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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.

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