When it’s time to choose a diet for our four-legged friends, we all want to make the healthiest decision possible. Dehydrated dog food is one of the most nutrient-packed options you’ll come by. These foods are made by removing almost all of the water from a set of ingredients. It’s is far slower and cooler than conventional dog food cooking methods, and tends to preserve more of the nutrients found in each ingredient.
With its great nutritional content, it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of owners are making the switch to dehydrated foods. If you think these foods could be right for your dog, then read on. We’ve scoured the market to find the best of the bunch, so you can make an informed decision for your pooch. We’ve also compiled a handy buying guide, in which we answer some common questions about different types of dehydrated food, how they’re made, and how they could benefit your dog.
The Best Dehydrated Dog Food
Kicking off our list is this honest kitchen dog food. Made to human standard, the food offers your canine companion the all-round nutrition they need. Made to FDA standards in a human food factory, the dehydrated food features organic ingredients and a carefully blended recipe.
Tasty free-range chicken is the primary ingredient, giving dogs the lean protein they need. Meanwhile, a blend of barley and organic oats made a great source of prebiotic fiber and energy. The food is also enriched with all the vitamins and minerals that pooches need for a healthy and happy life, including B vitamins for a healthy metabolism, and vitamin E for a soft and healthy coat. The food is also free from artificial additives, GMO ingredients, byproducts or fillers, so it’s gentle on canine stomachs. Honest Kitchen carefully source all of their ingredients from trusted farms in the USA, to ensure consistent quality.
Human grade dehydrated food, made to FDA standards
Features organic oats
Free-range chicken is the primary ingredient
Natural grains provide prebiotic fiber and energy
Enriched with vitamin E to promote healthy coat and skin
B vitamins promote a healthy metabolism
Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
Free from byproducts and fillers
Ingredients sourced and processed in the USA
- BrandThe Honest Kitchen
- Weight10 pounds
Stella & Chewy have also found their way onto our list, with one of the best freeze dried dog foods on the market right now. Their grain-free patties are perfect for sensitive stomachs, and provide pooches with a simple, protein-rich meal. Because the food is freeze dried rather than cooked, each ingredient retains its nutritional value extremely well.
The complete formula provides hungry pups with all the nutrients they need to maintain their overall health. Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and hair, while ground bones and natural enzymes help to keep doggie teeth clean and fresh. The blend also contains B vitamins for a healthy metabolism and stamina. Each nutrient is derived from a natural source; meat, seeds, or veggies. Owners report that dogs love the taste, and allergy-prone pooches find their symptoms clearing up in no time thanks to the lack of grains and artificial additives.
Raw freeze-dried dog food
Grain-free formula is perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs
Freeze-dried, not cooked, to better retain nutrients
Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and hair
Ground bones and natural enzymes help clean your dog’s teeth
B vitamins promote healthy skin and hair
Free from artificial additives
Features responsibly sourced ingredients
Made in the USA
- BrandStella & Chewy’s
- Weight15 ounces
Sojos are well-known name in the world of freeze dried dog food brands, and they’ve earned their own spot on our list with this raw turkey food mix. If you want to feed your dog a raw diet, but just don’t have the freezer space, this type of freeze-dried raw food could be the perfect solution.
At its core, the recipe features real, whole turkey meat, sourced from farms in the USA. Alongside this protein-rich base, the blend also contains a variety of seeds, roots, and veggies, giving your dog the complete nutrition they need for a healthy life. With plenty of iron to support energy levels, and vitamin E for healthy skin and hair, owners can rest assured that their pooch thrives. The formula is grain-free too, and contains no artificial preservatives, making it an ideal option for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
Grain-free freeze-dried dog food
Made from raw ingredients
Recipe features real, US-sourced turkey as its primary ingredient
Blend features a variety of seeds, roots, and veggies for overall health
Iron supports healthy energy levels
Vitamin E supports your dog’s skin and coat
Ideal for sensitive stomachs
Free from artificial preservatives
- Weight8.2 pounds
The next dehydrated raw dog food to make our list is by Primal Foods. Their tasty recipe is free from corn, wheat, gluten, and soy, so it’s great for pooches who struggle with allergies. At its core, hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken provides pooches with the digestible protein they need for day-to-day energy and growth. In fact, the recipe features 78% chicken, roughly 20% higher than conventional, cooked dog foods.
All this protein emulates the diet your dog would have in the wild, helping them stay happy and healthy. Alongside this tasty chicken, the blend also features organic produce, from kale to blueberries and pumpkin seeds. These natural fruits and veggies provide all the vitamins and minerals dogs need to maintain a healthy body. Owners say that dogs can’t get enough of the taste, and develop a shiny coat in no time.
Grain-free freeze dried dog food
Great for dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs
Free from soy, gluten, corn, wheat, and artificial preservatives
Hormone and antibiotic free chicken is the recipe’s base
Provides 78% easily digestible chicken
Includes a selection of organic produce
Provides complete nutrition for dogs
Dogs love the taste
- BrandPrimal Pet Foods
- Weight0.32 ounces
Wellness Core have earned a spot on many of our top 10 lists in the past, and this list is no exception. Their air dried dog food is a great option for pooches from all walks of life. At the heart of their formula, is a blend of turkey and chicken, which constitutes 70% of the recipe. The tasty poultry is accompanied by a variety of healthy greens, including kale and broccoli, providing dogs with the nutrients they need for day-to-day life.
It can be served to dogs as a complete meal, or sprinkled on top of regular kibble for a protein and vitamin boost. The blend’s B vitamins help to maintain a healthy metabolism, while vitamin C supports the immune system. The recipe is free from soy, corn, wheat, gluten, and animal meal, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The formula also contains omega three and six fatty acids, for a healthy coat and soothed skin. Owners say that even picky dogs love the taste, while they themselves love the versatility.
Grain-free, air-dried dog food
Recipe features 70% turkey and chicken protein
Includes a variety of fresh produce
Provides dogs with complete nutrition
B vitamins help dogs maintain a healthy metabolism
Vitamin C supports your dog’s immune system
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and hair
Versatile formula can act as a complete meal, topper, or treat
- BrandWellness Core
- Weight2 pounds
Spot Farms is another of the dehydrated dog food brands to earn its place on our list. Their food is made using human grade ingredients, and free from processed animal meal – at its core, tasty free-range chicken provides an easily digestible base. This means that the formula contains four to seven times more real meat than a conventional dog food, making it rich in the protein that dogs crave.
Alongside its impressive meat content, the blend also features natural produce, including sweet potatoes, spinach, and blueberries. These veggies lend the formula all the vitamins and minerals dogs need to maintain a healthy body: antioxidants support your dog’s immune system, while omega fatty acids help their skin and coat to flourish. Because it’s free from grains, the food is a great option for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs, too.
Complete dehydrated dog food
Grain-free formula suits dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies
Free-range chicken is the blend’s number one ingredient
Contains 4 to 7 times more meat than conventional dog food
Includes a blend of fruits and vegetables to provide the vitamins and minerals dogs need
Antioxidants support the immune system
Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and hair
- BrandSpot Farms
- Weight8 pounds
Although it’s not a food per se, this dehydrated supplement also deserves a spot on our list. The 100% carrot formula provides natural and effective relief from diarrhea in dogs. In just two servings, the supplement can bring your dog’s digestive system back into balance.
As well as helping with diarrhea, the formula offers relief from constipation, anal gland issues, gas, bloating, and even symptoms caused by worms. The blend even helps to prevent future digestive issues, thanks to the unique health benefits of carrots. Because they’re packed full of fiber and vitamins, carrots are a great natural remedy for all kinds of stomach upsets. The supplement can also be used for day-to-day feeding, since the beta-carotene it contains (converted into vitamin A in the body) helps repair tissue, and protect against radiation from the sun. Because of this, vitamin A acts as a great skin and hair supplement, making for a soft and healthy coat.
Dehydrated supplement made from 100% carrots
Helps to ease digestive problems such as diarrhea in just two servings
Relieves constipation, gas, bloating, anal gland issues, and more
Carrots are full of fiber, promoting digestive health
Beta-carotene in the supplement helps protect skin and hair against the sun
Suitable for use as a day-to-day food supplement
- Weight5.5 pounds
Dr. Harvey’s ‘Miracle’ food certainly lives up to its name, earning a spot as one of the best dehydrated dog foods on the market right now. Made with size organic grains and nine varieties of vegetable, the food is a perfect base for natural feeding – just add meat. Because it’s dehydrated, each one pound bag makes around 33 servings; all you need to do is add water. Each element of the food is made with human grade ingredients, without the use of dyes, chemicals, or preservatives.
Instead, the blend depends on high quality produce, carefully blended to provide dogs with all the nutrients they need for great overall health. Vitamin E in the formula helps to promote healthy hair and skin, while B12 supports the metabolism. It’s full of antioxidants, too, ensuring your dog’s immune system is properly supported. Owners say that dogs love the taste, and appreciate the lack of artificial additives. Overall, Dr. Harvey’s have provided a convenient stepping stone for owners considering making their own dog food at home.
Dehydrated dog food base – just add water, oil, and protein
Made with organic grains
Recipe features 9 varieties of vegetable for great overall nutrition
Features human grade ingredients
Contains vitamin E to support healthy hair and skin
Vitamin B12 promotes a healthy metabolism
Antioxidants in the formula support the immune system
- BrandDr. Harvey’s
- Weight5 pounds
The penultimate dog food to make our list is this dehydrated raw food by Only Natural. Raw, free-range beef is the number one ingredient in this blend, supported by a blend of human grade fruits and veggies that give your four-legged friend the all-round nutrition they need.
Its holistic formula is minimally processed, and free from all GMO ingredients. It provides pooches with the high level of protein they need for a healthy lifestyle, as well as a wide range of supportive vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 supports your dog’s metabolism, while vitamin E promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin. It’s easy to prepare, too – just add water. You can add more or less to alter the texture, depending on how your pet likes their food. Owners say that dogs love the taste, and even notice a positive change in their coat condition.
Dehydrated raw dog food
Free-range beef is the number one ingredient
Features a blend of human grade fruits and vegetables
Minimally processed formula
Made with non-GMO ingredients
Vitamin B12 supports your dog’s metabolism
Vitamin E promotes healthy skin and hair
- BrandOnly Natural Pet
Last, but not least, is this versatile food topper by Honest Kitchen. Each ingredient is human grade, and meets FDA standards. The food consists of nutritious dehydrated clusters, made from a range of carefully sourced meat, frutis, and vegetables. At its core, natural chicken provides dogs with a protein boost, while sweet potato helps to energise them.
The blend also supports your dog’s overall health, with iron, vitamin E, and antioxidants. These nutrients support your dog’s metabolism and immune system, as well as promoting healthy skin and hair. It’s great for allergy prone pets too, thanks to its grain-free formula. Every bag of Honest Kitchen food is sourced and assembled in the USA
Natural dehydrated dog food topper
Grain-free formula is great for allergy-prone dogs
Made with human grade ingredients
Natural chicken provides an excellent protein source
A blend of fruits and vegetables provide dogs with the vitamins and minerals they need
Vitamin E promotes a healthy coat
Iron in the food supports high energy levels
Antioxidants support your dog’s immune system
Made with US sourced ingredients
- BrandThe Honest Kitchen
- Weight14.1 ounces
Best Dehydrated Dog Food Buying Guide
Having seeing a few dehydrated dog food reviews, we hope you’ve been able to work out whether this feeding option is the right choice for your pet. To help you make this important decision, and pick a brand that works for you and your four-legged friend, we’ve compiled this buying guide.
Below we discuss how dehydrated dog food differs from its conventional counterparts, how it could benefit your dog, and what buying options you have. Whether you’re looking for the best freeze dried dog food, or the optimal air-dried option, we hope this information can help you find the perfect fit for your pooch.
What is Dehydrated Dog Food?
Dehydrated food is a convenient way to feed to your dog a raw diet, without having to store bulky raw ingredients. It’s made by gently heating the ingredients until virtually all their moisture has evaporated. The ingredients are exposed to this low level heat for a long time, making dehydration a comparatively time-consuming preparation method.
Dehydration is one of the oldest forms of food preservation - without moisture, microorganisms which would otherwise break down the food are inhibited.
Despite the time it takes, dehydration has a number of benefits:
- Dehydrated foods occupy little space and are relatively light
- Dehydration locks in more nutrients than conventional dog food cooking methods
- Dehydrated food can be reconstituted with water, helping to add moisture to your pet’s diet
- The dehydration process involved minimal processing compared to conventional dry dog foods
- Dehydration preserves the ingredients, allowing the food to last for a long time
However, there are also a couple of disadvantages to bear in mind:
Unfortunately, high quality raw ingredients don’t come cheap. Dehydrated dog foods often make use of human grade, or organic produce, which tends to make them much more expensive than a conventional kibble. If you want your dog to benefit from dehydrated food, but are concerned about budget restraints, you can always use it to top their existing food. This will improve the flavor, and give them a great nutritional boost - much like taking a multivitamin.
- Raw Risks
Despite its myriad benefits, fully raw food does come with its own risks. A few veterinary professionals are concerned that some raw foods - the ones which feature uncooked meat - could contain harmful bacteria, which would be killed in the conventional cooking process. Dehydrated foods are usually heated to temperatures just high enough to kill off pathogens, but air-dried and freeze-dried products could pose a risk.
Although a lack of moisture should keep these harmful bacteria at bay, it’s a good idea to proceed with caution, and treat this type of food the same way you would treat raw meat in your kitchen. If you or your pooch is immunocompromised, or you have a baby at home, we wouldn’t recommend a raw diet.
- Fat Content
Some dehydrated foods have a significantly higher fat content than their conventional counterparts, so this kind of diet may not be suitable if your dog is overweight. If you’re still keen to try out a dehydrated food, you can always use just a sprinkle to make canned foods more palatable.
Benefits of Dehydrated Dog Food
For many, dehydrated options are a happy medium between conventional wet and dry dog foods. They offer both you and your canine companion a wide range of benefits:
- Superior Nutrition
When ingredients are exposed to heat during the cooking process, the nutrients they contain can be destroyed or leech away. Dehydrating food locks in more of these nutrients, giving it greater nutritional value pound for pound. Dehydrating food also keeps it fresh without the need for artificial preservatives.
If you’re interested in trying out a raw diet, you might feel somewhat daunted. You’ll need to keep a lot of raw meat around, which can be inconvenient at the best of times, and risky at worst. Dehydrated foods allow you to feed your dog a raw diet, without having to buy a second freezer. They offer nutritionally complete meals, which can be stored anywhere cool and dry, and prepared with just a little water.
If your pooch is a particularly picky eater, they may well benefit from a dehydrated food. Because they tend to have high meat contents, and a pleasant texture, even picky dogs can really get their teeth into this kind of food. You can even adjust the texture to suit your dog’s taste, by varying the amount of water you add to each portion.
- Relief for Sensitive Stomachs
Many dehydrated foods are grain free, making them a great option for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. As mentioned earlier, the dehydration process also precludes the need for artificial preservatives, which some pooches find irritating.
What’s the Difference Between Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Foods?
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods look very similar, but they’re made using fairly different processes:
As mentioned earlier, dehydrated foods are made by exposing the ingredients to low level heat (140 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit) for an extended period of time. This allows the water inside to evaporate away.
Freeze-drying is a slightly more complex process. Fresh ingredients are frozen, kept at a low temperature, and exposed to low pressure. The procedure causes water in the food to phase from solid ice to gas, totally evaporating.
How Air-Dried and Freeze-Dried Dog Foods Are Made?
Along with dehydrated and freeze-dried, you’ll also see ‘air-dried’ raw foods in the mix.
These foods are made using a process very similar to dehydration, with one crucial different: no heat is added. The process is more time consuming, but without any heat at all, each ingredient retains even more of its original nutrients. The final result is usually less crumbly than freeze-dried food, too, making it easier to dispense as a treat.
Our Top Pick
For us, the best dehydrated raw dog food has to be Honest Kitchen’s complete grain free formula. The blend features free range chicken as its number one ingredient, giving pooches the protein they need for great overall health.
This farm-raised meat is accompanied by a range of organic whole grains, and vegetables, providing a natural source of energy, fiber, and vitamins. All of its ingredients are human grade, so you can rest assured the furriest member of the family is getting the same quality nutrition as the rest. Free from preservatives and GMO ingredients, this natural food is a great option for any adult breed.
- Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Raw Food – Is this Really Raw? - Keep the Tail Wagging
- What Is A "Natural" Diet For Dogs? - Huffington Post