What is the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Open Farm Homestead Turkey Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Raw feeding is made easy with a scoopable morsel format
  • High in protein and fresh turkey
  • No rendered poultry or meat meals
  • 100% traceable ingredients
  • No meat byproducts
  • Get 20% off your first auto-ship order with code VET20

What is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Freeze-dried dog food is a blend of raw ingredients that have been quickly frozen and dehydrated. This freeze-drying process locks in vital essentials such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food Expensive?

Yes, freeze-dried raw dog food is more expensive than traditional kibble. Organic freeze-dried dog food can also cost more than standard pet food.

However, these dog foods typically have limited ingredients and are gluten & grain-free. They are also more nutritious and closely resemble the dog‘s natural diet. Plus, when stored properly, freeze-dried dog food has a long shelf life.

Is Freeze-Dried Food Healthy for Dogs?

Yes, freeze-dried dog food is healthy.

However, the high-protein recipes often have high-fat content, which may not be appropriate for certain dogs. There is a lot to consider when choosing raw freeze-dried pet food.

Here are some benefits of using freeze-dried dog food:

  • Nutrient Density. As minimally processed foods, freeze-dried recipes are higher in nutrients and, therefore, more health-boosting than traditional kibble.
  • High-Quality Ingredients. Freeze-dried foods are usually made with high-quality ingredients carefully selected because of their nutritional value. Plus, they are often grain and gluten-free and packed with superfoods.
  • Palatability. Lacking artificial additives and packed with delicious ingredients, freeze-dried dog food is delicious and nicely textured. Freeze-dried recipes are ideal for picky eaters.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Freeze-Dried Food?

Yes, freeze-dried dog food can make dogs sick.

Here are some of the cases in which freeze-dried formulas can make dogs sick:

  • Inappropriate Storage & Serving. If the food is not properly stored or prepared, it can make dogs sick. This is because freeze-dried recipes are minimally processed and can go bad if left outside for longer.
  • Sudden Food Introduction. Because of the high nutrient density, freeze-dried food can cause stomach upset in dogs used to eating regular kibble. To avoid this, switch your dog to freeze-dried food gradually.

What’s the Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Food?

The main difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated dog food is the moisture content.

The freeze-drying process removes 98-99% of moisture without negatively affecting the texture or taste. Rehydration typically takes 2-3 minutes.

Dehydrated dog food only removes 95% of moisture while losing the otherwise appealing texture and becoming brittle. Rehydration can take up to 10 minutes.

These two types of pet food have other differences, too, including aroma, digestibility, and more.

The Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food Reviewed

There are many different freeze-dried dog food options available on the market. To help owners find the right formula for their dogs, we have reviewed the best-selling freeze-dried recipes.

Open Farm’s Homestead Turkey Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Summary: Delight any dog breed to nature’s best: a mixture that combines small meat chunks and vegetables to provide essential health benefits through protein and prebiotic fiber, all in a convenient, reusable travel pouch. This single-protein recipe is an irresistible complete meal or topper, thanks to a perfect blend of humanely raised raw turkey raised without antibiotics or hormones, with added organic veggies and superfoods. Get 20% off your first auto-ship order with code VET20.

Type: Freeze-dried raw dog food 

Best for: Dogs of all ages and sizes

Flavor Options: Chicken & Turkey 

Price: $2.59 per oz (based on a 13.5oz variant)

  • 20% off your first auto-ship order with code VET20.
  • Raw feeding made easy with scoopable morsel format
  • High in protein and fresh turkey
  • Meats from audited higher welfare farms
  • Free from rendered poultry or meat meals
  • 100% traceable ingredients
  • Has a higher price tag than other brands

Ingredient Analysis: 100% Animal Welfare Certified Turkey, Organic Carrots, Organic Blueberries, Organic Squash, Organic Spinach, Non-GMO Coconut Oil

Review: Customers are well-pleased with this product from Open Farm. They reported that their dogs have eaten this topper right up, and even those picky eaters and those with health conditions delightfully ate this freeze-dried dog food. 

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

Summary: This freeze-dried raw dog food topper uses high-quality protein, fruits, and vegetables to create tasty nuggets that enhance pet food and can be used as healthy treats. Made in the USA with traditional dog food flavors, Instinct Raw’s boost mixers satisfy adult dogs.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Grass-Fed Lamb; Cage-Free Chicken; All-Natural Beef

Price: $2.06 – $2.36 per ounce

  • Freeze-dried for improved flavor for picky eaters
  • Made in the USA without artificial preservatives or fillers
  • Ideal as a tasty meal mixer or as dog treats
  • Contains vital essentials using fruits, veggies, and high-quality protein
  • Completely grain-free recipe
  • Relatively high-fat content

Ingredient Analysis: Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, free-range chicken, turkey heart, lamb, pumpkin seeds, beef spleen, carrots, apples, butternut squash, ground flaxseed, montmorillonite clay, dried kelp, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, fish oil, rosemary extract, blueberries, dried chicory root

Review: This raw meat freeze-dried dog food topper has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon. Pet parents note that their dogs love the flavor, get more excited about meal times, and have shinier coats. The protein-packed nuggets are also easy to add to any pet food and have a long shelf life in the freezer.

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Grain-Free Dog Food

Summary: Instinct’s freeze-dried grain-free dog food is a well-balanced option for dogs on raw diets. The high-quality protein comes from grass-fed livestock and combines nutritious fruits and veggies. The freeze-drying process locks in nutrients, supporting healthy skin and coats, energy level, and weight management. With no artificial preservatives, additives, or supplements, this raw meal promotes wellness in dogs at any life stage.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Grass-Fed Lamb; All-Natural Beef; Free-Range Chicken

Price: $1.91 – $2.17 per ounce

  • Minimally processed quality ingredients
  • Grain-free, all-natural, and without artificial additives
  • Raw diet supports healthy digestion and strong immune systems
  • 3x more real meat than kibble
  • Ideal for both small breed and large breed dogs
  • More expensive than dehydrated dog food

Ingredient Analysis: Free-range chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, montmorillonite clay, tricalcium phosphate, ground flaxseed, fish oil, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, yeast culture, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, taurine, essential minerals, DL-methionine, blueberries, spinach, rosemary

Review: Customers have rated this freeze-dried dog food 4.7 out of 5 stars, thanks to the high-quality formulas available. Dog owners love the fact that the great flavor is loved by picky eaters and makes dogs excited for meal times. The variety of flavors makes it easy to accommodate raw meals for every life stage.

ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Dog Food & Topper

Summary: This versatile freeze-dried raw dog food uses all-natural meats like venison, turkey, and grass-fed lamb to provide high-quality protein and a variety of fruits and veggies to ensure balanced nutrients. The raw meal nuggets are perfect for dogs on a raw meal diet, as a topper on pet food, and as a rewarding treat.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Wild Tundra Game Recipe; Turkey & Chicken Recipe; Beef Recipe

Price: $2.48 – $2.75 per ounce

  • 90% of each recipe is made up of high-quality meats
  • Every flavor is grain-free
  • Has a long shelf life when stored in the freezer
  • Picky eaters love the strong aroma and taste
  • Made in the USA
  • Large breeds may only enjoy this as a topper food
  • Contains a blend of meats rather than a single type

Ingredient Analysis: Duck, venison, grass-fed lamb, wild-caught flounder, wild boar, wild-caught herring, goat, beef, free-range chicken, free-range turkey, cage-free eggs, pork, pea fiber, salt, kelp, calcium, vitamin E supplement, carrots, apples, collard greens, whole pumpkin

Review: Pet parents love this freeze-dried dog food option, which is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. Dogs love the great taste, and the fully balanced formula supports a healthy digestive system, helping to curb bad breath. This high-protein raw diet boosts energy and builds muscle in active dogs. Pet owners say their dogs are more excited for meal times with this topper and dog food instead of ordinary kibble.

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties

Summary: This recipe for Stella & Chewy‘s freeze-dried raw diet dinner patties offer quality ingredients in a form more natural to dogs. Using raw meat, beef heart, fish oil, bone broth, and other important proteins from grass-fed livestock alongside fruits and veggies, dogs in all life stages will love the authentic taste.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Duck; Lamb; Rabbit; Red Meat; Salmon & Beef; Turkey; Venison & Lamb; Pork; Venison

Price: $2.43 – $3.36 per ounce

  • Supports healthy gums, coats, and skin
  • Made with grass-fed beef and organic produce
  • No added hormones or artificial preservatives
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • Minimally processed and easy to digest
  • Patties are too small for very large breeds

Ingredient Analysis: Grass-fed beef, whole ground salmon, beef heart, beef liver, beef bone, salmon, venison, pork, free-range chicken, free-range duck, free-range turkey, free-range goose, lamb, rabbit, olive oil, pumpkin seed, potassium chloride, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, sodium phosphate monobasic, organic carrots, organic squash, organic apples, organic blueberries, essential minerals, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 supplement

Review: This freeze-dried dog food is rated by customers as a 4.7 out of 5. Picky eaters love the flavor varieties and the natural ingredients. The convenient shape makes it easy to feed pets the correct amount. This raw diet dog food promotes health and wellness using the quality ingredients nature intended dogs to eat.

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixers Dog Food Topper

Summary: Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw meal mixer nuggets go right on top of pet food to provide a boost of energy, vitamins, minerals, and protein. High-quality ingredients such as organic fruits and veggies and grass-fed beef combine to create a balanced topper for kibble and other dog food options.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Duck; Lamb; Turkey; Salmon & Cod; Pork

Price: $2.44 – $2.75 per ounce

  • No rehydration required
  • Supports health and wellness
  • High protein content with 95% raw meat
  • Perfect as a meal topper or a dog treat
  • Easy to digest and loved by picky eaters
  • High-fat content may not be suitable for all dogs

Ingredient Analysis: Free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, beef heart, salmon, cod, fish oil, turkey, lamb, pork, duck, pumpkin seed, potassium chloride, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, sodium phosphate monobasic, organic carrots, organic squash, organic apples, organic blueberries, essential minerals, tocopherols, vitamin E Supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement

Review: Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by customers, this freeze-dried topper is great for adding some nutrients to any dog’s dinner. Picky eaters especially love the flavor, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. The high-quality ingredients ensure vital essentials are included through organic veggies and grass-fed protein. Every nugget is perfectly balanced to enhance meals and can be used as a healthy alternative to dog treats.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Mini Nibs Dog Food

Summary: Vital Essentials creates a variety of recipes to develop high-protein raw meal toppers. The freeze-drying process they use locks in nutrients and preserves flavors that dogs love. Made in the USA, this premium raw meat product can be used as a dog food topper or as a dog treat.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef Recipe

Price: $2.09 per ounce

  • More affordable than other brands
  • Grain-free recipes
  • Limited ingredients used
  • Minimal processing helps reduce allergies
  • Supports healthy weight, skin, and coats
  • Bite-sized nuggets are too small to be large breed dog treats

Ingredient Analysis: Beef, beef heart, fish oil, vitamin E supplement, essential minerals, mixed tocopherols

Review: This freeze-dried dog food topper is rated 4.7 out of 5. The tasty recipes are great on top of dog and cat food and can easily be used as healthy treats. Each nugget contains nutrients from quality fruits, veggies, and raw meat. The limited ingredients help with digestion, while the included vitamins and minerals help maintain healthy skin and coat.

Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Complete Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Summary: A premium blend of high-quality protein, Nutra Complete’s freeze-dried raw dog food is a balanced meal for dogs at all life stages. The versatile raw meat nuggets can be used as a dog food topper or as a complete meal for small breeds.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Beef; Pork

Price: $3.20 per ounce

  • Made with no fillers or artificial preservatives
  • Vet-created recipe for premium health and wellness
  • Made in the USA with ranch-raised protein
  • Contains vital essentials from fruits and veggies
  • Can be used as a raw meal, a dog food topper, or a dog treat
  • A bit more expensive than comparable products

Ingredient Analysis: Beef, pork, flax seed, dried kelp, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, chicory, salt, cranberries, yeast culture, pumpkin seeds, vitamin E supplement, niacin extract, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin A supplement, mixed tocopherols, riboflavin supplement

Review: With a 4.3 out of 5 rating, customers with picky eaters agree that this flavorful recipe is a winner. The veterinarian-backed recipes only use high-quality ingredients to create freeze-dried dog food that provides all the vitamins and minerals that dogs need. This high-protein pet food can be added to kibble or other dog food as a topper, or it can be used as a healthy dog treat. Many pet parents found that small breeds could enjoy this as a raw meal as well.

Nature's Diet Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Raw Whole Food Meal

Summary: This raw, freeze-dried dog food from Nature‘s Diet offers safe and easy prep with the convenience of a recipe with a long shelf life. The premium nutrition and high-protein content is an excellent raw meal alternative to traditional kibble and canned pet food.

Type: Raw freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Beef; Turkey

Price: $0.62 per ounce

  • Promotes holistic wellness and longevity
  • Natural flavors help manage picky eaters
  • Uses superfoods to boost health and wellness
  • High protein content supports raw diets
  • Easily digestible recipes
  • Needs water added before serving

Ingredient Analysis: Raw turkey heart, raw turkey liver, raw beef heart, raw beef liver, eggs, bone broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, cranberries, spinach, fish oil

Review: Many pet parents love this raw meal option for their dogs because of its quality ingredients. Rated at 3.7 out of 5, this freeze-dried food is ideal for small breeds and picky eaters, although any adult dog may enjoy the blend of flavors. Mixing with water is easy and makes the high-protein mix into a tasty and hearty stew that dogs will love.

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What Should I Look for in Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Pet parents should look for freeze-dried dog food that uses high-quality, limited ingredients to find a recipe that your dog will love. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Ingredient Quality. Freeze-dried dog or cat food should include essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and veggies. All of the recipe’s ingredients should be high-quality and nutrient-dense.
  • No Artificial Additives. High-quality freeze-dried foods must be free from artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives. It should also be free from low-quality components like meat meals, by-products, fillers, and allergens.
  • Price Tag. Also, you need to consider the price of the freeze-dried formula. In general, such recipes are more expensive, and if you have a big dog, the costs will quickly add up.

Finally, consider your dog’s dietary needs when considering the pros and cons of freeze-dried dog food, and consult your vet if you have any doubts.

Do You Have to Rehydrate Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Yes, freeze-dried dog food is meant to be rehydrated before serving. Rehydrating only takes a few minutes and makes the food taste much better for your dog.

How Long Does Freeze-Dried Dog Food Last?

Freeze-dried dog food lasts 30 days in the freezer. Storing raw dog food can be easy, but after 30 days, the taste and quality will not be as good.

Once outside the freezer, raw freeze-dried dog food can last up to two hours.