Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Ziwi Ziwi Peak, Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
Ziwi Peak, Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
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Premium Choice
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A tasty recipe of premium air-dried New Zealand meats for your favorite carnivore without the mess of frozen or raw foods.


Mackerel and lamb products make up 96% of the feed for nutritional content without harmful fillers. No soy, corn, grain, gluten, or GMO ingredients. Treats for all ages, from young puppies to old dogs. Made to give your dog a healthy treat and promote a good diet.


This healthy formula is especially pricey.

Best Bang for the Buck
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
The Honest Kitchen
Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
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Trusted Brand
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An awesome choice for a portion-controlled and dried meal with top-tier ingredients that dogs love.


The recipe is heavy in turkey and gives your dog the nutrition it needs thanks to oats, fruit products, and other all-natural ingredients. Available in several sizes and flavors for dogs who can't eat turkey. Human-grade food with no needless filler or GMOs. Just add water and dinner is ready.


A low-protein diet isn’t beneficial for all dogs.

The Real Meat Company 90% Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
The Real Meat Company
90% Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
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Simple Yet Solid
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Made of 90% beef, this product preserves all of the nutrition and flavor that gets cooked out of traditional foods.


Beef-heavy dehydrated dog food that is high in nutrition and delicious for your dogs It's free of grain and gluten. Contains natural supplemental ingredients, including pumpkin for essential vitamins and nutrients. No artificial ingredients. Great for dogs of all sizes.


On the more expensive side.

Olewo Dehydrated Carrots
Dehydrated Carrots
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Nutritional & Meat-Free
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Helps pets who have diarrhea, dry skin, or gas. All-natural, nutrition-packed, and meat-free option that mixes well with other foods.


Dehydrated carrot pieces. High-fiber supplement helps promote healthy skin and fur. Easily digestible for immune system health. Loaded with vitamins and minerals. Available in 1, 2.2, and 5.5-lb bags, depending on your pet's needs. Great for dogs who have special dietary needs.


This is a supplement, not a complete diet.

Sojos Mix-A-Meal - Fruit & Veggie Pre-Mix
Mix-A-Meal - Fruit & Veggie Pre-Mix
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Most Versatile
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A convenient and healthy meal for your pet. Making a bowl of Sojos is as easy as adding water and your puppy’s favorite meat.


Sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples give dogs a healthy dose of veggies on their own or mixed with their favorite meats Simply add water and stir for a fresh, raw taste. Add your pet's preferred proteins for a complete diet. Nutritious ingredients. Available in 2 and 8-lb bags.


Best for pets with food allergies.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best dehydrated dog food 

As a pet parent, it's only natural to want the best for your dog. One way to keep your canine companion healthy and happy is by feeding it a high-quality diet. If kibble just isn't cutting it and you don't want to deal with the mess or bacteria associated with a raw diet, dehydrated dog food is an alternative well worth considering. 

Dehydrated dog food is made with minimally processed, whole-food ingredients. A slow and gentle drying process removes moisture without stripping away vital nutrients and enzymes. This results in nutrient-rich dog food that remains shelf-stable for up to a year without the help of added preservatives or chemicals. Dehydrated dog food is also a breeze to prepare: simply add water and serve. 

Finding the best dehydrated dog food for your furry friend is much easier when you're familiar with the different types. Knowing which ingredients to seek and which to avoid is also helpful.

If you plan to make dehydrated dog food your pup’s primary diet, make sure the packaging states that it's “complete and balanced.” This means the food meets or exceeds the minimum nutritional standards outlined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). 

Key considerations

Freeze-dried vs. dehydrated dog food

Many pet owners are confused about the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated dog food, and understandably so. After all, both are technically “dehydrated.” However, the method of moisture removal differs, as does the end product. Let's take a look. 

Freeze-dried: The freeze-drying process begins by freezing raw ingredients and turning moisture into ice. Then a strong vacuum is used to remove the moisture. This process, known as sublimation, converts ice into vapor, skipping the liquid state entirely. Because freeze-drying uses low temperatures, freeze-dried dog food remains raw, with all the nutrients fully intact. 

Dehydrated: When it comes to dehydrated dog food, moisture is removed slowly by blowing warm air around the ingredients. Because heat is used, dehydrated dog food isn't considered raw. While some nutrients may be affected by the drying process, the impact tends to be minimal, especially compared with traditional dog food cooking methods. 


Dehydrated dog food is available in three forms: complete meals, base mixes, and toppers. 

Complete meals typically contain a blend of vegetables, fruits, fats, and protein. Because they already contain all the nutrients your dog requires, there's no need to add extras. Simply mix the dog food with water and serve. Complete meals can either be served on their own or used as a topper to enhance nutrition and flavor. 

Base mixes usually consist of a mix of vegetables and fruit, though other ingredients, such as seeds, eggshells, or grains are often included as well. Unlike complete meals, base mixes require you to add a raw or cooked protein of your choice before serving. 

Toppers usually come in smaller packages and are designed to enhance the flavor and overall nutrition of your regular dog food. While most aren't intended to be used as a primary protein source for base mixes or as a complete meal, they can help make food more palatable and can easily double as a tasty treat as well. 


While the vast majority of dehydrated foods are made with premium, whole-food ingredients, it's still worth scanning the label first. 

This is a particularly critical step if your dog has food allergies or digestive issues. When it comes to food allergies, it's best to opt for a recipe with limited ingredients. If your dog has digestive issues, you may want to steer clear of ingredients, such as corn, soy, and wheat, that are tougher to digest. You also want to avoid hormones, antibiotics, added sugar, and salt. 

Did You Know?
While the bag might appear small, keep in mind that this food expands when water is added. A 10-pound package equates to about 40 pounds of rehydrated food. 


Specialty recipes 

Dehydrated dog food is suitable for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. However, some brands offer specialty recipes as well. These are usually targeted toward dogs that are overweight or have food allergies. If you think your dog might require a special diet, it's a good idea to consult your vet first. 

Added vitamins and minerals

Many dehydrated dog foods are enriched with added vitamins and minerals. These commonly include essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium, vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin E, and more. 

Eco-friendly packaging

Some dehydrated dog foods are packaged in biodegradable containers, while others use smaller containers to help reduce their environmental impact. If you're passionate about doing your bit for the planet, eco-friendly packaging is a feature worth seeking out. 

Did You Know?
If your dog is a picky eater, dehydrated dog food is well worth a try. Thanks to a gentle drying process, flavors tend to be stronger, fuller, and more satisfying. 


Dog food bowls: GPET Dog Bowls
If you're upgrading your dog's diet, why not upgrade the food bowls as well? Stainless steel bowls are durable and rust-resistant, making them an excellent choice for dehydrated dog food mixed with water. 

Feeding mat: Gorilla Grip Feeding Mat
A feeding mat can help keep the bowl from sliding around while your pup digs in. It’s also great for containing drips and splashes that would otherwise end up on the floor. 

Dog probiotics: Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement
Adding a probiotic to your dog's regular diet is an easy and effective way to boost gut health and aid digestion. 

Did You Know?
Dehydrated dog food is suitable for dogs of all ages, including puppies and seniors. 


Inexpensive: Dehydrated base mixes tend to be the most affordable, with prices starting at around $20 for 2 pounds (which make up to 10 pounds of food when rehydrated) or $40 for a 5-pound package. 

Mid-range: Larger packages of base mixes and complete meals generally cost from $40 to $65, depending on quantity and quality. Dehydrated dog food in this price bracket typically comes in quantities of between 5 and 10 pounds. 

Expensive: Specialty diets, superfood mixes, and premium organic ingredients naturally cost a bit more. If your dog has special dietary needs or you simply want to feed Fido the very best, you can expect to pay from $65 to $130 for a 10-pound package of dehydrated dog food (which equates to roughly 40 pounds of food once water is added). 


  • Read and follow the instructions carefully. Some manufacturers recommend adding supplements, while base mixes require you to add your own protein. Always scan the preparation instructions carefully to make sure your dog isn't missing out on vital nutrients. 
  • Allow dehydrated dog food to stand for a few minutes after adding water. Dehydrated dog food needs time to absorb water and soften. Allow dehydrated dog food to stand in the bowl for a few minutes before serving.
  • Mix meals ahead of time. You can mix the food with water and place it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use it for up to three days after refrigeration.
  • Use chicken stock for extra nutrition. Swapping in chicken stock for the water every now and then is an excellent way to boost both nutrition and flavor.
For senior dogs or canines with digestive issues or immune disorders, dehydrated dog food can be an easy-to-digest and nutrient-packed alternative to a raw diet. 


Q. Is dehydrated dog food a good choice for senior dogs? 

A. Yes. In fact, it's one of the best options to feed a senior dog. Not only is dehydrated dog food easy to chew and digest, but it's also nutrient dense and packed with flavor. Note that senior dogs often suffer from aching joints. Consider adding a joint support supplement like glucosamine or chondroitin to your senior dog's daily diet. 

Q. Is dehydrated dog food raw? 

A. Manufacturers often market their products as “raw” dehydrated dog food, but this term can be misleading. All dehydrated dog foods start out raw before being subjected to a slow and gentle moisture-removal method. However, heat is still an integral part of the process, so while a larger number of nutrients are preserved, the ingredients are still technically cooked. 

Q. How long can dehydrated dog food be stored? 

A. Due to the fact that all the moisture is removed from the ingredients before packaging, dehydrated dog food tends to have a rather impressive shelf life. Depending on the brand and the formula, dry dehydrated dog food can be stored for one to two years. Dehydrated dog food that has already been mixed with water lasts for three days in the refrigerator.

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