Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Dog Foods

Dog Food Advisor Forums Raw Dog Food Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Dog Foods

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  • #133619 Report Abuse

    Hi folks! I’m sorry if this topic has been discussed to death……. I obviously know what raw dog food is. I’m really not comfortable with it and neither is my vet. However, since the shelves at my pet store seems to be fully stocked with mostly dehydrated or freeze dried foods and treats, I can’t help but start to wonder. Is there anyone here who can tell me if either dehydrated or freeze dried dog food is cooked first? And does the process of dehydration actually cook the food to some degree?Who is feeding their dog what and which brand. I was originally concerned about raw food because they always seem to get recalled for salmonella. Well, now it seems salmonella doesn’t discriminate. FYI- I have a small dogs…under 15 lbs. No health issues. Thanks so much!

    #133620 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    I have been feeding my two Chihuahuas freeze dried for about two years now. Actually I was giving Origen Freeze dried treats for years but didn’t even realize it was freeze dried. Just knew it was a different texture that they really loved. I now have put in rotation Stella Chewy’s chicken meal mixers, turkey patties and venison blend. When I started I was using Fromm kibble as a base. Then I switched to Stella’s raw coated kibble small breed. I’m concerned about the Dcm with the legumes so stopped all kibble now until sorted out. Many questions on Stella’s f/b page regarding their kibble but their statements also say their kibble is not implicated in any DCM cases. Anyway I started out slowly . One protein at a time in tiny amounts. Just add warm water. Amount to feed for weight is on bag. Adjust according to weight gain or lose. I also slowly put in rotation Primal freeze dried. I use Turkey/sardine, rabbit and their duck. No stomach issues if done slowly. Bixbi Rawbbles is a great freeze dried also. I use this as treats or just throw some in with the pucks or patties . My dogs are doing great on this and I feel much better feeding the freeze dried instead of kibble or canned. Much easier to feed also.
    Primal food does Hpp process to kill bacteria but not with all flavors/proteins. It’s on their webpage which protein/flavors they use it with. I believe Stella’s uses hPP process on all their food as well as Bixbi.

    Essentially, this technology “puts the squeeze” on food pathogens without cooking out vital nutrients or changing the fresh characteristics of food. During High-Pressure Processing, pressure is uniformly applied around and throughout the food product. High-Pressure Processing can be conducted at refrigerated or even frozen temperatures, which means the temperature starts low and stays low — High-Pressure Processing does not cause the heat degradation that happens during cooking.
    Freeze Dried The process requires food to be placed inside a vacuum chamber that lowers the temperature until it is below freezing and then moisture is drawn out by slowly raising the temperature. The water originally found in the food moves to a gaseous state from a solid to void the food of most moisture.

    Moisture Content:

    Dehydration removes approximately 90-95 percent of moisture, while freeze-drying removes about 98-99 percent.[3]


    Freeze-dried pet food will rehydrate within 2-3 minutes while dehydrated pet food can often take 5-10 minutes or need to be left soaking for a few hours depending on the size of the food chunks.

    Texture, Flavor, and Aroma:

    When food is freeze-dried, the process is gentle and the enzymes are locked in without disrupting the texture, taste, or smell of the ingredient. This particular process greatly reduces the weight of the product and makes it convenient for storing and travel.

    The look and feel of a freeze-dried product to a dehydrated is noticeable to the naked eye. Dehydrated foods tend to be a little darker, denser, and can sometimes appear leathery. In order to create a faster rehydration time for dehydrated food, they are often powdered or made granular, whereas freeze-dried foods can be kept in chunkier states.

    Another key difference is that dehydration can break down vital vitamins and minerals due to the processes being a little more invasive.[2] The freeze-drying process will keep all the valuable nutrients intact ready to be rehydrated when needed.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Patricia A.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Patricia A.
    #133623 Report Abuse
    This is a good explanation of both freeze drying and dehydrating.
    It is raw and as with any raw meat you have to handle it properly. Wear gloves, use good cleaners and hot water on anything the raw food touches. Unfortuently most people do not do this. This is what causes a lot of recalls on raw foods, mishandling.
    Freeze dried foods are probably the most expensive of the Raws. I’ve fed nature’s variety to my cats before and they loved it. They had less poop and less shedding. A mixture of the freeze dried mixed with kibble and the frozen raw.
    Nature’s variety, primal, Stella and chewy, are all good trusted raw brands to try out. You have a small dogs so it should be cheaper to feed than having large dogs tho. It’s defiently less processed than regular kibble and in my opinion more healthy. It has been in most cases I’ve seen. However every dog is different so it’s wise to slowly transition. You can also rehydrate freeze dried foods or feed them dry.

    #133624 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Exactly Haleycookies. Wash your hands well just like everyone should do with after handling any raw food. However, Primal, steals and I believe Bixbi uses the HPP process. Primal just on some of their proteins. Many argue that’s it’s not in the truth raw state but love their ingredients and so much healthy then kibble and canned.

    HPP is a non-thermal pasteurization process commonly utilized in the food industry.
    The practice removes disease-causing bacteria with only minimal effect on the nutritional qualities, taste, sight or smell of the food.

    #134435 Report Abuse

    Sorry I disappeared . Patricia A. – I can’t thank you enough for such a detailed and easy to understand explanation. All of you have given me just the kind of feedback I need to make an informed decision. So glad there are folks like you who are passionate and caring. Thanks so much!

    #134578 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    dawne You’re welcome. I had the same question so I was happy to share . Glad I could be of help on this board.

    #134581 Report Abuse
    #134632 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    crazy4cats the alternative feeding kibble
    ” Dry pet food, for all its convenience, is difficult to store in a way that preserves its nutritional value and freshness.”
    “Many unhealthy things can occur in a bag of kibble — especially an open bag — including fat rancidity, bacterial and fungal growth, nutrient depletion and storage mite infestation.”
    “Most dry pet food also has a number of other problems, including poor-quality, rendered and high-glycemic ingredients and extreme processing that creates cancerous byproducts.”
    “If you’re still buying kibble, there are several handling and storage guidelines you should follow to help prevent feeding unsafe food to your pet.”
    “A much better alternative to kibble is a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet containing high-quality animal protein, moisture, healthy fats and fiber, and low to no starch content.”

    Primal and Stella’s goes through a HPP process as written above.

    “Without going into too much detail on the history of dry commercial kibble diets, the short end of the story is that it was introduced in response to the high cost of meat during the Great Depression and was heavily promoted at the end of WWII when it gained popularity for its convenience, ease of distribution and low cost.”

    “If our pets have managed to survive off this cheap, convenient, low quality protein source for the last 80 some years, why should we be concerned about it?”

    Even though our pets may be surviving off commercial kibble, can we really say that they are thriving on it?

    “The answer is pretty clear …

    “Chronic degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, allergies, kidney, pancreatic and liver disease are all rampant within our pet populations and cancer rates continue to rise. “

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    #134635 Report Abuse

    Who are you quoting?
    A homeopathic propaganda site?


    Listen to your vet, he is the one that has examined your pets and knows them best.
    More info here (science based)

    Nothing is being sold at the above site, no dog food, no supplements, no books, no membership fees, etc.

    You can use the search engine there to look up topics, the comments are often informative and helpful too.

    #134672 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    anon I am open minded and open to change regarding what to feed my dogs They are doing well now on a diet of variety. I’ll go by vets checkups also to assure me of their continuing good health. . WE were brainwashed by pet food companies into thinking that our pets should never eat “people food”. I don’t think dogs evolved with a bag of kibble around their necks to eat for their nutritional requirements for life. However, I’m really not against feeding kibble IF you can find one that not only your dog does his best with but also doesn’t cause them harm. I just believe that MY dogs do best with variety. I also maybe feel sorry for pets who are fed ONLY a diet of kibble for life and never taste a whole food such as a piece of chicken, turkey, egg etc. . Don’t believe it’s that of an inconvenience to at times give a little less kibble and add some appropriate “people foods” for your pet. Can’t hurt to give some of the better quality freeze dried crumbled on top in different brands and proteins. For MY pets I would NEVER just rely on kibble only anymore for their full nutritional requirements never mind the joy I get seeing the excitement of chewing on a REAL piece of FOOD and not kibble.

    #135433 Report Abuse

    Anon101 – Thanks so much for your insite and the link to more related information. I really am uncomfortable with feeding my boy a raw diet. You are absolutely right about my vet knowing my boy. He’s been seeing her since 8 weeks old and does have some gastro issues that need to be considered. I’m so thankful for everyone’s input.

    #146426 Report Abuse
    Sara M

    Your vet, almost any vet for that matter….is the absolute worst place to get advice on pet nutrition. Vets learn nutrition from the pet food manufacturer Hill’s. They are totally unfamiliar with concepts such as bioavailability or the difference quality protein makes on organs. My vevet actually told me a $5 bag of corn Kibbles N Bits is the same as my Easy Raw Or Farmina N & D. Unfortunately this is very untrue and wis what Hill’s is teaching. Corn, potato and pea protein is hard for dogs to digest and it is very hard on their organs. It is actually how low protein dog food for seniors got started. Old dogs actually need more protein. But if it is low quality protein, it is hard on their organs and they do actually need less of it. But if it is high quality protein from meat and organs, they need more of it. On to bioavailability. Cheap dog foods rely on synthetic vitamins and minerals, instead of high quality fruits and vegetables for nutrition. But these synthetic vitamins and minerals are not as bioavailable as real fruits and veggies. They cannot make use of it as well. Chelation helps, but it is still no substitute for the real thing. Bottom line, do not listen to your local Hill’s spokesperson, aka your vet.

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