What is freeze-drying anyway?

Freeze drying is a low temperature dehydration process that involves freezing the product, lowering pressure and then removing the ice by sublimation. Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase, without passing through the intermediate liquid phase. Freeze drying can be contrasted with dehydration in which most of the moisture is evaporated from the product using heat.

So what advantages do freeze-dried dog chews offer?

- Most importantly, freeze-dried dog chews maintain the nutritional value, smell and flavor of the chews original ingredient(s) making them both healthy (assuming the original ingredients are healthy) and yummy.

- The process of freeze-drying which removes the water from the original ingredient(s) significantly prolongs shelf life without the need for additives and preservatives.

- Freeze-dried chews are a great way to augment a raw diet, especially when purchasing chews made from a single ingredient.

- Freeze-dried chews offer a great value as your dog gets more protein packed into a smaller package. While the freeze-drying process removes water ultimately reducing the overall weight of the finished product, the actual weight of the ingredients is significantly higher. For example, a 6 oz bag of GREAT DOG Freeze-Dried Beef Liver Bites is made from approximately 22 oz of beef liver before the water has been removed.

- While you’ll want to check the ingredient list to be certain, many freeze-dried chews have limited ingredients. As a result, dog owners have less reason to be concerned about potential allergic reactions as fewer ingredients reduces the risk.

What else should I know about freeze-dried dog chews?

- Although the moisture is removed in the freeze-drying process, freeze-dried dog chews are not cooked. Many consumers don't realize that freeze-dried dog chews in their finished form still contain the original ingredients in their original state - raw. As such hand washing after handling is very important.

GREAT DOG has several freeze-dried chews available, each made with a single ingredient with no additives or preservatives. Our newest freeze-dried chew is Bison Tendon Chews. For well over a decade, GREAT DOG Bison Achilles Tendons have been our #1 selling chew - bison achilles tendons slow roasted in their own juice. But for those who adhere to a strictly raw diet, we now offer a freeze-dried version called Bison Tendon Chews. Freeze-dried bison tendon chews are also great for those who want to add variety and/or some raw into their dogs' diet.

From what our ultimate customers tell us, the freeze-dried bison tendons are just as yummy as the original version. And, as an added bonus, they help keep a dog’s mouth and teeth clean too.