Freeze Dried Dog Food: The Definitive Guide

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / January 2, 2018

If you want to find healthier alternatives to kibble and tinned foods, then you’ll be happy to know that you can now invest in freeze dried dog food. Despite being a small subset of the pet food industry, freeze dried dog food is on the up and up! So, if you haven’t yet, here’s why you should consider switching your fur kid to dehydrated food.

What is Freeze Dried Food?

Freeze dried dog food production is a pet food preservation technique. With this process, pet food manufacturers freeze raw dog food before removing all moisture via a vacuum chamber. They then seal the food in an impermeable container. This unique technique was first incorporated in World War II as a means to preserve blood plasma without refrigeration. Interestingly enough, coffee manufacturers were one of the first to use this same technique. Additionally, fruit and vegetable markets now freeze dry their product as well.

Dehydrated pet food manufacturers need the approval of the Department of Agriculture for all manufacturing plants. By regulation, these plants comprise a pre-processing cooking area, raw food storage and receiving sections, a packaging area, and drying and freezing chambers.

The first phase in this pet food manufacturing process is preparation. Here, the manufacturer checks the raw pet food for contamination and tests for bacteria. After cooking the meat, they then freeze the food on metal trays. Finally, they transfer the dog food for the final drying phase.

During this last phase, the manufacturer sends the pet food to the drying chamber, resembling a gigantic horizontal cylinder. The procedure here involves sublimation, where solids convert into gases without ever liquefying. So essentially, the ice crystals in the frozen food turn into vapour via vacuum evacuation. Workers then remove the freeze dried food from the chamber and check for moisture before packaging. The sealing containers are always airtight to prevent moisture absorption. The food may also be vacuum packed.

Why a Raw Diet Is Better

Did you know that there is increasing evidence that your fur baby is healthier when fed the primal pet food diet of their ancestors? Your pooch is an omnivore and if left in the wilderness, your dog’s ideal meal would include fresh vegetables, uncooked bone, wild-caught fish, beef, or other raw meat. The fish found in a raw diet also serves as a vitamin E supplement, which is great for eradicating disease-inducing free radicals and boosting antioxidants. Vitamin E also lowers your pooch’s cholesterol and reduces their risk of heart disease as well. Lastly, raw food is preservative-free and nutrient-dense, which is a far cry from most of the commercial foods sold nowadays.

Owners who have switched to raw food noticed an improvement in their fur baby’s energy level, stamina, and weight. Additionally, stools had become firmer and tinier, dog teeth looked a lot cleaner with fresher breathe, and coats appeared healthier and glossier. Your pup may also be less prone to contracting infections and diseases, including canine cancer.

The Benefits of Freeze Dried Dog Food

One of the advantages of freeze dried dog food is it comprises raw meat such as beef liver. This is an essential source of protein and iron. It also comprises bone, which is an imperative part of their diet as well. Bones contain calcium phosphate, which improves your pooch’s skeletal health. The raw calcium found here also digests faster than those found in calcium supplements. Raw beef bones may also serve as additional roughage, making digestion easier. Freeze dried dog food is a far better alternative than kibble as kibble is highly processed. Kibble also contains additives, which could hinder your dog’s life span and health.

As a devoted pet lover, you want to ensure that your fur baby is not eating anything unfit for consumption, right? Unfortunately, most commercial pet food companies are guilty of doing this. Processed dog food often comprises waste products from the poultry industry, designated as unfit for human consumption.  Processed foods can also cause health problems as they oftentimes contain ingredients that aren’t’ aligned with their physiology. Not to mention, the poultry found in processed foods is oftentimes not even real meat. Or if it is real, it’s incredibly low-quality, coming from sick animals. Processed foods also add to the development of allergies, chronic degenerative diseases, and auto-immune conditions in dogs.

Freeze-dried pet food gives your dog the benefits of raw foods, without the mess. You won’t need to source these foods individually, as it’s conveniently sold in one nutritious package. It also preserves raw nutrition, without occupying space in your freezer, as it requires no refrigeration. Not to mention, the added benefit of its extended shelf life. Lastly, the preparation is so easy! The food is easily re-hydrated in just a few minutes!

Best Freeze Dried Dog Food Brands & Ingredients

Some of the best brands on the market include Stella & Chewy’s, Sojos, and Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food. When searching for commendable ingredients, always strive for organic foods that contain zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, and copper proteinate. These nutrient-dense supplements are formulated to prevent zinc, iron, manganese and copper deficiencies.

Must-Have Ingredients

Be sure to find a food that contains calcium iodate. This essential iodine supplement promotes good thyroid health and a healthy weight. A good brand should also include choline chloride. This ingredient assists your pup with muscle and memory control, metabolism, and the nervous system. Also, you should try to purchase brands with potassium chloride as it’s known to prevent renal failure.

Your dog’s diet should also include sodium selenite, a form of selenium. This trace mineral is vital for the prevention of dermatological problems, heart disease, and arthritis. It’s also rich in antioxidants and helps protect your pooch against IBD. Selenium may also help reduce dog seizures.  Pyridoxine hydrochloride is a form of vitamin B6. It’s essential if your pooch is anaemic, has high cholesterol, or has heart disease. Crude protein is also another essential part of any dog’s diet. Crude protein will promote your pet’s immune system and help maintain muscle mass.

Daily feeding should also include a healthy dose of phosphate monobasic. This is great for maintaining calcium levels in your pooch’s body. Feeding should also comprise foods rich in mixed tocopherol. This includes a Vitamin E supplement, obtained via the distillation of vegetable oils. It plays an essential role in neutralizing the effects of free radicals in your pup’s bloodstream. It’s also great for combating cardiovascular disease.

Chicory root is also beneficial as it’s nutritious and high in fiber. In fact, it could help prevent and manage osteoarthritis. It may also help prevent diabetes and spike energy levels as well. Chicory root comes from an herbaceous plant from the dandelion family. It contains tiny amounts of vitamin A, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and vitamin B5. It’s also rich in vitamin C, and vitamin B.

Bottom Line

Freeze dried dog food serves as a healthier alternative to a canned or dry dog food diet. It’s derived from a range of raw ingredients that undergo a process of preparation, testing, cooking, freezing, drying, packaging, and storage. The benefits of freeze dried dog food are extensive, including its lengthy shelf lifespan and high nutritional value. Remember: always strive to buy brands that are nutrient-dense with an extensive range of fundamental vitamins and minerals. This could boost your dog’s longevity, assist with weight maintenance, and promote optimal health.

About The Author:

Melanie Fourie is a prolific writer, editor, content creator, photographer, and brand journalist. You can see her in Oprah magazine, as well as publications like MasterCard and the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, amongst others. An ardent animal lover, she’s also filled with wanderlust and has a penchant for travelling and exploring worldwide cultures. You can follow her on Twitter here!

About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for