Dehydrated dog food is similar to fresh food as a minimally processed dietary option. The exception, though, is the mode of preparation which entails moisture removal. Unlike with dry dog food, though, dehydrating allows the food to retain most of the natural nutrients. The food then has to be rehydrated before it is given to the dog. Aside from the preparation process taking anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, dehydrated dog food is prepared within minutes when served to the dog.
Fresh dog food is similar because it entails the same ingredients as dehydrated alternatives though it does not have moisture removal. Rather fresh dog food is about gently heating the ingredients till they are ready and serving the food. It is palatable and has a high nutrient content though there are some drawbacks as well.
Pros of dehydrated dog food
High nutritional quality
Preparing dehydrated dog food through moisture removal does assist in retaining the natural level of proteins and essential vitamins from the initial ingredients. The heat is gentle so as not to denature the elements while still removing the moisture from the food. This also increases the palatability as dogs that eat rehydrated dog food love the taste. The rehydration process by adding warm water to the food also brings a pleasant aroma.
If you like dog food delivery options or being on the go, this is an excellent option as the dehydration process reduces the bulk of the dog food. In addition, these foods are great for travel because it is lightweight and take up little space. Considering a little dehydrated dog food also goes a long way; it is a wonderful option for reducing bulk while packing for trips.
Lengthy shelf life
Dehydrated dog food has a long storage life and does not require much attention to keep it from spoiling, as with fresh pet food or raw meals. It also does not need refrigeration. In fact, with the right conditions, dehydrated food may have a longer shelf life than typical kibble stored in any condition. That means the food can stretch for a long time which is what everyone needs.
Cons of dehydrated dog food
Dehydrated dog food  typically takes a lot of time to prepare using the dehydrator machine. These processes take several hours to do and add to the final cost of the food upon purchase. The advantage of rehydrating dehydrated dog food is the bag typically expands. However, the cost of an eight- or nine-pound bag ranges from $50 to $120, depending on the dog food types.
Pros of fresh dog food
Nutritional health qualities
Many commercial dry dog food is made with low-quality ingredients that are not human-grade. These include meat from dying or disabled animals. Fortunately, that is not the case with fresh dog food, with ingredients coming from reputable sources. During preparation, preservatives are not used, which affects the quality of the food. The result is food that helps develop a healthier and more vibrant dog. It also reduces unnecessary trips to the vet due to strengthened immune systems. See our fresh dog food vs dry kibble comparison to explore their differences.
Improved dog lifespan
Over the past decades, when the public has gotten used to commercial dry foods, there has been an increase in canine cancer cases . It is because the dyes, preservatives, and synthetic nutrients cause a problem with the dog’s health over the long term. That is not the case with fresh dog foods, as the ingredients are not made with any preservatives or additives. This, as well as raw diets, improves the dog’s immunity and protects them from lifestyle-type diseases.
Fresh dog food mirrors the canine diet before dogs were domesticated, so it includes the right amount of nutrients. There is hardly anything that is not digestible in fresh pet food. Everything is broken down and absorbed for further use in the body.
Cons of fresh dog food
Short shelf life
Fresh food is cooked before serving to dogs, but it is still vulnerable to decomposition. When exposed to the elements, it breaks down quickly and spoils, causing a risk to your dog. When you purchase batches of fresh dog food, they need to be adequate, so there is no waste because some only last a week after delivery.
Fresh dog food is costly to purchase compared to dry dog food. A bag of kibble can last a month and cost about $2 a day, but fresh dog food may be two to four times more expensive. That also depends on the breed, age, size, and activity levels. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, fresh dog food is not a sustainable option. It is because the food is prepared using high-quality ingredients, which are also vet-approved for safety.
Is fresh dog food better than dried?
Fresh dog food includes ingredients such as animal protein and vegetables, which provide high nutritional quality for your dog. Dried dog food may utilize less than human-grade level ingredients and preservatives to improve the overall shelf life of the food. It is therefore a less healthy option compared to fresh food.
Are dehydrated food good for dogs?
Dehydrated dog food is designated as one of the market’s safest available dog food options. Dehydration does not entail the use of preservatives and additives, which can cause long-term health problems.
Does dehydrated dog food lose nutrients?
The process of preparing dehydrated foods entails slow heating processes. That causes a little denaturing, but it does not generally compromise the nutrient value of the food. It also removes the pathogens such as salmonella and listeria.