Pet Food Alert: “Add Moisture First” Label Needed

We must require freeze dried pet foods to have a moisture alert on their labels.
By Susan Thixton, May 2020, Updated January 2021
freeze dried pet food alert

Attention all freeze dried and dehydrated pet food manufacturers: do the right thing…put an alert on your label.

There is a serious concern with dehydrated or freeze-dried pet foods that needs to be openly addressed. These are great pet food options, but only if the pet food is properly hydrated before feeding it to your pet.

A pet owner brought this issue to our attention, her cats suffered blockages from eating some dehydrated food before water was added.

Dr. Laurie Coger told us she’s treated dogs for blockages when owners have unknowingly allowed the dog access to dehydrated foods prior to moisture being added. Dr. Karen Becker added “the number of animals eating unreconstituted freeze dried or dehydrated food that are hospitalized for enemas or possible obstructions are alarming. I love these food categories, but freeze dried or dehydrated foods should be fed rehydrated and not dry.”


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What happens when pets eat a dehydrated or freeze dried food prior to properly hydrating the food?

The pet food rehydrates itself in your pet’s body, swells with the moisture and can cause an intestinal blockage.

Many pets could be saved from unnecessary medical treatment if manufacturers added a simple alert to the pet food label:

Freeze dried or dehydrated pet foods can cause intestinal blockages if not properly hydrated before feeding.

An alert on the label is needed. Please send an email to your dehydrated or freeze dried manufacturer and urge them to be responsible. Ask them to add an ‘add moisture first’ alert to their pet food label under feeding instructions. As well (just in case manufacturers choose not to be responsible), we need to send regulatory authorities an email asking them to require dehydrated or freeze dried pet foods to add an alert to their label within feeding instructions. Pet owners can email the FDA at: and email your State Feed Officials, locate them here:

Even if you don’t provide your pet a dehydrated or freeze dried pet food, if you send regulatory authorities an email asking this ‘add moisture first’ alert be required on labels – you could be saving other pets from unnecessary medical treatment. Please send your emails.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate

Susan Thixton, founder of the Association for Truth in Pet Food, is one of a handful of consumer advocates fighting to hold the pet food industry accountable to existing food safety regulations.