What is Sous Vide Dog Food?

Filed in Dog Health on March 23, 2022

What is Sous Vide Dog Food

Are you looking to learn what is sous vide dog food?

Just like with human food, the way that your dog’s food is prepared determines a lot about its nutritional value. With so many different cooking methods (or lack thereof with a raw diet), it can be hard to know which food is right for your dog.

In this article, we’ll look at sous vide dog food, how it’s made, how it can benefit your dog, and some of the most popular companies selling it on the market right now. By the way, I also created a list of the best fresh dog food, including companies using sous vide cooking.

What is Sous Vide Dog Food?

sealed chicken ready for sous vide cooking

Chicken vacuum-sealed for sous vide cooking

Sous vide is a cooking method that comes from the French word for “under vacuum.” With this technique, chefs will vacuum seal food into a bag, and then place the bag into a water bath that’s at a precise temperature.

The temperature of the water is what cooks the food, not any contact with a heated surface. The temperature is precisely controlled to get perfectly cooked food.

With dog food, this same sous vide technique is being used to cook your dog’s food. Ingredients are placed in vacuum sealed bags and then submerged in water to cook low and slow until it reaches the right internal temperature.

Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

When your dog’s food is cooked, many of the nutrients in the ingredients are altered and even destroyed, depending on the method. In fact, many fresh dog foods have been cooked over high heat, resulting in a 25% shrinkage in weight.

This is one reason so many pet parents are interested in a raw diet — they want to preserve the whole-food nutrition. Unfortunately, a raw diet comes with its own risks, like the potential for pathogens in the food that can make your dog and you sick.

Sous vide dog food uses precise temperature control of water to cook the food.

Pot with thermometer used to prepare sous vide food

Pot with thermometer used to cook sous vide food

As a result, it’s able to reach exact temperatures that kill off pathogens without getting rid of heat-sensitive nutrients. When ingredients are cooked with this method, they only lose about 7% of their weight.

Other benefits of sous vide dog food include:

  • Locked-in flavor
  • Food retains moisture for added palatability
  • Smells delicious
  • Uses whole, human-grade foods
  • Convenient

Things to Consider about Sous Vide Dog Food

While there are many benefits to gently cooked dog food, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider when deciding if this food is right for your dog and your lifestyle.

Pre-Portioned and Frozen

Many sous vide dog food brands ship their food pre-portioned and frozen into bags.

While this is perfectly safe, it does mean you’ll have to defrost the food before you can feed it to your pup.

This can mean anything from taking it out of the freezer the night before or defrosting it in hot water 20 minutes before it’s time for your dog’s meal.

This is added time to your dog’s daily meal routine, so you’ll need to consider if that fits in with your current lifestyle.

Cost

As with all fresh dog food options, sous vide dog food can be more expensive than traditional dry dog food.

Many of the brands package their food individually by portion, so you’ll need to buy enough to meet your dog’s feeding guidelines based on their breed, weight, and age. At roughly $10-$12 per pound, this can start to add up.

Consider your budget before you make any changes to your dog’s food.

Cooked, Not Raw

It’s also important to note that, though sous vide dog food locks in nutrition similar to a raw food diet, this food is not raw. While a raw diet comes with its own risks, there are still many pet parents who prefer that method over other cooked dog foods.

If you have previously fed your dog a raw diet, consider whether this food meets your dog’s needs and your lifestyle.

Examples of Companies Using This Method

Open Farm Gently Cooked Dog Food

Open Farm’s gently cooked dog food uses the sous vide method to preserve the vitamins and minerals your pup needs while still killing off harmful bacteria. By the way, if you’re looking for one of the most comprehensive Open Farm Dog Food Reviews, I wrote a thorough blog post on their products.

Their food is made from human-grade ingredients, including sustainably sourced proteins and healthy ingredients that you can recognize like spinach and kale for cardiovascular and liver support.

Their recipes are easy to rotate to give your pup variety, and they’re all specially formulated to be gentle on your dog’s stomach but packed full of nutritional goodness.

A Pup Above

A Pup Above uses the sous vide method to lock in moisture and nutrition. All of their ingredients are human-grade, non-GMO, and ethically sourced. You can track each ingredient back to the farm where it originated.

Their food is made in a USDA-inspected human food facility, and each batch is tested for pathogens to make sure that it’s safe for your dog’s consumption.

Their fulfillment center also runs on 100% renewable energy to keep their carbon footprint as small as possible.

The Butcher’s Pup

The Butcher’s Pup creates sous vide dog food with an emphasis on high quality protein. All of their ingredients are farm fresh, organic, non-GMO, and antibiotic-free, and then cooked via the sous vide process to lock in moisture and nutrition.

Each bag of their food holds one pound of sous vide meals, and they’re easy to store in the freezer and defrost in 15-20 minutes before your dog’s mealtime.

Is Sous Vide Dog Food Right for Your Dog?

While there are many benefits to sous vide dog food, the decision on what to feed your dog and what will be right for their nutritional needs is a decision best left to you and your veterinarian.

Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

With that said, the added moisture, palatability, whole-food ingredients, and high nutritional value make sous vide a great option to discuss with your vet.

Comments (1)

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  1. Nancy M Schuessler says:

    Do you have any recipes to do it at home for the dogs? Like how to cook simple chicken and rice?

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