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Get Fresh With Me: Ideas for Adding Fresh Foods to Your Dog’s Diet

Get Fresh With Me: Ideas for Adding Fresh Foods to Your Dog’s Diet

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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.

It’s day three of the Freshpet Fridge Challenge and I’m not going to mince words: I miss my fridge. (Find out more about the challenge and why I’m participating by clicking here.) Unable to form coherent thoughts or string together basic sentences, I caved within an hour of waking on Sunday and headed to my nearest Starbucks for a latte. I’m greatful that Freshpet gave us a caffeine loophole, but a week worth of take out coffee is pricey and I’m dipping into Kol’s chewy budget to make it happen. According to Kolchak’s accounting, my caffeine habit has now cost him: a braided bully stick, a bag of venison jerky and a landjaeger stick. He is not amused.

It occurred to me yesterday that I’m not entirely sure Kolchak has ever even tasted tap water. He certainly wasn’t having any of it and I’ve already started filling the dog’s bowl from the water filter in the fridge. I’m more than a little jealous, as I confessed on the TwitterThe dogs have been eating a high quality dehydrated raw food, which they don’t mind, but last night, Koly was begging for a snack only a few hours after dinner. The added carbs in the dehydrated are filling at first but they leave him starving as the night goes on. He’s also C R A Z Y for a few hours after dinner, then he naps for the rest of the night. Is this normal?!?!

I can’t keep over feeding him like this and I’m going to go batty with the highs and lows in his energy. October is National Pet Obesity Month and K9 Kamp starts on Thursday, so tomorrow, the dogs will go back to their regular fresh diet and I’ll be going the rest of the Fridge Challenge alone. Whoever said “It’s a dog’s life” clearly never met my dogs.

My dogs are pretty darn spoiled lucky.

They have a Mama who is a total sucker willing to spend a pretty penny to feed them a fresh diet.  I genuinely beleive my dogs are healthier for eating this way and I think they’re totally worth it. It’s not always the most cost effective way to feed my pets though and like everyone, there are a lot of other expenses I have to budget for. I’m lucky to be able to spend that way. I know it isn’t realistic for everyone. It’s hard to give your dog a fresh diet when you’re already struggling to feed yourself and your family that way.n

So, what do you do if you want to add fresh food to your pet’s diet on a budget?

  • Add oomph with fresh food kibble toppers. Nothing jazzes up a boring kibble meal like a bit of fresh food on top. The best part is that it’s super easy to introduce your dog to a wide range of food this way – try steamed veggies or veggie purees, gently cooked meats, fruit, or even a bit of scrambled eggs. For a convenient option, you can even get fresh dog food rolls and serve diced up over kibble.
Dog friendly veggies, ribbon cut, then steamed.

Dog friendly veggies, ribbon cut, then steamed.

  • Become a part time fresh feeder. Since the beginning of time pet food companies have told us we should feed our pets the same food their whole lives. To that I say PISH POSH! We’re a huge fan of rotation diets and there is no reason you can’t feed fresh food as your dog’s main meals few days a week. To minimize stomach upset, ease into the transition, first adding fresh foods to your dog’s usual diet and then gradually increasing the amount. Once your dog’s digestive system has adjusted to the change, they should be able to handle part time fresh, no problem.
  • Snack fresh. If you aren’t ready or able to commit to a fresh diet, consider committing to fresh snacking. My dogs absolutely LOVE fresh snacks like carrot stick, snap peas, broccoli pieces, sweet bell peppers, asparagus, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, squash and more. They love these as much, if not more than cookies. If your dog is initially reluctant, try making a dog friendly dip by mashing fresh dog food rolls with a bit of water to make a paste or make meat & veggie treats, like Spinach Snacks. (Kol’s Note: You can make the spinach snacks with almost any veggie. Use your imagination!)

Spinach Snacks homemade fresh dog treats


  • Boost motivation with fresh food incentives. Let me tell you, there is nothing that motivates the Casa de Kolchak pups like fresh training treats. We use fresh dog food rolls diced up, bite sized chunks of fresh cooked meat and occasionally, when I’m not fooling around, low fat cheese. (I know, not the healthiest option, but holy woof! They love it)

Fresh food is the cornerstone of any healthy human diet, why not share that with your pets?

It is so easy to share fresh, healthy foods with your pets and  hang on to the convenience of a kibble diet. Your dog will love it, you can feel good about it and you’ll be helping your dog to be happy & healthy. Is there anything better than that?

Bark Back! Does your dog get  fresh foods? What is their favourite?


This is a blog hop!  Every week, we invite you to link up your Tastiest Post and Hop On to discover all sorts of new treats recipes, great giveaways and more!

To join in, follow your hosts, Kol’s Notes &  Sugar the Golden Retriever, grab the badge from our sidebar and add your link to this week’s hop!


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Possibly the Last Pet Bowl I Will Ever Buy

Saturday 11th of October 2014

[…] post is part of the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop. Click here to check out some great dog treat recipes and other food related […]

Laurie Luck, KPA CTP

Monday 14th of October 2013

Our dogs really enjoy FreshPet treats. They're super easy, nutrish, AND easy to get (Walmart has them!). That makes them a perfect substitute/savior for when I can't make them fresh food myself. Love all your ideas -- what a cool chick you are. Get it? Haha?


Tuesday 1st of October 2013

We tried a cooked diet for a while but it was too time consuming, difficult and pricey to keep up. I did have fun cooking for Nailah while she was on it. I love your suggestion of adding fresh veggies and food to kibble, I'm going to start doing that on occasion!

Jessica Rhae

Tuesday 1st of October 2013

Chester and Gretel get fresh foods on occasion. Usually, those occasions are when it falls on the kitchen floor and 1) I am too slow and they get to it before me or 2) I am too lazy to bend over so I tap my toe next to it for them to eat. Of course, this is only for foods that are not harmful to dogs. I am lightening fast and give a stern no if they can't eat whatever is on the floor. Also, I like to give Gretel watermelon and apples because I love to hear her crunch them up :)


Tuesday 1st of October 2013

My dogs love fresh foods. There's no such thing as throwing away uneaten leftover chicken or turkey in our house - it becomes awesome training treats or toppers for their food. I think Maddie's favorite fresh food is apples and baby carrots, and Izzie's favorite is turkey or hard boiled egg.

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