Frequently Asked Questions
Your questions deserve honest and immediate answers
Why should I choose Fresh?
Diet is the foundation of health, and whether it’s in our lives or our pets, a ‘fresh & local’ food choice is always the healthiest choice. FreshRx recipes always start with fresh, pure cuts of human grade chicken, beef or salmon and are then paired with local legumes, fruit and vegetables – all sourced locally. Unlike conventional dry or canned pet food, FreshRx contains no fillers, no chemical preservatives and no animal by-products or meat meals. Both dogs and cats are designed by nature to consume, digest and assimilate the nutrients that occur naturally in fresh, minimally processed food that is not exposed to extreme ‘denaturing’ heat. As more people move to better ingredients and less processed foods for themselves and their families, they are making the same choices for their companion animals.
What exactly does Fresh mean:
If you were to ask Mother Nature, she would say that fresh food is food that spoils ‘naturally’ i.e. a banana, milk or meat left on a counter overnight. As a result, it’s easy to see whether a food is fresh or not. Plus, without the convenience of a cold freezer or fridge, fresh food quickly spoils, turning brown and moldy.
FreshRx only uses Canadian sourced meats, legumes, fruits and vegetables – all of which spoil if left at room temperature or stored in a pantry. With no artificial preservatives, FreshRx relies on ‘cold’ for preserving nature’s goodness.
My dog loves kibble. Why should I feed Fresh?
Finding a super-premium quality kibble is a challenging task in today’s hyper competitive pet food market. Although there are some perceived ‘high-quality’ kibbles on the market, the quality of ingredients used in the majority kibbles are questionable, even before the cooking process begins. After the cooking and extrusion processes, the nutrient availability has plummeted under the high temperatures and mechanical pressure. Although meat products can sometimes be the first ingredient on a list, this list is made up by weight, and meats are always at least 70% moisture. After all the moisture is cooked out of the mixture, the dry ingredients added then encompass the biggest percentage of the recipe. The design of these recipes are based on loopholes like using a tactic called “ingredient splitting” to make the meat content seem higher. For example if you had a recipe with 40lbs of meat, and 70lbs of corn, you could use 2 slightly different corn ingredients, each at 35lbs, to make the 40lbs of meat, be the largest ingredient by weight, therefore, listed first on the package. Big players in the pet food industry have been successful in using this tactic to convince pet parents that it’s a quality, healthy food since the number one ingredient is meat.
Some conventional dry dog foods advertise fresh ingredients. How is this?
This is simply a marketing tactic. Don’t let the pretty packaging fool you. If you leave kibble in a pet’s bowl for a week, a month, even a year, there will be little or no spoilage. The kibble will most likely have the same appearance same as when you left. Mother Nature tells us when a food is truly fresh, not the marketing department of a pet food company. FreshRx will spoil when left at room temperature and should be discarded after being left in a bowl for longer than 4 hours.
How is Fresh Different than Wet or Canned food?
Canned food, like kibble, is cooked at a very high temperature, under extreme pressure. This type of stress denatures the valuable proteins of the meat and legumes, and renders them an unavailable nutrient. Canned recipes often use water as a filler, by adding additional water on top of the natural moisture of the meat. Canned foods also usually contain gels and thickeners to imitate gravy or real meat consistencies.
Fresh Rx recipes start with a minimum of 70% natural, unprocessed, premium meats, with no added water, fillers or gels. The patties are nutrient dense, and can be fed on a quality vs. quantity basis. Dogs will not be hungry if they are getting the adequate nutrients from a smaller meal, rather than just transporting the fillers that the kibble is bulked up with, through their body system into poop. Just like us, our dogs too can be hungry after a huge “fast food” meal, or totally satiated after a smaller, healthy, nutrient filled, fresh meal.
Why a diet of Fresh Rx when regular dog food seems to be working?
The same question can be asked differently: Why eat home cooked fresh food when McDonald’s seems to be ‘working’ and fill me up? The answer is obvious. Why then should it be different for our pets?
As a result, more and more pet owners are looking for food alternatives to hyper processed, mass produced pet food and see home cooking as a better ‘more controlled’ alternative. FreshRx is the “best without the mess” of homemade diets.
How is Fresh Different than Raw?
FreshRx is NOT a raw diet. All meats are “gently” cooked to the minimum temperature requirements outlined by Health Canada to kill E. coli and Salmonella. This is done in order to eliminate your risk of pathogen contamination which can result from handling and feeding raw diets. The result – FreshRx is a diet that is safe and convenient to handle for the whole family, from young children to senior citizens. FreshRx allows veterinarians to safely and confidently compete with raw and super-premium foods found in pet specialty stores. For the first time, veterinary clinics can legitimately compete ‘toe to toe’ with pet specialty in offering a grain free, natural, super premium diet that brings together science based nutrition with ‘home-cooking’ and with none of the potential hazards of feeding a ‘raw’ diet.
Why would I choose FreshRx over other refrigerated pet foods?
FreshRx is a natural whole food which we freeze for your convenience and a longer shelf life. Our ingredients are recognizable as food that you could eat yourself, including fresh, whole cuts of human grade, CFIA inspected meat. The meats are gently cooked to eliminate harmful pathogens, yet maintain the bioavailability of the nutrients within our meat or vegetables. FreshRx includes vitamins and minerals that complement and support the ones that are naturally occurring in our ingredients. But, since we foresee varying seasonal, storage, and handling influences in fresh, harvested ingredients, we compensate by adding a precise vitamin and mineral premix. To maintain the integrity of the vitamins and minerals, these are added to the food after it has been cooked and cooled. Fresh Rx is also proudly made in Aurora, Ontario while other refrigerated pet foods are made in foreign countries and not sold exclusively by your trusted veterinarian.
PET FOOD TERMINOLOGY
What are by-products and fillers?
These are often what are left after all the good portions have been removed for human consumption. For example, chicken by-product contains fat, bones, blood, organs, and undeveloped eggs. Since the CFIA does not regulate pet food that is manufactured and sold within Canada, by-products can also contain “4-D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, and disabled).
By-products can also contain meat from animals that did not pass the human grade inspection for any reason, and these animals can be used in pet food. Another example is Alfalfa meal, a finely ground alfalfa plant, which could be very nutritious. But, alfalfa meal often includes the root, which is not very nutritious, and therefore acts as filler within the ingredient. Using by-products and fillers is an easy ways to bulk up kibble for volume with mediocre ingredients.
What is a premix?
A premix is a pre-calculated blend of vitamins and minerals, used to fortify a diet in the correct species-specific ratios needed to sustain bodily function.
What exactly is bioavailability?
Bioavailability refers to when a nutrient can physically be absorbed and utilized by the animal. For example, pet food labels can list iron oxide, as a way to get iron to show up on an analysis of the recipe, but in fact the dog cannot use iron in this form. Bioavailability of a mineral element implies the availability of that element for some specific body use, rather than just presence in the formula.
What is denaturing?
By definition, denature means to take away or alter the natural qualities of something. In a biological sense, it means to destroy the characteristic properties of (a protein or other biological macromolecule) by heat, acidity, or other effects that disrupt its molecular conformation. Denaturing the proteins within meat, legumes or vegetables in dog food, changes the ability for the dogs body to actually use them.
What is extrusion?
Extrusion means to be pushed out with force. This is a process used to make conventional dry kibble pet foods, by pushing a recipe that looks like a ‘slurry’ through an extruder to get a formed, hard kibble.
Heat and mechanical stress that represents the physical process of extrusion can destroy delicate nutritional components of food ingredients, vitamins and amino acids (especially lysine, cysteine and methionine).
What is the Maillard Reaction, and why is it worrisome?
The extremely low moisture levels, heat and pressure associated with kibble processing accelerate sugars combining with amino acids, also known as the Malliard Reaction. This reaction results in high levels of proteins that are rendered unavailable. Crude protein levels listed on the label will not tell you the amount of protein that is unavailable. The FreshRx diets are designed to make the best possible use out of all the proteins that are supplied, which is why we cook at a low heat, and use very little mechanical stress when package. We target ideal moisture levels in all FreshRx patties to preserve protein function, enzymatic activity, taste, mouth feel, and freshness of our food after thawing.
What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream, creating blood glucose spikes, have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, creating steady blood glucose levels, have a low GI.
INGREDIENTS & SCIENCE
Does FreshRx meet the AAFCO requirements for “complete & balanced”?
FreshRx scientists utilize: AAFCO guidelines, NRC data, Industry standards, current research, experience, and proprietary research. It is important for all pet owners to understand what to include in a diet and most importantly, what should be excluded. What should be excluded are all the things that have contributed to the obesity epidemic in humans and in pets: such as excessive corn based starches and sugars, refined bleached wheat flour, and fillers derived from 2nd choice materials.
Who or what is AAFCO?
The best answer can be found from our friends at ‘Truth About Pet Food.com’:
How can I make sure FreshRx is “Complete and Balanced”?
Our emphasis with FreshRx is to reflect a dogs natural biological demand of nutrients, in a homemade food. This means we have considered the requirements, and have optimized fatty acid, amino acid, mineral, and vitamin supplementation, rather than matching AAFCO’s bare minimum values to avoid deficiencies. None of the nutrients in FreshRx act alone, but rather symbiotically with each other and the body. FreshRx believes by providing a “complete and balanced” adaptable nutrient profile, the animal’s innate abilities can pick and choose exactly what it needs from fresh bioavailable nutrients.
The protein levels in FreshRx are much higher than most other food on the market, Why is this so important?
The first ingredient in FreshRx is always fresh, human grade meat. FreshRx is a protein based diet promoting lean growth, versus a plant based, carbohydrate diet which contributes to the pet obesity epidemic. FreshRx is one of the only diets on the market that provides its amino acid makeup of its proteins. The protein sources in FreshRx are selected to achieve a “complete” protein effect, to provide the proper balance of the necessary essential amino acids. An “Incomplete” protein lacks certain essential amino acids and cannot be used efficiently when eaten alone. Like a puzzle, proteins cannot be complete without all the pieces; you won’t grasp the full picture making the puzzle useless. The body struggles to get rid of this unusable excess protein putting added stress on kidney function. On a recipe analysis, a bag of kibble can still contain an adequate amount of crude protein, but this doesn’t mean its bioavailable to your animal. FreshRx is designed provide whole proteins that the body can actually use and thrive off of, rather than overload a dog with useless excess proteins to have a good “crude protein” reading on the bag.
FreshRx knows that once a dog or cats basic protein needs are met, consuming more protein may help support changes in body composition: increased muscle or lean body mass or repair of damaged muscle or protein rich tissue.
Unique to FreshRx is its precise blend of added synthetic amino acids, which are seen commonly as areas of deficiencies in the modern dog. These are known as the first limiting Amino Acids. In common terms, we add extra puzzle pieces, based on the natural dynamics of nutrition. We know which ones are used up quickly and typically run out first. If we put extras in, you have an ample amount of chances to create a full picture, sustaining the complete proteins for longer.
What does the heart of the patty contain, and why is this blend so important?
The heart contains buckwheat and mannan oligosaccharides as the main ingredients. These both act as active fibers are mixed with pre and probiotics to provide exceptional support to the gastrointestinal system. FreshRx maintenance diets are formulated to have a huge positive effect on gut health.
In what cases does FreshRx provide ideal nutrition?
FreshRx is an all-natural maintenance diet, for your average, healthy pet. With that being said, many pets, that have medical conditions, can excel on FreshRx. It is always best to discuss your dog’s specific medical conditions with your veterinarian to consider if FreshRx would be a good choice for your pet. FreshRx provides ideal nutrition to support a healthy body, and encourage homeostasis. This diet fulfills the needs of the animal to maintain healthy:
- Bones and Joints
- Electrolyte Balance
- Energy and Endurance
- Heart and Circulation
- Immune System
- Vision and Eye Health
- Hair, Nails, and Skin
Are the premix ingredients “human grade”?
Yes, every single one of our ingredients are human grade, including the vitamins and minerals. All vitamin and minerals are specified to be human grade, pure and bioavailable. The vitamins and minerals are not just on the label for analysis sake, but are truly usable by your pet. The premix contains all the necessary minerals and vitamins necessary to complement the naturally occurring nutrients found in the main ingredients.
The premix also contains unique bioactive ingredients, prebiotics and probiotics. It also contains ingredients known to help in stool odor and help prevent grass discoloration from urine.
How is FreshRx produced?
Compared to conventional pet foods, FreshRx uses a much more delicate manufacturing process. The meats are gently cooked for safety, and the vitamins and minerals that are added into FreshRx are never exposed to heat.
The FreshRx patties are individually wrapped and frozen, dramatically reducing any reaction with air. This allows for maximum nutrient potency when it comes time to feed, as air decreases vitamin and fat stability via oxidation. Dogs and cats eating FreshRx are granted the rare chance to consume bioavailable nutrients, in numbers beyond minimum requirements! No need for additional vitamin and mineral supplementation for normal dogs and cats with typical lifestyles.
Where does FreshRx fall in regards to the Glycemic Index (GI)?
FreshRx uses ingredients with a low GI, encouraging steady blood glucose levels. The amount of energy from carbohydrates is significantly lower in FreshRx when compared to most conventional pet foods. For the most part, kibble diets contain the types of carbohydrates that are known to have a very high gylcemic index, when measuring the blood glucose response over a defined period of time. The actual glycemic response to a certain food ingredient in dogs and cats is highly variable. Its dependent on ingredient combinations, quantity, particle size, degree of cooking, recrystallization upon cooling, animal health, gastrointestinal health, age, presence of digestive enzymes and environmental conditions. We not only have digestive enzymes added to ensure efficient digestion, but we also use low carbohydrate ingredients, to create a constant blood glucose levels, without massive carbohydrate spikes at meal time.
Is FreshRx suitable for dogs and cats prone to urinary tract crystals and why?
FreshRx chooses ingredients without excess silica; the most common reason behind urinary crystals. FreshRx also provides nutrition that is designed to maintain homeostasis; normalized health. Our super natural recipe allows for veterinarians to manage health issues since FreshRx is a very fundamental diet with the veterinarian able to add supportive supplements. FreshRx is not a medicine or treatment; it is a companion on the journey to normalized health and activity for your pet.
Does FreshRx contain antioxidants?
FreshRx provides a broad array of antioxidants to help your pet’s body cope with oxidative stressors. FreshRx is an exceptional adaption solution for modern pets’ ever-changing environments and chemicals present in daily life. A dog or cat needs only small amounts of these since their job is to boost and support other processes. This means they don’t get used up as quickly and are not needed in large amounts.
I’ve just learned that corn and grains are not a bad thing in pet food, why would I want to go grain free?
Excessive processed grains and by-products have done exactly to the pets as it has to the human population; increased the occurrence of obesity to near epidemic proportions. Fatty liver disease has been increasing exponentially in pets as more and more pet foods use significantly more corn and corn by products, such as corn gluten and corn distillers grains. The marketing materials of many high grain kibble diets suggest that the action of chewing a kibble actually cleans teeth. Although this isn’t entirely true or false, grain starch is the perfect food for bacteria that thrive in the warm moist environment of a dog and cats mouth and under the gum line. Despite the proliferation of marketing materials that try to prove kibble cleans teeth, the proliferation of oral health problems is increasing as fast as the obesity rate in dog and cats.
Pets on diets with high amounts of processed grains and grain by-products develop what best can be described as undifferentiated fatty liver disease. While AAFCO feeding trials used by companies are promoted to be the “gold standard” in testing the safety and efficaciousness of a diet, a 26 week long AAFCO feeding trials fails to allow for meaningful numbers of test animals to allow for statically reliable data that reflects a lifetime of eating processed grains and certain grain by-products.
Today’s modern genetically modified corn and wheat are vastly different that whole grains of just 25 years ago. Many modern grains are genetically modified, and contain amino acid sequences and proteins never seen before in pet diets. These substances have a higher probability to causing reactions in populations of dogs and cats. Their bodies recognize the modified, and now foreign, amino acid sequences and proteins as potential invaders; thus causing a heightened immune response. Modern farmers agree that corn yield a higher priority than corn digestibility. Total digestive tract digestibility is typically negatively correlated to corn yield and stalk standability. GMO components are known to cause allergies in dogs and cats while at the same time affecting digestibility and utilization of the nutrients in corn.
How will this food be able to clean my pet’s teeth if he doesn’t chew crunchy kibbles?
The jaw of a dog and cat is designed for a carnivorous diet, biting, ripping and slicing into dense moist flesh, and gnawing on structural components of animals such as bones, and collagen. These fresh and natural ingredients promote naturally occurring oral enzyme activity that helps to keep dentition clean. The marketing materials of many high grain kibble diets suggest that the action of chewing a kibble actually cleans teeth. Although this isn’t entirely true or false, grain starch is the perfect food for bacteria that thrive in the warm moist environment of a dog and cats mouth and under the gum line, promoting tartar build-up. Looking into a dog or cats mouth will immediately show the pet owner that the teeth are pointed and curved in such a manner that a kibble has limited contact points with the kibble. The best illustration of this fact is that a human dentist does not recommend to their patients to chew on a hard pretzel or eat dry crackers to maintain proper oral health. Not only do the pretzels and crackers not clean the teeth, often they get stuck in the teeth. Brushing is still highly recommended to support oral health, in humans and in pets. The right kinds of dental chews and bones can also help support a healthy mouth. Most importantly, encouraging these natural oral enzymes with our wholesome, honest ingredients is best thing you can do for your pet.
How does FreshRx promote healthy stools and a seamless transition from a different food?
The proof is in the poop! The fibers in FreshRx are included to help support normal gastrointestinal environment, regulate blood sugar, encourages weight loss, promotes proper anal gland function, and helps decrease the rate of colorectal cancer.
The fibers in the heart blend, in combination of yeast cell walls, and the fibers in apple pumice, flax seeds, pinto beans and fava beans come together for a precise combination of dietary fibers that enable the pet to maintain a healthier digestive tract. The fibers come from the wholesome ingredients as nature intended; they are not refined; rather they are defined by nature. The body is the smartest machine; it will utilize the good materials, and transport the bad materials out, in the form of a huge, soft poop! The poops created while on a FreshRx diet are smaller, firmer, and have a less foul odor.
How is FreshRx beneficial for a pet with allergies or food sensitivities?
FreshRx contains premium, fortified ingredients that can act as a super supplement to your pet. For comparison, a human can have super healthy, yummy smoothie with chalk full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and natural fresh ingredients. A dog can have FreshRx to reap the same kind of benefits. Our ingredients are all human grade and locally sourced. We have eliminated most common sensitivities from our recipes, like grain, wheat, corn, soy, and gluten. Furthermore, our recipe contains no fish or meat meals, no artificial ingredients, no by-products and no preservatives, which also significantly decreases the chance of reactions. Instead of your dog being in constant turmoil with his daily diet, his body will have a chance to build a healthy and strong immune system. You will see the FreshRx difference in their skin, coat, ears, physique, and general energy levels.
My dog has dermatological issues, Will FreshRx help?
FreshRx provides the best bioavailable nutrients that will support proper skin and coat conditions as well as void of common skin irritants. For skin and coat problems, a recipe void of the common skin and coat irritants is much more valuable than any additive to try and boost skin support.
What are the General Feeding Guidelines for FreshRx for Dogs?
The feeding guidelines are 1 patty for every 15 to 20 lbs., depending on total weight. The calorie content of a FreshRx patty is between 258 and 338 kcal depending on the flavour.
How is FreshRx fed?
Meat is stored in the freezer and fridge not the pantry therefore FreshRx is a frozen diet that needs to be thawed before serving. The easiest way is to keep the next 1-3 day’s meals in the fridge or take out the night before and thaw in the refrigerator. Then they are ready to feed.
FreshRx patties can also be put in a warm water bath and allowed to thaw over a 5 to 10 minute period. The patties can also be left out on a counter and allowed to thaw overnight if desired but then must be fed immediately the next morning. If the pet parent is in a ‘time-jam’ and forgets to thaw the food, each patty is sealed in over-wrap film that is microwaveable safe—microwave on high for 35-50 seconds (depending on the microwave) for optimal results. Some pets also prefer the patty to be at room temperature rather than cold. Additionally, smaller dogs prefer the patty to be broken up into smaller pieces and then served rather than served whole. Each pet is unique. What is universal is the passion and enjoyment pets have for the tastes and smells of eating real ‘fresh’ food.
Is feeding FreshRx convenient and easy?
Unlike raw diets or ‘do-it-yourself’ home cooking, there is no slicing, dicing or food preparation with FreshRx. Simply thaw, and serve. The patties come individually wrapped, which makes thawing only what you need super simple and no mess. FreshRx is a gently cooked food, meaning no E. coli or Salmonella risk for your household. Feel free to soak up as many kisses as your pup will give you, worry free!
Can I supplement my current kibble with FreshRx?
Absolutely! FreshRx will still provide a dog excellent nutritional benefits, even when mixed with kibble. A FreshRx patty is a whole food super supplement that will recharge and refresh any kibble diet. Be sure not to overfeed and cut back on the kibble accordingly.
The FreshRx patties seem small, Will my dog be hungry?
Our patties are made to be nutrient dense, with adequate, not excessive moisture. Our recipes contain no fillers, as they create unnecessary volume and bulk up the recipe, which just comes out as bigger feces. FreshRx has taken the position that ‘more isn’t better’; ‘better is better’.
FreshRx provides more balanced nutrients in every bite so that the animal consumes more goodness with less waste. The concentration of bioavailable ingredients eliminates the need to eat large quantities of “dry” (kibble) diets to get the necessary energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Once Thawed, how long is the product good for in my fridge?
Optimally, thawed patties are best if used within 4 days of thawing and kept in the fridge. If they have sat thawed in your refrigerator for more than 7 days, discard them.
Once in my pets bowl, how long is the product good for?
Out the fridge, the product should sit for no longer than 4 hours at room temperature.
How long will a 12 patty bag of FreshRx last my dog?
A bag of 12 patties will last a smaller dog 12 days if being fed as the sole maintenance diet. It will last a medium sized dog about a week.
How does the daily cost of FreshRx compare to some leading ‘grain free’ kibble brands?
Orijen = The retail price for a Western Canadian made, premium kibble is about $25 for a 5lb bag. This bag will last a 15 lb dog about 18 days. The price per day is $1.38.
Fromm = The retail price for a gourmet, grain free, made in the USA holistic dog food, is ~$20 for a for a 4lb bag. This bag will last a 15lb dog about 13 days. Price per day is $1.45.
Now! = The retail price for a super premium, Canadian, grain free, kibble is around $22 for a 4lb bag. This 4lb bag will last a 15lb dog, about 10 days. The price per day is $2.20
The retail price of FreshRx is also around $25.89 for a 12 patty bag. These 12 patties will last a 15 lb dog, eating 1 patty per day, 12 days. The price per day is $2.15.