10 Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

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dry dog food and fresh meat

Freeze-dried dog food is the best option for dog owners who want to feed their pups a raw diet — without the hassle.

This shelf-stable option includes raw and human-grade ingredients. But it’s as convenient as kibble to feed your canine. But which formula is the best freeze-dried dog food out there? 

My favorite choice is TruDog Feed Me Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

It starts with free-range beef. This includes the bones and liver — for ultimate protein and nutrients. And, it doesn’t include any fillers or extra ingredients your dog doesn’t need. So it’s suitable for pups of all life stages, even puppies or nursing dogs! 

But there are some other great options as well. Whether you’re looking for specific proteins (like rabbit or duck) or want a formula that fits your dog best, we have plenty of options!

Our Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  1. TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Adults)
  2. Stella & Chewy’s Perfectly Puppy Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Puppies)
  3. Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals for Seniors Grain Free Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Seniors)
  4. Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ Bites Small Breed Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Small Breeds)
  5. Sojos Complere Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dehydrated Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Large Breeds)
  6. BIXBI Rawbble Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Best Budget Freeze-Dried Food)
  7. ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Best Premium Freeze-Dried Food)
  8. Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Weight Loss)
  9. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Food for Weight Gain)
  10. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Foodfor Allergies) 

10 Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food Reviewed 

The recipes listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog to freeze-dried food, please consult with your veterinarian. 


Best for Adults

TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

TruDog Craunchy Munchy Beef Raw Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Beef Liver, Beef Heart
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 41% Crude Protein, 28% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber, 5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 286.59 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and raw freeze-dried dog food great for all life stages

The most significant appeal to freeze-dried food is that it’s the closest option to raw. But, it doesn’t need refrigeration. It’s also important to make sure adult dogs get quality protein and nutrients like they would with a raw diet. 

That’s where TruDog Feed Me Raw Freeze-Dried dog food comes in. First, it boasts a whopping 41% of Crude Protein. And, this formula is great for all dogs — no matter their size or age.

It starts with real and high-quality cuts of beef meat, including lung, liver, and beef fat. This raw food also helps support healthy gums and teeth and boosts your dog’s immune system.

It’s also hypoallergenic and easy to digest. It contains one meat protein and no other possible inflammatory ingredients.

The only other ingredient added to the beef is herring oil. This aids in digestion too, and also provides omega-3 fatty acids. This nourishes your dog’s joints and keeps their coat healthy and shiny. 

This formula is free of wheat, gluten, corn, soy, and grain. It doesn’t contain any fillers, antibiotics, artificial flavors, or artificial coloring. 

Pet owners do admit that this food is pricey, and they recommend it for people with dogs under 50 pounds. But, those that continue to buy it say they’ve noticed a difference in their dog’s energy and gut health. 


Best for Puppies

Stella & Chewy’s Perfectly Puppy Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Stella & Chewy's Perfectly Puppy Chicken Salmon Freeze Dried Raw
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Salmon With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 48% Crude Protein, 27.5% Crude Fat, 5% Fiber, 5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 32 kcal/patty
  • Key Feature: High-protein freeze-dried puppy food with DHA for brain growth

Raw food is hard to get right for pups. This is because growing dogs need to get the right ratios of vitamins and minerals to grow strong and healthy. But Stella & Chewy’s Perfectly Puppy Freeze-Dried Raw dog food takes out the guesswork.

This recipe is 95% meat, organs, and bone that has been finely ground. It starts with deboned chicken and salmon with ground bone — providing lean and healthy muscle growth. 

Chia seeds and chicken liver offer essential fatty acids for joint support. And, chicken liver provides taurine and DHA, boosting heart health and cognitive function.

Organic spinach, squash, and pumpkin seeds have easy-to-digest carbs. These also provide vitamin A and C, helping boost eyesight and your pup’s immune system.

Each freeze-dried raw patty contains probiotics to support digestion. 

This formula is shaped into dinner patties to make it easy and practical to serve your puppy. And, they’re shelf-stable and served as-is — no hydration needed.

Stella & Chewy’s Puppy food is grain-free and has no added hormones, grains, or fillers. Every small batch contains responsibly sourced ingredients prepared in their US kitchen.

Dog parents say that this food is their dog’s favorite. Many love that even picky pups gobble this formula up. 


Best for Seniors

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals for Seniors Grain Free Dog Food

Instinct Raw Freeze Dried Meals Grain Free Chicken Senior
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken With Ground Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Spleen, Beef Kidney, Carrots
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 29% Crude Fat, 5% Fiber, 6% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 189 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free freeze-dried senior dog food with glucosamine for joint support

Freeze-dried dog food is good for puppies, adults, and seniors. Remember that as your dog ages, you’ll need to take extra care of their joints, muscles, and heart. Finding the right dog food formula will be crucial. 

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Senior formula is the perfect option. It contains the real animal proteins and fats that other recipes do. But, it has fewer calories, extra taurine, and glucosamine for seniors.

First, it starts with deboned cage-free chicken, beef liver, and ground chicken bone. These offer a healthy dose of chondroitin and glucosamine — aiding in healthy joints. And chicken supplements taurine, helping to keep your dog’s heart strong.

Salmon oil and flaxseeds provide essential fatty acids for strong and supple joints. Salmon oil also includes a natural source of DHA, keeping your old boy’s brain super sharp and decreasing the chance of dementia. 

This is also a lower calorie option, essential for older pups. As their body ages, too much nutrition can cause weight gain due to their slowing metabolism. But with Instinct, your dog will get the same vitamins and minerals that they’re used to while being able to maintain their weight. 

This formula doesn’t include grain, corn, wheat, soy, and legumes. It’s also free of artificial colors and preservatives.

Dog moms and dads love that this food makes it easier to feed their senior dogs their vitamins and medications. And, many note that it’s also helped their dog with mobility. 


Best for Small Breeds

Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ Bites Small Breed Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Stella & Chewy's Lil' Bites Dainty Duck Small Breed Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 11% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and low glycemic dog food for small breeds

Even small dogs need plenty of nutrition. But, it can be a challenge to find freeze-dried food that provides everything a smaller pooch will need. It’s a delicate balance between too many calories and protein and not enough vitamins for them to thrive. 

Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ Bites Freeze-Dried dog food is just for smaller breeds.

This recipe contains 95% of cage-free duck, organs, and bone. This provides more iron and selenium than chicken and also has a high source of B vitamins for energy. And, it’s hormone-free, so you’re dog is only getting the highest-quality meat.

Chia seeds and coconut flour help to encourage healthy skin and a shiny coat. Coconut flour also has prebiotics and is high in fiber for extra gut health. 

The fruits and vegetables are certified organic. This includes organic squash, cranberries, and blueberries. These also have vitamin C and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. 

This is a grain-free and gluten-free recipe made without antibiotics and fillers. It’s made in the US with ethically sourced ingredients. If your small breed is diabetic, this formula can be a safe option.

Small dog owners love that this raw food is bite sized for their little ones. But, some say if your dog is considered a “tiny” breed, you may still have to cut up the food. 


Best for Large Breeds

Sojos Complete Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dehydrated Dog Food

Sojos Complete Beef Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dehydrated
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Whole Egg, Cabbage
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 362 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Higher-fat dog food with vitamin D and phosphorus for large breeds

It’s easy to understand that large breeds need protein and fat. These big dogs need to keep up with their weight and keep their muscle tone. 

But, it’s also important for your large dog to get plenty of vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus. These help nourish their bones, which can then support their weight, muscles, and joints easier. 

With regular kibble, this is why it’s important to find a large breed-specific formula. But with freeze-dried foods, they get those nutrients! This is due to the preservation process — since the nutrients aren’t lost when freeze-dried. 

While there isn’t a need to find a large breed formula, Sojos Complete Adult raw dog food is a great option for dogs 50 pounds or over. 

For one, it’s higher in calories, which will help keep bigger dogs satiated for longer. And, you can add water to this food, making it four times more than what you see. This makes it an economical choice if you want to feed your dog raw ingredients.

They don’t skimp on nutrition either. This recipe starts with grass-fed beef, ground beef bone, and beef liver. These offer protein, fat, and L-carnitine — improving muscle mass and boosting the metabolism. 

Sweet potatoes, carrots, and cabbage offer roughage and fiber for easier digestion. And, sweet potatoes contain a high source of beta-carotene, which aids in faster cell growth and maintaining healthy organs. 

Pet owners do say this makes their dogs farts extra stinky. But, many enjoy that their picky dogs love the food, and that many have also been able to lose weight on this diet. 


Best Budget Food

BIXBI Rawbble Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

BIXBI Rawbble Beef Grain Free Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Bone, Pumpkin
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 50% Crude Protein, 34% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber, 7% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 213 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Budget-friendly and high-protein freeze-dried dog food 

Raw, dehydrated, and freeze-dried foods are premium foods. With that usually comes higher value. But, for dog owners on a budget, it’s not impossible to find top-quality dog food without overspending. 

BIXBI Rawbble Beef Recipe is like dehydrated food. While you can feed it as is to your pup, they recommend rehydrating. This not only stretches the food further but also provides more moisture. This is especially helpful if they’re active or older. 

This formula starts with real beef that doesn’t have any antibiotics or hormones. It also has beef liver, beef kidney, and beef bone for a high-protein diet that’s high in iron and B vitamins. 

Bixbi Rawbble is a limited ingredient diet, so it’s also helpful for dogs who may have allergies. Besides beef, the only other ingredients are pumpkin, coconut oil, and salmon oil. These contain healthy fats for joint health and fiber for digestion. 

This formula doesn’t contain soy, corn, wheat, artificial preservatives, or artificial colors. Its ingredients are sourced in the US, and the food is made in their US kitchen.

Dog parents don’t like that this food crumbles into dust easily. But, they do love that it’s chicken free and is high in protein.  


Best Premium Food

ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

ORIJEN Tundra Grain Free Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Duck (Ground With Bone), Flounder, Lamb Meat, Duck Liver
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 37% Crude Protein, 34% Crude Fat, 5% Fiber, 4% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 75 kcal/medallion
  • Key Feature: Premium freeze-dried dog food with novel proteins 

Many dog owners spare no expense when purchasing dog food for their beloved pups. If you’re one of those owners, ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free dog food is a top-tier premium formula.

Not only does it include novel proteins, but it also has a limited ingredient list. So, you know you’re feeding your dog the best of the best.

It starts with ranch-raised venison, duck, wild-caught flounder, grass-fed lamb, wild boar, and goat. Each of these raw ingredients is freeze-dried in small batches.

They offer 37% of Crude Protein, as well as zinc, iron, and omega fatty acids. These all help to build and maintain lean muscles and support your dog’s joints.

This formula also includes pea fiber, whole pumpkin, and collard greens. These provide both prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion. And, collard greens offer antioxidants as well as vitamin C for immune support. 

This recipe is made in the US with sustainable ingredients. It’s grain and gluten-free and doesn’t contain GMOs or fillers. 

While this is an all-in-one food as well, many people who reviewed this said they also love using it as a topper on kibble or fresh food. 


Best for Weight Loss

Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Grandma Lucy's Performance Fish Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Chickpeas, Flax, Carrots, Celery
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 31% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 6.2% Fiber, 6.5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 515 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and low-glycemic freeze-dried dog food for weight loss 

If you’re trying to get your dog to lose a few pounds, you may think that a low-calorie and low-fat formula is best.

But, that’s not the only way to get your dog to a healthier weight. In fact, offering a food higher in nutrients, including protein and fat, can help them in their journey too. 

The most important thing to look at is the ingredients of the food and their quality. You want them to satiate your dog so they don’t overeat.

Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Grain-Free dog food uses high-quality ingredients from trusted restaurant suppliers. And, every single ingredient has a specific benefit — like keeping your dog full or boosting their metabolism.

Pollock is the very first ingredient — offering a lean protein with DHA and omega fatty acids for both joint and muscle support. 

Chickpeas are a low-glycemic carb source that provides extra protein, fiber, and lysine. These promote a sense of fullness, and lysine helps build proteins in the body. 

They inspect each batch for quality. And, they’re prepared in small batches at Grandma Lucy’s family-owned California facility. It’s grain-free and gluten-free and doesn’t include GMOs or preservatives.

Pet parents love that this food closely resembles home cooked, and they say it’s a great alternative for busy moms and dads. 


Best for Weight Gain

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Duck Grain Free Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Necks, Duck Heart, Duck Wings, Duck Liver
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 43% Crude Protein, 27% Crude Fat, 3% Fiber, 5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 184 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein formula with animal protein to aid in weight gain

Some dogs may have problems gaining weight. Of course, no one wants to make their dog obese because that can lead to other health issues.

But it is possible to help your pooch gain weight in a healthy way. You’ll want to find them a high-protein and high-fat diet to encourage healthy muscle building. 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free freeze-dried dog food contains 82% of duck meat, organs, and bone. This offers 43% of protein that is easy to digest for your dog. And your dog can turn that protein into energy for hearty weight gain.

It’s also high in fat — with flaxseed, sunflower oil, and salmon oil added. These boost your pup’s energy and also help protect their joints, bones, and muscles. 

This formula also includes other nutritious ingredients to add more calories to your dog’s diet. These include pears, butternut squash, and spinach. These ingredients also have vitamins and minerals to boost your dog’s appetite and protect their immune system. 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free freeze-dried food also has GanedenBC30. This is a probiotic with “good bacteria” that supports your dog’s digestive health. Plus, it’s made without corn, wheat, soy, or artificial fillers. 

This recipe is made in a USDA-inspected facility and fast-frozen to preserve flavor and ingredient quality. 

Pet owners love that this food is low in fat but high in protein to keep their dogs satiated during their weight loss journey. 


Best for Allergies

Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Vital Essentials Rabbit Grain Free Freeze Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit, Rabbit Liver, Rabbit Heart, Rabbit Kidney, Rabbit Lung
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 56% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Fiber, 8% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 230 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and limited ingredient freeze-dried dog food for dog’s with sensitivities 

When your dog has food allergies, that can limit a lot of the formulas you may want to buy. But, a few different recipes include novel proteins like bison — so your dog is less likely to have a reaction.

Vital Essentials Mini Nibs starts with whole farm-raised rabbit from USDA-inspected facilities. And they use the whole rabbit — including the liver, heart, and lung. This helps your dog get the vitamins they need. 

Rabbit is a great alternative for dogs who can’t have other meats like poultry or beef. And, it can help support digestive health, oral health and give your dog a lustrous coat.

The only other ingredient added, except for supplements, is herring oil. This anti-inflammatory fish oil helps your dog digest their food better and helps them have healthy skin.

This formula is 100% free from fillers, gluten, by-products, and artificial additives. It’s also made in the US in human-grade facilities. 

Dog parents appreciate that this food includes the whole rabbit for a healthy raw diet. And, many even use the bits as training treats too. 


dry kibble dog food

Freeze-Dried Dog Food Buying Guide

Were you looking to switch to freeze-dried dog food? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Freeze-dried dog food follows a specific technique. Raw ingredients go through freezing low temperatures to remove moisture from the food. This makes the food shelf-stable and lightweight.

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Dog Food

There are quite a few benefits to feeding your dog a freeze-dried diet. 

The first perk is that these formulas include high-quality ingredients. They usually include raw meats like deboned turkey, chicken, or beef.

And they’ll have muscle meat, organs, and ground bones — like a raw diet. They also don’t contain fillers or additives like artificial preservatives. 

Freeze-dried food is also a great alternative to a raw diet. Raw dog food can be expensive and challenging to make every meal. Freeze-dried food offers an easier to serve, and high-value option for an owner on a budget. 

Another benefit is that freeze-dried food has a longer shelf life. Most freeze-dried formulas can last years, unlike raw food, as long as you store them right. And, they don’t need refrigeration. Keep yours in a cool and dark place.

Downsides of Freeze-Dried Dog Food

While there are many benefits to freeze-dried foods, there are a few downsides. 

First, if you’re used to feeding your dog kibble, freeze-dried food will be higher in value. While there are a few budget-friendly options, many are more premium when compared to dry food. 

Another downside is that freeze-dried food can have harmful bacteria from raw meat. While this is rare, especially with commercial brands, it’s worth noting.

Luckily, freeze-drying removes moisture from raw ingredients. This helps reduce the rate that bacteria can reproduce. This makes it safer than feeding a raw diet.

Freeze-Dried Dog Food vs. Kibble

Freeze-dried dog food is different than kibble. 

For one, the freeze-drying process doesn’t need any high temperatures, unlike dry dog food. Instead, it’s frozen to remove moisture from raw ingredients. This also helps retain more vitamins and minerals

It’s also filled with real animal proteins, fruits and vegetables, and other whole ingredients.

While some kibble offers real meats, many also have fillers, additives, and other ingredients (like wheat and corn) to produce more food. But, freeze-dried dog food only contains high-quality ingredients across the board. 

Difference Between Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried

Dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food is relatively similar. The main difference is that dehydrated dog food requires a low-heating process to remove moisture. 

While freeze-drying food removes the water as well, it’s without heat. Instead, freeze-dried food is frozen with super-low temperatures over time. 

Freeze-Dried vs. Raw Dog Food

Like raw dog food, freeze-dried food starts with raw ingredients — including raw meat. Yet, unlike raw diets, the freeze-drying process removes the water that’s in the ingredients. This also removes potential harmful bacteria and makes the food more shelf-stable. 

It is crucial to keep in mind that freeze-dried food has raw ingredients. You’ll still need to practice proper hygiene if measuring or touching the food.

Remember to avoid cross-contamination and wash your hands with soap and water once you’re done feeding your pup.

Our Verdict

Freeze-dried dog food is convenient, filled with nutritious ingredients, and flavorful. Both you and your dog will see the benefits and differences it makes. 

TruDog Feed Me Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is my favorite choice due to its ease of use and ability to fit dogs no matter their age or size. 

But each of the formulas on this list can help your dog thrive. They include quality ingredients, so you don’t have to compromise value or nutrition.

FAQ

Want to know more about freeze-dried dog food? Here are a few common questions and their answers. 

Are freeze-dried dog foods healthy for dogs?

They can be. They need to have wholesome and nutritious ingredients. And, of course, they need to meet AAFCO’s requirements for protein, fat, and fiber for adult dogs.

Are freeze-dried dog foods safe?

Yes. Like commercial kibble, raw, and dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods from manufacturers is safe.

Can you freeze-dry your own dog food?

You can freeze-dry your own dog food. But, it’s time-consuming and requires specific tools and ingredients. You’ll also need to meet the protein and fat needs of your dog. So it’s best to stick to freeze-dried food that’s already prepared. 

How long do freeze-dried dog foods last?

This will depend on the brand and formula that you choose. But many freeze-dried dog foods can last up to 2-5 years. 

Is freeze-dried dog food raw?

Freeze-dried food does start with raw ingredients. The biggest difference between them is that freeze-dried food has water removed during the prep process.

How do you store freeze-dried dog food?

You should store freeze-dried dog food in an airtight container and put it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or pantry. 

Can puppies eat freeze-dried dog food?

Yes, puppies can eat freeze-dried dog food. But, be sure to pick freeze-dried food formulated for puppies. That will ensure that they get the correct ratio of vitamins and minerals. Or you can use it as a dog food topper until your veterinarian is comfortable switching them. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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