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Raw food is becoming an increasingly popular dog food choice, but fresh raw food can be messy, and it can be complicated trying to ensure your dog is getting the right nutrients. That’s why dehydrated raw dog food is becoming a new favorite dog food choice for people concerned with the quality of their dog’s diet.
Dehydrated raw dog food includes the benefits of raw dog food with the convenience of kibble.
There are a ton of different dehydrated foods on the market these days, so it can be tough to figure out which is the most appropriate recipe for your dog. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find the diet that will work the best for you and your dog.
Here is a summary of our top 10 picks for the best dehydrated dog food.
Cooking destroys many of the nutrients in meat, fruits, and vegetables, which means that most commercial dog foods need to have vitamins sprayed onto the kibble after it’s cooked to replace the nutrition that’s lost during the cooking process.
Dehydrated raw dog food is air dried, which eliminates the mess of handling raw meat while still retaining the nutrition of the original ingredients. Dehydrated meat may be jerky-style, pellets, soft bites, or flakes and can often be served either dry or rehydrated with water.
As a result, this type of food has the convenience of kibble while retaining the nutritional benefits of a raw diet.
READ MORE: Raw vs Kibble: Which Dog Food is Best?
While some dehydrated food needs to soak in water for 15 minutes before you feed it to your dog, this jerky style food can be fed straight to your dog like kibble. The ¼” pieces are also the perfect size to use as training treats.
Ingredients: Lamb, Cod, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Parsley, Pumpkin, Rosemary, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Ground Lamb Bone, Vegetable Glycerin, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Sulfate, Nicotinic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement,Manganous Oxide,Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ethylenediamine
User Reviews: The only complaints people have about this food is the variable size of the jerky pieces and occasionally too much meat “dust” in the package compared to edible pieces. Other than that, even the pickiest of dogs love it, and dogs with allergies thrive on it.
Bottom Line: Without a single complaint about dogs getting sick or having allergic reactions, this might be the best food you can buy for your dog. You can use it as a nutritionally complete diet, food topper, or training treat. It has the convenience of kibble with much healthier ingredients closer to what dogs would eat in the wild.
If you already feed your dog raw meat but you’re looking for a supplemental mix to ensure their diet is fully rounded, this is the best you can get. This dehydrated blend contains vegetables, fruits, seeds, bone meal, and crushed eggshell to help make sure your dog is getting the right nutrients to supplement the meat and oil you choose to feed them.
Ingredients: Broccoli, Green Beans, Squash, Carrots, Celery, Cabbage, Crushed Eggshell, Spinach, Pumpkin, Beets, Raw Goat’s Milk Powder, Apples, Blueberries, Bone Meal, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Milk Thistle, Ginger, Spirulina, Kelp, Parsley, Eggshell Membrane
User Reviews: One dog owner complained that it made their dogs sick and one owner said their picky dog was slow to warm up to it, but most people said their dogs loved it and were thriving, even dogs with multiple food sensitivities or complicated health problems.
Bottom Line: If you want to feed your dog raw meat but are concerned about making sure their diet is rounded out, this is exactly the mix you’ve been looking for. Just add the protein and oil of your choice, and you have a balanced raw diet.
These freeze-dried patties can be served as-is or rehydrated, which makes it easy to tailor it to your dog’s preference and water-drinking habits. The food is 95% meat-based with fruits and vegetables to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need.
Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, beef bone, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, organic carrots, organic squash, organic blueberries, fenugreek seed, potassium chloride, dried kelp, sodium phosphate, tocopherols (preservative), choline chloride, dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, taurine, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid
User Reviews: People who buy this product report some quality control issues and there are reports of dogs getting sick from this food. However, most people and dogs love this food and thrive on it.
Bottom Line: The patties are super convenient and can be used as treats or a food topper if you don’t want to feed them alone as a complete diet. This food doesn’t agree with all dogs, but most dogs do well on it.
Want the convenience of kibble with the benefits of raw? This jerky-style freeze-dried food is served as-is, with no need to break patties into smaller pieces or add water to rehydrate. The addition of New Zealand green mussels adds a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin for additional joint support.
Ingredients: Lamb Meat, Liver, Lung, Tripe, Heart and Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lecithin, Chicory Inulin, Dried Kelp, Parsley, Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, Vitamins, Minerals
User Reviews: There are quite a few reports of people receiving bags of seemingly spoiled or moldy food when ordered online that made dogs sick, but most people say their dog loves the food and their quality of life has improved, especially for several dogs with food allergies.
Bottom Line: This jerky-style food works great as a training treat if you can’t afford to feed it to your dog full-time. It’s so energy-dense that you can feed less of it than you do kibble, making it easier to take with you when traveling or camping. Most dogs thrive on it, especially dogs with food allergies.
With 99% meat, organ, and bones, this might be the meatiest freeze-dried food you can find. It also has one of the simplest ingredient lists. Even though you need to add water to rehydrate the food, it retains its crunchy texture for dogs who don’t like mushy food.
Ingredients: Beef, beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, beef blood, beef fat, herring oil (natural source of vitamin D), mixed tocopherols (natural antioxidant), d-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E)
User Reviews: Not all dogs enjoy or do well on this meat-heavy food, but many dogs love it and thrive on it. Most people use it for treats or as a food topper rather than as a standalone diet, while others use it in place of a fresh raw diet when they travel.
Bottom Line: They only offer small bag sizes, so for large dogs, this food might be better used as a treat or food topper. It’s also convenient for traveling if you normally feed a fresh raw diet when you’re at home.
This food is less protein-heavy than some other dehydrated dog foods and includes more fruits, vegetables, and vitamins, which makes it a little more well-rounded than some other foods. The moist bites are a nice change from hard pellets, jerky pieces, or dry flakes or patties of other foods.
Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chickpeas, Peas, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Tomato Pomace, Salt, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Ground Flaxseed, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Chicory Root Extract, Zinc Propionate, Potassium Citrate, Apples, Blueberries, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Zinc Proteinate, Parsley, Zinc Sulfate, Dried Kale, Carrots, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract
User Reviews: People reported problems getting stale or expired products delivered, and some dogs got sick from this food, but most dogs love it. The soft bites have a consistency in between wet food and kibble that dogs seem to enjoy.
Bottom Line: For dogs that can’t handle a diet that’s too rich in protein, this is a good option. It doesn’t need to be rehydrated or crumbled, which makes it convenient. Just keep an eye out of stale or expired bags.
This food is designed to supplement a raw diet. If you prefer to select your dog’s meat, organs, and bones yourself, this is a great supplemental food to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrition they need from their raw diet.
Ingredients: Potatoes, flax sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin, garlic, vitamin supplements
User Reviews: While a few dogs didn’t like this food, most dogs love it. Since you add your own meat, it’s easy to customize for dogs with special dietary requirements. That makes it great for dogs with allergies or who are just picky.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a product to round out the meat you give your dog, this is a great option. A little bit goes a long way, and most dogs love the flavor. With limited ingredients and no proteins, this food is easy to customize for just about any dog’s needs.
Food allergies are becoming more common, and it can be difficult to find foods with unique protein sources that are well-tolerated by dogs with food allergies. You won’t find brushtail in any other dog foods. Brushtail is a marsupial found in New Zealand that’s considered a pest because it destroys wildlife and forests.
Ingredients: Brushtail, Potatoes, Papayas, Canola Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Carrots, Spinach, Tapioca, Choline Chloride, Taurine, with added vitamins and minerals
User Reviews: There are occasional complaints of poor quality control, but most dogs love the taste of this food and even dogs with multiple food allergies thrive on it.
Bottom Line: If you have a dog with multiple food allergies and are finding it difficult to get food that won’t bother your dog, this brushtail dehydrated food is a great option.
Ingredients: Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Egg, Flax Seeds, Carrots, Apples, Coconut, Salmon, Cranberries, Tricalcium Phosphate, Celery, Bananas, Pumpkin, Spinach, Fenugreek Seeds, Kelp, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Fumerate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid
User Reviews: As with most foods, some dogs don’t like this food, and some got sick after eating it. However, most dogs enjoyed this food and did well on it. You may need to add more or less water than what the package recommends to keep your pup happy with the consistency.
Bottom Line: This is a good choice for freeze-dried food and is somewhat more reasonably priced than other dehydrated raw dog foods.
This food comes in pellet shapes that can be fed to your dog with or without being rehydrated first. It contains natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for skin and coat health as well as reducing inflammation and blood pressure.
Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Chicken Gizzard, Squash, Apples, Carrots, Broccoli, Eggs, Ground Flaxseed, Inulin, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apple Cider Vinegar, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Fish Oil, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative)
User Reviews: While a few dogs didn’t like the food or got sick, most of the complaints were about the price, especially for large dogs. Price aside, most dogs love this food and do well on it. Most reviewers prefer to use it as a treat or food topper due to the price.
Bottom Line: This food comes in very small bags and is on the expensive side, but it’s a high-quality food that most dogs love and thrive one. It’s a great choice to use as a training treat if you can’t afford to feed it as your dog’s primary food source.
If this is your first time buying dehydrated raw dog food, you probably have a lot of questions about what to look for in a good food. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The protein content of dehydrated meat may range anywhere from 70-98%. Some dogs need plenty of protein in their diet, while other dogs benefit from having more fruits and veggies in the food to balance out all the meat.
Keep in mind what you like to treat your dog with on the side, too: if you often share your veggies with your pup but not your meat, choose a dehydrated dog food that has a higher protein content. If you feed your dog freeze-dried raw meat treats and don’t supplement with fruits and veggies, go for a food with lower protein content.
These days, allergies to common meats like chicken and beef are becoming increasingly popular amongst pet dogs. If you have a dog with food allergies, you might want to look for dehydrated raw dog food with a unique protein. One food on our list is brushtail, a marsupial from New Zealand that is highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions in dogs.
You also want to make sure you read all the ingredients. A “lamb” dehydrated food for dogs may also contain ingredients like chicken or fish, so it’s crucial to check the ingredients if you have a dog with food allergies.
Not all countries have the same safety standards. Look for food made in and sourced with ingredients from places like the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or Europe for the best quality.
Some dehydrated dog foods are a complete diet and don’t need anything added (apart from water, in some cases). Other dehydrated raw dog foods are intended to be supplemented with your own choice of meat and oil.
If you enjoy giving your dog raw meat but are concerned that your dog isn’t getting a well-rounded diet, look for a premix that contains little to no meat. Otherwise, make sure you’re getting a food that’s considered a complete diet.
Only you can decide which dehydrated meat is best for your dog. Some dogs won’t eat jerky-style food, others may need lower protein content, and others may need unique proteins. Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to find the best option for your pup.