The Top 3 Air Dried Dog Foods Brands Put To The Test. The Winner Is…

Air-dried dog food combines the advantages of fresh food with the convenience of shelf-stable food like kibble. Air dried dog food is a healthy, delicious option that even the pickiest dogs love. Like a high quality meat diet, air dried dog food has all of the nutrients your pup needs in an easily digestible, bioavailable format. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the best air dried food options and choosing a winner! (Keep Scrolling).

air dried dog food

Why Is Air Dried Dog Food Great?

Simply put, dogs love air dried dog food because it tastes great and has a nice texture, and it seems a lot like jerky, and what dog doesn’t love jerky? But for humans who care about their dogs’ health and diet, air dried dog food is great for the nutrition it offers and the high quality ingredients that go into making it. 

In this article, my dogs and I have tested three different air dried dog foods. I’ve done taste tests with my dogs before, but unlike the fresh frozen diets, my dogs loved all three of these products equally. And my pups are picky! Keep scrolling to the bottom for the winner.

Badlands Ranch
Sundays for Dogs
Ziwi Peak

ziwi peak beef recipe
First Five IngredientsBeef 
Beef Liver
Beef Heart
Beef Heart
Beef Liver
Beef Bone
Beef tripe
Beef heart
Beef lung
Beef liver
Guaranteed Analysis (Crude)Protein: 30% (min)Fat: 14% (min)Fiber: 5% (max)Moisture: 15% (max)Protein: 35% (min)Fat: 20% (min)Fiber: 2% (max)Moisture: 15% (max)Protein: 30% (min)Fat: 20% (min)Fiber: 4% (max)Moisture: 15% (max)
Calorie Information326 kcal/cup550 kcal/cup465 kcal /cup
Pricing$$$ ($1.67 per ounce)$ (.77 per ounce)$$ ($1.56 per ounce)
Where Are Ingredients Sourced?USAUSANew Zealand
Formulated By Veterinarians?No formulation credits available onlineYes; both veterinarians and veterinary dieticians created this foodYes; veterinarians, veterinary dieticians, and a nutritional biochemist created this food
Subscription Required?No, but you will save money with a subscriptionNo, but you will save 20%No, you can order on Amazon

All pricing and meal information is calculated for feeding a 20-pound mixed breed adult dog.

1. Badlands Ranch Superfood Complete

Best Air-Dried Dog Food

Badlands Ranch only offers one formulation for its dog food. All of the ingredients are chosen for their impact on canine health. The primary ingredients are humanely raised beef and salmon, while the rest of the recipe is packed with superfoods like antioxidant-rich blueberries and flaxseed (for healthy skin and coat), as well as gut-healthy veggies like sweet potato. 

What you won’t find are meat meals, byproducts, or preservatives that are known to cause health issues in many dogs. This recipe is especially good for some dogs with skin conditions due to the lack of grains. The Badlands Ranch Dog Food reviews are very good but it is the most expensive choice.  

One bag of Badlands Ranch Superfood Complete is $39.99 if you sign up for a free account and contains 24 ounces (by weight). This equates to about 3 cups of food in each bag. A 20-pound adult dog should have 1½ cups of Superfood Complete per day, if this is the dog’s main diet. (Many of the pet parents in the reviews talk about how they like to use this food as a topper for their dogs’ normal meals.)

Point of interest is that Katherine Heigl is the owner.

You probably recognize Katherine Heigl from her starring roles in popular films like Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, as well as her Emmy-winning performance on Grey’s Anatomy. However, you may not be aware that beyond her successful Hollywood career, Heigl has spent many years working off-screen to improve and protect the lives of vulnerable creatures.

In 2008, at the age of 43, Heigl co-founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation with her mother Nancy, in memory of her late brother. Describing herself as an animal activist and advocate, Heigl and her organization remain dedicated to eradicating cruelty and abuse, with the ultimate goal of placing as many animals as possible into loving homes. Now Heigl is taking an additional step to promote better health with Badlands Ranch. The brand’s name is inspired by the vast Utah land that Heigl and her family reside on.

Best Air-Dried Dog Food

Pros and Cons

There’s a lot to love about Badlands Ranch air dried dog food. The ingredients are top quality, and the company is committed to humanely-raised meat and traceable ingredients.  We also love that the company supports rescue dogs and sponsors a foundation that helps find loving forever homes for shelter dogs.

However, the biggest disadvantage to Badlands Ranch air dried dog food is the price. Each bag of dog food only contains 24 ounces of food. Even at the discounted price, that’s almost $27 per pound. There’s also only one recipe right now, so if your dog has a beef allergy or needs novel proteins, then this isn’t the food for them. We also wish they mentioned if vets or veterinary dieticians contributed to this food’s formulation.

Customer Service

Badlands Ranch offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. If your dog doesn’t love their product, they’ll happily refund you. They also offer free shipping for orders over $50.

2. Sundays Food for Dogs

Best Air-Dried Dog Food

Sundays Food for Dogs combines cutting edge nutrition with the best of the best ingredients for an air dried food that delights dogs. They have two formulations, a beef recipe and a chicken recipe. Both recipes have meat as their primary ingredient (over 90%), along with superfoods, fruits and veggies, and heart-healthy oils to keep your dog looking and feeling amazing. All of the ingredients were chosen based on the highest standards for veterinary nutrition, and the food is made in a USDA-monitored kitchen that’s maintained at human-grade standards. The brand prides themselves on making “people food,” but for pets. 

One 72-ounce box of Beef Recipe Sundays is $109.00. (If you subscribe, you will save 20%.) A 20-pound adult dog should have ¼ cup of the beef recipe twice per day, which is about 1.1 ounces per serving. This means that it costs about $3.30 per day to feed a 20-pound adult dog with this dog food.

Grab a free sample.

Get 35% off your first order + free shipping w/ code ROCKY35!
Buy now

Pros and Cons

This brand is fun and fresh, and we love how committed they are to human-grade ingredients and nutrition for dogs. Because this brand is heavily science-driven, they are very transparent about their process. They actually keep a changelog describing what changes they made to their recipes and why. They’re committed to helping people feed their dogs and understand why certain nutritional choices are better for dogs than others. That’s pretty cool!

As far as cons go, we don’t have too many.

>Some pet parents did mention that it made their dogs’ stool consistency a little too soft at first (although this didn’t happen to my dogs.)

> We would also like to see more novel proteins and recipes offered– like how Ziwi Peak air-dried dog food has lamb and venison recipes available. 

>Their packaging is amazing, but it’s overkill. Too much packaging to deliver dogf ood.

Customer Service

Pet parents love Sundays as a company. We found lots of reviews praising the customer service team’s responsiveness and ability to solve problems quickly.

And if you’re not sure if your dog will love Sundays Food for Dogs, they’ll send you a free sample.

3. Ziwi Peak

Ziwi Peak’s air-dried dog food is crafted with 100% ethically sourced meat, seafood, and organs from New Zealand. Their recipes, such as the beef formula, are composed of over 96% meat, organs, bone, and New Zealand green mussels, providing a diet that mirrors what dogs would naturally eat in the wild. This high meat content ensures that dogs receive a rich source of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals to support their overall health, energy, and vitality. Ziwi Peak’s unique air-drying process preserves the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients while eliminating harmful pathogens, resulting in a safe, nutrient-dense food.

The company places a strong emphasis on animal welfare and sustainability, sourcing ingredients from free-range, grass-fed, and pasture-raised animals. Each ingredient is carefully selected to promote optimal health, including joint function, digestion, and skin and coat health. Ziwi Peak’s commitment to quality extends beyond their ingredients to their production process, ensuring that each batch of food is gently air-dried to lock in nutrients without the need for artificial preservatives or fillers.

A 2.2-pound bag of Ziwi Peak’s beef recipe contains approximately 10 cups of food and costs around $36. The company suggests feeding a 20-pound dog about 1 cup of food per day, making the daily cost approximately $3.60. For those looking to provide their dogs with a high-quality, biologically appropriate diet, Ziwi Peak offers both convenience and superior nutrition. Subscribing to regular deliveries can further reduce costs and ensure that your pet never runs out of their favorite food.

Best Air-Dried Dog Food

⭐️The Award Goes To⭐️⭐️

Since the dogs liked all three of these foods equally, the ingredients are great on all three, and two of the three were formulated by veterinarians and veterinary dieticians, the winner goes to… Sunday for Dogs because it has it all AND it’s the most affordable!

Sundays for Dogs

Get 35% off your first order + free shipping w/ code ROCKY35!


Do you want to know more about air dried dog food? Here are some of the questions pet parents just like you have about this kind of dog food!

What Is Air Dried Dog Food?

Air dried dog food is dog food that is made using a mix of high quality ingredients. Unlike raw food, it is shelf-stable. But it has better nutrition than other shelf-stable foods like canned dog food or kibble. Companies that make air dried dog food tend to focus on offering meat as the first ingredient in any recipe and using lots of dog-friendly fruits and vegetables to round out the ingredient list.

Is Air Dried Dog Food Raw?

It’s not exactly raw– but it’s not cooked at high temperatures, either. Air dried dog food is slowly dehydrated at around 140-160ºF, which doesn’t destroy nutrients but does kill off some of the harmful bacteria in raw meat. 

How Do You Make Air Dried Dog Food?

First, wholesome, nutritious ingredients are mixed together. Then, the mixture is gently dried. This removes moisture, but not so much moisture that you need to rehydrate the food. The low cooking temperatures are high enough to kill germs, but not hot enough to destroy any of the vitamins and other nutrients in the ingredients. It’s basically the same process used to make beef jerky!

Where Do You Store Air Dried Dog Food?

Air dried dog food is shelf stable, so you can store it anywhere. You don’t have to refrigerate it or transfer it to different packaging. 

Where Can I Read Badlands Ranch Dog Food Reviews

You can read Badlands Ranch Dog Food Reviews on Trust Pilot.

Where Can I Read Sundays Dog Food Reviews

You can read Sundays for Dog Food Reviews here.

Should I add a supplement to my dog’s air-dried food?

I highly recommend using a supplement on your dog’s food, no matter what you feed them, to ensure the meal is complete & balanced and they are getting all the right supplements to help them stay healthy. The supplement I use is called Canine Complete . It has 12 ingredients that have been clinically-proven to keep your dog’s joints, skin, heart, digestion, and even their breath in tip-top shape. It’s also a powder, so easy to sprinkle on your dog’s food.

Where can I get a coupon code for air dried dog food?

What is air dried dog food, and how does it differ from kibble?

Air dried dog food vs. Kibble. Air dried dog food is a type of pet food made from raw ingredients that are gently dried using warm air. Unlike kibble, which is cooked at high temperatures, air drying preserves more nutrients and natural flavors.

What’s the difference between air dried vs freeze-dried dog food?

Air dried dog food retains more moisture, making it softer and easier to chew than freeze-dried food. Freeze-dried food, on the other hand, is completely moisture-free and has a longer shelf life.

How does air dried dog food compare to dehydrated dog food vs kibble?

Air dried dog food is minimally processed and retains more nutrients than kibble, but less than dehydrated food. Dehydrated dog food is dried at higher temperatures, which can result in a slight loss of nutrients compared to air drying.

Is air dried pet food suitable for puppies?

Yes, air dried dog food is safe for puppies. It can be a good option because of its gentle drying process, preserving vital nutrients for a growing puppy.

Can air-dried dog food contain harmful bacteria?

While air dried dog food has lower moisture content, which limits bacterial growth, there is still a possibility of contamination. To ensure safety, store the food in a cool, dry place, and do not use it if you suspect the food is spoiled.

Should I add warm water to air dried dog food before feeding?

It is not necessary to add warm water to air dried dog food, but some dogs might prefer it softened. Adding water can also help rehydrate the food, making it easier for older dogs or those with dental issues to consume.

What’s the drying process involved in making air dried dog food?

The drying process typically involves gently heating the raw ingredients using warm air to remove moisture without high heat. This minimal processing helps retain nutrients and natural flavors.

What is the shelf life of air dried dog food?

The shelf life of air dried dog food varies depending on the brand and packaging, but it is generally longer than traditional wet dog food and shorter than kibble. It’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s instructions for storage and usage guidelines.

Does air dried dog food provide essential vitamins and minerals?

Yes, air dried dog food is designed to be nutritionally complete and balanced, providing essential vitamins and minerals for your dog’s overall health and well-being

Why is air dried dog food considered minimally processed?

Air dried dog food is considered minimally processed because it is dried at low temperatures, which helps retain more nutrients and natural enzymes compared to traditional cooking methods.

How does air dried dog food compare to raw food diets?

Air dried dog food offers a convenient and safer alternative to raw food diets, as the drying process reduces the risk of harmful pathogens commonly associated with raw diets.

Can air dried dog food be used as a complete diet for dogs?

Yes, air dried dog food is formulated to be a complete and balanced diet for dogs, providing all the necessary nutrients they require for a healthy lifestyle.

Is air dried dog food suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities?

Air dried dog food can be a suitable option for dogs with allergies or sensitivities, especially those with grain or gluten sensitivities, as many air dried recipes are grain-free.

What are the main benefits of feeding air dried dog food to your pet?

Some benefits of feeding air dried dog food include better nutrient retention, improved digestibility, reduced risk of harmful bacteria, and a convenient, ready-to-serve meal option.

What is Air Dried Raw Dog Food?

Air dried raw dog food is a type of pet food made from raw, uncooked ingredients that undergo a gentle drying process to remove moisture. Unlike traditional raw diets, which consist of unprocessed meats, bones, and organs, air dried raw dog food is prepared at lower temperatures to preserve nutrients and reduce the risk of harmful pathogens.

The air drying process involves slowly dehydrating the raw ingredients using warm air, typically between 40°C to 70°C (104°F to 158°F), depending on the manufacturer’s process. This low-temperature method helps retain essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes present in the raw ingredients, making it a nutritious option for dogs.

One of the significant advantages of air dried raw dog food is its convenience. It doesn’t require refrigeration or freezing like traditional raw diets, making it easier to handle and store. Additionally, the low moisture content inhibits bacterial growth, minimizing the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Is All Air Dried Dog Food Raw?

No, not all air dried dog food is raw. While some air dried dog food products are made from raw ingredients, there are also air dried dog food options that include cooked or partially cooked ingredients. The term “air dried” refers to the drying process used to remove moisture from the ingredients, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate whether the ingredients are raw or cooked.
Raw air dried dog food is made from uncooked ingredients, such as raw meats, organs, bones, and vegetables, that are gently dried at low temperatures to preserve nutrients and natural enzymes. This type of air dried dog food is often considered a minimally processed option, as the ingredients are not subjected to high heat during cooking.

On the other hand, some air dried dog food products may include cooked or steamed ingredients before the air drying process. In these cases, the ingredients are partially cooked to improve digestibility and safety, and then they undergo the air drying process to reduce moisture content and extend shelf life.

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