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Freeze-drying raw dog food preserves the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients. With freeze-dried raw dog food, dogs receive the benefits of raw, and dog parents get the convenience of a shelf-stable raw dog food that can be served in different ways:

It’s easy to see why freeze-dried raw is a popular choice, but not all freeze-dried raw dog foods are created with equal care. The quality and formulation can vary widely between different brands, so it’s important to choose a freeze-dried raw dog food you can trust to support your dog’s overall health.

Freeze Dried Raw Meal Mixers

How Our Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Is Made

Freeze-dried raw dog food is made by chopping the raw ingredients into small pieces which are then flash frozen. Flash freezing works quickly to prevent large ice crystals from forming, which could otherwise damage the cellular structure of the whole food ingredients and potentially detract from their nutritional value, flavor and texture.

After flash freezing, the food is moved to a freeze dryer (technical name: lyophilizer) which removes almost all moisture by lowering the pressure inside the chamber to create a vacuum. A tiny amount of heat is applied, but the food remains well below its freezing point since it’s in a vacuum. During this step, the small ice particles sublimate—meaning the ice turns immediately into vapor without becoming liquid. This is how the moisture is removed while maintaining the structural integrity of the food.

Even after sublimation, there may be some water molecules within the cellular structure of the whole ingredients. So the food then goes through a secondary drying process called adsorption, which breaks the molecular bonds of any remaining water, ensuring the food is completely dried. This is critical for long-term preservation. When the second drying process is complete, the vacuum inside the chamber is released. The food is then sealed inside moisture- and oxygen-proof packaging.


Our freeze-dried raw dog food is made using only premium quality ingredients:

We only source our ingredients from suppliers we know and trust, and all meats come from USDA-inspected facilities that prohibit floor waste, sick or euthanized animals.


While the majority of the freeze-dried raw pet food available at pet stores today are made to be used as meal toppers and treats only, Stella & Chewy’s stands apart. Most of our freeze-dried raw dog food meals* provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs of all life stages in accordance with AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. This means your dog gets appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients in every meal. This includes both Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw dinner patties, Lil’ Bites, and Meal Mixers* which pack the same nutritional value in different formats for your convenience. 

*NOTE: Savory Salmon & Cod Meal Mixers and Stella’s Solutions Healthy Heart Support do not constitute a complete and balanced diet and should be used as meal toppers. Venison raw dinner patties which are not appropriate for the growth of large breed puppies.

Minimal Processing

Processing refers to how denatured the ingredients are compared to the original source, as well as any non-essential additives that are introduced. We are committed to minimal processing, which means:

All of our dog foods are minimally processed, and our frozen raw and freeze-dried raw foods are even less processed than other types. They are never exposed to high heat, and are as close as possible to the ancestral diet dogs ate in the wild.

Safety & Quality Control

Food safety is our number one priority. We take this responsibility very seriously, and the dog food we make is the very same food we feed to our own dogs! All of our raw ingredients undergo HPP: high pressure processing. HPP uses cold water and incredibly high pressure (87,000 pounds per square inch!) to destroy harmful bacteria without using any heat.
We also adhere to a “test and hold” quality process. Each small batch of food is sent to an independent testing facility to ensure it’s free from pathogenic bacteria. No food leaves our facility in Oak Creek, WI until we receive the negative test results. You can find the certificate of analysis for any Stella & Chewy’s product on our website using the lot number from the packaging.

Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Patties

Is Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food the Same as Raw?

Our frozen raw and freeze-dried raw dog foods:

Some dog parents prefer the convenience of a ready-to-serve raw dog food (freeze-dried raw is great for travel!), while others prefer to thaw and serve frozen raw. You may find that your dog prefers one texture over the other, but you’ll be giving them the same safe, healthy and nutritious meal either way – along with the benefits of raw!

Stella & Chewy's Lil Bites

What to Look for in a Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food

We feel it’s more than worth the additional costs to source premium ingredients and take extra measures to ensure food safety. Unfortunately, not all dog food manufacturers share our philosophy. To make sure you’re choosing a high-quality freeze dried raw dog food, look for:

You should also look for appropriate levels of protein, fat, and fiber as well as the nutritional adequacy statement confirming complete and balanced nutrition on the label. We provide a guide on how to read dog food labels. Discover more about supporting your dog’s health with rotational feeding, and learn how much food to feed your dog.

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