Tricolor dog eating a Vital Essentials freeze-dried beef dinner patty, thinking 'This is much better!'

If you’re feeling frustrated by recent difficulties in finding your pet’s canned food anywhere nearby, know that it’s not just you — and that solutions are available!

The current canned pet food shortage has been ongoing throughout 2022 and getting even worse in recent months. A combination of sourcing and supply chain issues have left pet store shelves empty and even many online pet food retailers out of stock.

The canned food shortage has been understandably concerning for pet parents struggling to find and stock up on the wet food their dogs and cats are used to eating — and there’s no telling when the shortage will end.

Fortunately, there’s an excellent alternative: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties are healthier than canned food, more cost effective per serving and readily available both in-store and online.

If Fido’s normal canned food is out, it’s reassuring to know that you can still provide them an even better quality meal — for a comparable or lower price!

What’s causing the canned food shortage — and why isn’t Vital Essentials affected?

One of the biggest reasons for the current shortage in canned pet foods is the recent increase in demand for aluminum. Unfortunately, this increase in demand is happening at the same time as a major decrease in the worldwide aluminum supply.

There’s also been some supply chain difficulty recently in acquiring a few key ingredients that many pet food brands use. In particular, many additive vitamins imported from China have been in a bottleneck.

Finally, many pet food brands are also feeling the impact of the steady price increase on corn and soy. These grains are commonly used as fillers to bulk up pets’ meals.

So, why aren’t we impacted by these challenges here at Vital Essentials? Fortunately, we aren’t reliant on these particular ingredients or materials — and that’s because of the intentional choices we’ve made to keep our pet foods as natural as we possibly can.

Our food and treats are freeze-dried, never canned. Since we don’t use aluminum, that shortage doesn’t impact us.

Also, because our foods retain as much of the natural vitamins and minerals as possible with our proprietary minimal processing, sourcing vitamins is much less of a concern for us here at Vital. Plus, since we own and operate all our own equipment for freeze-drying and packing, we have much more control over the entire supply chain from start to finish.

Finally, all our products are proudly grain free, so corn and soy prices don’t impact us either. You won’t find artificial fillers or other unneeded ingredients to add bulk in any Vital Essentials food or treat.

Since we aren’t reliant on the volatile market for aluminum or grains, we’re much less likely to suffer from a shortage — now or in the future. 

Overall, Vital Essentials freeze-dried foods represent a much more secure and reliable option for pet parents than the unpredictable canned pet food market.

How do Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties compare to canned dog food and cat food?

Many pet parents are surprised to learn that compared to canned pet food, freeze-dried dinner patties are both healthier and more cost effective!

Infographic showing canned food is $4.85 per serving and VE dinner patties are $2.60 per serving
Based on the average cost of leading canned pet foods

The high heat used in the cooking and canning process causes the heat-sensitive nutrients and enzymes that naturally occur in meat to break down. As a result, one pound of freeze-dried chicken meat and one pound of canned chicken meat may contain similar levels of protein — but they do not provide the same vitamins and nutritional value for your pet.

Furthermore, the meat in canned pet foods is often of substandard quality. The meat that enters the canned food market is often comprised of “scraps” or rendered by-products instead of the whole animal.

Finally, canned pet foods require large amounts of water and sodium to keep the meat fresh. In fact, the majority of the weight you are paying for when you buy a can of pet food is just water — which you could have easily added yourself at home!

Unlike canning, freeze-drying is a minimal process that locks in as many of the naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients as possible. It doesn’t cook the food or apply high heat, and it doesn’t strip out any of the “good stuff” that your pet needs.

Also, we prioritize sourcing high-quality meat and using the whole animal here at Vital Essentials. That includes muscle, vital organs and bone — all parts of the animal your little carnivore would naturally be eating in the wild. Plus, we refuse to use rendered by-products in our pet foods and treats.

One reason why many pet parents are drawn to canned foods is because of the importance of providing a hydrating diet. Freeze-dried dinner patties are also a good option for getting moisture into your pet’s diet — simply crumble, add water, and serve.

Unlike canned food, however, freeze-dried food is both lightweight and convenient. If you’re traveling with your pet, for example, you’d rather not haul around a box of heavy cans! Patties are light and easy to pack, and can even be fed dry if need-be.

Freeze-dried dinner patties are clearly a healthier and more convenient alternative to canned pet foods. But as budget-conscious pet parents, you may wonder if freeze-dried foods break the bank.

In fact, dollar per serving, Vital Essentials freeze-dried dinner patties are more cost-effective than the leading canned pet food brands!

How to get through this canned food shortage — and prepare for the future!

The truth is, the many issues that drive this canned food shortage such as reduced aluminum supply and increased grain prices aren’t going away. There’s no telling when the current canned pet food shortage will end — or when it will happen again.

Now is the time to get your kitty or pup accustomed to eating Vital Essentials freeze-dried dinner patties, a high quality pet food that provides better nutrition and a better price than the leading canned food brands. Plus, because Vital Essentials isn’t vulnerable to the same supply chain issues as other brands, you’re unlikely to see shortages of freeze-dried patties in the future.

If you’re ready to get your pet adjusted to Vital, we’re here to help you through the transition! Vital Essentials freeze-dried dinner patties are available in a variety of different proteins. If Fido is allergic to the most common proteins like chicken or beef, exotic proteins such as rabbit or duck are available as well. You’ll be able to rotate proteins or stick to the same one your pet is used to. 

Overall, even if you do go back to predominantly feeding your regular canned food once it’s back in stock, it’s always wise to at least get your pet used to eating something different. That way, you’re not scrambling to find something healthy to feed them if another shortage happens again down the road.


Shortages are always a source of uncertainty and stress for devoted pet parents who just want to do the right thing to care for their furriest family members.

Fortunately, Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties are widely available both online and at a pet store near you — offering better nutrition at a better price!