A series of educational pet nutrition blogs written by pet experts, just for pet parents.

What is Freeze-Dried Raw Food?

Posted on 07.27.2023

As pet owners, we all want the best for our furry companions, especially when it comes to their nutrition. At Treats Unleashed, we believe that making our pets happy and healthy begins with a balanced diet. However, finding the right food that works best for our four-legged friends can be challenging. A freeze-dried raw diet is a revolutionary approach to feeding our pets that offers a convenient and nutritious option, closely mimicking the natural diet of their wild ancestors. In this blog, we will explore what freeze-dried raw pet food is, its numerous benefits, how it differs from other pet foods, and how to properly feed it to your beloved pets.

What is Freeze-Dried Raw?

Freeze-dried raw pet food is a form of nutrition that maintains the goodness of raw food while eliminating the moisture content through a unique preservation process. It all starts with a selection of high-quality, raw ingredients, such as raw meat, organs, fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients. These ingredients are then frozen and subjected to a low-pressure process that removes moisture without cooking the food. The brands we carry use a process called High-Pressure Processing (HPP), which is a cold pasteurization technique to inactivate any harmful bacteria, reduce the need for preservatives, and retain the "raw-like" attributes of the food, including flavor compounds, vitamins, and nutrients. The result is a lightweight, shelf-stable product that retains the natural flavors and nutrients found in raw food.

The Benefits of Freeze-Dried Raw

You might be thinking, what is the difference between freeze-dried food and kibble? There have been numerous studies comparing the benefits of both to determine which is technically "best" for our furry friends:

  1. Superior Nutritional Profile: One of the main advantages of freeze-dried raw food is its superior nutritional profile. The freeze-drying process helps preserve the natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals found in raw ingredients, providing pets with a wholesome and nutrient-dense diet. It ensures that your pet gets the essential nutrients required for optimal health, including healthy skin, a shiny coat, strong bones, and a robust immune system.

  2. Improved Digestion: Many pets have sensitive stomachs and struggle to digest certain ingredients commonly found in traditional pet foods, including high carbohydrate levels, fillers, and more. Freeze-dried raw food is minimally processed and does not contain artificial additives or fillers, making it easier for pets to digest. The natural enzymes in raw food aid in breaking down nutrients, reducing the risk of digestive issues and promoting better overall gut health.

  3. Enhanced Energy and Vitality: A balanced diet is essential for a pet's energy levels and overall vitality. Freeze-dried raw pet food is rich in high-quality protein and healthy fats, which are essential for providing sustained energy to active pets. Pet owners often report that their pets become more lively, active, and playful after transitioning to a freeze-dried raw diet.

  4. Allergy and Sensitivity Relief: Pets with food allergies or sensitivities can benefit greatly from a freeze-dried raw diet. By avoiding common allergens like grains and artificial additives, this type of food reduces the likelihood of triggering allergic reactions. Additionally, the natural and minimally processed ingredients make it gentler on sensitive systems, alleviating discomfort and promoting overall wellbeing.

How is Freeze-Dried Raw Pet Food Different from Other Pet Foods?

Freeze-dried raw food sets itself apart from other pet foods in several significant ways:

  1. Minimal Processing: Unlike traditional dry kibble or canned food, freeze-dried raw food is minimally processed. It retains the natural integrity of the ingredients, as they are never exposed to high temperatures that could degrade nutrients.

  2. Longer Shelf Life: The freeze-drying process removes moisture, preventing the growth of bacteria and mold. As a result, freeze-dried raw food has a much longer shelf life without the need for artificial preservatives.

  3. Lightweight and Convenient: Freeze-dried raw food is lightweight and compact, making it an excellent option for pet owners who travel frequently or have limited storage space. It is easy to store and rehydrate when needed, making feeding time hassle-free.

  4. Natural Flavor and Aroma: Pets are known for their keen sense of smell, and freeze-dried raw food retains its natural aroma and flavor, making it highly palatable to even the pickiest eaters.

How to Feed Freeze-Dried Raw Pet Food

Transitioning your pet to a freeze-dried raw diet should be done gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Follow these steps for a smooth transition:

  1. Start Slowly: Begin by mixing a small amount of freeze-dried raw food with your pet's current food. Gradually increase the proportion of freeze-dried raw food over several days until you've fully replaced the old diet. If you decide that a fully freeze-dried raw diet isn't for you, incorporating a little bit into your pet's meals is extremely beneficial, as well!
  2. Hydration: Most freeze-dried raw foods suggest rehydration before feeding. Freeze-dried food can be hydrated with many things including warm water, goat milk, and bone broth. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the correct water-to-food ratio, as this may vary depending on the brand. Hydration plays a critical role in maintaining your pet's overall health and well-being. It aids in body temperature regulation, nutrient transport, waste removal, respiratory health, and more! 
  3. Portion Control: Calculate the appropriate portion size based on your pet's weight, age, activity level, and any specific dietary requirements. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain, while underfeeding may result in nutritional deficiencies.
  4. Variety is Key: To ensure a well-rounded diet, consider rotating between different protein sources and formulations. This provides your pet with a diverse array of nutrients and helps prevent potential allergies from developing due to overexposure to a single protein source.


Freeze-dried raw food offers a compelling solution for pet parents seeking to provide their furry friends with a diet that closely resembles what their ancestors ate in the wild. The benefits of freeze-dried raw are vast, from superior nutrition and improved digestion to enhanced energy and vitality. As with any dietary change, it's essential to consult with a trained professional and make the transition gradually. With proper feeding and portion control, freeze-dried raw pet food can be a game-changer in ensuring the health and happiness of your four-legged companion for years to come. Stop into your local Treats Unleashed for a free pet food consultation to determine which food works best for your pet!

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