From Kibble to Fresh to Air Dried – How Little Hunter Stands Out From the Pack!

From Kibble to Fresh to Air Dried – How Little Hunter Stands Out From the Pack!

Kibble, fresh/frozen, air-dried, frozen raw, freeze-dried raw – there are so many dog food options. So, how do you know which provides the best nutrition for your best friend? We're here to help with information about each! 


Did you know kibble was created because of a WWII meat shortage? We needed cheap, low-meat food a dog could survive on. Understandably, optimal nutrition just wasn't a priority. 

The industry learned it could lower production costs by using:

  • Low-quality meat unfit for human consumption (known in the industry as "4D meat" – dead, dying, diseased, and down animals)
  • More meat and protein fillers

To kill off 4D meat pathogens, recipes had to be heavily cooked. Unfortunately, that meant nutrients were also burnt off in the process so recipes had to be supplemented with large amounts of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and filler protein sources.

While we're no longer facing a meat shortage, both the industry and the consumers have grown accustomed to the price of this low-quality, low-meat food. But over the last several years, there has been a growing movement toward feeding our families better, pups included. 

It's true that the cost of healthy, wholesome dog food can seem high when switching from kibble; we understand. But many dog parents have noted in our reviews that while they may have saved money upfront on kibble, they spent more in the long run, paying for hefty vet bills to address issues linked to low-quality dog food, like obesity, allergy issues, pancreatitis, and even cancer.

Ultimately, we find most pet parents agree that if balanced meals made of human-grade meat and organic fruits and veggies give their pup the chance at a longer, healthier, happier life, that's an investment worth making.


“Fresh" / Frozen Delivery

“Fresh,” cooked, and frozen food are quite the rage right now and highlight using human-grade ingredients in their marketing. However, like kibble, there's typically less than 10% meat. 

To make up for missing protein and nutrients, fillers like soy, peas, legumes, and potatoes, along with synthetic vitamins must be used – all of which are cheaper than the cost of real, high-quality meat.

Unfortunately, dog biomes aren't meant for protein fillers; they can disrupt a dog's gut biome by altering the balance of beneficial bacteria. That could lead to digestive issues, and nutrient absorption problems, immune issues, pancreatitis, and other long-term health issues. Unfortunately, vets see these issues all the time.

There are also health and safety concerns, as improperly storing or thawing meat can create a bacteria breeding ground.

Additionally, fresh/ frozen is also expensive, namely because it needs to be frozen, and stay frozen, while en route to you. Ensuring that happens is costly, and companies often pass the bulk of that cost onto their customers. This type of food tends to be the most expensive option. In fact, it's roughly 30% more expensive than our Little Hunter meals.



Positioned as a compromise between fresh and kibble, air-dried claims to offer the nutrition of a human-grade, animal-based, fresh diet with the convenience of kibble. 

Made with whole ingredients, primarily from quality meat, and without protein or other fillers, now we're getting somewhere good!

However, the term “air-dried” is deceptive and meant to confuse consumers. Some companies even call their food "air-dried raw." But make no mistake, air-dried is cooked, meaning it isn't raw at all.

Generally speaking, air-dried food is slowly cooked at 160 degrees over a long, extended period to kill bacteria and eliminate moisture. Slow-cooked would be a more accurate name.

The resulting prolonged heat exposure, like all cooking, leads to nutrient loss. Air-dried is far and away better than kibble and even fresh/frozen, but it’s not the same as raw. That means it's not what a dog’s biome is built for.


Little Hunter

Yes, we may be biased, but in light of all of the above, Little Hunter freeze-dried raw is the healthiest, safest, and most convenient way to nourish your pup.

We take what air-dried started with – fresh, meat-centered recipes made from only raw human-grade, USDA meats and wild-caught fish, nutritionally balanced with organic fruits and vegetables. 

We remove moisture by freeze-drying our food at extremely cold temperatures, a safe process that doesn't require chemicals or additives. Then, we flash-pasteurize our vet-formulated recipes for safety, effectively killing pathogens while preserving raw nutrition. This also makes our food safe to store at room temperature. To learn more about flash pasteurization and our safety processes, check out our blog on safety here.

Optimized for every life stage, our food shows up right to your door and can go straight from bag to bowl! You’ve now got the nutrition of a fresh, raw diet and the convenience of kibble.

Experience the Little Hunter difference

Our pack invites you to see the many benefits of our nutritionally rich, freeze-dried raw food for yourself, risk-free! Our 100% hooman and pup satisfaction guarantee means if you or your furry friend aren’t completely satisfied, you’ll get your money back.

With a commitment to quality ingredients, humane sourcing, and a production process held to the highest safety standards, Little Hunter is the food pawrents have been waiting for – the food you and your pup deserve. 

Explore our menu or customize a meal plan today!

See what everyone’s barking about.

My boys are in love!
We love the beef meal & will be trying all of there other meals! We absolutely love this company, happy dogs & happy parents! It’s always good to know what’s going into your pups are also good for them! ❤️❤
One of the best decisions we've made for our dog
Since we switched Chief to a fully raw diet 6 months ago we’ve seen amazing changes in him! He’s less bloated and is very lean now!( more defined muscles ) His teeth are way more clean on raw. He doesn’t suffer from itchy skin anymore, his coat is naturally shiny now!
My pet hates EVERYTHING! Little Hunter was a hit though. I couldn't believe how she enjoyed the beef, fruits and vegetables recipe.