Whats The Difference Between Dehydrated And Freeze
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods look very similar, but theyre made using fairly different processes:
As mentioned earlier, dehydrated foods are made by exposing the ingredients to low level heat for an extended period of time. This allows the water inside to evaporate away.
Freeze-drying is a slightly more complex process. Fresh ingredients are frozen, kept at a low temperature, and exposed to low pressure. The procedure causes water in the food to phase from solid ice to gas, totally evaporating.
Is Dehydrated Dog Food Better Than Kibble
Because it is less processed than kibble, dehydrated dog food is indeed better for your pooch. The only caveat is that removing moisture can affect the nutrients of the food.
As such, you need to make sure to choose a nutrient-rich dehydrated food for your canine.
Your dog may also feel that dehydrated food provides a slightly less delicious meal than kibble.
Or, at least that it is different than what he is used to. That is because dehydration can affect the texture and taste of ingredients.
Grain: The Great Debate
Commercial dry foods are formulated with higher proportions of grain and grain-based products than their canned counterparts. Grain elements such as corn, wheat and rice are necessary for binding the formula into pellets and improving the texture. Grains such as corn, wheat and soy also can partially replace meat as a protein source, thereby trimming cost.
Intense debate wages over whether the ubiquitous grains in dry food belong in a dogs diet. Natural food advocates assert that dogs are carnivores that have no metabolic need for plant matter in their food.3 Others, including those in the pet food industry, assert that wild dogs are scavengers that regularly supplement their meat diet with grasses, berries, roots and other vegetable matter,4 not to mention the digested plant matter they inadvertently consume along with their herbivorous prey.
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Lucy Pet Formulas For Life: Sensitive Stomachs
This version of Lucy Pet Formula is for sensitive stomachs and if your pet has a sensitive stomach, youll appreciate this food. There are other brands that hock sensitive stomach formulas, but they are all filler of corn with no nutritional value, so when Lucy Pet came on the market, it was quite an event. Made with four ingredients of salmon, pumpkin, chicken meal with chickpeas and quinoa, this recipe will surely settle your poochs stomach.
Buy: Lucy Pet Formulas for Life: Sensitive Stomachs $99.18
Iams Proactive Health Dry Dog Food
Iams Lamb and Rice Adult formula is one of 15 dry recipes included in our review of the Iams Proactive Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Large breed, small breed, puppy, chicken, turkey, senior weight management and more
- Price: $
- See all 15 available recipes
Iams Lamb and Rice derives a large portion of its animal protein from fresh lamb. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
An affordable, classic design offering multiple recipe options. A top selection popular with veterinarians and professional breeders. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy bulldog has terrible allergies and colitis, and even with taking allergy medication, so many foods worsened her problems. Even grain free limited ingredient dog foods did not help. This red bag lamb and rice iams formula is one of the very few foods she can eat and once I changed her to this food, along with her continued apoquel, her skin allergies are getting better and her hair is growing back, with no colitis flare ups.
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Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet
The Natural Balance brand is excellent for dogs who need a specific diet. If your dog frequently gets upset stomachs and it isnt connected to an allergy, finding a protein source they enjoy and mixing it with a limited ingredient recipe may help. Made from one protein source, brown rice, brewers rice, and the protein sources meal base in this case, lamb meal, along with vitamins and nutrients needed to establish a healthy and simple diet. If your dog is picky about what she eats, then try a simpler recipe, it may work wonders for the both of you.
The Difference Between Freeze
Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Dehydrated dog and cat food is generally processed at low heat for a long time to draw out or evaporate any moisture out of the food. Each of the dehydrated food companies that we carry use different methods and temperatures to achieve this. I outline this below. In my research there definitely seems to be more variation and uniqueness in the processes used to dehydrate than to freeze- dry pet foods.
Foods dehydrated at higher temperatures are not considered completely raw, but very lightly cooked as the moisture is removed. Cooking denatures many of these nutrients including delicate enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, affecting the nutrition of the product.
Dehydrated dog food is usually harder than freeze-dried food and takes longer to rehydrate.
Some of the dehydrated food companies that we carry:
The Honest Kitchen on their dehydration process Most of our raw ingredients are dehydrated below 104 degrees F and are therefore still considered raw and the meats and eggs in our foods are dehydrated at a high enough temperature to kill any pathogenic bacteria that may be present, and the required temperature for this is essentially equivalent to cooking.
They use 100% renewable energy, so they are not contributing to green house gasses. The dehydration temperature never above 125 degrees.
Other companies that some of the stores carry are Addiction , Hurraw , and Wellness dehydrated.
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When To Consider Dehydrated Dog Food
Dehydrated dog food is sometimes recommended for pups with food allergies or a sensitive stomach. Amazons No. 1 bestseller for dehydrated dog food, The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Beef Dog Food, uses high-quality produce and meat to make an easily digestible, nutritious meal.
One review from dog mom and veterinary professional m.badgleypraises this foods nutritional value and whole ingredients. Many reviewers also love having a grain-free option, which may make carbohydrate-based digestive issues less prevalent as well.
From nutritional gain to ease and convenience, pet parents have many reasons to be interested in dehydrated food for their dog. Theres been evidence of many positive changes resulting from this diet, and with the popularity of raw and dehydrated foods still growing, even more are sure to come. When in doubt, you can always ask your veterinarian for guidance thats what theyre here for, after all!
Do I Have To Be An Iron Chef
Heck no! If I can do it, then you can do it. Basically you need a dehydrator, a good knife and mandolin, and something to store the treats in. Making dehydrated foods for cost saving dog treats doesnt require a lot of expertise. You simply need to slice the food to the desired size and allow it to dry in the dehydrator. This is the basic process. Some foods may require modifications, like jerky sticks.
While there are several methods of making homemade dog treats, including baking, we like the dehydration method for its simplicity! And the fast that the treats retain much of their nutritional value and preserves the food for quite some time when properly stored.
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The Honest Kitchen Company Overview
The Honest Kitchen brand started inside owner Lucy Postins kitchen. Postins would regularly cook meals for her dogs while making meals for herself. She would often use the same organic ingredients she used in her own meal, in her dogs meal. Soon she noticed how her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Mosi, started growing stronger, had fewer attacks of skin & ear infection, and was more active.
Seeing this, Postins started commercially creating and selling her kitchen-based dog food in the market, and Honest Kitchen was born a dog food brand that uses wholesome ingredients and honest production practices to create premium-quality dehydrated, dry dog food and wet dog food products.
What Should Dogs Eat Instead
The optimal diet for dogs includes fresh, whole foods made from human-grade ingredients. They should be grass-fed, free-range and organic, if possible.
The optimal diet for your dog also includes healthy fats, high moisture and is a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients. A great way to feed this balanced diet is with raw food.
A raw diet for dogs includes simply fresh, whole foods that are uncooked and minimally processed. Meats and greens that are fresh, uncooked and wild make up the diet that dogs and cats evolved to eat. Its what canine species in the wild still eat.
Raw food is more easily absorbed and contains vital naturally occurring enzymes and vitamins that cooking destroys. Living foods that are unprocessed, fresh and whole enable our pets to thrive. And its the diet that lets dogs be their happiest and healthiest.
Fun fact: Humans are actually the only species to cook their food and while your loving pups may be like family, that doesnt mean they should eat like we do!
Finally, if you do choose to feed dry food, choose an organic option with no “4-D” meat: This is meat taken from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock that is not fit for human consumption. Look for dog food brands that use human grade meats, which contain much more specific meat ingredients rather than generically named meat sources.
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How Bad Are They
As a general rule of thumb, owners should avoid dog food formulas with ingredients they wouldn’t consume themselves.
Who wants to eat dead, dying, or diseased meats? This particular ingredient is especially harmful to dogs because owners will never know the exact source.
High-quality formulas contain all-natural protein from healthy animals. However, 4-D meats are often full of chemicals, hormones, steroids, and much more.
Not only that but these rejected and discarded meats may harbor potentially deadly extras. For example, sick and dying animals can contain all kinds of diseases.
The same goes for roadkill that may harbor a slew of bacteria and parasites.
Even seemingly innocuous sources like expired meat from a grocery store may be thrown into the formula without even being removed from the package. Because of the uncertainty with 4-D meats, dogs can be exposed to a lot of harm.
Steroids, insecticides, and growth hormones can affect the way they develop and grow while chemicals and parasites can lead to a variety of health issues like cancer.
Corn and grains are bad for dogs because they aren’t built to consume these ingredients on a regular basis. Dogs are carnivores through and through. They don’t have the right teeth to grind up grains.
As a result, many dogs can develop digestion problems. The influx of GMOs, insecticides, and mold on corn and grain products can also lead to cancer and allergy issues.
The Truth Behind Raw Dehydrated Dog Food: Is It Still Raw
Dehydrated foods may not seem as raw as fresh-raw or frozen-raw foods, but its important to know that they are, in fact, raw. Dehydrating dog food removes so much moisture that it stops meat and produce from the decay process without the need for any preservatives. Dehydrating is also more gentle on biological materials such as enzymes and vitamins, so they remain intact during storage and become extremely shelf-stable. This is good news for you and your dogs.
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The Worst Dry Dog Foods
While most owners don’t realize it, bad dry dog food can make dogs sick and unhealthy over time. Cheap ingredients are used to make dog food more affordable.
Unfortunately, the inclusion of many unhealthy ingredients can lead to obesity, cancer, and much more.
Some ingredients are used as filler to replace natural proteins. They add empty calories without much nutritional content.
Other ingredients come from questionable sources and contain harmful additives or chemicals.
Kibble Is Not Better Than Canned
Canned food is preserved by the process of canning but most kibble is preserved artificially.
Kibble begins as a dry cooked meal while canned food is canned fresh. Kibble is exposed to more heat than canned . Worse yet, kibble is linked to bloat, a deadly problem, especially for large, broad-chested dogs. Its also dehydrating. Of course, canned isnt perfect either. Fresh is best, raw or cooked. Next best is frozen pre-made raw food, and then freeze-dried raw, followed by dehydrated foods. These are all available at better pet stores.
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The Honest Kitchen Dog Food Review
Many dog food brands make unreasonable promises about the health benefits their products offer pet dogs. But not Honest Kitchen. As the brand says, they make only honest promises, and they keep these promises. If youre looking for a dog food option which can bring about positive health results in your beloved pet, then the Honest Kitchen dog food range is a good option to choose.
What To Look For In Kibble
Read the label. Look for a food that has a protein as the first ingredient, not a grain. The best kibbles have a single source of protein, such as lamb or chicken. Grain-free diets exist, but carbohydrates are required for energy, and the choice of grain is important since some dogs have sensitivities to wheat, corn, or soybeans.
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Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Adult recipe is one of 2 kibble recipes included in our review of the Whole Earth Farms product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- See both available recipes
This Whole Earth Farms product derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and turkey meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 16% fat and 47% estimated carbs which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
A quality yet affordable, grain-inclusive kibble made by Merrick. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI recently switched to this food due to the recent controversy over Grain Free. This was the only affordable food I found with quality ingredients listed. My dogs love it and it will be the only food I fees from now on.
This Holistic Select formula derives most of its meat protein from fresh salmon, as well as anchovy and sardine meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 16% fat and 44% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
An exceptional grain-free dog food offering numerous recipe and flavor options. Highly recommended.
Best Budget: Stella & Chewys Freeze
Stella & Chewyâs Freeze-Dried Raw Stellaâs Super Beef Meal Mixers Grain-Free Dog Food Topper
- Lifestage: All Stages | Breed Size: Small Breeds, Medium Breeds, Large Breeds
- Flavor: Chicken | Form: Raw
- Ingredients: Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries
- Protein: 48% | Fat: 28% | Fiber: 5% | Moisture: 5%
- Not Contain: Grain, Gluten, Hormones, Antibiotics, Potatoes
Freeze-dried dog food doesnt have to be expensive. You can get an affordable pack like this Super Beef Meal Mixers from Stella & Chewyâs. The meal is chicken flavored and consists of 95% cage-free chicken meat, which is very healthy.
This meat is blended with chicken organs, bone, organic fruits, and vegetables to give your dog a healthy, 100% balanced mix. As such, it is ideal for supporting healthy growth in all life stages for all kinds of dog breeds.
Feeding can be done in a dry or rehydrated form, in which this requires 1/2 cup of water per cup of food. There is a feeding guide on the pack that clearly shows you the dog weight to cup/scoops to serve, which should be referenced for day-to-day feeding.
The only problem is that the ground bone can pose a risk if they get stuck on your dogs throat.
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Which Is Better Freeze Dried Or Dehydrated Dog Food
Freeze drying preserves more of the nutritional content of the food than dehydrating, as proteins, vitamins, and minerals stay intact due to freezing before drying. The process of air-drying food, while similar to dehydration, produces an extremely nutrient-dense food with scoop-and-serve convenience.
Muenster Natural Adult Dog Food
This dog food formula is natural, but that doesn’t mean that its necessarily good. The main protein source is chicken meal rather than wholesome chicken.
There’s also ground corn, wheat, corn gluten meal, brown rice, and grain sorghum. It also contains sugary beet pulp and citric acid. In all, the formula can cause weight gain, digestive issues, and more.
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Dehydrated Or Air Dried Dog Foods
The biggest difference is that when you buy freeze-dried food, its still raw. Thats not really true of dehydrated or air-dried foods.
Freeze drying may sound the same as air drying, drum drying or dehydrating. But theyre different. The non freeze-drying technologies are similar ways of removing moisture from food and they all use heat.
The manufacturers claim the food isnt technically cooked due to low temperatures. But it does get slightly cooked. So the structure of the food changes and there is more nutrient loss.
Most companies are very careful not to tell you what temperatures they use. They want you to think their products are raw or almost. But you can assume they use temperatures between 1400 and 180OF. So I guarantee you that dehydrated or air dried food isnt raw. In fact, I can slow roast a slab of pork ribs at 180o and they definitely come out cooked!
One selling point of these foods is that they have less pathogens than raw or freeze-dried foods. One air-dried food company states that they use temperatures the FDA and USDA consider a kill step.
Another company I asked told me:
Well . thats a bit confusing. But you cant have it both ways. If the food is heated enough to be a kill step, its not raw!
Dehydrated foods are still much better than kibble. Theyre less processed and cooked at lower temperatures so they suffer less nutrient loss. If freeze-dried isnt in your budget, dehydrated or air-dried foods can be a decent option.