Pet Food: Frozen Raw vs Freeze-Dried Raw for Cats and Dogs

Just as people benefit from eating organic, non-processed foods, so do our pets.  In the past, pet parents could only find real food for cats and dogs in frozen form.  Recently, a new concept in pet food-preparation has evolved.  Feeding our pets the healthy diet they deserve is now easier than ever before-- with freeze-dried raw food for cats and dogs.

What's Involved in Our Freeze-Drying Process?

Our freeze-dried pet foods use the same great formulas that our frozen foods do; we simply use a cold freeze-dry process to remove the moisture. That means we can take our formula from frozen to freeze-dried without thawing or cooking it. By freeze-drying, we preserve nutritional quality and consistency, removing only the moisture.  We're essentially putting the food "on hold" for an extended time.  Removing moisture from raw pet food deactivates any bacteria or enzymes that would otherwise greatly shorten its shelf life and compromise its nutritional quality.

Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food vs. Frozen Raw Dog Food

Why Freeze Dried Pet Food?The freeze-drying process does add a bit more to the price of the food because you are paying for the extra step, but freeze-drying gives you the CONVENIENCE of storing the food in the pantry. By adding a little water, you can go from the bag to be the bowl in just 5 minutes. The benefits of freeze-dried raw pet food include:

  • Its long and stable shelf life allows you to store it at room temperature for long periods, so it doesn't crowd your freezer.
  • It's incredibly convenient to take on-the-go.
  • It rehydrates quickly and easily-- you don't have to cut up or defrost raw meat.
  • Freeze-dried nuggets make great treats for training.
  • Freeze-dried food help you transition your pet to a raw food diet since the consistency is similar to kibble.

Are They the Same Nutritionally?

When considering freeze dried raw dog food vs. frozen raw dog food, you may be wondering, nutrition-wise, if they are created equal.  The answer is YES, but it may not appear that way at first glance. When looking at the protein and fat levels in the guaranteed analysis in the two types, you may notice higher levels in the freeze-dried product, due to the numbers being calculated on a dry-matter basis. However, freeze-dry dog food is formulated the same way as their frozen raw counterparts so when comparing both on a dry matter basis, the results will be identical.  Click here for dry matter basis explained!

Feeding Instructions:  Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food vs. Frozen Raw Dog Food

  • Rehydrate!  If freeze-dried is your pet's primary food source, we strongly recommend adding water-- 1 tablespoon for every nugget or 1/4 cup for every four nuggets.  For best results, break each nugget into small pieces and mix thoroughly with water to ensure it absorbs all of the liquid.  Once you've rehydrated the food, it's ready to serve.
  • Serving Size.  Feeding quantity guidelines are the same for both frozen and freeze-dried pet food.  Measure out the same number of freeze-dried nuggets as you would frozen ones.
  • Portion-Size Pointers.  Use our handy calculator to figure out how much to feed your pet.  With freeze-dried food, base portion sizes on the number of nuggets.  With the frozen kind, you need to pay attention to the weight of the food.

Freeze-Dried Raw:  The Perfect Kibble Topper and Treat

Steve's Real Food is dedicated to providing high-quality freeze-dried and frozen pet food.  When considering freeze dried vs. frozen from Steve’s Real Food, keep in mind that both have about the same proportions of vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins. Our pet products are derived from superior, locally-sourced ingredients, with no fillers, hormones or antibiotics added.  We provide a practical way to help your pets live their healthiest life possible.


Linda McClure-Woodham

3 years ago

I am curious about the amount of carbs in the recipes. We cook grass-fed beef, organic chicken and add a little greens, blueberries and organic pumpkin. We also give organic coconut oil and Omega 3 daily.
We also supplement with 3 products from Dr. Peter Dobias, Gut Sense, Green Min and Soul Food. We want to transition to Freeze-dried, but worry about over doing supplements.
Please tell me what supplements you use and the quantity. Thank you

Nicole Lindsley

3 years ago

Hello Linda, All our diets are very low in carbohydrates. The averages are around 1.9%. Other than meat and produce we use the following ingredients.
Raw Goat’s Milk, Flax Seed, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Taurine, Dried Kelp, Sesame Seeds, Organic Coconut Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, Eggshell Membrane, Dicalcium Phosphate

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