proteins: tasty building blocks for your pet’s nutritional health

Freely pet food protein options include chicken-free turkey, salmon, lamb, rabbit, vegetarian, and flexitarian

Similar to people food, there are many protein choices in pet food - poultry, red meat, fish, flexitarian, or even vegetarian to name just a few. While cats are carnivores and need higher levels of meat proteins in their diets, dogs are omnivores and enjoy the flavors of both meat and plant-based protein sources. Each protein has a unique nutritional profile and provides different levels of nutrients for your pet.

All of these protein choices can be confusing, which is why it’s our mission to keep pet food simple. We don’t want to overwhelm you with too many options all claiming different benefits. Instead, we focused on creating a select number of limited ingredient diet recipes with high-quality protein as the number one ingredient. Here’s a bit more about our proteins and why we chose them.


Turkey is a complete protein source with a great taste that both dogs and cats love, which is why we’ve chosen it as the base protein for many of our recipes. Turkey, like other poultry proteins, is low in fat and provides the nutritional building blocks your pet needs to help build strong muscles, fuel playtime activities, and maintain a healthy weight. We recommend turkey as a great starting place for pets who don’t have other strong protein preferences.


Salmon has so many unique and beneficial qualities, how could we not have chosen it for our seafood protein? Salmon is a complete protein and a rich source of fish oil. This oil contains omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. These specific fatty acids help to support immunity, promote skin and coat health, provide energy for your pet, and give our salmon recipes an incredible taste.  

Red Meat

For those pets seeking more hearty flavors, we’ve chosen lamb as our primary red meat protein. It is similar to other red meats like beef, bison, and venison, but lamb is very digestible and can help with skin and coat health. For our beneficial broths, we offer a bison flavored recipe in addition to lamb. Both lamb and bison are complete proteins with a hearty aroma and taste that dogs love. In addition, they are often rich in key essential nutrients, such as iron and vitamin B.


Sometimes traditional protein sources just don’t sit well with certain pet’s systems or taste buds, which is why we chose to include rabbit as one of our primary proteins for cats. Rabbit is a great option for cats who have not fared well on other proteins, or who just don’t love the taste of other proteins. It’s a great protein option for cats with unique skin allergies or sensitive stomachs.


At Freely, we believe healthy vegetarian protein can be a wonderful option for nourishing pets. But let’s be honest, there are not a lot of vegetarian pet foods on the market today. That’s why we developed vegetarian recipes for dogs. These formulas use non-meat proteins such as eggs along with plant-based proteins, like peas and sweet potatoes. They provide complete and balanced nutrition with all the key essential amino acids that your pet needs. Whether you choose our veggie recipes to help the planet or promote animal welfare, we’re sure your pet will love them!


Our flexitarian formula is a blend of our turkey and vegetarian recipes for those pet parents looking to build their dog’s bowl with moderation in mind. It offers a nutritional balance of animal and plant-based proteins that allow your pet’s inner omnivore to get complete and balanced nutrition while consuming less meat and minimizing impact on the planet.


You may notice some common proteins are not included in our products, like pork, whitefish, and duck. Nor will you see exotic ingredients such as kangaroo or alligator. While these, and many other alternatives, are complete protein choices, we chose to focus on a few, high-quality proteins to give you a range of options while keeping your choices simple. Our commitment to you is to create simple, limited ingredient diet pet foods with high-quality protein as the number one ingredient. That way, you can spend less time reading labels and more time playing with your pet.

Still have questions?

Our pet nutrition team is here for you. Send us an email, give us a call or connect with us through LiveChat. We’d love to talk through your pet’s unique nutritional needs.