Premium freeze dried and dehydrated pet foods offer the perfect combination of optimal nutrition and convenience.
Love, exercise and nourishing food…they’re what dogs and cats need in order to flourish. Love is the best part. Exercise is the fun part. And good food is what keeps them healthy, active and in our lives for as many years as possible.
Nowadays, there are as many pet food choices as there are breeds. Food recalls have prompted many of us to learn where and how foods are made and what goes into them. A lot of people have made the switch to higher quality premium foods. Even then the options can be overwhelming – raw, organic, grain-free, gluten-free, hormone-free – which way should you go? Along with frozen raw, canned and dry premium foods, you can also get freeze dried or dehydrated diets for your companion. They’re a favorite with many people because they combine the nutrient value of raw food with the convenience of kibble.
Are they one and the same?
Dehydration basically means exposing raw food to a slow, gentle heating process that removes the moisture content without cooking the food. Freeze drying also involves dehydration in a way, but in this case, the food is rapidly frozen, a process that also removes moisture.
The high heat used in cooking can destroy enzymes, denature proteins and break down beneficial nutrients, but because little or no heat is used in dehydrating or freeze-drying food, the ingredients retain their original vitamins, enzymes, minerals, antioxidants and micronutrients.
Premium companies ensure only the best quality ingredients go into their freeze dried or dehydrated foods. Steve’s Real Foods, for example, uses a ratio of 75% whole meat and 25% fresh fruits and vegetables in their freeze dried dog food. Cats get about 90% meat and 10% fruits and vegetables. You just add warm water to rehydrate the food, or serve it dry with water on the side. The company’s recipes include chicken, turkey, duck or beef and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
“These days, people want to know and trust what’s in their animal’s dish,” says Maggie Johnson of Sojos. “They care more than ever about what is going into their animal’s body. With freeze dried and dehydrated foods, you know what you are getting, which is real fresh ingredients thathave been not been cooked or altered; they have simply had the moisture removed in order to maintain freshness and stability. People are able to feed their animals food that is still full of the naturally-occurring nutrients they need for optimal health.”
You can also get dehydrated or freeze dried treats – they’re easy to pack and carry, and are healthy and low in fat as well as tasty. Onesta Organics uses low heat dehydration to preserve the ingredient quality of their organic pet food treats. No previously cooked ingredients are added to their whole food recipe.
Additional benefits Freeze dried and dehydrated foods can be a good choice for animals with allergies. The Honest Kitchen recently launched a new dehydrated food made with wild caught haddock or whiting. “It was inspired by customers whose dogs have allergies to conventional meat sources,” says Lucy Postins of The Honest Kitchen. Along with the dehydrated white fish, it also contains dehydrated sweet potatoes, eggs, coconut, alfalfa, apples, parsley, green beans, cabbage, bananas, salmon and cranberries.
Great for travel and ideal for the time-challenged, the price of freeze dried or dehydrated foods is going to be significantly higher than ordinary kibble from the grocery store, but your animal will eat less of it and get more nutritional benefit from it – better quality means less quantity. Steve’s Real Foods estimates that the cost of feeding a ten-pound dog a freeze-dried diet costs little more than a dollar a day. Feeding a six-pound cat costs only 73 cents a day.
We’re lucky to live in a world that offers our dogs and cats so many food choices. Premium freeze dried and dehydrated pet foods add to these choices in a natural, easy and nutritious way.
If you wish, you can add fresh foods to your companion’s freeze dried or dehydrated diet. Approved add-ins include sweet potatoes, steamed fresh or canned pumpkin (plain, not pie filling), yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, fresh herbs, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and fruits like blueberries, strawberries and cranberries.
Resources & Companies
Nature’s Variety Instinct, naturesvariety.com
Northwest Naturals, rawnaturalpetfood.com
Onesta Organics, onestaorganics.com
Steve’s Real Food, stevesrealfoods.com
The Honest Kitchen, thehonestkitchen.com