If you’ve thought about making your own pet food but just don’t have the time or you don’t know where to begin, there is an easy alternative. One that gives your dog all the benefits of a homemade meal without any time spent in the kitchen. What is it? Dehydrated dog food.
What is Dehydrated Dog Food?
It’s actually very simple and makes feeding time a breeze. Dehydrated dog food, or freeze-dried food, takes a recipe of real, raw, healthy ingredients and removes the water so that it has a long shelf life and takes up less space. It comes in large raw dog food bags that are deceptively small. For example, a 3.5-pound box of dog food in its dry state can actually make about 14 pounds of food for a raw diet! All you do is add warm water, wait a few minutes, and the dry dog food turns into a moist, wholesome meal for your dog.
What’s great about dehydrated pet food is you can actually see what your dog is eating when he is feeding. If the ingredients include carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and peas, you’ll actually see pieces of carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and peas in the food. Most of them come with the meat protein already included, though you will find some that are meant to be a base that you can add your dog’s favorite meaty flavor too. These mixes are great for dogs with food sensitivities and most of them are gluten-free.
Now, here are our top 5 picks for the best dehydrated dog food out there.
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This recipe from Spot Farms is formulated for all life stages, from puppy to senior. This chicken and wholegrain recipe combines chicken with fresh ingredients such as barley, oats, dried apples, carrots, and spinach. It’s easy to digest and a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or ones who are just picky.
This 8-pound box of dry kibble makes about 32 pounds of food. All you do is add warm water, stir, and wait 3 minutes for the food to absorb that water. That’s it. What you end up with is a soft, delicious, wholesome meal that your dog will love. It’s real food that doesn’t contain animal meal of any kind and actually contains 4–7 times the amount of meat that’s in regular kibble.
In fact, it’s 100% human-grade food which means it’s so safe that you could actually eat it if you wanted to. One of the coolest things about this brand is that they source their ingredients from small family farms around the US. For this popular chicken flavor, the box lets you know that the meat was sourced from farmers in northeastern North Carolina. They even profile one of their chicken farmers names Ronnie on the back of the box!
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The Honest Kitchen also makes human-grade food that meets rigorous FDA standards. Also, it’s completely grain-free. This is a good option for dogs with food sensitivities or even dry, irritated skin.
This variety is called Force and it’s one of their most popular flavors, probably because picky eaters seem to love it! It’s great for adults and senior dogs of any breed and contains only all natural, non-GMO ingredients. The Force flavor has chicken, flaxseed, potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, apples, alfalfa, honey, pumpkin, and a bunch of other real food that you’d buy for yourself at the local farmer’s market.
The Honest Kitchen essentially makes human food for dogs. When you mix it with warm water to rehydrate it, you’ll see pieces of celery and apples and pumpkin. When they say it’s real food, they mean it. You’ll see exactly what your dog is getting and he’ll love every bite.
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As a brand, Only Natural Pet wants to make it easy for you to make healthy choices for your pet. So, they make it easy by making some of the healthiest, most delicious dog food you can find. They’ve spent a lot of time working on figuring out innovative ways to provide good things to your pets using the input of holistic vets, research, and traveling the world for ideas.
Raw meat is always the first ingredient in this dry kibble. Then they add dehydrated fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and cranberries. All you have to do is add water and you’re giving your dog all the vitamins and minerals he needs to thrive.
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I and Love and You and You makes dehydrated dog food that is 100% raw because with less processing comes greater nutrients. They truly believe raw is the best way your dog can get the most out of his food. This recipe is also grain-free with no by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, or rice, so it’s ideal for dogs with food allergies or gluten sensitivities.
The brand partnered with holistic veterinarians to come up with the complete nutrition. These mixes offer plus they only use fresh, premium ingredients. They’re also environmentally responsible and use a 100% wind-powered facility. Not only that, but they’re founding members of the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition.
I and Love and You always uses meat as the number one ingredient. In fact, it’s 26% meat. They use a special gentle dehydrating process that keeps everything raw so all the good stuff stays intact. All you do it add water, mix, and serve!
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EcoEats approaches the dehydrated formula we’ve seen in our other top picks a little differently. You add your own water and your dog’s favorite protein. They provide you with a grain-free, gluten-free, preservative-free base of eggs, apples, flax, kelp, broccoli carrots, bananas, blueberries, celery, spinach, lettuce and more.
This is a great choice if you have a pet that’s really picky. You can add the protein you know your pet will love. Alternatively, if you don’t have a picky eater, mix it up with beef, chicken, turkey, salmon. The possibilities are endless.
Healthier Dog Food
Does your dog deserve to have some fun? Try rewarding your dog with a new toy! Read our article “Best Indestructible Toys” for some help on selecting your deserving dogs new toy!