Dog Food, Safety and Ingredients

Freeze-dried Dog Food: Pros And Cons[Serving Guide]

Pros And Cons Of Freeze-dried Dog Food?

Freeze-dried food for dogs is a type of pet food where the ingredients are frozen first and then have most of their moisture removed through a process called lyophilization. This process preserves the food without artificial preservatives, maintaining its nutritional content and flavor. It’s lightweight, shelf-stable, and can be rehydrated with water before feeding the pet.

Freeze-dried Dog Food

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Food

Longer Shelf Life

Freeze-dried food for dogs is dehydrated, which significantly reduces its moisture content, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage. This allows the food to be stored for much longer than traditional wet or fresh dog foods, often lasting for months or even years without refrigeration while maintaining its quality.


Freeze-dried dog food is lightweight and compact, making it convenient for pet owners to store and transport. It’s also simple to prepare—just add water to rehydrate the food. This convenience makes it an excellent choice for traveling, camping, or as a quick meal option.

Better Nutrition

The freeze-drying process preserves the nutrients in the food more effectively than other preservation methods like canning or conventional drying. The low-heat process ensures that the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes remain intact, offering a diet closer to natural, raw food.

Better Nutrition

Easy to Digest

Since freeze-dried food is real, whole food with moisture removed, it’s generally easier for dogs to digest than heavily processed dog foods. The rehydration process also makes the food softer and easier to chew, which benefits dogs with dental issues or older dogs.

No Damage to Nutrients

Unlike high-heat cooking processes, freeze-drying uses low temperatures, which means that proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates retain their structural integrity and nutritional value. This process avoids the denaturation of proteins or the loss of heat-sensitive vitamins often seen in cooked foods.

Bones are Mostly Included

In the case of freeze-dried raw diets, bones are often included in the form of fine bone powder, which is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. These are essential minerals for a dog’s bone health and are retained during the freeze-drying process, providing a balanced diet that includes the benefits of raw bone without the potential risks of choking on larger bone pieces.

No Starches Required

Many freeze-dried foods don’t contain added starches, often used in kibbles for binding. Starches can lead to blood sugar spikes and are sometimes fillers with little nutritional value. Freeze-dried foods often use pure meat, fruits, and vegetables, focusing on high-quality ingredients without the need for starches.

No Starches Required

Drawbacks of Serving Freeze-Dried Food to Dogs


Freeze-dried dog food often comes with a higher price than traditional kibble or canned foods. The technology and energy required for freeze-drying are substantial, and the process itself is more intricate and time-consuming, which raises the cost of the final product for consumers.

Low Water Content

Because the freeze-drying process removes almost all moisture from the food, dogs must have access to plenty of water when consuming this diet to stay hydrated. The low water content could potentially lead to dehydration if a dog doesn’t drink enough, particularly in active or working dogs that require more hydration.

Preparation Time

While generally convenient, freeze-dried food does require rehydration before serving, which adds an extra step to meal prep. This might be inconvenient for some pet owners looking for a quick, no-fuss feeding option, especially when compared to the simplicity of serving dry kibble.

Limited Selection

The variety of freeze-dried foods available on the market may be more limited than other types of dog food. This can be a drawback for dogs with specific dietary needs or for owners who like to provide a wide range of flavors and ingredients to ensure a balanced diet or to keep their pets interested in their meals.

Drawbacks of Serving Freeze-Dried Food to Dogs

How to Serve Freeze-Dried Food to Dogs?

Measure the Appropriate Portion: Use the guide on the food’s package to measure the right amount for your dog’s size and energy needs.

Rehydrate the Food: Add warm water or a dog-friendly liquid to the freeze-dried food, following package instructions, and wait a few minutes for it to absorb.

Serve Promptly: Mix well after rehydration and offer it to your dog immediately to prevent spoilage and ensure freshness.

Store Properly: Refrigerate any uneaten, moistened food and keep unhydrated freeze-dried food in a cool, dry place with the packaging sealed.

Also Read: Understanding BARF Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Frequently Asked Questions

What to look in a good freeze-dried food for dogs?

When selecting a good freeze-dried dog food, look for high-quality ingredients, with whole meats, fruits, and vegetables listed at the top of the ingredient list. It should also be balanced regarding nutrition, adhering to the AAFCO guidelines, and being free from unnecessary fillers or artificial additives.

What kind of dog food can you freeze dry?

You can freeze-dry almost any kind of dog food that contains water. This includes raw meats, organ meats, fruits, vegetables, and complete balanced meals. The key is that the food must be fresh and high-quality before freeze-drying to ensure the best nutritional value and taste after the process.

Which is better for dogs: freeze-dried or kibble?

Whether freeze-dried food or kibble is better for a dog depends on the individual dog’s health, dietary needs, and owner preferences. Freeze-dried food is often more palatable and closer to natural raw foods, potentially offering better nutrient retention. Kibble, however, is more cost-effective, convenient, and has a longer shelf life once opened.

What is the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated dog food?

Freeze-dried dog food is exposed to very low temperatures and vacuum pressure to remove moisture, preserving nutrients and texture. Dehydrated dog food, on the other hand, is typically exposed to higher temperatures for a longer period, which can break down enzymes and vitamins but still retain more nutrients than cooked foods. Dehydration generally results in a tougher texture and slightly altered taste than freeze-drying.

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