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There are so many different ways to go about feeding your pet a raw diet, that there's bound to be the right raw food formula suitable for every pet owner out there! One of the most accessible ways of feeding your pet a raw diet is by feeding them a freeze dried formula raw diet. Many different brands offer freeze dried formulas of all shapes and sizes. Here are some tips and tricks that we have for those who think that they may be ready to try the switch to raw!
WHAT IS FREEZE DRIED RAW?
Freeze-drying is a process that removes moisture food ingredients without using heat, as opposed to the process of dehydration. The process of freeze-drying includes freezing the food, lowering the pressure around it, removing the remaining moisture, and, finally, sealing the product. This process acts as a preservative, which is how the food becomes shelf stable without the addition of preservatives. This means that when you buy freeze dried food products, you don't have to worry about freezing the food the way you would with other raw food formulas.
IS RAW FOOD SAFE FOR MY PET?
It's a fact that humans can get sick from consuming undercooked meats. I'm sure we've all been there at some point, and can agree that food poisoning is not fun. So how is it safe for my pet to consume an entirely raw-meat based diet? Not only do our dogs and cats have entirely different stomachs than we do, but their prepared raw diets are often prepared differently than the raw meats you can find in the grocery store are. One of the most common safety measures used in commercial pet foods is a process called HPP, or High Pressure Processing. This is an anti-pathogen process in which products are cold-pressed, using water at pressure equal to that found at the bottom of the ocean (87,000 lbs. per square inch), where harmful bacteria cannot survive. HPP is 100% natural, and recognized by both the FDA and the USDA. So if you're concerned about the safety of your pet's raw food diet, you may want to look into a brand that uses HPP to purify their foods. Some brands that use HPP on their freeze dried raw foods are Stella & Chewy's, Nature's Variety, and Primal.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FREEZE DRIED RAW?
WHAT DO FREEZE DRIED DIETS LOOK LIKE?
The freeze dried diet that you feed your pet may look totally different than the freeze dried diet your friend feeds their pet. This is because of the fact that the freeze dried formula can come in so many different shapes and sizes. Some common freeze dried formulas include: patties, nuggets, and meal mixers toppers.
Freeze Dried Patties:
Freeze dried patties are the biggest size that freeze dried raw diets are typically offered in. The size of a patty varies from brand to brand, but typically patties are suitable for larger breed dogs, seeing as you would need less patties than nuggets or smaller formulas in order to feed your dog the proper amount of protein and nutrients.
Raw, Freeze Dried Patties offered at Paw Naturals:
Stella & Chewy's Dinner Patties (dog) in sizes 5.5 oz, 15 oz and 25 oz. Offered in the following protein options: Chicken, Beef, Rabbit, Surf & Turf, Venison, Lamb, Turkey, and Duck
Freeze Dried Nuggets/Medallions:
Freeze dried nuggets or freeze dried medallions are the next biggest sized formula commonly offered by different raw brands. Nuggets or medallions work well for smaller sized dogs, as they are smaller bites than patties, and thus the perfect size for small mouths. They are also perfect for small dogs seeing as they wouldn't require too many nuggets in order to receive proper nutrition, and so a bag would last a decent amount of time.
Raw, Freeze Dried Nuggets offered at Paw Naturals:
Primal (dog and cat) in sizes 5.5 oz and 14 oz. Offered in the following protein options for dogs: Lamb, Chicken, Venison, Pork, Beef, Duck and Turkey Sardine. Offered in the following protein options for cats: Turkey, Chicken/Salmon, Beef/Salmon, Venison, and Pork
Nature's Variety Raw Market Nuggets (dog and cat) in sizes 2 oz (trial), 12 oz, and 14 oz (dog). Offered in the following protein options for dogs: Chicken, Beef, and Lamb. Offered in Chicken for cats.
Raw, Freeze Dried Medallions offered at Paw Naturals:
Orijen (dog) in sizes 6oz/trial, or 1lb. Offered in the following flavors: Adult Dog and Regional Red
Freeze Dried Meal Toppers:
Freeze dried meal toppers are the perfect bite-sized freeze-dried raw formula for cats or toy breed dogs. Meal toppers are also a great way to begin to introduce raw food formulas into your dog's diet. This is because meal toppers for dogs can be used to mix in with your pet's current kibble diet in order to introduce your pet's body to the health benefits that a raw diet provides. It's a great introduction to use as a transition to a complete raw diet, or a cost-effective way to offer your pet a taste of the benefits that raw food diets provide.
Raw, Freeze Dried Meal Toppers offered at Paw Naturals:
Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers (dog) in sizes 3.5 oz, 9 oz, or 18 oz. Offered in the following protein options: Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Duck, Lamb, and Salmon & Cod.
Stella & Chewy's Dinner Morsels (cat) in sizes 3.5 oz and 9 oz. Offered in the following protein options: Duck, Salmon/Chicken, Salmon/Cod, Chicken, and Turkey.
Nature's Variety Raw Boost Mixers (dog) in sizes 6 oz and 14 oz. Offered in the following protein options: Beef & Chicken
Stop in and visit us today at Paw Naturals to discuss finding the right formula of freeze-dried raw food for your pet's diet, and help your pet live the healthiest, happiest life possible! For those who don't live in the Chicagoland area, you can browse our freeze-dried formulas for dogs here, and for cats here!