Dehydration Versus Freeze-Drying

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“It is important to use caution when using dehydrated pet food. There is a difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried pet products that is extremely important to understand. Be sure to follow feeding instructions before feeding. There is a difference and you need to learn the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried pet products.” 
– Robert Mueller

By Robert Mueller

One of the reasons I post controversial subjects is because a lack of substantive information leads to confusion and a misguided conclusion. Today, I would like to address the major differences between a dehydrated and a freeze-dried raw meat diet. The outcome is quite similar but the process differs greatly in how the ending product’s nutritional balance has been affected.

In retail stores you can find both types of dried versions. If the product has been freeze-dried it possesses significant advantages over a typical heat dried, dehydrated version. The big difference lies in the amount of heat that it takes to accomplish both methods. Dehydrating involves applying heat up to temperatures as high as 155 degrees. Heating in excess of 118 degrees will change the chemical structure and properties of the protein molecule. Thus, the major advantage of freeze-drying is the ability of removing the moisture without the application of high heat. The end product is actually much drier than the dehydrated product. In my research I have found that freeze-drying offers a better list of advantages than dehydration as listed below:

  • Very long shelf life
  • Very lightweight
  • Very low moisture
  • Reconstitutes quickly
  • Best way to dry meat items
  • Generally tastes better than dehydrated
  • Retains original shape, texture, color after reconstitution

The ultimate nutrition for your dog is provided by a raw food diet.  A freeze-dried product, offers an exceptional advantage to people that are traveling with their dog. Offered also as a treat, it is the safest way to preserve the nutritional integrity of a meat diet. So in the future do not become confused about the differences between dehydration and freeze-drying.


Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”.



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