Stella & Chewy’s Review – Raw Dog Food

Stella & Chewy’s dog food review

Stella & Chewy’s sponsored ThatMutt.com by providing Ace with 90 days worth of pre-prepared raw food. This post contains affiliate links.

My mutt Ace recently completed his 90-day raw dog food trial with Stella & Chewy’s. I thought I’d end his trial with a review of the food.

First of all, Stella & Chewy’s jumped at the opportunity to sponsor Ace’s raw dog food trial. I think that’s pretty awesome.

Any company that recognizes the value of social media, word of mouth, SEO and the power of a crazy dog lady is a pretty cool company. Stella & Chewy’s will always have my support because of this.

My Stella & Chewy’s review format is based on a list of questions I thought people might actually want to ask about raw dog food from Stella & Chewy’s. If you still have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Since Ace ate primarily “Chewy’s Chicken Dinners,” that is the specific food I am reviewing.

Stella & Chewy's raw dog food review

Stella & Chewy’s review – frozen raw dog food – chicken

Would you recommend Stella & Chewy’s raw dog food?

Yes.

If you are interested in feeding your dog raw food, I recommend you start by feeding him commercial raw food.

Some dog owners will argue that a commercial raw diet is not as healthy as a homemade raw dog food diet. Obviously a homemade raw diet can be very healthy or it can be very unhealthy, depending on what you feed the dog.

I would rather not deal with the stress of buying all the ingredients, mixing the food and storing it. I would rather buy a few bags of pre-prepared raw dog food patties and call it good. I will probably make some raw meals for my dog in the future, but for now I’m more comfortable sticking with a dog food company like Stella & Chewy’s.

Now that your trial is over, will you continue feeding Ace Stella & Chewy’s?

No.

I would love to, but Stella & Chewy’s is not sold in my town of Fargo, N.D. The price is also an issue.

Natural Pet Center in Fargo is more than willing to order Stella & Chewy’s for Ace, but that is not something I’m interested in at this time. It’s an inconvenience for me to plan ahead and order enough food and to feel obligated to pick it up at a certain time. I would rather swing by the store at my own convenience (like when I’m completely out of food). That’s just me.

The two commercial raw dog food options sold at Natural Pet Center at this time are Primal and Nature’s Variety. I am considering the option of feeding all my animals one meal of dry food per day and one meal of raw food, but not until fall.

I am doing a lot of weekend traveling this summer, and it’s easier to feed my pets dry food when we travel. I haven’t decided which raw pet food company I’m going to go with, and I’m open to suggestions.

Why is Stella & Chewy’s better than competing raw dog food companies?

Stella & Chewy’s may or may not be any better than the competing raw dog food companies. It is the only brand of raw food I have fed my dog, so I have nothing to compare it to other than dry food (no comparison). But I have done some research on other raw companies.

Here are some of the reasons I like Stella & Chewy’s:

Stella & Chewy’s is made in Wisconsin.

All of Stella & Chewy’s products are produced – from start to finish – at its federally inspected plant in Muskego, Wis., according to its web site.

I will always be loyal to the Midwest and choose to buy products that are made here. Plus, my parents live in Wisconsin so I am biased. A lot of the other raw dog food brands obtain their ingredients from all over the country and likely elsewhere. I’d rather buy a dog food that’s made closer to my home and all in one place.

Stella & Chewy’s uses raw, naturally raised meat.

Stella & Chewy’s only uses pasture-fed meats and cage-free poultry from USDA-inspected facilities without added hormones or antibiotics, according to Marie Moody, president and founder of Stella & Chewy’s. All of the fruits and vegetables the company uses are certified organic.

The food is also free of grain, fillers, artificial preservatives and colorings, according to its web site. No salt or sugar is added, either.

Stella & Chewy’s is safe for your dog.

I am 100 percent in favor of feeding dogs raw food, and I am not at all worried about my dog getting sick from raw food. Dogs are dogs, and they can handle a lot more bacteria than we can.

All of Stella & Chewy’s products are produced using a high-pressure, food-safety system that “squeezes” out food pathogens without cooking any of the nutrients, according to its web site.

Stella & Chewy’s uses a third-party testing facility to test each batch for salmonella and e. coli, according to Moody. The test results are available on Stella & Chewy’s web site for all to see. Batch codes on each package can easily be matched to the test results.

Not bad!

This was especially comforting when my dog came down with pneumonia during his raw food trial, and at the time I wasn’t quite sure what was causing him to feel so sick. It was not his food!

What are the ingredients in the dog food?

These are the ingredients for “Chewy’s Chicken Dinners” (pictured to the right) according to the Stella and Chewy’s web site:

Frozen chicken raw dog food patty from Stella & Chewy's

Chicken ground with bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, pumpkin seed, potassium chloride, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, sodium phosphate monobasic, organic carrots, organic squash, organic apples, organic blueberries, choline chloride, dried pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, taurine, tocopherols (preservative), calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate, thiamine monohydrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement

I love that the first three ingredients are meat based. The next ingredients are various fruits and vegetables.

Do dogs need fruits and vegetables in their diets?

Some vets and pet owners will argue that dogs do not need fruits and vegetables in their diets and that companies like Stella & Chewy’s use them as cheap (but safe) fillers.

Other vets say that dogs do need fruits and vegetables.

Ace’s vet, Dr. Amy Anderson of West Fargo (N.D.) Animal Hospital, says that dogs have become omnivores and do well with fruits, vegetables and grain in their diets. She also tells me that Science Diet is a high-quality food for my dog, so I don’t take all her nutrition advice seriously.

I asked Moody if dogs need fruits and vegetables in their diets. She believes they benefit from a small amount, and I like her take on this:

“Dogs are carnivores as well as scavengers,” she said. “In the wild they would eat mostly meat, but also a small amount of fruits and vegetables. Stella & Chewy’s dinners are made up of 95 percent meat and bone and 5 percent organic fruits and vegetables.”

I noticed there are a lot of questionable, unpronounceable ingredients in the raw food from Stella & Chewy’s. I did not look up each of these ingredients, but I do trust they are all safe for my dog.

Whether or not Ace really needs the added minerals and vitamins is the real question.

I’m guessing he does not.

How much does the food cost?

It’s not cheap!

A 6-pound bag of Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw chicken patties is around $25. One bag lasts Ace about four days, so it costs about $200 to feed him Stella & Chewy’s for a month.

Does Stella & Chewy’s offer raw cat food?

Yes! I think this is great!

Is there anything wrong with Stella & Chewy’s raw dog food?

Stella & Chewy’s is a great company, and I would feel comfortable feeding it to my dog and cats long term. The only downsides are cost and whether or not cats and dogs really need fruits and vegetables in their food.

I truly believe the owner of the company believes in providing a healthy food for pets.

When Moody adopted her dog Chewy, she said he was really sick and the vet recommended she put him on a diet of natural, raw meat to help him recover.

“I started making his food in my kitchen with a food processor,” she said. “I would have done anything to help him get better. As Chewy recovered and became a healthy, more energetic dog, I was convinced that the right food – and a lot of love – really did matter.”

This is when Moody got the idea to create a food similar to what she prepared in her own kitchen and offer it to the public to help pets live “healthier and longer lives.”

If you are going to feed your pets a commercial raw dog food, you can’t go wrong with Stella & Chewy’s. Just make sure to do some research on the pros and cons of raw dog food first so you understand what it entails.

So now I’m asking you:

Do you feed your dog raw food? What is your favorite raw dog food company?

Raw dog food recipes ebook and an introduction on how to feed homemade raw dog food

Note: My ebook with 10 raw dog food recipes and a guide to raw feeding is now available. The cost is $9.

38 thoughts on “Stella & Chewy’s Review – Raw Dog Food”

  1. I’ve been playing with the idea of raw feeding in the back of my mind for a long time. With Jasmine it’s just too scary. She’s doing very well on her home-cooked. Yet I keep thinking whether she’d do better on raw.

    So it’s a big dilemma for me.

    Stella & Chewy’s website says that their products are “safe raw”. I like that and have to find out more about the technology they use. The also have a disclaimer about safe handling. To me that’s kind of contradicting the claimed safety.

    On the other hand, our guys get home-made jerky for treats for a long time now. Technically, that’s also raw – dehydrated. Never had an issue with their treats.

    What happened to the times with one easy answer to everything? LOL

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yeah, it is contradictory. Another issue I’ve thought about is why even bother with the whole “safe raw” when dogs can handle the bacteria anyway? The whole “safe” thing is definitely geared towards worried pet owners and keeping Stella & Chewy’s clear of any potential liability issues – something any company should be concerned about I guess.

      I am also not sure if I should switch Ace to half raw, half dry or if I should just keep him on dry since he’s doing well. I’m glad Jasmine is doing well on her home-cooked food.

  2. I feed my two dogs with a mix of homemade and commercial dry food. I tried raw from a local dog food store (who brings in raw from Alberta, Canad) but my Ridgeback has a real sensitive stomach and she didn’t tolerate it well (and my other dog, a boxer/bulldog cross will eat pretty much anything without problems but I don’t like to have two different food types for the dogs – they get jealous).

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yeah it’s much easier to feed all your dogs the same thing when you can. That’s too bad the raw food didn’t work out for your ridgeback, but sounds like they are doing well with the homemade food and the dry food.

  3. Hey Lindsay,

    Decided to check out your blog today and lo and behold you’re reviewing Stella and Chewy’s! I say that because I have been feeding my dogs this food for over a year now. They don’t get it every day – more like once a week or so – because of the hefty price that you mentioned. I have to say though, that I love the brand, and it’s my first choice for raw dog food. We’ve had nothing but great experiences with it. Luckily, the pet supply store near our home – that we were buying our grain-free food from anyway – stocks Stella and Chewy’s.

    Usually, we pick up 2 packs of patties, one each of two different flavors. We’ve had the duck, chicken, lamb, and beef. My dogs love all of them!

    At first I had planned on mixing the raw with their grain-free kibble, but some internet sleuthing revealed that, because of different digestion rates for the two types of food, this wasn’t a good idea. So I settled on one dinner per week or so of the raw, and every other meal (breakfast and dinner) of the kibble.

    No complaints at all from me! Glad to hear you and Ace had a good experience with it as well 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      That could be a good option for my pets – just to mix it up a bit. Ace seems somewhat sensitive so I am worried about feeding him one meal raw and one meal dry per day. Maybe I’ll go with one meal of raw per week or so like you do. Good idea. Glad it’s working out for your dogs!

  4. It really gets on my nerves that vets say Science diet is “high-quality food.” When I did a job shadow with a vet at least 3/4 of the people who came in with their pet bought this food. Do the veterinarians know it isn’t “high-quality?” I’d hope they’d know what is and is not good for a dog if they are making a living off of it.

  5. We feed Canine Cavier and love it. I’m not a great fan of Science Diet but it did keep my parent’s cat alive for an extra two years. So while its not the best everyday food, i think some of their prescription stuff might be better. And I love the idea of the Raw Patties however, like you, the cost is prohibitive. Thank you for being able to bring more awarness to the different types of food for our dogs.

  6. I asked them about it, apparently the disclaimer is a legal thing.

    They also assure me that the nutrients follow AAFCO guidelines; list should be available on their website this week or something.

    There is a bunch of things I like about the product, that’s why I’m digging, otherwise I wouldn’t bother.

    I’m actually considering switching JD to this, likely the dehydrated version, and see if Jasmine wants to nibble on it here and there.

  7. My Pug loved the S & C food and we have been feeding him Halshan’s Raw food for almost 12 years and he has done very well. Centinela Pet gave me samples to try….not sure that I can afford the hefty price on my budget right now (and the Halshan’s, I thought, was expensive!).

    1. Realize this in an old thread of comments, but I would love to learn more about using Halshan’s. I used to feed the freeze dried Stella’s & Chewy’s and Primal, but with 7 foster dogs the price was too much. A local butcher shop sells Halshan’s and I rotate the meat and veg (Beef, Turkey, Fish, and Rabbit), Heart & Veg (beef w/tripe added and turkey with liver added) and the ground turkey necks. I also supplement with meaty bones (ribs, whole necks, etc.), but I am concerned about adding the right amounts of supplements, especially Omega 3 and 6 fats. Any tips would be appreciated–I currently have a litter of five 11 week old puppies, their mom, a senior foster dog, and my two dogs, so their nutritional needs vary.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Oh wow, you have quite the house full! I usually follow the 80 percent meat, 10 percent organ, 10 percent bone model. And sometimes I add some fruits and veggies. I’m not familiar with Halshan’s food. Is it intended to be fed on its own? You may not even need supplements.

  8. I am trying Darwins. It’s reasonably priced. I considered Stella & Chewys but devoted on Darwins. Let me know what your thoughts are on it. My dogs liked it and you get different meats ( beef, chicken and turkey) in your monthly order.

    1. I’m sure Darwins is just fine. It’s definitely easier to go with any preprepared raw food rather than try to make it all yourself.

  9. We have been feeding our dog Rhylie a combination of raw and dry for two years. She is two years old so her life thus far. She is not food motivated and this seems to work best for her and us. I feed her a Stellas raw burger for breakfast and the put dry food down late afternoon evening , at least 6 hours later for her to pick at. I also give her raw chicken and beef with bone in just because it makes her teeth sooooo white. She is very healthy and although I thought a little thin my vet has said she is the perfect weight as most dogs eat too much due to dog food companies recommending portions that are too large. People very often comment on how soft Rhylies coat is and that she smells good …. I think that’s because she sleeps with us and ends up smelling a bit like Tide :)) Whatever the reason she certainly doesn’t stink 🙂 After reading the excellent reviews I thought I should write and confirm first hand that if your dog likes it , Stellas has been and continues to be our first choice for raw. Rhylie’s mom 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Good to hear from someone else who has been happy with Stella & Chewy’s. Thank you for sharing your experience. I don’t think you can go wrong with the brand.

  10. We have been feeding our large breed dog Stella and Chewy. We started her on kibble from the breeder, thought we would keep her on this but it did not seem to be the best for her. We went back and forth over stella and chewy because of the cost then we thought; If we can reduce visits to the Vet the cost was less feeding Stella and Chewy vs Vet bills. It has been nearly 12 months and our pup is healthy, great coat and teeth. She loves Stella and Chewy and we have found the cost is far less then it would be for Vet visits.

  11. My dogs have tried every brand of food out there. My deerhounds usually stop eating entirely after 2 weeks…I was warned they are picky eaters as a breed; and I will practically have to beg them to eat or they become an unhealthy degree of thin. I usually switch to a new food every few weeks for this reason. However, Stella & Chewy’s Chicken is the first food my dogs would not ignore, even when mixed with their normal kibble…they will eat it all, so it must be good. They love it so much, that they now ask for dinner! I followed the directions and want to convert them entirely to the diet but I’m not certain the price is reasonable as both of my dogs are 82 lbs each and would require 26.75 patties a day according to the official website. The disclaimer on the website is a gross understatement: “Smaller dogs have got it good.” I think I have to go back to begging my dogs to eat or our slightly overweight shelter dog will eat all the kibble the moment I turn my back. How does Stella & Chewy’s justify that one should spend $27 a day for one dog and $1620.00 a month for two dogs. I’ve got some $ to spend on dog food and usually pay around $75 per bag for other brands at our local dealer. Heck, I even overlooked the fact that the last bag of Chewy’s made my dogs vomit immediately and when I looked closer…. mold had taken over! But really? Advertising plus organic chicken bones & liver etc, does not cost $27 lb. I think filet mignon from the best butcher in NYC charges that as I recall. Love the product but the price is insulting to anyone with a dog that is larger that a tea-cup breed! Sorry!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I think you must be off in the math somewhere. My dog is 70 pounds and it would cost about $200 per month to feed him Stella & Chewy’s. I used the 6-pound bags which contained 12 eight-ounce patties. One bag would last him about four days (3 patties per day). Each 6-pound bag is about $25. I know you have two dogs and they are a bit larger and maybe need quite a few more calories to gain some weight back. But it still shouldn’t cost you more than about $500 per month. Still expensive, I know. More than I am willing/able to pay.

  12. Hi there- comparing the raw diets and was happy to see your blog. I have a 40lb, 13 year old Portuguese Waterdog (Chloe) that I raised on the BARF diet the first 8 years of her life. She lived on mostly raw chicken wings, the occasional egg, and my table scraps (potatoes, cooked veggies, leftover beef, etc.) Chloe was always the fastest dog on the beach and this diet (about 4 chicken wings plus scraps) cleared up early puppy allergies entirely. Chloe was/is a walking advertisement for the RAW diet. The price wasn’t bad because I bought her chicken wings in bulk at Costco and froze them in baggies of four, taking them out the night before to thaw.
    The only reason I stopped this very successful diet was Chloe got sick of chicken wings after 8 years! Just stopped eating them (after eating them with GUSTO for eons.)
    So she’s 13 now, and living on EVO kibble and table scraps. It’s time to go back to raw, but I’m looking for a commercial, balanced product I can afford. I’m looking at Darwin’s as well- but their shipping costs are almost as much as the food!
    Still pondering but wanted to suggest to the more open minded of you try supplementing your dog’s diets with raw chicken wings. Your beasts will love them (after staring and sniffing initially!) As long as the wings are raw, the bones are fine. They are only a threat when you cook them and they become brittle.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thank you so much for your comment, and I am so happy to hear that your Chloe is doing well at 13. I like your idea of raw feeding. Nice and simple. Best of luck when finding the right pre-prepared raw food for her. There are many options.

  13. I have been feeding Stella and Chewy’s rotating it with Instinct (Nature’s Variety) for over 3 years. If I am cooking meat and veggies he gets some but his overwhelmingly main diet is the raw food. My little guy does really well. He did have a little bit of a tearing problen, but that clared immediately when I added the Halo- DreamCoat supplement. Tried other Omega 3’s but he will not eat anything with fish oil. I also give him a Multi vitamin suppement called Vital Vities. He mailtains a good weight and has lots of energy and no medical issues.

  14. This “trial” article was a complete waste of people’s time. You compared it to nothing (didn’t Stella’s send you the food because they thought you were comparing it to other foods?) I highly doubt they would send it to someone just “to try”. You also said nothing useful about the food, nothing about your dogs weight or condition while on it. You knew it was expensive going into it, so why ask to try something you could never afford to feed?

  15. Lindsay Stordahl

    My dog’s weight stayed roughly the same while on the raw food, compared to dry food (Evo). All of my posts throughout the trial comment on his weight, teeth, coat condition, energy, etc. I will link to those posts from this review so those can be more helpful to people.

  16. Hi
    I have been feeding my Jack Fresh Fetch Pet Foods for about 4 years now. Otis suffered from seizures and chronic ear infections.
    He has been seizure free since eating ‘Real Food’ and oil blends they add to his meals. He has not had ear infections for 4 years too.
    They make no promises, they just feel nutrition is key. So many dogs are getting sick or not getting proper nutrition for over processed dry foods.
    I am so thankful I found this company and LOVE them.
    Please check them out. They are two wonderful guys with a passion for pets. They really love what they do and it truly shows.
    Thanks

  17. I breed German Shepherds. I had constant issues with shedding and skin problems until I switched one year ago to Orijen Poultry Fish and Whole Egg Formula. Skin problems and itching ear problems all went away. They all have beautiful lush coats. I just raised a litter of eight pups on Orijen and they have beautiful coats and endless energy. I have been asked by a trainer to switch to Stella and Chewys as he believes in the long run this is healthier. Just not sure I want to mess with success . Do you believe that a combination of Orijen and Stella and Chewys would be a good idea. Is a couple of meals a week of rare really going to make a difference ? Thanks for your opinion .

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      If you are interested in feeding raw, a pre-prepared raw food like Stella & Chewy’s is a nice way to start out. I don’t see how it could hurt to introduce it to your dogs one meal every few days just to see how it goes. It’s possible they will have some upset stomachs, which can occur with switching a dog to any new food. Some people say not to feed a combo of raw and kibble. I think it depends on each dog, and they do seem to do better if, for example, a morning meal is all raw and an evening meal is all kibble, rather than mixing the two for one meal.

      Ultimately, you know what is best for your dogs. Orijen is a fine food.

  18. My 17 month old havanese has been on Bravo raw for several month now. I took him to a nutritional specialist vet. He was so knowledgeable and he said that although Bravo, S&C, Instinct, etc. are really great products and much better than any kibble, he recommends Darwins of any other food. He has studied and research how the foods are manufactured and Darwins does a different process to produce their food. They also use all organics human grade food. I wish I could afford it, but the shipping makes it out of my price range. I’ll just stick with the Bravo for now because it is very affordable for me.

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