How Long Does Freshpet Dog Food Stay Fresh?

With its refrigerated packaging and wholesome ingredients, Freshpet promises to revolutionize mealtime for pups.

Many pet parents wonder how long Freshpet dog food stays fresh. As we’ll explore, the shelf life depends on whether it’s opened or unopened.

Unopened packages remain fresh for 6 months past the printed “use by date” if properly refrigerated. Once opened, it’s best to use Freshpet within 30 days. And never let it sit out for more than 1 hour in your dog’s bowl.

We’ll share tips for safe storage, signs of spoilage, extending freshness, and why Freshpet beats kibble or canned food for nutrient retention. Read on to become a pro at providing tail-wagging goodness meal after meal!

An Introduction to Freshpet and Fresh Dog Foods

First surfacing in 2006, Freshpet’s driving mission was to bring the power of fresh, fridge-kept meals to dogs.

Their kitchens craft each recipe from scratch using proteins, grains, veggies, fruits, vitamins, and minerals suited for canine health requirements.

Their unique, gently cooked recipes capture all the flavors and nutrition dogs crave without preservatives or fillers.

By keeping unopened packages refrigerated until you open them, Freshpet delivers health-boosting integrity and taste in every bite.

The critical difference from even premium kibbles or canned foods is Freshpet’s use of minimally processed fresh ingredients.

Let’s explore what keeps it safer and more nutritious than traditional dog foods sitting at room temperature.

What Makes Freshpet Stay Fresher Longer Than Kibble or Canned Foods?

We all know fresh human foods don’t last long unrefrigerated, so how does Freshpet make fresh dog food remain safe at cool fridge temperatures? Let’s contrast a few differences.

Gentle Pasteurization

Kibble and canned recipes require intense cooking and processing at very high temperatures.

This denatures proteins, damages fiber, and carbohydrate structures, and kills a large percentage of beneficial nutrients and friendly bacteria.

Freshpet uses a gentle steam pasteurization process, bringing ingredients to just 160 °F before rapid cooling. This process eliminates harmful pathogens without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.

No Preservatives, Fillers, or Additives

Standard kibble and canned recipes rely heavily on preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, so they resist spoilage at room temperature.

Because Freshpet meals stay refrigerated until you serve them, no preservatives are required. Their all-natural recipes avoid fillers, by-products, and additives as well.

Superior Packaging

Traditional bagged kibble and canned foods use relatively permeable packaging, allowing more exposure to oxygen. Once opened, this leads to faster nutrient breakdown.

Freshpet’s advanced packaging technology controls moisture loss and oxygen flow. This protects safety and integrity whether refrigerated or at room temperature during the 30-day opened-package window.

By understanding what makes Freshpet different, you can better evaluate label dates against storage conditions. Now let’s explore use-by periods for unopened and opened Freshpet meals.

Shelf Life of Unopened Freshpet Packages

Use-By Date

Each Freshpet package clearly lists both a Best-by date and a Use-By date. As long as unopened packages are continuously refrigerated, they will maintain high quality until the Use-By date.

For best results, use unopened packages by this Use-By date. But unlike room-temperature kibble bags with shorter safety time frames, refrigerated Freshpet meals contain no preservatives and resist spoilage and nutrient loss excellently.

6-Month Safety Window

Provided storage below 41°F, safety, and taste remain reliable for 6 months past the Use-By date if the package seal is intact.

If packages warm significantly during transport home, allow them to re-chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving to your pup.

As long as it is kept cold and unopened, Freshpet delivers optimal nutrition and flavor for months past printed Use-By dates.

Opened Package Life and Signs of Spoilage

Once opened, oxygen and repeated temperature changes accelerate food spoilage. Here is what to expect and watch for with opened Freshpet meals.

30-Day Safety Window After Opening

Freshpet sets expectations correctly with their “eat within 30 days after opening” guidance.

Given temperature fluctuations from fridge removals and oxygen exposure, 30 days provides a reliable safety window.

Many pet parents stretch this to 45 days when only spooning out small portions daily. But general bacteria and mold risks rise exponentially past one month after opening. Follow your nose, and if in doubt, toss it out.

Recognizing Spoiled Freshpet Meals

Freshpet Engineers optimal packaging to resist fridge odors and maintain integrity. But once opened, oxygen collides with nutrients, creating eventual spoilage.

Here are the signs a Freshpet meal has spoiled:

  • Putrid odors – Your nose knows. If it smells rotten, it likely is.
  • Mold is visible – Tiny dots signal fungi are taking hold. Don’t take risks with mold.
  • Texture changes – Drying, crusting, excess moisture, and sliminess all equal trouble.

Your dog may continue gobbling food with mild odors or texture changes. However, harmful microbial toxins and degradation byproducts can cause severe gastric diseases. When in doubt after 30 days, throw it out.

Maintaining Safety After Opening fresh packages

To make each Freshpet purchase last as long as possible after opening, implement these best practices:

Buy Smaller Portion Packages

Freshpet now offers both family-sized bags and smaller daily portion packages.

Estimate your dog’s actual daily intake and purchase quantities tailored to a few days only.

The more often you expose and reseal, the faster freshness declines.

Limit Fridge Time Before Serving

Repeated fridge open/shut cycles accelerate temperature changes. This sparks spoilage cascades.

Only open the fridge once to retrieve the pre-portioned amount needed per meal. Limit total non-refrigerated time to 15-20 minutes before returning to the fridge.

Use Shallower Airtight Containers

Once opened, transfer any remaining Freshpet meals to a clean, airtight plastic container to block oxygen.

Choose wider, shallower shapes vs deep containers – this limits internal temperature variances that breed bacteria. Only spooning out what you need reduces resealing cycles as well.

By pre-portioning servings into dedicated containers, you retain maximum freshness and safety beyond 30 days.

Key Takeaways on Freshpet Expiration & Safety

To recap critical learnings:

Unopened Refrigerated Shelf Life

  • Best By Date for peak quality
  • Use By Date delivers a 6-month safety window.
  • Keep packages refrigerated below 41°F

Opened Package Safety

  • Discard 30 days after opening for best safety
  • Small daily portions prolong freshness
  • Signs of spoilage – odors, mold, texture changes

Extending Opened Package Life

  • Use smaller portion-controlled packages
  • Limit fridge open cycles
  • Transfer to airtight shallow containers

As long as you follow Freshpet’s storage guidance and watch for signs of spoilage, your pup can enjoy the safety and nutrition of fresh food daily.

The Power of Feeding Dogs Fresh Whole Foods

Once restricted to raw diets or homemade meals, Freshpet now brings freshly made, species-appropriate recipes into every meal.

Their gentle cooking process preserves nature’s nutritional goodness unmatched by any commercial dry or canned food brand.

Teems with Live Nutrients & Probiotics

Minimally processed whole foods retain their enzymatic activity, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins better than heavily processed alternatives. This nourishes your dog’s body optimally from nose to tail.

Supports the Digestive System

Dogs fed fresh diets have smaller, healthier stools, less flatulence, improved absorption of nutrients, shinier coats, and better breath.

The natural fiber and moisture in Freshpet support the entire digestive tract.

Dogs Just Love the Taste!

One bite and pups go wild for Freshpet’s meaty flavors. Tail-wagging satisfaction at every mealtime makes good nutrition a joy. Dogs intuitively gravitate toward fresh foods aligned with their ancestral diets.

So, for ultimate safety, peak nutrition, and tail-wagging happiness at chow time, Freshpet sets the new gold standard.

Check your Use By dates, store packages properly, and discard any leftovers after 30 days. Then relax, knowing your pup’s next delicious meal hits the spot in more ways than one!

Conclusion: Embracing the Fresh Food Revolution for Dogs

Freshpet has not only raised the standards for canine nutrition.

Their packaging innovations allow these refrigerated fresh meals to deliver nutrient density and Pure Love® for weeks longer than even premium kibbles or canned foods.

So rest assured by checking “Use By” and “Best By” dates, continuously refrigerating unopened packs, and sticking to a 30-day window after opening, your pup gets optimal safety and quality with every tasty meal.

My name is Shayon Mondal, and I am the proud owner of Foodsvision, a vibrant and delicious food blog. At Foodsvision, we believe in the power of food to bring people together and create memorable experiences. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore diverse flavors, share mouthwatering recipes, and celebrate the joy of cooking. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a delightful adventure with Foodsvision! And more info page

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