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Why Are Freeze-Dried Raw Treats Becoming So Popular?

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of Inspired by his rescued husky, Splash, he dedicated himself to learning about extending both the length and quality of her life. Splash lived and thrived until 18 years old, and now Justin is on a mission to share what he learned with other dog owners.Read more
| Published on December 8, 2016

Ok admit it. The real reason we give our dogs treats is the dopamine rush we get ourselves. Am I right?

There’s nothing quite like seeing my husky’s bright blue eyes light up, as she sits pretty and motionless, just waiting for her delectable morsel to be dispensed.


So What’s The Big Deal with Freeze Dried, Raw Treats?

First of all, lets define what exactly the freeze drying process is. When a food is freeze dried, first it’s flash frozen at an ultra-low temperature. Next, the moisture is removed via a vacuum process. Because bacteria and other microorganisms need water to survive, freeze-dried foods are preserved in a safe way without the use of chemical preservatives or additives.

Raw freeze dried treats aren’t necessarily new (brands like Stewarts Pro-Treat have been have been around for many years), but they’ve only recently begun gaining major traction in the pet world. About 6 months back, I decided to look into why. Here’s 3 things I learned:

Reason #1: Less Ingredients = Less Fear & Guilt

Most freeze-dried raw treats contain an absolute minimum of ingredients. This is a huge point for dog owners worried about allergies, as every additional ingredient poses a risk. As mentioned above, the freeze drying process itself preserves the treat naturally, so added chemicals aren’t needed to create a long shelf life. (NASA has extensively used freeze-dried foods to feed astronauts on space missions)

Do keep in mind, however, that not all freeze dried treats contain minimal ingredients, and not all freeze dried treats contain raw meat. Which brings us to my next finding…

Reason #2: Freeze Dried Raw Meat Packs More Nutrients

The overwhelming majority of dog treats on the market are dehydrated. Dehydration isn’t necessarily terrible, but it does use high heat that kills a lot of the nutrients that are present in raw meat. Raw meat leaves nutrients as unadulterated and potent as possible, the way the ancestors of dogs would have eaten in the wild.

While the thought of raw meat is a bit gross to humans, there’s nothing more natural for dogs, whose digestive systems have developed over millennia to handle the raw meat (and even bones) that they would consume in the wild. (We’ve written more about the benefits of raw diets here and here.)

Reason #3: More Bang for The Buck

Because the freeze drying process removes water, it also significantly reduces the weight and size of freeze dried treats. This results in more value for the consumer. For example, this 10 oz. pack of freeze dried beef liver actually contains 35 oz. of meat before the freeze drying process. Basically, your dog gets more protein packed into a smaller package.

Related: Best Dehydrated Dog Foods

When iHeartDogs decided to expand our line of products that raise money for animal shelters, offering freeze dried treats was a no brainer for us. Because we believe in only selling products that we ourselves passionately use for our own dogs, we couldn’t be more proud of the new Project Paws™ line of Freeze Dried Treats. Each pack sold provides 14 meals for dogs in shelters or rescues. 

However, we care more about the health of your dog than whether or not you buy our specific product. We encourage you to do your own research on freeze dried as we did. We trust you’ll agree with us on the benefits, and make the best choice for your dog!

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More External Resources – 5 Benefits of Feeding Your Dog a Raw Diet – Are Freeze Dried Dog Treats Safe? – Freeze-Dried Dog Treats: Are They Really Better for Your Dog?


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