What’s the difference between Dehydrated, Freeze-Dried and Air-Dried Dog Food?
If you browse the dog food aisle you’ll probably have noticed the different types of dog food available, in particular, in how’s it’s been prepared before packaging and selling.
In pet food production, there are many different ways to preserve meat and other food ingredients, but the three main types are Dehydrated, Freeze-Dried and Air-Dried.
So, what’s the difference between the three and do they offer any benefits?
In today’s blog, we find out!
What is dehydrated dog food?
One of the earliest methods of preserving dog food was dehydration – this involves removing all moisture so that the growth of bacteria, yeast or mold is inhibited.
To acheive this they use a slow and gentle process of using warm air to remove water or moisture from raw ingredients.
The benefits of dehydrated food is that it removes the hassle of having to freeze and defrost before use. It’s also lighter and packed tighter so it’s easier to store etc.
What is freeze-dried dog food?
Freeze-dried dog food is another popular choice when it comes to preserving the food.
It’s a more complex process that dehydrating food and works by removing the moisture while still keeping the food frozen.
If you’re into the science – the three stages are:
- A freezing phase – lowering the temperature until all the liquid molecules turn to solid
- A Primary Drying/Sublimation phase – reducing pressure to reduce the water in the material
- A Secondary Drying/Absorption phase – raising the temperature to break the bonds between the material and water molecules
The one benefit of freeze drying in comparison to dehydrating is that the proteins, vitamins and minerals stay intact due to freezing before drying, so it’s nutritionally equal to its frozen counterpart. It’s also still considered raw.
What is air-dried dog food?
Unlike dehydrated, air-dried food does not use heat to remove the moisture. Instead, the moisture is slowly and gently evaporated from the raw ingredients.
As with dehydration, this eliminates harmful pathogens while preserving vital nutrients.
Conversely, as with freeze-dried foods they are considered raw as the ingredients were never at a temperature high enough to cook.
What are the benefits of air-dried dog food?
It offers similar nutrition values to that of a raw diet and produces an extremely nutrient-dense product. It also negates the need to add artificial preservatives.
Air-dried foods are, in fact, the perfect raw alternative.
Plus, the don’t have to be refrigerated like raw foods so less prep time and also less mess!
Each method has its strengths and weaknesses so make the decision based on your pet’s individual needs and your given circumstances.
If you having any questions relating to your dog’s diet, or if you would like to discuss how our food could potentially help your dog, please get in touch.