What’s the difference between these two? Is one better for my dog than the other? What are the benefits of each?
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Well, let’s get right to it.
Freeze Dried Vs. Dehydrated Dog Food
Both freeze dried and dehydrated dog foods are comprised of raw ingredients that have had the water removed, but the process each undergoes is really the key when it comes to benefits.
Dehydrated dog foods are made using heat. Manufacturers place raw foods in a low-heat environment for an extended period of time, causing the water to, in a sense, “evaporate” from the food. This is the same process that may people use to dry jerkies and fruit treats.
The important distinction here is the heating process. Because the food is heated it undergoes structural changes, which can lead to a loss of nutrients.
Granted, the nutritional value of dehydrated dog foods is much greater than that of commercial kibble, but it is still an important distinction to be aware of when considering the dietary needs of your pet.
Freeze Dried Dog Food
Freeze dried foods, as you can imagine from the title, are frozen during the manufacturing process, rather than heated.
Essentially, manufacturers freeze the raw ingredients first, and then use a machine to lower the atmospheric pressure around the food. This process causes the water to sublimate (change from ice directly into gas) out of the food. This same process and technology is used to make food for astronauts in space travel.
The fact that freeze dried food hasn’t been heated at all during the process is its greatest asset, as its nutritional value is able to remain completely in tact. However, the benefits don’t end there!
- Long shelf life. While most commercial dog foods have a long shelf life due to the added preservatives (yuck!), freeze dried food has a long shelf life simply because the water has been removed.
- High quality ingredients. The freeze drying process allows manufacturers to preserve the integrity of high quality ingredients such as muscle meat, organs and ground bones. There also is no need to add artificial ingredients or preservatives.
- Raw diet made simple. Raw diets can be exhausting because most of the time they are hard to plan out and prepare. Opting for freeze dried food is a great alternative that is not only simple, but incredibly beneficial to your dog’s health.
- Dogs love it! Trust me, your dog knows the difference between a cheap alternative and the good stuff. You know when your dog likes a meal, and this is a huge win for picky eaters.
- Incredible health benefits. The list of health benefits that you dog gets from freeze dried dog foods is a long one; a healthy digestive system, fresh breath, strong teeth, shiny coat, increased energy, and it only goes on from there.
With all this talk of benefits and high quality ingredients, there’s got to be a downside, right?
The most common complaint about freeze dried foods is the price tag. Compared to your common kibble, paying the extra dollars for any other option can be a hard pill to swallow.
However, once the food is rehydrated it can grow to 3 or 4 times its original size, so don’t be too turned off by the small packaging!
And if the price does end up being a dealbreaker for you, some dog owners buy freeze dried food in addition to their dog food of choice and use it as a topper. Some manufacturers, like TruDog, actually have products specifically for this purpose.
And there you have it! Finding a good, healthy, delicious diet for your furry friend can be frustrating to say the least. Thank goodness freeze dried foods can give you the reassurance that your dog is not only consuming a healthy diet, but loving it as well!