The Growth of Freeze Dried Pet Foods
The USA is a nation of pet owners, with the average yearly expenditures on our four-legged friends at a whopping $1,285 a year! With statistics like these, it’s not surprising that the pet industry is booming. However, where pets of just a handful of decades ago would typically be fed kibble or canned food, modern pets enjoy a whole variety of dietarily balanced or enriched foods, which can be tailor made to their specific breed or needs. In this article, we’ll be exploring the growth of freeze-dried pet food and also considering whether it may be a viable option for the nutrition of your beloved pet.
The Freeze Drying Process
Freeze drying is a rapid growing method of food preservation. It takes a frozen, raw food product, such as meat, fruit, and even coffee, and removes up to 97% of its moisture. Freeze drying can produce a product with a shelf life of between two to twenty years. Freeze-dried goods are able to stay fresh for this long because food-spoiling bacteria cannot form in cold or low-moisture content environments, which is exactly what happens during the preservation process.
The Rise of the Raw Food Diet
The growth of the freeze-dried pet food industry is indelibly connected to the rise of raw food diets for pets. Raw food is much closer to what our pets would have eaten in the wild, pre-domestication, so it is widely believed that a raw food diet is more beneficial for a pet’s health. Some of the many benefits seen in pets consuming raw food include improved skin and coats, better digestion, weight maintenance, and overall pet condition.
The main drawback of a raw diet, however, is the preparation each meal takes. Fresh meat or fish needs to be cut and prepared or thawed before meal time. This also often leads to a messy clean up process with various utensils, and even your pet needing to be cleaned thoroughly. With many of us leading busy lives, this can be inconvenient, not to mention the impact that buying fresh meat can have on the wallet. There is also the risk of contamination, as we all know that raw meat can contain bacteria. While dogs stomachs are more capable of digesting these with minimal impact, many pet owners are simply uncomfortable with running the risk.
Could freeze drying be the solution of raw food drawbacks?
Freeze drying offers the solution to all the drawbacks of a raw-food diet. Freeze-dried food is as easy to serve to your pet as kibble, but as it is still raw, as the preservation process involves no cooking, it still has all the vitamins and minerals as it did when in its original form. However, unlike the unpreserved food item, the freeze-dried pet food is bacteria-free, allowing for all the health benefits of a raw diet without the worry of contamination. Finally, as it is also in a dried form, meal time is as easy as the traditional kibble diet.
The demand for a raw food diet is almost certainly the main reason for the growth in freeze-dried pet food. With all the health benefits of fresh food but with none of the hassle or risk, it is clear why this currently-small section of the pet food industry has achieved a 62% growth increase since 2015 and continues to expand and become loved by thousands of hungry pets and their owners year on year.