In the wild, dogs would have eaten a raw diet of predominantly meat and fish. Many owners wish to replicate that diet as closely as they can because they feel that this will provide the best nutrition for their dog’s metabolism. However, a raw diet is not that easy to achieve. The next best thing is a freeze-dried dog food where the food is still raw but has had most of the moisture taken out of it so that it will last.

In general, freeze-dried dog foods are made with exceptionally high-quality ingredients and are at the high end of the dog food market which means that they are not cheap. You will find free-range and wild caught sources of animal protein and organic vegetables. As always, there will be a wide choice. To help you make a decision, here is our guide to the best freeze dried dog food.

The 10 Top Rated Freeze Dried Dog Foods

Product NamePriceRating
Stella & Chewy's Tantalizing Turkey Meal MixersCheck Price on Chewy4.8
Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Pork RecipeCheck Price on Amazon4.5
Primal Freeze Dried NuggetsCheck Price on Chewy4.5
Halo Liv-A-Littles Protein TreatsCheck Price on Amazon4.5
TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Gourmet GobblerCheck Price on Chewy4.4
Grandma Lucy's Artisan Chicken RecipeCheck Price on Amazon4.5
Northwest Naturals Chicken RecipeCheck Price on Amazon4.5
Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Turkey RecipeCheck Price on Chewy4.4
ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on Amazon4.8
Stella & Chewy's Lil' SuperBlendsCheck Price on Chewy4.4
*Ratings are from Amazon and Chewy at the time of publication and can change

1 Stella & Chewy’s Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers

Stella & Chewy's Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers
Key features:
  • Brand: Stella & Chewy’s
  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey With Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, Turkey Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries
  • Calories: 58 kcal/ 1/4 cup
  • Flavor: Turkey
  • Life Stage: Adult

This recipe is packed with simple, minimally processed raw foods. It has a minimum of 40 % crude protein and 36 % fat. Every quarter cup delivers 58 kcal or energy for your dog. The primary sources of animal protein are turkey with ground bone, turkey liver and turkey gizzard.

There is plenty of healthy fiber and probiotics to maintain a healthy digestion. Micronutrients and antioxidants are provided by the superfoods including organic squash and organic blueberries. Vitamins have been added for overall health. This food is completely free from grains and gluten and has no hormones or antibiotics in it. 

Ingredients:

Turkey With Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, 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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My dog loved these. I use to put wet dog food on top of his kibbles and he’d eat the wet and leave the kibbles and I have to throw it away by the next day. This topper is dry and I crumble it into tiny pieces. He it’s it all kibbles included.

Pros
  • Made with organic fruits and vegetables
  • Grain and gluten free
  • Made from cage-free animals
Cons
  • Has a strong odor
  • May contain bone fragments
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2 Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Pork Recipe

Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Pork Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Sojos
  • First 5 ingredients: Pork, Yellow Split Peas, Whole Egg, Parsnips, Cranberries
  • Primary Protein Source: Pork, Whole Egg, Parsnips, Cranberries
  • Calories: 378 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Pork
  • Life Stage: Adult

There is plenty of protein (27%) and fat (15%) in this Sojos freeze dried food which delivers 378 kcal per cup serving. It provides a complete and balanced diet for your dog. The primary protein source is pork which has been freeze dried and added to this are air-dried split peas which are a highly digestible carbohydrate.

There are plenty of added vitamins and minerals for overall health and flaxseed for omega oils. It contains no cheap soy fillers and has no grains or gluten. It is also free from artificial colors and flavors.

Ingredients:

Pork, Yellow Split Peas, Whole Egg, Parsnips, Cranberries, Flaxseed, Coconut, Celery, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ginger Root, Dried Kelp, Kale, 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 young yellow lab was gaining weight and slowing down. We changed from a canned wet food to Sojos Complete freeze dried food. My dog’s weight dropped from 106 lbs to 85 over the course of 6-9 months. (No other changes to his diet or movement.) He also had more energy and a healthier coat. This food was life-changing for him. He is now almost 12 and even the vet is amazed at how well he is doing for his age. HIGHLY recommend Sojos!!!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Pros
  • Contains no cheap fillers
  • No ingredients from China
  • Good for GI problems
Cons
  • A bit watery for some dogs
  • Large chunks of vegetables cannot be digested by some dogs
Show More

3 Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets

Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets
Key features:
  • Brand: Primal
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken (with ground bone), Chicken Livers, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Kale
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Kale
  • Calories: 127 kcal/oz
  • Flavor: Chicken 
  • Life Stage: Adult

A full 78 % of this food is made up of chicken, chicken organs and chicken bone; in total there is a minimum of 37 % protein. The chickens used in the recipe have been raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones so it is completely natural. The remaining 22 % is made up of produce and food supplements so you will find organic broccoli, organic kale and organic carrots on the ingredients list. These provide plenty of micronutrients and antioxidants to prevent cell damage.

There is salmon oil and coconut oil to provide omega oils which nourish the skin. It contains no corn, wheat or soy. To serve primal freeze dried dog food, you just add water.

Ingredients:

Chicken (with ground bone), 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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I’ve had my Scotty on Primal for over a year now, ever since he was a puppy. I love that it is for all stages and ages. It also stores well, and the bags are so light, no more lugging heavy bags of dog food from the store and into the house! This time Chewy had a great price so we really saved!

Pros
  • Dogs love it!
  • Great for dogs with sensitivities
  • Promotes a shiny coat
Cons
  • You may have to crumble it up for smaller dogs
  • Feeding guide is not that accurate
Show More

4 Halo Liv-A-Littles Protein Treats

Halo Liv-A-Littles Protein Treats
Key features:
  • Brand: Halo
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Water, Salt, Carageenan.
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories:
  • Flavor: Chicken, Carageenan
  • Life Stage: Adult

This little bottle of whole chicken protein treats has been produced right here in the US and could be just what you are looking for to reward your dog naturally. There are no concerns about artificial ingredients because the only ingredients are chicken, water, sodium phosphate, salt and carrageenan. The chickens used in this product have been raised without the use of antibiotics.

The chicken has been freeze dried to produce a pure protein treat that has the texture of real meat and is nutrient-rich. Each treat delivers 8 calories and can be used as a healthy reward for good behavior. These freeze dried dog treats can also be crumbled as a meat food topper. For a wider selection of choices, check out our dog jerky treats guide.   

Ingredients:

Chicken, Water, Salt, Carageenan.

What others say about it:
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I was having trouble getting my cat, who is receiving chemotherapy, to eat. I tried numerous types and flavors of foods that didn’t help. I tried this because I buy Halo dry food for my dogs and am very satisfied with it. So I got these treats, which are freeze dried and break down easily, and started crumbling it on his food. Wow! Unbelievable response. He gobbles at it and is gaining weight!

Pros
  • Has a great aroma and taste
  • Not too many calories
  • Texture of real meat
Cons
  • Some consistency issues
  • Fat content of some pieces is high
Show More

5 TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Gourmet Gobbler

TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Gourmet Gobbler
Key features:
  • Brand: TruDog
  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Turkey with Bone, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Herring Oil, Mixed Tocopherols
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey, Herring Oil
  • Calories: Herring Oil
  • Flavor: Turkey, Mixed Tocopherols
  • Life Stage: Adult

There are very few ingredients in this wholesome and natural freeze-dried dog food. The protein content is very high (41 %) and there is plenty of healthy fat for energy (28 %). To provide complete nutrition that is close to a wild dog’s diet, there is ground turkey with bone, turkey heart and turkey liver. The turkeys have been raised in the US and are cage-free.

There is Herring oil which provides plenty of micronutrients including omega oils. This food is naturally hypoallergenic and very easy to digest so it keeps your dog’s breath smelling fresh. It can be fed to dogs of all ages and has no grains or fillers.

Ingredients:

Ground Turkey with Bone, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Herring Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, D-alpha Tocopherols.

What others say about it:
image

But only one dog out of my 2 would eat it. Ironically it was not the pickier of the two who turned his nose up. The one who did eat it didn’t really go nuts for it. At that price point I want an enthusiastic happy dance at dinner.

Pros
  • Great for dogs with food allergies
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Made from cage-free turkeys
Cons
  • There are no vegetables in it
  • May contain bone particles
Show More

6 Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Chicken Recipe

Grandma Lucy's Artisan Chicken Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Grandma Lucy’s 
  • First 5 ingredients: USDA Chicken, Potatoes, Flax, Carrots, Celery
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken, Flax, Carrots, Celery
  • Calories: 438 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Made right here in the US from only high-quality ingredients, this freeze-dried dog food is suitable for all life stages and is completely grain-free. It contains 26 % protein and 13 % fat. Your dog will get 438 kcal per cup of food. Chicken is the primary ingredient and it has been produced without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

There are also potatoes, carrots and celery which deliver vitamin A, potassium, niacin and vitamin B. The cranberries and blueberries provide a range of antioxidants which are great for the immune system and can help to prevent urinary tract infections

If you are looking for more options, check out our guide on grain free dog foods.

Ingredients:

USDA Chicken, Potatoes, Flax, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Garlic, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Potassium, Manganese, Chloride, Copper, Magnesium, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin.

What others say about it:
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My dog is allergic to corn, peas, and pumpkin, which makes it very difficult to find dog food and treats that won’t set off her allergies (and even harder to find ones that she actually likes). She hated the prescription food our vet recommended and we had trouble keeping her weight down on most other types of kibble. She LOVES this food, it’s perfect for her specific set of allergies, and she stays trim and healthy. It’s pricy, but definitely worth it to us. Highly recommend.

Pros
  • All natural ingredients
  • Very natural product
  • Dogs love it
Cons
  • Contains garlic
  • Can contain bone fragments
Show More

7 Northwest Naturals Chicken Recipe

Northwest Naturals Chicken Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Northwest Naturals 
  • First 5 ingredients: 
  • Primary Protein Source:
  • Calories:
  • Flavor:
  • Life Stage:

This premium freeze-dried dog food is based on several parts of the chicken carcass to give an authentic raw diet. It includes chicken meat, ground chicken bone, chicken liver and chicken gizzard. It has a total of 45% protein. There is also 26% fat and 6 % fiber. Added to the meat content, there are loads of nutritious fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, carrots and broccoli.

This premium freeze-dried dog food is based on several parts of the chicken carcass to give an authentic raw diet. It includes chicken meat, ground chicken bone, chicken liver and chicken gizzard. It has a total of 45% protein. There is also 26% fat and 6 % fiber. Added to the meat content, there are loads of nutritious fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, carrots and broccoli.

What others say about it:
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I have a small breed puppy, 6 months old 5 lbs. He has been picky eater ever since I brought him home. He didn’t seem to like kibble so I switched him to dehydrated raw from Stella and Chewy. He liked it at first but then didn’t eat it. I did try different flavors which helped but he still wasn’t eating his food at meal time. This is an issue because he is so small, he cannot go for a long time without food. Big dogs can last longer – the whole “they will eat when they are hungry” doesn’t apply to small dogs.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Made from poultry that is USDA inspected and antibiotic-free
  • Free from grains for dogs will allergies
  • Gives your dog plenty of energy
Cons
  • If you don’t rehydrate it correctly it can make your dog ill
  • Tends to form crumbs in the packet
Show More

8 Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Turkey Recipe

Sojos Complete Raw Made Easy Turkey Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Sojos
  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Egg, Broccoli, Apples
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey, Whole Egg, Broccoli, Apples
  • Calories: 342 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Turkey 
  • Life Stage: Adult

There’s nothing but goodness in this freeze-dried dog food that you reconstitute by simply adding water. It’s made from turkey and delivers no less than 26 % crude protein. It also contains 12 % fat. The carbohydrate content is made up of sweet potatoes and is easy to digest. There are superfoods such as broccoli and cranberries to provide multiple micro-nutrients and antioxidants.

The flax seeds provide omega oils and there are vitamin E and vitamin D3 supplements. This recipe contains no soy, no by-products and no cheap fillers.

 
Ingredients:

Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Egg, Broccoli, Apples, Flax Seeds, Cranberries, Celery, Turkey Liver, Tricalcium Phosphate, Basil, Pumpkin, 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 dog (Min Pin) has always had tummy issues since she was a puppy and is now 8 years old and I’ve tried every food imaginable to find something that would not make her tummy hurt, well it’s been almost a month since she’s been on this food and not one tummy issue. She really seems to enjoy this food a lot, the only thing she doesn’t love is that she has to wait 15 minutes for it to hydrate.. LOL The food smells so good too, it smells like a Thanksgiving dinner. I definitely recommend it.

Pros
  • Easy to take with you when you are out
  • Gives dogs loads of energy
  • Supports frequent bowel movements (poops)
Cons
  • Some dogs don’t like the odor
  • Has large chunks of vegetables which take a while to rehydrate
Show More

9 ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: ORIJEN 
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Venison, Duck, Arctic Char, Whole Pilchard
  • Primary Protein Source: Lamb, Venison, Duck
  • Calories: 463 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Lamb, Venison, Duck
  • Life Stage: Adult

This natural dry food is for dogs of all ages. A full 90% of the content is made up of meat protein and fat sources which include venison, duck, whole steelhead trout, bison, elk and quail which have all been ground with bone so it includes meat, organs and cartilage for complete nutrition. There is also duck liver and duck heart. Added to this, there is 10% fruits, vegetables and botanicals which include spinach, pumpkin and carrots. These super foods provide antioxidants to help the immune system.

There are chicory root and dandelion root which are probiotics and support a healthy digestion. The recipe of this orijen freeze dried dog food contains no grain or potatoes and no GMO ingredients.

If you are looking for some more options from this brand, check out our Orijen dog food review.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Venison, Duck, Arctic Char, Whole Pilchard, Duck Liver, Lamb Liver, Eggs, Lamb Meal, Whitefish Meal, Blue Whiting Meal, Mutton Meal, Herring Meal, Mackerel Meal, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Chickpeas, Whole Peas, Goat, Rainbow Trout, Pork, Duck Fat, Natural Pork Flavor, Pork Liver, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Lentil Fiber, Pea Starch, Whole Navy Beans, Pollock Oil, Pork Kidney, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Tripe, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Whole Pears, Whole Apples, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

What others say about it:
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The old sayings are pretty much true. You are what you eat and you get what you pay for. I never thought I would be paying this much for dog food but it is definitely worth it. I have a 15 month old Silver Lab and she had all but stopped eating the grain-free we were feeding her which was fairly expensive itself just not this much. But I tried the Orijen Tundra and she devoured it. That was over a month ago and still every meal is gone in a matter of 2-3 minutes. She is 86 pounds of pure muscle. She is happy, healthy, and full of energy!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Pros
  • Highly palatable
  • Satisfies a dog’s appetite
  • Dogs love the taste
Cons
  • Will dry out if you don’t seal it
  • May be a bit dry to use as a food topper
Show More

10 Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ SuperBlends

Stella & Chewy's Lil' SuperBlends
Key features:
  • Brand: Stella & Chewy’s
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Organic Bananas, Organic Wild Blueberries
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken, Organic Bananas, Organic Wild Blueberries
  • Calories:
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

The large protein content (45 %) of this dog food for small breeds is provided by high quality meat sources including chicken that has ground bone in it. There is also chicken liver and chicken gizzard so it is close to what your dog would eat in the wild when they catch prey. The fat content is also high at 28 % so this suits energetic dogs. There are loads of micronutrients provided by the fresh fruit and vegetables including organic blueberries, organic spinach and organic broccoli.

The added supplements provide plenty of calcium for strong bones and probiotics for a healthy digestion. There are omega oils for a vibrant coat and nourished skin. There are no grains or gluten in the recipe and the chicken is from cage-free birds.

 
Ingredients:

Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Organic Bananas, Organic Wild Blueberries, Organic Strawberries, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Apples, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Tocopherols (Preservative), Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement

What others say about it:
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Stella and Chewy has created a monster. I have 4 dogs. My Chihuahua absolutely loves this! She even refuses to eat in the morning if this is not on her kibble. Love the dried fruits in this, it’s an easy way to give my dogs extra nutrition that they love. My Great Dane also loves this. One food Dane and Chihuahua!

Pros
  • Limited ingredients and easy to digest
  • Ingredients are responsibly sourced
  • Promotes fresh breath
Cons
  • Upsets the stomach of some dogs
  • May be more suitable as a meal topper
Show More

Best Freeze Dried Dog Food Buying Guide

What is Freeze Dried Dog Food

Freeze drying is a method of preserving dog food so that it will remain fresh down the supply chain until it reaches your door.

The process of freeze drying is quite complicated and the scientific name for it is sublimation. The raw ingredients are placed in a pressurized chamber and are frozen solid. Both the temperature and pressure are carefully controlled so that water is extracted from the food – this is sublimation. The ice converts straight into water vapor so there is no liquid phase. It is a slow process but it is very good at preserving nutrients and protein structures which makes the food both highly nutritious and shelf stable. When you want to feed the food to your dog, you crumble it and rehydrate it with water.

You will find that many freeze-dried foods are made with very high-quality ingredients and they tend to be quite expensive. Most of the ingredients could be organic and the meat sources are usually humanely raised, free-range, grass-fed animals. These foods have a lot of meat in them so the protein content is high. There is sometimes also organ meat and/or ground bone. The ethos behind freeze dried dog food is that the ingredients should be very lightly processed so they are close to the diet of a wild dog.

Dog food and leash

What to Look for in a Good Freeze Dried Dog Food

Buying a freeze-dried dog food is very like buying any other food. It is important that you check out the nutritional analysis and the ingredients list. Here are the main things that you should look out for.

  • Protein content

The protein content of most freeze-dried foods is very high because they contain so much meat. This is great for most dogs but check with your vet in case it is not suitable. Also, check that the source of the protein is high-quality. You may prefer cage-free farmed animals and those that have been raised without using any hormones or antibiotics. You may also like our guide on high protein dog food.

  • Fat content

The fat content of this type of food also tends to be high. This provides a lot of energy for an active dog. However, if your dog has a sedentary lifestyle, you may want to select a brand that has a lower fat content.

  • Fruit and vegetables

The fruits and vegetables in dog food deliver valuable fiber and micronutrients. However, some freeze-dried foods are almost purely meat. If you would like your dog to have plenty of botanicals as part of a balanced diet, choose a brand that contains these elements and is not just meat.

Benefits of Freeze Dried Dog Food

The main benefit of freeze dried dog food is that it is only lightly processed. This means that the natural constituents of the food do not get damaged in the way that heating them will do. Many nutrients are heat-sensitive and this is why raw food is so good for us and for our dogs. However, not everyone is able to feed their dog a raw diet and raw diets do not suit all dogs. Freeze-dried foods are the next best thing.

The other benefit of freeze dried raw dog food is the long shelf that it has. You can store them for longer than you can store most kibble. Because they have an extremely low moisture content, they can be stored at room temperatures and they will not spoil or go rancid. Once the packet is opened, they will start to deteriorate. They achieve this because they only contain between 3-5 % moisture. Regular kibble usually contains around 10 % moisture. When the moisture content is low, there is little biological activity and the food does not spoil.

A further benefit of freeze-dried raw dog food is that it tastes fantastic and dogs love it! The process of freeze drying the food has the effect of concentrating the flavor – the processing is minimal and so it tastes very like the raw product. This can be a big bonus for dogs who are picky eaters or who have lost their appetite through age or a chronic illness. For more options head over to our guide on dog food for picky eaters.

Finally, these foods tend to be made with exceptionally high-quality ingredients. They are expensive but they are packed with the best ingredients. You can expect organic fruit and vegetables and meat from free-range farms. Most of the meat sources will have been raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. These products tend to target the top end of the market.

What’s the Difference Between Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Foods

Dehydrated dog food is sometimes referred to as dried dog food and this is not the same thing as freeze-dried food. Dehydrated dog food manufacturers use raw ingredients and remove moisture by heating them at a low temperature. This helps to preserve the nutritional content of the food. We use a similar technique when we are making beef jerky or kale chips at home.

The main difference between the two is the temperature at which the process takes place. Freeze dried foods are frozen during the process of dehydration. Dehydrated foods have their moisture removed at a higher temperature so that the moisture evaporates. Some dehydrated dog food and some freeze-dried foods need to have water added to them before they are served but others do not. However, your dog always needs a bowl of fresh water nearby.

Check out our guides on the Best Dog Bowls and Best Stainless Steel Dog Bowls.

Two Pug Puppies

Sources:

  1. Raw Diets: A Healthy Choice or a Raw Deal?, The Clinical Nutrition Service
  2. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Current Knowledge About The Risks And Benefits Of Raw Meat–based Diets For Dogs And Cats, American Veterinary Medical Association
  3. Elizabeth Lee, Raw Dog Food: Dietary Concerns, Benefits, and Risks, WebMD
  4. Robin Downing, DVM, Dogs and Raw Food Diets, VCA Hospitals

FAQs:

A sell by or use by date will usually be displayed on the package of freeze-dried dog food. You can expect most foods to last for at least 12 months. Some will last for even longer and this compares well to other types of commercially prepared dog food. However, these dates refer to the unopened product. Once the packets are open, they generally need to be used within a month and will need to be refrigerated.

One of the main advantages of this type of food is that it is so convenient to store. You simply keep it at room temperature as you would store kibble. A cool area is best where the packet will not get damaged and where it will not be attacked by vermin. It is very light and compact and this makes it very convenient if you are traveling. You do not need to take special temperature-controlled storage with you.

The manufacturers will state on the packet of food if it is suitable for pups under 12 months. Most freeze dried food is suitable for pups over three months but it is always best to check. When feeding it to younger pups it is best to follow the same approach as you would for kibble. Soak the food in some warm water to make it easier to chew and swallow. Transition from another puppy food with care. Start with small quantities and gradually increase the proportion of freeze dried food that you give your pup.

Freeze dried food has several advantages over other types of dog food. It is highly nutritious and very convenient to use. The nutrients are not damaged by processing and the better brands contain ingredients such as bone that are not found in many other foods. It gives many of the advantages of a raw diet without the risks and inconvenience. This makes it very popular with many dog owners.

Sharon Parry

Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!

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