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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here!

dehydrated dog food

A dog’s nutrition is directly tied to the dog’s health. So it’s vital that you feed only quality dog food to improve and maintain your pet’s good health. And one of those being recommended by many animal care professionals are dehydrated dog foods. But what exactly are these?

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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DEHYDRATED DOG FOOD

Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 2
  • Real raw nutrition
  • Made with grass-fed beef
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 4
  • Just add warm water
  • Easy homemade meal
  • Complete and balanced
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 2
  • Made with superfoods
  • Free from gluten and soy
  • Packed with grass-fed beef
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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DEHYDRATED DOG FOOD

   
Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 8
  • Made in a human food facility
  • Dogs eat the same quality of food as you
  • Safe and healhty diet
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 10
  • Features 96% animal content
  • Manufactures 100% natural pet food
  • Zero carbs, zero fillers
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 8
  • Makes serving raw food easy
  • Shelf-stable and easy-prep formula
  • Pre-mixed with farm-fresh produce
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →

What is a Dehydrated Dog Food?

Dehydrated dog foods (also called “raw dehydrated” foods) are actually dry dog foods, though they are not produced the same way as most kibbles. The moisture in the food is removed using a drying process. The food is lightly cooked as it dries, though not for very long and not at a high temperature.

But this light cooking process is enough to alter the cellular structure of the food (meats, vegetables, fruits). This form of processing can preserve the nutrients in the food better than in foods cooked at high temperatures such as kibble or canned foods.

Dehydrated dog food has a number of benefits and it is growing in popularity. By many accounts, dehydration is an ancient way to preserve food, though we use machinery to do it now.

The Best Dehydrated Dog Food Recipes

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 13
Ziwi Peak Mackerel & Lamb
  • Features 96% animal content
  • Manufactures 100% natural pet food
  • Zero carbs, zero fillers
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 14
Honest Kitchen Chicken & Oat Food Clusters
  • Made in a human food facility
  • Dogs eat the same quality of food as you
  • Safe and healhty diet
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 15
I and Love and You Stir & Boom Raw Raw Turk Boom Ba Dinner
  • Protein starts with cage-free turkey
  • Incorporated with veggies
  • Gluten-free, low-glycemic recipe
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 16
Addiction Perfect Summer Brushtail
  • Crafted to be hypoallergenic
  • Contains a novel and rare ingredient
  • An ideal choice for dogs with severe food allergies
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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 17
Sojos Mix-A-Meal Fruit & Veggie Pre-Mix
  • Makes serving raw food easy
  • Shelf-stable and easy-prep formula
  • Pre-mixed with farm-fresh produce
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon

Choosing the best dehydrated dog food for your pup is not easy because there are so many dehydrated dog food brands and recipes to choose from.

We’d like to help you narrow down your search a little by reviewing some of the best dehydrated dog foods we’ve come across. Here they are:

  1. Ziwi Peak Mackerel & Lamb
  2. The Honest Kitchen Chicken & Oat Food Clusters
  3. I and Love and You Stir & Boom Raw Raw Turk Boom Ba Dinner
  4. Addiction Perfect Summer Brushtail
  5. Sojos Mix-A-Meal Fruit & Veggie Pre-Mix
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1. Ziwi Peak Mackerel & Lamb Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver,

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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 18
This diet includes fresh meat, bones, organs and green mussels for a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine to support joint health.

Manufactured by ZiwiPeak, an award-winning pet food manufacturer of 100% natural food, this recipe contains 96% meat, organs, bones, and New Zealand mussels. 

The brand is known for its air-dried dog food recipes, which do not need rehydration before feeding. The food contains more moisture than kibble, but it’s completely safe, clean, and easy to handle.

Apart from its clean and meaty quality ingredients, this natural dog food only uses ethically- and sustainably-sourced wild-caught fish and free-range meats. No added hormones, antibiotics, or growth promotants were used in any of them. 

What’s more, this air-dried dog food formulation has a high protein content (43%) to provide your pup with all the energy he needs to fuel his daily activities and all the nutrients he needs for proper muscle development and maintenance.

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Pros: 

  • High protein content
  • Clean ingredients
  • Sustainably and ethically-sourced meats and fish

Con:

  • Has a slight fishy smell

What customers say:

This dog food recipe has a 4.6 stars out of 5 rating from 166 satisfied dog owners. A dog’s natural craving is for meat and a whole-prey formulation takes care of that.

Many buyers have reported that if their dogs were feeling particularly picky, this dog food is something their pets can never say no to.

The dehydrated dog food can work as a topper or a full meal. Since this grain-free dog food has a softer and thinner food form than kibble, it’s an ideal meal for pups of all life stages and breeds.

Some customers say, however, that the food has a fishy smell (due to the mackerel), which not all pet parents will like.

2. Honest Kitchen Chicken & Oat Food Clusters

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Oats, Barley, Chicken Liver, Carrots

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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 19
Only offers human-grade food for your precious pooch, meaning the clusters are made from whole foods you’d recognize from your own kitchen.

The Honest Kitchen is another well-known brand that features human-grade dehydrated dog food. It offers both complete meals and base mixes so you can add your own foods to the diets.

The brand has a wide selection of dog food diets including grain-free and meals with grains. You can also try samples of their foods for a modest price.

This particular dog food recipe combines cage-free chicken with gentle-on-the-tummy oats for a nutrient-rich diet that’s safe and healthy for your pup. The bite-sized clusters of raw pet food are cold-pressed and dehydrated to keep all of the essential nutrients intact.

The minimally-processed ingredients do not include gums, artificial flavors, carrageenan, feed-grade products, fillers, meat meals, or artificial preservatives. There are only clusters of whole foods that you’d recognize from your own kitchen. 

Pros: 

  • Made for all breed sizes and ages
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Crafted in small batches

Con:

  • A little bit hard

What customers say:

37 reviewers from Chewy gave this dog food recipe 4.6 stars out of 5. Many are satisfied with the quality of the dog food and the simple, clean ingredients that make up the diet.

In fact, one person reported that he has been feeding Honest Kitchen to his 9-year old pups, and they look and act great for their age.

Mealtimes are a breeze because even most picky eaters tend to lick their bowls clean. The dog food also smells amazing, which is a big plus for pet parents. You can also clearly see and recognize all the ingredients that go into the dog food.

3. I and Love and You Stir & Boom Raw Raw Turk Boom Ba Dinner

First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Yellow Split Peas, Carrots, Cabbage

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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 20
This recipe is made from real cage-free turkey plus other organic ingredients such as carrots, peas, cabbage, sweet potatoes and more.

I and Love You is an American company made up of a team of veterinarians and animal nutrition experts to create some of the best whole nutrition food in the market. Fillers, soy, and corn have no place in any of its dog food recipes. 

This raw dehydrated dog food uses cage-free turkey as its first ingredient and follows it up with whole eggs for a protein-rich diet that has a protein content of 32%. In addition to the meat, wholesome veggies like carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes balance the dog food out.

The minimally processed dietary option is grain-free, gluten-free, and low-glycemic, so it’s the perfect meal for healthy weight management and support for dogs with sensitivities. 

Pros: 

  • Crafted for dogs of all ages and breeds
  • Low-glycemic, grain-free, and gluten-free
  • High protein content (32%)

Con:

  • Too many veggies in the food

What customers say:

This I And Love You formulation has a combined rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 from 29 reviewers. According to them, the dehydrated raw dog food looks interesting and is a hit with picky eaters. Not only does the food look healthy, the results can be seen too in their pets’ shiny coats, happy tummies, and healthy skin. 

Most dogs who love canned food will also have no trouble transitioning to this type of raw pet food because once water is added, it’s basically the same.

Buyers also commended the price point, which is fair. However, one person mentioned that there is too much veggies in this raw pet food.

4. Addiction Perfect Summer Brushtail

First 5 ingredients: Brushtail, Potatoes, Carrots, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil

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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 21
This is a hypoallergenic meal. The main protein source is brushtail which your pet will surely drool over since it is not a common ingredient found in other brands.

Addiction is a dog food brand that is dedicated to changing the lives of pets through a holistic nutrition approach. Not only are the dog food recipes wholesome, the ingredients are also eco-friendly and sustainable. 

This dog food recipe is crafted to be hypoallergenic so that even food sensitive dogs will enjoy. The single animal protein is brushtail possum, which is a novel and rare ingredient in dog food.

The real raw meat is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that, along with coconut oil, is responsible for giving your pup a beautiful coat and healthy skin.

A dog’s natural diet in the wild is raw, which gives them all of the nutrients they need to survive bleak conditions. This food makes use of raw nutrition by packing it with superfoods to supply all the natural vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids your pooch needs to be healthy. 

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Pros:

  • Uses a single and novel animal protein
  • All natural dog food that’s gluten- and soy-free
  • Each box makes up three times the amount of food as the package weight

Con:

  • Smelly

What customers say:

29 reviewers gave this unique raw diet dog food formulation an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Many adult dogs with severe food allergies or sensitive stomachs are reported to be doing well on this raw diet. There is less itching and less throwing up.

The dog food provides great value because it makes up about three times the amount of food the package weighs once water has been added in.

A lot of dogs also seem to love the taste and have no problem transitioning to it. However, a buyer has complained that while she has no problem with the dog food quality, the scent is something else entirely.

5. Sojos Mix-A-Meal Fruit & Veggie Pre-Mix

First 5 ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Apples, Whole Egg, Cranberries

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Is Dehydrated Dog Food a Good Idea for Your Pet? Get the Facts Here! 22
This dehydrated meal packs the nutritional value you can only get from feeding raw. When you mix it with water, this freeze-dried food transforms into a delectable, wholesome meal.

Sojos is a dog food brand that believes in making raw food easy. It offers raw food diets that combine the shelf-stable and easy prep convenience of kibble with the high nutrition found in raw. 

This particular pre-mix recipe makes it easy for dog owners to customize their pups’ meals according to sensitivities or taste preference. The pre-mix is filled with wholesome farm-fresh produce like kelp, cranberries, and ginger root to create a delicious and nutrient-rich feast.

The only thing missing is the meat and water. Adding meat to it (per directions) makes it a complete and balanced meal. Otherwise, it’s perfect as a supplement to your dog’s diet. It is free from gluten, grains, GMO, fillers, and artificial ingredients.

Pros:

  • Uses non-GMO ingredients
  • Can be used as a supplement or as a complete meal
  • Makes five times the amount of food compared to weight

 Con:

  • Expensive

What customers say:

197 reviewers combined to give this Sojos recipe an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Dog owners are happy that their pets are thriving on the food—gaining needed weight, getting shiny and thick coats, and scratching less (due to allergies).

Even though it’s a veggie mix, dogs are gulping it down and licking their bowls clean. It’s perfect on its own as a topper or supplement, but when meat is added, it becomes a complete meal. However, even with its many benefits, it is still an expensive option for some.

dehydrated dog food

Dehydrated Food Vs. Freeze-Dried

While it is a little confusing to consumers, retailers often lump dehydrated dog foods and freeze-dried foods together, as Chewy.com does. We place freeze-dried foods with raw frozen foods instead. 

Some people confuse dehydrated food with freeze-dried dog food because in both, raw food goes through a drying process to remove all moisture, but they’re not the same. Some dog food brands add to the confusion by labeling freeze-dried food as dehydrated. This usually happens when the freeze-dried dog food needs to be rehydrated again before feeding.

In order to be called dehydrated, the dog food must have 90-95% of its moisture content removed. Freeze-dried dog food will usually have around 98%-99% of their moisture removed. The process that freeze-dried dog food goes through removes more moisture than dehydrating does.

Both have the advantage of having longer shelf life than regular kibble or canned food. 

Types of Dehydrated Food Processes

You may have heard dehydrated dog food brands label their foods differently like, “air-dried dog foods,” or “smoked dog foods.” That’s because there are many ways to make dehydrated food. Dog food brands differ in how they craft dehydrated food. 

Some use an air-drying process, some use smoke, others prefer wind, and some do it by sun drying (although this takes a long time and is mostly done by small home-based dog food businesses.)

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Benefits of Feeding Dehydrated Dog Foods

Why feed your pet dehydrated pet food? What are the advantages? The answer is, plenty.

1. It goes a long way.

With the moisture removed from the dog food, the food doesn’t take up much space. But when you rehydrate, the dog food expands. The Honest Kitchen has a nice page showing you how 10 pounds of their food makes 40 pounds when you rehydrate it. 

Dehydrated food does seem expensive when you compare it to kibble but you have to adjust the cost according to how much dog food it will make once it is rehydrated. In many cases you will feed your dog less food when you are feeding a dehydrated dog food.

2. It’s convenient.

Dehydrated food is also easy to carry and store. And it does not require any freezing, refrigerating, or special care before you are ready to use it. Many dehydrated foods only need water mixed in to create a complete and balanced meal. For some, no water is required. Lastly, the long shelf life is a big bonus.

3. It’s healthier.

Because there is very minimal processing involved and no artificial preservatives added in, you can be sure that your pet is eating only a safe, healthy, and delicious meal.

And of course, since most of the nutrients of the dog food is preserved, your dog gets more nutrition per mouthful.

4. Dogs love it.

Who wouldn’t if you’re presented with dog food that smells really good to your doggy senses? Since the dehydrated dog food is minimally processed, the natural scent of the ingredients, especially of the meat, will smell really enticing even to finicky canines.

dehydrated dog food
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Our Conclusion

Dehydrated raw dog food is one of the best meals you can feed your pup. If you love the nutrition that raw dog food provides but don’t want the messiness or the inconvenience of one, going the dehydrated route is one of your next best options (another  healthy alternative is to feed your pet freeze-dried dog food). 

Although a common criticism of dehydrated dog food diets—even those with complete meals, but especially pre-mixes—is that when tested by outside sources, they do not always seem to provide a complete and balanced diet. This could be because dog owners do not follow the directions correctly when it comes to mixing the meals.

On their own, most dehydrated foods are nutritionally complete. All the nutritional benefits you’d expect from kibble or canned food, like essential amino acids as well as essential vitamins and minerals, should be present. 

The health benefits with a dehydrated food diet is even better because there is less or no cooking process involved, meaning more healthy nutrients remain intact and there are no dangerous chemicals or ingredients added. 

Our advice when feeding dehydrated dog food if you want your pup to get the most out of this raw diet: Strictly follow feeding directions. If you are supposed to add any supplements or meat to the meals, make sure that you do. If the directions advise against adding supplements, follow the directions. 

If your dog fails to thrive on one of these diets, by all means, change the diet to something that suits him better because each dog is a unique individual with his own specific nutritional needs. The best dehydrated dog food for one may not be the best for another.

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