As pet food and treats get fancier by day, we are treated to a wide selection that can be overwhelming at times. Apart from the regular kibble and wet food, freeze dried food is starting to get the attention of owners who are constantly looking for healthier options for their furkids. Freeze-dried pet food and treats have become increasingly popular over the years. In 2014, freeze dried pet food chalked up $51.3 million in full meals and $22.6 million in treats in the U.S alone.
Freeze drying is actually a rather simple process. The protein arrives frozen and is cut to its desired shape and size. It is then placed in a blast freezer to retain the freshness. Once the blast freezing is done, the protein is then moved to a freeze-drying chamber to complete the process. While normally applied to meat, this novel process can be applied to carbohydrates as well.
Before you choose to feed your pet with freeze dried options, here are the things you should know to be a well informed pet owner.
Freeze-Dried Doesn’t Equate To Good-Quality
Freeze Drying is a process but not a form of quality assurance. The quality of the pet food is ultimately dependent on the ingredient that undergo the process. Thus if a company skimp on the quality of the ingredient, the end product is inevitably affected. Though the freeze-dried segment of the pet food market has been known to provide high-quality products, owners should not take it for granted. Always make sure you do your due diligence by researching on the brand’s background and the kind of ingredients they use. Some brands such as Purebites uses human grade ingredients to ensure quality.
It Is Different From Raw Diet
Freeze Dried food is shelf-stable as moisture is removed from the food making it difficult for mold and bacteria to grow. Additionally, they do not require refrigeration to keep. This makes transport a breeze especially for families that are constantly on the go with their pet. On the other hand, raw food will rot if you leave them out for long. While raw food can be frozen to extend their shelf-life, once they are placed out of cold storage they will deteriorate like any other freshly cooked pet food.
It Is Also Different From Dehydrated Food
Dehydration removes the moisture from pet food. However, using the freezing process prior to extracting the moisture preserves more of the nutritional content of the food. Virtually all of the proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals remain intact, so your pet derives the most nutrition possible from his feed.
You Need To Rehydrate Freeze Dried Food Before Feeding
Freeze dried food has low moisture content and owners need to add water before feeding your pet. They may look like nibbles but your pet will not like them unprepared. Make sure you break the food into smaller pieces to ensure it absorbs the fluid well before it is served.
You Can Mix With Kibbles
Some owners mix freeze dried food with kibbles for that additional nutrition value. If you are changing your pet’s diet to freeze dried food, it is also recommended to use it as a topper for its current meal. Change the proportions gradually until your pet is on a full freeze dried diet. This is to ensure there will be no adverse reaction to a drastic change.
Here are some freeze dried food and treats you can opt for your pets
Purebites Freeze Dried Wild Salmon for cats
This U.S brand uses high quality human grade ingredients in preparing its products. This treat is made from 100% wild pacific sockeye salmon in the USA. Aroma, texture and freshness are locked in during the drying process and this ensures nutrient levels are well kept.
Purebites Freeze Dried Turkey Breast for dogs
Turkey isn’t a common protein in Singapore and the likelihood of incorporating it into your dog’s diet is low. Why not introduce this protein as a form of a treat for your furkid? Purebites uses 100% U.S turkey that is safe and highly nutritious.
Zeal Freeze Dried Mussels for dogs and cats
This New Zealand made seafood treat is ideal for pets who have a discerning taste bud. It is 100% grain and gluten free with a soft texture, making them easy to chew and easy to digest.
Dear Deer Freeze Dried Deer Meaty Bone
Exotic proteins such as deer has been gaining popularity over the years. If you are looking for treats that last longer than a few chews, this is the one to go for. Dear Deer uses free range deer meat from New Zealand with no preservatives added.