Today, dog food is available in a wide variety of formats, flavors and sizes. The best known are kibble and canned feed, but there are also other options. For some time now, freeze-dried food is taking on more and more relevance.

In this article we will tell you what are the advantages and disadvantages of freeze-dried dog food and what are the challenges when incorporating it into our food offer.

As we discussed in a previous article, pet owners increasingly have a highly humanized treatment of their pets. One consequence of this is the need and demand for more natural, fresh and nutritious food.

What is freeze-dried food?

Faced with this growing demand, freeze-dried food appears. With the aim of developing the most complete food at a nutritional level, this 100% natural option arises, made with specific processes that maintain all the properties of the components.

This type of food is obtained through freeze-drying, a process similar to dehydrating food, in order to increase its durability. Essentially, it is a special way of drying the raw material to remove water thanks to the product being frozen, the pressure is reduced and the water it contains is sublimated (it becomes steam water). Carrying out this process repeatedly results in the elimination of practically all the liquid that composes it.

Meat that has undergone a freeze-drying process gives us the possibility of offering a product that is as similar as possible to raw meat, but the best thing is that it preserves all its benefits and nutrients without running the risk of the pet contracting possible diseases bacterial. It is then packed in an airtight package to prevent spoiling. In general, freeze-dried food is used as a supplement to the daily ration of food for dogs.

Freeze-dried and dehydrated food, are they the same?

The process may seem very similar, but there are differences between these types of foods. The main one is that, in the freeze-drying process, 99% of humidity is eliminated, while the food subjected to a dehydration process loses up to 95% of humidity. Thus, to achieve a lyophilized food it must be frozen, while this stage does not participate in the dehydration process.

What are the advantages of freeze-dried food?

Some of the benefits of foods that go through the freeze-drying process are:

• The original appearance and shape of the food is well preserved.

• It does not contain chemical additives to extend the conservation, and even so its durability is prolonged, since, as it has no water, it does not perish.

• It has a high level of retention of natural aromas and flavors, which helps its palatability.

• Preserves all the nutrients.

• Contains no cereals.

Why should dogs eat a raw diet?

Trends are increasingly prevailing in the pet food market; One of them is that there are dog owners who choose to feed them raw products, since it is the closest thing they would eat in their 'natural habitat'.

And, although it is true that raw food has certain remarkable benefits, such as ...

• Coat improvement

• Whiter teeth

• Fresher breath

• Better weight balance

• Better digestion

It also happens that a balanced food already contains all the nutrients that today's dogs need (which are not the same needs as those of a dog of long ago).

That is why it is advisable to supplement balanced food with freeze-dried food treats or snacks, to create a perfect balance between the convenience of the feed and the nutritional quality of the raw food.

Important fact: Freeze-dried food creates less food waste

As another of the market trends is sustainability and the reduction of environmental impact, it should be noted that freeze-dried food, by not perishing, considerably reduces the waste of expired or spoiled food.

Does freeze dried food have disadvantages?

Today, the main disadvantage of this type of food is its cost. Although, as it does not perish and has greater durability, it could be sold and put on the market in large quantities and that would reduce the value for the final consumer, the truth is that the limited supply still manages costs that are a bit high and, at first glance , the buyer may not know the benefits and therefore not buy it.

Another considered disadvantage is that this food may have a higher fat content than the 'regular' food.

Which are freeze dried dog food offers nowadays?

Currently, in the international market you can find various options of this type of food:

Grandma Lucy's: is an American brand with an exclusive offering of freeze-dried foods.

Among its variety, there are foods:

• Chicken (26%), fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples and celery.

• Chicken candy type (32% protein and 17% fat).

True Instinct, the American brand: has two options for sale: one 100% chicken and the other 100% beef. They do not contain additives, flavorings, colors or preservatives.

Stella & Chewy, this company uses only meat from free-range animals free of hormones and antibiotics. Their offer, which varies mostly between chicken and rabbit protein, offers a level of up to 42% protein.

Natuplus, the Argentine Pet Food company: offers 100% freeze-dried snacks: lamb, fish, meat, chicken and liver.

Instinct Chile, has an offer of freeze-dried food for dogs with salmon, duck, cow and chicken meat.

Summary

Freeze-dried dog food provides minimally processed nutrition, which appeals to pet owners looking for an alternative to plain kibble. It is usually a good alternative to incorporate into the offer of those producers who have a qualified customer profile and can end up betting on a little more expensive food, but with a high nutritional quality for their pets.

By: All Pet Food

By: María Candelaria Carbajo

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