If you had been a pet parent for some time now, you probably have seen all the different types of food in the market. From raw food, freeze-dried food, all sorts of dry kibble, to dehydrated foods.
Now, if you are wondering what the heck is dehydrated food, you’ve come to the right place for an explanation. In this article, we are breaking down the mysterious origin of dehydrated dog food. If that’s something that you’re interested in, then keep on reading this article.
If you want a short answer to your question then this is it. Dehydrated dog food is food that has no moisture in it and therefore it has a longer shelf life than any other dog food.
To understand how dehydrated food works, you have to know what the process of dehydration means. Dehydration is the process of removing moisture from any type of food and leaving it almost without any fluid in it while still keeping most of the nutritional benefits and vitamins in it.
Of course, to make any sort of dehydrated food, first, we need to add some heat to it. The removal of the moisture is done by adding hot or warm air to the food.
Any type of dehydrated dog food is considered to be less processed than most dog foods but, the thing is, with the addition of hot air, the food is cooked and offers less vital nutrients than raw foods.
This type of food is often compared to freeze-dried dog food but freeze-dried and dehydrated food are not the same thing.
Well, I always take the side of the raw food and raw diet so naturally, I would say that for my dog, freeze-dried food would be a better choice.
Raw dog food and freeze-dried dog food have much more nutritional benefits than dehydrated food all because the food is not actually cooked.
If you’re planning on putting your dog on a raw food diet then freeze-dried food would be a great start. Remember, if your dog isn’t used to raw ingredients like raw meat, eggs, or fresh food like vegetables and fruits then please do the transition as slowly as you can.
Freeze-dried food is mainly made from raw ingredients and it’s part of the raw-feeding diet for dogs. The process of freeze-drying is very similar to the dehydrating process but this one is with cold air instead of a hot one.
Freeze-dried food undergoes a so-called ”freeze-drying process” of removing most of the moisture from the food by applying low temperature on it. So, the food is not cooked, it’s just frozen and dehydrated. Freeze-dried food is made with minimal processing so you still get balanced food with healthy nutrition. [Source]
That being said, dehydrated food isn’t bad or dangerous for your dog at all. It provides a balanced meal with a long shelf life, much longer than dry foods like kibble. It makes a delicious meal for your pup and I’m sure that they will be very happy with their meal.
Winner: Freeze-Dried Food
Now, this is a topic that we haven’t talked about here and there is a reason why. Yes, air-dried dog food exists and it is kinda similar to dehydrated food.
So, technically this process doesn’t really use heat as a dehydration tool so the food isn’t really cooked through. Air-dried food is in fact, considered to be raw pet food and it is shelf-stable.
This way, the food has its full nutritional content and all the vitamins that your dog needs, much like raw dog food.
The dehydration process, on the other hand, preserves the food using much higher temperatures and therefore the food loses some(not all) of its nutritional value during the cooking process.
Based on providing the better nutritional content and vitamins for your pup, i will say that air-dried dog food is better
Winner: Air-dried dog food
Raw feeding is considered to be every type of meal or raw treat that’s served with fresh ingredients like raw human-grade meat(organ meat like liver, kidney, heart, and muscle meat), raw eggs(as a great protein source), raw bones(as to provide additional nutrition and source of Ca)and fresh veggies and fruits.
A raw food meal has every right to be called a superfood. It provides your dog with many amazing benefits like bone strength, dental health, a strong immune system, higher energy levels, a shinier coat, healthier skin, and reduced body odor.
I must admit, feeding your dog a raw diet can be an expensive process and also a little bit intimidating for some owners. But it’s totally worth the money if that’s something you can afford.
With raw feeding, you can be assured that you get real food with natural vitamins and nutrients, unlike the highly processed ingredients and meats that are in wet dog food or kibble.
Of course, because there is no cooking process in feeding raw, you get maximum nutrition, much higher than any other type of dog food. So, rest assured that your dog will be healthier than ever.
If your pup has health issues or any kind of problem with digesting raw meat and raw bones, then please consult with a doctor before you transition them to raw meals.
Winner: Raw Dog Food
How To Rehydrate Dehydrated Dog Food
Well, every brand of dehydrated dog food has its own way of preparing or rehydrating the food, so I would suggest always read the labels and the instructions that are written on the back of the baggies.
But, every preparation of dehydrated food is pretty similar. Warm or warm water is all you need to make this delicious meal for your hungry pup.
Be careful with the water content so as to not make the food way too watery and mushy. That’s why I advise you to read the instructions and follow the recipe exactly as it says on the label.
Dehydrated dog food is considered to be any type of food that undergoes a process of dehydration aka removing all the moisture by applying hot air to it. This way, the food product is cooked and becomes shelf-stable so you can use it for a long time or if you need to, you can buy it in bulk.
Rehydrating dehydrated food isn’t much of a science, you just put some hot water as requested on the label of the food and voila, your dog doesn’t have to wait a long time for their delicious, balanced food.
The catch in this type of food is that as the ingredients go through a heating process they lose some of the natural nutrients and important vitamins that a dog would need for a healthy life. But aside from that, dehydrated food is perfectly fine for your dog to consume.