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Freeze-Dried Dog Food: Benefits, How to Use and Outstanding Types

If you're looking for a convenient way to feed your dog a raw, natural diet, consider freeze-dried dog food. This type of dog food undergoes a dehydration process that removes most of its moisture, leaving behind only its nutrients and flavor.

Unlike other types of dog food, freeze-dried dog food is not subjected to high heat or cooking, preserving its beneficial nutrients and enzymes for your dog's health.

In this article, BestForPets will discuss the benefits of freeze-dried dog food and how to use it properly.

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Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Benefits of Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Freeze-dried dog food offers numerous advantages over kibble, canned, and fresh dog foods. Here are some of the benefits of freeze-dried dog food:

1. High in protein and low in carbohydrates

Freeze-dried dog food is made from high-quality animal protein sources, including meat, organs, and bones. These ingredients provide essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that support muscle growth, immune function, skin and coat health, and overall health.

Additionally, freeze-dried dog food is low in carbohydrates, which are unnecessary for dogs and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

2. Free of artificial preservatives, fillers, grains, and allergens

Because of the freeze-drying process, freeze-dried dog food does not require any chemical preservatives to stay fresh and safe. It also does not contain fillers like corn, wheat, soy, or rice, which are often added to kibble or canned food to increase volume and lower costs.

These additives can cause digestive issues, allergies, inflammation, and other health problems in dogs. Grain-free and gluten-free, freeze-dried dog food is suitable for dogs with sensitivities or intolerances to these ingredients.

3. Easy to store, transport, and prepare

Freeze-dried dog food is lightweight and dry, making it easy to store in a cool, dry place without taking up much space. It also doesn’t require refrigeration or chilling, making it convenient for travel. Freeze-dried dog food is also simple to prepare: just rehydrate it with water or broth before serving to your dog. You can also serve it as a dry food treat or snack.

4. Versatile and customizable

Freeze-dried dog food can be fed as a complete diet or mixed with other foods as a supplement. You can adjust the quantity and variety of freeze-dried dog food to suit your dog’s preferences and dietary needs. To enhance the nutritional value and flavor of freeze-dried dog food, you can add fruits, vegetables, supplements, and seasonings.

5. Appealing and palatable for dogs

Freeze-dried dog food preserves the natural flavor and aroma of raw food, making it more enticing and palatable for dogs. Many dogs enjoy the taste and texture of freeze-dried dog food and consume it eagerly. Additionally, freeze-dried dog food can stimulate your dog’s appetite and encourage them to eat more.

How to Use Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Feeding your dog freeze-dried dog food is easy, but there are some tips and precautions to keep in mind to ensure your dog receives the maximum nutritional benefit. Here are some instructions for feeding your dog freeze-dried food:

How to Use Freeze-Dried Dog Food

1. Rehydrate it before feeding

Although freeze-dried dog food can be fed dry as a treat or snack, it is recommended that you rehydrate it with water or broth before serving it as a meal. This will improve your dog’s digestion and prevent dehydration.

To rehydrate freeze-dried dog food, add warm water or broth (not boiling) to the food in a bowl and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes, or until soft. The ratio of water or broth to food varies depending on the brand and product you are using, so consult the product label for specific instructions.

2. Measure the appropriate amount

The amount of freeze-dried dog food you should feed your dog depends on its weight, age, activity level, and health condition. Generally, you should feed your dog 2% to 3% of its body weight in freeze-dried dog food per day.

For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds (22 kg), you should feed it about 1 pound (450 grams) of freeze-dried dog food per day. However, this is only a guideline, and you should adjust the amount based on your dog’s specific dietary needs and appetite. You can measure the amount of freeze-dried dog food accurately using a measuring cup or a scale.

3. Transition gradually from other types of food

If you are transitioning your dog from a different type of diet to freeze-dried dog food, you should do so gradually and monitor its response. A sudden change in a dog’s diet can cause digestive upset, diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. Start by mixing a small amount of freeze-dried dog food with your dog’s current food, and over 7 to 10 days, gradually increase the amount of freeze-dried dog food.

For example, you can begin by feeding your dog 75% of its current food and 25% of freeze-dried dog food on the first day, followed by 50% of each on the fourth day, 75% of its current food and 25% of freeze-dried dog food on the seventh day, and finally 100% freeze-dried dog food on the tenth day.

If your dog shows signs of digestive upset or discomfort during the transition, you can slow down the process or seek advice from your veterinarian.

4. Store it properly

If properly stored, freeze-dried dog food can last a long time. Freeze-dried dog food should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. After opening the package, you should reseal it tightly to prevent moisture and oxygen from spoiling the food.

To secure the package, you can use a ziplock bag, an airtight container, or a clip. Additionally, you should check the expiration date on the package and avoid feeding your dog any food that has expired or been damaged.

5. Check for spoilage or contamination

Although freeze-dried dog food is less likely than other types of food to spoil or become contaminated, it is still possible due to improper storage, handling, or manufacturing. Before feeding freeze-dried dog food to your dog, you should always inspect its appearance, odor, and texture.

If you notice any signs of spoilage or contamination, such as mold, insects, a foul odor, discoloration, or a change in texture, you should discard the food immediately and not feed it to your dog. You should also report the issue to the manufacturer or retailer.

If you’re looking for some top-quality freeze-dried dog food options, BestForPets highly recommends checking out our article on the best freeze-dried dog foods. There, you’ll find a comprehensive list of our favorite freeze-dried dog foods that are sure to provide your pup with all the nutrients they need.

Conclusion

Freeze-dried dog food is an ideal choice for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with a raw, natural diet without the fuss and mess of preparing fresh food. It offers numerous health benefits for dogs, including high protein and low carbohydrate content, absence of artificial preservatives, fillers, grains, and allergens, ease of storage, transportation, and preparation, versatility and customizability, and irresistible flavor for dogs.

As long as you follow some guidelines and precautions, freeze-dried dog food is also easy to use, including rehydrating it before feeding, measuring the proper amount, gradually transitioning from other types of food, storing it appropriately, and checking for spoilage or contamination.

BestForPets hopes this article has provided you with valuable information on freeze-dried dog food and helped you pick out the best type for your dog. If you have any queries or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!

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Dr. Elsa Fabian

Dr. Elsa Fabian, DVM, is a qualified veterinary and medical editor with seven years of experience and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She has edited approximately 700 projects, such as research papers published in academic publications, continuing medical education training materials, and pet health articles.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Elsa Fabian

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