Gone are the days when dog food is simply classified as kibble or canned pet food. There are now raw, grain-free, air-dried, dehydrated, freeze-dried, and more! With all these pet food products flooding the market, pet owners may find it a challenge to determine what’s best for their canine buddies.


Air-Dried And Dehydrated Pet Food -- What’s The Difference?

The main difference between the two is the temperature that each process uses in removing moisture from the ingredients.


Air-Dried Pet Food

The process of air-drying pet food ingredients causes minimal damage to proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients and enzymes that can easily be damaged by heat. It’s a process that is in between freeze-drying and dehydration using heat. All the moisture is removed by evaporation, a process that is similar to dehydration. But unlike dehydration, no additional heat has been applied.


The raw ingredients undergo air-drying in chambers. It’s a gentle and slow process. The chambers are continuously pumped with air that circulates slowly around the meat. The process stops when the moisture has reached a maximum level of 14%. Air drying is a natural way to preserve meat with zero preservatives!


Is air-dried dog food good?

When raw pet food is air-dried, there is minimal damage to all nutrients and enzymes that are present in the ingredients. In a way, pets get nearly all the raw food diet benefits. Unlike freeze-dried dog food, air-dried pet foods tend to retain their form because the process makes them more resistant to crumbling.


Is air-dried dog food raw?

Since it isn’t cooked, air-dried pet food may be considered as raw food with its moisture content removed by evaporation. Without cooking, the nutrients are left intact. There is also a minimal amount of damage to the nutrients in meat. It is safe to say that air-dried pet food offers almost all the advantages of a raw diet.


Is Air-Dried Dog Food Good For Dogs?

Air-dried dog food is often underrated but did you know that this type of pet food is an excellent option for your pooch? Here are important reasons why you should consider switching your pet’s diet to air-dried dog food:


  • It has little or no artificial preservatives - The air-drying process is a natural way of preserving raw meat.
  • It’s easy to feed - It’s like feeding kibble, you just scoop and feed, which means you don’t need to add anything else before feeding it to your pet.
  • It’s versatile - It comes in all types and flavors so they’re perfect for picky pets. In addition to being the dog’s main food, it can also be used as a topper to enhance the flavor of other types of pet food.
  • More nutritional - Since it’s not preserved with heat, vital nutrients remain intact with a longer shelf-life and fewer risks of potential pathogens.
  • Easy transition - Dogs, even the pickiest ones, tend to have a faster and easier transition time between pet food types. Air-dried pet food is the top choice if you are transitioning your dog from kibble. It’s similar to kibble but it’s softer and more appealing in terms of taste and odor.
  • Mess-free
  • Comes in a wide range of highly palatable flavors
  • You don’t have to put air-dried dog food in the refrigerator.


Dehydrated Pet Food

On the other hand, dehydrated pet food involves removing moisture from the formula with the use of high temperatures to cause evaporation. Dehydration is one of the earliest techniques that are used to preserve foods. Because all the moisture has been removed, the product is smaller and lighter. Dehydrated pet foods should be added with water (rehydrated) before being offered to pets.


Dehydrated dog food is processed at low heat for a considerable length of time until all of the moisture in the food has been drawn out through evaporation. Considering that the heat applied is low, dehydrated pet food is often classified as between raw and cooked pet food. However, many classify it under the raw food category because the nutrients and enzymes that are present are close to that of raw frozen food.


Benefits of Air-Dried and Dehydrated Dog Food

  • Air-dried and dehydrated pet food products do not need to be kept frozen or thawed before feeding, which means pet owners can save time and it’s hassle-free.


  • If you’re squeamish about feeding raw meat to your pet or your pet is on a transition period to raw, air-dried, and dehydrated pet foods can be a great introduction.


  • Since all the moisture has been removed from the pet food, there is effective inhibition of growth of bacteria, yeast, or mold. Without microbial activity, these products have a longer shelf-life.


Air Dried Dog Food VS Kibble

Have you ever wondered why air-dried pet food looks different from normal kibble? The difference is mainly due to the manufacturing methods that each product is subjected to.


Kibble undergoes the extrusion process. Many of the ingredients in kibble have already undergone some form of processing long before they reach the factory. A common example is meat meals. The manufacturing process involves using steam to bring the heat up to several hundred degrees while being subjected to high pressure until the ingredients form a paste. The paste is cut into uniform shapes before placing in an oven where they dry under high temperature.


While the extrusion process is the method of choice in creating a lot of pet food within a very short length of time, it comes with a cost. Being subjected to high temperature means a significant amount of the nutrients are damaged and lost, and this can certainly lower the overall nutritional value of kibble. Also, many kibble products contain artificial preservatives and coloring.


Many pet food manufacturers use meat meals instead of fresh meat because commercial pet food extruders are unable to efficiently process the high moisture content of the raw ingredients.


On the other hand, air-drying permits the inclusion of more fresh ingredients that ensures end products that are chock-full of vital nutrients.


Best Air-Dried Dog Food Products in Singapore

The top air-dried and dehydrated dog food products in Singapore include the following: