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Article: 12 Best Freeze Dried Dog Foods for Your Dog: Picky Eaters, High Protein

12 Best Freeze Dried Dog Foods for Your Dog in 2023

12 Best Freeze Dried Dog Foods for Your Dog: Picky Eaters, High Protein

Best Freeze Dried Dog Food

You want to find the best freeze dried dog food for your pup, but there are so many brands and options available. It’s hard to know where to start or what the potential downsides could be.

With so many brands to choose from, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you and your canine friend. Some brands use lower quality ingredients than others, and some have more fillers and preservatives.

I've tested countless brands on my two dogs (Atlas and Nitotem, get their recommendation below) and found the 12 best freeze dried dog food brands.

I’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right food for your dog, as well as some potential downsides of freeze-dried food.

First a quick note: Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. This helps to keep my two dogs fed and happy :)

Best Freeze Dried Dog Food

1. Best for Picky Eaters: Bluebird Provisions Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth

If you're looking for a high protein bone broth to use as a meal topper then look no further than Bluebird Provisions. Their grass fed beef bone broth is 94% protein with a single ingredient.

Bluebird Provisions Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth for dogs

In a world with processed foods, added gums and fillers, I love that this product keeps things simple. My poodle, Atlas, used to be the pickiest eater you can imagine. He'd stare at his food, then look at me, undoubtedly thinking to himself "there's no change I'm eating that."

This bone broth is sourced and made in the USA using grass fed beef that is ethically raised. It comes in a 7.1 oz pouch.

I started sprinkling 1 tsp of this on top of his regular meals and now he devours them faster than his husky brother. This is a low sodium broth you can find on Amazon or on their website. 

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2. Best Patties: Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties

Stella & Chewy’s is a darling of the pet food industry, and for good reason. Their Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties offer an easy solution if you want to switch to a raw food diet without the hassle of preparing fresh raw meals.

The Dinner Patties are made with high-quality ingredients. Depending on the flavor you can find grass-fed beef, salmon, venison, pork, free-range chicken, duck, turkey, goose, lamb, and rabbit, along with organic fruits and vegetables. What I love about Stella and Chewy's are that they are protein centric, with most products having 85% meat, organs and bone.

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties

The patties are minimally processed as far as freeze dried foods go, making them easy to digest. Finally, they come in various flavors and varieties. You should be able to find a formula within their catalogue that fits any dietary restrictions.

Stella and Chewy's is proudly made int he USA and comes in a 25 oz pouch.

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3. Best Sourcing: Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is always a favorite in my house because of its high-quality and ethically sourced ingredients. The dog food is made from 85% meat, bone, and organs, along with organic fruits, veggies, salmon oil and botanicals.

The ingredients are sourced from humane and ethical farms, fisheries, and producers, and the company implements sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint.

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

The best thing about the sourcing is that they use Global Animal Partnership verified farms. This is a 3rd party firm that audits farms on a 1 to 5 scale based on sustainable practices, environmental stewardship and animal ethics.

My dogs are on a more pescatarian centric diet, so we opt for the salmon based formula, but you can find other (among the 6 flavors) ones that work for your furry friend.

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4. Best for High Protein: BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dog Food

BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a great option if you're looking for a topper that fits raw food diets. You'll find 80-98% fresh meat, organs, and bone and has no added hormones or antibiotics.

BIXBI Rawbble is available in seven different flavors, making it great for owners trying to avoid specific proteins or please picky eaters. Again, this works great for dogs with sensitive tummies like my two dogs.

BIXBI Rawbble Freeze Dried Dog Food,

Made in small batches with only USDA-certified animal proteins to ensure freshness and quality, all ingredients are made and sourced in the USA. These are better for small breeds as opposed to large-breed dogs.

Overall, BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a great option for dog owners looking for a high-protein, meat-heavy and flavorful freeze-dried food for their pets. And it is USA sourced and made with amongst the highest protein on the whole list!

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5. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers is a nutritious and tasty topper that can be added to kibble and dry biscuits to create a complete meal. Its primary ingredients are chicken, chicken liver and pumpkin seeds. It also has added probiotics that promote good gut health.

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers

I love that this brand uses whole food ingredients, and it does not include grain, corn, wheat, soy or any artificial ingredients. It's a great choice for picky eaters and offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Despite the small bag size, the quality of the ingredients make this a favorite as long as your dog tolerates chicken products.

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6. Best Beef Recipe: Halo Meal Bites Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food

Halo Meal Bites Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food is a high-quality, convenient and nutritious option if you want a freeze dried alternative to kibble. Made with 99% real beef and organs, this grain-free option has solid benefits for skin, coat and digestion.

I love the limited ingredient list: Beef, beef liver, beef lung, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, herring oil, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement. These are all things I've heard of and would probably eat myself haha.

Halo Meal Bites Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food

You can find flavors such as beef, turkey and whitefish, meaning that you can find an option for your pup, regardless of their size, breed or allergies.

This food is a great option for those looking for a complete and balanced diet without fillers or generic by-products.

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7. Sojos Complete Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Sojos Complete Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a great grain-free dog food that is perfect for pet owners who want to feed their dogs the best ingredients without breaking the bank.

They use a blend of fruits and vegetables that boost your dog's immune system, making it a great option for pets with food sensitivities.

Sojos Complete Freeze-Dried Dog Food

The food is easy to prepare and comes in a a few fun flavors like beef, chicken, duck, rabbit, salmon and turkey. If you have an older dog, Sojos might be a good fit for you as most of their food has omega 3 fats (EPA/DHA), glucosamine and chondroitin.

This one is also great to buy in bulk because it comes in a 7 pound bag!

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8. Best Duck Topper: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Mini Nibs

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Mini Nibs is a great grain free option that is also free from starch and vegetables. This meat centric dehydrated food uses whole meat, including bone and organs.

Because of the quality ingredients, your pup gets naturally occurring minerals like zinc, iron, copper and manganese.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Mini Nibs

The food has an average protein content of 41% and an average carbohydrate content of 9%, making it a high-protein, low-carb option that can benefit your pet's health.

Here is an example of the ingredients in the duck version: Duck, duck gizzard, duck liver, herring oil, mixed tocopherols.

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9. K9 Natural Beef Feast Raw Grain-Free

Another great grain free option is K9 Natural which uses up of 85% raw meat ingredients from free-range, grass-fed beef and 15% fruits and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals.

Here are the exact ingredients: Beef meat, beef blood, beef blone, beef green tripe, beef liver, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, spinach (chard), cabbage, apples, pears, beef hearts, beef kidneys, eggs, green lipped mussel.

They source the meat from New Zealand, which is generally a good thing in terms of quality and ethics.

This freeze-dried dog food is suitable for dogs of all ages and promotes healthy digestion, skin and coat, energy levels and weight management.

With no artificial preservatives, additives or supplements, K9 Natural Beef Feast is a unique and healthy alternative to other dog food brands.

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10. Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Nuggets Beef Formula

Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Nuggets are an excellent food option for any dogs, but especially if you have an adult dog.

They are made with grass-fed and antibiotic-free beef, along with USDA-certified organic fruits and vegetables. My poodle loves the formula, and I do as well knowing that he's getting all the necessary nutrition and minerals for a long life.

Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Nuggets Beef Formula

Primal is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, lentils, or legumes. The ingredients are Beef (with ground bone), Beef Livers, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Kale, Organic Apples, Organic Parsley, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Blueberries, Organic Cranberries, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Cod Liver Oil, Montmorillonite Clay, Fish Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Ground Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp, Liquid Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Liquid Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, Liquid Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, Liquid Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, Taurine, Organic Rosemary Extract

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11. Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Chicken Dog Food

Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a versatile and nutrient-packed option for dogs.

Made with raw freeze-dried lamb, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, it can be served as a meal, treat or mixed with kibble. It is not meant to be a stand alone dog food.

Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Chicken Dog Food

I love that Buckley Liberty is free from corn, soy, and wheat ingredients that can cause allergen flare-ups.

Both of my dogs are sensitive to corn and soy, so this is a huge relief!

Some reviewers say it is a bit pricey compared to other options, but you tend to pay for quality... and things cost what they cost these days. Plus, this one is 45% protein, which is among the highest on the list.

It's a great option for dogs that need a well-balanced and nutritious diet.

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12. Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw

Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a high-quality, raw freeze-dried dog beef option.

Most of the ingredients are familiar things like beef, turkey, eggs, bone broth, sweet potatoes, cranberries and spinach.

I love the high protein content in Nature's Diet, particularly for my husky / running buddy Nitotem. He trail runs with me 4 times per week and needs lots of protein (and cuddles) to recover.

Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw

Make sure to follow the serving instructions as this one needs water before serving. Dogs absolutely LOVE the flavor and it provides great value for the money.

Overall, this product is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with high-quality, nutritious food.

Want to learn more? Read my guide to the best bone broth for dogs.

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What is freeze dried dog food?

Freeze-dried dog food is a type of raw dog food that has been frozen and dehydrated to lock in vital nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals.

The actual freeze drying process is a technique that freezes the food then removing 99% of the moisture by using a vacuum chamber.

The advantages are that you get a lightweight and shelf stable dog food that can easily be taken with you on the go and can be mixed with other foods.

I typically use them as a meal topper or complement to kibble but some brands can be used as the sole feed option for your dog or cat.

Freeze-dried dog food is a convenient option if you want to feed your dog a raw diet without the hassle of measuring and preparing food every day.

Why does your dog need freeze dried dog food?

Freeze-dried dog food is a beneficial option for your dog's health and well-being as it retains the nutritional value of raw ingredients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals.

The dehydration process preserves the flavor of meat ingredients, making it a great option for picky eaters (like my poodle Atlas).

The convenience of freeze-dried dog food allows for easy storage and feeding as it can be served dry, crumbled, or rehydrated.

Freeze Dried Dog Food Benefits

The main benefits of freeze dried dog food are the high quality ingredients vitamins and minerals are preserved, it's a raw diet alternative, it has a long shelf life and it is great for picky eaters.

Ingredients, Vitamins and Minerals Preserved

Freeze dried dog food is a great option for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with high quality nutrition because all of the vitamins and minerals in the raw ingredients get naturally preserved.

You see, some processing methods that use a lot of heat and enzymes actually strip out nutrients from the finished food. Not so with freeze drying.

That being said, you must choose one with high quality ingredients to start with (I'll show you what to look for below). Here are some reasons why:

  1. They're essential for maintaining good health and preventing health problems in dogs.
  2. You reduce the risk of allergic reactions or sensitivities.
  3. They tend to enjoy the flavor or whole foods more than processed stuff.
  4. Whole food ingredients support digestive health and improve skin and coat health.

Raw Diet Alternative

Many people swear by raw food diets for their pet. This is great in principle, but comes with a few problems:

  1. You continually have to buy, store and prepare their meals.
  2. You end up spending more time preparing their meals than you do your own
  3. It is costly

Freeze-dried dog food offers the convenience of kibble or canned pet food, but with the added benefits of raw nutrition.

That is because many brands are simply taking ingredients found in raw food diets and dehydrating them. It really is a game changer in terms of innovation in the food category.

While a lot of food innovation is generally harmful to us and out pets, I feel like free drying is not.

Long Shelf Life and Convenience

Another benefit of freeze drying is the natural shelf life. Since we are removing all moisture from the ingredients, the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms is prevented.

As a result, freeze dried dog food can last for months or even years without refrigeration, making it a convenient option if you don't have fridge or freezer space.

Simply keep it in the pantry or another cool, dry and dark location and grab it for use. Overall, it is a reliable, easy to use and convenient option for pet owners.

Dogs Prefer Freeze-Dried Food

Dogs love the rich and bold flavor of freeze-dried food, which is similar to their natural diet.

What to Look for in a Good Freeze Dried Dog Food

A few crucial things you want to look for in freeze dried dog food are animal protein, omega 3 fats, avoiding fillers / additives and looking for 'made in the USA' on the packaging.

Animal protein

When choosing freeze dried dog food, it is important to look for a brand that uses high-quality animal protein sources. But what does this mean?

Look for grass-fed beef, wild caught salmon or cage-free chicken.

Animal protein is the single most important component as it provides essential amino acids needed for muscle growth, repair and maintenance.

Commonly used animal proteins in dog food include beef, chicken, pork, lamb and fish. These proteins offer different benefits.

For example, beef is rich in iron, zinc and B vitamins while chicken has potassium and salmon has more omega-3 fatty acids.

My two dogs tend to eat more salmon based foods because of allergies, but you need to find a protein source that works well for your dog.

I don't typically like to give percentages per serving, but a basic starting point is 75% animal protein (meat, organs, bones) for freeze dried product. If you have specific questions, leave a comment and I'll get back to you asap.

Omega 3 fats

Omega 3 fats are essential for a dog's overall health, from coat health to eyes, skin and brain health. They are also among the most potent anti inflammatory foods on the planet and support longevity and cognitive function.

But you have to be careful because brands tricky and not all Omega 3s are the same in terms of benefits. You need Omega 3s from animal sources (salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, etc) in order to get the necessary EPA and DHA, which are responsible for the health benefits.

Flaxseed, walnuts or chia seeds have a different type of Omega 3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is good for them but pales in comparison to EPA and DHA.

Avoid artificial colors, fillers or additives

Artificial colors, flavors and additives in freeze-dried dog food can pose potential health risks to your furry friend. These ingredients can cause allergic reactions, digestive issues, and even cancer.

Look for brands that use high-quality ingredients that you can read and are familiar with. Leave a comment if you have any ingredients you want me to check on for you.

Look for made in USA on the package

While "Made in USA" is no the end all, be all, it gives you peace of mind. This means that the product was manufactured in the United States, using ingredients sourced from within the country.

Just like with ingredients, brand play tricks with this one. You might see things on the package like "packaged in the USA," this does not mean it came from USA ingredients.

Or it may say "packaged for x brand," again this is not what we are looking for in a perfect world. If you don't see it on a label, you can check the Amazon Q and A section or the brand website.

Other countries that are acceptable in my opinion / experience are Canada, New Zealand and Western Europe. Once you start researching, you'll notice that tons of pet food products are made, sourced or packaged in Thailand.

Doing this supports the local economy and reduces the environmental impact of long-distance shipping.

What are the cons of freeze-dried dog food?

While freeze-dried dog food is considered to be one best options for dog food, there are still some potential drawbacks to consider.

Some cons include the following:

  1. It is typically more expensive than other types of dog food due to the expensive equipment and energy required for the freeze-drying process.
  2. Might be harder to find and have fewer options for specific health conditions or life stages.
  3. Potential for bacterial contamination, as the food is technically still raw. In my experience, you can minimize this risk by following proper handling and preparation guidelines.
  4. It might not be a fit for your dog and that is okay!

How much freeze-dried food should I feed my dog?

If you're getting started with a new brand or freeze dried dog food, make sure you do so gradually to avoid upsetting your dog's digestive system.

They have delicate digestive systems, so take care to not blow things up by doing too much too soon. According to holistic vet Dr. Gary Richter, dog owners should begin by mixing 20% freeze-dried food with 80% of their dog's old food.

Over the next two weeks, you can gradually increase the amount of freeze-dried food until it makes up whatever percentage of your dog's diet you wish.

You could try the schedule below for a guide.

Transitioning Days

Old Food

Freeze-Dried Food

Days 1 to 3



Days 4 to 7



Days 8 to 11



Days 12 to 14



Days 15 to 17



Days 18 to 19



By following this gradual approach, you minimize the risk of diarrhea, constipation or other unwanted issues. Whenever I used to introduce new food, I would expect lots of messes all over the house. This conservative approach helps to minimize that risk.

What types of meats are used in freeze-dried dog food?

Common meats used in freeze-dried dog food include beef, turkey, chicken, fish (salmon, whitefish, cod) and lamb. Some pet owners prefer white meat like chicken or turkey for their own reasons, while others prefer beef.

Ultimately, it may take some trial and error to figure out which one your dog tolerates best. After trying everything under the sun, including kangaroo, my wife and I settled on a salmon based food for our two dogs.

Salmon has benefits of natural Omega 3s, while beef tends to have more zinc, iron and B vitamins.

Are there any preservatives in freeze-dried dog food?

The beauty of freeze dried dog food is that it does not need preservatives since the freeze-drying process itself preserves the food. The process removes the moisture from the raw ingredients, leaving a shelf-stable product that retains its nutrients, flavor and color.

That being said, it's not all sunshine and butterflies. You might se some natural preservatives like vitamin E (tocopherol) or things like rosemary extract used to extend the shelf life. These are much better than other alternatives you see in other foods.

Make sure to read your food labels carefully to avoid anything nasty.

How is the freeze-drying process done?

The freeze-drying process for dog food involves combining all the fresh ingredients in the recipe. They are usually chopped and processed into a shape, or left to be turned to a powder.

From here the ingredients are frozen, then placed in a vacuum chamber. Next, solid water (ice) is evaporated using pressure and low heat. This process converts the solid water into a vapor that can be removed from the food ingredients.

Next, a secondary drying process is then used to remove the residual liquid water molecules, leaving a product with as little as 3% moisture.

Some brands leave it as a powder, while others may press it into a shape like pellets, chews or pucks for easy use and packaging.

The last step is packaging, which involves nitrogen to vacuum seal the pouches so that they can be stored without risking contamination from oxygen or water.

Are freeze-dried dog foods good for puppies?

Freeze-dried dog food can be a healthy option for puppies, but it is often better to wait until they are mature before switching over.

Some puppies may not like the taste and their digestive systems may not be ready fo it either. As with any dog food, it's important to consider your puppy's individual needs and consult with a veterinarian.

What type of freeze-dried dog food is best for allergies?

The best type of freeze-dried dog food for dogs with allergies is a limited ingredient formula that avoids common allergens like wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, chicken and legumes.

Look for formulas with high-quality, USA-sourced proteins and minimal processing to ensure maximum nutrients. Always double-check the ingredients to ensure the food is allergen-free, and consult with your veterinarian to determine the best freeze-dried dog food for your dog's specific needs.

Closing Thoughts

A freeze dried diet can be a great option for your pup, but it's important to do your research and choose a reputable brand.

If you are looking to get started with a low risk option, I would recommend trying a dog bone broth powder like the one from Bluebird Provisions (#3 on the list above). This can be used as a meal topper to get them more protein and entice picky eaters

If you have any questions about these products or any other brands, leave a comment and I'll do my best to get you an answer.

Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to treat or supplement any pet's diet. Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist if you have questions about anything related to their food, consumption or health.

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