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7 Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods: Why Dehydrated Food Rocks!

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Dog Food By Ben Team 19 min read September 19, 2022 70 Comments

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Quick Picks: Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • #1 Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Super Beef Meal [Best Overall Freeze-Dried Dog Food]: Made with top-notch proteins, bursting with nutritious produce, and fortified with probiotics, this is the best freeze-dried dog food option for most pooches.
  • #2 Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals [Freeze-Dried Dog Food with Most Ethical Proteins]: Packed with meats, organs, healthy fats, and nutritious produce, this tasty freeze-dried recipe is made exclusively from cage-free chickens.
  • #3 TruDog Freeze-Dried Superfood [Most Affordable Freeze-Dried Dog Food]: A delicious, limited-ingredient recipe that’s great for dogs with food allergies, as well as pet parents looking to save a few bucks.
  • #4 Sundays for Dogs [Best Freeze-Dried Alternative]: Actually air-dried rather than freeze-dried, this is a good alternative for some dogs, and it is (arguably) the only grain-inclusive option around (if you consider quinoa a grain).

Have you ever had astronaut ice cream? That dry, room-temperature treat offered at science centers and space camp?

Although little more than a novelty, these snacks are made with the same technology used to prepare food for space travel – by removing the water, the food weighs less and takes up less space.

Called freeze-drying, the process used to create these treats is also used to create freeze-dried dog food.

Many dog owners are curious about these foods, and are considering making the switch to them. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of freeze-dried foods; we’ll even recommend several great options for those who decide to make the switch.

The Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods: Reviews & Ratings

If you think you are ready to try out freeze-dried dog foods for your pup, consider going with one of the following recipes.

1. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Super Beef Meal

Best Overall Freeze-Dried Dog Food

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dog food freeze dried

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Super Beef Meal

Chock full of great ingredients and fortified with probiotics, this is a true “next-level” freeze-dried dog food.

About: Perhaps the biggest brand name in the freeze-dried dog food game, Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Super Beef Meal is the best option for most pet and their people — especially those who’re just dipping their toes into the freeze-dried waters!

Made with premium proteins (including tasty and nutritious organ meats) and an array of organic produce, this is one of the few freeze-dried dog foods on the market that comes already fortified with probiotics. This should help prevent stomach upset when making your switch and promote overall digestive health while doing so!

Ingredients List

Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe...,

Beef Bone, Pumpkin Seed, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Blueberries, Fenugreek Seed, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Sodium Phosphate, Tocopherols (Preservative), Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid.

Pros

  • We’re huge fans of the organic produce used in this recipe
  • The included probiotics are a nice bonus
  • This food not only works as a standalone meal; it’ll also work as a topper
  • Dogs — even picky eaters — tended to love the taste

Cons

  • Some owners complained of product consistency issues
  • Like most other freeze-dried raw dog foods, it’s pricey

2. Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals

Freeze-Dried Dog Food with Most Ethical Proteins

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Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals

Protein-packed recipes featuring cage-free chicken, by a brand with more than 15 years experience with freeze-dried foods.

About: Instinct’s Freeze-Dried Raw Meals are chock full of nutritious ingredients that taste great and provide the vitamins, minerals, and calories that your dog needs. And despite being one of the most affordable freeze-dried kibble options on the market, it’s made in the USA with chickens raised on cage-free farms.

Features:

  • High-protein content to help your dog stay healthy
  • Comprised of 85% chicken and organs, with the remaining 15% being comprised of fruits, vegetables and vitamins
  • Made entirely in the USA
  • All poultry used in this chicken-based dog food recipe were raised on cage-free farms

Ingredients List

Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Apples, Carrots...,

Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Montmorillonite Clay, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Yeast Culture, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), DL Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (for freshness), Blueberries, Spinach, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • We love that it includes several nutritious fruits and veggies
  • Several owners reported improvements in their pet’s coat and skin condition
  • A few dogs actually lost weight after switching to the food
  • Relatively affordable for the quality
  • We appreciate the use of cage-free chicken in the recipe

Cons

  • Some owners may not like the inclusion of montmorillonite clay (despite it being considered safe)
  • As occurs with every dog food, some pets simply didn’t like the taste

3. TruDog Freeze-Dried Crunchy Munchy

Most Affordable Freeze-Dried Dog Food

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Halo Meal Bites Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food, Turkey Recipe, Real Meat Dog Food Bag, Adult Recipe, 14-OZ Bag

TruDog Freeze-Dried Crunchy Munchy

An tasty, affordable, freeze-dried dog food that’s made with a ton of meats, organ meats, and relatively little else.

About: TruDog Freeze-Dried Superfood is a straight-forward freeze-dried dog food that provides maximum nutrition from a rather limited number of ingredients. Thanks to the inclusion of organ meats and tasty fat, most dogs find TruDog Freeze-Dried Superfood very palatable.

Features:

  • Hypoallergenic, limited-ingredient recipe is great for dogs with food allergies
  • Contains no artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives
  • Made in the USA
  • Backed by the manufacturer’s 60-day, money-back guarantee

Pros

  • Most dogs seem to love the taste of this meaty recipe
  • Limited ingredient list makes it a great choice for dogs with food allergies
  • Several owners reported improvements in coat condition after making the switch
  • It’s the most affordable freeze-dried dog food we’ve encountered

Cons

  • Like most freeze-dried options, this food is pretty pricey
  • Lacks any fruits or vegetables
  • We’re not crazy about some of their marketing hype

4. Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Topper

Best Produce Content in a Freeze-Dried Dog Food

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Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Buckley Liberty Lamb Freeze-Dried Topper

A premium, protein-packed, freeze-dried dog food that’s made with an array of vitamin- and antioxidant-rich produce.

About: Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food is an affordably priced freeze-dried dog food that is made from an impressively nutritious slate of ingredients.

In addition to vitamin-rich organ meats, Buckley Liberty is made with an array of colorful fruits and vegetables to provide top-notch nutritional value.

Features:

  • Can be fed as-is as a treat, or rehydrated and served as a meal
  • Contains no corn, soy, wheat or fillers
  • Made in the USA, with only ingredients sourced from America

Ingredients List

Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Ground Lamb Bone, Squash, Apples...,

Carrots, Broccoli, Eggs, Ground Flaxseed, Inulin, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apple Cider Vinegar, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Fish Oil, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative).

Pros

  • Contains a fantastic array of nutritious fruits and veggies
  • Includes salmon oil — a great source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Most dogs — even picky ones — love the taste

Cons

  • Some owners complained it was hard to soften or rehydrate
  • It is pretty expensive, bordering on cost-prohibitive for large dogs
Editor’s Note

Buckley and BIXBI are sister brands, and you’ll see that Liberty is offered under one brand on Amazon and the other on Chewy.

But to the best we can determine, they’re identical aside from the different branding.

5. BIXBI Rawbble

Freeze-Dried Dog Food with Most Flavor Options

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BIXBI Rawbble All-Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Food

BIXBI Rawbble

Featuring 98% meat and organ meat content, these freeze-dried dog foods are available in 7 different flavors.

About: BIXBI Rawbble is a meat-heavy freeze-dried dog food recipe that’s chock full of protein and features a meaty taste dogs love. In fact, 98% of the recipe is comprised of muscle and organ meat. But one of the things we love most about BIXBI Rawbble is the array of flavors in which the food is available. This makes it great for owners trying to avoid specific proteins or please a picky pooch’s palate.

Features:

  • Made in small batches with only USDA-certified animal proteins to ensure freshness and quality
  • All ingredients made and sourced in the USA
  • 98% meat content; the other 2% contains healthy oils, pumpkin, vitamins, and minerals

Ingredients List

Duck, Duck Heart, Duck Liver, Duck Gizzard, Pumpkin...,

Coconut Oil, Herring Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Liver Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative)

Pros

  • Owners love having so many flavor options available
  • Herring oil is a great source of omega fatty acids
  • Several owner reported improvements in skin and coat health after feeding this food

Cons

  • Not suitable for large-breed puppies
  • We’d prefer if more produce appeared in the recipe

6. Orijen Freeze-Dried Adult Dog Food

Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food with Exotic Proteins

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Freeze-dried dog food

Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra Dog Food

Made with an assortment of exotic proteins, this freeze-dried dog food offers dogs and owners something different.

About: Like the rest of their stellar products, Orijen’s Freeze-Dried Recipe is a great-tasting dog food that most dogs simply love.

Owners tend to appreciate the excellent ingredient list, which not only includes nutritious proteins, but several antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables as well.

This recipe’s first five ingredients are all meat, which is something that appeals to many owners.

Features:

  • Made without corn, soy, wheat, glutens, or grains
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Protein-heavy recipe made with a variety of protein sources

Ingredients List

Venison, Duck (Ground With Bone), Flounder, Lamb Meat, Duck Liver...,

Herring, Lamb Liver, Wild Boar Liver, Wild Boar, Goat Meat, Pea Fiber, Whole Pumpkin, Collard Greens, Carrots, Apples, Wild Boar Bone, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Tripe, Wild Boar Heart, Goat Liver, Goat Tripe, Goat Kidney, Duck Heart, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative).

Pros

  • Great for owners who want to offer their pet exotic proteins
  • Most dogs went nuts for the recipe’s meaty taste
  • Orijen is a trusted, high-quality brand

Cons

  • Lots of produce can (rarely) upset some dogs’ stomachs
  • The array of proteins included makes it a poor choice for some dogs with food allergies

7. Sundays for Dogs

Best Freeze-Dried Alternative

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sundays-for-dogs

Sundays for Dogs

A healthy, protein-packed alternative to freeze-dried options, featuring several unusual dog food ingredients.

About: As will discuss below, there are a few subtle differences between freeze-dried and air-dried (or dehydrated) foods. And if you’d feel better sticking with air-dried options for your pet, Sundays for Dogs is a great choice.

Air-dried, full of incredible ingredients, and customized for your pet, Sundays for Dogs is a great choice for many four-footers, including those who’re historically picky. In addition to featuring a stellar ingredient list, this food was designed by a team of animal nutritionist PhD’s, food scientists, and vet nutritionists.

Sundays for Dogs highlights the fact that their food contains no artificial flavors or preservatives, no chemicals, and no ingredients from China.

Features:

  • Gently dehydrated via an air-drying process
  • Made without any artificial additives or preservatives
  • Whole meats and organ meats are featured at the top of the ingredient list

Ingredients List

USDA Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Bone, Quinoa...,

Pumpkin, Wild Salmon Oil, Sunflower Oil, Zucchini, Kale, Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Parsley, Kelp, Chicory Root, Turmeric, Mixed Tocopherols, Ginger, Selenium Yeast, Blueberries, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccoli, Oranges, Cranberries, Spinach, Beets, Tart Cherries, Strawberries.

Pros

  • Most pups — even historically picky ones — seem to enjoy the taste
  • Organ meets are always a nice and nutritious inclusion
  • We love the array of fruits and veggies included

Cons

  • Only available in one recipe (beef)
  • Not technically freeze-dried, though that’s not necessarily a “bad” thing
  • Some dogs may not digest some of the more unusual ingredients well

Freeze-Dried Dog Food Benefits: Why Do Pups Love It?

There are several potential benefits to feeding your pooch freeze-dried dog food, including:

  • High Quality Ingredients: Freeze dried diets are typically comprised of an impressive slate of ingredients, including muscle meat, organs, and ground bones (some also include freeze-dried fruits and vegetables). Of course, there is nothing inherent in the freeze-drying process that requires manufacturers to use high-quality ingredients, but because freeze-dried dog food brands are typically targeting ingredient-list-reading pet parents, high-quality ingredients are generally part of their overall marketing strategy.
  • Raw Diet Alternative: Many freeze-dried feeders begin doing so as an alternative to providing a raw diet. Raw diets can be dangerous for you, your family, and your dog, not to mention difficult and laborious to assemble and prepare. However, freeze-dried foods offer some of the purported benefits that raw diets do, while often being nearly as easy to serve as dry dog food (some must be rehydrated first, but that’s not really difficult).
  • Long Shelf Life: Freeze-dried foods often have ridiculously long shelf-lives, which makes them handy to keep around for emergencies. For example, you don’t want to run out of dog food if you find yourself snowed in for a week or if you live in a hurricane-prone region, in which the grocery store shelves completely empty every time a storm threatens. For that matter, in a post-2020 world, many of us are eager to be prepared for situations in which we can’t leave the house for weeks at a time.
  • Dogs Often Like Freeze-Dried Food: Aside from everything else, most dogs find freeze-dried foods to be drool-inducingly delicious, making them a great dog food for picky eaters. In fact, some people use them as healthy (if somewhat high-calorie) treats. And although taste isn’t as important as nutrition, giving our dogs a food they enjoy is absolutely an important part of their overall wellness and quality of life.

What Are the Downsides to Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

No type of dog food is perfect — otherwise, we’d all just feed whichever one was perfect and call it a day.

In terms of freeze-dried dog food options, there are two primary downsides. They may be deal-breakers for some owners, while others are willing to overlook these downsides. We’ll discuss both below.

Freeze-Dried Dog Foods Are Expensive

The single greatest problem with freeze-dried dog foods (and dehydrated foods to a lesser extent) is their expense. Every freeze-dried dog food on the market is pricey when compared to mainstream (cooked) kibble.

However, it is important to remember that most dehydrated dog foods swell to three to five times their original size once rehydrated — so don’t be thrown off by the small package sizes often used for freeze-dried products.

Since freeze-dried dog food can get quite pricey, a lot of owners end up using freeze-dried foods as “toppers,” by serving them with other, more budget-friendly dog foods. Do note that some manufacturers discourage this kind of use, so be sure to consult the feeding instructions (and, as always, your vet) before using a food in this manner.

Freeze-Dried Dog Foods May Be Contaminated with Bacteria

Raw meats are often contaminated with bacteria that can make you or your pooch sick. That’s part of the reason humans cook our food — it keeps us healthy.

Broadly speaking, dogs don’t appear to be quite as susceptible to illness-causing bacteria as humans are. But they still can and do get sick from time to time after consuming raw meat.

Accordingly, the raw meat included in some freeze-dried dog foods may cause your dog to fall ill.

It is true that freeze-drying removes the bulk of the moisture from a piece of meat, and therefore reduces the rate that bacteria can reproduce — but it does not eliminate the bacteria completely.

This probably makes freeze-dried foods slightly safer than completely unprocessed, raw foods. However, once you pour some water on your dog’s freeze-dried dinner, the bacteria can begin reproducing again.

Ultimately, we’d encourage you to discuss freeze-dried dog food with your vet before making the switch. The risks they present may be acceptable for some dogs, while they may be too dangerous for others.

The Majority of Freeze-Dried Foods Are Grain-Free

There was a time when grain-free dog foods were considered superior to their grain-inclusive counterparts. Now, the overwhelming majority of dogs digest cooked grains without issue, but some owners decided that’s what they wanted for their pets, and the market obliged.

However, grain-free foods have recently become correlated with heart problems in dogs. A causal relationship between the two have not yet been established, but we typically encourage owners to stick to grain-inclusive foods (except in cases of dogs who have specific intolerances to grains).

But unfortunately, very few — if any — freeze-dried dog foods are grain-inclusive. Does this mean your dog will be at increased risk of heart problems by consuming a grain-free food?

It isn’t clear yet.

So, be sure to discuss the issue with your vet and make the best choice you can on behalf of your dog. Also, be sure to check out our article about grain-free foods and dilated cardiomyopathy before making your choice.

What’s the Difference Between Air-Dried (Dehydrated) and Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Although freeze-dried and dehydrated dog foods are broadly similar products and are both comprised of raw foods that have had the bulk of their water removed, they do differ in several key ways.

Air-Dried (Dehydrated) Dog Food

With dehydrated dog food, the water is removed from food by simply placing the food in a low-heat environment for an extended period of time.

This is the same drying process that many people use at home to make jerkies and dehydrated fruit treats. In this process, the water begins as a liquid, turns into a gas, and then slowly evaporates from the food.

The use of heat is noteworthy, as it tends to cause the food to undergo a few structural changes. However, it is important to note that — contrary to conventional wisdom — these structural changes do not always reduce the nutritional value. In fact, some ingredients become more nutritious when cooked, while others do become less so.

As with most things in life, the truth is more complicated than marketing lingo would lead you to believe.

 Freeze-Dried Dog Food

By contrast, freeze-dried dog foods are not heated at any point in the manufacturing process.

The freeze-drying process begins with already-frozen foods, which are then placed in large machines that lower the atmospheric pressure around the food. This causes the water to sublimate (transition from ice directly to gas) and diffuse out of the food.

This means that freeze-dried dog food has not been cooked at all – a fact many raw-food feeders greatly appreciate.

Additionally, because the food’s structure remains largely intact (aside from shrinkage), the ingredients still resemble their original shape. This makes it easy to look at a pea, for example, and know exactly what it is.

Freeze-Dried Dog Food vs Totally Raw Dog Food

Owners may also find themselves wondering about the difference between freeze-dried dog food and raw dog food.

Most freeze-dried and dehydrated dog foods are made with raw meat (technically, the meat used in dehydrated foods is exposed to heat, so it becomes “cooked” during the manufacturing process). 

However, the removal of water as part of the freeze-drying and dehydration process makes it possible to store these dog foods safely without refrigeration. Bacteria require moisture, so by removing the bulk of the water from the foods, they aren’t as likely to spoil.

So, while freeze-dried raw and dehydrated raw dog foods often resemble typical dog foods (some are a bit more like a bag of uncooked oatmeal), completely raw dog foods require packaging like the raw meats you buy at the grocery store – they’re essentially the same thing.

All of this means that you can’t store completely raw dog food without refrigeration, and even with refrigeration, these types of raw foods are only going to remain safe for a finite period of time. So, there aren’t very many commercially produced raw (with moisture) foods on the market, and those that are available will be sold in the refrigerated section of your local pet store.

Note that you’ll need to practice very sound hygiene whenever you are handling raw meats. Be careful to avoid cross-contamination and always wash your hands with soap and water once you’re finished.

freeze-dried foods

What to Look for in a Good Freeze-Dried Dog Food

There are a number of characteristics to look for in any nutritious dog food, be it freeze-dried or otherwise. Additionally, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when contemplating making a switch.

  • The best freeze-dried foods feature ingredients that contain plenty of omega fatty acids. Some of the most common ingredients used in this capacity include salmon and flaxseed, as well as assorted vegetable fats, fish oils, and fish meals.
  • Most freeze-dried foods are comprised primarily of high-quality animal protein and minerals, but many of the very best recipes also include antioxidant- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Some of the most common examples include cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, spinach, parsley and carrots.
  • Although it is rarely a problem when seeking out freeze-dried foods, make sure that you avoid any that contain artificial colors, flavors, or additives. These types of ingredients aren’t necessarily “dangerous,” but they are unnecessary.
  • Whenever possible, select foods made in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or Western Europe. These countries maintain stricter quality control standards and regulations, which helps ensure your dog’s food will arrive untainted by dangerous or unhealthy pollutants or unidentified ingredients.
  • Avoid low-quality, economy products just in order to save a few bucks. Price is always an important consideration when buying expensive, high-quality dog food, and it makes perfect sense to save a few bucks when you can. However, going cheap can be dangerous with freeze-fried foods; one way manufacturers can try to lower costs is through cheaper packaging – if the packaging does not remain airtight, moisture can seep in, leading to bacterial growth.

Freeze-Dried Dog Food FAQs

Still not sure if a freeze-dried food is right for your pet? Still have questions that remain unanswered? Don’t worry!

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about freeze-dried dog foods below.

Are freeze-dried dog foods healthy for dogs?

On one hand, freeze-dried foods can be as healthy as any other dog food, provided they’re made with nutritious ingredients. Some (though not all) of the ingredients in foods will also retain more nutritional value if left uncooked.

However, there’s also a higher chance that the foods will be contaminated with bacteria, as they’re not cooked. This risk is likely somewhat small (and it is undoubtedly smaller than it would be for raw, non-freeze-dried foods), but it is important for owners to consider.

What are the benefits of freeze-dried dog food?

While it isn’t yet clear if the freeze-drying process itself makes these foods healthier than typical kibble, most freeze-dried foods are made with very high-quality ingredients, they rarely contain artificial additives, they are easy to store for a long time, and dogs tend to love the taste.

Are freeze-dried dog foods safe?

Safety is best viewed on a continuum.

Freeze dried raw dog foods are probably more likely to harbor bacteria than cooked kibbles (assuming the same ingredients and manufacturing practices are used in both), but they’re almost certainly less likely to harbor bacteria than raw diets containing high moisture levels.

Are freeze-dried dog foods raw?

Usually. Most freeze-dried foods are made with raw ingredients, and their water (actually, ice at this point in the process) is removed without the use of heat — the atmospheric pressure is simply dropped until the ice sublimates (turns directly into gas).

Can you freeze dry your own dog food?

It is possible to freeze dry your own food, but — realistically speaking — most owners will not be willing to invest the time or money necessary to do so. You could, however, dehydrate your own food, but that’d still be daunting at scale.

Is freeze-dried dog food better than normal dog food?

Nutritionally speaking, it isn’t clear that freeze-dried raw dog foods are healthier than normal kibble (assuming products of similar quality). However, most freeze-dried foods are made with top-notch ingredients, and they often include organ meats.

How long do freeze-dried dog foods last?

While all freeze-dried dog foods last quite a while, the exact length of time they’ll remain safe to feed varies from one product to the next. Just consult the manufacturer’s guidelines on the product packaging to be sure.

***

Do you feed your dog a freeze-dried pet food? Do you use it as a treat, a topper on his dry food, or his primary food? What types of changes in your dog’s health or behavior have you noticed since making the switch? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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Sherri

I am not a Dr. Marty’s representative lol. I watched the promo regarding their dog food one day. I saw that the introductory offer was very good and decided to try it for my two boxers. They absolutely love it. I was feeding them one evening and I notice one of them watching me. She had drool hanging down both sides of her mouth. I’ve never had her do this before. Also, my 81/2 year old girl seems to be acting younger and more peppy after 3 weeks of feeding it as a topper to their kibble. I’m trying to decide if I can handle the extra cost. Boxers don’t have long life spans and I’m trying to get the best quality of life possible and hopefully longer lives for them.

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Ben Team

Lol. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Sherri!
We’re planning on taking a closer look at Dr. Marty’s food at some point, so stay tuned!

Reply
Nina

I can’t even get through this article. I seriously hope I’m missing something.. TruDog Freeze-Dried Crunchy Munchy, the first option listed, clearly states that having no preservatives is one of the features then lists mixed tocopherols in the ingredient list?? Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals, the third option on the list, brags that it is a great budget option then states that the biggest con is the high price writing “In fact, this is one of the priciest options in an already expensive category.”. This is completely contradictory. How am I to trust the research that was put into this article?

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Frances Howell

I have a soft coated Wheaton Terrier, Zeke, that I rescued at just over 2 years old. He had many issues when he came to the no kill shelter, but at least the owner brought him there. It took them 9 months to get him healthy enough to be adopted. So after I owned for about 2 years his BMI was high and I took him to a homeopathic vet. She put him in 3 kidney meds that I feel have prolonged his quality of life. He was also put on Hill Science K/D dry and wet food which he didn’t eat very well. I have tried many different foods, wet food, the fresh food from the grocery store, and then came across the freeze-dried food from Dr. Marty. His food is expensive, but my dog loves it. I do add the protein myself plus olive oil, as well as the water to re-hydrate the food. Just wanted to know if you have evaluated that food? Thank you, Fran Howell (Zeke will be 9 years old in May)

Reply
Ben Team

We’re so glad Zeke is doing well, Frances.
We haven’t reviewed Dr. Marty recipes, but we have them on the list — stay tuned.
🙂

Reply
Nancy Billings

You have to look closely at the bottom of the article or somewhere to see often a caveat that says some of the food producers rated iin the article are paying the company writing the article Tuckers canine raw foods is made by the people that made food for zoos and exotic animals. No one mentions that and I think it’s good. Also, you can’t go wrong with Primal raw. I think both Tuckers and Primal are established so they’re not paying people to write articles rating them.

Reply
Debra

What about Primal! One of the best dog food companies out there!

Reply
JaJa

Here here Debra! I have 2 Havanese that are on freeze dried diets-including treats. We all love Primal! I mix it with some of Northwest Naturals flavors. Northwest Naturals is one of the best economic choices, so I’m disappointed those products weren’t mentioned either. Their videos are the best presentation of HPP that I’ve reviewed the past 6 months of my dog food research.

Reply
Kelly Starr

Thank you for the informative article and great comments. What do you know about Salmonella, E.Coli, and Listeria concerns as a result of consuming raw/ freeze-dried raw diet? Basically that the processing does not kill the bacteria or did i miss that in your article?

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Kelly.
Most bacteria of interest can survive freezing temperatures (they may become dormant while kept at low temperatures, but once you warm them back up, the bacteria can become active and start reproducing again).
However, freeze-drying also removes the bulk of the water originally present in the raw ingredients. This makes life tough on the bacteria and reduces their ability to multiply.
So, we’d generally characterize freeze-dried diets as safer than completely raw dog food, yet riskier than fully cooked kibble.
Thanks for reading and best of luck with your choice!

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Colleen Adams

I noticed DR Marty’s freeze dried food was not mentioned. I use TruDog products along with DrMarty’s freeze dried dog food. I mix them together and my fog loves them! Has less stools and very low or no poopy smell compared to the kibble he was getting.
Is there a reason DrMarty’s freeze dried food was not included in your report?

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Ben Team

Hey, Colleen. We plan on taking a look at Dr. Marty’s in the near future. Stay tuned!

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Janet

I am also wanting to know about Dr martys foods ..its SO VERY COSTLY ESPECIALLY FOR US CANADIANS,!!has there been a comparison ingredients for a lower price company

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Maria Di cara

My Dog is OBSESSED and I mean OBSESSED with Dr. Martys Freeze Dried Raw diet pet food. Out of a most of these brands listed, Dr. Martys Freeze Dried raw Pet food is the only one that has organs that area really important for dogs Beef Liver, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, it also has contains Turkey, Beef, Salmon, Duck, Flaxseed, Sweet Potato, Egg, Pea Flour, Apple, Blueberry, Carrot, Cranberry, Pumpkin Seed, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Ginger, Salt, Sunflower Seed, Broccoli, Kale. DEF Recommend and at 16oz for 29.99 per bag thats def a fair price looking and what the other brands out there charge. I saw him on Oprah talking about the dog he cur4ed of paralysis and tumors, just with this diet, you can mix the food with water or give it to them dry. Smells great too my dog LOVES IT. Check out drmartypets.com

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Meg Marrs

Thank you for the info, although it’s very obvious you are a rep for Dr. Martys… But yes, we do hear a lot of good things about Dr. Martys and are adding that food to our review list.

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Ben Team

Lol. Subtle, Maria. Very subtle.

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Julie

Still can’t find the best food for my dog. I think all the comments are biased, and only comments mentioned from reps or manufacturers of the product. Still would like an unbiased answer for my multipoo. She likes Dr Marty’s but likes it better with some table food?

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Diane

Hi what do you think of the Stella and chewy freeze dried food and the frozen raw food . And for kibble origin original?
And Dr Harvey paradigm?
Buddy got diagnosed w diabetes in nov so trying to feed him good.

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Ben Team

Hey, Diane. We have a pretty favorable overall opinion of Stella & Chewy’s recipes.
We cover a few here and here.
Thanks for reading!

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Katie

What are your thoughts on Stella & Chewy’s?

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Julia Rasche

I have 2 giant breeds, Winston is 6yrs, Great Pyrenees, and Bailey Ann is 9mo old, Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland mix.
Looking at adding a freeze dried food as a topper. They are both hot natured dogs and seem to have allergic reactions to chicken. Can beef cause allergies too?
I thought duck is better for these breeds. Please help, I want to take care of my fur babies best I can without breaking the bank.

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Jose

Appreciate the info, will make the switch to freeze dry!

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Cindy

LOVE LOVE LOVE your top 5 of BEST freeze DRIED!! I feed a combo of Instict small breed with TRUDOG! YES, my Chihuahuas eat better than me…!!
My question is, I’m currently taking care of a dog that is Anatolian Shepard & pit bull, he is about 85lbs & the young lady that owns him buys what is cheap & affordable for her. He was in AWFUL condition when I got him a week ago, he shed like I’ve never seen, his coat was so thin & dull & hes about 25lbs under weight!! I since have had him 10 days now. I put him on a Taste of the Wild fish puppy chow mixed with some FORTIFY ME from TRUDOG & in 3 days his color was bursting out of his coat & his shedding really subsided. He looks like a different dog from 10 days ago. I will have him until April or May & would like to keep him on a GOOD & NUTRITIONAL dog food that this young lady can afford as a single mother…what would you recommend for a kibble & a freeze dried that comes in larger quantity bags?

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Dottie D

People asked about Stella & Chewy (have been feeding this to my 7 yr old shih tzu for 7 yrs.) He has never turned his nose up at this..also I purchase different varieties..but never chicken..all dogs seem to be allergic to chicken.
You never replied one way or another.
Have also tried Primal and Merrick freeze dried..he likes these as well.

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Dom & Chloe

Can i feed Bixbi Rawbble to my 11mo Chihuahua ?

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Ben Team

According to the manufacturer, it is formulated for all life stages except growth for big breeds.
So, it should be fine for your little canine.
Let us know how he/she likes it!

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Tyler Humphreys

Did you ever do a review or update from all the questions about Dr Marty’s???
Trying to find the best food at best price.

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Carol Mondi

Just ordered Dr Marty’s freeze dried food for the first time. Reading this page and the comments was very interesting and informative. So glad l happened on it. Looking forward to more.

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elaine devlin

What about Stella Chewy freeze dried dog food…….

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Dom & Chloe

I hear alot of good things about stella & chewy…best to Google it & read up on it. Good Luck !

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Ben Team

Hey, Christine.
We’re currently taking a look at Dr. Marty’s. But at first glance, it looks promising.
Just stay tuned and check back soon to see our more in-depth thoughts about it!
Thanks for reading.

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Christine Andersen

What do you think about Dr. Marty’s Natures Blend? I noticed this wasn’t on your list of recommended foods.

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Denise

Dr Marty’s is excellent and I was surprised you do not know more about it? Is it not as good?

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Ben Team

Hey, Denise. As I mentioned to Christine, we’re looking at Dr. Marty’s now, and we’ll likely include it in a future article update.
Thanks for reading!

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Ben Team

Hey, Margaret. We’re looking at Dr. Marty’s and we may include it in a future article update.
Thanks for reading!

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Ben Team

Hey, Margaret. We’re looking at Dr. Marty’s and we may include it in a future article update.
Thanks for reading!

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margaret

No reviews of Dr. Marty Goldsteins’ food. Dr. Marty’s. I have been feeding it to my 8-year old mini-dachshund for a couple of months & he likes it, but does not enjoy the wait time while it is re-hydrating.

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Lanette

Hi, my ShihTzu/Bichon mix is super picky. I gave him Stella and Chewy’s lamb and he gobbled it up. Is that a good brand?

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Lanette

Hi, my ShihTzu/Bichon mix is super picky. I gave him Stella and Chewy’s lamb and he gobbled it up. Is that a good brand?

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Norma Fernandez

Hi, looking at all these hydrated and freeze dry dog foods. Can you tell me why Dr. Marty’s Natural Blend didn’t make the cut? Concerned puppy mama

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Ben Team

Hey, Norma.

A couple of readers have mentioned Dr. Marty’s food, so we’ll definitely take a closer look at it when we update this article. But I did take a cursory look at the food, and it appears to be a relatively solid option. The ingredient list looks pretty good, and it meets the AAFCO guidelines.

Let us know how your pups like it and any other observations you can share!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Nancy C Davis

My 7mo old ShihTzu, Zoe, has been on Dr Marty’s for a couple months and she loves it! I have fed it just as it comes from the bag, mixed with kibble, and on it’s own as a meal. It is also expensive, but Zoe is worth it. I was glad to read that dogs on a freeze dried diet poop less! That had concerned me, so good to know.

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Ben Team

Great to hear, Nancy! Thanks for sharing your experiences with Zoe’s food.

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Lisa

Ben, I too have used Dr Marty’s Nature’s Blend. My English cocker LOVES it! Your article was a few years ago and I looked to see if you have reviewed Dr. Marty’s yet. Could not find a review from y’all. As of today the price is $158.70 for 6 bags on monthly subscription. 16 oz bag lasts my active girl 5 days so 6 bags a month just barely covers her food. Even hydrated the food is lighter than the cooked diet I made her. She does not seem to get “full” so I add either baked sweet potatoes, quinoa, or shredded carrots in rotation. This helps and keeps her weight stable. Hope to see your review soon!

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Ben Team

Hey, Lisa.
Rest assured, Dr. Marty’s is definitely on our list! We’re hoping to expand our food coverage a little in 2021, so stay tuned!

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Magdalene

Hi Lisa, may I ask… when you ordered Dr. Marty’s did you get charged extra fees with taxes or cross boarder fees because it’s coming from US to Canada? And how l9ng did it take to arrive?

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Karen Sims

I feed mine Tru Dog and they love it! It is pricey but I want good quality first!!

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Ben Team

That’s awesome, Karen. Thanks for sharing! Glad your pups like it!

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Barbara

I have my own freeze dryer so thanks but no thanks.

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Denise

Excellent unbiased and helpful review

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Jan

I feed Bravo Freezed dried raw Turkey, wondering why you did not mention it….?

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Barbara

Can you recommend any ingredients to use in freeze dried dog food. I just purchased a home freeze dryer.

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Howard Agranat

I’ve heard several favorable reports about Dr Marty Pet Food. Any reason why you didn’t rate that brand?

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Meg Marrs

We can’t get to them all, but thanks for the suggestion. We always try to look further into user-suggested foods when we do updates.

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Dom & Chloe

Hey Meg,
Look into rating JustforDogs…..
Only Avail at Petcos….Thanks

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Dorothy Williams

What about Dr. Marty’s?

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Nancy

Thanks for the Great review.

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Toni

Honest kitchen was the first one mentioned to the person who inquired.. But I’ve tried a couple and some too liquidy/fine.. Or just kibble that has dehydrated fruits and veggies that has to go back cuz dogs don’t want to eat it

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Meg Marrs

We actually updated the article recently to include Honest Kitchen! Sorry to hear your pups didn’t like it Toni.

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Karen L. Dunlap

Just saw infomercial on Dr. Marty’s Nature’s Blend freeze dried dog food, do you have any comments or reviews on this dog food? Thank you in advance…

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Dom & Chloe

Dr. Martys Nature Blend is formulated for Adult Dogs Only…
Google him & watch his video on unsafe dog foods

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Leta Jensen

Hi Steve. My Maude is a 14 year old female, Scottish terrier. I started feeding her Dr Marty freeze dried food., two months ago. She loved it, immediately lost extra weight and her troubled coat is looking better. She was raised on Blue Buffalo, as were her two pack mates (all Scottie’s). We lost both of them within a month of each arch other. (14 and 9 Year’s of age.) This was horrific for both Maude and I. Thus the change in food. I’m determined to eek very extra minute I can out of her. Dr Marty’s was the first freeze dried food that We have tried. On further researching, I have found very little on reference for this product. Compared to others, that is. I would love a product that I can simply purchase over the counter. Your opinion please, on a comparable freeze dried product. Thank you.

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Jennifer Gardner

I loved feeding my Boston terrier a freeze dried diet. I have used all of these plus a couple other brands and she loved them all. I believe switching your dog’s protein a couple times a year improves their immune system and improves their health over all. Unfortunately, after years of eating freeze dried raw, my dog developed pancreatitis. I do not believe that it was because of her diet but instead a medication that she was put on. I have stopped the medication but, the damage was already done. I want to go back to a freeze dried raw diet but, I cannot find one that is low enough in fat. The medication was developed to be a long term, non-steroidal drug to help dog’s with allergies and other skin conditions. It worked by turning off the dog’s immune system and therefore, the animal has no reaction. It makes me so mad that vets readily give this to our beloved pets.

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Laura

Can I ask what medicine? My son’s German Shepherd has allergies and vet switched from steroids to a newer non-steroidal Med (Apoquel) and we believe that is what led to her cancer at 7 yrs old. We wish we had done some research before agreeing to the switch. I believe It turned off her body’s natural defense against cancer cells. We weren’t aware of the risk…we mistakenly trusted the vet and lost our previous girl. We got puppies recently and we are going completely raw diet and limited vaccinations. So far they’ve been eating Blue Ridge puppy mix and Grandma Lucy mix-in. They love it.

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Conni Herrington

Was the med prescribed Apoquel? My vet tried to put my Shih-Tzu on it for allergies and i researched it and found prolonged use destroys their immune system so he only took it for a couple of days. Vets don’t tell you that – or at least mind didn’t. So sorry about your baby’s issues from taking it.

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Eddie Eidinger

Didn’t mention the honest kitchen dog food any information on them

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Meg Marrs

Thanks, we’ll work on adding them to the list!

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Dom & Chloe

I bought Honest Kitchen for my dog…it comes out like oatmeal, a consistency my chihuahua didnt like.
Try Just4Dogs….avail at most Petcos.
Google it for full info.
Good Luck !!

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Ben Team

Ouch! So sorry, Judith. I’d talk to your vet about your pack and try to start with a base diet that addressed all of their varied needs. Let us know what he/she suggested!

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Judith Oakes

Would love to try your dog food, 1dog is diabetic, 1 had a kidney removed, 1has Cushing’s disease and low thyroid. Any suggestions for the 3 of them? They are poms….

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