Top 10 Best Air Dried Dog Food

Top 10 Best Air Dried Dog Food

Switching a dog with allergies, most especially with skin issues, to a fresh food diet most times will bring about improvement to both allergies and excessive itchiness. With each dog being unique, some needing additional supplements, you should always consult with your veterinarian at the first sign of an allergy to address your dog’s individual needs and underlying health conditions ruled out. However, most dog owners see positive results when switching to an air-dried dog food.

When it comes down to dog foods, there are numerous choices that you can make for your puppy. In this review, we’re going to discuss the best air-dried dog food and explain how this dog food is produced, its nutritional advantage compared to wet and dry dog food, and how air-dried dog food products are best for dogs with allergies.

Food allergies are common in dogs and may result in digestive issues, as well as skin flare-ups. Helping your dog heal means improving their nutrition. With so many dogs today suffering from food allergies, also known as “cutaneous adverse food reactions,” let’s share some tips on improving nutrition to help your dog heal with dehydrated dog foods that are high quality.

Is air-dried and freeze-dried the same?

Air-dried dog food is denser and has higher water content, whereas freeze-dried food tends to be crunchier and lighter in weight. Air-drying also offers the scoop and serve convenience, making it easy to take with you if you’re traveling with your pet.

On the other hand, freeze-drying tends to be popular because it preserves most nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and proteins.

Do you add water to air-dried dog food?

Most air-dried dog food is served as is without having to add water. Air-dried formulas are complete and balanced dog food that provides all the needed nutrients for your dogs.

Is air-dried dog food better?

Dehydrated or air-dried dog food is a convenient way to feed pets. They’re also easy to take along with you to dog shows or pet vacays because they don’t need to be kept frozen—this feeding method eliminates food-borne pathogens and locks in optimal nutrition and taste. Premium air-dried dog food formulas feature up to 70% more protein and added vegetables, fruits, and antioxidants.

With air-dried dog food, no harsh processing can damage the ingredients. It also features naturally-occurring enzymes and nutrients. For example, many pet parents say that feeding an air-dried dog food brand improves coat, skin, and behavior in pets.

What dog foods are air-dried?

Air-dried dog foods feature minimally processed ingredients. Opting for human-grade and minimally processed diets together with some high-quality organic kibble can be beneficial for health, happiness, and longevity with fewer vet bills down the road. Some great air-dried dog food brands include the following:

  • Sundays
  • Ziwi Peak
  • Real Meat
  • Only Natural Pet
  • Zeal Canada
  • Sojos
  • Stella and Chewy
  • Honest Kitchen

What Does Air-Dried Mean?

Unlike conventional pet foods cooked at high temperatures, the air-dried dog food process entails dehydrating all the ingredients in small batches while preserving nutrients and flavor and destroying germs.

What to Do If I Suspect My Dog Has a Food Allergy

Resolving food allergies in dogs takes time. You’ll need to get a diary while on the elimination diet and make a note of everything that your furry best friend eats. You can also add any clinical signs that seem like excessive itchiness, gassiness, or diarrhea.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to work together with your vet to make sure that there are no underlying health issues and that you switch to a correct new diet gradually. With that said, food additives, coloring, and even preservatives can trigger off an allergic reaction in dogs.

What Are the Benefits of Air Dried Dog Food?

Air-drying maintains all the goodness inside every ingredient and allows for optimal nutritional value from proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients in the over 70% raw, natural meat.

The 10 Best Air-Dried Dog Foods

Wellness Core Natural Grain Dog Food

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Bowl Boosters Pure Dog Food Mixer or Topper .49

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Bowl Boosters features 70% air-dried chicken pieces with added omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This is also grain-free, with deboned turkey and deboned chicken as the first two ingredients. Well, PetLLC owns Sojos as well as Wellness, Eagle Pack, and Holistic Select. Sojos specializes in dehydrated, freeze-dried, and air-dried raw dog food.

The Wellness brand has been around for a while and is considered a good dog food brand. We like this brand because they partner with Best Friends Animal Rescue and provide dog food for all their rescues. Wellness also features a vast array of different formulas. Here’s the take with this recipe:

Addiction Perfect Summer Brushtail Dog Food – Best Value

Addiction Perfect Summer Brushtail Raw Dehydrated Dog Food
Main ingredients: Brushtail, Potatoes, Carrots, Flaxseed
Protein content: 22%
Fat content: 12%
Moisture: 12%

We love Addiction Perfect Summer Raw Alternative Dog Food because it’s the best air-dried dog food for the money. Although well-priced, it contains everything your dog needs and can be fed to all types of dogs. It has a lower fat content than our previous option, making it suitable for overweight dogs. However, remember to follow the feeding guidelines to help them reach and maintain a healthy weight.

If your dog struggles to digest common meat protein due to allergies or sensitivities, transitioning them onto this recipe may do them wonders. Brushtail is a novel protein, and your dog’s body probably hasn’t built up an intolerance to it and is less likely to have an allergic reaction from it.

You’ll also find many fruits and vegetables in this recipe, such as apples, basil, blueberries, mangos, cranberries, spinach, and so much more. These ingredients add flavor to your dog’s food but also provides them with the nutrients they need and promotes immune health, as well as good digestion from the fiber. Although it has been gently air-dried, it does need to be served with warm water.

  • Needs to be served with warm water
  • Packed with fruits and vegetables
  • Uses novel protein
  • Suitable for most types of dogs
  • Digestible
  • Affordable

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Holistic Grain

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Holistic Grain-Free Air Dried Dry Dog Food - Made with Real Meat - Lamb & Cod with Pumpkin & Parsley 7.5 lb. .99

With natural and wholesome first ingredients like air-dried lamb, cod, lamb liver, lamb heart, and lamb kidney with pumpkin, you know that this is a quality dog food brand with numerous formulas for all dogs, even the fussiest of eaters.

We like Natural Pet Max Meat Holistic Grain-Free Air-Dried because it uses free-range New Zealand lamb and wild-caught cod. It’s gently air-dried, meaning all the nutrients have not been destroyed, and it’s also grain-free and does not add soy, wheat, oats, corn, or grain. Only Natural Pet has become one of the most popular air-dried dog food brands.

Zeal Canada Gently Air-Dried Dog Food – Best Overall

Zeal Canada Gently Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food

Main ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Bamboo Fiber
Protein content: 36%
Fat content: 22%
Moisture: 14%

If you’re looking for a tasty, nutritious air-dried food for your dog, consider our pick for the best overall air-dried dog food, Zeal Canada Gently Turkey Recipe. This option is loaded with real turkey and is high in both protein and fat, making this recipe excellent for active, performance, or working dogs but not overweight, inactive dogs.

It is a grain-free range, as with many air-dried options, which works well for dogs with sensitivities to the ingredient, although it’s not absolutely necessary to exclude it from a healthy dog’s diet as it provides them with many benefits. Fillers, antibiotics, preservatives, and additives are also excluded from this recipe.

Due to the high-quality turkey, your pup should be able to digest this nutritionally complete and balanced food easily.

  • No grain-inclusive options
  • Not ideal for overweight dogs
  • High in protein
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Tasty
  • Great for active dogs
  • Free from controversial ingredients

Real Meat Air-Dried Dog Food, Turkey & Venison

Real Meat 12.66lb Air-Dried Dog Food, Turkey & Venison

The Real Meat Company features 90% dehydrated beef and free-range nutrients that are lightly air-dried. It’s also grain-free and gluten-free and contains no antibiotics, no fillers, no coloring, and no additives. The brand is a United States brand with good reviews from satisfied customers. The products are packed and sourced either in the United States, New Zealand, or Australia. Real Meat air-dried dog food has become popular due to the fact their food can preserve nutrients and doesn’t cause allergies in your dog.

We like the Real Meat brand because the meat products are sourced in free-range farms and contain no growth hormones or antibiotics. The fish is wild fish caught from the ocean. Real Meat Air-Dried Dog Food also features a wide range of air-dried dog and cat treats just as nutritious.

Ziwi Peak Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food – Premium Choice

Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
Main ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe
Protein content: 38%
Fat content: 30%
Moisture: 14%

Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food is one of our favorite air-dried dog foods, which is why it’s our premium choice. It’s one of the most popular air-dried recipes on the market – and for a good reason.

It’s high in protein and fat, with a crude protein content of 38%. 96% of the recipe is made up of free-range beef, bones, and organs to create lean muscles in your dog and provide them with the energy they need. It also includes New Zealand green mussels, which are a great source of zinc, iron, selenium, and a variety of vitamins.

Carbs and fillers are excluded in this limited ingredient diet with the aim to only give your dog the ingredients that benefit them without the unnecessary extras that often cause allergic reactions in their bodies. Because it’s air-dried, no preservatives are necessary. You can feed this tasty raw alternative to your dog as a meal or a topper, which will stretch it out and save you money. Unfortunately, Ziwi currently only has grain-free air-dried options.

  • No grain-inclusive options
  • Very high fat content
  • Very high in protein
  • Similar nutrition to a raw diet
  • Can be eaten as a meal or topper
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Limited ingredients

Spot & Tango Chicken & Brown Rice UnKibble – Vet’s Choice

spot and tango chicken brown rice
Main ingredients: Chicken, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots
Protein content: 26.58%
Fat content: 16.43%
Moisture: 3.96%

Spot & Tango has three UnKibble recipes that are made with fresh, whole ingredients and real meat. They’ve been created with the help of vets, who know your pet’s nutritional needs best. Spot & Tango have never had any of their products recalled, and they personalize your dog’s food according to their age, breed, weight, and needs. Each scoop of UnKibble will be created to meet your dog’s nutritional needs, and they’ll adjust your puppy’s formula as they grow. Each recipe is suitable for puppies and adult dogs and meets the AAFCO standards.

Their Spot & Tango Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe contains only a few ingredients, but the right ones, including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, kale, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds. They have a variety of vitamins and minerals packed into their recipes, as well as fish oil to give your dog’s coat its shine back. This vet’s choice pick is pricier than many of our other options, but it’s crafted with care and personalized to your dog. The recipes are only available on subscription, so you won’t find them in your local pet store.

  • Pricey
  • It’s a subscription-based service only
  • Fresh, whole ingredients are used
  • Created with the help of vets
  • Customized recipes according to your dog’s needs
  • Suitable for puppies and adult dogs

Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals RawTernative Air-Dried Dog Food – Best for Puppies

Grandma Mae's Country Naturals RawTernative Air Dried Dog Food
Main ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Vegetable Glycerin
Protein content: 30%
Fat content: 22%
Moisture: 19%

We want the best for our pups, and that’s why we recommend Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals RawTernative Air Dried Dog Food which has a generous amount of protein and fat to fuel and develop growing puppies. Lamb and lamb organs make up the first three ingredients in this recipe which contributes to the crude protein content of 30%.

This air-dried raw alternative is suitable for all ages and breeds and maintains the nutritional value and taste of the ingredients due to its air-drying process. It can be served straight from the bag and doesn’t require water or preparation. The kibble-like chunks are moist and natural and contain prebiotics for good gut health as well as vitamins and minerals. You can serve this food as a meal, treat, or topper.

  • High fat content isn’t ideal for inactive dogs
  • Versatile
  • Suitable for adult dogs and puppies
  • High in protein
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Moist and tasty
  • Contains prebiotics

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Holistic Air-Dried Dry Dog Food

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Holistic Grain-Free Air Dried Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Chicken Gizzard
Protein content: 35%
Fat content: 20%
Moisture: 15%

Our final option is Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Holistic Grain-Free Air Dried Dry Dog Food, which uses high-quality, free-range real chicken from New Zealand as its main ingredient. The next few ingredients are a variety of chicken organs which are high in protein and contain vitamin B, essential fatty acids, and iron.

The formula has recently undergone a slight formula change that some customers aren’t happy about. The price is also quite high, but this food can be used as a topper. Many dog owners use it as a topper to provide their dogs with extra nutrition and flavor over their kibble while making it last longer. But other customers are happy to pay the high price to feed their dog a meal they don’t think can be matched in quality.

Due to the flavor, many picky eaters cannot turn their noses up at this food, and the crunchy texture is also appealing. It can be eaten like kibble and doesn’t require any preparation time.

  • Expensive
  • Recent slight formula change
  • High-quality chicken
  • High in protein
  • Versatile
  • Tasty and crunchy

Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Air-Dried Dog Food

Air-dried dog food is a relatively new type of dog food on the market, and with that comes many questions. A common one is whether air-dried food is healthy for your dog. The answer is simple—yes! In fact, air-dried dog food is one of the healthiest premium options to choose from. We’ll discuss the reasons why below and tackle a few other questions you probably want to be answered before buying this food.

Is Air-Dried Food the Same as Dehydrated or Freeze-Dried Food

Air-fried dog food falls somewhere in the middle between dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food. Dehydrated food undergoes a similar process to air-dried food as it’s cooked at low heat, but all of its moisture is removed, making the food small and light. It generally requires moisture to be mixed in with it before being served. It has an average shelf-life.

Freeze-dried food also has all its moisture removed but undergoes a complex process that involves very low temperatures, freezing, and pressure. It loses minimal nutritional value and is as close to raw as you can get with a long shelf-life. It often also involves rehydration with broth or water but tends to be expensive and crumbles easily.

Because air-fried dog food still retains some of its moisture, it doesn’t crumble easily and doesn’t require water or broth to be mixed in with it for rehydration. It’s also generally more affordable than freeze-dried dog food but doesn’t have as long of a shelf-life, lasting around 18 months.

However, all three types of dog food are a great, healthier alternative to commercial kibble.

What Types of Dogs Do Best on Air-Dried Food?

  • Air-dried dog food best suits dog owners looking for natural, premium dog food who are on a budget. If you want to feed your dog a similar diet to the raw one but don’t have enough time to prepare their food, consider this type of nutritious food.
  • Picky eaters may also do best on this type of dog food because the ingredients still contain some moisture from the fresh ingredients used, making it taste better. It’s also a great option to transition your dog onto if they were previously only eating commercial kibble because it’s the most similar type to kibble in texture. Dogs with allergies will do well on this natural, high-quality, and preservative-free dog food because it’s free from many common allergens found in many commercial dog foods.

What Is Air-Dried Food?

  • The answer is in the name. Air-dried food goes through an air-drying process which causes a certain amount of moisture to evaporate from the ingredients. The process involves only small batches of food, and the preservation occurs naturally. Because high temperatures aren’t used, the nutritional value in heat-sensitive ingredients isn’t lost. And, because it hasn’t been dehydrated, the kibble-like food doesn’t require water or broth and can be eaten from the bag.
  • Most air-dried foods don’t have a long list of ingredients because they’re nutritious enough on their own without having to add in vitamin supplements and artificial preservatives to compensate for that which was lost as with commercial kibble. Air-fried dog food can be used as a meal, treat, supplement, or topper.

What Are the Advantages of Air-dried Food?

We love air-dried dog food because of its many advantages. It beats many other types of dog food when it comes to nutrition, versatility, preparation, and storing.

Ease of Use

  • Air-fried dog food is the most similar natural dog food to commercial kibble in the sense that it doesn’t require any preparation time and can be served to your dog as is, without needing broth or water mixed in with it or an allocated amount of time to soften before your dog can eat it. This takes less effort from you while still feeding your dog a nutritious diet.
  • It’s not only easy to serve but to store. Many raw food alternatives need to be eaten within a period of time once water has been added to it, or it requires refrigeration to remain fresh for longer. Air-fried dog food doesn’t have any special storage requirements and can be stored the same way you stored your dog’s commercial kibble, leaving you with plenty of space in your refrigerator.


  • Air-dried dog food can be used in a variety of ways. It can be eaten as a meal, topper, supplement, and treat. Using it as a topper will make it last much longer than in meal form, making it affordable to those on a budget while still adding all its benefits to your dog’s meal, mixed with kibble.
  • Air-dried dog food comes in a variety of flavors across a range of brands, allowing you to feed your dog the flavor they love most.


  • Air-dried dog food is made without the use of heat to keep the ingredients from losing their nutritional value. It’s one of the best alternative options to a raw diet because it provides your dog with almost the same enzymes, minerals, and vitamins found in fresh, raw food without the risk of pathogens that could make your dog ill, as well as its short shelf life.
  • Because this type of food is air-dried, it preserves naturally and is, therefore, free from preservatives and additives, and other controversial ingredients. Due to the high-quality ingredients used, your dog will be able to digest air-dried dog food easier than commercial kibble.

Final Thoughts

Air-dried dog food is loaded with nutrition and is an excellent raw alternative. If you’re looking to feed your dog good food, consider our best overall option, Zeal Canada Gently Turkey Recipe, which is high in protein. Our best-valued option is Addiction Perfect Summer Raw Alternative Dog Food—we appreciate that they use a novel protein as their first ingredient. Our premium choice is Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food for its limited ingredients, and we recommend Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals RawTernative Air Dried Dog Food for developing puppies. The Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe from Spot & Tango is customized to your dog’s needs, so you can’t go wrong with it.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.