Air-Dried: The Perfect Alternative to Kibble or Raw

Sales of raw and raw alternative pet foods in the United States have more than tripled in the past 6 years.  While consumers love the idea of feeding fresh or frozen diets, many are looking for shelf-stable alternatives that are high in meat content and free from unnecessary fillers.

Air-dried diets offer excellent nutrition with the scoop-and-serve convenience of kibble. Air-drying is a slow and gentle process that naturally preserves nutrients in the raw ingredients, while eliminating harmful pathogens. The result is a shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, highly digestible diet that is free from artificial preservatives.

Ziwi, the innovator of air-dried pet nutrition, produces air-dried dog and cat foods that are based on the whole-prey model. Limited-ingredient Ziwi Peak Air-Dried recipes contain 96% meat, organ, and bone, with 3% New Zealand Green Mussel – a rich natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 fatty acids. Made with 100% New Zealand-sourced free-range meats and sustainable seafood, Ziwi recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages and breeds, eliminating the need to add expensive supplements.

Ziwi’s Air-Dried recipes are versatile and simple to feed as a complete and balanced daily diet or as a nutritious topper or mix-in to other foods. There’s no wrong way to feed Ziwi! Adding Ziwi to a kibble diet as a topper or alternative meal option is a simple way to increase the meat content, reduce carbohydrate intake, and add valuable nutrients such as taurine, cystine, and methionine. Because it is nutrient-dense, serving sizes are smaller than kibble, while still offering the same scoop and serve convenience. Ziwi Air-Dried is also an excellent alternative to freeze dried, as it costs approximately 40% less per serving, and is fed as is, without the need to rehydrate.

Ziwi is family-owned and operated, with air-drying kitchens in Mount Maunganui (North Island) and Christchurch (South Island), in New Zealand.

What’s the Difference Between Raw, Dehydrated, Freeze Dried, and Air Dried Dog Food, Anyway?

Raw dog food

Raw dog food is fresh food in its natural state, i.e. uncooked and unprocessed. Proponents of this diet believe that dogs thrive by eating what canines ate before they were domesticated—largely raw meat and no grains. Raw muscle meat forms the foundation of a raw food diet. Added organ meat provides the multi-vitamins, ground bone offers calcium, and fresh vegetables like kale or broccoli provide the veg dogs would have gotten from the stomach of the prey animals they consumed. Raw dog food is frequently frozen—just defrost to feed your dog.


Try Primal’s Raw Frozen Pronto formulas, made of organic raw meat (chicken, beef, duck, lamb, pork, and turkey and sardine) and incorporating fresh ground bone for calcium and certified organic produce for additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Find it at

Dehydrated raw dog food

Raw food can also be dehydrated. Dehydration involves a slow, gentle process of using warm air to remove water or moisture from raw ingredients to preserve them. It is free of artificial preservatives and still has nutrients and enzymes intact. Dehydrated dog food offers the benefits of a raw diet with none of the defrosting hassle, making it ideal for camping or travelling, as dehydrated food is lighter and more nutrient dense than frozen raw, and does not require refrigeration.


We love the convenience of Amore’s MEGA Morsels dehydrated dog food–just serve as is or add water to hydrate! Their nutritious recipes are available in a wide variety of protein sources, from human-grade chicken, beef and turkey to novel-protein-source kangaroo, perfect for dogs with allergies. The protein is mixed with veggies, salmon or olive oil, kelp and ground bone for a complete and balanced meal. Their free-range meats are free of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones and are bought directly from farms that have personally been checked by the owner. That’s amore!

Freeze-Dried raw dog food

Freeze-drying, like dehydration, is a water removal process which is used to preserve perishable food. While dehydration uses warm air to remove moisture, however, freeze-drying works by a three step process: a freezing phase (lowering the temperature until all liquid in the product turns to solid), a primary drying/sublimation phase (reducing pressure to reduce the water in the material), and a secondary drying/absorption phase (raising the temperature to break the bonds between the material and water molecules). Freeze drying preserves more of the nutritional content of the food than dehydrating, as proteins, vitamins, and minerals stay intact due to freezing before drying.


We love Primal Pet Food’s natural, raw freeze-dried formulas, such as the delicious duck, lamb, and rabbit nuggets! Check it out at

Air Dried raw dog food

The process of air-drying food, while similar to dehydration, produces an extremely nutrient-dense food with scoop-and-serve convenience. Air-drying slowly and gently evaporates moisture from the raw ingredients, eliminating harmful pathogens while preserving vital nutrients, offering nutrition similar to a raw diet.


Ziwi uses this gentle process to make nutrient-dense, glycerin and filler free, limited ingredient food and snacks—in their own facility no less, with all meats and fish sourced from New Zealand and no outsourced production! They provide higher organ/meat content, which means smaller serving sizes and a lower cost to feed. It comes ready-to-feed and stays shelf stable at room temperature, so no need to refrigerate or add water. Try their super-healthy air-dried mackerel and lamb & venison formulas, all of which are good for any breed or life stage! Available at

Dogify Your Inbox

Sign up for the FREE Modern Dog Magazine newsletter & get the best of Modern Dog delivered to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By clicking the arrow, you agree to our web Terms of Use and Privacy & Cookie Policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.