A collection of articles on nutrition, dog training, and dog care tips for when you don’t know what the f*ck you’re doing as a dog parent.
WTF Is Freeze-Drying and What Does It Do to My Dog's Food?
Did you ever go to your local science center as a kid and eat freeze-dried astronaut ice cream? Imagine that, but with raw meat. Also your dog's the one eating it, not you. Freeze-drying provides many benefits to dog food, such as preserving nutrients from its raw form.
How does freeze-drying work for raw meat?
Freeze-drying, or lyophilisation, is a process that involves three steps:
Freezing the meat - the meat is placed on shelves in a freeze-dryer, and then the temperature inside the freeze-dryer is lowered to freeze it.
Lowering pressure to reduce the amount of water in the meat - when the pressure is reduced, the moisture molecules are converted from liquid to gas.
- Removing the moisture from the meat with a high-pressure vacuum - the vacuum removes any remaining moisture from the meat.
Basically, the raw meat is first frozen so the nutrients are preserved. Then any leftover water in the meat is sucked up into vapor with a super powerful vacuum, and you're left with freeze-dried meat that has a longer shelf life than dehydrated foods and kibble.
Is cooked dog food bad for my dog?
Anytime you introduce heat to food, digestive enzymes in the food are destroyed. These enzymes are important because they aid with digestion, and without them, the dog's own digestive enzymes have to work harder to digest their food.
That's not to say that lightly cooked meals, like homemade chicken and rice, are bad for your dog. They still contain more enzymes than super processed kibble, since additives and preservatives also destroy enzymes in dog food.
Each dog is an individual and you have to do what's best for yours. If your dog is sick and can only stomach a diet of boiled chicken and cooked rice, then that's okay! Some dogs don't like freeze-dried foods, and the goal is not to force-feed them the nutrients they need in foods they don't enjoy.
What are the top benefits of freeze-dried dog food?
There are many benefits of freeze-dried food, but here are some of them:
SMALLER POOPS, Y'ALL! This is a huge benefit of a raw diet in general for your dog. Your dog's body is absorbing more of the nutrients because there isn't any extra waste it needs to get rid of, like undigestible fillers. As a result, their poops can be smaller, firmer, and less stinky.
Convenient for when you're on the go - Maybe you want to feed your dog a fresh raw diet, which is great! But let's be real, it's not always convenient to drag around a bag of ground raw meat, organs, and bones if you're taking your dog with you to dinner with friends. Freeze-dried food can be eaten dry (which some dogs prefer) or reconstituted with some warm water. Easy peasy.
Easier for storage - Freeze-dried food has a long shelf life and is very lightweight. Our treats have a shelf life of 18 months. Store them in a cool place somewhere away from your pup and free up space in your fridge for beer!
- Affordable nutritional benefits - Some raw is better than none! Even if you can top off your dog's food with freeze-dried raw or use them as treats, your dog can still get nutritional benefits that lead to healthier coats and skin, improved oral health, and better digestive systems.
With freeze-dried dog foods, just like any other food, keep an eye on the ingredients used. There are so many natural vitamins and minerals found in whole meats that you shouldn't need to add them to your dog's diet. The less processed the meat is, the more vitamins and minerals it retains.
The next time you stumble upon an ingredients list that includes a bunch of added vitamins and minerals that you can't pronounce, do your own research to see what those benefits those ingredients are actually providing.
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