Freeze dried pet foods have become a very popular type of pet food to feed. Some aren't sure about this food. Check out these pros, cons and debunked myths!


Do you remember going to the planetarium as a kid? It was fun right? You got to travel through time and space, learning about the planets, sun and stars. Upon leaving the dark room, your eyes adjusted as you stumble into the conveniently placed gift shop. Your eyes fall on to that black and white package of Neapolitan space ice cream. Even the name sounds fun and fancy! You run to the cashier, money and ice cream in hand, pay and ripe open the package. Mmmm light, melting your mouth, mess free, ice cream! Now imagine an easy to open package of dog or cat food with all of the proper nutrients in portionable quantities and no mess. Whelp you are in luck because this actually exists!

A (1) dehydrated diet is one in which moisture is completely removed via a high heat process but a freeze dried diet, a form of dehydration is named such for the way the moisture is removed (2). Unlike dry, wet and home-cooked diets, nutrients are not lost to the heating and cooking processes because this process involves taking frozen ingredients like meats, vegetables and fruits into a vacuum chamber that completely removes moisture from the ingredients without the use of heat. Because it’s frozen and sublimated, nutrients are completely preserved (3) in one light weight package.

In a survey of 110 participants 4% feed their companion a home cooked diet. Keep in mind this can include owners that feed home cooked meals in addition to another type of pet food (i.e. etc.) The most popular reasons owners choose to feed their companion a freeze-dried diet includes recommendations made by veterinarians and pet stores. Furthermore, ingredients were a huge consideration for choosing this diet.

Out of the total participants 11% believed this diet was good for their pet. Of those that explained participants said that as long as it was used as directed it was good. In addition, they said this diet was higher quality and minimally processed.  On the other hand, 21% of participants believed this diet was not good for their companion. Of those that explained their answer participants said it was not good because it contained chemicals, lacking nutrients and seemed fake. Other answers included that the owner never used it or didn’t like it themselves so they felt it was the wrong choice for their companion Finally, 61% of participants were unsure if a freeze dried diet was good or not. Reasons included that participants never tried it with their companion or that they didn’t know anything about it. Other common responses included worries about keeping their companion hydrated and the cost of the diet.

This diet is second best to a raw diet which is one of the most natural diets for your companion except it requires no cooking or other preparation, balancing of nutrients or shopping around for ingredients. Instead just like a dry food it can be found in most pet stores in a convenient reclosable bag. These little freeze-dried raw (meat, fruits, veggies) morsels or patties are portioned out according to recommendations made on the back of the packing and often comes with a scoop already in the package.  It can be a wonderful diet for carnivorous felines and canines as it contains higher amounts of protein and few if no carbohydrates (carefully read package details for ingredients). Further more the diet is great for older companions who need something more palatable and soft as this diet can easily be rehydrated with water or even a safe meat broth.


In short the pros and cons of this diet include:



  • Easy to feed

  • Variety

  • Lighter and easier to travel with

  • Easy to store

  • Doesn’t spoil fast (3)

  • Easier to portion out

  • Prepared raw food

  • Not messy

  • Ingredient nutrient content is retained

  • No preservatives, added colors, flavors or additives

  • Natural ingredients

  • Closer to a natural diet



  • Can be more expensive (especially if commercially bought)

  • Additional oral hygiene practices is needed



  1. Prosapio, Valentina; Norton, Ian; De Marco, Iolanda (2017-12-01). "Optimization of freeze-drying using a Life Cycle Assessment approach: Strawberries' case study". Journal of Cleaner Production. 168: 1171–1179. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.125ISSN 0959-6526

  2. Fellows, P. (Peter), (2017). "Freeze drying and freeze concentration". Food processing technology : principles and practice (4th ed.). Kent: Woodhead Publishing/Elsevier Science. pp. 929–940. ISBN 0081005237OCLC 960758611

  3. Ratti, Cristina (2008-11-21). Advances in Food Dehydration. CRC Press. pp. 209–235. ISBN 9781420052534.

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