group of dogs running in grass toward grain free dog food five dogs running in field toward grain free dog food

Everything You Need to Know About Raw Frozen Dog Food

Thinking about adding frozen raw food to your dog’s diet? You’ve come to the right place! Raw dog food is closer to what your dog would naturally eat in the wild, and offers a whole host of benefits. Not only is it more satisfying than kibble or canned dog food, it also provides key nutrients without fillers or junk ingredients. Read on for more!

So, what is frozen dog food?

Good frozen dog food isn’t made simply by putting dog food in the freezer. Frozen raw dog food should be sourced from quality proteins and frozen using a special, safe process in which ingredients are never thawed. Thawing ingredients in production can result in discoloration and a loss of nutritional value.

Is frozen dog food better than kibble?

Not all frozen dog food (nor kibble, for that matter!) is created equal, but frozen raw dog food made from quality ingredients tends to outweigh kibble in protein content, health benefits and freshness. While kibble may provide some nutrients, a raw diet makes them easier to absorb, can help with sensitive stomachs and often creates less waste. And, those are just a few of the benefits! Frozen raw dog food can also help alleviate dry skin, contribute to a shinier coat and improve oral health.

Why? Frozen raw dog food doesn’t have the fillers or unneeded carbohydrates that are found in traditional kibble (even grain-free kibble). Vital Essentials uses meat, vital organs and bone to replicate what Alpha wolves  eat in the wild (the ALPHA-Prey Model). Freezing the food raw preserves the meat’s juices and ingredients to appeal even more to your dog’s natural instincts.

Now that’s something to bark about!

How Vital Essentials Frozen Dog Food is Made

All Vital Essentials food and treats are 100% USA-made and packaged. We use only responsibly sourced meat and fish, most of which are sourced from right here in the American heartland!

To make our frozen raw dog food and frozen raw cat food products, we use a method called flash freezing to lock in the essential vitamins, enzymes and moisture for optimum nutrition and freshness.


Frozen Raw Dog Food Products from Vital Essentials

Frozen Vital Dog products are available exclusively in independent pet stores throughout the U.S. Find one near you.


Frozen Raw Dog Food Supplements

Why supplements? If your dog is a picky eater, has a sensitive stomach or needs help with weight management, frozen beef tripe supplements may be for him or her. Beef tripe contains several enzymes and nutrients for promoting digestive health.



FUSION Dinner Patties are a unique product from Vital Essentials featuring 90% meat and 10% organic fruits and vegetables, providing a more affordable price and additional nutrients for your dog while adhering to our base Alpha-Prey Model Diet. FUSION Dinner Patties are available in beef or chicken with super foods like apple, squash, carrot, blueberry and broccoli.


Answers to Your Frozen Dog Food Questions

Q: Does it matter which kind of frozen dog food I choose?

A: If you’re feeding your dog Vital Essentials products, the protein you choose is mostly a matter of preference for you and your pet. Our chicken, beef, rabbit, duck or turkey patties all provide incredible health benefits, and all represent a complete and balanced diet for your dog.

However, because each protein does contain a slightly different amino acid profile, many pet parents choose to rotate proteins. This is entirely your preference!

Q: Can you add frozen raw dog food to kibble?

A: Of course! It’s a great way to incorporate some of the benefits of raw food without fully committing to the price. Or, for a freeze-dried way to boost your dog’s bowl, check out our Freeze-Dried Toppers to feed as an easy supplement.

Q: What’s the difference between frozen and freeze-dried dog food?

A: While they may sound similar, the process is completely different! Flash-freezing  locks in the naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients, as well as the moisture in the meat. That’s why Vital Essentials frozen dog food starts to actually “bleed” when it’s thawed: because it’s as raw and natural as you can get!

On the other hand, freeze-drying removes the moisture from the food. Our proprietary 48-hour process removes the water but locks in the natural nutrients, making freeze-dried food a healthy alternative to frozen. Freeze-dried dog food is dry, lightweight and shelf-stable. It does not require freezing, thawing or rehydrating at home.

Have a kitty too? We also offer frozen cat food and freeze-dried cat food and treats.

Q: How many patties come in a bag?

A: There are 12 individual frozen patties per 6-lb. bag and each patty weighs 8 oz.

Q: Can frozen dog food be refrozen?

A: For optimal food safety and to preserve the nutrients, avoid refreezing dog food after you’ve thawed it. See more below.


Feeding and Storing Instructions for Frozen Dog Food

How to Feed Your Pup Frozen Dog Food Patties:

Give your pup a full patty as a complete meal after thawing a daily portion in the refrigerator. Always provide access to clean, fresh water with the meal.

How to Store and Thaw Frozen Raw Dog Food:

Store the product in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. When ready to use, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator. Avoid leaving food at temperatures warmer than 40 degrees for more than 2 hours. For smaller portions, thaw only a few patties at a time and keep the main bag in the freezer.

Vital Essentials frozen dog food patties are best if used within 4-5 days of thawing, depending on refrigerator temperature.

Use these tips for safe handling of raw dog food:

Keep yourself and your pup safe by washing your hands, counters, utensils and your dog’s food dish with hot, soapy water after each feeding.

Transitioning your dog to a raw diet?

It’s easy to make the switch to a healthy diet like Vital Essentials. Just introduce small portions and gradually increase over time. Use the chart below as a guide to help your pup adjust to their new favorite food.


Frozen Dog Food Reviews and Testimonials

Hear about the perks of frozen dog food from our customers!


Mazy, has always had a battle with itchiness! I had tried everything. Nothing worked! She’s only been on your Frozen Rabbit 18 days and her itching has reduced to being almost nil! I’m so impressed! Thank you!


pet dog with vital essentials chicken entrée

My dog, Alaska, has been raw fed since she was 1 year old. However, it would always be a long chore to do meal prep and sometimes, I would forget thaw the food before meal time. Not to mention my husband hates the idea of butchering and handling raw meat so I was always on my own! Ever since I discovered Vital Essentials, I have been loving the progress and results that I’ve seen in Alaska. It gives me a peace of mind knowing the quality of the food I am feeding her, and takes the difficulty out of feeding frozen raw. Everyone who cross paths with us compliments her on soft and shiny coat, clean white teeth and fit physique. Her health is superb for a 3 year old and it is so rewarding to see what a species-appropriate, balanced and healthy diet can do for our 4-legged family members. A proper nutrition feeds the soul and their health is evident inside and out. Alaska is thriving on VE and I’m so happy to have discovered such a company that prides itself in providing the best quality food for our companions.


french bulldog laying on the couch

We just switched our frenchie Tilly to VE patties and she loves it! we were having skin issues and since the switch her skin issues are gone! Yea!!! Absolutely in love with this product and the health of our fur baby!!



Where to Buy Frozen Dog Food

Find Vital Essentials frozen dog food near you!

Store Locator