Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated Pet Food: What Is The Difference, Which Is Better?

Updated: Aug 19

Our recommendation at Red Dog Blue Kat is to feed a raw, biologically appropriate pet food diets whenever possible, since whole fresh food is the healthiest option for your pet. However, we understand that not every pet parent has the ability to feed a raw food diet, or has access to high quality raw food from a trusted source.

So, let’s talk about what freeze-dried raw and dehydrated raw is, and what the differences are when comparing them to frozen, pre-made raw meals. Dried raw options may be a good introduction to raw for those pet parents not yet ready to prepare or handle raw meat for their pets meals, or for raw feeding pet parents wanting a more convenient option while traveling with their pets (i.e camping!)

Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated Pet Food: What Is The Difference, Which Is Better?

What Is Freeze Dried Raw Pet Food?

Freeze dried raw food for dogs and cats is just what it sounds like – uncooked raw ingredients that have been frozen and then dried, resulting in the removal of its moisture content which makes a more shelf stable and lightweight product.

How Does Freeze Drying Work?

What is the actual process of freeze-drying food? It’s a three stage process.

  1. The first step is putting the food into the freezer to ensure all the liquid is solid.

  2. In the next stage the frozen food goes through a primary drying and sublimation process, reducing the water content in the product.

  3. The final phase is a secondary drying and absorption step that uses pressure and heat (in smaller amounts than in traditional pet food processing) to end up with the final product.

The idea of freezing the food first is to protect the protein cells in the meat so that there are as little alterations as possible to the natural ingredients’, vitamins and minerals.

One thing to note is that freeze drying is different from dehydrating food. Although each method is used with the goal of to preserving and extending the shelf life of raw pet food products, you do end up with different results.