Product Review–Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

With the hopes of doing the Tennessee hike and other longer hikes in the future, I began to wonder how I would feed the dogs while we were on the trail.  They are raw fed, so when we go away I am preparing meal after meal and sealing them up in ziplock bags, packing the freezers (yes, we have more than one) or packing meals into coolers to send with the dogs when they go with handlers.  There is no way I will be able to carry all of that with me while hiking.  Even if I used kibble, even if I made the dogs carry the bulk of it, it would still be too much.  What the heck to do?

I scanned some hiking groups I am a member of and found that this was a topic that had come up.  This is where I learned of the freeze-dried raw option.   There are a few companies that make freeze-dried raw dog food.  I would need to try some, both for portability and to test the dogs’ tolerance.

I requested a sample from Stella and Chewy’s.  Their name kept coming up on hiking forums so they seemed like a logical place to start.  I was thrilled to receive 3 whole bags in the mail a short time later.  We received Absolutely Rabbit Dinner, Duck Duck Goose Dinner and Stella’s Super Beef Dinner.  The first thing that attracted me to their products was the description of their dinners.  From their website:

100% complete and balanced nutrition.

When you check the list of ingredients in our Dinners, you’ll see it reads like a “who’s who” of wholesome, healthy stuff. Like raw, naturally-raised meat, poultry or fish, sourced from USDA-inspected facilities. Organic fruits and vegetables such as cranberries, carrots, apples, spinach, broccoli and beets. Healthful, direct-fed microorganisms (probiotics), natural tocopherols, chelated trace minerals and taurine. Plus essential vitamins and minerals. And for your complete peace of mind, every ingredient is sourced from reputable suppliers. What you won’t see are any of the usual suspects, like grain, fillers, artificial preservatives, colorings, added hormones or antibiotics.

The ingredients were pretty much the same as I fed them when preparing their meals at home.  This is huge, as it can cut down on tummy upset while away from home and on the move.  It is clear that they put a lot of thought into creating their dinners.  The variety of proteins was also impressive, as I rotate the dogs’ proteins regularly.   The proteins they offer are turkey, duck, beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, venison, rabbit and pheasant, complete with organ meats and ground bone.  I also give yogurt with probiotics every day.  So awesome that they include probiotics in their dinners, too!

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The food comes in decent-sized round patties, with a good thickness to them.  As with any raw product, make sure to wash your hands and any working/cooking surfaces thoroughly.

On a recent hike I brought one bag (Stella Super Beef Dinner) with us.  I was pleasantly surprised that the bag fit nicely right into the dog pack.  They are slightly crumbly but remained intact when I shoved them into the dog pack with other items.  The dogs are made to carry their own provisions.  This means that they carry any food, water, booties, first aid kits, toys or anything else belonging to or to be used on them.  The bag (though full) was very light and did not add much weight at all.  When we reached our stopping point, everyone was ready for a snack.

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“I’m hungry!  These smell yummy!”

 

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Our friends Charlie (little guy) and Rowdy loved Stella and Chewy’s, too!
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With sand-coated drooly face, Sassy pleads for more.

We also had a period of time where Rama had to wear a cone on her head (poor thing) and wasn’t quite able to get to her food without scraping the cone on the sides of the bowl.  She didn’t like this and it made a god-awful noise.  When I took her cone off to eat she would begin to scratch her face again if I didn’t hurry up and get to her right as she finished eating.  Stella and Chewy’s helped supplement her diet nicely while she suffered through the awful conehead days.  It was also comforting to me knowing that she was still getting very good nutrition while her body healed.

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As you can see, Rama ate hers just as it came out of the bag.  You can either feed them this way or add a little water.  All of the dogs to which these yummy patties were offered ate them straight from the bag and begged for more.   Given that this brand seems to be the most inexpensive on the market to date and the quality of the product being what it is, I will be buying it again and it will be with us on future hiking excursions.

For more information on where to buy, feeding guidelines, videos and the other products they offer, please click the link below to be taken to Stella and Chewy’s website!  And don’t forget to tell them Rama sent you!

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We give this product a very enthusiastic 4 paws up and a 10 on the old drool-o-meter (10 being the most drool-worthy)!  For the sake of not completely grossing everyone out, I did wipe the drool off of Rama’s face here.  🙂

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It’s that time again, folks.  Time for the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop brought to you by 2 Brown Dawgs and Thoughtless Thursday Blog Hop brought to you by Ruckus The Eskie!  Even if you don’t have your own blog, you can visit and enjoy all the cool blogs available on both of these awesome blog hops.  Remember to like, comment and follow so everyone can increase their readership and make new friends!  Click the links below to check them out!

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7 Comments

  1. Miley August 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    We think the drool is cool! Those treats look yummy! Great review, thanks for sharing!!

  2. 2 Brown Dawgs August 8, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Thanks so much for joining the Barks and Bytes hop! That looks like a great alternative to packing food. I like that it comes in patties. Many of the freeze dried require water.

  3. jansfunnyfarm August 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    We’re drooling here. We don’t hike that far on our walks, so we know there is no chance of convincing Jan to carry some. Too bad. They sound good.

  4. Kelley August 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I went to the grand opening of a pet boutique here at the beach. There was a Stella and Chewy’s rep there and I was anxious to talk to her, especially after reading your post. I was standing there with a gorgeous, well-bred German shepherd (Jedi). I asked what I thought were intelligent questions the various products. Unfortunately all the rep could seem to do was make unpleasant and inaccurate comments about my breed of choice. PISSED ME OFF! I held my tongue and took her free samples, but if THAT woman is a representative of the company I will not spend money on their products.

    1. Rama's Mama August 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Did you contact the company? I would definitely tell them about that particular rep!

  5. Small Dogs October 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    That looks absolutely delicious! I bet my dog would go crazy over these. Thanks for the great review. – Lisa Williams

    1. Rama's Mama October 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! We are about to review another brand as well. 🙂 Stay tuned!