With the growing list of available pet food in today's market, a relatively new and popular option that is popping up is freeze-dried raw. What exactly is it and is it really worth the hype?
Freeze-dried food basically has all the moisture removed through freezing temperatures followed by a multi-step drying process. The fresh food is first frozen, followed by a vacuum process where all of the ice is removed and a last drying phase where the remaining amount of moisture is gone. This will result in a dry, stable product that can last and easily be plumped back by the addition of water.
Essentially, it is simply raw dog food in a different form; with the added benefits of a pasteurization process to decrease bacteria presence. This means that freeze-dried raw food is considered raw food. For pet owners who prefer to feed raw but are not fan of the smell, presentation or even have concerns about bacteria, freeze-dried raw can be a great and simple alternative.
One added benefit of freeze-dried raw, compared to just serving raw meat is that commercially available freeze-dried raw formulas are made to be balanced in terms of dietary needs. There's also minimal additives and processing done to maintain nutrients.
With the high nutritional value, this means the overall health of your furkid benefits naturally! There is less wastage of food (lesser poop!) as their body absorbs more of the good stuff, healthy skin and coat and even better smelling breath!
Aside from not needing to handle raw food on its own, freeze-dried raw food also spells convenience. There isn't a need to thaw raw meat as freeze-dried raw can be kept in room temperature. This means more room in the refrigerator!
As freeze-dried raw can be crumpled up easily, it works well as either a topping for a picky furkid, or even breaking it into smaller bits for smaller breeds who do not necessarily require the entire nugget of freeze-dried raw. It is easy and convenient to handle and travel with, which is a definite bonus.
Difference between Freeze-Dried Raw and Dehydrated (Air-Dried) Raw:
Air-Dried Raw: using low temperature to remove moisture from food via evaporation
With air-drying or the process of dehydration, low heat is applied to evaporate moisture from the food. As heat is applied, there will be a loss of nutritional value, albeit very slight!
There isn't a definite right or wrong to to any methods mentioned used to feed your furkid. We believe that each method has its own benefits and hope that this article was easy to digest and helped clarify the difference between these methods! Ultimately, each method has its strengths and weaknesses. The method you pick will also depend on your pet's needs and lifestyle!