My thoughts as a (holistically) practising vet are along these lines...
- Would our pets eat this kind of food naturally?
- Would I (myself) enjoy to eat regularly / exclusively this kind of food?
Factual considerations are next...
Any processing of food changes nutrients and nutrient availability. Dehydrating is a process that negatively influences live enzymes and changes cell structures by removing life-giving water.
“Which of the nutrients perish and what is left? Without an analysis from a lab, your guess is as good as mine. ...
Moisture (water content) of food is directly connected to how well food can be digested. Fresh food contains approximately 65% of moisture which makes it easy to digest.
What is easier, to eat every day fresh chicken or chicken jerky?
Tropical temperatures and humidity levels hugely impact storage (and nutrients) of natural foods.
Shelf life of "natural" dehydrated products is short. To prolong shelf life and keep products safe, chemicals are added. Without them, dehydrated products spoil. This leads to the next consideration…
Contamination, pathogen multiplication and mould formation are real risks in any food. Prolonged storage increases these risks. Hidden pathogens that are invisible and can’t be smelled or tasted are arguably the most common triggers of liver problems, causing pets to become (often gravely) ill.
So, “Are dehydrated pet foods good or bad?”
- For short-term convenience (travelling or boarding) such foods may be a reasonably "healthy" option.
- Fuel for long-term health with a full spectrum of unadulterated nutrients and an average of 65% water content guarantees alive enzymes and natural vitamins. Dehydrated food doesn't meet any of fresh-food requirements for natural health and wellbeing.
- "Re-hydrated" food (dehydrated or kibble food soaked in water) is high-risk for rapid development of mould and fungal contamination.
Dehydrated pet food - good or bad?
Short-term practicability - Yay! Natural nutrients and digestibility - Meh!
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