Humans aren’t the only ones who benefit from the qualities of freeze-dried food. Many commercially available pet foods can easily be duplicated, with higher quality food at a much lower price.
While most of us buy our freeze dryers to take care of our human needs, we find that our pets also benefit for the same reasons. Over the years, there have been many pet food recalls, and they aren’t always the low budget brands. It is hard to know which ones hold up to the manufacturer’s claims, and ingredient labels can be misleading. Only when you make your own do you really know every ingredient and where it was sourced.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to buy prime rib. My butcher expects me to call every now and then to get liver scraps. Did you know that only a few prime slices are cut from a calf liver, and the rest is literally wasted? One scrap liver will weigh as much as ten pounds, and will make a lot of treats. Even before I had a freeze dryer, I was purchasing these livers for my dog food. Preserving it is now much easier.
My dog, Rico, will do any trick for a freeze-dried liver treat, and it has become my go-to when I am teaching a new behavior. I have made them with one simple ingredient; liver, and I have made them with added vegetables and fruit, brewers’ yeast, and oils. I also have made them with raw and cooked meat. He loves both. Either way, I process the ingredients in my food processor, then pipe them onto the trays with a pastry bag.
I have begun storing home-made food for him. We make a dog food with meat scraps, brown rice, and veggies, which is so easy to freeze dry for later. He loves it, we know what is in it, and we can keep it on hand for him, just as we keep food on hand for us.
Our barn cat, Boots, loves to get a few bites of tuna or salmon. I am working through some canned tuna that is getting close to expiration, and as we use it up, he benefits. He is a hard-working cat, and needs stamina. Good, pure food is helpful. I can leave a jar of freeze-dried meat in the barn, and we just treat him when we are out there. He also spends his share of time lounging on our porch, and we keep some by the front door for him. Boots is getting old now, and fish is great for his joints, just as it is ours.
Other pets benefit as well. Birds, such as parrots, need a diet of fruit and vegetables. There are several commercial outlets, but making your own is easy, inexpensive, and good for them.
Reptiles eat a protein diet, but crickets and mealworms are easily freeze dried.
If you are considering a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, have you thought about the many uses YOU could find?