(NewJersey.com) The gradual humanizing of Fido and Kitty — now more likely to be named Samuel and Reba — has paid off for fresh, refrigerated pet food maker Freshpet Inc. Shares of the Secaucus-based company that hitched its wagon to the healthful food trend for pets climbed 27.4 percent to $19.11 Friday, in its first day of trading under the symbol FRPT on the Nasdaq.

The previous day, Freshpet raised about $156 million in its initial public offering, selling 10.4 million shares at $15 each, as Wall Street’s demand exceeded the company’s earlier expectations.

The IPO “was very highly oversubscribed,” Scott Morris, co-founder and chief marketing officer, said Friday in a phone interview. “We raised the price right before we went to market,” he said. “It does seem people are very interested in what we are doing.”

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