Air Dried &/or Freeze Dried......Anyone daily feeding these foods ?

Curious to learn of expriences of anyone who has introduced & been regulary feeding Air Dried or Freeze Dried foods.

Both relatively new food types are of great interest…

With one of the Ziwi-Peak (air dried) foods calculating on here at £3.52 a day for my 26kg dog & Orijen Tundra Freeze Dried coming in at £32.99 for just 454 g ( by my maths that equates to a whopping £329.90 for just 4.54 kg !!! - feel free to correct my maths), I am not rushing to buy either of these specific brand named products yet.

I accept, (that on reading product info), the above two named foods appear to be of good quality but the costs are considerable.

Aware that importation, new food types, processing equipment & small demand may be factors to pricing but still amazed at the prices. (Mcadams market their product as “warm air dried” using British free range chicken but at £89.99 for 10kg might not appeal to all who compare higher quality dried dog foods).

Am I alone in thinking these products are very highly priced ?

Anybody here feeding these products (particularly owners of medium or larger breeds) ?

Any other air of freeze dried dog foods, (for sale or in pipeline), hat are significantly cheaper ?

Have I missed something ?

Any other thoughts … ?

I am quite curious about these foods but the price tag puts me off a bit. I seem to remember reading that you need about a third of the amount of ZiwiPeak compared to wet food and less than you would need compared to most kibbles due to the high meat content. I haven’t sat and done the maths but it certainly still seems to work out expensive.

They seem like a good idea and I prefer the thought of freeze drying and air drying to baking and extrusion but the price would have to come down for me to consider feeding them.

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Yes, I too would like to hear of personal experiences of these products. I haven’t done the sums but I suspect that it would be too expensive as I have more than one dog. Perhaps they would be useful for people who want to feed raw but have no space for an additional freezer.

The price probably comes from them being imported. Ziwi Peak is from Australia I think and I know Orijen is from the States. They are both really high quality foods and both were recommended to me by a food nutritionist before and I know several people (more with Orijen) that have great experience with them. However, they are not that pricy if you live in the U.S. although still higher priced. Apparently Fromm is of similar quality so I know many who feed that as it’s cheaper a bit. But again, in the U.S.


According to the Dog Food Directory, there are two British air dried products, Pure and Robbie’s. Haven’t checked out the cost though. On the Directory Pure is showing £1.38p and Robbie’s £0.68p per day for a 16kg dog.

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Interesting - I hadn’t been aware of those two…niether for me though.

From comments above it seems we all have some fairly similar views …significant issue seems price albeit composition still hugely important… I far prefer composition in Ziwipeak & Orijen (compared to others) so far.

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Hi there, hopefully I can be of some assistance in this area! I’m sorry for the massive response, didn’t expect it to grow so large. I’ve added a summary at the bottom if you don’t want to read all of this. Anyway, here we go…

Quick background time (please feel free to skip this if you’re uninterested in my ‘past’. I’ve had my first (and only dog) for six years now and ever since we bought her I’ve been immensely interested, almost fanatically so, on ensuring her diet is perfect. No ifs, no buts, no maybes - just perfect. Price is never an obstacle for me, unless of course we’re talking £1000’s.

I’ve done an awful lot of research into dog food. Personal rather than academic of course, although I’ve read scientific journals rather than anecdotal evidence. I’ve tried over the course of my dogs life to feed her the perfect diet. I’ve tried raw meat, BARF, kibble (ranging from Beta Purina to Orijen) wet tins and homemade. All with varying degrees of success.

  • I love the idea of a Raw/BARF diet, but the practicalities and time constraints (allowing items to thaw, etc) simply means it is unfeasible.
  • Loved the idea of homemade, knowing exactly what goes into her food, but the time it takes to do this is again, unfeasible.
  • I dislike the idea of Kibble as, from what I have read, the extrusion process destroys many of the long proteins/fatty acids and nutrients within the food, depending upon the temperatures used and makes the food less nutritious (hence the rise of ‘cold-pressed’ kibble to combat this).
  • I’ve tried her on wet foods, but these again pose difficulties in storage and palatability. Honestly, of all the wet foods we’ve tried, Lily’s Kitchen seems to agree with her the most.

As with all of these approaches, they have their pros and cons. I loved feeding her a raw meat and bones diet, but practically, it couldn’t be done due to cleanliness issues and time. I loved feeding her Orijen, but no matter the variety, it didn’t agree with her, although I disliked the extrusion method used to create the kibble. I liked feeding her a homemade diet, but it was too time consuming… Do you see where I’m going? There are pros and cons with every method of food, in my position that is.

My dog is an outstandingly fussy eater and will turn her nose up at most things, but the twang you get when you open a bag of ZiwiPeak (and I’ve got to say, I love the smell, my fiancee does not however), definitely gets her trotting into the kitchen.


My Verdict
All of this research, testing and real-life exploring and discussions with different pet food manufacturers led me to ZiwiPeak’s Air Dried range. I cannot fault them, they meet every aspect that I would want for my dogs food.

Yes, I’ll get it out of the way, it’s costly, or more so than other dog foods. I want my dog to live for as long as possible, as healthily as possible. For me, as I said before, cost is no issue. If this food is the best, then fair dues. I’ll pay the price.

ZiwiPeak, and I’ll take this from their website, so it’s their word, not mine:

Your dog is descended from the wolf, one of the earliest animals to be domesticated – around 10,000BC. Its intestine and digestive system has remained largely unchanged. Dogs are carnivores, plain and simple. As a result, the best diet you can provide is one in harmony with evolution – one that a dog’s digestive system can easily convert into usable nutrients and energy. It’s a diet that’s high in protein and fat from meat – the diet nature intended for long-term health, well-being and longevity.

ZiwiPeak mirrors this wild-prey, natural diet. It gives you peace of mind that you’re providing the complete and balanced nutritional support your dog needs, from a source you can trust.

Air-dried food

Our unique, gentle air-drying process respects the nutritional value of 90% meat, organs, fish and green-lipped mussels. It minimises damage to the proteins, vitamins and sensitive nutrients and enzymes in the all-natural ingredients, so your dog gets nearly all the benefits of a raw-meat diet. The other 10% consists of carbohydrates from natural sources, such as green tripe, chicory, kelp and parsley, plus essential vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet. The food’s then further protected in a re-sealable airtight package.

From their FAQ Section:

**03 | No nasties** No added sugars, salt, glycerines, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, colourings, fillers, grains or potatoes. Without human intervention, in cheaper foods, your cat or dog wouldn’t eat any of these things because they can’t easily digest them. Our products are also GMO-free, with no ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT and no propylene glycol. Dogs and cats find it difficult to metabolise and digest processed foods and the high levels of carbohydrates in most other pet foods. Sadly, these additives and inappropriate ingredients are commonly used. But not by us.

04 | Exact food balance
A balanced raw-meat diet is the best you can give your pet. But raw meat brings with it safety and convenience issues.
Dogs and cats hunting in the wild would eat virtually the whole animal, getting essential benefits from such organs as the liver, lungs, stomach lining (tripe), heart, kidney and even bone.
ZiwiPeak offers all the benefits of this raw wild-prey diet, with added fish, shellfish and essential vitamins and minerals.
ZiwiPeak gives your pet the equivalent of a raw wild-prey diet from a source and brand you can always trust, with all the convenience you value.

07 | A trusted, traceable source
We only source from New Zealand farms adhering to year-round, free-pasture, grass-feeding.
Approved farms don’t use antibiotics, growth promotants or hormones.
We only use 100% natural, real meat and organs, just as nature intended.
All our air-dried food is produced in our own New Zealand factory.
When you open a pouch or can of ZiwiPeak, you’re reaching one of the world’s cleanest agricultural and ocean environments. And we can track and trace the ingredients back to known New Zealand pastures and fishing grounds.

08 | Environmentally responsible
New Zealand farming and fishing is highly environmentally conscious, subject to resource management regulations and rigorous sustainabity programmes.
No energy-intensive, indoor winter housing and feeding systems.
No ZiwiPeak ingredients come from feedlots.
ZiwiPeak has a lower carbon footprint than North American and European equivalents.
New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws and livestock remains disease-free, avoiding harmful interventions. All ZiwiPeak ingredients are sourced within monitored systems and from licensed facilities. Our fish and shellfish ingredients are sourced and caught under New Zealand’s government-managed quota systems.

09 | Personal values
We’re people serving people, pet lovers like yourself.
As a family-owned company, we pride ourselves on quality and value.
We own our own factories. We know that only the best goes into ZiwiPeak from source to dispatch.
We love cats and dogs just as much as you do. Unconditionally!
Our striving for excellence is total. It’s a way of life. Our customers – people like you – expect nothing less.

Many apologise for the wall of text. As I said earlier, I’ve spent a lot of time reading around the subject and the two quotes above really hone into and refine my reasoning and choice for feeding my dog ZiwiPeak’s products. If I had to boil it down to a few reasons why I use ZiwiPeak, it’s this:

  • Ethically sourced, outstanding food
  • Company own the factory the food comes from
  • Benefits of RAW diet in a convenient bag
  • No nasties in the food at all
  • Air dried to preserve nutrients
  • Single or duel protein source

All in all, baring some ridiculous anomaly on the quality/distribution/ethics of the company, I can finally say my search for the best dog food for my dog is at an end with ZiwiPeak. Plus, my dog absolutely loves the stuff.

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Thank you for an interesting post and BTW it wasn’t too long. I can understand your opinons about the pros and cons of different kinds of food because I have been there myself. It’s good that your dog is doing so well on this product.

I briefly thought of these air dried products and if I just had one small dog I would definitely give it a go but I have several and although I haven’t done the sums I think it might be too costly. There has to be a limit because just paying the insurance bill for them is quite a lot of money before starting with anything like food, accessories, vets fees not covered by insurance and other treatments e.g. flea, worming etc. Owning pets can be a very costly business these days. :frowning:

BTW - hello and welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:

Hi Dottie and thanks for the welcome.

My dog is a small Jack Russell cross Pug - she’s 9.5kg in weight and as a result doesn’t eat as much as say, a Labrador. That’s why money becomes less of an issue, due to her size. I can’t imagine the food bill for a Great Dane on Ziwipeak, or a St. Bernard. Or for that matter, several dogs. If I were in that position It’d be very difficult to know what to do.

Thankfully my situation allows me to be a little more selective due to owning just one, relatively small (yet incredibly large, personality wise) dog.

I would say that generally speaking, she does seem to eat less on this food. I simply follow the guidelines on the bag. It states my dog should by fed 97g per day, which equates to roughly two scoops (one for breakfast, one for dinner). They provide the ‘scooper’ in each bag. One bag (2.5kg) lasts her, on average, one month.

This is great because it ties in with the Amazon Subscribe & Save (15% off!) that gets delivered to the house, reducing the cost of the food bill by about roughly £2.50. Not much, but still a saving!

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Welcome to the boards.

It was me that started the thread & who asked if someone was actually feeding air of freeze dried so thanks for the response.

The marketing & other blurb already read by me hence my positive, (composition), interest.

We truly adore our dogs here but simply cannot afford to spend as near as dammit £180 for 10kg of dog food …(even when considering lower daily feed amounts). As already touched on, insurance & other costs add up. For me (Labrador in house) , the maths sadly doesn’t stack up unless I turn off the heating & walk to work.

Currently feeding a dry kibble (which we pre-soak), that rates 5 stars on here & costs £35 for 10kg plus delivery…so dog food aware, (& far from feeding sawdust & unknown derivatives).

Chris…You highlighted alleged disadvantages, (not disputed by me) , of most other food types but did not highlight any disadvantages of Freeze dried or Cold pressed food types…Any reason why you chose air dried over & above these two food types ? (cold pressed disussed in another thread so probably best we dont go widely off topic) .

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I don’t know if you can get it in the U.K. or something similar, but have you heard of the Honest Kitchen? I know a lot of people who feed it (in the States) as they do not have time for Raw, or a similar product. It is really high quality and price is okay too.

If you are interested in trying another wet food. Use and try “Herrmanns”. It is a German brand, organic, and decently priced. It was the cheapest after Wainwrights for my dog (20kg) on a daily basis (if Id go by their feeding amounts which I do not as my dog struggles with not enough weight). They have great customer service (I emailed directly with the boss of the company) and zooplus has equal good service. Only thing I do not like is that they do not provide percentages of ingredients (only how much meat and how much of the other stuff e.g. 50% duck, 50% sweetpotato, squash and evening primrose oil) and they will not give it to you if you ask either. However, generally the food is such a high quality that I do not mind that much (honestly, opening the can the only thing that throws me off is the consistency, otherwise I would pretty much eat it…)

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Hi Coaster,

I’ll try to address both points from your post.

I totally get why spending £180 is entirely unfeasible. It is undoable unless you start to prioritise your dogs over yourself which is counter intuitive, i.e. you need to be able to keep warm in the house, you need to drive to work, etc. When you add in daily life, insurance, vets, etc, it because prohibitively expensive. The reason it works for me is, as previously mentioned, our dog will eat a much smaller amount per month. Anywhere between 1.75kg - 2.5kg normally. This is much more affordable as I’m sure you’ll understand. It’s simply luck of the draw that we have a small dog (we were considering a Labrador and I’d be in the same boat as you!)

In honesty, I’ve never looked into the disadvantages of the other two methods, freeze dried or cold pressed in quite the same detail or depth as the others discussed earlier. However, I have read into them enough to sway me towards Air dried.

Disadvantages of Freeze Dried:

  • Extremely expensive when considering you want an extremely high quality, trust worthy manufacturer. You’re talking Orijen Freeze Dried really. I can’t see much else that comes close and it’s too expensive for me, personally. Just checked their website for retailers and I’ve found Amazon selling 454g! for £25. That’s prohibitively expensive. I checked into this a little more and apparently, the cost associated with the manufacturing the product is the time taken to ensure a ‘good’ freeze drying process, i.e. it takes a long time, therefore smaller batches. I don’t believe the product has gained enough traction yet to convince them to invest in more/larger machinery to ramp up production and bring the price per bag down.
  • I’ve not looked into how freeze drying effects the product at a cellular level, whether the nutrients remain intact, as they were upon freezing or not. So in honesty, there’s a level of ignorance on my part there.
  • That’s about all I’ve looked into freeze drying. The cost was the main thing that put me off. If the price were to come down I’d probably read more into it. If the scientific literature supported it then maybe I’d consider it. Otherwise - my lack of knowledge and the high cost puts me off.

Disadvantages of Cold-Pressed:

  • New/unknown/unproven manufacturers. I’ve heard of Gentle & Guru, but that’s about it. I specifically looked into Guru to help shape my opinion on Cold Pressed dog food, so that is what will shape my response below. Guru seem to be fairly new and when I checked their website for literature it seemed sparse and their videos were not overly instructional, rather they seem to appeal to a Lily’s Kitchen ‘cartoony’ vibe. I get this, it’s marketing and it works. This isn’t a negative, but it didn’t help me personally. Having said that, I’m not the average customer looking at their website, so it’s not really a negative with regards to the product, it’s a negative for me personally scrutinising their food.
  • They are still heating the food, albeit to a lower temperature at 44 degrees C for a few seconds. In addition to this, they have to pre-cook the rice in the food. I personally would rather there be no rice in the product but more meat or other beneficial ingredients. That’s a personal preference. I’d rather have more high quality meat than rice in my dogs meal.
  • I don’t know where the ingredients are sourced from, whether they are hormone fed, intensive farmed, ethically sourced, etc. I’m sure they aren’t, but it isn’t clear. See my earlier post, points 7 and 8 for ZiwiPeaks commitment to ethical, sustainable sources for high quality food. They are also produced in a factory in Europe (there’s nothing wrong with this) but they do not have direct control over a factory that belongs to someone else. Yes this point is microscopically small and boarders on the ridiculous which serves to prove the minute differences in these products.

Why I chose Air Dried over the above:

  • Trust in the company and that the company owns their own factory when compared with Gentle/Guru
  • Scientific, evidence backed reasoning for air-drying process for dog food that I’ve read into and feel confident with my understanding of
  • Affordable when compared with freeze dried
  • My dog, who was previously a fussy eater, almost inhales the stuff - this is unheard of!
  • Ethical company with outstanding real meat sourced locally with assurances as to the extremely high quality nature of the product

In Summary:

  • The difference between the food products I’ve discussed above are like finding criticism with the 100m sprint final at the Olympics where the difference is 0.001 of a second between the athletes. They are all amazing foods to even be discussed in this post. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about any of these products at all. It’s a million miles away from our friends at Bakers dog food.
  • This is clear to see when you compare the score of the products on the main website, they are all within the 4.7 - 5.0 score mark. To be honest, I don’t really know why one product is awarded 0.1 more than another, I’m sure the person who runs the site has an algorithm that makes that decision based upon ingredients.
  • But when a product has a score over over 4.5/4.6 I think the decision making process moves into the realms of how the food is made, the quality of the manufacturer and the trust with the company producing the food as all suppliers of this food are invariably using high-quality ingredients at this level.
  • This then means a deeper scrutiny of the dog food makers website, scientific literature, process of creating the food, methods and reasons as to why they chose that method of creating the food, a deeper look at the ingredients used - the story of how the ingredients within the bag lived, where, how, what treatment they received, etc. It’s a truly time consuming process that can be very frustrating when information isn’t forthcoming. But, equally, it’s extremely enjoyable when you feel a sense of accomplishment for gaining a real feel for the product and company.
  • In honesty, it’s probably overkill at this point, but I’m just genuinely intrigued plus I have a vested interest in keeping my dog as healthy as I can. As I said before, I’m by no means a generic or average customer, just an extremely curious and skeptical amateur.

If I had to purchase a dog food for a larger dog than my own say a Beagle or Labrador, I’d more than likely choose the following, depending upon diet preferences and affordability:

  • RAW: Nutriment
  • Extruded Kibble: Orijen
  • Cold-Pressed: Guru/Gentle
  • Air-Dried: ZiwiPeak
  • I wouldn’t attempt a homemade diet, or wet cans for a larger dog. I simply don’t have the time needed to make a homemade diet. Wet cans are also very expensive and roughly 70% water/moisture. They’re great for enticing fussy eaters however. Worked a charm with my dog when she was a reluctant eater.

Having said that, the above products are still quite costly when considering medium to larger dogs.

Once again, sorry for the long post, but hopefully it explains my reasoning.



Not sure who you were responding to in your last post, so just to clarify…I started the thread merely to encourage discussion on air dried & freeze dried foods…I am not presently looking to change but, (like others), I keep an open mind & am interested in what else is disussions re differrent foods.

I had never heard of the USA food named Honest Kitchen. I am sure it is cheaper stateside, albeit Amazon UK will ship this to UK for a price that equates to £223.30 for 10kg ! Interestingly this product is marketed as dehydrated, (not air dried) dog food…from what I can see it is raw food that has been dried…they also seem to do it with added moisture in tins and pouches.

A bit confused to see mention of Hermann’s dog food here as it is wet complete (not air or freeze dried).

For info of anyone else viewing this thread (if less familar re these foods) …air and freezed dried dog foods are essentially what ammount to dried raw complete products.

Apologies if inference taken that I wanted to switch or if I have misinterpreted something.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to complile such a constructive, clearly laid out & well reasoned reply.

I think we both agree that the Orijen Freeze dried , (although on face value seemingly a superb product), is cost prohibitive to many owners. You highlight, as I have , that most of us get to a point , (which may vary on individual circumstances), where cost becomes an issue, (whether availability or justification of specific funding).

I was reluctant to over discuss cold pressed here, (to keep thread on topic), but in brief response…I too am not a fan of what you, (aptly), describe as a “cartoony vibe” marketing & info, albeit I am sure such marketing works on “relevant customers.”. Allegedly Markus Muhle make cold pressed for other companies (I am informed the factory is superb & they work closely with relevant named brands). Also there are some grain free cold pressed foods

If you want to read or contribute more thete is a relatively recent cold pressed thread which can be accessed if you
click here

I note your more cost effective alternative food recommendations for larger dogs & have either sampled, tried, fed or considered most listed there…As per my last post (above your most recent in this thread), I am NOT currently seeking to switch. Totally agree re pivotal food choices on better foods…for me, composition, small print, & a feel for a particular company plus animlal ethics are all factors (well above bright colours or puppy pictures on FB sites).

Thanks again for your response.

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Oops sorry Coaster. I was reading Chris’ post and for some reason I must have misread it. Thought there was a search for new high quality food that is less expensive than ZiwiPeak or Orijen. Looking back I can see that it was about why ZiwiPeak was chosen. My bet.

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KatrinH…No problem - (i just wanted to avoid confusion)… I started the thread purely to provoke discussion on Air Dried &/or Freeze Dried as I suspected relatively few owners fed same. I mentioned certain product names to add retail context by naming some foods avalable. Anyway I am glad discussion has followed…

Has discussion thus far changed my views ? Not a lot…Essentially my opinion of decent air & freeze dried foods remains the same - they appear to be excellent, (essentially dried raw complete), foods…Unfortunately the costs remain genuinely too high for many to either afford or justify , (even those who genuinely take a proactive interest in dog nutrition & health)…particularly owners of larger breeds.

I shall continue to keep an eye on this area of the dog food industry. I suspect prices need to be closer to higher end more established food types before volume sales represent a more significant share of the market…As for promoting these high end foods - Chris could surely do a fine job :wink:

Thanks to those that have contributed to discussions thus far :slight_smile: