Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food 2024

Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 10/11/2023, edited: 03/21/2024

Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.


Freeze-dried dog foods are an increasingly popular alternative to fresh and raw food diets. Frozen and then slowly dried through evaporation, freeze-dried dog foods lock in nutrients and are shelf stable compared to their raw and fresh counterparts. 

Many freeze-dried dog foods undergo high-pressure processing (HPP) to remove harmful pathogens like Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella. Freeze-dried dog food’s minimal processing and high protein content compared to kibble means it's much easier on your pup's digestive system.

Tips for choosing the best freeze-dried dog food

  • Pick dog food with real high-quality meat sources as the top ingredients ‚ÄĒ freeze-dried dog foods should consist almost entirely of real meat.¬†

  • Avoid dog foods that contain artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.¬†

  • Avoid food containing filler ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy.¬†

  • Ensure dog food is 100% complete and balanced and meets the¬†AAFCO nutrient profile for your dog's age range (puppies, adults, all life stages).

  • Consider your dog's health and chat with your vet before changing their diet.¬†

Finding the best freeze-dried dog food isn't a walk in the park. Scroll down for five of the best freeze-dried dog foods available for your fur-baby to try!



Overview

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

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5
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Vet recommended

Open Farm produces human-grade freeze-dried dog food made from 100% traceable ingredients, including humanely-raised meat and non-GMO produce.

Each raw, freeze-dried recipe contains at least 95% animal protein based on a "true prey" diet model. As a result, these recipes consist of 42.4% dry protein matter on average. 

Wag! 's own pet nutrition expert and veterinary consultant, Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, recommends Open Farm dog foods to pet parents:

"Open Farm dog food is formulated with high-quality ingredients and does not contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. The company also prioritizes the use of ethically sourced and humanely raised ingredients."

All Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including growth in large dogs over 70 pounds.

Read our full review of Open Farm to discover why we give this food a flawless 5-paw rating!

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food recipes

There are six Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food recipes, several of which come in pattie and kibble form:

  • Grass-Fed Beef
  • Homestead Turkey
  • Harvest Chicken
  • Surf & Turf
  • Pasture-raised Lamb
  • Farmer's Table Pork
Open Farm Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • Made with only human-grade ingredients
  • Contain 95%+ animal protein
  • 100% traceable ingredients
  • Vet recommended
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds

Considerations & Concerns

What pet parents say about Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

"My very finicky pup seems to enjoy it, So I am hoping she continues that. It is hard to keep her attention with any food. Fingers crossed!"

"Both my dogs have loved the switch over to this food. I have never seen them so focused and finishing their meals as fast as they have since I switched them over."

Read more reviews on Open Farm.

Product image sourced from the Open Farm website. Copyright Open Farm.



Orijen Freeze-Dried Food Medallions

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4.5
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Best for all life stages

Orijen believes in serving pups a "biologically appropriate" diet that taps into their animal ancestry. 

All Orijen Freeze-Dried Food Medallion recipes contain at least 85% raw unprocessed animal ingredients and 39.2% dry protein matter on average. 

The remainder is made from fruit, vegetables, and natural additives to ensure your fur-baby gets all their necessary vitamins and minerals. All produce is non-GMO. Orijen Freeze-Dried Food Medallion recipes are grain-free.

Orijen is an award-winning dog food brand, claiming Business Insider's "Best Overall Dog Food" prize in 2020 and 2021. 

All Orijen Freeze-Dried Food Medallion recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including growth in large dogs over 70 pounds.

Read our full review of Orijen to discover why we rate this dog food brand 5-paws overall!

Orijen Freeze-Dried Medallion recipes

There are three Orijen Freeze-Dried Medallion recipes:

  • Original
  • Regional Red
  • Tundra
Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • Quality, responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Contains at least 85% raw unprocessed animal ingredients
  • Free from GMO produce and artificial additives/preservatives
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds

Considerations & Concerns

  • Less affordable than other dog foods
  • Contains multiple protein sources
  • Concerns about links between grain-free diets and DCM
  • Above-average fat content makes this food unsuitable for some dogs

What pet parents say about Orijen Freeze-Dried Medallions

"My dogs really enjoy this! I have fed as a meal and used as a meal topper. My dogs were very excited and absolutely loved it! I'm very impressed with the variety and quality of the ingredients. I highly recommend this product!"

"I have been using this product as a training treat and food topper for about 1 year! Auggie loves it - great training treat - not messy, nice food topper! It also travels well!"

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Mars Petcare US, Inc.



Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bites

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5
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Best vet recommended for adults

Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bites are complete and balanced freeze-dried dog foods made from a minimum of 99% real animal meat and organs. Each recipe is protein rich, consisting of 52.6% dry protein matter on average. 

These foods contain no artificial preservatives or flavors. Herring oil is added to provide a source of omega 3 fatty acids. 

Wag! 's own pet nutrition expert and veterinary consultant, Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, recommends Halo dog food to pet parents:

"Halo's science-based recipes are geared towards your pet's breed size and life stage. Their food contains high-quality protein sources, and they offer a money-back guarantee if you or your pet are not completely satisfied."

All Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bite recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for maintenance (adults). 

Read our full review of Halo to find out why we gave this dog food brand an overall 5-paw rating!

Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bite recipes

There are four Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bite recipes:

  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Turducken
  • Whitefish
Halo Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Halo Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • Made with 99% animal meat and organs
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Recommended by vets
  • Excellent customer care

Considerations & Concerns

  • Less affordable than some alternatives
  • Concerns about links between grain-free diets and DCM
  • Only suitable for adult dogs

What pet parents say about Halo Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Bites

"Halo is very high quality and I use these as both training treats and a meal topper to help my dog eat. Not all dogs are big eaters. I like this brand a lot as does my vet and I buy many of their product. My dog is always very excited when he sees the bag come out."

"My dogs are just getting introduced to freeze dried food. This was one of their favorites so far."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Halo Pets.



Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food

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5
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Best for limited ingredient diets

Vital Essentials makes its freeze-dried raw foods with humanely sourced "butcher's cut" quality meat protein. 

Each recipe is made primarily from meat ‚ÄĒ at least the top three ingredients in each variety are meat or organ. As a result, these recipes are protein rich, with 53.5% dry matter protein on average.¬†

You'll find no fruit or vegetables in Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food. Instead, each recipe is enriched with herring oil, vitamin E supplements, and amino acids to ensure your dog gets enough nutrients. 

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food is ideal for picky eaters, with four different shapes and sizes for each recipe to suit pups big and small. All Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food are grain and gluten-free. 

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including growth in large dogs over 70 pounds.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food recipes

Most recipes are available as either "Nibs," "Mini Nibs," "Dinner Patties," or "Mini Dinner Patties":

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck¬†
  • Rabbit
Vital Essentials Dog Food

Vital Essentials Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • Made primarily from high-quality, minimally processed meat
  • Comes in several forms to suit different size dogs
  • Limited ingredients for sensitive stomachs
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds

Considerations & Concerns

  • Less affordable than some alternatives
  • Concerns about links between grain-free diets and DCM
  • Lack of flavor variety

What pet parents say about Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Food

"What's not to say about vital essentials freeze dried dog kibble. My girl loves it. A little pricey, but for her size it's a topper for her regular food. Great nutrition. The limited ingredients are what attracted me to the product, and it's raw and freeze dried. A home run!"

"I have been purchasing this food for the past 3 years. I give it to my dog as is or sometimes mix with other dry foods. Everything I try something cheaper, I come right back to this healthy alternative. It's healthy and highly recommended."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from the Chewy website. Copyright Vital Essentials.



Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals

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4.5
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Best for puppies

Freeze-Dried Raw Meals is Instinct's affordable freeze-dried dog food range. 

Each recipe contains high amounts of animal protein, with real meat or organs as at least the top three ingredients. Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals contain 39% dry protein matter on average.

A wide variety of non-GMO fruit and vegetables constitute the rest of each recipe, including sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and blueberries. 

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meal recipes are enriched with salmon oil, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals to improve gut health, support immunity, promote heart health, and more. All recipes are grain-free. 

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for maintenance (adults) and growth (puppies).

Read our full review of Instinct to find out why we highly rate this dog food brand!

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals recipes

There are six varieties of Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals, with an individual chicken recipe specially formulated for puppies:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Pollock
Instinct Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Instinct Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • Made with a minimum of 85% real meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains a wide variety of non-GMO fruit and vegetables
  • Backed by ten years of research by the University of Helsinki
  • Specific recipes for puppies and adults

Considerations & Concerns

  • Not limited ingredient
  • Concerns about links between grain-free diets and DCM
  • Higher than average fat-to-protein ratio

What pet parents say about Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals

"This is amazing, my dog has always been a picky eater she doesn't even like some wet food. once I fed her this she ate it all,I have been feeding this to her for a few weeks and she finishes every meal highly recommend to anyone with a picky dog."

"My dog really seams to enjoy the instinct freeze dried chicken food. I bought it to supplement his home cooked food. He likes it without any added water or broth. It's crunchy but soft enough for older dogs with sensitive teeth. Gives dogs the sensory enjoyment of something crunchy. I recommend."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Nature's Variety.

FAQ

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