Is Freeze Dried Food Healthy For Dogs
Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is Still Raw Dog Food. Cooked foods may be safer for immune-compromised individuals. Some dogs digest cooked foods better. That said, freeze-dried dog foods don’t seem as raw as raw-frozen or fresh raw foods, but it’s important to understand that they are, in fact, uncooked.
Natural Dog Treats Ingredients
As you would feed yourself, select only the cleanest food items for pets. Grow, or purchase, organic turmeric root and dehydrate it using a home dehydrator. Plan to grow parsley, not only for personal consumption but also for your pet.
Also, select grass fed or pasture raised meat in place of grain fed.
- 1 pound grass fed beef liver
- 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground organic peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons dried organic parsley
Other Products We Considered
If you don’t think any of our top five freeze-dried dog foods are right for your canine companion, we have some excellent alternatives for you. If you’re looking for a complete and balanced option, consider Purpose Freeze-Dried Dog Food. It comes in five different formulas, each of which contains 95% meat and 5% veggies. And it doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial additives. The TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood is made from 99% meat and designed to be rehydrated and added as a booster to your dog’s existing diet. Another excellent booster is the K9 Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Food Booster, made from 100% green tripe, which is said to have a range of health benefits, including supporting the digestive system.
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Freeze Dried Dog Food
Most pet owners are familiar with kibble and canned foods but there are other choices when it comes to buying your dogs food. One of them is freeze dried food. Freeze dried pet food is only a small segment of the pet food market and it is primarily used by pet food makers who want to include a raw food, usually made without preservatives, that is freeze dried as soon as its made. Freeze dried foods are especially popular with pet owners who feed a raw diet since the food is freeze dried in a raw state.
Using A Home Freeze Dryer
If youve read this far, you already have a pretty decent idea of how freeze-drying works. The home freeze dryers you buy actually are pretty similar to the DIY freeze dryers show in the videos above.
Theyre all integrated into a single elegant unit that looks a bit like a washing machine, but its actually a freezing chamber with a super-efficient low temp condenser that gets the food very cold. A vacuum pump then creates low pressure in the chamber and pulls the water from the food.
To operate, you put the food in on trays and then select the cycle. Itll have you select whether youve pre-frozen the food before putting it in and whether its a liquid or a solid like fruit, vegetables, meat, or cheese.
The cycle will run, and sensors will determine the foods moisture level and shut off the machine automatically when its finished.
Pretty sleek, right?
While home freeze dryers are incredibly efficient self-contained units, they come at a cost. Small units are just over $2000, and the largest model is around $3,500.
The inside of a freeze dryer. Food is placed on the trays, and then the chamber is sealed for the freeze-drying process.
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Kibble Leaches Away Our Control
One thing I love about making dog food at home is the ability to control what goes into the food.
- Rodrigo is allergic to chicken, turkey, and guinea hen. He also has digestive issues that require a pancreas supplement .
- Sydney is on a diet and has joint/ligament issues. I’ve modified the amount she can eat, making up the difference with fresh green beans and adding a joint supplement.
- Scout can’t eat chicken and green tripe gives him diarrhea. On green tripe days, he gets 1/4 of a 1-pound chub of tripe mixed with Olewo carrots and his regular raw meal.
- Zoey is on a diet. Like with Sydney, I reduce the amount she eats, making up the difference with fresh green beans.
Although I can make some adjustments with kibble as well, the one thing I can’t control are the allergens in the food. When I fed Rodrigo and Sydney a kibble diet, Rodrigo went to the vet a lot: daily diarrhea, chronic ear infections, regular skin rashes, and more. I tried several high-quality kibbles and we always ended back at square one. Adding freeze-dried meat doesn’t take away these issues.
With a raw food diet, if one of my dogs has a reaction I can quickly identify the culprit because I know each ingredient that was in their food.
Can You Freeze Dry Fat
Pure fat doesnt freeze-dry well, no. Due to the structure of fat and the freeze-drying process, it just doesnt mesh well. Foods that are pure fat will not freeze-dry well at all.
However, foods that have some fat can freeze dry and they freeze-dry fairly well. These foods may only be shelf-stable for a few years, though, depending on the fat content.
Heres a good rule of thumb for freeze-drying foods with fat:
The more fat a food has, the shorter the shelf-life it will have once freeze-dried.
This is because fat does go rancid even if its freeze-dried. So if you are wanting to freeze-dry fatty foods, thats fine. You can do so. We do it. Just dont expect those fatty, freeze-dried foods to be the main staple in your decades-long food storage plan. In fact, it would be better if you rotate them far more regularly than that no more than a couple of months or years in storage, depending on the dish and overall fat content.
Then, always be sure to check the foods when youre going to use them for general safety with a sniff test. If it smells rancid or inedible, toss it.
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Give It A Little Water
Freeze-drying turns your food into hard chunks, and those chunks are barely edible.
Some foods will stay soft enough to eat while dry, but eating them that way can actually dehydrate you.
Its not a huge concern, but its best not to take chances in a survival situation. To reconstitute your dried foods, you have to add boiling water.
If you have access to a microwave, you can use cold water, and boil it all together in the microwave. If shouldnt take long to reconstitute your food.
All you really need to do is allow it to sit in the boiling water long enough to make it plump and juicy.
If youre preparing something like soup, youll want to wait until its at a normal eating temperature before you stop boiling it.
Will Freeze Dried Food Last Forever
While freeze drying can suspend spoilage for years, there is still a very small amount of moisture left in the dog food, so eventually it will go bad. However, most of us are not going to purchase a year’s worth of dog food in advance, so spoilage really shouldn’t become an issue.
If you ever find you’ve kept a package around for a few years, simply give it the sniff test to see if it has turned rancid before you feed it to your pet.
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Foods That Can Freeze Dry But Dont Reconstitute As Well
Okay, so there is some definite opinion in each of these foods and cases. But in my opinion, these foods are harder to reconstitute and/or dont reconstitute as well. Even so, here are some notes on each to help your experience go better than mine did.
Bread Reconstitute slowly and with humidity, not soaking. If you go too fast when reconstituting, the bread will develop an odd texture.
Broccoli Small pieces of broccoli will do better when reconstituting, but they will still fall apart pretty easily. It always works well in soups, though.
Celery Celery is hard to reconstitute. Those who have done it successfully say that time, humidity, and lots of patience are key. That or having it as an ingredient in the dish already. When in doubt, powder it after its freeze-dried and use that.
Green Beans Green beans, due to their shell, need to be cut up small or shelled to freeze dry and reconstitute without being a soggy mess. I think its better to dry them. They are great for soups or powdered.
Pasta Dont freeze-dry plain pasta. Freeze-dry it in a casserole or meal instead. Reconstitute it slowly.
Rice Parboiled rice will do better than fully-cooked rice once freeze-dried and reconstituted.
In any case, knowing about these foods should save you some time and heartache and a few oddly-textured meal experiments.
How To Freeze Dry Chicken Liver Dog Treats
Our dogs LOVE chicken liverand I love that its nutritious and low-cost. It makes a great dog treatand its easy to freeze dry chicken liver dog treats at home, too!
All youll need is a tub of chicken livers, a stockpot, a cookie sheet and a freezer!
This recipe is super-simple basically youre just going to dump the entire tub of chicken liversblood and allinto a pot thats about half filled with water.
If you see a round attachment to the liver, thats the bitter-tasting gall bladder cut it off and discard.
Let the livers come to a complete boil then reduce heat to medium boil for about 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly before pouring off the liquid. Youll want to save this broth for future dog treat recipes!
If you dont have any planned, you can pour the cooled broth into small cups and freeze for some yummy and flavorful frozen dog treats!
Once the chicken livers have cooled enough to handle , its time to cut the liver into training treat portions.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut the liver into small, uniform bits as best you can.
Spread the liver bits out across the try so no two are touching then slide this tray into your freezer.
And now you wait!
It takes about a week for the livers to freeze dry.
After a week, remove one or two pieces from the try and place them on your counter to thaw at room temperature.
If you see any moisture as the liver thaws, its not ready! Time to wait a few more days.
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What Are The Drawbacks Of Freeze
Apart from the high price, if you have worries about overfeeding your pet a raw diet as a result of virus worries that this kind of raw canine food isn’t the best choice for you.Due to the fact that this kind of canine food is not overly refined at high temperatures like traditional pet food, bacteria could be a concern at times.Nevertheless, the levels of the germs will be a lot less than those found in fresh raw pet food.
Freeze dried raw dog food has an appearance like oatmeal that may not be as interesting pets that are used to crunchy food or fresh meat.The taste is likewise somewhat various to fresh meat, although it preserves even more natural preference than dried canine food.
Pick The Types Of Foods
Foods with a high water content works the best for freeze-drying. That is because they return to a more normal state after being reconstituted. Here is a list of some things that you can freeze-dry without many implications:
- Fruit. Apples, bananas, strawberries, pears, and any other fruit or berry except maybe oranges. Although you can try them and see how they turn out.
- Vegetables. Most vegetables can be freeze-dried.
- Meat. Meat is a little bit more tricky to freeze dry, but once you have got the hang of it, you can try doing it.
- Processed meals. Once you have got the nack and technique sorted, you can even freeze-dry full processed meals.
- Grains. We have an entire article about freeze-drying grains here.
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Quality Components Of Freeze Dried Dog Food
Look for freeze-dried food that has top quality healthy proteins along with other vital free ingredients such as Omega 3 fats, organ meat, fruits, and veggies.Try to prevent big manufacturers from tool sized specialized makers that put more heart, initiative, and also love right into the foods they develop.These smaller firms typically will utilize better meats that are fairly and also humanely raised.
Kibble Contains Synthetic Nutrients
Despite having freeze-dried meat, kibble still goes through intensive processing and the nutrients that were in the food are stripped away. In order for the food to be nutritionally balanced, brands add nutrients back into the food, often using synthetic vitamin mixes. The question we need to ask is how much of these vitamins are our dogs absorbing into their system? How much is being treated as a toxin, leading to unnecessary stress on the kidneys and liver before being urinated out of a dog’s system?
Because raw dog food is made up of raw, fresh foods that contain living enzymes, a dog’s system can easily absorb vitamins and minerals needed to promote better health, a stronger immune system, a healthier digestive system, strong teeth and bones, and more.
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Ingredient Transparency In Freeze Dried Dog Food
While home preparation of ingredients is a great and healthy option for your pet, it isnt always cost-effective or time-efficient. Nevertheless, you want to feed your pet the healthiest ingredients without having to start your own farm. Thats where freeze dried dog food comes in!
The ingredients in freeze dried dog food make this pet food choice stand out from other choices like kibble. Freeze dried dog food takes whole ingredients and freeze dries them to retain the ingredients natural nutrients! The result? Easy to serve freeze dried dog food with the natural nutrients and whole ingredients of a raw dog food diet.
Another unique thing about freeze dried dog food is the ingredient transparency that comes with some brands like Side by Side. Take a moment to picture the last bowl of dog food you served your pet. Can you point out each ingredient listed in the foods ingredients list? Chances are you likely cant. Because of the foods processing, many dog food brands lack ingredient transparency.
Common Ingredients in Freeze Dried Dog Food
To give you an idea of some of the tasty ingredients youll find in freeze dried dog food, here are various ingredients we use at Side by Side when preparing our freeze dried diets:
- Whole duck with bones
- Dried kelp
Each whole food ingredient is carefully chosen to create a nourishing and species-appropriate meal. In the end, your pet enjoys real food in every bite!
A Word About Preservatives
Most freeze-dried dog foods contain a preservative as an extra precaution against spoilage. You may see mixed tocopherols or rosemary extract on the ingredient list.
Mixed tocopherols are extracts of vitamin E. Theyre technically synthetic, but they are an effective antioxidant that helps preserve the food. Theres no evidence of harmful side effects. You may also see D-alpha tocopherol, which is a natural tocopherol .
Rosemary extract is oily residue extracted from the leaves of rosemary plants. It prevents oxidation of fats and protects flavors. Rosemary essential oil is said to be risky for dogs who get seizures but the amount used is tiny, and for most dogs is safe. Herbalists Gregory L Tilford And Mary L Wulff say its safe in concentrations of less than 1% of the food.
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Storing Unopened Dog Food
The best way to keep dry kibble and unopened canned food is in a cool, dry, and secure place. The temperature shouldn’t be more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When there’s excess moisture or heat, this can cause the nutrients inside the dog food to break down and the quality will deteriorate. You should keep them in their original packaging so that you have all the important information that you need.
Storing Opened Canned Food
If the canned food you opened is more than what your dog can consume in one meal, you should transfer the rest of the food to an airtight container and put it in the fridge where it’ll stay good for 7 days. Make sure the temp is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
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Is Homemade Dog Food Better For Dogs
Isnt it true that homemade dog chow is better? Do we understand that eating a home-cooked meal is preferable to fast food, but is this true for pets?
Youve certainly tried a variety of foods for your dog, including the best dry dog food, the best-wet dog food, and even some pre-packaged best raw dog food.
But maybe youre wondering if cooking your dogs food from scratch at home makes a significant impact. There are many reasons and benefits for cooking your dogs meals at home, whether because they require a special diet or theyre just picky eaters.
When it comes to dog food, theres a lot of information out there. Still, only you can know whats best for your dog, which comes with a lot of trial and error, especially if youre a rookie dog parent.
Its OK to experiment with different foods to see what they enjoy and doesnt like, and the same applies to your homemade dog food.
One of the most significant advantages of cooking your dogs meals yourself is knowing exactly what ingredients are used.
Homemade dog food is excellent since its a quick and easy method to guarantee your pet gets all the nutrients they require, but you might not have found a brand you enjoy.
Maybe one has too much salt, and the other doesnt have enough protein. When it comes to ingredients, homemade dog food allows you to completely control every tiny detail.