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Because dogs have a heightened sense of smell, they can be some of the pickiest eaters you’ll ever encounter. But not all breeds have the same dietary needs.
Some breeds are more sensitive than others, and some are prone to allergies. Of course, there are also dogs of any breed that just like to mess with their owners by refusing certain foods.
One of the best ways to address these issues is to take a chance and give your dog the best freeze-dried raw dog food you can find.
Check out our five top freeze-dried dog food options to find out how beneficial this type of food can be, compared to the wet, canned alternatives.
Made in the USA, Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance is one of the best freeze-dried raw dog food options. It comes in an 8-lb. bag and contains many high-quality ingredients that can ensure your dog stays as healthy as possible.
The Pureformance recipe doesn’t contain any meat or grain; most of the protein comes from the chickpeas. Apart from being a good source of fiber, folic acid, and protein, chickpeas are known to take a long time to metabolize. This can help your dog maintain higher levels of energy in between meals.
Carrots, celery, blueberries, apples, and bananas are also used in the Pureformance recipe. These veggies and fruits are very good sources of vitamins A, and B6, potassium, and antioxidants – all necessary nutrients for strengthening the nervous system. Additionally, they keep the heart and kidneys operating at optimum levels.
Another good ingredient is flaxseed. This is a source of nutritious oils which can help improve skin and coat health. It may also be able to give your dog a glossier coat.
You should always add some protein, either cooked or raw.
Dosage recommendations are featured on the back of the bag for dogs between 5 and 80 lbs. Specific dosages are also available for different ages, meaning that you can serve this dog food to both pups, and it also fits the dietary requirements of adult or senior dogs. Just make sure to follow the instructions.
It’s also worth mentioning that Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance only has a 4% moisture content, which is quite low (a low moisture quotient means better quality in freeze-dried raw dog foods).
If you want to give your dog the best freeze-dried raw dog food alongside freshly cooked meat, Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance may be the ideal solution for you. It’s a vegetarian recipe, loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and it can be served to dogs of all ages.
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan recipe only calls for some water to rehydrate the food once it hits the bowl. You can find this dry food in 3- and 10-lb. bags. You can also choose the protein, as the Artisan recipe is made with either chicken or bison meat – both of which are great sources of protein.
This recipe has a 1:2 ratio of crude fat to protein. It has a moisture content of 7.5%, which isn’t the lowest you can get, but it’s not considered too high either. Because it contains just about anything a dog needs in a meal, this raw food is safe to give to dogs of all ages. The back of the bag contains information on servings for pups as small as 1 lb. and mature dogs of up to 80 lbs.
The ingredients include apples, cranberries, blueberries, potatoes, flaxseed, carrots, and many more fruits and vegetables, as well as a few vitamin supplements to keep your pet’s energy levels up. The apples act as a good source of dietary fiber. The protein of choice comes without added hormones or steroids.
Keep in mind that freeze-dried raw food preserves better than any alternative, and that includes its smell and taste. Since this recipe has good nutritional values, there shouldn’t be a need to add more protein to it, unless it’s something light that may increase your dog’s appetite.
Some dogs may prefer a different protein
The combination of healthy protein, fruits, veggies, and vitamin supplements, makes Grandma Lucy’s Artisan dog food one of the best freeze-dried raw dog foods on the market.
If your dog has a fondness for turkey, then this might be the best freeze-dried raw dog food you can provide. It contains more than just a few turkey pieces; it has turkey heart, liver, and bone, ground up to bite-size pieces that are good for both puppies and adult dogs.
You’ll also find herring oil among the ingredients. Herring oil is often used as a dietary supplement because of its properties that improve skin health. It has also been associated with improving the quality of the dog’s coat, and it might also have some medicinal benefits for dogs with allergy problems and joint issues.
This is one of the few formulas that you can safely serve raw. Remember that it’s important to transition slowly from other dried or canned foods to a freeze-dried raw food diet. Taking a cautious approach should help your dog’s digestive system avoid food rejection. It will also give your pet’s metabolism time to adapt to the new, healthier diet.
Also important is the lack of fillers and preservatives. The protein-rich formula should make the smell of the dog’s breath less intense. And, it should be suitable for allergic dogs since it lacks many of the ingredients that could cause allergies to flare up.
Only comes in small bags
The TruDog Feed Me proves that good things come in small packages. Whether you choose the 10 oz or 14 oz bag, this gourmet turkey gobbler is vet-approved due to its hypoallergenic contents that are rich in proteins.
Not every dog will eat anything you put in their bowl. If you’re the lucky owner of a picky eater, then maybe Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw meal mixer can make your life easier and your dog healthier.
Unlike many other freeze-dried raw dog foods, this is not a complete meal. Instead, Stella & Chewy’s formula works best when mixed with regular dried or wet food. Due to the list of premium ingredients, this topper can add a lot of flavor to an otherwise bland meal. If your dog seems to be losing their taste for most meals, this product can help them regain their appetite.
This recipe has a few protein options like turkey, beef, chicken, salmon, and cod. Depending on whether your dog needs more protein or more fat, you have a long list of options for a well-balanced and healthy choice. The bags can be as small as 3.5 oz or as large as 36 oz. Whether you have just one dog or a family of energetic canines, this product should fit your needs.
As with most high-quality freeze-dried raw dog food, Stella & Chewy’s recipe is also non-GMO and grain-free. The ingredients go through minimal processing in order to ensure that the fresh natural flavor and most of the nutrients are preserved.
May be too high in fat for some breeds
Designed to improve the dog’s appetite, this formula can be an excellent hypoallergenic addition to other meals. It can also boost energy and stamina and lead to the development of a healthier immune system, teeth, gums, and skin.
The best freeze-dried raw dog food doesn’t have to mean a whole meal. Small protein treats are just as important when training or rewarding your dog. The fact that they’re just treats doesn’t mean that your dog should settle for the canine equivalent of junk food.
Chicken is among the tastier and healthier protein choices for dog food and treats. Halo’s Liv-a-Littles treats are tasty pieces of white meat, obviously low in fat, with no grains, and that makes this a great option when you want to give your pet a low-calorie reward.
You will notice that the list of ingredients is short and somewhat less impressive than other options on this list. But remember that these are treats, not supplements or full meals. The ingredients are chicken, water, salt, carrageenan, and sodium phosphate. This is a good combination that should even appeal to extremely picky eaters.
Each treat has around 8 calories, depending on the size of the chunk. Make sure that you take your dog’s age, health, and weight into account before handing out too many rewards. The same goes if you have a cat – these treats can be given to both types of pets, obviously in different doses.
Although these treats can be served as they are, rehydrating them is recommended to unleash their tasty potential. It only takes minutes to rehydrate a couple of chunks.
Not a complete meal
The Halo Liv-a-Littles Chicken Protein Treats are great rewards to have around the house. If you have a habit of treating your dog for a job well done or good behavior, consider doing so with healthy treats instead of offering an extra meal or junk food.
Taking a look at the moisture content percentage on the label is important. Unlike most kibble, freeze-dried raw dog food can have a very low moisture content.
This indicates that a very effective process was used to dehydrate and freeze the food. Additionally, the lower the moisture content, the lower the chance of any bacteria developing in the food. This is one of the biggest concerns with wet canned food for both animals and humans.
How exactly do you want to feed your dog? What are their dietary requirements? What do they like and what don’t they like to eat? These are questions that you should answer before deciding between supplements and full meals.
Supplements usually come in smaller bags. They tend to be labeled “supplement,” “topper,” or “mixer.” They can add a boost of flavor and nutrients to a boring diet, and you mix them with dry or wet dog food.
Full meals require almost no additional ingredients or other types of food mixed in. A full meal, with or without meat protein, can be served with about one cup of water. You’ll need the water to rehydrate the food and give it back its texture, taste, and appetizing smell.
Many dog owners like to reward their companions with food. If that’s the case for you, consider freeze-dried raw treats as an alternative to store-bought treats. These are the healthier option, and they are equally (if not even more) delicious.
Some of the best freeze-dried raw dog food products are designed for specific age groups. You’ll often find food designed only for puppies, only for adults, or for senior dogs.
On the other hand, many manufacturers use recipes with carefully selected ingredients that cater to dogs of all ages. Of course, the servings will depend on how young or old your dog is, so read the packaging carefully.
You should also know that age is not the only consideration when buying dog food. Some breeds may have very specific dietary restrictions, while others can eat just about anything.
The weight of your dog can also be an influencing factor. That’s why it’s important to check the label first, regardless of what it says on the front of the bag or container.
You might also want to talk to a vet to find out what your dog should and shouldn’t eat. This way, it will be easier to make sense of the long lists of ingredients.
Contrary to popular belief, grains aren’t all that detrimental to a dog’s health. They’re not the healthiest choice or source of fiber, but that doesn’t mean that your dog will become ill from eating dog food with grains in it.
Still, it is recommended to avoid such dog food options if you can. Some dogs can have allergic reactions to grains, while others may get bloated.
It can also be difficult to determine just how nutritious this kind of dog food is, considering that grains are often used as filler. They improve the texture, but they won’t add much value to the meal, as opposed to other sources of dietary fiber.
This is another tricky question to answer. Having more ingredients improves the taste, not just the nutritional value of the food. A good mix of proteins, veggies, fruits, and some natural supplements can make almost any raw dog food taste and smell appealing.
But, the more ingredients are used, the higher the chances of having to pay a premium price. It may also mean that the food is low in certain nutrients. Sometimes, simpler food has a better balance of important nutrients and proteins.
Here is another consideration to keep in mind. More ingredients mean that your dog can get a wide range of vitamins, oils, and antioxidants. But this depends on the manufacturer and the formula – some will hit it out of the park while others won’t. So don’t hesitate to shop around until you find the perfect fit for your dog.
If your dog can stomach it and if their health or dietary restrictions allow it, then feeding them the best freeze-dried raw dog food may be the best option going forward.
Every freeze-dried raw food on this list is highly palatable and made from quality ingredients. This kind of dog food retains its nutritional properties for a long time. It’s also very easy to pack and take with you on trips, so your dog can always have premium healthy food no matter where you go.