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10 Best Freeze Dried Dog Foods | Reviews & Guide

First published:  January 9, 2024
Last updated: January 11, 2024
10 Best Freeze Dried Dog Foods | Reviews & Guide
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Summary

Our top pick for the Best Freeze Dried Dog Food is Stella & Chewy's Lil' Bites Mighty Meals Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food. As the best freeze-dried option, this grain- and gluten-free recipe with 95% chicken, organs and bone provides high-quality nutrition in an easily digestible form to support the health of small breed dogs. The natural ingredients retain more nutrients than kibble and aid digestion, while the tasty chicken flavor makes it a dog favorite. If your dog prefers duck or lamb, this top pick is also available with those protein sources.

Picture this: ingredients processed at astonishingly low temperatures of -60 to -85 degrees, preserving their nutritional essence without the use of heat. Beyond the convenience factor, freeze-dried dog foods offer a myriad of health benefits, easy storage solutions, and a diverse array of flavors even the most discerning pups can't resist.

Now, imagine having the key to the top 10 freeze-dried dog foods for 2024 at your fingertips. These are the best freeze-dried dog foods available today, containing healthy ingredients and preserving flavor to satisfy your pet dog.

We will also provide a detailed buyer guide to help you choose the option that best suits your dog's preferences.

No Time To Read The Whole Article? No Worries. We’ve Done The Work For You And Compiled A List Of The Top Performers.

ProductFeaturesOur Rating

Kibble Vs. Air-Dried Vs. Freeze-Dried Dog Food - What Are The Differences?

Traditional kibble utilizes high temperatures during processing which can diminish nutrients and alter proteins. While affordable and convenient, the quality is compromised. Air-dried foods remove moisture through warm circulating air rather than freeze-drying. This retains more nutrients than kibble, but still uses heat. Freeze-dried foods are raw frozen foods that have the moisture removed through a cold vacuum process. This creates a nutritionally dense food while preserving more of the original nutritional value and minimizing damage to proteins.

Freeze-dried foods retain up to 99% of nutrients compared to 90% in air-dried.

In addition to nutritional differences, the texture and shape differs across the three types. Kibble has a crunchy, uniform shape from being extruded, while air-dried food is shrunken but recognizable. Freeze-dried best mimics a dog's natural diet, maintaining the size, shape, and texture of raw meat, fruits, or vegetables even in dried form.

This raw food mimicry makes freeze-dried food more appetizing and digestible for dogs.

Ultimately, freeze-dried dog food provides the convenience of dry food with the benefits of raw. The cold process maximizes nutrient retention for optimal health support. Dogs enjoy the taste and texture too. While freeze-dried costs more upfront, the nutritional value makes it worthwhile for pet owners to prioritize quality. For those wanting the best food possible, freeze-dried surpasses kibble and air-dried options.

Our Picks for the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

Based on personal experience, research and testing, the following are our recommended freeze-dried dog foods that you can safely rely on to provide your dog with the best nutrition.

Based on our research, testing, and experience, below is our final list:

Stella & Chewy's Lil' Bites Mighty Meals Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Our top pick - Stella & Chewy's Lil' Bites Mighty Meals is specifically formulated for small breed dogs. As the best freeze-dried dog food option, this grain- and gluten-free recipe uses limited ingredients to aid digestion and reduce allergies. With 95% chicken, organs and bone, it offers a natural, prey-model diet.

You get high-quality nutrition in every bite. The main protein source is chicken without added hormones or antibiotics. Organic fruits and vegetables like cranberries, blueberries, spinach and beets provide antioxidants to support immunity and energy. Essential fatty acids from chia seeds nourish the skin and coat. Added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and probiotics round out this complete and balanced meal.

The raw, freeze-dried pieces are the perfect size for small mouths. Dogs love the tasty chicken flavor. These nutrient-dense lil' bites can be used for training treats, toppers or a full daily meal. They are very versatile.

As the best freeze-dried dog food, Stella & Chewy's natural ingredients and manufacturing processes retain more nutrients than kibble. This supports whole body health and vitality. The raw diet is highly digestible as well. Many owners report improvements in allergy symptoms, weight management, dental health, and stool quality.

Pros

  • 95% chicken, organs, and bone
  • Grain- and gluten-free recipe
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Supports digestion
  • Tasty chicken flavor
  • Also available with duck or lamb

Cons

  • Need refrigeration after opening

For small breed owners seeking a natural, wholesome diet to optimize health, Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw food is a superb choice. The quality ingredients offer proven nutritional and digestion advantages over traditional kibble. Dogs thrive on the taste and easily absorbable nutrients. This is certainly one of the very best freeze-dried dog foods available.

If your dog doesn't like chicken, then this food is also available with Duck and lamb.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Dog Food

Vital Essentials offers premium freeze-dried raw dog food made with high-quality butcher-cut beef sourced from trusted American farms. This grain-free, gluten-free and limited-ingredient formula packs more protein than the industry standard to deliver exceptional nutrition tailored for your dog's peak vitality.

With a 14 oz bag retailing at $35.99 ($2.57 per oz), this freeze-dried dog food provides complete and balanced daily nutrition. It comes in a range of sizes from 1 oz to 15 oz to suit dogs of all breeds and life stages. It also comes in 8 different flavors to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The freeze-drying process preserves the natural flavor and nutrients of raw meat while making it lightweight and easy to serve.

Vital Essentials' beef formula promotes healthier and shinier coats, better digestion, increased energy, stronger teeth, and overall well-being. This is thanks to its high protein content from premium quality whole animal ingredients with no fillers, grains or additives. Unlocking protein's natural vitamins and minerals benefits active dogs that deserve good health to support energetic playtimes.

The brand takes pride in American craftsmanship, adhering to high standards in ethical farming and harvesting practices. This ensures the beef retains its nutritional integrity from farm to bowl. With ratings of 4.7 out of 5 stars for freshness, flavor, ingredients and weight, it's easy to see why pet owners trust Vital Essentials to nourish their furry companions.

Pros

  • Made with ethically sourced premium butcher cut beef
  • Rich in protein for optimal canine health
  • Retains nutrients via freeze-drying technology
  • Grain-free and limited ingredients formula
  • Promotes healthy skin, coat, teeth, and digestion

Cons

  • Relatively pricey
  • Some picky dogs may dislike the texture

For pet owners seeking the highest quality nutrition without compromise, Vital Essentials freeze-dried raw beef dog food hits the mark for ingredient transparency, processing integrity and complete animal protein nutrition. This makes it stand out as one of the best freeze-dried dog foods you can choose for your beloved fur baby.

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

Our next pick - the Instinct freeze-dried raw dog food topper provides a convenient way to add high-quality raw nutrition into your dog's diet. This beef-flavored topper comes in a 14-ounce resealable bag, with smaller 6-ounce and 25-ounce sizes also available. It is made in the USA using responsibly sourced ingredients like beef, beef organs, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and more.

The raw whole food ingredients are gently freeze-dried to remove moisture while locking in natural flavors and nutrients. This grain-free recipe contains no artificial preservatives, colors or fillers - just real, natural ingredients your dog will love.

You can use this topper in two ways - either as a regular meal topper sprinkled onto your dog's dry kibble, or as a healthy all-natural treat. It adds taste and texture variety to boring kibble, tempting even picky eaters. The freeze-dried chunks are the perfect size to use as training treats as well. This beef liver and organ meat-based topper supports skin, coat, digestion, and overall health.

Pros

  • Made from quality all-natural ingredients
  • Retains nutrients through freeze-drying
  • Grain-free and filler-free recipe
  • Use as a meal topper or training treats
  • Supports skin, coat and digestion

Cons

  • Limited flavor options
  • May not appeal to all dogs

For those looking for a convenient way to add raw, natural nutrition to their dog's diet, this Instinct freeze-dried topper is a great option. With high customer ratings and quality ingredients, it earns its reputation as one of the best freeze-dried dog food toppers available.

Wellness CORE Bare Bowl Boosters for Dogs

You simply can't beat the quality and taste of Wellness CORE's Bare Bowl Boosters for adding flavor and nutrition to your dog's meals. I find this beef recipe to be a great healthy option. Made with just a single source of raw, responsibly sourced beef, it provides a protein and flavor boost with no unnecessary fillers.

I appreciate that Wellness keeps the ingredient list simple - beef is supplemented only with tocopherols and extracts for freshness, allowing the rich flavor of real meat to come through. Your dog will go crazy for this topper, and it can tempt even the pickiest eaters to finish their food. The freeze-dried process locks in nutrients without artificial preservatives, giving you peace of mind about what you're feeding your dog.

The bare format makes it easy to sprinkle onto kibble as a mixer, though I believe it can be better used as a true topper to really entice your pup. And compared to canned wet foods, this topper has a long shelf life when stored properly.

Wellness hits all the right notes - made in the USA, non-GMO ingredients, no corn/wheat/soy, and complete attention to sourcing and quality. As a long-time Wellness customer, I’ve come to trust the brand, and these toppers deliver on nutrition and taste. This beef topper deserves its place among the best on the market.

Pros

  • Single source of raw beef
  • Simple, clean ingredients
  • Enhances the flavor of kibble
  • Long shelf life when stored properly
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Packages can arrive crushed during shipping

If you're looking for a safe, tasty and healthy freeze-dried food for your dog, Wellness Core's bowl boosters will turn every meal into an enjoyable time. It is available in four different flavors to ensure your dog finds something he/she likes no matter how picky they are. We highly recommend it.

ULTIMATE PET NUTRITION Nutra Complete Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Nutra Complete is a premium freeze-dried raw dog food that contains a blend of high-quality ranched beef, fruits, vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals. With 40 ultra-healthy ingredients in each bite, this nutritionally dense food aims to support a dog's energy, digestion, coat health, eyesight, mobility, and longevity.

The star ingredient is American ranch-raised beef, which provides high-quality, easy-to-digest protein to maintain muscle and organ function. Nutra Complete also contains a potent mix of antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries and raspberries, as well as fiber-filled vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach. These fruits and vegetables contain beneficial nutrients that support overall health and wellness.

Additionally, the food includes a complete vitamin and mineral blend to meet all life-stage requirements. Ingredients like vitamin E, riboflavin and linoleic acid aid skin and coat health while also providing immune system support.

Pros

  • Contains premium, ranch-raised beef
  • Packed with 40 ultra-healthy ingredients
  • Supports whole-body health and longevity
  • Can be fed alone or used as a nutritious mixer
  • Comes from a small business company

Cons

  • Requires proper storage to maintain freshness

Overall, Nutra Complete is a great option in premium freeze-dried raw dog foods. With a focus on high-quality proteins and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, this veterinarian-formulated food aims to provide complete and balanced nutrition.

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Gut Health

Next on our list is Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Gut Health, a high-quality freeze-dried dog food topper made with wholesome ingredients to support digestive health. It comes in convenient 12.5 oz and 5.5 oz bag sizes, reasonably priced at $2.56/oz and $2.91/oz respectively.

As the #1 ingredient, cage-free chicken delivers pure protein while chicken liver provides vitamin A for skin and coat health. Natural superfoods like pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple cider vinegar contain prebiotics, antioxidants, and enzymes to aid digestion. Essential fatty acids from chicken fat and flaxseed support skin, coat, joint, heart, and brain health.

You'll appreciate that this nutritious topper has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It's also grain-free, avoiding problematic ingredients like corn, wheat and soy. The raw, gently freeze-dried morsels lock in nutrients while intensifying flavors.

Customers confirm this is one of the best freeze-dried dog food toppers for encouraging picky eaters to finish their bowls. The high-quality ingredients appeal to dogs' taste buds and the smaller pieces mix easily into their regular kibble. Pet parents report improved digestion, less gas, and healthy stools after switching to this probiotic-rich recipe.

Pros

  • Single protein, cage-free chicken
  • Prebiotic-rich functional superfoods
  • Grain-free, no artificial ingredients
  • Conveniently freeze-dried raw morsels
  • Tempts fussy eaters

Cons

  • Strong herbal odor

With responsibly sourced ingredients backed by excellent ratings for quality, freshness and digestive health support, Instinct Raw's Boost Mixers Gut Health is a fantastic option for the best freeze-dried dog food topper.

Primal Pet Foods Chicken Nuggets

Primal Pet Foods' freeze-dried chicken nuggets provide complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs. Made in the USA, these nuggets contain high-quality cage-free chicken as the first ingredient, along with certified organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, and supplements. The combination delivers optimal nutrient absorption to support your dog's health.

With no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients, this freeze-dried raw food aligns well with dogs' natural diets. The minimal processing preserves nutrients better than kibble or canned foods. The freeze-drying also makes these nuggets lightweight and shelf-stable so you can take them on adventures. Simply rehydrate with water or broth anytime.

Your dog will benefit from this diet rich in digestible chicken protein and oils good for skin and coat health. The balance of fiber, fruits and vegetables also promotes healthy weight, eyes, teeth, and stool volume. These are the hallmarks of excellent nutrition.

Customers agree this is a very high-quality product although it does come at a premium price point starting from $2.50 per ounce. The nuggets rate well for travel-friendly lightweight design and purity of ingredients.

Pros

  • Made with premium proteins and organic produce
  • Supports whole body health and nutrition
  • Shelf-stable, ideal for travel
  • Aligns with ancestral canine diets
  • Minimally processed for nutrient density

Cons

  • Need to rehydrate before feeding
  • Can get messy if overhydrated

If you seek a pure yet convenient freeze-dried diet, Primal Pet Foods' chicken nuggets check all the boxes. This is my top choice to feed dogs real whole foods without preparation hassles. The exceptional ingredients make the higher price worthwhile for pet parents wanting the very best.

Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Complete Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Ultimate Pet Nutrition's Nutra Complete freeze-dried raw dog food aims to provide dogs with a nutritionally balanced and delicious meal. This pork formula contains high-quality protein from ranch-raised American pork to support your dog's muscles and organs. It also includes a blend of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like berries and seeds to promote healthy digestion, eyesight, and mobility.

With 38% minimum crude protein and fat, Nutra Complete delivers concentrated nutrition in each bite. The limited ingredients freeze-drying process locks in nutrients while preserving taste. You can feed Nutra Complete as a complete meal or mix it into your dog's diet to boost overall nutrition.

Nutra Complete also stands out for its premium whole food ingredients and processing method that retains more nutrients. The pork formula provides well-balanced nutrition full of protein, fiber, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. This supports your dog's health, energy, skin and coat, immune system, and longevity.

Pros

  • Made with premium ranch-raised pork and fruits/vegetables
  • Rich in protein, vitamins, fatty acids for health
  • Retains nutrients through freeze-drying
  • Delicious taste dogs love
  • Can feed as complete meal or mix-in

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

For those looking for nutritious freeze-dried dog food made with quality whole-food ingredients, Nutra Complete is a great option. The pork formula strikes an optimal balance of high protein and fiber with fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. This makes it one of the best choices for supporting your dog's health and providing a tasty meal they love.

It is also available in beef and bone broth duck, just in case your dog doesn't like the pork formula or if you want to provide a varied diet.

Steve's Real Food Turducken Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Steve's Real Food Turducken diet is a nutritious and tasty freeze-dried raw dog food (that suits cats, too). It contains a blend of turkey, duck, and chicken sourced from vegetarian-fed, free-range poultry along with wholesome fruits, vegetables, and supplements. This complete and balanced diet is suitable for dogs of all life stages.

The ingredients list shows the use of fresh meats, organs, produce, oils, and other nutritious components. With no artificial preservatives or fillers, you can trust that this diet provides true nutrition. The freeze-drying process retains more nutrients compared to kibble while making this raw food easy to serve and store. All you need to do is rehydrate with water and serve.

Made in the USA with transparency and sustainability in mind, this dog food keeps up with consumer demand for ethically-produced pet diets. Steve's Real Food meets the highest safety and quality standards in their manufacturing.

When it comes to effectiveness, pet owners give this freeze-dried raw diet top marks for easy use, irresistible flavor, scent appeal, and good value for money. The combination of poultry enhances palatability while providing complete nutrition even for picky eaters.

Pros

  • Natural, minimally processed ingredients
  • Delicious turkey, duck and chicken flavor
  • Convenient rehydrated raw food format
  • Praised for taste and aroma
  • Made in the USA sustainably

Cons

  • Needs refrigeration after rehydrating

Given its exceptional ingredient quality, processing method, and outstanding pet owner ratings, Steve's Real Food Turducken diet is arguably the best option if you want a convenient yet healthy freeze-dried raw food for your dog. This species-appropriate diet harnesses the benefits of raw feeding without the hassle. Rehydrated and ready to serve, it provides complete nutrition and supports whole-body canine health.

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Dog Food Mixers Real Beef Recipe

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Dog Food Mixers provide a protein-rich raw food diet for dogs in a convenient and safe format. This beef recipe features real deboned beef as the first ingredient, offering a high-quality source of protein to build healthy muscles and energy. The freeze-dried raw pieces mix easily into kibble with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Crafted in Merrick's Hereford, Texas kitchen, this grain-free recipe contains a wholesome blend of beef liver, peas, beef broth, carrots, apples, blueberries and kelp. The raw inclusion undergoes high-pressure processing to ensure food safety while retaining the delicious fresh meaty taste dogs crave.

As a veterinary diet approved for adult dogs, these meaty mixers provide a nutritional boost over standard kibble alone. The protein-focused formula offers higher energy to fuel an active lifestyle while supporting muscle growth and maintenance. Furthermore, the blend of fruits and vegetables supplies key vitamins and minerals absent from meat-exclusive diets.

Pros

  • High-quality raw protein from real beef
  • Grain-free recipe with added fruits and vegetables
  • Delicious flavor that even finicky dogs love
  • Nutritional boost over kibble alone
  • Convenient pre-MIXED format
  • Also available in chicken flavor

Cons

  • Contains common proteins like beef

You will rejoice in your dog's euphoric tail wags and vigorous appetite upon integrating these veterinarian-approved freeze-dried raw mixers into their diet. The unprocessed cuts of real beef offer a protein-packed and irresistible meal addition; the bowls will be empty after every feeding.

Buying Guide - Factors to Consider While Choosing Freeze-Dried Food For Your Dog

To guarantee you make the best possible decision while choosing your dog's freeze-dried food, we compiled a list of crucial factors to keep in mind. This will simplify your task of choosing a specific product suitable to your dog's needs and preferences.

dog food quality

Understanding the Crucial Factors

Selecting the right dog food requires careful consideration of various factors beyond just the freeze-drying process. To ensure your furry friend receives the optimal nutrition and caters to their unique needs, look deeper into crucial elements like age, breed, activity level, health conditions, and dietary preferences.

For a more detailed exploration, check out our informative guide on the essential factors for picking the perfect dog food. This valuable resource equips you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the dog food aisles and prioritize your pup's well-being.

Composition - Main Ingredients, Additives, Artificial Colors, Etc.

The first aspect to analyze in freeze-dried dog food is its ingredient composition. Carefully scrutinize the main components and verify adequate meat protein sources such as beef, chicken, duck, etc. appear among the initial ingredients.

Also, confirm the inclusion of wholesome fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals rather than unnecessary additives. Avoid products with artificial colors or flavors as they provide no nutritional value.

Country of Manufacture - Preferably US Made

In addition to verifying locally sourced ingredients, also confirm the freeze-dried dog food undergoes end-to-end manufacturing within the USA for superior oversight. Imported products may skip crucial quality checks.

You may also opt for dog foods made in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or Western Europe, as they adhere to more stringent quality control protocols. This minimizes the chances of contamination and potential health problems.

Your Dog's Nutritional Needs & Tastes

While objectively assessing the freeze-dried food's nutritional composition, it is equally important to consider your dog's unique dietary needs and flavor preferences.

For example, if your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities, verify the ingredients will not trigger any reactions. Or, if your dog enjoys fish, seek out freeze-dried proteins like duck, salmon or flounder. This increases the likelihood of your dog enjoying mealtimes.

While freeze-dried dog food offers a plethora of benefits like high nutritional content and exceptional taste, navigating the choices for dogs with allergies or sensitivities can be tricky. Choosing the right ingredients becomes paramount to ensuring your furry friend's optimal health and preventing unwanted flare-ups.

Remember, prioritizing your dog's health and happiness while navigating freeze-dried food options is key. Let our guide on dog food for allergies be your compass in finding the perfect fit for your beloved pup.

Price Point - Costly Options Vs. Cheaper Alternatives

dog food price

As freeze-dried dog foods require extensive processing, storage and transportation considerations, they tend to be pricier than traditional kibble.

However, given their nutritional density, they may still prove more economical in the long run. Analyze options across price points based on your budget. Just confirm that any lower-priced products do not compromise on ingredient quality or packaging standards to achieve savings.

By evaluating freeze-dried dog food options using these parameters as a guideline, the chances of picking an optimal product for your beloved pet improve tremendously.

Final Thoughts

After closely evaluating the top freeze-dried dog food options on the market, a few clear winners emerge thanks to their exceptional quality and nutritional value. They excel at delivering the benefits of raw food through easy, minimally processed freeze-dried formulas. They use high-quality ingredients with limited to no additives to create grain-free, species-appropriate meals.

While it requires some trial and error to find the right fit for your pup, use our reviews and buying guide to narrow your search. Focus on whole food ingredients, your dog’s health goals, and flavor preferences as you transition to freeze-dried.

With the convenience of dry kibble and the nutritional density of raw food, these revolutionary formulas offer the best of both worlds to pet owners.

Thanks for reading!

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