Canine Nutrition

Day 1 Living Fridge Free: I Can Do This, Right?

12 Comments 29 September 2013

Kol’s Note: I am writing about the Freshpet #FridgeChallenge as a part of a promotional campaign and I am being compensated for my time and for sharing my experience. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

When Freshpet asked if I wanted to take part in their 7 Day Fridge Challenge, I was excited and all jazzed up…

Until I really got to thinking about it, then I was kind of terrified.

Fresh foods are such an important part of our life here at Casa de Kolchak. Over the last week, I’ve been looking at what I eat every day and what I feed my dogs. I quickly realized that every single meal depended on having fresh, chilled food at my disposal. What the woof was I going to do?! Fresh foods are the cornerstone of our lives and going without them is super scary. Reading the posts from my fellow bloggers, Dr. Katy, DogSplendor and Keep the Tail Wagging did little to relieve my fears. This was going to be harder than I thought.

Fresh foods changed our lives at Casa de Kolchak.

The Casa de Kolchak we write about today is not the same Casa de Kolchak from 6 years ago. When we first adopted Felix, the humans ate a lot of convenience foods. Prepacked pasta dinners, macaroni in a box, freezer pizza, deep fried chicken strips, reheated in the oven and other crap. Felix ate kibble – cheap, bad kibble. Think of the worst crap on the market – that’s the stuff. When he got treats, they weren’t any better. Filled with cheap corn, animal digest and “meat meal”. Like grody to the max.

Felix had some pretty crazy allergies. Our vet switched him to one of those high quality veterinary diets, which big surprise didn’t work. Limited ingredient hypo-allergenic kibble didn’t really work. We tried everything: grain free, novel protein, kibble rotations (which I highly recommend for all dogs) and supplements. Everything helped, but nothing made him healthy. He was always an itchy, yeasty, ear infection-y, backed up anal glandy hot mess.

He would do *anything* for a snack. ANYTHING.


By the time Kolchak came along, we were feeding high quality, grain free, novel protein kibbles on a rotation. This is a dog that’s never known bad food. Kolchak’s puppy years were…a trial. He’s very food motivated and it felt like he had a hollow tail. He was always hungry. He also gulped water like it was going out of style. That being said, he was generally healthy. His only heath issue had nothing to do with what he ate. (Well, I supposed an argument for could be made that diet affect the immune systems, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.) Still, he too saw a big change when we switched to a fresh diet.

Feeding my dogs a home cooked diet and later changing to a raw food diet has made a huge impact on my dogs health, in ways I never imagined. It even impacted my own health – as I saw how much happier and healthier they were eating a better diet, I started altering the way I ate as well. I started cooking healthy meals where I wouldn’t feel bad sharing a bite. We started snacking on fresh fruit and veggies. It changed everything for us. Going back to the old ways, even for a week, gave me some serious anxiety.

Luckily, pets are exempted from this challenge. 

Spoiled rotten brats. So even though, *I* can’t eat from the fridge, they have the 100% all clear. Still, for my own curiosity sake, I am going to try it. For the next few days, my dogs will eat dehydrated raw and get only treats that have been preserved without the fridge. If I can see a visible change in health, particularly for Felix and his allergies, I’ll stop. My dog’s health is the most important thing to me and I won’t sacrifice that for a challenge, but raw feeding is expensive and I’m interested to know if a slightly more cost-effective diet would work for them just as well. I’m not ready to go back to kibble, since I know that didn’t work for us, but we occasionally use dehydrated raw. It’s not often, so I don’t know if it will have an impact or not. I guess we’ll see, since that’s what we plan on eating this week.

So here we go…nervous, scared and anxious that I’ll be the first blogger to totally blow it and go on a “fridge bender” mid week.

I’m going to try my best though, because I think the message is an important one though: pets benefit from eating fresh foods too. Even if a fully fresh diet isn’t realistic for your family, there are ways to add fresh, wholesome foods without breaking the bank. We hope to explore that a bit this week.

Do you want to get in on the fun challenge?

FreshPet Fridge Challenge
Freshpet wants to know why you couldn’t live without your fridge and they have a fun mini-challenge every Monday. You could win a PetFresh Fridge and a year’s supply of pet food, gift cards to your favourite fresh food store or some cool mini challenge prizes.

Does your dog get fresh foods in their diet? Do you think it makes a difference?


Jodi Chick

Jodi is a baker, crafter and dog mom hailing from beautiful Vancouver, BC. (That’s in Canada, eh?) When she's not making homemade dogs treats or creating crafts for dog lovers, she can be found reading, pinning all the things and eating a copious number of cookies.

Latest posts by Jodi Chick (see all)

Your Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. SGilbert says:

    Schooner and Skipper eat raw. Schooner had ear infections all the time. I did some research and found out that it was the grain. We have not had any ear infections since we went raw and grain free. They love eating raw …but the chicken has to be frozen or they will not eat it. They love frozen chicken, I also give them Fromm grain free ( Grain-Free Salmon Tunalini) which has made a big difference in their skin and coat. The vet comments every time we go how soft and healthy Schooner and Skipper’s coats are. She just love to feel their coat. Fromm is a little bit more expensive but it is well worth every penny. They Fromm with vegetables & scrambled eggs in the morning and raw at dinner. Because of you Schooner now eats vegetables and Loves spinach!

  2. When I started, I realized that I was a little terrified myself – LOL

  3. Crystal says:

    I actually only have a mini fridge in my house, so it wouldn’t, perhaps, be as big of a challenge for me as for most people. That said, I bet it would still be hard.

    (And just to make you jealous, its hunting season down here and this past week, my mom’s neighbor gave me two five gallon bucketfulls of elk scrap for my dogs!)

  4. Good for you guys! We wish you the very best!

  5. Jodi says:

    So like you’re going back to processed crap? I’m speechless.

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      Yes and no, Jodi. I am going to try to honor the challenge *for one week only*. However, during that time, I will be trying to do it in the healthiest way possible, which means I may have to sacrifice convenience and (ugh) flavor. There isn’t much you can do to canned tuna (short of covering it in cheese and mayo) to make it taste good. I will also be trying to limit the crazy high amount of carbs I want to eat to make up for how satisfied meat proteins make me feel.

  6. Jessica says:

    I am that crazy dog lady sitting across the aisle on the Food Allergies–>Raw train. It’s been wonderful. I *could* feed Silas other things these days–we have a couple of canned foods he can eat, plus there are a lot of really great dehydrated/freeze dried foods out there now. I actually do feed Silas one meal (out of three) of dehydrated food already, and it’s been fine. I got a huge box on a great deal, so it’s been helping a lot with our food costs this summer.

    • KolchakPuggle says:

      I live in fear of upsetting the balance and knocking Fe back to square one. Still, we do use the FreshPet Grain free rolls as training treats, Fe gets canned when he’s finicky and they both get a whole lot of fresh, wholesome add ins to their diet. They dehydrated is nice, but I worry about all those added carbs…will Fe get yeasty? We’ll know by tomorrow!

  7. Emma says:

    We would love to take the challenge starting in December…in MN you don’t need a fridge in the winter…don’t need a freezer either :) Any other time of year, we like that beast in the kitchen!


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