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The Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food for 2022

Hand Feeding the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Hand feeding freeze-dried dog food as a treat

On this page… The Dog Food Advisor takes an in-depth look at some of the best freeze-dried dog foods on the market for 2022.

And we’ll rate each of our top picks.

But first…

What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Freeze drying is a process that uses vacuum pressure to remove the moisture from raw frozen food. This creates a dry, crunchy product that retains most of its original size and shape.

It’s a cold-temperature method that creates a super-healthy pet food. One that’s naturally preserved without chemicals… while its original nutrients remain mostly unchanged.

Freeze-Dried vs Dehydrated
What’s the Difference?

Dehydrated dog food is made by circulating warm dry air over the surface of a food. The temperature is high enough to evaporate the moisture… but without cooking the food.

Freeze drying removes 98-99 percent of the moisture. Dehydration removes less. Just 90 percent.

Which is why freeze-dried dog food retains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in the original food. And why it has a longer shelf life, too.

Our Editor’s Top Picks

The outstanding freeze-dried brands below were selected by our research team because they contain:

  • Above-average protein
  • No generic meats
  • No high-risk preservatives

On the list below…

You’ll find The Dog Food Advisor’s best freeze-dried dog foods… and we’ll rate each of our top picks.

You’ll also learn the answer to the most frequently asked questions we get about choosing and feeding freeze-dried dog food.


Editors Choice Logo for Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food page

The Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food
November 2022

Here are The Advisor’s best freeze-dried dog and puppy foods for November 2022.



Primal Chicken Freeze Dried Dog Food

Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets

Rating:

Primal Chicken is one of 8 freeze-dried recipes rated in our review of the Primal product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken (with ground bone), chicken livers, organic carrots, organic squash, organic kale
  • Type: Grain-free (carrots, squash)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds, except Duck and Rabbit recipes)
  • Other recipes: Beef, lamb, turkey and sardine, pork, duck, rabbit, venison and more

This Primal recipe derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 50% protein, 27% fat and 15% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

A fully balanced freeze-dried formula made by one of the most respected, long-time raw pet food manufacturers in America. Multiple flavors and recipes, makes it ideal for picky eaters and for diet rotation. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “All my dogs LOVE this food and I know they aren’t getting a bunch of fillers. Best part of all is it’s so highly digestible the poop was reduced by at least 75%. What could be better!!!”

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Open Farm Surf and Turf Freeze Dried Raw Food

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Rating:

Surf and Turf is one of 6 freeze-dried recipes included in our review of the Open Farm product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Humanely raised beef, beef hearts, wild pacific salmon, beef kidneys, beef livers
  • Type: Grain-free (carrots, squash)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Beef, turkey, chicken, lamb and more

Open Farm Surf and Turf acquires the better part of its meat protein from fresh beef and wild pacific salmon. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 34% fat and 15% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 79%.

High-protein freeze-dried formula mixed with organic fruits and vegetable. Contains no rendered poultry or meat meals. All ingredients are 100% traceable. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “My picky golden doodle will eat these and I feel good about feeding them to her, so it’s a win-win. It seems like Open Farm’s line of freeze dried products packs in nutrients and proteins sourced conscientiously.”

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Nulo Freestyle Beef Freeze Dried Raw

Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw

Rating:

Raw Beef is one of 5 freeze-dried recipes covered in our review of the Nulo Freestyle product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef heart, beef liver, beef kidneys, ground beef bone
  • Type: Grain-free (apples, broccoli)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Duck, lamb, salmon and turkey

Nulo Freestyle Raw Beef gets most of its meat protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 44% protein, 29% fat and 18% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

A superior, grain-free, all life stages option. Made in a USDA-inspected facility and fast-frozen to preserve flavor and micro-nutrients. Contains no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives and coloring. Heartily recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I have been using Nulo for approx. 1 year now. My 4 year old Mastiff and my 5 year old Shepard Mix LOVE Nulo products. Their coats are so shinny and the previous allergies that they struggled with are GONE! I would highly recommend any of the Nulo products.”

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Stella and Chewys Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties

Rating:

Chewy’s Chicken is one of 13 freeze-dried recipes evaluated in our review of the Stella and Chewy product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries
  • Type: Grain-free (pumpkin seed, cranberries)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Beef, lamb, duck, goose, turkey, puppy (multiple flavors) and more

This Stella and Chewy Freeze-Dried Dinner acquires a major part of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 51% protein, 29% fat and 12% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

The formula provides most of the benefits of a raw diet with the added convenience of freeze-dried patties. Made with cage-free chicken (raised without hormones or antibiotics). And includes 100% organic-certified fruits and vegetables. Recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “My Plottie girl needs to watch her figure. One and a half of these broken up and rehydrated in warm water makes a great gravy for her kibble. Plus they’re fabulously portable and lightweight, and easily stored, so I don’t have to lug cans around when I travel and risk spoilage. Most of all, my 6 year old sweetie loves these—gets excited at dinnertime. They’re expensive, but I believe they’re worth the price.”

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Bravo Homestyle Beef Freeze Dried Dog Food

Bravo Homestyle Freeze-Dried

Rating:

Bravo Homestyle Complete Beef Dinner is one of 3 freeze-dried recipes contained in our review of the Bravo product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef liver, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, beef hearts
  • Type: Grain-free (sweet potatoes, chickpeas)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies
  • Other recipes: Pork and turkey

This Bravo Homestyle recipe draws a major part of its animal protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 48% protein, 16% fat and 28% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 34%.

Completely free of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Made by one of the most well-known raw pet food makers in the country. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “This is an excellent food. I feed it to my working German Shepherds and the coats are gorgeous and overall condition of these elite dogs is fabulous. If you want to feed raw without the work of finding all the things needed this is the way to go. I have fed it for years!!”

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Vital Essentials Turkey Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Raw

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food for Dogs

Rating:

Turkey Mini Nibs is one of 19 freeze-dried recipes included in our review of the Vital Essentials product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, turkey heart, turkey liver, herring oil, mixed tocopherols
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adult and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Beef, chicken, duck, rabbit, and salmon

This Vital Essentials formula receives the lions share of its animal protein from fresh turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 60% protein, 18% fat and 14% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 31%.

The single protein diet is ideal for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. Can be used as a complete and balanced meal or used as a topper to improve the palatability of another product. Offers several recipes to choose from.

Vital Essentials is one of only a few commercial diets that meets AAFCO nutrient profiles by conducting actual feeding trials on live animals. A real gem and a rare find. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “Vital Essentials is a very high quality well sourced food that apparently is very tasty as well! My dog eagerly eats his food . Very happy with this dog food!”

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TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food

TruDog Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood

Rating:

Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Beef Bonanza is one of 4 freeze-dried recipes evaluated in our review of the TruDog product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef tripe, beef lung, beef liver, beef heart,
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Turkey, turkey and duck, and whitefish

This TruDog formula derives the better part of its animal protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 29% fat and 19% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 68%.

This freeze-dried design includes no fillers or generic by-products. It’s made with real beef and contains no corn, wheat, soy, antibiotics, artificial flavors or preservatives. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “This food has helped my 12 year old with his tummy issues. Easy to digest it has also helped his skin and hair conditions. This and other products from TruDog is helping my senior fur baby age gracefully and healthy.”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

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Grandma Lucys Pureformance Chicken Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried

Rating:

Pureformance Chicken Recipe is one of 4 formulas rated in our review of the Grandma Lucy’s freeze-dried product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: USDA Chicken, chickpeas, flax, carrots, celery
  • Type: Grain-free (carrots, celery)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies
  • Other recipes: Fish, lamb, and rabbit

Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Chicken gets the better part of its meat protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 15% fat and 41% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.

Prepared in a family-owned California facility. This fully grain-free formula is made in small batches to ensure quality and consistency. Free of generic by-products and preservatives. Made with premium ingredients throughout. Easy to recommend.

Sample buyer review… “My dogs love this stuff as soon as I place the bowl on the floor they gobble it up quick. And my dog that was overweight has lost some pounds eating this food. I will continue to feed my dogs this food from now on.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

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Sojos Complete Dog Food

Sojos Complete Freeze-Dried Raw

Rating:

Turkey Recipe is one of 8 freeze-dried formulas analyzed in our review of the Sojos Complete product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, sweet potatoes, whole egg, broccoli, apples
  • Type: Grain-free (broccoli, apples)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Beef, lamb, goat, chicken, pork, puppy, and seniors

This Sojos Complete formula gets most of its animal protein from fresh turkey and egg. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 13% fat and 48% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

Sojos is totally free of genetically engineered and artificial ingredients. Also contains no preservatives or fillers. An excellent option for adult dogs with food and skin sensitivities. Easily recommended.

Sample buyer review… “This is the best dog food ever! I have a 14 yr old Sheltie with major stomach issues and this cleared it up. He loved the Wild venison best but when I couldn’t get the venison anymore we switched to the turkey and he loved it too!”

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Bixbi Rawbble Duck Freeze-Dried Raw Diet

Bixbi Rawbble Freeze-Dried

Rating:

Duck Recipe is one of 7 dry formulas analyzed in our review of the Bixbi Rawbble product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Duck with ground bone, duck liver, duck heart, pumpkin, fenugreek seed
  • Type: Grain-free (pumpkin)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adult and small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Beef, chicken, pork, and more

This Bixbi Rawbble freeze-dried formula draws the majority of its animal protein from fresh duck. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 54% protein, 32% fat and 6% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

We like the simple, single protein design, which makes it ideal for use as a limited ingredient diet. It’s made with poultry that’s raised without antibiotics or added hormones. Free of all rendered meal by-products while it also contains no corn, wheat soy, artificial preservatives or coloring agents. A top, grain-free, freeze-dried option. Easy to recommend.

Sample buyer review… “My guy LOVES this. He is the pickiest eater and we crumble this on top of his food and then shake it up, His bowl has been consistently empty at the end of every day. It is such a relief knowing he is eating enough daily. I HIGHLY recommend. It is on the pricier side but it is so worth it.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about choosing and feeding freeze-dried dog food:


How can I switch to freeze-dried food… without making my dog sick?

In this video

Holistic vet, Dr. Gary Richter, shares a simple feeding tip that can help lower your dog’s risk of getting sick when you switch to a freeze-dried food.

It’s best to switch your dog to freeze-dried dog food slowly.

Begin by mixing 20% “freeze-dried” with 80% “old” food. Then, gradually increase that amount to a full 100%… over the next 8 to 9 days.

Schedule Old Food Freeze-Dried
Days 1 and 2 80% 20%
Days 3 and 4 60% 40%
Days 5 and 6 40% 60%
Days 7 and 8 20% 80%
Day 9 0% 100%

How long can freeze-dried food remain in the bowl?

If fed dry, the food can remain in the bowl for up to 12 hours before discarding. If the food has been “rehydrated”, it can stay in the bowl for up to 2 hours.


How do I feed freeze-dried dog food?

Freeze-dried dog food can be fed either dry or rehydrated. If you choose to feed the product dry, be sure your pet has access to plenty of water at mealtime.

If your pet doesn’t usually drink much water, or if you’re concerned they may not get enough, then rehydrating the food with cool or warm (NOT hot) water before feeding is probably a good idea.


Can I warm up freeze-dried food before it’s served?

Freeze-dried dog food should never be warmed, cooked or heated. To maintain its nutritional value, it’s best to serve the food in its natural state. Heating can negate the benefits of feeding a freeze-dried raw diet.


Is freeze-dried dog food safer than raw dog food?

Freeze-dried dog food is still considered raw. So it’s important to handle the food with caution to avoid contaminating your kitchen.

Some (but not all) freeze-dried dog foods have been prepared using a special germ control process known as High Pressure Processing (or HPP). Supporters claim the process renders the food safer than a traditional raw diet.


What’s the difference between dehydrated, freeze-dried and frozen dog food?

In the following video, Dr. Richard Patton, explains the critical difference between dehydrated, freeze-dried and frozen dog foods.


A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

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