Table of Contents
- What is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?
- The Benefits of Freeze-Dried Dog Food
- How is Freeze-dried Dog Food Made?
- How to Make A Homemade Freeze-Dried Dog Food
- Difference between Dehydrating and Freezing
- Best Freeze-Dried Brands for Dogs
- Frequently Asked Freeze-Dried Dog Food Questions
- Freeze Dried Homemade Dog Food Summary
Are you tired of commercial foods? Or maybe you don't have the time to cook your dog's meal? Preparing freeze-dried homemade dog food might be the answer for you.
Have you heard about an astronaut's ice cream? Well, the process of making freeze-dried dog food is the same.
Freeze-dried dog food is a new concept gaining popularity over the last few years. New companies have emerged and made their version of the best freeze-dried product.
If you're not looking for a meal, you can now buy freeze-dried dog treats as a healthy snack for your pups.
What is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?
Freeze-dried dog food is made from already cooked fresh foods with almost all the water content removed through a process.
This kind of dog food is light and dry and is placed in an air-tight container.
As long as the packaging is not damaged or open, the food can last for years. When you're ready to feed your pets, all you have to do is open the container and add a little water to reconstitute the dog food.
If you're a fan of freeze-dried foods, there are also freeze-dried dog treats. An example of this is Stewart Freeze-Dried Dog Treats. It is grain-free and comes in a resealable tub to preserve the freshness of the food.
The Benefits of Freeze-Dried Dog Food
If you want to feed your pup a healthy homemade diet but don't have the time to handle and prepare fresh raw meat, freeze-dried is one of the best alternatives.
Of course, we as pet parents want what's best for our pups, and luckily products are easy to find.
The processing and additives in freeze-dried foods are minimal. Even the picky dog eaters like it.
Freeze-Dried Dog Food And The Potential Downside
One of the downsides of switching to a freeze-dried diet is that it is not cheap. On average, this type of dog food can run around $33 per pound.
That's a lot more expensive than $10 air-dried or dehydrated dog foods. You may also find that freeze-dried foods can be a little bit harder to digest than their original form.
Few vets are worrying about the digestive issue and the possible illness-causing bacteria. Once you establish serving freeze-dried dog food to your pet, their digestive system will adjust.
How is Freeze-dried Dog Food Made?
The freeze-drying process converts the natural moisture in the dog food into vapor.
First, the food is placed on shelves inside of a low-temperature dryer to freeze the dog food. The moisture will still be there in this step, but the molecules are isolated.
The unit will release a small amount of heat while setting off a vacuum pump to suck air pressure out of the chamber. The absence of pressure will transform the moisture molecules from liquid to gas, and then they are pulled out of the food. This is a slow process that can take a few days.
The final step is when the finished product is sealed with an oxygen-absorbing material to prevent it from being damaged.
How to Make A Homemade Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Ingredients (Can fill up to 8 trays)
- 2 lbs of beef
- 6 lbs of chicken (white and dark meat for fat content)
- 4 lbs of rice (white or brown is fine)
- 2 Heads of Broccoli
- 1 can of corn
- 2 cans of pure pumpkin
- 6 to 10 sweet potatoes
- 1 can beans or peas
- 6 apples
- 3 lbs of carrots
- 2 dozen of eggs
- 2 containers of yogurt or cottage cheese (preference)
Step-By-Step Process of Making Homemade Freeze-Dried
The first thing to do is cook the ground beef and chicken on high pressure for 20-25 minutes. Then start cooking the rice and vegetables (or any other food that needs cooking).
While you're waiting for the meat to cook, prepare all the ingredients that don't need cooking. Chop corn, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and carrots then put them in your freeze-drying trays.
Dice up apples and other soft enough ingredients to put the Vitamix or blenders.
When the meat is done cooking, take out the meat and use the broth to cook the rice.
While waiting for the rice, cook sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots, and broccoli and corn. After that, dice up the broccoli and put it in the trays.
Cook 2 dozen scrambled eggs.
And then dice up your meats into bite-size pieces and put them in a blender with the cooked rice, and scrambled eggs.
Distribute it evenly into your trays and put them in the freeze-dryer (this can take up 40-50 hours). After that, put the freeze-dried food into secured bags that are suitable for freeze-drying or dehydrating.
Difference between Dehydrating and Freezing
The two main leading home-prepared dog foods are dehydrating and freeze-drying. You may be wondering, are these two the same? What are the differences?
They are similar in that they both extract moisture from homemade dog food. The difference is in the process of removing the water.
This process requires the food to be placed in a vacuum chamber. It is set in low temperature until it's below freezing.
After that, the moisture is eliminated by slowly raising the temperature. A condenser collects the vapor, then turns back to ice, and the water is removed.
An added benefit when removing the moisture, it reduces the chances of pathogen or microorganism growth that can be harmful to dogs.
Not only can the freeze-drying process preserve the nutrients inside, but it can also keep the natural flavor to make it tasty for our dogs.
Dehydration is the same as the natural preservation in nature, specifically, the sun. Modern-day dehydration requires the use of heat.
In dehydration, the removal of water through a low temperature helps keep the nutritional value of the original ingredients complete.
Best Freeze-Dried Brands for Dogs
We have compiled a list of the top 10 best freeze-dried dog food brands.
Freeze-dried Dog Food and Our Picks
- K9 Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Food
- Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers
- Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Meal Mixers
- Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dog Food
- Nature's Diet Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Frequently Asked Freeze-Dried Dog Food Questions
Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food better than Raw Dog Food?
If you're wondering if freeze-dried is as good or maybe better than raw dog food, well it all depends on your preference.
Freeze-dried dog food can also be a part of raw or meat-based foods. It has some ingredients from food animals that are not yet cooked.
The primary and only difference between these two is that freeze-dried dog food undergoes a process that removes most of the moisture present in the food.
In this process, the nutrients are still preserved. But not only that, you also kill various bacteria.
As I stated earlier, it all comes down to preference. The freeze-drying process will be more expensive than raw dog food diets.
But if you've decided to invest in it, I'm sure that it will be worth it in the long run.
Is Freeze-Dried better than Kibble?
It will depend on the ingredients or formulas present in freeze-dried or kibble.
If you're making your homemade freeze-dried dog food with high-quality ingredients, it will definitely offer more protein without excessive carbs which normal kibble has.
In making homemade dog foods, you have control over what you'll put on their plate, or should I say bowl?
Research or consult with your vet nutritionist to prepare the best quality nutritional balance for your dogs.
Is freeze-dried food healthy for dogs?
Yes! Freeze-dried is healthy for dogs.
According to dog owners and nutritionists, dogs benefit from high-quality proteins in chicken or salmon that are found in freeze-dried products.
Protein is needed to ensure the growth and protection of a dog's body. Protein can also supply amino acids that can help with the dog's hair, skin, and muscle health.
Will Freeze Dried Food Last Forever?
No, because freeze-dried still contains a little bit of moisture inside. But it will last for a long time.
And it's not like we're buying these types of food to preserve for over a year and more.
If you're unsure if the product is still okay for consumption, you can quickly tell if the smell gives off a rotten scent.
Can you mix freeze-dried raw with kibble?
You can add kibble to freeze-dried raw, but it won't be necessary as the freeze-dried product should have all the nutritional formula needed already.
When it comes to mixing these two, it all comes down to your dog's preference in taste.
Freeze Dried Homemade Dog Food Summary
Do you want to give your dog a more natural diet than kibbles, but don't have the time to prepare it? Purchasing and preparing freeze-dried dog food is a convenient option.
Freeze-dried raw dog food is a new trend that is rapidly growing for dog owners. It not only comes in meals but there are now freeze-dried dog treats for your pups.
Preparing your own freeze-dried homemade dog food is another option for you. The processes can be time-consuming, and the start-up cost of purchasing the right equipment can be costly.
Once you make the initial investment, then plan and prepare large batches, it becomes an easy and convenient way to keep your dog healthy.
Making your own homemade freeze-dried dog food, you will need a dryer and vacuum sealer. It is always best to use natural ingredients of quality.
Once you've gathered your ingredients and prepared your homemade dog food, you will put them in the dehydrating chamber that evaporates almost all of the solid water resulting in over 97% of the food's moisture has now been sucked out.
Separating this dried food can then be portioned out and vacuum sealed. When you are ready to use it, just add water!
Pet owners who are busy with work, but want all that natural dog food has to offer, will enjoy freeze-dried dog foods.
Purchasing freeze-dried dog food is easy to prepare. All you need is to add water. If you prefer, with extra time and money, you can even make your own, homemade freeze-dried dog food.