At today’s market, there are lots and lots of different types of dog food. Some may prefer a raw diet, and some may prefer feeding their pups with sensitive stomachs cooked food.
Today we are talking about dehydrated dog food which is similar to freeze-dried dog food but not quite. Keep reading this article to find out more about the differences and similarities between these two and also how to make your own dehydrated dog food.
What Is Dehydrated Dog Food
The dehydration process, of course, involves the application of heat to the food. The process removes all the moisture from the food by adding warm or hot air.
This is one of the differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated food. Because hot air is applied, the food is basically cooked so dehydrated food is not a raw food diet.
Because the food is cooked with hot air, the nutritional content is much lower than freeze-dried food that is considered to be raw pet food.
Dehydrated foods are considered to be less processed but they are cooked and offer less vital nutrients than raw dog food.
All cons aside, dehydrated food is a delicious meal with a long shelf life, especially for dogs that have sensitive stomachs and can’t process raw meat or any other raw ingredients for that matter.
If you’re asking me, as a pet parent my first choice for my pup isn’t this type of food even though it provides a balanced meal and it’s actually more healthy than dry food(kibble). I always tend to go more natural and either choose raw dog food or homemade fresh food.
Raw food offers many health benefits and all the essential nutrients for dogs and even though it’s a very controversial way of feeding because of all the harmful bacteria that are in raw meat. Raw ingredients don’t actually affect dogs the same way as humans. [Source]
The fact is that a raw diet is much more dangerous for us, the owners. So if you’re thinking about transitioning your dog to a raw diet, do it slowly and be very careful with how you handle the food.
Try not to contaminate any of your living areas and try to sanitize the feeding place as much as you can. Also, if a child is living in your home, don’t let them anywhere near the food. [Source]
The reason for my choice is that many vitamins and minerals lose their functions during the dehydration process and provide less nutritional benefits.
Homemade Dehydrated Food That Your Dog Will Simply Adore
I always advise that if you have the time to cook or prepare a delicious meal for your pup by yourself, do it. That way you get to control all the food ingredients that go into their tummy and believe me, there is nothing better than a homemade meal with natural ingredients.
Before we get on to the recipe just a friendly precaution. If you’re making any type of homemade dog food make sure you have enough nutrients so your dog can get a complete meal.
Dogs can easily get malnourished if they don’t get the right percentage of protein and fat. So, poor nutrition is definitely not the way to go.
Your dog’s diet should only contain about 10 to 20% of fat, and the other 80% should be a protein source(you can add carbohydrates as well).
- Veggies-Vegetables like broccoli, green beans, beans(which are a great plant-based protein) sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, or butternut squash. Veggies provide natural vitamins that enhance your dog’s energy levels.
- A Type Of Meat By Your Own Choosing- We suggest types of food like beef, chicken, organ meat(liver, kidney, heart), lamb, or duck if you’re feeling fancy. The meat must be human-grade aka real meat.
- Calcium Supplement-If you aren’t feeding your dog raw, meaty bones on the regular then think about getting them a calcium supplement and putting it in their meal. [Source]
- Vitamin-Packed Fruits- Another solution for balanced nutrition is to give your dog a great source of natural vitamins, aka a variety of fruits. That can either be bananas, apples, or blueberries.
- Carbohydrates(Optional)- Cooked rice or cooked pasta is always a great addition to your dog’s meal, but, serve it in moderate measurements as it can cause some difficulties in the digestive process.
- Vitamin Supplements- If your dog isn’t getting enough of the beneficial vitamins, consult with a vet and get them vitamin supplements that are for dogs only.
- The cooking process is pretty easy. Grab your food dehydrator, your food ingredients, and dehydrate the fruits and veggies first.
- After your fruits and veggies, it’s time to dehydrate your raw meat ingredients.
- During this cooking process, you might wanna boil your rice/pasta. Again, don’t put too many carbohydrates in your dog’s meal as they can get pretty full pretty fast. Make sure that you boiled the rice well.
- Now it’s time to combine all of our ingredients together. Start with the rice/pasta and gradually add your protein, fruits, and veggies to the dog bowl.
- Crush the calcium and the vitamin supplement and put them into the bowl as well.
- Mix it all up and let it cool completely before giving it to your dog.
- If you have any dehydrated food left, take an air-tight container and store it for the next use.
This completes a full, balanced meal for your pup. I promise that they will absolutely love it and will most definitely appreciate you after their delicious meal. The process of freeze-drying dog food is very similar to this process and you can try that as a healthy dog food option.
You can most definitely just make dog treats from raw meat or butternut squash if you don’t feel like making a full meal. Simply just take your choice of meat and put it in the food dehydrator. Your pup will love this healthy snack.
How Much Dehydrated Dog Food To Feed Your Dog
Raw diets and dehydrated dog foods have similar nutrient profiles. Dehydrated dog food uses very similar ingredients as found in raw diets and retains most of the nutrients because of the low-temperature dehydration process.
As a general rule, dogs should be eating approximately 2-5% of their body weight in dehydrated dog food per day. If possible you can consider mixing them up with raw food diets so your pup has more variety and taste. The great news is the nutritional value of both raw diets and dehydrated food is higher than kibble in most cases!
Dehydrated dog food is definitely popular amongst pet parents. The dehydrating process involves cooking the food amongst hot or warm air and therefore losing its maximum nutrition. That is one of the cons about this type of food but don’t worry.
Your pup gets pretty much all the essential nutrients but it’s definitely not the best choice. The dehydrated food has a long shelf life and comes packed in a vacuum baggie.
It needs to get rehydrated with hot water before serving it to your pup. Just pour the hot water(read the instructions first) and you’ll get a wet food-like consistency.