If you’re considering feeding your pup dry dog food, here’s everything you need to know about which kind of food to choose, and the best dehydrated dog food around.
When it comes to what you feed your dog, there are a lot of decisions you have to make. From choosing what ingredients to look for on the dog food label, what kind of dog food diet to feed them, and how much food they need each day, there’s a lot to consider.
You also have to choose between dry dog food and wet dog food. While wet dog food can be a convenient way to feed your pup, it can also include higher sugar and sodium content as well as more artificial ingredients like preservatives. For this reason, many dog parents decide to feed their pups dry dog food.
Which dehydrated dog food is best? This guide has everything you need to know to make the best decision for your furry friend.
Let’s take a closer look at how to choose the best dehydrated dog food, and which brand has it all (spoiler: you don’t have to click far to get to them).
What is Dehydrated Dog Food?
Dehydrated dog food is dog food that’s been dried using a variety of techniques. Using a dehydrator, dog food companies use extreme temperatures and special machinery to remove moisture from dog food.
Wet Food vs. Dry Food
When you bring your dog home for the first time, you have to know what type of food you want to feed them. You may even want to try a few types of food out.
Some dog parents like to use wet food, while others like to stick to dry food. What’s the difference, and how does dehydrated dog food play a role? Here’s what you need to know.
Wet dog food is convenient as you can dump the contents directly into your dog’s bowl. There’s no need to rehydrate this food or even mix it together. However, most wet dog foods have higher levels of salt, sugar, and preservatives to give it longer shelf life — these high levels in excess can be harmful to your dog’s health.
Dry dog food has had all the moisture content removed from it. There are a few different ways to dehydrate dog food, but the general process is the same. Dry dog food is also less likely to contain unnecessary additives, sugar, salt, or preservatives.
Dehydrated and Air Dried
There are three main ways to remove moisture from dog food ingredients: freeze-drying air-drying, and dehydration.
While dehydrated dog food is an excellent type of dog food as it’s less likely to contain added sugars, sodium, and artificial ingredients to preserve it than wet dog food. However, not all dehydrated dog foods are made the same.
The typical way to dehydrate dog food is through a process known as “extrusion.” Companies start by processing ingredients before they’re combined to make dog food, which can destroy nutrients in these ingredients from the start.
Then, these foods are processed again, heated to several hundred degrees and put under pressure to make malleable dog food that companies can turn into dehydrated kibble.
Lastly, the dog food is formed and put under high heat once more.
How can you find the best type of dehydrated dog food? Look for air-dried dog food instead!
Air drying uses lower heat to remove moisture from food. This retains nutrient content while still removing moisture and killing bacteria. This technique also air dries food in smaller batches to retain nutrients and preserve the quality of ingredients.
Read on below to learn how air-dried dog food is better for your pup.
What Qualities Should You Look for in Dehydrated Dog Food Brands?
While dry dog food is an excellent option, not all dehydrated dog food is made the same. Unfortunately, many companies use extreme temperatures, artificial ingredients, ingredients that hve been exposed to pesticides, or cooking techniques that destroy nutrient content.
Your dog’s food should be packed with as many nutrients as possible in every bite, so it’s important to know which dehydrated dog food to consider and what to look for on the label.
Here’s what you need to know.
One of the first qualities to look for in dehydrated dog food is how the food is processed. Dehydrated foods can sometimes undergo extreme temperature and manufacturing techniques that are meant to kill bacteria and pathogens, but can destroy important nutrients in the process.
Air-dried dog food is a way to dehydrate dog food without the use of extreme temperatures. The air-drying process involves evaporation of moisture in the dog food so that it’s dry enough to have a long shelf-life, but retains enough moisture to preserve nutrients and be eaten straight from the box.
Air-dried dog food also tends to retain more protein than other types of dehydrated dog foods. The best dehydrated dog foods are those that are air-dried.
Another thing to look for in dehydrated dog foods is the ingredient list. Are they high-quality ingredients? How can you tell? Here’s what you need to know!
Look for real meat.
One of the most important ingredients to look for on the dog food label is protein. Whether you want to feed your pup raw food, homemade dog food, or pre-made food from the store, the type of meat you give them matters.
When purchasing dehydrated dog food that's been air-dried, look for the specific names of meat ingredients. For instance, things like USDA grade beef, beef liver, or beef heart are excellent examples of specific meats to look for.
Avoid meat meals.
Similarly, it’s important to avoid fake meat. Fake meat products can contain by-products and leftovers like feathers, beaks, wings, claws, horns, teeth, eyeballs, and more that you don’t want to feed your dog.
These are often labeled as “meat meals.” Watch out for ingredients like chicken meal, turkey meal, or beef meal.
Look for fruits and veggies.
Along with high-quality meat, it’s also important to look for fruits and veggies. Many assume dogs need protein and nothing else (hence the grain-free fad), but it’s vital to include fruits and vegetables in their diet so they get the nutrients and vitamins they need.
Avoid artificial ingredients.
Real ingredients are the best for your dog, so avoid artificial ingredients in dehydrated dog food. These include synthetic flavors, colors, or artificial preservatives.
Look for whole grains.
Whole grains are another important ingredient to look for in your dog’s dehydrated food. While wheat can cause irritation to your pup’s digestive tract if they have an allergy or sensitivity, you can still look for quinoa and oats, which are nutritious ancient grains that are easy on your dog’s stomach.
Some dehydrated dog foods will use ingredients like corn and soy to act as fillers in your dog’s food. These help make your dog feel fuller faster, but don’t provide any nutritional value to their diet and can even lead to digestive irritation. Be sure to avoid these ingredients on the dog food label when looking for high quality
Lastly, look for human-grade dog food. Human-grade dog food is dog food that’s made with human food standards in mind. Dog food standards can be misleading.
For instance, even the term “natural” when used surrounding dog food can still allow for less-than-natural ingredients.
“Human-grade,” on the other hand, means that dog food is made so clean and safely that you could take a bite if you wanted to. Your pet’s a part of your family, so they deserve to be treated like it, especially when it comes to the quality of their food.
The Dog Food That Has It All
Navigating pet food aisles at both the local pet store and online stores can be overwhelming. There are many options that can contain allergens, low-quality ingredients, and even filler ingredients like corn and soy.
Luckily, Sundays has it all. If you’re looking for the best dehydrated dog food for your dog, look no further than our gently air-dried, all-natural, human-grade food.
Need more convincing we’re the best? We’ve even created a dog food comparison tool for you to compare us to other brands so you can see for yourself.
Give Your Dog Sundays, Every Day
Finding the best dehydrated dog food brand can be a challenge, so we decided to make it easy.
With Sundays, your dog has all the ingredients they need like high-quality proteins, fruit and veggie-derived antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, plus none of the artificial preservatives, chemicals, additives, fillers, or common allergens.
If you want to give your dog better dog food, give them Sundays.