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A to Z Raw Feeding Challenge


Today you get double the information because I couldn’t decide between F – Farmer’s Market or F – Freeze Dried and Dehydrated.  So I wrote a post about each subject.

I was in a discussion online about freeze dried, and dehydrated raw and an Experienced raw feeder shared her opinion that those of us who use these products are too lazy to learn how to feed our dogs properly.

As you can imagine, I disagree.

The discussion did make me wonder – is freeze dried and dehydrated pet food really “raw food?”

I’ve always held the opinion that when heat is applied to raw meat, it takes the meat out of the realm of “raw food.” The heat puts it into the bucket of homecooked because heat destroys the nutrients and vitamins that attracted us to feeding raw to our dogs.  But how much heat is too much heat?

But is this correct?

When asking a question like this, I always like to look to others who have more education and experience than I do, and I was surprised by the responses…

Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Pet Foods are NOT RAW

Although freeze dried and dehydrated “raw” pet food is growing in popularity, it’s because it’s easy to market to pet owners, not because it’s raw.  Dr. Alinovi shared that the “enzymes are degraded, the moisture is gone, it's processed food.”  Freeze dried and dehydrated are “not raw, but better than kibble, as long it's only dehydrated and not also pasteurized or irradiated.”

~ Dr. Cathy Alinovi, DVM,

Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Pet Foods are RAW

Sara (a raw feeder and dog nutritionist) brought up an interesting point that made me think that if we place freeze dried and dehydrated pet foods in the “not raw” camp, we will probably need to add many premade brands that use high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) when processing their chicken recipes.

Sara believes that The Honest Kitchen Zeal’s recipe, for example, is raw, because the only difference between it and a fresh meal is the moisture.  “By adding water back into the dehydrated formula I feel that it is the same product as feeding a fresh or frozen raw.”

Sara Buettner, Dog Nutritionist, The Dog Pawlour

Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Pet Foods are RAW

Lauren (a raw feeder out of NYC) shared another point of view that I never considered.  Look at the packaging.  “I currently have a bag of Bravo Beef Freeze Dried that I use as treats in my pet tutor, and the package is labeled raw and includes safe handling guidelines for raw food. In the freeze dried process, the moisture is removed but the food is not cooked. In terms of dehydrated food, during dehydration the temperature does rise slightly. But even in the human raw food movement using a dehydrator is a huge part of the culinary spectrum and is considered raw.”

Lauren Novak, Dog Trainer and Dog Walker, Lauren’s Leash, LLC

Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Pet Foods are in the RAW SPECTRUM

Now that I’ve heard differing points of views on freeze dried and dehydrated pet foods, I really don’t know if it’s raw or not, but I’m going to quote Lauren Novak and say “it’s in the raw spectrum.”

Our dogs eat ground raw meat that is mixed with The Honest Kitchen base mixes (Kindly, Preference and Hale).  They are on a raw food diet.

Despite if a dog owner feeds a freeze dried or dehydrated blend or base mix, they are still feeding a quality (and superior) diet to their dogs.  This is what we should celebrate; not the semantics that can distract our community.


To keep up with the raw feeding series, CLICK HERE and bookmark the post and visit weekly, I will hyperlink each letter as I publish each post.  Or you can sign up for the Keep the Tail Wagging newsletter and receive updates weekly to your email box and a code to try The Honest Kitchen for FREE.

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