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Dog parents frequently ask, “What are the best dehydrated dog foods?” Unfortunately, due to marketing tactics, conflicting advice, and thousands of brands to choose from, coming to a conclusion can often be quite confusing. But we’ve got the help you need to select a dehydrated dog food your furry best friend will devour!
Providing your best buddy with proper care and nutrition is a big responsibility. You must consider your dog’s size, breed, age, and any health issues they might have. And for all your consideration, if you’ve got a picky eater, your ideal choices might go right out the window. With dehydrated foods made from whole meats and fresh fruits and veggies, you’ll find even the fussiest pups will enjoy mealtime. But before you scroll through our best-of list, here are some things to consider when choosing the best-dehydrated dog food.
Things To Consider Before Picking Dehydrated Food For Your Dog
- The food has to meet AAFCO nutritional standards. The AAFCO statement ensures the food you serve your dog is nutritionally complete and is a balanced meal. Keep in mind, AAFCO doesn’t test foods. It only sets the guidelines for what’s considered complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.
- The recipes must be made with high-quality ingredients. While ensuring your dog food is AAFCO certified is essential, making sure the dog food ingredient list specifies what type of meat is used is equally as important. If the meat source is left unspecified or is listed as “meat by-products,” skip that food. Making sure the food is human-grade or fresh is a way to ensure your dog only consumes the most high-quality ingredients. Ensure the dog food ingredient list doesn’t contain white flour, rendered fat, preservatives such as BHA and BHT, or propylene glycol.
- The dog food should taste good. Obviously, it’s important to make sure your dog actually eats the food, so the palatability of the food is essential when making a decision.
Now, let’s check out the best-dehydrated dog foods on the market. Your pup will love them all!
The 7 Best Dehydrated Dog Foods
Spot & Tango UnKibble
Spot & Tango offers an affordable fresh food option resembling kibble, but only uses fresh, whole ingredients. UnKibble offers recipes made with fish, beef, and chicken that use 100% fresh, entirely human-grade ingredients, and are formulated by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. Unlike kibble, UnKibble contains no meat meals or powdered “mystery meats” and is gently dried at low temps using a unique Fresh Dry™ process, which maximizes nutritional integrity. And with Spot & Tango, you’ll never find artificial preservatives, fillers, or additives in their recipes.
Plus, when you get started with Spot & Tango, you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your dog, and the brand will create a personalized meal plan based on your pup’s nutritional needs. With yummy flavors like Cod & Salmon, Beef & Barley, and Chicken & Brown Rice, your dog will gobble down this delicious dehydrated dog food option. And because Spot & Tango sells directly to you, you’ll never pay any retail markup. Once you set up a meal plan for your dog, this unique dry fresh food will be shipped directly to your door. Just open the box and serve to make mealtime your dog’s favorite time of the day!
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At a Glance:
- Made with the highest quality, human-grade ingredients
- Shelf-stable for easy storage
- Formulated by veterinary nutritionists
- Take a 5-minute quiz to receive a custom meal plan
- Delivered fresh, directly to your door with free shipping
- AAFCO Statement: Spot & Tango is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.
The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food
With a whole line of dehydrated dog foods, your pup will have so many choices when it comes to mealtime! When you scroll The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated dog foods page, you’ll find whole grain, grain-free, gourmet grains, and limited ingredient recipes with whole meats like ranch-raised beef, free-range chicken, turkey, fish, or duck. And these quality proteins are combined with fresh vegetables and fruits to provide dogs with the vitamins and minerals that help keep their bodies healthy.
And if you’re kicking around the idea of becoming a chef for your dog, you can choose The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Veggie & Fruit Dog Food Base Mix to help you ease into cooking dog food. Simply add warm water and your own source of protein to the mix, and you’ve made your pup a tasty meal! The Honest Kitchen provides a variety so large even the pickiest eater will be hard-pressed to turn up their nose.
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At a Glance:
- Made with 100% human-grade ingredients and produced in a human food facility
- Prepared in small batches and gently cooked to maintain nutrients, taste, and aroma
- Made in the USA with US & globally sourced ingredients
- No feed-grade ingredients, rendered meat meals, fillers, GMO ingredients, potatoes, legumes, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives
- Delivers concentrated nutrition—a 10lb box makes 40lbs of food
- AAFCO Statement: All Honest Kitchen complete & balanced dog food recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO. Plus, The Honest Kitchen successfully completed in-home, comprehensive AAFCO Feeding Trials that substantiate their foods provide nutritional adequacy and overall health in dogs.
Chippin Dehydrated Cricket Dog Food
Did you know it takes almost 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? But it only takes one gallon of water to produce one pound of cricket protein. That’s right; this best-dehydrated dog food option contains crickets! Chippin uses hypoallergenic cricket protein to provide your dog with quality nutrition while helping the planet.
Crickets offer a source of complete and highly digestible protein that contains all ten essential amino acids. For dogs with allergies or sensitive tummies, crickets are a natural source of prebiotic fiber to support gut health. Other proteins include infinitely renewable Spirulina and Silver Carp, an overpopulated fish species that are more digestible than chicken and wild-caught from the Great Lakes. These alternative proteins are paired with healthy all-natural blueberries, pumpkin, peanut butter, and carrots to provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
Chippin’s locally sourced human-grade proteins are a novel approach to sustainable dog food and “chip in” for dogs and the planet. And you can trust your pup’s tummy to Chippin because every recipe is developed and overseen by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. Plus, they oven-bake each recipe in kitchens with the highest Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certification and standards for quality and safety.
At a Glance:
- Human-grade, antibiotic-free, no pesticides, no mercury, and hypoallergenic
- Every recipe is oven baked in kitchens with SQF certification
- Formulated with the help of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist
- Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestion issues
- Boasts no methane emissions because they don’t use beef
- AAFCO Statement: Chippin daily food recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs one year or older. It’s made to meet the AAFCO nutritional requirements for Adult Maintenance diets.
Only Natural Pet Maxmeat Beef With Pumpkin Recipe Air-dried Dog Food Topper
With only one primary meat source, this Only Natural Pet air-dried dog food is the perfect way to satisfy your dog’s natural cravings. And with only one meat source from beef, beef lung, and beef liver, this food is one of the best-dehydrated foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This raw mix is the perfect solution for dog owners who struggle to find suitable food for tummy issues or even picky eaters. Formulated to help improve your pet’s digestion and metabolism, this raw food can be served as a topper for dry kibble and canned food or as a complete meal.
Made from grass-fed beef, the free-range animal source was raised in New Zealand with no hormones or antibiotics in its diet. The added taurine also provides your dog with excellent heart health support. Enhanced with additional vitamins and minerals, you’re giving your dog a healthy boost with every scoop!
At a Glance:
- Added taurine for heart health
- Grass-fed, free-range beef
- Follows the whole-prey rule
- Raised without any additives or hormones
- Lean muscle support due to high-quality protein
- AAFCO Statement: Only Natural dog food recipes are nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards.
Stella & Chewy’s: Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Providing your pup with a plate of Stella and Chewy Patties for breakfast and then again for dinner is one sure way to keep them energized all day. With responsibly sourced, grass-fed beef, these dinner patties ensure your dog is eating as nature intended. Both grain and gluten-free, this freeze-dried raw dog food provides your dog with essential nutritional benefits like improved health and digestion, a healthy immune system, and greater vitality and stamina.
Look at these top 16 ingredients, and you’ll see there’s a whole lot of meat and protein that’s complimented by organic fresh fruits and veggies: grass-fed beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, beef bone, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, organic carrots, organic squash, organic blueberries, fenugreek seed.
All this goodness makes up 95% of the recipe, but rest assured that the last five percent never contains additives like grains, preservatives, or hormones. These tasty patties are one of the best organic freeze-dried dog foods on the market and offer your pup a nutritionally balanced formulation. And to incorporate variety into your pup’s meals, try any of Stella and Chewy’s other flavor options.
At a Glance:
- 95% raw grass-fed beef & wild-caught salmon, nutrient-rich organs, & bone
- Pea-free, lentil-free, & potato-free
- 100% organic fruits & vegetables
- Fortified with added vitamins & minerals, including taurine
- Enhanced with probiotics & antioxidants
- Never any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics
- Minimal processing and small-batch production
- Supports skin, coat, and digestive health
- Crafted in the USA with responsibly sourced ingredients
- AAFCO Statement: Stella & Chewy recipes are specifically formulated to meet AAFCO Nutrient Profiles to offer complete and balanced nutrition for your puppy, including appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients.
Only Natural Pet Wholesome Homemade Stew Dehydrated Dog Food
Only Natural Pet’s Homemade Stew is the perfect way to incorporate nutritious stew into your dog’s diet. Full of deboned turkey, chicken meal, and delicious non-GMO vegetables and fruits, this dog-food mix produces a stew that looks, tastes, and smells homemade. Packed with sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, green beans, carrots, yellow peas, cranberries, pumpkin, spinach, and pineapple stems, you can rest assured your dog gets only the most high-quality ingredients. With various flavor options ranging from fish, red meat, and poultry, your dog can choose their favorite flavor or switch it up for a wider variety.
An excellent option for senior dogs, this dehydrated dog food mix is rich in protein and contains New Zealand green mussels, making it great for maintaining pain-free joints and healthy bones. Only Natural Pet is always one of our top choices in dehydrated dog food recipes, as they always support your dog’s health with high-quality ingredients that are carefully chosen.
At a Glance:
- Deboned whole turkey is the first ingredient
- Added taurine for heart health
- No additives, preservatives, or color
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Allows for lean muscle development due to protein-rich ingredients
- AAFCO Statement: Only Natural dog foods recipes are nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards.
Sojos Complete Turkey Recipe Adult Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Containing extremely nutritious and beneficial raw materials, this Sojos dehydrated dog food has no unnecessary preservatives, additives, or artificial colors, ensuring the raw food your dog consumes is high-quality and made from only the best ingredients. With its main ingredient as freeze-dried turkey, this mixture contains nutrient-rich superfoods, such as celery, kelp, papaya, and more.
This raw mix is easy to prepare, and within minutes your dog will have a delicious meal that is grain-free, gluten-free, and made from premium ingredients, with turkey meat always at the top of the ingredients list. Adding whole egg also provides another healthy protein source, while added vitamins and minerals deliver an extra dose of goodness to your pup’s immune system. And every pound of Sojos makes up to 5 lbs. of fresh, raw food, making this an affordable raw food for dogs.
At a Glance:
- USDA-approved and free from artificial ingredients
- Easy prep: Add water, soak and serve nutritious, delicious raw meals in just minutes.
- Gentle, proprietary freeze-drying process makes raw meat safe without heat or chemicals.
- Contains air-dried superfoods
- Made in the USA in Minnesota kitchens
- AAFCO Statement: Sojos Complete is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Adult Maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Food?
Dehydrated dog food loses less moisture but takes longer to rehydrate. The dehydrating process loses 90 to 95 percent of moisture while freeze drying loses 98 to 99 percent of the moisture. Freeze-dried food only takes two to three minutes to rehydrate while dehydrated food can take five to ten minutes. The flavor and texture are closer to the original food with freeze-drying.
Can Dehydrated Dog Food Go Bad?
Yes, dehydrated dog food can go bad, but it lasts much longer than wet, fresh, and raw dog food.
How Long Does Dehydrated Dog Food Last?
Dehydrated dog food can last one to two years unopened, depending on the product. When opened, you should use the food within six weeks.
What’s the Difference Between Dehydrated Dog Food and Air Dried Dog Food?
Dehydrated and air-dried dog foods are both methods of preservation, but they differ in process and moisture content. Dehydrated food is subjected to heat just below cooking point to remove moisture, resulting in a lightweight, non-perishable product that requires rehydration before feeding. Air-dried food is exposed to warm airflow to evaporate moisture but retains more than dehydrated food. It’s served as-is, without rehydration. Both methods retain more nutrients compared to traditional cooking, but air-dried food may retain more due to less heat exposure. Each method offers a longer shelf-life than fresh food and can be beneficial for preserving nutritional quality.
Is Dehydrated Dog Food Better Than Kibble?
Dehydrated dog food can be healthier than kibble because it retains more nutrients. It’s usually made with natural ingredients and is more flavorful than kibble. However, many dog parents prefer kibble because it’s more affordable.
Is Dehydrated Dog Food Raw?
Most dehydrated dog food products are raw because they’re raw dog food in a more convenient form. Removing the moisture from raw dog food helps it last longer.
Think Raw Food Might Be Best? Here Are the Best Raw Dogs Foods
Conclusion: Best Dehydrated Dog Foods
And now that you know more about the best-dehydrated dog foods than you ever thought you would, it’s time to make your choice. If you’re still torn between choices, don’t stress. Just know, no matter which option you choose, any of these quality foods will make your pup feel like a winner at dinner!
Not sure if dehydrated food is the right choice for you and your pup? See our list of the Best Dog Foods for other great options!
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