When it comes to feeding our furry friends, we want to make sure they are getting the best nutrition possible. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right type of food for our dogs. Two popular choices on the most nutritionally dense end of the scale are Raw and Freeze Dried Dog Food. But what exactly is the difference between these two options? Let's take a closer look.
What is Raw Dog Food?
Raw dog food is exactly what it sounds like – raw! It consists of uncooked ingredients such as meat, bones, offal, fruits, and vegetables. The idea behind raw dog food is to mimic the natural diet of dogs in the wild, which would typically consist of raw prey as well as the herbaceous content of their stomach – LOVELY.
Raw dog food diets are completely unprocessed and therefore are more nutritionally dense as well as being highly palatable to our four legged friends. Raw food is also high in moisture content and can contribute to daily hydration.
Most Raw foods are purchased frozen and thawed at home. Raw food can be purchased as either a complete diet; meaning the packaged product contains all the ingredients, vitamins and minerals for a healthy balanced diet, or as Complementary; meaning they complement other ingredients that are usually added by the owner. Complete feeding is usually recommended to owners that are new to raw feeding, to ensure their pet is getting all the nutritional requirements they need in their diet to thrive.
What is Freeze Dried Dog Food?
Freeze dried dog food is a type of food that has undergone a special preservation process. This process involves freezing the raw food and then removing the moisture through a process called sublimation. The result is a lightweight, shelf-stable product that retains most of its nutrients.
As freeze dried dog food hasn’t been cooked, it is technically raw, although as it has no moisture it does not contribute to daily hydration in the same way traditional raw food does. However, this lack of moisture means the food is easier to store as it does not need to be purchased frozen and thawed.
Freeze Dried dog food is a great alternative to raw feeding for owners who are travelling with their pets or those who aren’t always able to traditionally raw feeding.
Both freeze dried and raw dog food can provide a range of essential nutrients for your furry friend. However, there are some differences in the nutritional content as with traditional (or extruded) dog food.
Freeze dried dog food often undergoes minimal processing, which helps to retain more of the original nutrients. It can be a good option for dogs with specific dietary needs or sensitivities, as it is often free from additives and fillers.
Raw dog food, on the other hand, can provide a more natural and varied diet. It contains enzymes and probiotics that can aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut. However, it is important to note that that not all food will be suitable for all dogs. Ultimately the nutritional content for both depends on the quality of the ingredients used and the composition of the food if it is complete.
Both Raw and Freeze Dried formulas are often fixed and use limited ingredients. As a result they can be a great option for dog’s with sensitivities to certain foods.
Convenience and Storage
When it comes to convenience, freeze dried dog food takes the lead. It is lightweight, easy to store, and doesn't require refrigeration. This makes it a great option for pet owners who are always on the go or have limited storage space. Freeze dried food brands usually have treat options in their range too – meaning you can keep nutrition levels high during training sessions or even just as a tasty snack.
Raw dog food, on the other hand, requires more handling and storage. It needs to be kept frozen or refrigerated to prevent bacterial growth. This can be more challenging for pet owners who travel frequently or have limited freezer space. Lots of Raw feeders regularly give their dog’s long lasting chews such as Marrowbones or Knucklebones. These options are fantastic, nutritionally dense boredom busters which are great for dental health – However, they can also be messy.
Price is often a consideration when choosing dog food. Freeze dried dog food tends to be more expensive than traditional kibble or canned food. The preservation process and high-quality ingredients contribute to the higher cost.
Raw dog food can also be costly, especially if you choose to buy pre-made raw food. However, some pet owners opt to make their own raw dog food, which can be more cost-effective.
When done right, both options are typically considered more nutritionally dense than traditional extruded dog biscuits or wet food, and as a result you usually feed a lesser volume of food compared to these options.
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Both freeze dried and raw dog food are both great options to feed your dog and have their own benefits and considerations. When asking yourself “Should I feed raw or freeze dried food?” the answer ultimately comes down to your dog's individual needs and your own preferences. In some cases the answer might be both!
We stock a wide range of frozen raw food and freeze dried food in store. You can also see our range of Freeze Dried dog food here.
If you’d like to have a chat with us about Raw feeding, freeze dried diets or anything else why not get in touch or pop in store to have a chat with our friendly knowledgeable team?