What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food?

Read time: 5 minutes


When it comes to raw feeding, it’s a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. Yet, I believe it’s the most natural, nutritious, and species-specific diet for your dog. Pet parents who aren’t fond of raw feeding often point to its inconveniences. Such as the messiness, space constraints, and concerns about the bacteria and smell. But what if I told you there’s a solution that combines the benefits of a raw diet with the convenience of a traditional kibble dry food? 

That’s exactly what drove me to find a better option after getting fed up with the challenges of feeding all seven of my dogs a frozen raw diet. So, I gathered a team of industry experts and nutritionists, and together, we crafted the solution: James & Ella’s freeze-dried raw dog food!

James Middleton's Golden retriever eating freeze-dried raw food


So, what exactly is freeze drying, and how can it improve the nutritional value of your dog’s diet? Freeze-drying is a popular technique in the food industry. It’s how the instant coffee and dried fruit in your kitchen cupboard are made, and it’s how we guarantee our freeze-dried dog food remains 100% raw, with all of the nutrients and important amino acids retained. But how is this achieved?

  1. We combine human-grade, ethically-sourced fresh meat and other raw ingredients with water and mould the mixture into bite-sized nuggets.

  2. Nutrient loss is hugely common in processed pet foods due to the high temperatures. So we opt for minimal processing. Our nuggets are flash-frozen under high pressure to lock in the food’s natural goodness and essential nutrients on a molecular level. No heat is needed here!

  3. The frozen nuggets are then placed into a powerful vacuum chamber. In this vacuum, the moisture within the mixture rapidly evaporates, ensuring that the fresh food remains 100% microbiologically raw, but without the high water content. What’s left are small, dehydrated, nutritionally dense and delicious freeze-dried raw nuggets. 

A small pile of James & Ella Freeze-dried raw food

You might be amongst the many happy dog owners who are aware of the benefits of raw food. The positive changes seen in dogs who are new to a raw dog food diet are often pretty incredible! Freeze-dried raw food is a great option for pet owners who want to offer their dog a high quality, healthy diet without any of the inconveniences that come with raw feeding. So, what health benefits can you expect to notice in your dog?

In a matter of days:

  • Improved appetite

  • Increased energy levels

  • Firmer, less frequent stools

  • Reduced wind

Within weeks:

  • Hydrated, healthier skin

  • Glossier, softer coat

  • Improved digestion

  • Less scratching

  • Improved dental health

  • Reduced tear stains and brighter eyes

Long term:

James & Ella’s freeze-dried raw dog food offers a biologically appropriate diet for your dog’s health, containing only high-quality ingredients to ensure your dog receives a nutritionally unique and wholesome diet. Moreover, it’s nutritional content is calorie-dense and super high protein, meaning you can feed less compared to traditional raw diets or dry dog food. 

To put this into perspective, 100g of James & Ella’s Freeze-Dried raw food is equivalent to 300g of fresh raw food! Our freeze-dried food is gentle on your dog’s stomach, making it suitable for dogs with a sensitive tummy. It’s also incredibly palatable, so it suits picky eaters too! It’s an easy way to provide your dog with better nutrition in a deliciously natural, new and unique diet.

How to store James & Ella’s freeze-dried raw dog food

The unique freeze-drying process results in a dehydrated dog food which eliminates the need for cold storage. You can conveniently store the food in our free, resealable, and reusable bags in a cool, dry place. Unopened freeze-dried food can last a long time – years, even! 

Although freeze-dried products have an extended shelf life, once opened, we recommend using the food within 1-2 months. Due to the long shelf life, we package our Freeze-dried raw food in convenient, 1kg foil bags, which are also temperature-stable and recyclable, too.

A bowl of James & Ella Freeze-dried raw food

How do I Serve Freeze-dried raw food to my dog?

Traditional raw food diets are often messy and inconvenient to prepare and serve to your dog. Freeze-dried raw pet food on the other hand is an excellent choice for convenience as it’s so simple to feed! Simply weigh out your dog’s freeze-dried complete meal and pour the nuggets into their bowl with a splash of warm water to intensify the natural aromas. This trick can help to entice fussy eaters too!

Is There Bacteria in Freeze-dried Raw Food?

Bacteria levels are often a worry for dog owners who feed their dog a diet consisting of raw products. Especially for those with compromised immune systems. The truth is, bacteria is present in all kinds of pet food, dry kibble included. Of course, raw meat ingredients are bound to house higher bacteria levels, but as long as good hygiene is practiced before and after handling raw food, the risks of contamination are generally quite low.

However, you might be wondering; if freeze-drying dog food removes the water from the natural state of the ingredients, can bacteria still be present? This is a question we were keen to learn the answer to. So, we teamed up with the science department at the University of Surrey, and they conducted a scientific research study to determine the food safety levels of our freeze-dried raw formula. 

They looked at the bacteria levels in both frozen, fresh and freeze-dried samples of our raw materials. They found that the bacteria levels were up to ten times lower in the freeze-dried sample, suggesting that the dehydration process made the environment within the food too hostile for bacteria to thrive. They also found no traces of e. coli in any of the samples studied.

Ready to upgrade your dog’s diet?

I hope this blog has offered some useful information about how freeze-dried raw dog food is made, and more importantly, how nutrition plays a huge role in your dog’s overall well being. I understand the struggles and inconveniences that come with feeding a fresh raw diet. That’s why I set out to create a food that’s not only 100% raw and nutritionally balanced. But one that’s also a completely mess and stress-free convenient option! 

Don’t forget, it’s important to make sure that you research the best food for your dog. Every dog is different, and the requirements for one can be different to another’s. If you need any more advice, or if you have any questions about James & Ella’s freeze-dried raw food, you can reach out to me at james@ella.co 

James & Ella x 


James' Top Tip

James & Ella’s freeze-dried raw food requires lots of complex equipment, which is why the end product is priced differently to most fresh raw foods. If you’re on a budget, then please feel free to get in touch with us to work out a tailored plan to suit your needs and requirements. Alternatively, James & Ella’s Cold-pressed food is taking the pet food world by a storm! It’s suitable for dogs of all life stages, complete, balanced, 100% natural and cost-effective too! Find out more…

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