Let’s Be Fur Real: Air-dried vs Freeze-dried Food, Which One Is Better?

In today’s pet-loving world, our furry pals have smoothly transitioned from mere companions to beloved family members. With this change, pet owners are now placing utmost importance on providing the absolute best for their beloved besties, especially when it comes to their diet. However, tons of available pet food options have left many pet owners wondering how to pick the one that suits their pal’s specific needs the most. 

More than the ingredients, the manufacturing process plays a significant role in this choice. Knowing how pet food is made not only gives pet parents a peek into the nutritional value and quality of the food, it also guides them into making informed decisions about the stuff they nourish their furballs with.

Different brands employ different processes in their pet food production. These include extrusion, oven baking, dehydration, air-drying, and freeze-drying. Among all of these, air-drying and freeze-drying are currently the most popular and preferred. But which one is better? Let’s take a deep dive!

Paws and Cons: Air-drying vs Freeze-drying

FeatureAir-Dried Pet FoodFreeze-Dried Pet Food
Processing MethodUses low heated air that allows moisture to evaporate, “cooking” the food in the process.Moisture is removed using low pressure by sublimation. Does not use heated air high enough to cook, keeping the food raw.
Nutrient RetentionRetains more nutrients versus traditional kibble but can sometimes lose important temperature-sensitive enzymes, nutrients, proteins, and amino acidsRetains a high percentage of nutrients as the freeze-drying process minimizes nutrient loss
TextureDenser, usually softer and chewierLightweight, crunchy, and easily crumbled
Moisture Has varying moisture levels;

Averages at around 5-10%

Contains about 2-6% water content
Shelf LifeAbove average shelf lifeLonger shelf life
Preservatives May include natural preservatives such as vitamin E or rosemary extractTypically no additional preservatives due to the dehydration process
RehydrationSome products may be rehydrated with water to enhance palatability;

May take longer time to rehydrate, closer to 30 minutes

Can be fed dry or reconstituted with water to regain its original texture and flavor;

Rehydrates in a couple of minutes

IngredientsMay contain a mix of meat, vegetables, and fruits, with some brands focusing on single protein sources;

Made up of 100% of the original raw product

Contains a variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables, often with a focus on single protein sources;

Made up of 100% of the original raw product

Palatability Pets may find the softer texture and natural flavors appealing;

Individual preferences vary

Generally well-liked by more pets due to the concentrated flavors;

Individual preferences vary

The Cool Choice: Freeze-dried Pet Food

Without a doubt, freeze-dried raw food stays on top when it comes to quality, palatability, and nutritional value. It offers the best of both worlds: the convenience of regular kibbles and the functional benefits of a raw diet. This is especially good news to pawrents with pets who can’t tolerate raw diets. Freeze-dried food is complete and balanced without the hassle of time-consuming sourcing, thawing, and preparation, and the ever-changing cost of ingredients.

Other advantages of freeze-dried raw food include high digestibility which aids in better nutrient absorption and leads to firmer and drier poop; delicious taste which appeals to even the pickiest eaters; high amounts of healthy fats for better skin and coat; and longer shelf life for easier storage, handling, and feeding.

cat and dog lying together under blanket on sofa

A Loveabowl news!

Elevate your pet’s dining experience with Loveabowl’s latest addition to the line-up: Freeze-A-Bowl!

This game-changing freeze-dried diet is made with 100% natural ingredients, including pure and wholesome proteins like green-lipped mussel and superfoods like kelp from New Zealand. Each bag contains zero additives, grains, carbs, and meat meal. No bones added to avoid choking hazards, too. The unique and specially-crafted recipe is high in palatability and nutritional content, only the best for every Loveabowl pet. Freeze-A-Bowl by Loveabowl is now available online and at retail stores islandwide

Order a sample today!

Say Hello to Freeze-a-bowl

It’s time for a frosty adventure that will leave tails wagging and whiskers twitching. Our newest Freeze-a-Bowl is complete & balanced, nutrient-dense, and as close to a raw diet as your furry friends can get.

While fresh, raw food mirrors the ancestral diet of most cats and dogs, many paw parents are strapped for time, making it less practical on a day-to-day basis. The next best thing is freeze-dried pet food that guarantees peak freshness and requires minimal to no preparation. Freeze drying is a preservation method that removes moisture while keeping flavour, colour, texture, and nutrients in. It keeps the natural goodness of food but also makes it easier for your furry pals to digest and absorb the nutrition they need. 

Meet Loveabowl’s freshest frosty sensation, and find out what makes it the coolest freeze-dried in town.

The only freeze-dried raw with natural vitamins and minerals from real food

Freeze-a-Bowl is the only one packed with natural vitamins and minerals from real food. No extra stuff. Unlike others, our recipes proudly skip any additives, focusing solely on providing the essential nutrients your furry friends need for optimal health. We want to make sure they receive a nutritious and delicious meal every time. Great taste with real nutrition!

100% Locally-Sourced Ingredients from New Zealand

We genuinely care about where our ingredients come from. Our cows, lambs, and chickens are locally sourced in the picturesque landscapes of New Zealand. When it comes to our mackerels and hoki, we exclusively use wild-caught. It’s our way of making sure your furry friends get honest, wholesome goodness in every bowl.

No Bones, No Choking Hazards

No need to worry. Our recipes have no bones or any choking hazards. We removed all bones from our ingredients, ensuring a worry-free and safe meal. No need to fear potential hazards like blockages in the gastrointestinal tract, cuts or wounds in the mouth or internal organs, and the risk of broken teeth, especially for our feline friends. We keep it simple, safe, and satisfying for your furry pals.

Artisanal Meat from Local Farms

We’re committed to crafting special recipes that taste amazing, free from any artificial colours or flavours. We know precisely where our meat comes from and understand the conditions in which the animals were raised. Every ingredient in our bags matters, catering even to the pickiest eaters.

New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels & Kelp

To keep your furry friends zooming around happily, we’ve enhanced our recipes with a bone and joint powerhouse. New Zealand Green-lipped Mussel brings glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints, while calcium-rich Kelp supports bone development and repairs tissues weakened by arthritis. Bye bye stiffness!

The many ways to enjoy Freeze-a-Bowl

Feed dry

  • Just pour into the bowl and they’re ready to eat.

Soak it

  • Add water, wait 3–5 minutes, and voila! Soft, rehydrated, and tasty for your furry friend.

Mix and sprinkle

  • Bring life to dry food, serve as a topper.


  • Celebrate good behaviour with a tasty treat.

Treat your furry friends to the Freeze-a-Bowl feast, available in three delicious flavours crafted for both cats and dogs: 

  • Mackerel, Beef & Hoki
  • Lamb & Mackerel
  • Chicken & Mackerel

Get a sample here.