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Benefits of Backpacking Freeze-Dried Dog Food

What makes hiking even more fun? Going hiking with your dog, that’s what! Climbing through rough terrain, amid nature and enjoying the bliss of peaceful solitude must seem heavenly. Especially when you really are running away from the hustle and bustle of crowds. When this melancholy sets in, the only company you would accept is that of man’s best friend: your pet dog.

Setting camp in the middle of nowhere, with just your instincts, your handy backpack, and your trusty four-legged friend to keep you safe, is indeed an adventure to remember for the rest of your life. And with spring slowly giving way to summer, the urge to escape into this exciting adventure grows deeper. The weather beckons you to grab your dog’s leash and set afoot, but will you?

Because then comes the question, how to take care of your dog in the wilderness? Because although we have previously written in detail about Tips for Camping with Dogs, we haven’t discussed too much about feeding the hounds. Or more specifically, how will you feed your coddled house pet that you have unashamedly spoiled by smuggling him table treats at dinner?

The answer to this important question lies in the 4 magic words: freeze-dried dog food!

Benefits for the Backpackers

One of the fundamental principles for a successful backpacking trip is ensuring that your gear doesn’t weigh you down. So, when it comes to pet food, it is imperative to carry something which is travel friendly. This is why freeze-dried dog food is your best bet for such trips. Not only is it lightweight and easily portable, but it also has the added benefits of being compact (therefore not taking up too much space) and mess-free!

Is freeze-dried dog food good for dogs?

The best option when going backpacking with your pet is to take some freeze-dried dog food with yourself. This allows you to feed your precious pet what he loves without cutting out on nutritional benefits or flavor. Freeze-dried dog food is prepared in a way that a prime quality piece of meat is selected and all its moisture is drained away, leaving behind all the meaty goodness packed with all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. We wouldn’t want your canine partner to get harmed in any way, so after going through tons of research, we can safely conclude that freeze-dried dog food is truly good for dogs.

Healthier Than Kibble

Kibble is basically a bunch of edibles dried up and ground together into small pebbles. Since kibble is dehydrated but not freeze-dried, it still retains some moisture which is bad for two reasons:

  1. The leftover moisture speeds up the process of the food going rancid and promotes the early breakdown of useful vitamins and fat into harmful toxins.
  2. It is chemically processed which, as we all know, isn’t too good when it comes to food.

Safe to give your dog

You know how keeping food refrigerated helps it last longer, right? That’s because the cooler temperature prevents bacterial and fungal growth, which helps to protect food from spoilage. The same principle applies to frozen food. When dog food is frozen, it minimizes the growth of microbes and therefore contributes to making it safe for ingestion.

What is better freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food?

There are many small but significant differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated dog food. We have highlighted some for you below:

Freeze-Dried Dog Food Dehydrated Dog Food
Completely raw Cooked
Vacuum dried by applying high pressure on it Dried by heating at high temperatures
Not processed Processed
Nutritional content is maximally preserved Nutritional content is somewhat compromised due to heating

Is freeze-dried dog food raw?

Yes, because it is never actually heated, this food remains uncooked and mostly raw. And because it is relatively unprocessed, it retains the nutritional goodness of a newly bought, fresh prime piece of steak, without the accompanying bloody mess! We’re sure your dog will love it to bits and wolf it down in a matter of seconds!

Making Air-Dried and Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

Air-dried dog food is made by placing food into drying chambers where it is slowly allowed to dry up. The moisture is evaporated until only 14% remains.

Freeze-dried food, as we explained above, is made by allowing the moisture to sublimate under high pressure in a vacuum chamber until only 3% moisture remains.

Adding Water

Preparing freeze-dried dog food is the simplest thing ever. All you need to do is grab a packet and add some water to it, preferably warm. This will rehydrate the food and make it ready to eat in only a few minutes. The ratio of water is usually 1/4th cup to every two pellets but varies slightly with different brands.

It should be noted, however, that adding water isn’t absolutely necessary. If you are backpacking across a region where water is scarce, then you can feed your dog the pellets of freeze-dried food directly. Just make sure to let your dog drink plenty of water afterward.

What is the best freeze-dried dog food?

With many dog owners jumping on the bandwagon of feeding their pets freeze-dried dog food, not just while backpacking but also as a healthier alternative to regular food, many companies offer a wide variety of dog food in today’s market.

We have made a list of the 5 best freeze-dried food for dogs, readily available on Amazon.

1- Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Variety Pack


  • No added fillers.
  • Packed with vitamins and nutrients.
  • Many flavors available like chicken, duck, beef, and dandy lamb.
  • No added hormones or preservatives.


  • Pricey

View on Amazon

2- TruDog Freeze-Dried Superfood


  • Just 9 ingredients ensure no allergies from hidden sources.
  • Particularly effective in improving the color and shine of coats.
  • No preservatives, artificial coloring or synthetic hormones.


  • No fruits or vegetables included.

View on Amazon

3- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Market Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Meal Blends


  • High protein content with up to 76% chicken and liver.
  • 24% of fruits and vegetables.
  • All-natural and organic.
  • Improves overall health and fitness.


  • Very expensive

View on Amazon

4- Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Dog Food


  • Affordable.
  • No fillers or grains.
  • No added preservatives or hormones.
  • Nice balance between a protein with fruits and vegetables.
  • 3 flavors available (beef, chicken, and lamb).


  • Can be used as a primary meal but better suited as a topper

View on Amazon

5- BIXBI Rawbble All Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Food


  • Cheapest freeze-dried dog food.
  • 98% protein.
  • Rich in omega-3-fatty acids.
  • Good flavor.


  • Only limited flavors available.
  • More suitable for small to medium-sized dogs.

View on Amazon

Now that you know the subtle differences between the different types of dog food available, we are sure you will choose the best one for your precious pet for your next backpacking adventure.

Also, before setting out on your trip with your mutt, it’s a good idea to give this article a quick read: Safety Tips for Hiking with a Dog – Animal Attacks.

If you need another adventure, kayaking with your dog is a great one with lots of fun. But you need some specialized gear for that activity. There is a great source to check what you should take along with you on that adventure.

Woof woof!