Let’s Review the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: November 11, 2022
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Key Points

  • The Best Overall freeze-dried dog food is TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food.
  • Freeze-dried dog food is superior to most types because dogs like it; it contains high-quality ingredients like muscle meat, ground bones, organs, fruits and vegetables; usually, it’s preservative-free; it’s convenient; and it has a long shelf-life.
  • The safest freeze-dried dog food is made in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Western Europe.

Freeze-dried dog preparation food works in the same manner as preparing astronaut ice cream. Frozen raw meats and other foods all go into a special machine that sublimates the water (turning ice to gas and removing it from the food). Compared to other dog food choices, when you look at freeze-dried dog food you can more clearly see each individual ingredient since they only look smaller than they did before the freeze-drying process.

If you’re looking for the cheapest dog food, freeze-dried dog food probably isn’t the best choice for you. However, if you’re looking for food that will nourish your dog with high-quality ingredients and offer a taste they’re sure to love, freeze-dried dog food may be the best choice for your pup. Freeze-dried dog foods also have a very long shelf life and can stay fresh for a long time to keep as a backup in the event of an emergency.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the top freeze-dried dog foods on the market to help you select the best food for your dog. Whether you’re looking for options for puppies, adults, or seniors, we’ve covered all the bases! So, continue reading; we’re certain you’ll find one your dog will enjoy!

  1. Stella & Chewy's Perfectly Puppy Chicken & Salmon Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  2. Stella & Chewy's Perfectly Puppy Chicken & Salmon Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
    • Freeze-dried patties with chicken & salmon
    • Promotes healthy digestion, teeth and gums, skin and coat
    • Grain free, no unnecessary fillers, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
    • No potatoes, peas, lentils, or by-product meals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Sojos Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 7-lb bag
  4. Sojos Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 7-lb bag
    • Natural raw dog food for seniors
    • Add water, soak, serve
    • Includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin, DHA/EPA, Omega Fatty Acids
    • No genetically engineered ingredients, soy, fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Gut Health Recipe Dog Food Topper
  6. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Gut Health Recipe Dog Food Topper
    • Freeze dried grain free dog food toppers
    • Contains cage free chicken
    • Made with whole food ingredients to promote digestive health
    • No grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
  8. Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
    • High protein dog food mixed with freeze dried raw toppers
    • Contains probiotics for healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat
    • No corn, wheat, soy, potato, peas, lentils, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.



    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food
  10. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food
    • Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dry Dog Food
    • Contains Healthy Grains, Freeze Dried Dog Food
    • Beef, lamb and rabbit delivers balanced nutrition for all breed sizes


    Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Top Picks for the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food: Ranked

#1 Best Overall: TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Your dog is sure to enjoy the taste of TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food, our choice for the #1 Best Overall freeze-dried dog food. There are four different flavor options (beef, turkey, turducken, and whitefish), and each flavor uses 100% meat in the recipe and does not include any fillers or preservatives.

This all-meat raw food is easy on a dog’s digestive system. As a filler-free food, it is also a good option if your dog is allergic to ingredients founds in many other foods. Most dogs love the taste of this all-natural food, and you can feel confident knowing you’re feeding your dog beneficial ingredients that will help them stay healthy.

The two main drawbacks of this food are that some dogs refuse to eat it and it’s expensive.

Pros and Cons of TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food

ProsCons
This freeze-dried dog food is available in four flavors: beef, turkey, turducken, and whitefish.Some dogs don’t like it.
Each flavor is 100% all meat raw food.It’s expensive.
This product is filler-free.
It’s a great option for dogs that are allergic to ingredients in many other dog foods.
Most dogs love the flavor of this all-natural food.

2. Best for Puppies: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Puppy Raw Dinner Patties

If you’re looking for the best freeze-dried food for puppies, we think you’ll like these freeze-dried patties from Stella & Chewy’s. This food is made in small batches to ensure high-quality and safe food for your dog. 95% of the ingredient list consists of real organ meat and bone. Other key ingredients, chosen specifically for puppies include L-Carnitine, DHA, and vitamin E.

Superfoods, such as chia seeds, are also present in the formula to keep a puppy’s coat healthy. Additionally, to support a puppy’s joints, Stella & Chewy added New Zealand green mussels to this formula.

Choose from two delicious flavors for puppies: chicken & salmon and beef & salmon.

Some pet parents reported that their puppies didn’t like this food. Other complaints included quality control issues (broken patties, the smell being “off”) and cost.

Pros and Cons of Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Puppy Raw Dinner Patties

ProsCons
These freeze-dried patties are made in small batches to ensure quality and safety.Some puppies don’t like this food.
95% of the ingredients consist of organ meat and bone.Quality control may be an issue.
Other ingredients, selected just for puppies, include L-Carnitine, DHA, and vitamin E.They’re expensive.
These dinner patties also include chia seeds and other superfoods and New Zealand green mussels for joint health.
They’re available in two flavors: chicken & salmon and beef & salmon.
Best for Puppies
Stella & Chewy's Perfectly Puppy Chicken & Salmon Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Freeze-dried patties with chicken & salmon
  • Promotes healthy digestion, teeth and gums, skin and coat
  • Grain free, no unnecessary fillers, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • No potatoes, peas, lentils, or by-product meals
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Seniors: SOJOS Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Formulated for seniors, SOJOS Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is the best freeze-dried dog food option for your aging pup. The food is free from low-quality or unnatural fillers, soy, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, or genetically modified ingredients. Rather, this food includes beneficial nutrients for seniors, such as omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, and EPA/DHA.

Your older dog is sure to enjoy the delicious turkey and salmon flavor. Simply add some water to rehydrate the food and mealtime is ready.

Some pet parents were disturbed because this dog food includes rosemary extract, which may trigger seizures in dogs with epilepsy. Others said that the texture was “slimy” or that their dog wouldn’t eat it.

Pros and Cons of SOJOS Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

ProsCons
This freeze-dried food is specially formulated for senior dogs.Contains rosemary extract.
The recipe is free from low-quality or unnatural fillers, soy, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, or genetically modified ingredientsTexture may be “slimy.”
It’s made with nutrients your aging canine needs, like omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, and EPA/DHA.Some dogs won’t eat it.
Just add water to rehydrate this delicious turkey and salmon flavored dog food.
Best for Seniors
Sojos Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe Senior Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 7-lb bag
  • Natural raw dog food for seniors
  • Add water, soak, serve
  • Includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin, DHA/EPA, Omega Fatty Acids
  • No genetically engineered ingredients, soy, fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients


Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Add-In: Instinct Raw Boost Mixers

This add-in mixer from Instinct might not be the cheapest option, but it is one of the best if you’re looking for a mix-in or topper to make your dog’s current food more enjoyable. This food has straightforward ingredients including quality raw meat and other whole foods. The freeze-drying process preserves the powerful nutrients from these foods to ensure what you’re adding to your dog’s food is not only delicious but also very healthy.

Instinct offers different formulations to address varying health concerns and priorities for your dog. These include gut health, skin & coat health, mobility support, and immune health.

Some reviewers said that their dogs won’t eat this food. Other’s indicated that their pups experienced digestive issues, including vomiting after eating it.

Pros and Cons of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers

ProsCons
You can add this freeze-dried food into your dog’s current food or use it as a topper to make their meals more enjoyable.Some dogs won’t eat it.
The recipe includes quality raw meat and other whole foods, and the freeze-drying process ensures that their nutrients remain intact.A few users said that their pups vomited after consuming these mixers.
The manufacturer makes this product in different formulas to address the following health concerns: gut health, skin & coat health, mobility support, and immune health.
Best Add In
Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Gut Health Recipe Dog Food Topper
  • Freeze dried grain free dog food toppers
  • Contains cage free chicken
  • Made with whole food ingredients to promote digestive health
  • No grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives


Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Raw + Kibble Blend: Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Natural Kibble with Omegas + Freeze-Dried Raw

Unless your dog is specifically allergic or sensitive to certain grains, Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Natural Kibble with Omegas + Freeze-Dried Raw, which is free from potentially life-threatening legumes, is a healthy choice.

This raw kibble blend dog food covers all the most vital nutritional bases in one easy step. It offers probiotics for smooth digestion to help ensure your dog’s body actually absorbs all the goodness in their diet.

The amino acids lend themselves to overall health, including ideal weight and soothed skin, even for dogs with allergies.

The first, tasty ingredient is real lamb. It’s followed by hearty components like organ meats with salmon oil plus flax and pumpkin seeds for omega fatty acids. The carrots are good for the skin, eyes, and coat, while blueberries and cranberries are chock full of antioxidants.

Finally, a special blend of vitamins and minerals helps keep your four-legged-friend in tip-top shape, with vitamin E, niacin, vitamin A, riboflavin, B12, folic acid, vitamin D3, biotin, zinc, iron, and more.

The main complaints about this food are that some dogs don’t care for it and it’s expensive.

Pros and Cons of Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Natural Kibble with Omegas + Freeze-Dried Raw

ProsCons
This raw kibble blend contains probiotics for smooth digestion and amino acids to promote overall health, ideal weight, and soothed skin.Some dogs don’t like it.
The first ingredient is real lamb.It’s expensive.
Other ingredients include heart-healthy organ meats, salmon oil, flax and pumpkin seeds, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.
The formula also features a special blend of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, niacin, vitamin A, riboflavin, B12, folic acid, vitamin D3, biotin, zinc, and iron.
Best Nutrient-Rich
Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
  • High protein dog food mixed with freeze dried raw toppers
  • Contains probiotics for healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat
  • No corn, wheat, soy, potato, peas, lentils, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.



Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best High-Protein Formula: Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food is another high-quality, legume-free recipe that combines healthy kibble with nourishing and satiating freeze-dried raw bits.

The number one ingredient here is beef, and this food offers a whopping 34% protein, making it especially perfect for large and active dogs. There’s also taurine in this formula, which is an important part of heart health.

Other ingredients include rabbit and lamb, which also help dogs build and maintain the lean muscle they need throughout their lives for full-body health. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that the high concentration of protein from meat, including flavorful, freeze-dried raw chunks level-up this food into something your dog will truly crave.

This food’s got omega-3 and 6 fatty acids as well, plus plenty of chondroitin and glucosamine to sustain pain-free, mobile joints for the long term. And your dog’s tummy will appreciate the probiotics that help ease digestion. Because if your dog’s food doesn’t sit well in their stomach, they won’t actually get the full effects of a well-rounded, nutritious diet.

The biggest customer complaint is this product’s high price, though some pet parents reported that their dogs won’t eat this food.

Pros and Cons of Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food

ProsCons
This freeze-dried dog food is legume-free and combines kibble with freeze-dried raw bits.This product is expensive.
The number one ingredient is beef and features 34% protein, so it’s perfect for large and active dogs.Some dogs won’t eat this food.
It also includes taurine for heart health and rabbit and lamb to build and maintain lean muscle.
Omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine support joint mobility.
Probiotics ease digestion.
Best Grain-Free
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Healthy Grains Dog Food
  • Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dry Dog Food
  • Contains Healthy Grains, Freeze Dried Dog Food
  • Beef, lamb and rabbit delivers balanced nutrition for all breed sizes


Check Chewy Check Amazon

What are the Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

You’ll discover that there are many benefits that come along with choosing freeze-dried dog food for your pup. These include:

  • Enjoyable for dogs: Most dogs seem to really like freeze-dried dog foods and often prefer them over kibble. It’s typically less processed and meatier, preserving natural, full flavor dogs are programmed to prefer. This is why there are many freeze-dried add-ins available to improve the taste of dry kibble.
  • Only high-quality ingredients: For the most part, when you buy freeze-dried food, you can feel confident that it uses high-quality ingredients. Some of the most nutritious ingredients to look for include muscle meat, ground bones, and organs. Fruits and vegetables may also be included in some freeze-dried foods. The majority of freeze-dried dog foods also do not contain artificial preservatives or other additives.
  • A convenient way to feed your dog a nutrient-rich raw diet: Since freeze-dried food is made using frozen raw food, a freeze-dried diet can still help dogs enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods while being easier to keep up with for owners.
  • Shelf-stable: Freeze-dried foods are shelf-stable and will remain safe to use for many years.

How to Choose the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food: Our Criteria

As you shop for the best freeze-dried dog food for your pup, there are a few different things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Look for foods made using high-quality meats that include healthy omega fatty acids (salmon, flaxseed, fish oils, vegetable fats, etc).
  • Consider choosing a food that is also formulated with fruits and vegetables to give your dogs a healthy dose of antioxidants and fiber.
  • Don’t shop based on price alone: Choosing the cheapest option with freeze-dried dog food is not always the best idea. You want to make sure you’re choosing a quality product made with healthy foods for your pup. Additionally, cheaper products often have cheaper packaging, which could allow moisture to penetrate the package and let bacteria grow.
  • Choose foods made in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or Western Europe: The regulations and standards in these countries are higher than those in other countries to help you feel confident that your dog’s food is safe for him to eat.
  • Try to avoid feeding your dog any food that contains legumes such as peas, lentils, or chickpeas. These ingredients have been under investigation due to a suspected link to heart disease in dogs.

Up Next…

  • Best Legume-Free Dog Food — You can always double-check the ingredients to steer clear from legumes, but we saved you a step by curating this list!
  • The Best Dog Food Containers — Regardless of you and your dog’s lifestyle or what type of dog food you buy, find the perfect way to store food and keep it fresh.
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies — Dogs often react badly to wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, etc. So, find a dog food that’s allergen-free!
About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

Let’s Review the Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is freeze-dried dog food?

Freeze-drying is a process that removes water from food by placing frozen raw meats and other items in a machine that brings the atmospheric pressure down. During this process, the ice turns straight into gas and is diffused from the food (a process known as sublimation).

Unlike dehydrated food, and most other dog food types, freeze-dried food isn’t cooked, since there is no heat involved in the freeze-drying process. This also makes freeze-dried food a good option if you’d prefer to feed your dog a raw diet.

Is freeze-dried dog food healthy for dogs?

Overall, freeze-dried food can be a healthy option for your dog. Freeze-dried foods are made using high-quality ingredients and don’t include the additives you’ll find in many other dog foods. The freeze-drying process also extends the food’s shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about freeze-dried foods spoiling and going bad for a while.

Is freeze-dried dog food dangerous?

Since freeze-dried food is made using frozen raw meat, and the process does not involve any cooking of the meat, you do risk the risk of exposing your dog to contaminated raw meat. While you may have heard it is not a good idea for humans to eat raw meat, due to the risk of illness, it is not as likely for a dog to get sick from eating raw meat. However, it is still possible, so you may want to weigh the risks and benefits and speak with your veterinarian.

Is freeze-dried dog food healthier than kibble?

While freeze-dried dog food is not the cheapest option, especially when compared with kibble, one of the reasons so many dog owners prefer it is because they feel they are feeding their dog a healthier meal. Freeze-dried foods are commonly made using higher quality meats and other ingredients than some dry kibbles. Freeze-dried foods also are often made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives that may be found in more dry foods.

Do you have to add water to freeze-dried dog food?

You can add water to freeze-dried dog food to rehydrate it and return it closes to its original form. However, many freeze-dried foods can also be served as is. Adding water is a good option especially if your dog doesn’t seem to drink enough water.

How long do freeze-dried foods last?

Freeze-dried foods have a longer shelf life than many other dog foods you may purchase. However, the exact amount of time a freeze-dried food will remain safe to use will vary from one food to the next, so you should check with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is freeze-dried food the same as dehydrated food?

No, the freeze-drying process and dehydration process is different. Both remove the water from food, but freeze-drying does not use any heat or cook the food, while dehydration does.

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