like food. I enjoy eating out. I enjoy cooking at home. But when it comes to cooking at home, it is very easy to fall into a rut. Seriously, I think we’ve been eating tacos on Tuesdays for a couple of years now! (Our tacos are VERY good I’ll have you know!) And when you are trying to watch what you eat, the ruts are easier to fall into and even less interesting. How much yogurt can one eat?
So getting enrolled in HelloFresh’s home deliver service has been a godsend!
This week’s delivery came with Creamy Dill Chicken with roasted potatoes and green bean; Sesame Beef Tacos with quick pickled veggies and spicy crema; and Sweet Apple Pork Tenderloin with cauliflower mash and snap peas. All three were super easy to make. Our first night we prepared the chicken. I’m pretty neutral about dill. Sometimes recipes can have too much and overpower the other flavors, but this dish had just the right amount! The tacos were great too. We liked the mix of Asian and Mexican flavor profiles. (We will have to challenge HelloFresh to a taco taste-off!)
We saved the pork tenderloin dish for Sunday dinner. HelloFresh provided a recipe card and seven, pre-measured ingredients: pork, apples, potatoes, cauliflower, thyme, sugar snap peas, and chicken stock concentrate. The great thing about a meal delivery service is getting just the right amount of each ingredient for the recipe. You don’t have to buy more than you need. If I were doing this recipe from scratch, I’d probably have to buy more concentrate than I’d have any use for in the near future. We were responsible for four staples: salt, pepper, oil, and butter.
The recipe had six easy-to-follow steps. (You can see Bodhi was involved throughout the entire process!)
And the end result was pretty amazing.
At 600 calories per serving, this filling and tasty meal fit in perfectly with our calorie-watching plan. (I checked our calorie counting app and a similar meal at a restaurant was several hundred calories more!)
Our second delivery had Chicken Parm Salad with baby spinach and a creamy lemon dressing; Figgy Balsamic Pork with roasted green beans and rosemary potatoes; and Beef Rice Noodle Bowls with carrots, cucumber, and peanut sauce. They were just as satisfying as the first week’s meals.
We’re looking forward to the next two weeks.
For more on HelloFresh, click here.
We’ll let you know how the whole month goes in another post!