When it comes to deciding on the right dog food for your four-legged friend the choices can seem endless. As well as deciding whether to use age, stage or breed-specific foods, you need to decide on the type of food you want to feed your dog. Do you go for wet or dry food? What about a raw food diet? Could you combine the convenience of one with the nutritional benefits of the other?  Is this where dehydrated dog food can play a vital role? The answer is yes, it could. In this guide, our pet experts and panel of dog lovers take you through the best dehydrated foods for your pet pooch.

The 8 Top-Rated Dehydrated Dog Food

1 The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Honest Kitchen
  • First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
  • Primary Protein Source: Duck
  • Calories: 485 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Puppy & Adult

The Whole Grain Chicken Dog Food Recipe from Honest Kitchen is made from human grade ingredients. It is designed to suit the needs of puppies and active adult dogs of all sizes and breeds. The recipe contains free range chicken and is made without any by-products, GMOs, or preservatives.

Honest Kitchen uses whole foods and a gentle dehydration process to naturally preserve the food. This helps it to maintain its color, taste and nutritional benefits. Minimal processing means that the can aid in improving digestive health and combating common problems including itching and upset stomachs.

Ingredients:

Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats, Dehydrated Peas, Dehydrated Carrots, Dried Parsley, Dried Bananas, Dehydrated Celery, Dehydrated Organic Kelp, Minerals [Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), D- Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement], EPA, DHA.

What others say about it:
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My just-shy-of-14 yr old English bulldog has been treated for congestive heart failure the last five months. She’s on a stockpile of medications that have affected her electrolytes and diarrhea has been a real problem – especially since her medications are diuretics and cause her to lose a lot of water. We’ve tried all the usual diarrhea medications like metronidazole and nothing was helping. Then one night she collapsed.

The vet at the emergency room said we may need to start about putting her to sleep, but to see how she did through the weekend. Throughout the weekend she looked weak and gradually stopped eating – even the wet foods that we had to give her due to her dry mouth. In desperation I walked to the local pet store who recommended Honest Kitchen because it’s basically dehydrated “people food” balanced nutritionally for dogs. I started with the grain free – it was all they had – then ordered the Whole Grain from Amazon to mix in.

Preparing it is easy – add hot water and wait a couple minutes. The grain free smells like Stove Top stuffing. I gave a quarter cup to my bulldog – and she gobbled it – after snubbing everything else all weekend. I then gave her some more and she gobbled that too! Over the next few days she resumed eating – and her disposition changed markedly. Her stool started to look better and after a few weeks she had the her first normal looking stools in months! She seems like the dog I’ve loved for so many years.

Obviously every dog will respond differently, but I’d give this food eleven stars if I could. It’s truly been a blessing.

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2 Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Stella & Chewy’s
  • First 5 ingredients: Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard
  • Primary Protein Source: Duck
  • Calories: 60 kcal/patty
  • Flavor: Duck
  • Life Stage: Adult

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food is made with 95% cage-free poultry. The remainder of the ingredients include organic vegetables and fruits, and all the ingredients that go into making this food are sustainably sourced. The food is made in small batches to ensure quality and is minimally processed to ensure that it retains as much nutritional benefit as possible.

Stella & Chewy recipes contain no added antibiotics, hormones, fillers or grains. It is freeze-dried raw, so nothing is lost through heating or cooking the ingredients. The finished food is complete and 100% balanced for dogs at all stages of their lives. The carefully crafted food supports your dog’s digestive processes, improves appetite and can provide relief from allergies. It can also help to develop a vibrant skin and coat, support dental health and support a healthy immune system.

Check out our guide on Dental Chews for Dogs.

Ingredients:

Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Blueberries, Fenugreek Seed, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Sodium Phosphate, Tocopherols (Preservative), Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid.

What others say about it:
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I used this product for my previous dogs with great results. When my current dogs seem to have so much itching and possibly mange, it was this diet that has totally shifted their health! Coats are softer, less allergies and itching and more energy. Plus very little waste.

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3 Sojos Complete Adult Grain-Free Dehydrated Food

Sojos Complete Adult Grain-Free Dehydrated Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Sojos Complete
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Egg, Broccoli, Yellow Split Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Lamb
  • Calories: 364 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Grain Free Lamb
  • Life Stage: Adult

Sojos uses freeze dried lamb as one of the main ingredients in their freeze-dried complete food. All other ingredients are of premium quality and all natural, with no artificial preservatives, ensuring only the best for your dog. Sojos Complete is also grain, GMO, soy, and gluten free. It contains no added salt or sugar, making it safe for your canine’s digestive system. Each 2lb bag of dehydrated food makes 10lb of food once water is added.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Egg, Broccoli, Yellow Split Peas, Flax Seeds, Celery, Lamb Liver, Banana, Tricalcium Phosphate, Fenugreek Seeds, Peppermint, Dandelion Leaf, Ginger Root, Dried Kelp, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Acetate, Ferrous Fumarate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid.

What others say about it:
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My Affenpinscher’s coat is much healthier and his eye (he just has one) is clear and free of discharge. He has more energy and is at a healthier weight than when he was on even high quality kibble (Frömm). Finally, one thing I didn’t expect is now he’s rarely thirsty because he’s getting his hydration from his food – which is more natural for a dog – than gulping tons of water after eating his dry kibble.

He used to be voraciously thirsty to where I worried about his kidneys and now he’s at a healthy weight, good energy and a healthy thirst and hunger level. Grateful! We are lifelong customers.

Also, for some reason the turkey blend is the one that sits easiest on his tummy. The lamb and other red meat blends give him diarrhea and in my opinion don’t have the pleasant smell that the turkey one does. Each dog has their own metabolism and digestion and allergies, so I expect this is unique to my puppy. ❤️

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4 Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Food

Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Primal
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Hearts, Chicken Livers, Organic Carrots
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 172 kcal/oz
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Primal Freeze Dried Pet Food is a freeze dried raw food that offers a complete and balanced diet for dogs at all life stages. It uses only natural human grade ingredients in its recipe and takes care not to add anything to the main ingredients that reduces the positive effects of the food on your canine companion. Chicken is the main ingredient, and the chickens that go into the food are raised without the addition of hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.

This pet food from Primal provides the benefits of a raw food diet without the messy and time-consuming preparation. It is also free from grains, corn, soy and wheat. The vitamins and minerals it contains are derived from natural sources, so you can be assured that this food is safe and nutritious.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Hearts, Chicken Livers, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Kale, Organic Apples, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Broccoli, Organic Blueberries, Organic Cranberries, Organic Parsley, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Montmorillonite Clay, Fish Oil, Organic Quinoa , Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Ground Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp, Zinc Sulfate

What others say about it:
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My dogs are 15 and 16 years old and are getting finicky in their old age. The 15 year old won’t eat the kibble that she’s eaten her whole life. (Evangers dry, used to be Merrick’s) She will only eat it if I mix it with canned food. It’s not a problem with chewing, because she eats some pretty hard treats. I tried this Primal nuggets and both of them LOVE it. I give ot to them once a day and the can/kibble mix once a day. Problem solved!

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5 Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Dog Food Mixer

Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Dog Food Mixer
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chickpeas, Peas, Gelatin
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 411 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Turkey & Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Wellness Core prides itself on providing a highly digestible food that is created with 70% proteins from premium sources including turkey and chicken. This complete and balanced food is also 100% grain free and contains no wheat, soy, corn, or meat by-products. It is also free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. To preserve as much of the foods nutritional value and flavor as possible the ingredients are gently blended and slow dried at a low heat, before being sealing for transport and storage.

For more information on the brand, check out our Wellness Core Dog Food Review.

Ingredients:

Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chickpeas, Peas, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Tomato Pomace, Salt, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Ground Flaxseed, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Chicory Root Extract, Zinc Propionate, Potassium Citrate, Apples, Blueberries, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Zinc Proteinate, Parsley, Zinc Sulfate, Dried Kale, Carrots, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.

What others say about it:
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This stuff is TOO good. 🙂

My crazy-picky maltese loves this stuff. It’s a little dangerous.

He is super picky, and snubs his nose at most all canned food. Which I thought would be amazing. But nope, he doesn’t care. And dry food, he seems to be okay, although I do have to change it up every year or two. But he often throws hunger strikes, leaving me confused and trying different brands.

So now this soft squishy Air Dried food comes into our lives. I originally bought it to use as a treat, since he has a hard time chewing crunchy treats. I thought I would just give as treats for rewards. But he often boycotts any other food I try to feed him, and stands under the treat jar in the kitchen giving me the stank eye until I finally give in. Yes, he rules the house. And PS – he has never done that with any other treat, hard or soft. He just wants to eat this food. That for the price should be a treat. Not everyday. oh well. Sometimes I can use it as a topper, and he will finish his other food under it, but sometimes he will just pick it out and refuse to eat his other food.

At least I don’t feel guilty when most of his diet consists of this food, since it is a whole meal with vitamins/minerals. It just hurts my wallet.

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6 Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Food

Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Spot Farms
  • First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Dried Potatoes, Flax Seed, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 430 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Spot Farms Grain Free food is made from human grade ingredients and is manufactured to the same standards as are required for human food.  The food contains probiotics for digestibility but is free from antibiotics and only uses cage-free chicken in its recipe. The recipe also contains no by-produces, meat meal, or artificial color, preservatives, or flavors.

The food can be used as a complete diet or used as an additional food to mix in with their existing favorite to provide additional nutrition. When rehydrated the food makes approximately times its original weight.

You may also like our review of Probiotics for Dogs.

Ingredients:

Dehydrated Chicken, Dried Potatoes, Flax Seed, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, Dried Blueberries, Dried Spinach, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Dried Yeast, Salt, Fish Oil, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Proteinate, DL-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

What others say about it:
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My 13-year-old Rottie mix was getting really picky with his dry kibble. I would have to add many “treats” to his bowl just so he would eat it. Not Spot Farms! He loves it and jumps up when I am mixing his food and water together! He seems to have more energy as well. 5 Stars!

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7 Addiction Outback Kangaroo Feast Raw Dog Food

Addiction Outback Kangaroo Feast Raw Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Addiction
  • First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Potatoes, Carrots, Coconut Oil, Tapioca
  • Primary Protein Source: Kangaroo
  • Calories: 455 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Outback Kangaroo Feast
  • Life Stage: Adult

Addiction Grain Free Dehydrated Dog Food is made from wild Kangaroo from Australia and is processed in New Zealand. It contains high levels of conjugated Linoleic Acid for improved overall health and vitality. The recipe is also rich in apple pectin, which supports your dog’s digestive health. Your dog’s wellbeing is further supported by the recipe being free from fillers, grains, soy, wheat, and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

As well as taking care of your pet, Addiction looks to take care of the planet by using eco-friendly meats. No only does this add to the flavor of the food but it contributes to eco-sustainability.

Ingredients:

Kangaroo, Potatoes, Carrots, Coconut Oil, Tapioca, Flaxseed, Papayas, Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Mango, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Peppermint, Spinach, Natural Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Sulfate, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for added freshness, Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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My dogs have been spoiled with human food which I know is bad..but they refuse to eat any of the organic canned food or dehydrated food. It has has the same things, either chicken,turkey,beef,livers,lamb. They’ve gotten tired of it all and will literally refuse to eat anything at all. Well I’ve tried numerous brands with different mixes and meats to no avail..
This however had them as soon as I opened the package. They knew it wasn’t the same ole stuff and were actually interested in what I was mixing. I made each of my 4 pups a bowl and they LOVED IT! I’m thrilled to death that I finally found something they liked. Plus i love the strict standards this company keeps. Cruelty free which is the biggest reason i even tried this. Dogs need meat in their diet. The same old boring dry food isn’t a good way to go in my opinion..not for my crew anyways. I have a lab named Bailey, a Chinese Shar Pei named Buddy, a Boxer mix named Maximus, and a Rat Terrier named Sweet P. They are all very different beings ,but the reaction was unanimous . They all ate every last speck. I recorded their reactions and them eating,but I can’t get it to load. I will figure it out and post the video. It’s just too cute not to. Thanks so much for the great product you make. I will be purchasing every variety you make ,now, and stay subscribed to get it every month.

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8 Only Natural Pet EasyRaw Dog Food

Only Natural Pet EasyRaw Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Only Natural Pet
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Carrots, Beef Bone Broth
  • Primary Protein Source: Beef
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Beef & Sweet Potato
  • Life Stage: All

The key ingredient in Only Natural Pet Food is raw meat. Complete nutrition, including protein, amino acids and digestive enzymes are provided by grass fed beef. All the ingredients used are human grade, ensuring only the best for your pet. They are also cooked gently to ensure that they retain as much of their goodness as possible. All ingredients are GMO free and the recipe includes no fillers, by-products, additive, or artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Ingredients:

Beef, Beef Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Carrots, Beef Bone Broth, Dried, Whole Egg, Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin, Broccoli, Dried Celery, Peas, Purple Sweet Potatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Apples, Tricalcium Phosphate, Dried Spinach, Kale, Dried Ginger, Dried Kelp, Dried Basil, Dried Parsley, Dried Sage, Dried Thyme, Dried Rosemary, Salmon and Mackerel Oil Powder, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B6

What others say about it:
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I would give this dog food at 10 if it were possible it has really helped our dog his coat his muscles and even his eye problems are better. Our dog has pug and Chihuahua so he’ll always have eye issues in his old age but this is definitely helping to alleviate them I highly recommend this dog food yes it cost money but I would spend a lot of money if I had to in the hospital to help my Pooch, preventative is the way I choose to do it!

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Best Dehydrated Dog Food Buying Guide

When choosing the best dehydrated food for your dog, it helps to know more bout the food, how it is made, the benefits of using this type of food, and how it differs from other types of food. In this buying guide, we look at these questions and provide the answers you need to make an informed decision about the food you offer your canine companion.

Dry pet's food

What is Dehydrated Dog Food?

Dehydrated dog food is simply food that has had moisture removed from it. The processes used to dehydrate not only preserve the food but also lock in the nutrients found in the ingredients.

Dehydration is one of the oldest known forms of preservation for food. By slowly heating the food and removing moisture the growth of microbes like bacteria is stopped. This is what stops the food from going bad. It is the same principle behind drying and salting meats for human consumption.

Benefits of Dehydrated Dog Food

There are numerous benefits to dehydrated dog food, both for the producer and your dog. Dehydration is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of preserving food. This reduces much of the costs of manufacturing the food and means that food producers can focus their time, effort, and finances on finding premium quality ingredients.

Quality ingredients are key to the benefits your dog gains from the food. While the drying process locking in more nutrients than other production methods, those nutrients must be present in the raw ingredients in the first place. For this reason, quality meat cuts, and organic fruits and vegetables are generally the key ingredients in dehydrated food.

Just as with any other high-quality food, the main ingredient in dehydrated food should be a meat protein source. Dehydrated foods do not require fillers, so there should also be no meat by-products, and there is no need for grains such as wheat or corn to be present. This means that dehydrated food is less likely to have a negative impact on your dog’s digestive system.

As the dehydration process acts as a preservative, there is also no need for other preservatives to be added to the food. This ensures that nothing artificial is added to the food and further reduces the risk of your dog suffering a negative reaction to the food.

To be used as a completed and balanced food on its own, dehydrated food must be properly rehydrated before it is served to your dog. The need for water to be added to the food provides a further benefit in that it reduces the risk of your dog becoming dehydrated. This can happen especially if your dog is fed a strictly dry dog food diet and is not offered continual access to fresh drinking water.

Many dehydrated foods are designed so that they can be used as either a standalone or can be added to wet dog food to provide a change in flavor and offer your dog a different texture to enjoy. Where the food is used in this way, drinking water must be provided at all times.

Dehydrated food is also convenient for owners. It takes up much less cupboard space than dry food and has more nutritional value than both wet and dry food of the same quality ingredients. It also provides much the same level of nutrition as a raw food diet, but without the mess and time required to prepare meat and ensure that your dog is getting the full range of proteins, vitamins, and minerals they need. This means owners spend less time worrying over their dog’s health and ultimately save money on veterinarian bills.

Of course, one of the key benefits of using dehydrated food is taste. As well as losing little of its nutritional content, food treated and preserved in this way loses little of its taste. This means that once you find a taste your dog loves, you can easily recreate that taste at every mealtime. Dehydrated food is ideal for fussy eaters for this very reason.

Dog eating dry food

How Air-Dried and Freeze-Dried Dog Foods Are Made?

Dehydrated food, as we have discovered is food that has had moisture removed from it in order to preserve the food and its nutritional content. However, there is more than one method for producing this outcome, and the term dehydration is often applied to foods that have been air-dried and to foods that have been freeze-dried. To make matters a little more complicated some producers differentiate between these two methods and dehydration. To try and make matters a little clearer, here we consider the difference between air-dried, freeze-dried, and dehydrated food.

Freeze-Dried

When dog food is freeze-dried, all the moisture from the raw ingredients is removed from the food, while the food is still in a frozen state. Taking this approach means that the food does not need to be cooked before it is preserved, thus keeping it as close to its natural raw state as possible.

To achieve this the ingredients are mixed together and frozen. The moisture is then extracted using a combination of low temperatures and pressure. This liquid from the food is changed from solid to gas, bypassing its liquid state. By doing this, owners can be assured that the food was never exposed to a temperature above freezing. In turn, this reduces any risk of microbial growth or nutritional degradation.

Dehydration

Dehydration involves the raw ingredients being subjected to very low heat over a long period of time. Through this process, the moisture is drawn out of the food. While heat is used, and therefore the food cannot be considered raw, it is not a high enough heat for the food to become cooked either. This means that it maintains similar levels of nutrients, amino acids, enzymes, and vitamins to raw food.

Air-Dried

Air drying raw pet food involves removing the moisture through evaporation. The process is very similar to that of dehydration but is completed without the addition of heat. For this reason, air-dried food is often referred to as dehydrated.

Using air significantly reduces any damage to the nutrients, enzymes, proteins, and vitamins contained in the natural ingredients. This means that your dog is getting nearly all the benefits of a raw food diet. Air-dried pet food also retains its conformation quite well, resisting any crumbling that may result from freeze-dried food.

Source:

  1. Understanding Moisture Content Or Water Content In Dog Food, Pets4Homes

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