Home Reviews Top 15 Best Dehydrated Dog Foods

Top 15 Best Dehydrated Dog Foods

SHARE

Did you know that dry dog food loses vitamins and minerals as it goes through the baking process (1)? Quite the opposite, the best dehydrated dog food retains most of these nutrients. Dehydrating dog food is simply the process of removing all of the water from the food. This allows companies to sell a raw dog foods with a shelf life of about 12 months.

The Best Dehydrated Dog FoodsMany pet owners have begun to realize the benefits of feeding their dog a raw diet. This diet allows you to serve a semi-natural high-protein meal that is packed with vitamins and minerals.

The best dehydrated dog food brands provide almost same nutritional benefits as the raw dog diet without some of the drawbacks. It's also much simpler to prepare. You won't have to deal with raw meat and vegetables, and the preparation time of dehydrated dog food time is significantly faster.

We've found five of the best dehydrated dog food products available for pet owners, as well as ten alternatives. Below we'll list all of the advantages and disadvantages of each brand, and here's a sneak peak of the brands we're going to cover:

Dehydrated Dog Food Brands Price Quality Rating
The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain Food $$ A 4.7/5
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Super Meal Mixers $$ A- 5.0/5
Wellness CORE Air Dried Grain Free Natural Food $$$ B 4.0/5
Sojos Complete Natural Grain Free Raw Dried Food Mix $ B+ 4.4/5
Primal Freeze Dried Pet Foods $ B 4.3/5

* Click on the best dehydrated dog food for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details.

Dehydrated dog food (air-dried) vs freeze-dried vs dry kibble

Dehydrated dog food vs dry kibble vs cannedEven though raw dog food diets have gained a lot of popularity for the many benefits they provide, there are also some disadvantages of feeding your dog food raw diet, whether it's completely fresh and natural, or coming from these best dehydrated dog food brands (2).

This topic remains highly debatable with many vets and scientists still arguing whether raw dog food is better than commercial dry kibble. However, they all agree that the cooking process of dry kibble loses more nutrients than dehydrating pet foods (3).

The bottom line is that while no dog food is 100% perfect, we argue that dried raw dog food is better than commercial dry dog food brands due to its higher nutrient content. That said, there are two methods of drying dog food, and one is better than the other:

  • Freeze-dried dog food
  • Air-dried dog food

While we know that either drying method is still better than cooked dry kibble, freeze-dried dog food is superior to air-dried dog food for one reason: it's less damaged.

Benefits of dehydrated dog food vs dry dog food

Best dehydrated dog food brandsAs noted above, the main benefit is the fact that dehydrated dog food (whether freeze-dried or air-dried) retains most of its nutrients, while the cooking process of dry kibble that uses high temperatures destroys most of the nutrients in pet food.

Furthermore, many vets agree that dehydrated dog food is also better for digestibility.

When discussing dehydrated raw dog food, Dr. Karen Becker (DVM) says the following:

I also like this type of food for its digestibility and also for the different protein sources available… It’s a great choice for animals with gastrointestinal sensitivities or that are recovering from GI surgery.

As you can see, unless you choose to feed your dog specific sensitive stomach dog foods, freeze-dried dog food brands may be the best choice for your pet. There are many other benefits to the best dehydrated dog food especially when compared to home raw meals:

  • Freeze-dried dog foods are easier for canines to digest;
  • They ooffer the water content of canned food with more health benefits;
  • It's easier to prepare than natural raw food meals;
  • Dehydrated dog food has longer shelf life than raw food;
  • No refrigeration required;
  • They offer more diverse protein sources than most other commercial kibble;
  • These's little to no loss of vitamins and minerals during the cooking process.

Before you start feeding your dog either one of these best dehydrated dog foods, speak with your veterinarian – switching your dog to a new diet an important step that should not be taken lightly. It needs to be done gradually and while monitoring your pet.

Let's review these best dehydrated dog food brands where we see how they differ from the popular dry dog food brands, and later I'll explain how dehydrated dog food is made.

What's the Best Dehydrated Dog Food?
Top five raw, freeze-dried & air-dried dog foods

1 The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog FoodDogs are born carnivores and thrive on a diet largely consisting of meat, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. This dehydrated diet from The Honest Kitchen supports the dog’s natural high-protein requirements in chicken, duck, turkey, and beef recipes.

This is 100% human-grade natural dog food with minimally processed organic ingredients to retain their calories and proteins as nature intended. The food has a soft consistency that makes it ideal for all breeds and sizes.

When your finicky dog starts itching a lot and suffers from diarrhea from his current diet, it’s time to transition him to Revel Dehydrated Dog Food. That’s exactly what dog owners with similar issues, have resorted to and came out so much the wiser as responsible pet parents. The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food has stabilized their pet’s digestive tract and improved the dog’s coats dramatically. There were no more itchy spells or loose stools.

You can watch here The Honest Kitchen dog food review and the preparation process from Samantha.

best dehydrated dog foodBesides experiencing peace of mind, loyal Revel Dog Food buyers are only too glad they’ve cut down on costly vet visits and saved on pet medications significantly. This food is made in the USA with locally-sourced ingredients, and is highly-relied upon by pet owners. Needless to say, this is one of the best dehydrated dog food products that has earned its place in buyers' pantries for good.

PROS CONS
  • 100% human-grade and natural
  • Minimally processed organic ingredients
  • Whole grain recipe made with free-range chicken
  • Made in the USA with no ingredients from China
  • One pet owner says that their dog landed in the ER with “particles that had settled in his lower airways” after eating this best dehydrated dog food
  • There are many reviews from owners who say their dog wouldn't eat this food – some even refer to it as “green mush”

best dehydrated dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “Our dogs absolutely loved this food when we first started giving it to them. They really seemed to be getting bored, even depressed, with the traditional dry food that we had been…”

 

2 Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Super Meal Mixers

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Super Meal MixersStella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Super Meal Mixers more than satisfies your dog’s natural craving and need for meat. It offers over 90% real raw meat, organs and bones crammed in a freeze-dried raw dog food formula.

It’s available in flavors of chicken, turkey, beef and seafood. All of the ingredients are guaranteed 100% all natural and organic, including naturally-sourced fruits and vegetables.

Their recipe is carefully formulated with minimal processing to preserve the natural goodness and nutritional value of real raw meat, and it provides dogs the highest levels of animal protein and superior grain-free nutrition. Whether served as a whole meal, topper, or snacks and treats, buyers say their dogs just can't seem to get enough of Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Super Meal Mixers. Dogs that have become emaciated because of lack of appetite now eat this with gusto.

best dehydrated dog foodPet owners say their dogs enjoy enviably healthy skin and coat, increased energy levels, improved bowel movements, and overall wellness. This best dehydrated dog food is produced in the USA in Chewy’s own kitchen. Preparation is done in small quantities to ensure that they remain as close to their original form and of the highest quality as possible. This way, your pets receive top quality nutrients vital to their growth and development.

PROS CONS
  • Offers over 90% real raw meat, organs and bones
  • All of the ingredients are guaranteed 100% all natural and organic
  • All ingredients are sustainably sourced, and no ingredients are sourced from China
  • Made in small batches in the USA
  • As with any of the best dehydrated dog food products, there are reviews from owners who say their dog would not eat this meal
  • Some buyers claim this product made their dog sick, but this could be a result of transitioning too quickly

best dehydrated dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “I have three small Yorkies, ages,twelve,eleven, and two. I started feeding Stella and Chewy's Meal Mixers Freeze Dried a year ago when I adopted my youngest dog. This food was…”

 

3 Wellness CORE Air Dried Grain Free Natural Dog Food

Wellness CORE Air Dried Grain Free Natural Dog FoodWellness Core has come up with a unique formula like no other brand – chicken and turkey goodness packed in one recipe! Let your dog relish the wholesomeness of minimally-processed and air-dried food that retains superior-quality raw proteins, healthy nutrients and flavors.

Neither dry nor wet, dogs of all ages will benefit from these tender, naturally moist tidbits. With a Wellness Guarantee backing and 100% produced in the USA, it boasts of an all-natural grain-free recipe composed of over 70% choice proteins and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced meal.

This best dehydrated dog food is also available in a Whitefish & Salmon variant and a special formulation for puppies. Dog owners love Wellness CORE Air Dried Grain Free Natural Dog Food, especially for their older mutts with teeth and digestion issues, because of its tenderness, succulence and high digestibility. The results have been outstanding both for elderly dogs and the highly agile ones.

Pet parents who purchased this best dehydrated dog food have observed that their dogs have become leaner but not underweight, energy levels have improved, and digestive problems have normalized. Considering that it’s on the pricey end, some dog owners use it only to top regular meals or for snacks to make it last longer. Whether they’re using it as a complete dog meal or only as topper, they all find it very easy to serve and there’s no rehydration needed.

PROS CONS
  • Minimally-processed and air-dried food that retains superior-quality raw proteins, healthy nutrients and flavors
  • 100% produced in the USA
  • All-natural grain-free recipe composed of over 70% choice proteins and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced meal
  • More expensive than many of the other best dehydrated dog food products
  • As with any dog food product, there are reviews from owners who say their dog would not eat this meal
  • There are a few reviews from pet owners who say that this food gave their dog diarrhea

best dehydrated dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “Five star food but the price is not. My finicky dogs really like this. I am a huge fan of Wellness dry and canned foods. This is the first time that I've tried air dried food. I'm not sure…”

 

4 Sojos Complete Natural Grain Free Raw Freeze Dried Food Mix

Sojos Complete Natural Grain Free Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food MixIt’s time to whip up all the goodness of a complete and balanced dog food that your pet rightly deserves. Simply mix this freeze-dried meat chow from Sojos with warm water, stir thoroughly and allow 15 minutes to thicken, and then serve. An 8-pound bag produces 40 pounds of all-natural, raw and high-protein food your pet will enjoy and crave for.

You can choose from any of the four different delicious variants of turkey, beef, goat, and lamb. These were carefully prepared one batch at a time inside Sojos’ kitchen in the US to ensure that it’s totally safe from any harmful contaminants.

Pet owners took special note of the ingredients list in this product – it’s a list of real foods, instead of chemical names usually found on dog food packages. When rehydrated, you will be able to actually identify the meat, vegetables and fruits. Sojos Complete Natural Grain Free Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food Mix is highly digestible and owners say that their dogs’ bowel movements have normalized after transitioning to this diet. After this recipe was included in their dogs’ daily fare, their pets have developed a leaner frame, more toned muscles, and shinier and healthier coats.

best dehydrated dog foodDog owners who have been using this best dehydrated dog food attest to the product’s effectiveness in dealing with two of the most common bodily issues greatly affecting dogs – digestion and allergy. This stuff is quite pricey, but it does not cost as much as other brands similar to it. Buyers also agree that seeing their pets looking healthy and happy makes it all worth it.

PROS CONS
  • All-natural, raw and high-protein food
  • No artificial preservatives
  • 100% grain-free and gluten-free
  • Prepared in small batches in the company's USA based facility
  • 4 varieties to choose from including turkey, beef, goat and lamb
  • As with any of the best dehydrated dog food products, there are many reviews stating that dogs would not eat this food
  • A few pet owners were concerned with the feeding guidelines that accompany this product. They say the calorie count is very low and their dogs lost a dangerous amount of weight after being switched to this diet

best dehydrated dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “Do you feed yourself and your kids the same brown crackers three times a day, day in and day out, for years at a time? Of course not. Then why would you feed your dog that…”

 

5 Primal Freeze Dried Pet Foods

Primal Freeze Dried Pet FoodsHere’s Primal Pet Foods freeze-dried formula that contains 100% human-quality ingredients made in the USA and sourced from New Zealand and across the country. It’s an all-natural raw-food recipe packed with high levels of protein, essential oils, enzymes, and fortified with natural vitamins and minerals.

All these ingredients were processed minimally to retain their wholesomeness and provide pets a healthy diet and lifestyle. This best dehydrated dog food is available in seven different flavors – Chicken, Duck, Turkey & Sardine, Pork, Lamb, Venison, and Beef.

All the recipes are grain-free with no soy, wheat, corn, gluten, additives and preservatives, for a quality and wholesome freeze-dried raw pet food. This was heaven-sent for owners of dogs that have long suffered from dermatitis and other skin maladies. In no time, Primal Freeze Dried Pet Foods significantly cleared their dogs of the depressing condition. Buyers have mixed views on the price – some say that the price is just right, while others complain that it’s too expensive. They’re one, though, in recognizing this product’s contribution to their pet’s wellbeing.

best dehydrated dog foodIt’s a great plus, too, that this best dehydrated dog food is made in the USA, contains no grains, and is made with meats that are free from antibiotics and hormones. Some dogs love these nuggets dry and crunchy while others prefer the tender moist tastiness when rehydrated. Either way, they take in the same high-quality nutrients that help prevent allergy and abdominal problems, among other benefits. The happy looks on their pet’s face make all the difference according to satisfied customers.

PROS CONS
  • Contains 100% human-quality ingredients sourced from the USA and New Zealand
  • Made in the USA
  • All-natural raw-food recipe packed with high levels of protein, essential oils, enzymes, and fortified with natural vitamins and minerals
  • Available in 7 different flavors
  • All recipes are grain-free with no soy, wheat, corn, gluten, additives and preservatives
  • Made with meats that are free from antibiotics and hormones
  • Many pet owners say that the feeding guidelines on the packaging are inaccurate, grossly understating how much your dog will need to eat each day
  • This is one of the most expensive dehydrated dog food products on the market
  • As with any of the best dehydrated dog food products, there are reviews from owners who say their dog would not eat this meal

best dehydrated dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “I have a 10 lb. mini dachshund who has sensitivities to all of the commonly available pet store foods. I tried every brand, including those that are grain free, special diets, premium…”

Natural raw dried dog food and its benefits

Top 10 Best Dehydrated Dog Food Brands as Alternatives

Above I have explained how using some of the best dehydrated dog food brands may benefit dogs, and why freeze-dried dog foods are better than dry kibble. I've also listed the top five best dehydrated dog foods that are most nutritious and made by companies with great reputation.

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Grain Free Freeze DriedBelow, I will give you ten more alternatives of the best dehydrated dog food brands in case you cannot get a hold of the above options, or you have a good reason not to use those dehydrated raw dog food brands. I have also included dried raw dog food mixers which can be fed on their own or added to other foods.

Overall, I would choose most of these fifteen best dehydrated dog food brands over many other commercial dry dog foods due to the many reasons I've already explained. If you'd like to know more, then the most important detail is how freeze-dried dog food is made, especially when comparing it to dry kibble, so let me walk you through that briefly.

How air-dried and freeze-dried dog foods are made?

Benefits of best dehydrated dog food brandsLet me briefly walk you through the process of how these best dehydrated dog food brands are made, which will also explain why freeze-dried dog food is better for dogs.

Air-dried dog food uses low temperatures which help to extract all moisture from raw dog food. Most air-dried dog foods are prepared in about 140º F to 180º F temperatures.

The problem with this is because the process takes longer, which exposes meat to potential spoilage due to oxidation. This doesn't necessarily mean that all air-dried dehydrated dog foods may be spoiled, but theoretically, this is what happens.

Air-drying dog food also slightly cooks it (not as much as dry kibble cooking process does) which may impact the nutritional content of these foods, particularly altering meats, fats, fruits and vegetables contained in dehydrated raw dog food. This is not good.

Freeze-dried dog food, on the other hand, uses a process that is significantly quicker and it also uses lower temperatures for drying dog food.

This process results in the least (if any) damage to the nutrient content in pet food, meaning that all raw dog food nutrition – vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins – remain in tact and will be consumed and absorbed by the dog to eats it.

On top of that, freeze-dried dog food will also retain most of its natural raw dog food flavor and aroma as a result of this fast-drying and freezing process. This means that for most dogs, freeze-dried dog food will also be more appealing.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, there is no 100% ideal dog food currently on the market. In order to make it, some adjustments need to be made: nutrients will be lost, or it will involve certain risk.

However, if we were to rank all types of dog food, raw dehydrated dog food would come out on top due to its higher preserved nutrient content over dry kibble.

When comparing air-dried dog food vs freeze-dried dog food, the latter is also better. So make sure you always seek out ingredients in dog food that have been freeze-dried.

References

References and citations

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.