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Dehydrated treats vs. Freeze-dried treats vs. Cooked treats, What are the Differences?

There are many types of treats available on the market, and today we'd like to discuss some of the pros, cons, things to watch out for in each type of commonly found treats so that you can select products that are best suited for your four-legged friend. Let's get started! 

Dehydrated Treats

This is the most commonly used process out of all the products we offer. Dehydration is a process of drying raw material such as meat and veggies under low-temperature air to remove moisture.

The result of dehydration are gently cooked treats with condensed nutrition. Depending on the level of moisture removed, dehydrated treats can typically be stored without the use of added preservatives in treats themselves.

Dehydrated treats don’t crumble as easily as freeze-dried treats, it’s also a less expensive process than freeze-drying. Overall, dehydrated treats are healthy and affordable options, and they compliment raw diets well.

Freeze-dried Treats

Freeze drying as opposed to dehydration where heat is applied to remove moisture, it removes moisture in raw materials by freezing, lowering pressure, then removing the ice in the product.

Out of all methods, freeze-drying retains nutrition the best because of its lack of use in heat, it’s also ideal for storage without the use of preservatives. They can compliment raw diets quite well.

However freeze-drying tends to result in products that crumble easily and can be inconvenient if you plan to use the treats for training or carry around on walks. It’s also a fairly expensive process, making the products not as affordable as other options.

Cooked/Baked Treats

This is one of the most conventional processes of making threats. Some ingredients, such as any flours, need to be cooked properly at a high temperature. High-temperature cooked treats don’t retain nutrition as well as freeze-dry or dehydration, but it’s able to kill off any pathogens.

They also tend to have a rather short span for natural storage and will require extra processes such as adding preservatives. Our pumpkin peanut butter cookies are an example of baked treats. However, we use dehydration as a natural preserving step rather than putting preservatives in the treats themselves. You’ll usually find these as some of the more affordable options.

On Novel Protein Treats

It’s rather common these days that puppers suffer from food allergies and pet parents are on the look for novel proteins as options.

We sometimes come across game meat products on the market which may seem like what you want. But be sure to understand the ingredient list. Game meats aren’t typically cheap to source, more often than not, we see game meat products such as bison and elk treats being mixed with various starches to lower the cost, then added with salt to make them taste good since starches dilute the natural meat flavors.

If allergy or sensitive tummy is the reason you’re on the look for novel protein treats, it’s best to stick to single ingredient products. Also, be aware of salt content as excessive sodium can be damaging to the kidneys.

On Storage and Preservation

Removing moisture content and oxygen is the most natural and least intrusive way to preserve products. Currently, we preserve our products by dehydration and using food-grade silica gel or oxygen absorber to extend shelf life in our products. Sometimes when a treat requires a more soft and chewy texture, some moisture content needs to be retained.

Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and rosemary extracts are relatively natural and safe options to be used as preservatives. We highly recommend pet parents to stay away from products that include BHA/BHT, they’re chemical preservatives banned in some countries as various studies suggest they may link to cancer, but BHA/BHT in small quantities is still allowed in Canada.

 

And that wraps up our discussion! We hope this post has offered you some insights when looking for snacks that will suit your pet. 

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