Raw Freeze-Dried/Dehydrated Pet Food is Still Raw Pet Food
That said, freeze-dried dog and cat 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. Freeze-drying removes so much moisture from the ingredients that it stops the biological action (decay) in the food, with less damage to the meat’s natural enzymes or vitamins than cooking temperatures cause. When the foods are re-hydrated, the biological activity of any pathogenic bacteria that might be present in the food can resume.
The freeze-dried dog and cat food products we carry are very high-quality foods that are extremely shelf-stable (in many cases, without the use of any preservative, or with a natural preservative only). Many are made with organic ingredients; many are made with certified humanely raised and/or grass-fed meats. All the freeze-dried pet food diets are made with a high inclusion of meat; some contain as much as 95 percent animal muscle meat, organ meat, and raw ground bone.
Many people who feed raw diets to their dogs or cats when they are home replace this diet with a freeze-dried raw food when they travel, or when the pet is left with a sitter who doesn’t want to deal with a frozen raw diet.
Benefits of Freeze-Dried Pet Food
In addition to being raw and lightly processed, freeze-dried pet diets offer other benefits:
- Freeze-dried food stores longer than kibble.
Very low-moisture foods such as these products can be stored at room temperature (in unopened packages) without spoilage or rancidity – much longer than kibble. That’s because most freeze-dried diets contain about three to five percent moisture; conventional kibble generally contains about 10 percent moisture. The less moisture there is in a food, the less biological activity can occur.
- Dogs and Cats love the taste of freeze-dried raw food.
When re-hydrated, these foods are highly palatable to most dogs and cats. It may be due to the concentration of flavor in freeze-dried food ingredients or their minimal processing. Pets with poor appetites (like the very senior or chronically ill) may accept these foods when nothing else appeals.
- Really good ingredients in freeze-dried pet food.
As with all our food, we only carry the best brands. Our freeze dried/dehydrated food is no different. The makers of our freeze-dried dog and cat food products are targeting the top end of the market and have an extraordinary commitment to sourcing top-quality ingredients.
Varieties of Freeze-Dried Pet Food
The freeze-dried foods on the market are diverse in content, appearance, and form. Usually very high in protein. Always check the guaranteed analysis when switching to a product in this category, particularly when feeding a dog or cat who needs to be on a lower-fat or lower - protein diet.
Most freeze-dried pet food products are meant to be re-hydrated with water before serving, though the products that come in small cubes can be fed as treats without re-hydrating. In general, though, adding water will bulk up the food, making it more filling for your pet, as well as easier to digest. Not to mention added moisture to your dog or cats’ food will help keep them hydrated.
Some of the freeze-dried pet food products are very powdery, which makes them turn into a sort of mush (or gruel, depending on how much water you add) when re-hydrated. Some are powdery with large chunks of identifiable dehydrated meats, fruit, and/or vegetables – either an advantage (if your pet enjoys the contrast in taste and mouthfeel) or a disadvantage (if your pet seeks out only the chunks or mush and eschews the other).
We have the following freeze dried/dehydrated brands: