Thursday, April 18, 2024

What Is Dehydrated Dog Food

A Word About Preservatives

What is The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog & Cat Food?

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.

How To Feed Freeze

This should be easy! If you buy a food thats sold as a complete diet for your dog, just follow the feeding guidelines on the package for your dogs ideal weight.

Then follow the raw feeders scientific adjustment method. If your dog gains weight, cut back a bit. If she loses, add a bit extra.

Recommended feeding amounts on the package are usually for food in its dry state. So you can just scoop and serve. But you may want to let it soak a few minutes in water first.

Best Dehydrated Dog Food Buying Guide

Having seeing a few dehydrated dog food reviews, we hope youve been able to work out whether this feeding option is the right choice for your pet. To help you make this important decision, and pick a brand that works for you and your four-legged friend, weve compiled this buying guide.

Below we discuss how dehydrated dog food differs from its conventional counterparts, how it could benefit your dog, and what buying options you have. Whether youre looking for the best freeze dried dog food, or the optimal air-dried option, we hope this information can help you find the perfect fit for your pooch.

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Whats The Difference Between Dehydrated And Freeze

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods look very similar, but theyre made using fairly different processes:

  • Dehydrated

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-Dried

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.

The Best Dehydrated Dog Food In 2021

Affordable Healthy Dry Dog Food

When its time to choose a diet for our four-legged friends, we all want to make the healthiest decision possible. Dehydrated dog food is one of the most nutrient-packed options youll come by. These foods are made by removing almost all of the water from a set of ingredients. Its is far slower and cooler than conventional dog food cooking methods, and tends to preserve more of the nutrients found in each ingredient.

With its great nutritional content, it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of owners are making the switch to dehydrated foods. If you think these foods could be right for your dog, then read on. Weve scoured the market to find the best of the bunch, so you can make an informed decision for your pooch. Weve also compiled a handy buying guide, in which we answer some common questions about different types of dehydrated food, how theyre made, and how they could benefit your dog.

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Best Natural: Primal Freeze

Primal Freeze-Dried Dog Food Chicken Formula

  • Lifestage: All Stages | Breed Size: Small Breeds, Medium Breeds, Large Breeds
  • Flavor: Chicken | Form: Raw
  • Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams
  • Protein: 37% | Fat: 37% | Fiber: 1% | Moisture: 2%
  • Not Contain: Grain, Gluten, Corn, Wheat, Soy

Aside from having an extensive composition of organic fruits and vegetables as part of its ingredients, Primals dog food is primarily flavored and made using meat from naturally raised chickens.

Basically, this means the chickens are raised without being fed/injected with hormones or antibiotics.

That said, the organic ingredients include kale, carrots, yams, sunflower seeds, etc. and the food is fortified using naturally-derived vitamins and minerals. These help to boost your dogs immune system for better health.

All in all, the food offers a complete, balanced diet that is ideal for all growth stages and is suitable for all dog breeds. The only problem is that the food has a high-fat content, which is 37% at a minimum.


Why Raw Food Is Important For Dogs

Your dogs are meant to eat raw foods. Your dogs are healthier and their bodies run more smoothly on a raw diet. Their digestive system is primed with specific bacteria killing agents and a unique stomach acid profile for a very good reason: to handle raw foods. Cooking destroys the vitamin, mineral, and enzyme content that is needed. In fact, if you feed your dog kibble, or cook fresh food, we believe it’s imperative to supplement your dog’s meals with digestive enzymes and vitamins, at the very least.

The bottom line is, diet related illness in dogs is on the rise year by year. It’s time to start feeding our dogs the diet they are intended to digest. Raw foods.

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Victor Classic Dry Dog Food


Victor Hi-Pro Plus is one of 4 kibble recipes included in our review of the Victor Classic product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, pork meal, chicken meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Chicken, puppy, active sporting dog formula and more
  • Price: $

Victor Hi-Pro Plus derives the bulk of its meat protein from beef meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 37% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

An affordable, all life stages kibble recently added to our budget-friendly dog foods list. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewI have 5 active dogs of all different ages. Its been a struggle to find a quality, decently priced food that kept a good weight on all of them and didnt mess with their allergies. Theyve been on this food since April and its been amazing! No bad reactions when switching to Victor, no allergies, and they are all a good weight. Highly recommend.


Annamaet Ultra is one of 7 kibble recipes included in our review of the Annamaet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole dry eggs, herring meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Puppies, salmon, small breed, senior, weight loss and more
  • Price: $$

Especially popular with sporting dog professionals. Enthusiastically recommended.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry

Dehydrated Vs. Freeze-Dried Pet Food – Which Is Safer?


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Rice is one of 23 kibble recipes included in our review of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Puppy, large breed, small breed, senior, lamb, fish and more
  • Price: $

This Life Protection example derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

A top-rated, grain-inclusive kibble. One of The Advisors most popular recommendations.

Sample buyer reviewMy dog is a very picky eater with a sensitive stomach and this food has done wonders for him. Hes finally eating as much as he should without stomach issues and its made him almost a brand new dog. I tried a few different foods with him but this seemed to give me the best results

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Is Dehydrated The Same As Air

Dehydrated dog food is the same as air-dried dog food.4

Essentially, air-drying is a method of dehydrating or removing much of the moisture in the food. In dehydrated dog food, moisture is removed slowly by low heat.3 It is unknown if the quality of nutrients are highly affected by the dehydration process.3

Just like the freeze-drying process, dehydration may reduce some bacteria however, some bacteria survive the process.3

How Is Freeze Dried Dog Food Made

Freeze dried pet food takes its name from the freeze drying process used to prepare the food. The process begins by gently chopping and blending together whole food ingredients. Once these ingredients have been chopped and blended together, they are then frozen.

The frozen ingredients are then placed into a freeze dryer. During this process of freeze drying, all of the moisture in the food is drawn out. A major benefit to the process of freeze drying raw, whole food ingredients is nutrient retention. Because the freeze dried process does not use high temperatures, freeze dried dog food retains the original nutrients found in natural high-quality whole food ingredients.

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Pros Of Dehydrated Or Freeze

Considering your adorable dog, understanding the benefits of both dehydrated dog food and freeze-dried dog food will help in choosing the best:

Convenience: Both freeze-dried and dehydrated dog food are easy to feed you just need to add water and wait. They are great for packing when you are traveling with your dog.

Lightweight and Less space consumption: Both of these foods are better than kibble, since they are lightweight and are easy to store.

Longer shelf life: These foods can last for about a year . However, once they are rehydrated, they should be served promptly, and the leftovers should be refrigerated.

Nutritious: Both food types are nutritious compared to kibble. Freeze-dried dog food is the most nutritious among the three. However, you should read the nutritional analysis on the container just to be sure.

Not as messy to feed as raw: This is an advantage of both dog food types over the raw dog food. Badly cooked raw food can poison your dog if not cooked properly. To save yourself from this stress, freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food is the better option.

Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food

PURPOSE Duck &  Veggie Freeze Dried Dog Food, 14


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
  • Other recipes: Small breed, turkey, salmon, pork, beef, puppy and more
  • Price: $
  • 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.

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Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food


Eagle Pack Power Adult is one of 7 dry kibble recipes included in our review of the Eagle Pack product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, peas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Puppy, small breed, large and giant breed, lamb, pork and more
  • Price: $
  • See all 7 available recipes

This Eagle Pack recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and pork meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 21% fat and 38% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

A superior kibble at an affordable price. Made by the same trusted company that also produces Wellness. Exceptional value. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewShe seems to be shedding much less on Eagle Pack, and her coat condition is much better than it was. She has always been prone to itches and allergies, and she is no longer scratching herself all the time and gnawing the hair off of her paws. Im happy that this is a food that agrees with her. I wonder why I hadnt heard of Eagle Pack earlier, as I feel that it is a great food at a much more affordable price than other popular high-quality brands.

This Wellness Core formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh turkey, as well as turkey and chicken meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 18% fat and 36% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

But Does Homemade Really Save $

In case you need another reason to consider making homemade treats for your dog, you should know how cost-effective it can be. The only major investment you will need to make dog treats at home, is the required equipment, like a dehydrator. A one-time buy that not only can help your dog eat better, it will also help you do the same!

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The Benefits Of Dehydrated Dog Food

These days, there seems to be endless options when it comes to the pet foods available for our beloved fur babies. With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide which one is the right one for your dog. Pet parents may even go to the extreme by making homemade dog food to ensure their pet is eating a nutritious meal. We always want to make sure we are choosing healthy food for dogs, and to do that, it is best to be informed on the pet nutrition benefits each food has to offer.

Dehydrated pet food has gained popularity with pet parents, but many people still dont fully understand what makes it a potentially good option for their dog. As Russell Hartstein, Certified Dog/Cat Behaviorist and Trainer and CEO of Fun Paw Care in Los Angeles, explains, There are many different types of dog foodsimilar to the many foods we eat and the ways in which we prepare and enjoy them. Although extruded dry dog food is more widely available and ubiquitous than dehydrated dog food, its worth looking into dehydrated meals that lock in all the flavors and benefits of the whole foods that go into each recipe.

What Actually Is Freeze

Discover the benefits of dehydrated pet food

Freeze-dried food seems to be getting more popular these days and it is a great way to get your dog to eat a raw diet, especially for all pups that have digestive issues, sensitive stomachs or just problems with raw food in general.

Freeze-dried food is technically made out of raw meat, and other fresh ingredients such as fresh veggies and fruits.

Freeze-dried raw dog food is considered to be a healthy diet and one of the safest ways to feed your dog a raw diet because all of the freezing process that the food is put through.

The process of freeze-drying is a low-temperature way of getting the food dehydrated aka out of moisture. This process of freeze-drying removes most of the moisture from the dog food without actually getting in the way and removing all the natural nutrients and vitamins from the food.

All of the raw ingredients are in a frozen state and go through a vacuuming process that makes all the moisture/frozen water evaporate really quick.

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Dehydrated Vegetable Dog Treats

You can dehydrate any dog safe veggies youve got on hand from pumpkin or squash to carrots, to zucchini strips. For this recipe we walk you through processing techniques for dehydrated sweet potatoes, green beans, and bell peppers, but you can use this recipe with all dog-safe fruits and veggies.

In a hurry? The blanching is totally optional. Mostly it just ensures the colors of your fresh produce stay beautiful.

Feel free to experiment and have fun!

  • Kiki Kane
  • Oven or dehydrator. We used the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Dehydrator.
  • Stockpot for blanching
  • Cookie sheet and towels or paper towels to dry after blanching
  • Optional: mandoline for slicing

Editors’ Picks For Top Freeze

  • #

1. Vital Essentials Mini Nibs Dog Entrée

  • Promotes digestive & oral health
  • 100% made in the USA
  • High protein content

2. Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Dog Food Topper

  • Affordable
  • Healthy 95% cage-free chicken meat
  • Ideal for all stages & all breeds

3. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

  • Large easy-to-feed patties

4. Primal Dog Food Chicken Formula

  • Contains organic ingredients

5. Stewart Raw Naturals Grain Free Dog Food

  • Balanced ingredient composition
  • Lean and easily digestible lamb meat
  • Processed via cold pasteurization

6. Sojos Complete Natural Raw & Dehydrated Dog Food

  • Large 7-lb pack
  • Rehydrates to up to 40 lbs. of food
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

7. Instinct Raw Boost All-Natural Dog Food Toppers

  • Healthy diet topper

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Best Budget: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Stella’s 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 & Chewy’s. 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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