Fresh Pet Food and Seasonal Variability

When you think about the best food for you and your family, you probably imagine fresh fruit, veggies and proteins — not processed fast food!  

For the same reasons that a burger and fries to-go can’t beat a freshly-cooked meal, fresh, gently cooked dog and cat meals are different from your average pet food (i.e. traditional kibble), too.

First, fresh pet food doesn’t include preservatives and additives. That’s because our fresh pet food is flash frozen, which eliminates the need for preservatives, and our food stays fresh for up to 18 months (we even had this safety tested)! 

Chef making fresh pet food

Second, Tom&Sawyer fresh pet food also doesn’t need palatants that are designed to make food taste better for our pets, because real meat and fresh foods cooked by our trained culinary team already tastes great.

Plus, our food has been developed by nutritionists and goes through regular testing to ensure that each meal contains the right balance of nutrients and ingredients that your pet needs. 

Furthermore, all our meals are made in-house by our trained chefs, meaning that no one meal at Tom&Sawyer will look exactly like the next! 

Fresh pet food in a bowl

Why? Because our fresh ingredients are chopped by hand and cooked in small batches. You’ll actually be able to SEE all the ingredients in your pet’s food rather than the bland, monotonous beige-brown kibble colour of over-processed ingredients that have been cooked at a high temperature.

And, because we work with meticulously sourced ingredients, our recipes may look and smell a bit different from time to time. This is based on the seasonal variability of our ingredients – because that’s the reality of working with real food!

We aim to choose ingredients of the highest quality that continue to provide excellent nutrition for our pets, all while following our formulations to ensure our meals are complete and balanced. 

Fresh ingredients for dog and cat food

                                                                                 Photo by Scott Warman

At certain times of the year, we use frozen versus fresh veggies when they are out of their prime growing season, as frozen food provides the same nutritional value as fresh food does - you can read a study on this topic here. While this ensures that we are providing the best for your pet nutritionally, this can give our foods various visual changes.

For example, at different times of the year, we switch between using frozen and fresh kale to account for seasonal changes. While we all know kale for its deep green hues, its dark green colour can tint surrounding ingredients.  The green pigments in kale bleed out with the moisture, and this can tint other ingredients to look greenish-blue. Learn more about why kale is good for dogs, and how it varies by season.

Fresh kale for dogs

                                                                               Photo by Brian McGowan

Just like the seasons change along with seasonal variability, you can switch up your pet’s food too! Rotational feeding is the practice of regularly switching out your pet's food to change texture (i.e. wet, dry kibble, gently cooked), or ingredients, such as the protein sources. By changing up the ingredients, you can change the flavour profile of your pet's meal, which may be more enticing and exciting for your pets!

You can learn more about rotational feeding for dogs and cats here



Hannah Godfrey
Animal Nutritionist
BSc.H. | MSc. Animal Nutrition


Nutrition and Cost Comparisons of Select Canned, Frozen and Fresh Food and Vegetables