Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen (Raw Frozen)


Rating: ★★★★★

Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Stella and Chewy’s product line includes seven raw frozen dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Chewy’s Chicken Frozen Dinner
  • Stella’s Super Beef Frozen Dinner
  • Stella and Chewy’s Surf N’ Turf Frozen Dinner
  • Stella and Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Frozen Dinner
  • Stella and Chewy’s Simply Venison Frozen Dinner
  • Stella and Chewy’s Absolutely Rabbit Frozen Dinner
  • Stella and Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Frozen Dinner

Stella’s Super Beef Frozen Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Stella's Super Beef Frozen Dinner

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 43% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, beef bone, calcium carbonate, 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), 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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis13%11%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%37%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%62%8%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fourth ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The fifth ingredient is beef tripe. Tripe usually consists of the first three chambers of a cud-chewing animal’s stomach. As unappetizing as it may seem to us humans, tripe is favored by dogs and sometimes even includes the stomach’s contents, too.

The sixth ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The seventh ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

The eighth ingredient is pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and, more importantly, linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fat.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of nutrient-rich organic fruits and vegetables

  • Cranberries
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Blueberries

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen Dog Food looks like an above average product.

Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Just the same, we still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 43%, a fat level of 37% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 77%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen Dog Food is a meat-based product using a notable amount of species-specific meat and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/14/2010 Original review
01/13/2011 Review updated
03/14/2011 Review updated (chelated minerals)
12/04/2012 Review updated
01/19/2013 Review updated
01/19/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Cortney

    Sorry about the repeated posts :)

  • theBCnut

    Fish oil

  • Cortney

    What supplements should I add when beginning to use this food?

  • Cortney

    I am looking to transition my allergic dog over to this, yet am wondering what other supplements are needed in addition to this food?

  • dchassett

    I’ve been feeding my dogs commercial raw and The Honest Kitchen for quite a while now and they’ve never been healthier or happier. My 14 1/2 year old Maltese acts like she’s 6 or 7 again. All their teeth are white, fur is nice and shiny. No more yeasty ears, gas or bad breath. Just amazing. I used to feed kibble for years. I didn’t know any better back then. So glad I made that change. My dogs have always been good eaters, not a picky one in the group but, man, do they love their food now. The lick the bowls clean and shinny. The bowls look like i just washed them. So happy for you and your dog. I’m always happy to hear when a dog gets switched to raw. So good for them.

  • AntyPanty

    Yes!! I absolutely have read that too. Thank you! I have now successfully switched to Honest Kitchen and raw, and he loves it!!!

  • Judy Ripley

    The recommendations that I have read all say that you should not feed kibble and raw at the same meal since they are digested at very different rates.

  • USA Dog Treats


  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL!! I never thought of my modified ten finger hunt and peck as being speedy before.

  • Gina

    OK, so I now know that… NO, I must not cook the S & C raw diet :( They both have bone (ground) in it. Thank you everyone. Question answered.

  • Gina

    Thank you for the speedy replies :)
    We just had MAJOR surgery on our guy (splenectomy and heart surgery) so I am feeling extremely cautious about any little thing, and it actually came as an “afterthought” now he’s home from the hospital and I am scrutinizing EVERYTHING as that’s what terrified doggy mums do ;)
    So I must go check the labels now to see if those 2 particular meals have the bones in them. Eek!!

  • Gina

    Thanks Patty. We’ve only had him on the Stella/Chewys frozen venison and the frozen chicken as those are the only 2 protein sources he seems to tolerate without vomiting. Also he has major megacolon going on (so we are religious about making sure he poops often, otherwise we must administer warm water enemas) Sooo, I tried a few times to s l o w l y switch him onto those two RAW foods but he got major MAJOR bloody diarrhea each time. Very scary. So I started to try it cooked in the frying pan and he LOVES it much more. OK, so I am guessing these are ok to cook??

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Gina

    Patty beat me to it!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Raw that has ground up bone in it should not be cooked. The bone matrix changes and it hardens and is less digestable, so it could cause perforations. Raw that is boneless, uses bonemeal, or uses egg shell or calciun carbonate can be cooked. Just lightly heating the outside of it shouldn’t hurt though. What kind of problems is your dog having with raw?

  • Gina

    Question: Is it safe to COOK the raw diet foods? I know this sounds like a silly question (and I know for many this may defeat the purpose of RAW) but my dog does not do well with the actual “raw” version, so I started cooking the chicken frozen raw and now he’s doing great on it. Just wanted to make sure there is no particular issue with regards to cooking /heating this food up? Thank you

  • Pattyvaughn

    Me too.

  • LabsRawesome

    I agree. And I haven’t had any problems feeding higher fat foods. But 43% protein and 37% fat seems out of whack to me.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I don’t mind slightly high fat, but all my dogs are very active, even the little old lady, and burn off the extra calories easily, and no fear of pancreatitis so far.

  • LabsRawesome

    I agree. I like the fat content to be no higher than 1/2 the amount of protein. So if you are feeding a food thats 40% protein, the fat should be around 20%.

  • Jill

    The fat content of Stella’s is very high, my Yorky developed pancreatitis from this food. She now is on a prescription food that is only 2-4% fat and will hopefully recover. This food is 37% fat!

  • Amalia C Oyarzun

    I just started my shih tzu on Stella not knowing it was so good. I also bought it for that price at Corrados’s Pet Market in Clifton, NJ.

  • AntyPanty

    What is the best way to introduce a kibble-fed dog to a raw diet? Any tips, please?? THanks

  • guest

    Hi, sorry to hear your pup is suffering. I would try switching to a 100% raw diet for a few weeks to see if you notice any improvement. Raw (wet) food mimics the dog’s incestral diet and is much, much easier on their digestive system and liver. Within a week after switching mine I saw noticable improvement in the itchy, scaling skin, and complete elimination of gas (which alone is worth the cost of the raw food). I’ve never used Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried, but it seems to be counter-intuitive to the benefits of a raw diet – which by design should be wet – and easier for your dog to digest. My dogs are 100% wet food – 80% Stella & Chewy’s and/or Darwins raw frozen and 20% Nutrisca canned. No allergies, gas, tummy issues, diahrrea or other issues.

  • Rosie

    I am feeding my two small Malshis Stella and Chewy’s and I haven’t noticed any bloody stools yet. But someone told me that NV has larger bone fragments in it. I was just wondering if that might be the problem. Stella and Chewy’s is very finely ground up.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Here is the list Hound Dog Mom made of foods appropriate for large breed puppy growth:
    Primal has more varieties you could feed if you want to do commercial raw. I am currently feeding the Primal grinds to my adult Great Dane as part of his diet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Even if it did have the calcium content listed, they are only requires to give the minimum, so you would need to contact them to ask for the as fed level anyway. Fortunately, Hound Dog Mom did the work for us and found that the only S&C raw that had the right level of calcium was their Super Beef Frozen Dinner.

  • InkedMarie

    if you have a large breed pup, go to the forums and search for the large breed puppy food thread

  • chiapink

    Why don’t they include the calcium content in the guaranteed analysis? can’t find it anywhere, can anyone help, have a large breed pup and I have to be careful with the calcium levels.

  • Robin

    Try addiction kangaroo and apple worked wonders for my allergic pits

  • nicole

    just do it! I changed my puppy from Orijen to stella and chewys when he was 6 months old. I think stella and chewys and Orijen are around the same price in monthly basis.

  • Katie

    Have you had her allergy tested? My dog had similar issues with persistent ear infections. Turned out it wasn’t yeast at all, but salmon, venison, pork, soy, milk, and oats.

  • SandyandMila

    They’re both great choices. Even though I feed predominately raw now, I do on occasion feed kibble too with no issues. It’s convenient for when I run out of the raw and can’t get to it. Are you having issues with feeding Orijen? If so maybe rotating some other brands will help if your dog is sick of the same one. There will be transition guidelines to follow if you do decide to go from Orijen to S&C like any other food. Some dogs transition quicker than others so just look for digestive issues, whether the poops are solid or not.

  • FirstTimeDogOwner

    Small breed. Shitzu Bichon mix. 12lb max. Currently 10lbs.

  • Betsy Greer

    They’re both great products.

    But first, what breed of puppy do you have? If it’s a large breed puppy, you need to reevaluate altogether.

  • FirstTimeDogOwner

    My 8 month old puppy is currently on Orijen Red. I am really thinking about switching over to Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen. Any advice?

  • Storm’s Mom
  • MoyenMom

    Can you tell me about the inclusion of Sodium Phosphate monobasic? Why is this added and what benefit is it to the dogs? What is it derived from? The one thing I can find online lists that it can be used as a laxative.

  • Wendy

    Hi Jessica,
    I’ve had the same problem with my 3 dogs except they do fine on raw and have the same symptoms as your guy when they are fed a cooked diet. I’m not entirely comfortable feeding raw and have tried so many times to gradually transition them back to a cooked diet but the intermittent diarrhea was too much to deal with. Sometimes they’d have it all at the same time, other times it would be one or two of them with it. My vet (at the time) kept thinking it was giardia or worms but tests always showed negative. She put all the dogs on Hill’s W/D and said that would be best for them given their sensitive digestive systems. I wasn’t too happy about that (I don’t want to feed them ANY kibble, let alone the worst of the worst), so I went to a holistic vet who said some dogs do better on raw and some do better on cooked. I went back to a raw diet and they haven’t had a problem since. I am assuming you are feeding the raw frozen diets? Have you tried dehydrated or freeze dried? Mine don’t do too well on them but I would have actually preferred feeding them to raw. I hope you can get his diet issues sorted out soon, as I know how frustrating it is when you are doing the best for them and they don’t respond as you had hoped. Also, don’t discount that there may be a foreign object in his system that xrays can’t pick up. Retrievers are notorious for ingesting anything they can get their mouths around – mine are all goldens and oh the stories I could tell. Good luck!

  • Jessica

    Hello! Has anyone else had problems with their dog “adjusting” to raw food? My 9 month old yellow lab has been on the raw food diet for almost three months (we love Primal, Stella and Chewy’s and Nature’s Variety) and he’s done great. His gastro issues cleared up (small, firm stool), beautiful shiny coat and his breath is perfect….however, we’ve noticed that every few weeks, he’ll have an episode of really loose/bloody stool and most recently, he threw up 3x. I immediately rushed him to our vet for blood work and an Xray (thinking its either the diet or he ingested something he shouldnt have). Test results are fine and she thinks he might not be a good candidate for raw food. He does really well on cooked food (which he’s eating now) but I hate to put him back on kibble! Has anyone else experienced this? Will he eventually get used to the raw food? I hate to force something if his body is rejecting the food. Oh and he takes digestive enzymes with each meal to help with the raw food digestion. Thank you!

  • Ysabella

    Thank you both! We are lucky to have her.

  • BriscoandSundance

    What a great looking baby! So beautiful and loving

  • Shiba paws

    I feed the frozen discs. I cut them up into smal bit sizes – pea size – by then its a bit 1/2 thawed. I add any supplements toss and serve. The raw food provides natural enzymes to help keep teeth clean from what I have read.

  • Shiba paws

    The dogs I have had with kidney issues I have only feed s chicken base food..Shiba paws

  • Pattyvaughn

    The nutrition is there even frozen. The real issue is if he will break a tooth. I give my dogs frozen or partially frozen stuff all the time to cool them off, but I know their chewing style and am not worried that they will just chomp down on it.

  • neiko

    -Can i feed it frozen? if not, why?
    -will my dog get all the good benefit from it if i feed him frozen?
    Thank you!!

  • Jeanie

    Feed her REAL food – raw, home cooked, whatever. Go to & click on Dr Becker & read her stuff – holistic vet – really good advice.

  • liz

    both sweet potatoes and and potatoes cause ear yeast infection~ and if they have skin problems and other healthy problems try to feed and add into the food organic virgin coconut oil is the best!! I feed my dog and he improved and healed ~ no more eye problems and ear, and skin itchy,, also good for digestion and constipation and overall health~ coconut oil digest well more then fish oil, some dogs can not tolerated with fish oil, but coconut oil is very safe and easy to digest!, the one I use for my dog cocotherapy organic virgin coconut oil and other brand is called Nutiva extra Organic virgin coconut oil, this one has strong taste then the cocotherapy one! but the same good benefits! I feed stella and chewys freeze dried food as well with coconut oil and worked the best! more info go to check out fb cocotherapy see good info!

  • aimee

    Hi Gators Mom,

    Skin yeast, Malassezia is a secondary infection to a primary problem. Primary problems include adverse food reactions, environmental allergy ,parasites (esp demodex), seborrhea, and hormonal disorders.

    Ingredients in food do not “feed” the yeast on the skin this is a common myth.

  • GatorsMom

    Hi. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if sweet potatoes cause the same yeast feeding problems as regular potatoes? My little white bluenose pit has a terrible problem with yeast. She is nine months old. She was on BB grain free Freedom and kept having skin issues. The vet just wanted to keep using antibiotics which seemed to make the problem worse. Her fur started falling out and she developed such a smell. I started doing a lot of investigative work on diet and had her looked at by another vet that specializes in dermatology and was told my girl had yeast issues caused by diet. She is eating Stella and Chewys freeze dried and Im giving a lot of add ens. She had lost some weight on the BB. I would like to find out about adding Orijens Six Fish as a kibble. How do any of you feel about Honest Kitchen Thrive with the quiona. Any input very much apprieciated.

  • Kathy Cooper

    I have tried the Pheasant and it is a little tougher to hydrate and mix in than the duck duck goose. I have an 80+ pound dog so am using it as a mix in for Fromms grain free Game Bird. Stella and Chewy’s pretty much say for large dogs this is the way to go. Works so much better than taking a cooler full of cooked chicken to add in. First experience were samples given out at our Natl. For one year I cooked for two large Spinoni Italianos, trying to keep up with dietary issues and high energy needs and have finally found an easier way! Tolerate both food types and are energized to retrieve to hand!

  • doxie mom

    I have a senior dog who is in beginning stages of renal disease, which of the meats should he not be given, I was told he needs to be on a low protein diet??

  • sandy

    A diet should consist of meat/bones/organs (80/10/10). You can feed organs everyday. Not more than 5% liver though. Heart and gizzards are considered muscle meat, not organs. The other 5% can include things like kidney, spleen, brain, pancreas, etc.

    Also depending on what recipe you use, there is some variation. My book uses 75/25 of meat/bone/organ to veg/fruit but still uses organs daily. And sometimes I don’t add any veg/fruit at all but use a supergreen food supplement.

  • Laura

    I have a question about feeding organ meat daily in a prepared raw diet. I was under the impression that organ meat should not be fed daily. When I was researching homemade raw diets, I was advised to feed organ meat around once or twice a week. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • SanDnMila

    Score for you and your dogs!

  • Pugsonraw

    Yes, they liked it! But then my pugs very rarely walk away from raw food in their bowls. I ended up buying two 3 lb bags of the pheasant and got an additional $2.00 off when they rang it up, just for trying out the new formula.

  • SanDnMila

    Did they enjoy the sample? I saw the new pheasant formula at the best store I go to as well. I know Primal has pheasant too. I haven’t fed pheasant yet either.

  • Pugsonraw

    Hi Patty!

    A 3lb bag was $21.99. The pet store I go to has the same price for the rabbit, venison and the pheasant…..the exotics! I can get the chicken for $12.99.

    I got a sample bag that had like 6 to 8 patties in it-so the pugs could test it out. I’ve never fed pheasant before….

  • Pattyvaughn

    How much was it?

  • Pugsonraw

    Phenomenal Pheasant was just added to their dinners. I picked some up today. It’s 15% protein, 10% fat, 2% fiber, 70 % moisture……65 calories per patty.

  • SanDnMila

    She’s beautiful :)

  • WhippetsGo

    There are a number of reasons to return dehydrated foods to their natural state. Water aids in digestion in humans and dogs. Certain foods release gas when rehydrated. My dogs get a high quality kibble occasionally added to their raw regimen and I always rehydrate it.

  • Ysabella

    Yes, just make sure if you have cats, not to feed them the raw dog food. Not enough protein for the kitties!

  • Ysabella

    A local pet store in the town I live in sells the 6 pound bag of Stella & Chewy’s in all flavors for $24.99. Before I found out about this deal, I was feeding my 60 pound pup high end kibble & canned food, but now this is pretty much all she gets on a regular basis and thrives on it. She likes poultry so mainly we give her the duck duck goose flavor or the chicken flavor, on occasion I will give her the beef one as well. She has a beautiful coat and gets compliments on a daily basis of how pretty and soft she is! Here is a picture of my girl, now 2 years old! We love Stella & Chewy’s!


    Global Petfoods, I bought the 3lbs bag for $16.-. Generally sold for $18.-

  • Laney

    Bravo! You worded this wonderfully.

  • SanDnMila

    Hope you feel better soon :(

  • Cindy

    Where have others found this sold online for the best
    price/deal? What prices are you paying in local stores?

    I really, really like this food. And my dog loves it, thinks it’s “doggie crack” I like to say.

  • Chrissy

    Hey everyone! ,
    Where to begin – I need some help for my parents (and myself, but they are in need for their pup right now, so I told them I would help) I will ask my question at the end.

    My parents have a Bichon. She has tear stains and has been eating Wellness small breed. She is very picky eater – he has tried BBuf and she picked out all the BB and spit it out of her bowl, while eating the Wellness. My parents have been undergoing health issues as well – my mom recently with breast cancer and my dad is having high bp with mini tia’s(strokes) and they are both at that age where anything is possible. I love them and want to help figure the things that I am able to out for them.

    They wanted to find a cheaper dog food, but not compromising ingredients or her health (also wanting a company not recalled at all, or that being hard to find these day – at least one that has had very little recalls) – they want their bichon to be healthy and if they could get rid of those tear stains they would but they have tried a lot of things for that as well and nothing has helped – angel eyes has helped, but just a little bit.

    We went to the pet store to pick up our raffle stuff that day (I am constantly talking about, LOL) and he decided to take me up on trying the Fromm grain free 4 Star Line. All they had there was beef and game bird – I was leaning more toward the game bird, yet he has not experienced any other dog food except the Wellness lines – small breed, simple solutions, etc. Fromm is more economical for their smaller bags. He bought the beef –

    She is picking through the food again – eating the Wellness almost immediately and the she will go back and eat the beef. She is still in transition process – so when they wake her up in the AM there has been small area where she has vomited.

    Today, he said she is not really interested in the beef and I suggested trying the Zignatures I have over there (staying there while I am not well) – I purchased our senior pug a small bag of Zignature Turkey until we can figure out which direction to go in with his skin conditions. I told my dad to take out some of the Fromm and add in some Zignatures Limited Ingredient Turkey – she ate what was placed into her bowl (small amount).

    I know that has a lot of fiber and not sure if that is going to upset her stomach as well? The fiber amount I believe is over 6%, so not sure if this is upsetting to some dogs digestive tract? I am looking for a dog food for a small Bichon that is on the economical side, yet does not compromise nutrition, is still healthy and can be alright for a sensitive stomach occasionally – it seems she can have a sensitive stomach here and there.

    My question is about Blue Buffalo – we have been feeding this for our little girl with orthopedic needs. She loves this food, however, I just read on the truth about pet food all of these not so good stories about Blue Buffalo and this has me worried. Our little girl pants an awful lot and we have always tried to pin point what is causing it – is she too hot, is it the pain from all of her conditions, does she need more medications, etc never once did we think about the food we were feeding her, because she truly loves the food, but she also pants like crazy. Is Blue Buffalo a food that could cause these problems? I became worried after reading all of that.

    Thank you so much for ALL of the help and suggestions – I am hoping we can find a food for her that will be a match for her and still economical. – I think Fromm is a great CO and perhaps he should try another protein from them.

    Thanks so much – I know I will get nothing but the BEST feedback here – everyone has been AMAZING to me and I just cannot thank you ALL enough!


    P.S. purchased FD S&C Venison, Rabbit and Duck to top for our pug with the severe skin allergies AND will leave the FD Primal Chicken and (cat) Turkey for the other more sensitive prone to top their food.

  • Chrissy

    He was placed on antibiotics after his dental – but you do make some really great points about some things I have not thought of, so I will have to address some of these.

    Also, I was wondering what canned foods have you used that are reasonable priced, but alright for dogs who may have allergies? We have also thought about trying the Brothers Allergy formula – we have been seeing a lot of that on here, but have not tried it yet. I appreciate some of those points you made in the earlier post – I will certainly have to address those – thank you so much! Chrissy

  • sandy

    Do you get routine bloodwork done on him to see if there is an infection going on? Do they give him antibiotics after every dental? Although I am not a fan of dentals just because of the anesthesia. Do they ever take an xray of his jaw to be sure there is nothing going on under the gum line? And how is his throat? Sometimes they can have a throat infection going on. Have you tried an elimination diet on him? There’s a section in pugvillage on that.

  • Chrissy

    His old vet never acted as anything was ever wrong – would always tell us everything was good – Our boy is very stubborn when it comes to letting us look in there – so we can only get so far, but would have them look every time at the vet. When our little girl came and we finally found a good vet to work with her orthopedically – she even comes to the home – we had her check his skin – immediately she said change to a different protein, try an allergy med that is one that is older type and then she looked in his mouth – took her a long time to get back there, which she said she understood why we have troubles his jaw just clamps down – stubborn little man. That is a good suggestion, so I will ask her because I think he has always had some sort of dental issue going on – it just did not become that severe over night and with a dental performed a few months prior – so I will ask her to look in his mouth again and check that out – esp since he is having skin out breaks again. <3 Chrissy

  • sandy

    As far as diet foods go, I’ve never used them for weight loss. All the pugs here lost weight on foods like BB Wilderness, raw and canned food. You know Blue has a weight management recipe now too that does not skimp on meat. For the Sojo’s, it is really low in meat content but it does have fewer calories per serving and would be more filling since the volume is a lot more when rehydrated. I am feeding it to my 14 yr old foster but add something to it like kibble, canned or egg for added protein. I’m using it more as a filler for him since he is still such a food hound! The Brothers Allergy is $80 for 25 lbs. I bought him (the 14 yr old) some Jarrow True CMO and Actiflex 4000 (1/2 tsp) for his arthritis and still have tumeric also. He still gets around – uses the doggy door too. For your allergy guy have you tried The Honest Kitchen Zeal formula. It is just fish and grain free and is higher in protein than Sojo’s. Actually all their formulas have alot fewer ingredients than most kibbles (except for LIDs). I like the Thrive formula too. How is his mouth when he goes for dentals. Is it bad again everytime? Are they sure he doesn’t have a chronic infection or tumor going on in there?

  • Chrissy

    Also, my husband was in the basement and found samples we had received not too long ago – when little one was put on vet food to lose weight – but we were looking for weight management food instead…then we just decided to cut back on the blue buffalo she was getting because she just truly loves that food. At the time we had thought about Premium Edge Weight I and II – but think we realized Diamond made it and there were all the recalls (thought that was never recalled-still were kind of concerned), and we also received some sojos. I wanted to get your opinion on those two brands – I know you know a lot about dog food – would they ever be worth looking into again if we shall need to? Right now, little girl gets Wilderness Blue Buffalo and last night we sprinkled a little portion of that patty on each pugs food. She is our little girl with severe orthopedic conditions. Thank you for all of your help! It is greatly appreciated – do you know how much the Brothers Complete Allergy runs? Our guy with severe skin issues – who we thought was doing so well on Zignatures – we really thought we found his match – he is erupting again with skin issues. It is not as bad as future outbreaks. Last time we dealt with it for 2 years with a vet, then we had our little girl’s vet look at is and she gave us great advice for immediate changes – then when she looked in his mouth discovered in the very back parts of his mouth it was just awful – we could not believe it because at that time he just had a dental few months prior and he is a very hard one to get into his mouth even she said that and it was in places very hard to see. He gets reg. dentals all of the time so with his just having one at that time we could not believe it. She did another dental – removed 9 teeth and part of his gums. In a week the skin conditions cleared up. It was not completely – he still has some outbreaks, so something is going on with him – I just have to convince the hubby to try that brothers complete allergy! Thanks! Chrissy

  • sandy

    They can all eat duck but adjust the serving size for the ones that need to be on the lighter side. Be sure to monitor not only their weight but their body condition to be sure the 3 yr old doesn’t get tubby. As for their first time eating duck, wait and see how their stool is the next time. Fattier foods can sometimes lead to softer stool than normal but the pugs will adjust. Just introduce slowly or keep doing small amounts until you think they are tolerating it well and then go from there. Instinct has a freeze dried Raw Boost in powder form. Just sprinkle on top of whatever you’re feeding. 39 calories a tablespoon I think.

  • Chrissy

    We have one 10 ear old with severe skin issues, two pugs are a lot more active and actully one of them we have a harder time keeping weight on him, or he just looks really thin and our other little girl has severe orthopedic conditions-she is 3 we adopted her-she is not overweight, however, the vet would like her weight maintained due to the ortho needs. Would duck be a good choice for all or should only some get that and others maybe try a different option? Thank you so much! <3 Chrissy

  • Pattyvaughn

    Duck is a higher fat meat and may help with skin issues, but with a healthy pug it shouldn’t matter. Turkey has tryptophan in it, which it supposed to be naturally calming. Some dogs that have agitated personalities have been found to have low levels of tryptophan. And lastly, yes, it is better to add water, but as long as you offer water regularly, it won’t hurt anything.

  • Chrissy

    Tonight I opened the small bag we purchased Duck Duck Goose – we were told that Pugs do better on Duck – someone at the pet fair we went to that was passing out samples listened to our stories about our 10 year old severe skin out breaks. She paused and asked what breed – when we said we have pugs, she then mentioned that they do best on duck-has anyone heard of this? Next, we were told that if we feed turkey at night, they will sleep better-like humans do when we eat turkey, how we get drowsy-we listened and I thought I would ask on here if any of this may have truth to it? Now, I only took one freeze dried patty and broke it up amongst the 4 pugs tonight-it still looked like an awful lot on top of each pugs kibble-must be nice sized FD patties-was that too much for them for a first time trying FD? Also, was I to add water to it-because I was saying to my hubby add water as he was serving the pugs – when I turned around too late-and really you cannot get a bowl back from a pug once you have set it down. Once it is down and on the floor with a pug-well the meal is almost over, lol (o: <3 Chrissy P.S. Thanks so much for ALL of the WONDERFUL help on here!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I bought some for my cats that they didn’t like much, so I gave it to my dogs. It worked great and they loved it.

  • Chrissy

    That is great to know – they have a bogofree of stella&chewy’s cat food and I have 2 coupons I got at the Pet fair – we went to re-visit our options of feeding something raw based – in others words to learn about the freeze dried options and such for the little ones who just have not taken to the actual raw foods. Luckily, our senior(age 10) has done alright on the raw stuff and he has skin issues – I know exactly what you mean by not feeding if pancreatitis – i just had a 12 day hospital stay and turned out that is what I had – they never figured out what was the cause of mine – they think some new medications they put me on for my psoriatic arthritis could have caused it (but that is speculation right now) – all I know is that I have NEVER experienced so much pain and discomfort in all my life and I have severe psoriatic arthritis – my lipase numbers were over 20,000 and high normal is 200. AWFUL! Anyway, back to my pugs, it is good to know that cat brand may be better because we have always looked for one for 2 of the pugs that just never took to the raw – one has severe orthopedic needs and the other is super active and super thin despite receiving the most kibble(currently) per day. We will have to try this out! Thanks! <3 Chrissy

  • Guest

    Haha, another case of a dog knowing better than to eat synthetic processed rubbish (Royal Canin in this instance). Even dogs have more intelligence than the poor mainstream processed pet food manufacturers! No nose knows better than a dogs nose!

  • Shawna

    Hi Paulette,

    Patty is correct. The dog pictured in my avatar has had kidney disease since birth and she’s been raw fed since she was weaned. She’ll be seven years old the end of June and is still VERY healthy. It should be noted that dogs born with kd are not expected to live past age two.

    If his immune system is not too compromised there is no reason you couldn’t do raw. If the immune system is weak you could feed larger chunks of meat (appropriate for his size) and just lightly cook the outsides leaving the insides raw. Or you could add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to the food or dip it in lemon juice etc. If you buy commercial raw you should go with a company that is cognisant of potential bacterial contamination. Darwins, as an example, uses ACV and Primal high pressure pasteurizes their poultry products.

    The amount of protein and phosphorus to incorporate into the diet is dependant on the stage of the disease and how well his body is handling the diet.

    You will also want to add digestive enzymes (to ANY diet you feed him) and also a HIGH quality probiotic — I like Mercola Healthy Pets product or the human product made by Garden of Life called Primal Defense. Using a prebiotic will help keep the BUN down on higher protein diets or in later stages of the disease. I experimented with many — pectins seemed to make things worse. Barley caused her to develop leaky gut. So I settled on a human product called Sprinkle Fiber made by Fiber35.

    There is LOTS more you could do to help him but I’ll stop for now unless you are interested in any additional info :)..

  • Guest

    As Hound Dog Mum said, and then some! In other words, in my view, you’re even better off feeding your dog, the cat version of whatever raw frozen brand you decide on. As the higher the protein and lesser the carbohydrates, the more it mimics what wild dogs (wolves, dingoes, foxes etc) eat nutrition-wise, in the wild.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There’s really no reason you couldn’t feed a raw cat food to a dog – higher levels of protein and fat are a good thing (as long as the dog isn’t prone to pancreatitis). If frozen raw didn’t work for your crew freeze-dried would be worth a try.

  • Chrissy

    Not sure if this posted or not – but I happened to get a bag of freeze dried raw at a pet store – when I got it home, realized it was for cats – called the store and told me that it was basically the same product, just had higher protein and told me what to do if I wanted to adjust it for the pugs. The store is not really close to us. I was wondering if Stella&Chewy’s is the same way with the freeze dried – they have the FD for cats on sale at a store close to us – just wondering if that is true for this brand? We have tried just raw (not freeze dried) with our pugs – some do ok with it and others just have never adjusted to it no matter how slow the transition has been or the probiotics and enzymes. I thought perhaps trying the freeze dried may be an alternative? Thank you so much! <3 Chrissy

  • losul

    I can’t even imagine what advantage cooked could possibly have over raw for kidney disease, but i agree with Patty, Shawna is the “go to” authority for this question.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hopefully Shawna will see your post and chime in. She has a dog with kidney disease that is raw fed and is doing much better than dogs do on prescription foods.

  • Paulette Vee

    Hi, do you know why raw may not be good for dogs with kidney problems? I’m just curious because my dog was just diagnosed with kidney disease, and he refuses to eat his prescription canned dog food (Royal Canin). I can’t blame him, it is nasty stuff. I don’t know whether to do a raw or homecooked diet for him as an alternative.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I know what you mean, I can’t afford to overfeed either.

  • alamedaDad

    Appreciate the feedback and not an issue at all, Pattyvaughn, besides, we “can’t afford to over feed” that these prices…just know he loves the stuff…!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you are feeding too much. Just to say be aware of his weight and adjust accordingly.

  • alamedaDad

    thanks, but just following vets instructions on quantity, says he’s “right on” as far as his percentile; plus he’s getting a ton of exercise daily…will definitely monitor quantity as he gets older.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s a pretty good food, but I would caution you to make sure you feed him to stay on the thin side. Allowing large breed dogs to get heavy and grow rapidly can cause developemental joint issues.

  • alamedaDad

    We brought home a 3mo Rott/GS mix puppy from the shelter just about 6 weeks ago. A friend who strongly advocates raw food diet turned us on to Stella & Chewy’s so we have been feeding him that since day-1 with what seems to be excellent results. He has doubled his weight and seems to thoroughly enjoy all the varieties we have offered him so far: beef, chicken, lamb and “duck, duck, goose”. Other than the cost, which we have rationalized to be “worth it in the long run” from the health benefits, we plan to continue with this and hope that we will continue to see the positive results.

  • Susie

    I am travelling thru Tennessee/Ohio – is there anywhere along the I-75 that I can purchase “stella & chewy’s” for my picky eater?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Published on the Petfood Industry website Wednesday:

    Stella & Chewy’s Petfood Safety Process Granted Patent”
    “Stella & Chewy’s, a freeze-dried petfood manufacturer, received an official patent for its food safety process (Patent No. 838317 B2), invented by the petfood company’s founder and chairman, Marie Moody, and food safety scientist, Dr. James Marsden. This patent was granted for the food safety process that combines high-pressure processing with an environmental pathogen-reducing treatment system, which continually sanitizes food-contact surfaces with cleansing plasma, safely and effectively destroying environmental pathogenic bacteria.”

    All I can say is that I sincerely hope that this process, or similar processes, don’t become required of all commercial raw pet food manufacturers. Unfortunately, based on some things said in this article, it looks like that’s the way the FDA is leaning..

  • Betsy Greer

    I think I’d probably get some of what he’s eating right now ~ enough for a couple of weeks. Te fewer changes he has to go through right now, the better.

    The rescue confirmed the Giardia, right? Something I was thinking about is the fact that he’s 14 months old and may have been given some vaccines within the past couple of months. I got a Golden pup at 8 weeks this past July; after his first round of “puppy shots’” he started to develop a lot of loose stool and shortly thereafter, a raging ear infection. Fortunately, I found a great food, Brothers Complete Allergy, that seemed to resolve a lot of Sam’s issues pretty quickly along with some ear medicine and chiropractic care. I wonder if your new pup has had issues with vaccinosis as well and possibly it’s been long term and has become a systemic yeast issue. That might seem to explain his failure to thrive.

    Your Stella & Chewys is a great choice. I’d feel confident in switching him over to that after he finishes his medicine and gets settled into his new home. It probably would be a good idea to divide his daily ration into three meals per day instead of two ~ easier to digest a smaller meal with less risk of stomach upset. I’d also add digestive enzymes and probiotics ~ I use Mercola. I’d also grab a couple of cans of plain pumpkin to have on hand in case he has some loose stools.

    Good luck!

  • cheri25

    Hi Betsy. They think she is 14 months.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Cheri,

    How old is the pup you’re getting tomorrow?

  • cheri25

    Hi. I have a GSD that’s on Stella and Chewy. He seems to be doing okay on the food so far. I’m getting another GSD tomorrow. She is very skinny. She was also diagnosed with Giardia and I’ll be treating her for that as well. She also has an ear infection. I need to put weight on him and I don’t have any experience with a rescued dog. She is on some kind of dry food now. Can I just give her Stella and chewy? would it be enough nutrient and calories in this food. Does anyone know? Do I need to buy dry food and switch her slowly? If so, does it have to be the same dry food she’s getting now or can I get a different dry food? Also, I think I should be feeding her in small amounts but 3 times a day and a couple of snacks. Am I right? Any advise would be appreciated. I want to give her the best food possible. Thank you.

  • cheri

    Hi. I have a GSD that’s on Stella and Chewy. He seems to be doing okay on the food so far. I’m getting another GSD tomorrow. She is very skinny. She was also diagnosed with Giardia and I’ll be treating her for that as well. She also has an ear infection. I need to put weight on him and I don’t have any experience with a rescued dog. She is on some kind of dry food now. Can I just give her Stella and chewy? would it be enough nutrient and calories in this food. Does anyone know? Do I need to buy dry food and switch her slowly? If so, does it have to be the same dry food she’s getting now or can I get a different dry food? Also, I think I should be feeding her in small amounts but 3 times a day and a couple of snacks. Am I right? Any advise would be appreciated. I want to give her the best food possible. Thank you.

  • Chickarn

    I rotate a pre-made frozen raw diet for my two dogs. Primal Formulas (chicken, turkey/sardine, beef, duck) and Nature’s Variety Instinct (chicken, beef) with Primal probably being fed twice as often as Instinct. I’m currently trying out the Stella & Chewy’s frozen chicken discs along with Northwest Naturals Chicken. I feel that the Stella & Chewy’s seems to release a lot of liquid on defrost. More than any other pre-made frozen raw I’ve tried. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this or if maybe I’ve got a particularly water-laden pack? Other than that, my dogs are eating it, though I wouldn’t say they love it.

  • sandy

    Generic by-products are questionable as one doesn’t really know what they consist of.  But named by-products like the ones you mentioned are a healthy additions.

    If a brand can’t list by name what by-product they are using, they might not even know what all is in it or it could have good and bad by-products all mixed up!!  Like “meat by-product”, what animal is that even from??

    I make my own raw food sometimes and incorporate (chicken, turkey, duck) heart, liver, gizzards, feet, beef liver, tripe, kidney, pork organs like spleen, heart, etc.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Schwartr –

    The reason “by-products” are condemned is because the generic term “by-product” could be anything – euthanized dogs and cats, dead zoo animals, road kill, diseased animals, etc. Organ meat – when it comes from a quality named source – is extremely nutritious and, in fact, a raw diet isn’t complete without organ meat. A prey animal is approximately 80% meat, 10% organs and 10% bone and this is the model raw diets take. I feed my dogs a raw diet and they get “by-products” daily – chicken feet, beet trachea and gullet, green tripe and various organs and glands. The difference is that I get my “by-products” from reputable sources and know that they are derived from animals slaughtered for human consumption. The organs and bone in Stella and Chewy’s comes from named, quality sources – it’s not just the generic “animal by-product” you see listed on low grade foods. Remember a dog in the wild wouldn’t take down a prey animal, eat the boneless skinless breast meat and leave the rest – it would eat everything. And in fact these so called “by-products” – while not appealing to people – are much more nutrient-dense for our dogs than the cuts of meat that people typically eat.

  • Schwartr

    It also contains:  beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, beef bone, which are animal by-products which you **CONDEMN** on you very own sit. So, how is it possible to give a food 5 stars that contains by-products?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Liz –

    If you’re feeding a commercially prepared raw food in the morning and kibble in the evening he will be getting all the nutrients he needs, you don’t need to worry about balance. If you do plan on doing some homemade meals in the evening for more than three meals per week I’d recommend checking out a book like Dr. Becker’s “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” or Steve Brown’s “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” or a website like to make sure the homemade portion of your dog’s diet is balanced. The general rule of thumb is that unbalanced foods should account for 20% or less of the dog’s diet, so if you’re feeding 14 meals per week (breakfast and dinner) you could safely feed about 3 unbalanced homemade meals – any more than that and you should follow a recipe.

  • sandy

    Have you tried S/C frozen raw or do you just want to try a different brand?

  • Liz

    I need to ask about raw diet frozen kind for my mini poodle going to be 1 year very soon, he has been eating stella and chewys freeze dried raw all flavors and now he is only eating lamb and that is is favorite meat so far~ he refused go back to eating any type of kibbles, i tried all kinds of flavor and all types of kibbles and canned food as well, after he tried stella and chewys, he no longer interested in kibbles and canned dog food,

    i did everything with kibbles mix in toppers and cooked meats and anything to make him eat the kibbles again, Not working out!! he rather eat the freeze dried stella and chewys and cooked meats with veggies and fruits!! 

    i never tried the frozen raw, maybe he likes to eat frozen raw meat smell more meat in it, not sure?? maybe i can tried small bag of natural variety instinct raw bites, if he likes it?? his digestion and less allergy,  do well on it since i feed him stella and chewys freeze dried raw better then kibbles and canned, it was very easy to transition to S/C adding the green beans alot easier to transition~ 

    he used ate for 1 month and half  on Orijen puppy formula, but now he is allergic to chicken and graines, so i still wanted to feed him dry kibbles later in future, i choose acana grassland or pacifica,, i can feed both ~ a.m for raw S/C or natural variety raw and p.m for kibbles/homecooking meats and veggies/fruits what do u think about this?? is this good balance meal everyday for 12 pound poodle!! Thanks~

  • Idelmargo

    Oddly enough 2 of my 3 JRT’s are fairly finicky.  But after finding Stella and Chewy’s they all are waiting in line for dinner.  I give S & C’s a 10 out of 10.  My only bad comment is I would like to be able to buy them at Petco or Pet Smart.  And now they are no longer available at Pet People.  So what’s going on?  That’s a major bummer.  Other than that, the products themselves are exceptional.  Getting them on the other hand is a different story.

  • hounddogmom12

    No you’re correct. Prescription formulas are very low quality foods and generally you can tailor a homemade or raw diet to achieve the same results. Also raw foods are naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin due to the cartilage and bones, so it helps maintain joints. Also the less processed a food is the better. My theory is you always hear people should be eating fresh foods and staying away from packaged foods, well isn’t that essentially what kibble is? Processed and packaged food for dogs. Granted there are some high-quality kibble, but you can’t beat fresh!

  • Chrissy

    Thank you very much for that! That information helps a lot! We pulled her off of the j/d food (mainly the quality of ingredients) and we are feeding her the raw foods now, but in smaller portion sizes (as you stated to go on the lower side for losing weight). If you look at the ingredients in the Hills Science Diet J/D – I could not see why we should feed it – my thinking was a little more real protein could benefit her more…is my thinking off?
    Thanks so much!

  • hounddogmom12


    For therapeutic effects (i.e. to help with arthritis) you’ll want to give about 1,000 mg. per 10 lbs. High doses of omega 3′s like those found in fish oil act as a natural anti-inflammatory which is why the j/d formula contains fish oil. For your other dogs, however, as long as they don’t have arthritis there won’t be any need to add that much fish oil. To help with her weight I would recommend compensating for the addition of the fish oil by feeding her slightly less. So being that her desired weight is 15 lbs. I would suggest 1,500 mg. salmon oil. 1,500 mg. salmon oil equates to about 1 tsp. of salmon oil which would be equal to 40 calories. So try to remove 40 calories of food or treats daily to account for the salmon oil. Also, remember if you want her to be 15 lbs. feed the amounts suggested for 15 lbs. not 17 lbs. Hope that helps!

    p.s. If you’re not already supplementing her diet with a joint supplement Alaska Naturals has a salmon oil with added Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. This would help more with arthritis than omega 3′s alone. (

  • Chrissy

    Lots of benefits to this raw feeding! I am kinda liking! It is more expensive, however, if it has a lot of the supplements in it already, then less we have to buy on that end.
    I am wondering should we still give our little girl with the severe orthopedic needs the regular amounts of supplements, and the rest on the lower-below amounts? OR, should we even give her the lower amounts? I ask because I remember the vet wanting her on prescription j/d food (for joints), and that had fish oils in it…well, we added our own to it as well and there is where she went up 2 lbs. She is at 17 lbs, and we needs her back to 15 lbs. We certainly do not want to give her too many again!
    That is WONDERFUL information and really is a lot less work in my opinion (not to have to add all of the stuff in everyday).

  • hounddogmom12


    Glad to hear the raw is going good!

    As a general rule vitamin e dosing is as follows:
    Small Dogs: 50 – 100 i.u. per day
    Medium Dogs: 100 – 200 i.u. per day
    Large Dogs: 200 – 300 i.u. per day
    Giant Dogs: 300 – 400 i.u. per day

    As far as amount of fish oil to give: 500 – 1,000 mg. per 10 lbs. of pet

    Also, it is okay to give larger doses of vitamin e every 2 or 3 days rather than the recommended amount daily.

    More info here:

  • Chrissy

    monkey and hounddogmom12

    Thank you for the wonderful responses! I certainly appreciate them very much!

    Monkey: You use Solgar Vitamin E in 400 IUs – correct? How much Vitamin E is a small dog supposed to get on a daily basis?

    Also, same thing for fish oil – we buy human grade fish oil, however, it is 1,000mg of fish oil per soft gel. We ran that by the vet and he did not say a word about this. We eventually discontinued this only because we were unsure of proper dosages for all of the dogs weights – 17 lbs, 16 lbs, 20 lbs and 23 lbs.

    We then heard that if we are giving them fish oils, we should be adding in a Vitamin E supplement, and we could not find a solid dosage amount either – I read things, but seem to get mixed messages.

    Now, Pip our little dog has severe and I mean severe orthopedic needs, but is only 17 lbs. She is the reason we began giving it in the first place.

    We would like to continue again, but so confused on good brands and dosages for both – fish oil and vitamin e.

    Thanks so much!
    P.S. So far, so good on the raw feedings :o) We are doing the kibble in the morning, and solely raw food in the evening. We are not adding probiotics to raw food – only when we feed kibble based diets.

  • hounddogmom12

    Aunt Jeni’s fish oil has the appropriate amount of vitamin e added (150 i.u. per tsp). I get mine from Also, always go with fish-based oils over plant-based oils. Plant oils need to be converted into a usable form by the dog and by the time they complete the conversion only about 20% of the omega fatty acids are able to be utilized.

  • monkey

    I use Solgar vitamin E. Their “Liquid Vitamin E” uses wheat germ oil and sunflower oil. They also have Natural Vitamin E (mixed) that comes from safflower oil. I rotate both because i can’t decide which is better. (maybe the one with just safflower?) I could only find the 400iu softgels though so i waste alot though.

    50-100iu is typical for a small dog when taking fish oil.

  • Chrissy

    One thing I was told, or someone mentioned to me, was that if we were giving fish oils/salmon oils that we were to also add in a vitamin e supplement? If that is so, are there any suggestion on a brand and dosages for small dogs?
    I also think that the fish oil capsules we are giving may be a little too much for how little Pippa is? Is there a recommended dosage on that as well?
    Perhaps a site that outlines everything – a good one that is reliable?
    I know I look and get a lot of mixed messages out there – just curious.

    Thank you very much! You, as well as everyone on here has been giving me such amazing and wonderful information!

  • hounddogmom12

    Yes it’s perfectly fine to add supplements to raw (and if you’re using powdered supplements it’s probably easier to mix it into raw). I give my dogs aunt jeni’s fish oil, welly tails joint supplement, and carnivora’s earth greens everyday.

  • Chrissy

    Now, with raw,  you can still add in supplements correct? We have one on a few joint supplements, fish oil, splash of salmon oil or coconut oil, as well as medications for now. We are going to be looking into Zeel and Traumeel and see if this will help, so we can wean back so meds. Our boy with skin issues is on fish oils and probiotics  – I am just making sure all of this can be added into raw feeding, or is this stuff better to be added to dry kibble?
    We are trying to move the ones with the allergies to at least one raw meal a day. The other meal and the other two typically eat Fromm and they all just LOVE that food so much! Plus, the people who work at Fromm are just absolutely amazing and wonderful! They are by far the nicest people I have ever spoken when in need of assistance or advice – we just LOVE them!
    We had gotten a sample bag of some of Fromm’s low fat cheese treats and it was such a huge hit. We went to a store to buy them and they did not carry them : ( They do  not get a lot of treats throughout the day…but when they get one, those were by far the biggest reactions I have ever seen from them.

    Thanks for being so patient with me as I gather my thoughts with all of this! I appreciate it very much!

  • Chrissy

    Thank you! We will start with these portions and go from there….I have a feeling our little bundle of energy will need slightly more, but I will not know until we begin. I think we will stick with separating the two from now on – feeding only kibble at one meal and raw at another.
    Thank you so much and I can assure you….I will be back, lol  : )

  • hounddogmom12

    Yes that’s correct! Remember if you add kibble to adjust that amount accordingly. Also, this is just a starting point. Most dogs will eat around 2% of their body weight, however older or less active dogs may eat only 1.5% and puppies or highly active dogs may eat up to 5%. Other factors such as breed and whether or not the dog is spayed or neutered will factor in also. But 2% is a good starting point, if they gain try 1.5% and if they lose try 2.5%.

  • Chrissy

    Let me see if I am understanding that correctly….I apologize for all of this!

    If little Pip is 17 lbs and you say to feed about 2% of her body weight per day with raw then at one sitting (say in the AM) she would get roughly 2.7 oz(per meal). We have a little scale to weigh.
    Another example Butch, weighs 23 lbs with 2% of his body weight he would get at one sitting (say AM again) he would get roughly 3.68 oz(per meal)

    Am I on the right track here??? Thank you for being patient!

  • hounddogmom12

    As a general rule dogs need 2% of their body weight per day in raw food.

  • Chrissy

    I hope the 1 lb patty was enough for them, lol. I had this box of NVI left. There are 4 1lb patties. I read the box and it stated serve approximately 0.5 lb of Instinct raw for every 30 lb of body weight. None of them come close to 30 lbs, because they are small dogs, so we divided it up accordingly amongst the 4 based on their weight. I am assuming we did that correctly (probably not – since this is the first time and all, there was probably some mistake made here, lol)?
    Hoping nobody gets upset tummies.
    Thank you so much for the guidance! I really appreciate it very much!

  • hounddogmom12


    Must be nice to have 1 lb. be too much…my dogs eat 2 lbs. EACH per day.

    As far as mixing canned and raw, same things goes as with the kibble – as long as it’s grain-free and your dogs don’t seem to be experiencing any digestive upset it should be fine.

  • Chrissy

    Well, tonight We just thawed this 1 lb patty and did not realize how big it was until we got ready to serve it. We have smaller dogs, so it was just a lot. We decided to just use the rest for tomorrow morning. It was not out long at all – just during thawing and then after we realized it was too much it went straight in the fridge.

    The only other question…is I know we have had the discussion on the mixing of kibble and raw – which tonight we just sort of gave all raw (which was pretty daring, and we probably should not have done it that way).
    What about mixing can and raw? I ask because there was not really enough raw for 2 whole meals – so we added a little can in for the morning (all of it is in the fridge).

    Hoping that is alright and hoping no real huge upsets by the change in food tonight – so far all is really well – just a slight reddish tint to one’s ear, so we really need to do a transition from now on, but really no upsets.
    Thank you so much for all of the help! I appreciate it so much!

  • hounddogmom12

    I recommend using thawed food within three days. Don’t let it sit out in their bowls longer than fifteen minutes, whatever they don’t finish after fifteen minutes remove and place back in the fridge. You can reuse for up to three days. And no problem, we all enjoy helping people switch to raw! All the now experienced raw feeders here were once new to this too.

  • Chrissy

    I have another quick question….when preparing raw food –

    -We thawed it out and distributed it amongst the 4 tonight. -We then realized there was way too much.
    -When they were done eating and bowls washed up (less than 10 min) we placed the rest of the raw food in bowls, as they all have air tight sealed lids to them and put them back in the fridge for tomorrow AM.

    Is that alright? If the food has not sat out for long periods of time, can it go back in fridge for the morning meal if just thawed?

    -I know some people have told me they thaw a weeks worth of patties in the fridge, but I just want to make sure that this is alright?
    -There was not much left over – enough for 2 of them to get that and a little can food mixed in with it.
    -The other two just got can food and kibble.

    Thank you for all of the help with this  topic! One day I will fully understand (hopefully).

  • Shawna

    Here’s were they loose me — as food is digested down to chyme it moves on to the next phase of digestion….  Food isn’t digested all at once and chyme isn’t released all at once.  So it really doesn’t matter that they digest at different rates (especially if enzymes are fed with a kibble diet). 

    Digestion, in dogs, begins in the fundus section of the stomach where the enzymes in the food begin breaking it down to carbs fat and protein.  The food then moves on to the body which digests protein only.  Then to the last chamber of the stomach which it sits in til sufficiently broken down and released in small amounts (as broken down) to the small intestines where the digestive job, hopefully, is finished.  

    That’s how people can eat salads and steak in the same meal and be able to digest it all (at different rates however).

    I WILL AGREE with you however that it is likely less work on the body to split the food into a raw meal and kibble meal.  But, I think we all agree that if supplementing only — it is okay and even good to add raw to kibble :)…. 

  • Chrissy

    Thanks for all of that information. I am certainly going to try and switch them over to the raw. That way we can feed it at one meal. I know we want our girl with the orthopedic needs to be on it first. She is the only one not on a grain free diet. She has been eating Holistic Select Weight Management. We have been reading a few things and thought that perhaps getting her on a high protein, completely grain free diet, including raw would be a better way to go with her. She has not drastically come down in weight, so we thought it was worth a try….am I on the right track here with her? Thank you so much for the in put.
    When transitioning….if they are on kibble, should you mix the 2 in order to transition? Pug Hugs and thank you so much!

  • hounddogmom12

    As you can see, there are definitely mixed opinions on mixing raw and
    kibble. Personally, I agree with you and Addie – some raw is better than
    no raw and I imagine the “risks” of mixing are minimal. I’ve never fed
    kibble so I’ve never had firsthand experience with mixing the two, but I
    generally recommend just dividing into one kibble meal and one raw meal
    when people want to feed both, just to stay on the safe side.

  • Shawna

    I agree with Addie — I’d rather see a little raw being added to kibble then no raw at all..  Yes they digest differently but the body is designed to handle this —- example, certain foods digest in the first part of the stomache (the fundus), meat/protein is primarily digested in the “body” of the stomache and then even more digestion occurs in the small intestines.

    Steve Brown, a well respected nutritionist and author, agrees with adding protein to kibble to enhance kibble.  “A stands for the amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrate based upon the ancestral diet of the dog. This means adding protein to most commercial and homemade foods.” grain theory is interesting!!  I hadn’t heard that..  But, since I don’t like grains anyway —– sounds like another good reason not to feed foods with grains as kibble can be contaminated too.. :)

  • Addie

    I’ve seen that a few places too, but again have no idea how much science is behind it. I figured since Chrissy said she’s been mixing the two, and didn’t mention any problems, her dogs must be doing well on the mix. I try to encourage people to add raw wherever and whenever they can to enhance their dog’s diets, but understand your words of caution. Better safe than sorry. 

  • hounddogmom12

    This is true that many people mix raw and kibble without a problem. And I do believe that if you are using a grain free kibble as long as your dog’s digestive system can handle it you should be okay. However I did read something somewhere that said if you’re feeding a kibble with grain and raw mixed it can increase your pet’s change of contracting salmonella, e. coli, etc. due to the fact that the grain takes so long to digest and if the raw is mixed in it will be in the animal’s stomach for longer than it would without grain giving the bacteria time to multiply and increase your pet’s changes of getting sick. I’m not sure how true any of this is, but I always advise against mixing kibble (especially kibble containing grains) just to be on the safe side.

  • Addie

    I add raw to my dog’s kibble, and have never had any issues. I know plenty of people who use it as a topper. There’s mixed info on the topic, but since I’ve never seen any issues, I stick with it. Most of the issues just seem to address it causing an upset stomach because the different digestion times, so if you’ve noticed your dog having tummy troubles, then I wouldn’t mix the two. Most Greyhound racetracks after all mix huge tubs of kibble with raw for the dogs, and have no problems. 

  • Chrissy

    hounddogmom12 :
    Thank you so much for that information…I was told first off that it was alright to add in a little raw to the grain free kibble we were feeding. However, then as we became more in tune with really thinking we were going to make a switch to raw we began hearing that you should not be mixing the two. Here we have been adding a tiny bit to their food for a long time now. I felt horrible, but this would be how we would have to transition them over, right?
    Hoping that I have not created too many problems for doing it that way.
    Also, the comments regarding Ziwi Peak…LOVE that food! We had samples of it and would buy it if we could afford it! We fed it to our little girl with orthopedic needs, as well as our older male with some beginning orthopedic needs and it honestly helped them with the tiny amount we were giving them. I wish it were not so expensive, because it is an amazing food!
    Thank you so much for your comments, and I welcome any and all advice for my pugs!

  • hounddogmom12

    From what I can see the Real Meat dog food is basically the same thing as Ziwi Peak. It looks to be very high quality and Ziwi Peak is supposedly great so I’m sure this food is great too. It’d be worth a try anyways.

  • hounddogmom12

    I wouldn’t suggest feeding raw and kibble together, unless you feed a grain free kibble for one meal and raw for a separate meal. I would recommend doing it from scratch, it’s a lot cheaper and you can be in control of the ingredients, but if you would like to use pre-made raw I’d suggest Primal, Nature’s Variety, or Stella and Chewy’s. is a great site with a lot of the basics you need to know to make homemade raw. Also raw will help with a lot of the issues your dogs are experiencing (orthopedic problems, allergies). Good luck and you’re making a good choice by trying raw!

  • Chrissy

    I just got really confused here, LOL…we are exploring diets again. My computer has been having some very here and there moments. It has not been working too well lately.

    Now that it is…I want to thank everyone for their kind words on the Nature’s Variety Instinct Kibble thread, in case the computer acts up again…the words that were given to me awhile back were so very kind. We love our four pugs – we miss Daisy terribly and would do anything to have her back with us. Losing her during that second liver shunt surgery was awful.

    After she passed away, we knew in our heart that we needed to take the two little pug girls into our home – actually before we knew Daisy fell ill, we were going to add another girl and both were considered. It was a long journey on how they both got to us, but today they are here with us. Thank you for the kind words. We wrote a story about them On Southeast Pug Rescue and Adoption – MO Chapter Web Site under Successful Adoption Spotlight (Hailey and Pippa).

    Now, onto foods…we are exploring raw foods for some of them. We have a lot of different things going on with each of them. I have a ton of questions about it…we are so new to this.
    Is it possible to feed both raw and dry kibble at the same feeding? We have always fed more of a dry kibble based diet, and at times have always added canned on top of it, or sometimes even added in a little raw to get them use to it. Is that alright to be doing?
    Also, what are the best raw diets out there…I was reading some of the posts, and I am more confused then ever, lol??? I am sure because I am new, and not really sure what to be looking for, or how to figure certain things out?
    Is this something I can still rotate with….raw, can , dry? We like to switch it up a lot here. We have a dog with severe skin issues (who is older at almost 10), some with sensitive tummies, our little girl adopted with severe orthopedic problems who needs to have her weight managed (she is not over weight, but for her joints, she needs to maintain her current weight or even go from 17 down to 15), our other little girl adopted has severe anxiety issues, along with having a hard time chewing bigger pieces of kibble, and we have all over allergies. I suppose I just need help on the basics of raw diets and answers to some of my questions.

    I sincerely thank you for all of the help you have given to me and my pug crew along the way. We are so very thankful for everything!
    Pug Hugs!

  • Mcarthon13

    Anyone have experience with the real meat company? It’s an air dried raw meat.

  • mj

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much for the reply! I adore your site!
    I didn’t think vegetarian foods would fare well on this site, and I completely agree.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi MJ,

    I’ve already reviewed a number of vegetarian dog foods. You can find them by clicking the “Tags” link in the red navigation bar at the top of each page.

    Unfortunately, on a website that openly favors a carnivorous diet for dogs, vegetarian foods don’t fare well in our ratings.

    Hope this helps.

  • mj

    Hi Mike,
    I was wondering if you could do a review of a vegetarian dog food or dog kibble by chance? I know that raw/high protein dog foods are the better choice, but I am just curious as to your opinion on vegetarian diets for dogs/cats. I personally do not endorse nor do I agree with vegetarian diets for carnivorous animals, but like I said I am curious as to your opinion on the subject.
    Please let me know!

  • sandy

    cool.  I check in a little bit.  Took a  nap.  Gotta get ready to go to work!

  • M Ward1993

    Forget this, wheres my Natures Variety? The lamb formula as well as most others have good levels of everything :P When I see them fall beneath my high standards then I will worry.

  • Toxed2loss

    The sqiggley = sign means “aproximately.” :-) Don’t even have that on my iPad. :-p

  • Shawna

    Just sent you an email :)

  • Shawna

    Oops forgot to mention this..  Another thing I noticed and another person agreed — I remember Primal used to have data on each foods page about the quality of the meat (hormone, antibiotic free, grass fed) — this data is no longer on the pages.  Still on the website but not the individual pages.

  • Shawna

    Calculated out to dry matter the Turkey and Sardine would be 11.17% and they indicate the “bone content” is  ≅ 10% (not sure what the squiggly = sign is for?).  The Beef is 5.12% dry matter and they say it is 6% bone.  Seems reasonable (after including in minerals form vegetable and meat sources).

  • sandy

    Ok.  You probably do but if you can’t find it, it will be in an email you probably received Wednesday with lots of cute animal pictures! I’m one of the recipients.

  • sandy

    Have no idea.  And I haven’t read the raw feeding books yet either. But since I serve a variety of foods, they would get varying amounts, which I wouldn’t know what those are either since they’re not posted and I haven’t asked the companies that I’ve used except  Primal! 

    CANINE Primal ash: not dry matter
    Canine Beef Formula: 1.69%
    Canine Chicken Formula: 3.02%
    Canine Duck Formula: 4.75%
    Canine Lamb Formula: 3.60%
    Canine Pheasant Formula: 3.60%
    Canine Quail Formula: 4.52%
    Canine Rabbit Formula: 3.18%
    Canine Turkey & Sardine Formula: 3.13%
    Canine Venison Formula: 2.40%

  • Shawna

    Anything over the amont Sandy suggests (20%) can cause an imbalance in other nutrients (calcium to phosphorus as an example).  So, any added food that is not also complete and balanced should be 20% or under.

  • Shawna

    Sorry, missed part of the question..  Yes, I did speak with the Primal rep last Thursday (a week ago) evening.  She told me what I beleive to ba a standard comment they likely have been instructed to say — “there is more meat in the food with the new formulation therefore more fat”.  However she and I have talked before and she knows my background and knowledge.  So, when I started to question her more, she told me some data in confidence and asked me to email her with any negative feedback I receive.  Because the data was in confidence I can’t comfortably and in good concience repeat it..  It was not make or break information though..  I think I still have your email Sandy.  I’ll email you direct if I do.

    I would encourage ANYONE with a concern over the new higher fat content to contact Primal either by phone or email and voice your concerns.. 

  • Shawna

    Honestly, I have no idea??  I haven’t really noticed it posted on most websites.  However I do know that Evo Weight Management (a high protein kibble) lists the food at 11.34.  Raw being high in protein, and therefore bone, seems reasonable..

    Your thoughts?

  • sandy

    not more than 20%

  • M Ward1993

    Two patties is enough S&C for my dog each day. How much should I replace with ground rabbit/venison, without getting low on the nutrients in S&C?

  • M Ward1993

    this is confusing…

  • sandy

    Did you speak to the Rep already? Have I missed the post? I forgot to look at the Primal thread. Yes I saw the changes and had to recalculate them all! Their new freeze dried line is too fat as well.  I’ve been calculating  Primal, Bravo, S&C and NV. The Beef Blend Bravo is 13% ash and the chicken blend is 11% and turkey blend is 14%. Is that normal for raw?

  • Shawna

    Sandy ~~ did you notice Primal changed their ingredient list on several foods and now are WAY TOO HIGH in fat.  The beef, as example, is 14% protein and 14% beef.. 

    The main protein used is heart — a leaner meat..  So where is all the fat coming from?  I asked but didn’t get a straight answer..  I am persuing this further ;)

  • M Ward1993

    I bought some ground rabbit and venison both with bone from Blue Ridge Beef. If I do 3 parts S&C and 1 part rabbit/venison that tones down the fat to about 30.25% for the venison with 45.25% protein. Thats about a 62% ratio which is better. For rabbit the ratio is 57.7%.

  • sandy

    If you haven’t already, you need to convert the protein and fat to dry matter to get a more accurate number as the moisture content can vary a bit,  especially if you’re comparing different brands and even within a brand.

    For instance, Instinct Beef 41 prot/25 fat (60% FTPR), chicken/turkey and duck 41/19 (46%), rabbit or venison 41/25 (61%).  The bison has too much fat 38/33 (87%).

    S&C beef 43/37 (86%), duck 46/39 (85%), lamb and surf & turf 43/37 (86%), chicken 50/30 (60%),

    Bravo rabbit 87/9 (10%) 

    I mainly use Primal, but also Instinct, S&C, Nature’s Logic intermittently. Was going to try Bravo next.

  • M Ward1993

    I have fed raw before and Natalia, my dog in question, has usually had 16 oz (two patties). Maybe S&C only recommends 1.5 patties because by feeding that amount your dog receives enough energy due to the fat levels. So adding more protein from rabbit or venison should balance it out…?

  • Shawna

    M Ward1993 ~~ calories :)  Something I don’t even bother looking at.  I have 8 dogs and feed 5 of them mainly raw.  I feed or have fed — all Primal varieties, all Bravo varieties, NV once in a while, Trader joes turkey or hamburger that I add a dehydrated premix to etc..  I also get beef heart from a friend that gets it from the farm and deer heart from hunting friends.  :)

    I pay close attention to the analysis of the foods I choose but I can’t tell you the calorie content of any of the foods I’ve fed..

    I weigh the food out on a scale and feed by weight.  I have two Poms both weighing 5 pounds and a senior Chihuahua also weighing in at 5 pounds.  The Chi gets 1.6 ounces of food twice a day.  One Pom gets .94 ounces per meal and the other Pom gets 1.4 ounces per meal.  I put a canned topper on the foods and add supplements.  The 9 pound mixed breed kidney girl gets 1.5 ounces and my 7 pound Shih Tzu/Poodle gets 1.4 ounces too..  They get these same amounts no matter what I feed.  But I rotate every 2 to 3 days and I don’t have any rhyme nor reason as to what I pull out of the freezer. 

    IMO, the more nutrient dense the food (protein and vitmains/minerals), the less calories will have to be fed..

    My point with that very long and boring example — sorry :) — is that you may find once you start feeding (if you aren’t already) that you won’t follow the guidelines set that closely..  At least in my house we wouldn’t.. 

  • M Ward1993

    sorry, thats only 600-700 calories which isn’t enough

  • M Ward1993

    heres an idea! Offset the fat and up the protein with ground rabbit and bone by Bravo! 21% protein and 2.5% fat. Stella and Chewys says to give a 40-45 pound dog 1.5 8 oz patties per day, but that is only 800 and some calories, 900-1,000 calories is what most calculators tell me for my dog. So…give her 1.5 patties, and 4 oz of rabbit. They probably say 1.5 patties is enough because of the fat content, so why don’t I just add some lean protein calories in?

  • Shawna

    :O)  Thanks :)

    The NV lamb has a much better fat to protein ratio..  I also like that the company uses whole foods.  BUT, I’m with you on questioning the quality..??  I think the meats/foods are subjected to more pressure (and therefore more heat) during the high pressure processing..  The end product is a grayish color instead of red like meat.  This supposedly doesn’t change the quality of the protein but it doesn break down some of the heme (that causes the color of the meat).  I had a conversation about all this with Sandy Goodman (CEO of S&C) on the Mercola forum a year or two back.  I think I am remembering things correctly.  I can try to find the conversation again if you are interested…

    The other concern I have with NV is that they changed ownership over a year ago.  They are now owned by an investment firm called Catterton Partners.  Since that buy out they have done a few things that I question — like introducing puppy foods lower in protein then their all life stage foods???  WHAT???  Makes no sense?

    I’m losing faith in some of the companies that have been around awhile…  Luckily new ones are popping up regularly.. 

    Sorry…  I’m sure I’ve added more confusion then anything..  Sorry…..

  • M Ward1993

    What about Natures Variety? Is it ok? You know more about this than I do…

  • Shawna

    I hate to say you shouldn’t feed but I do think there is too much fat..  Part of the problem with kibbled diets is that the “carbs” displace protein.  Same is true with high fat but raw diets.

    I think you could still feed the S&C — but optimally it would be better to reduce the fat content by either feeding a lower fat complete raw diet in rotation or supplementing the S&C with lower fat meats (venison, bison or lean hamburger) and even some (small amounts) veggies etc.

  • Shawna

    When I need information on specific foods I go to  The data is not perfect I’ve heard but better then anything else we have.

    There are several potions for lamb but I pulled up the Austrailian lamb (imported), seperable fat, raw..  The omega 6 to 3 is actually a pretty good ratio at just over 2 to 1 (for this particular lamb product)..  The fat and inflammatory scores are thru the roof though..  Would not be as bad for a dog as fat is good but still high as compared to the ancestral diet.

    It’s hard to know the exact numbers without knowing exact food being used..

    IF these numbers are accurate you would want to add just a smidge of omega 6 and no omega 3 — IF the numbers are accurate for what is in the S&C product.?

    I called S&C some time back and asked their ratios but I can’t remember what they said now..?  Sorry.

  • M Ward1993

    Should I not feed S&C?

  • M Ward1993

    So what does lamb have, omega 3 or 6? What would be better, just plain salmon oil or salmon oil plus sunflower oil?

  • Shawna

    Sunflower oil is a source of omega 6 fatty acids.  The omega 6 to 3 ratio should be ideally between 3:1 to 5:1 but can be as high as 10:1.  If there is too much omega 6 in the total diet (S&C with GNC) inflammation is a risk.  If there is too much Omega 3 DHA the cells oxidize and age faster.

    I’m certainly not trying to tell you how to feed your dog but want to mention — it is as important to rotate protein/carbs in raw foods as it is to with kibbled foods.  Different proteins have differing amino acid contents as well as fatty acid contents.

    “As far as the fat, as long as it isn’t 40% or above I think its ok”  I’m not understaning what you mean by this?  I’m not worried about the calories from fat as much as I am the satiety..  Dogs need protein way more then fat..  Too much fat means too little protein.  Fat is used for energy and to transport fat soluble vitamins.  Protein is used to build organs and tissue, to make enzymes, to make hair and nails etc.  That was my only point.  More calories should come from protein so that more overall protein (amino acids) is in the diet supplying the molecular needs of the body..

  • M Ward1993

    If I go with S&C, I will add GNC salmon oil with sunflower oil to provide balanced fatty acids. My dog is really finicky and she prefers lamb over other meats. Darwins doesn’t have lamb, neither does steves real food or bravo. Natures Variety does but their quality isn’t as good. As far as the fat, as long as it isn’t 40% or above I think its ok, my dog eats what the package says she should eat (44 lbs and 900 and some calories.)

        Is Natures Variety just as good?

  • Shawna

    M Ward1993 ~~ One thing you have to watch when it comes to commercial raw products is the fat content..  Some dogs have no problems with fat what so ever — however, if the diet is consistantly high in fat it can actually displace the protein in the diet.  Dogs get full from the fat before they eat enough to meet their “optimum” protein requirements.  One gram of fat has 9 calories while one gram of protein as 4.  So this food has considerably more calories from fat..  Nutritionist Steve Brown estimates the ancestral diet had 49 calories from protein while only 44 (if I remember right) from fat.  That would mean fat would have to be less then 50% of the protein content in the food.

    It is good that you are thinking about taurine!!  But, taurine is naturally occuring in significant amounts in heart.  If the diet has included heart I would be concerned about taurine.

    S&C adds in a significant amount of synthetic nutrients while Primal gets all nutrients (except E) from the included food.  Primal has more variety etc.  Also, I know Primal is balanced in omega 6 and 3 while I don’t think S&Cs is.

    I will say about Primal — they have reformulated and four of the products are now too high in fat…  When I see high fat in an otherwise lean meat (like grass fed beef, venison, rabbit) I have to wonder where that extra fat came from??  Probably from lower quality cuts of meat with fat trimmings included..?

    Another option would be Darwins if you have access.

  • M Ward1993

    Thanks Mike. I think I like Stella and Chewy’s better because primal has no taurine. Not an essential nutrient but I like to see it.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi M Ward,

    I’ve written these reviews over a long period of time. I try to no longer use words like “notable quality” and I’ve been in the process of switching to how these products compare relative to “average”.

    In any case, it’s better to focus on the bottom line of star ratings. It’s impossible for me (and most others) to divine anything more from a government label.

    The more accurate star-splitting descriptions provided by experienced users in the comments section is under-utilized and just as valuable as the review itself.

    Hope this helps.

  • M Ward1993

    What does the site mean when it calls this food “notable quality” vs when it calls primal “above average”? Is primal better, or is stella and chewys supposed to be better?

  • Tim

    This applies to Stella & Chewys ‘Surf & Turf’ formula which contains raw salmon.  

    Salmon (Raw) Poisoning DiseaseThis is primarily a problem in the Pacific Northwest and California. But if you feed a raw meat diet it can be a problem anywhere.It is caused from the infection by a  rickettsial organism, Neorickettsia helminthoeca. SPD has been known since the early 19th century in North America. It had been observed that dogs that ate raw salmon frequently died however the connection between the fluke and the rickettsia was not established at this time.(1) It is unusual in that the rickettsial organism does not directly infect the dog but is instead carried by a parasite, a trematode (flatworm or fluke) called Nanophyteus salmincola through two intermediate hosts first: freshwater snails and salmonid fish (salmon, trout and steelhead). Nanophyteus salmincola are found to infect freshwater snails particularly Oxytrema plicifer. The infected snail forms part of the salmonid species food web and is ingested. Neither the fluke nor the rickettsial organism act as pathogens in the fish. The dog is exposed only when it ingests the secondary host – an infected fish. After the dog ingests the fish, the encysted fluke larvae burst and embed in the dog’s intestinal tract and the rickettsia are introduced. The cycle continues when ova are excreted in dog feces to infect snails. It is necessary for your dog to eat raw salmon to get salmon poisoning disease.A sudden onset of symptoms occur 5-7 days after ingestion of fish. Initial symptoms include lethargy and anorexia. Peaking of temperature between 104-107 in the first two days and then slowly returns to normal. Persistent vomiting by the fourth day. There is bloody diarrhea within a few days of vomiting onset. The diarrhea is often bright yellow color. There are enlarged lymph nodes. In the acute stages, gastrointestinal symptoms are quite similar to canine parvovirus. Nasal and ocular symptoms can resemble canine distemper. If left untreated, SPD has a mortality rate of up to 90%. Treatment is supportive to maintain hydration as well as antibiotic therapy to kill the disease producing organism. Dogs that survive are immune. It is preventable by cooking all fish before feeding your dog. If you are outdoors hiking or camping or live near streams and rivers were salmon spawn, keep a close eye on your dog on don’t let your pet run free to insure that no fish carcasses are ingested. Please see your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested raw salmon.Michal

  • Pat

    Hi Mike, I’m not sure where I should post this question, I’m a newbie here, and navigating as best I can.  Would it be possible to have the Raw dog food on this website evaluated?    Thanks much

  • Jenn Hill

    I swear I posted a comment on here last night, but due to the new layout I think it got deleted?

    Well, here we go again.

    I have a six month old Golden Retriever. We have had her on a couple of different types of dog food in the 4 months we have had her. We first started out with Taste of the Wild Kibble and topping it with Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried. All I can say is, she wouldn’t eat her kibble unless she had Stella’s as a topping. Well, after much research and due to her soft stool we switched her food to Acana Wilderness Blend kibble (I liked that it didn’t have as much protein as Orijen) and adding Merrick’s canned food (because of the moisture content) and also topping it with half a patty of Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried. 
    Now, since she is a little older, I am looking into feeding raw. I have heard such great things about raw feeding but my boyfriend just isn’t convinced. I am hoping to slowly introduce it to her, and him! :) I like the Stella & Chewy’s brand but am having a hard time justifying to the price. I am afraid to make homemade raw for her in case it isn’t a completely balanced meal. 

    So, I am wondering, could I feed her Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw in the morning, then still give her the Acana Wilderness Blend with Merrick’s canned food at night? Or do you recommend only feeding raw when you choose to go down that path? Will these still both be a balanced meal for her or will she be getting too many nutrients? 

    Also, for a 50 pound pup, how many patties would we have to feed her a day of Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw and how many patties come in a 6 pound bag?

    One last thing, we have been feeding her 3 times a day and have heard many different things from numerous sources. Is it okay to feed her 3 times a day now that she is older than 6 months? I have the time since she is almost always with me. Is it healthier for a dog to eat 3 times a day, as long as the portions are correct? I don’t see anything wrong with this, but my vet told me 1 or 2 times is plenty.. 

    Anyways, sorry for such the long post but some help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  • Jenn

    I have a 6 month old Golden Retriever. We started her out on Taste of the Wild dry and topping it with Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried. All I can say is she wouldn’t eat her kibble without the Stella’s. She was having very soft stool and after a ton of research on dog food, we switched her to Acana Wilderness Blend (I like that it isn’t as high in protein as the orijen) topping it with Merricks canned food because of the moisture content, and then also adding half a patty of Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried. I have been doing much research on dog food and I learn something new everyday! I want to switch our puppy to a raw diet but I am afraid to make it myself in case it isn’t balanced correctly and feeding Stella’s raw can get very expensive especially for a 50 pound pup! Would anyone recommend what we can do to keep her healthy and happy? I am debating keeping her on the Acana Wilderness Blend with Merrick’s added and giving her a patty or two as well, of course I would have to figure out portion size and everything.

    Since we got our puppy 4 months ago I am constantly trying to find the best food to feed her because the food they eat while young, can affect them for their whole lives.

    Also, one last thing. How many patties come in a 6 pound bag of Stella & Chewy’s raw and how many would we have to feed her each day if that is all she was given?

    Such a long post, I know, I am sorry! Just hoping I can figure out the best for our little girl soon. Thank you!!

  • sandy

    I actually end up serving my dogs half an 8 oz patty with a little kibble sometimes to make a full serving since I’m splitting 2 patties between 4 dogs that are 23, 23, 27 and 30 pounds. And if they didn’t get breakfast then they get half a patty and their whole dinner kibble together. They haven’t had any problems and I’ve been doing it for over a year.

  • melissa


    When I feed Instinct Raw medallions, I am just throwing them on top of the kibble as a topper-and no problems whatsoever. Granted its only approx 1-3 ounces but it seem likely that its around the same amount that you are speaking of. I do not normally feed raw products unless I have a finicky eater-then adding something “new” seems to encourage eating.

  • Richard Darlington


    Others may have a different experience but we found that as long as the kibble didn’t have grain or potato in it then it seemed to be OK to mix raw with the kibble. We have many customers who do that and don’t have a problem. We’ve had other customers who mixed raw with kibbles that had grain or potato and they did have problems – although some may have been OK mixing raw with grain/potato kibble and just not told us.

    We have fed all our dogs a combination of raw and kibble for years now but we usually do it by feeding raw one meal and kibble the second meal of the day.

  • Gordon

    monkey – Stellas air-dried and actual raw, can be mixed with out a problem because unless in secret, Stellas don’t inject artificial calcium or otherwise into their mix, so it should provide it, from natural sources, hence naturally balanced. At least, one would think.

  • Gordon

    DMJ – As long as the raw or air-dried raw you’re using just contains meat and no bones, crushed or otherwise. This is because the kibble will most likely already have calcium injected into it, and you don’t want to overdose your dog on calcium.

    Just my opinion formed from advice from experienced raw advocating vets. And it makes sense, too.

  • sandy

    I don’t think giving a TB or two of raw with a meal would be harmful. Seems like a real small amount, just enough to make the dog drool!!

  • monkey

    DMJ, most people say not to mix kibble and raw together. Usually you try to feed them 6 hours apart. However, freeze dried raw (like Stella offers) may be different, im not sure. So here is a bump so someone else sees your comment and responds :)

  • DMJ

    Is it OK to feed either dehydrated or raw as a food topper for dry kibble? Say 1-2 tbls per meal? Thanks!

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    @Carole….This is actually not Stella & Chewy’s site, but a dog food rating site. I’m sure Mike S. will tell you that he cannot make such a recommendation as all dogs are different and process foods differently. So, you should really go to S & C’s site and ask them personally your questions. With that said, it is my opinion (and I’m certainly not a vet) that any raw food diet would be infinitely better than Royal Canin SO, as that it has so much more moisture content.

  • Carole

    I have a Bichon with urinary problems- stones- and was put on Royal Cannine SO I am not fond of the ingredients in this, she needs to be on a low protein, low purine diet. I have read that Dalmations have this same problem often, and do well on your dog food. Can you help me decide if I could put my Bichon on your raw beef diet and hopefully won’t have to use the Royal Cannine SO?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Pat… The only way to answer your question is a combination of time and the physiology of your dog.

    Since each dog has its own unique energy requirements (just like people), there’s no way to reliably predict the exact serving size that’s right for each pet. No matter which food you feed.

    So, I’d suggest starting with the package’s feeding instructions. Always measure the food precisely. If it’s four patties, then that’s what you feed. Never guess. Keep an accurate record of how much you’re feeding.

    Be sure to weigh your dog periodically (every few weeks or so). Then, simply adjust (titrate) that serving size up or down to establish and maintain your pet’s ideal weight. Half patties may ultimately be necessary.

    Hope this helps.

  • Pat Sanchez

    Hi mike,
    after having my 3 yr. old Lhaso Mix for 3 months ,I finally was given a sample of Stella and Chewy’s freeze dry patties. I tried it on her regular food, she wouldn’t touch it. gave it to her alone and she went wild on it. This is the first food she has taken too. When I addopted her they were giving her Science Diet. I switched to Canadae which she really didn’t take to Then tried many others. All I can say is I am truly a Happy Camper now. My baby is eating now being on Stella’s and chewy’s. According to the package she requires 5 patties a day. Would 4 patties be sufficient? Please advise.
    Thank you so much

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Anthony… Thanks for the great suggestion. Unfortunately, when I last tried to review this product line, I was not able to locate complete product information (ingredients and nutritional data) for this product on a company-operated website. So, I’m currently unable to review this brand. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • anthony

    any idea if you will be reviewing Northwest Naturals.

    i am a big fan of your site and i tell everyone to go check it out and see what they are currently feeding. i know it worked for me. i went from purina fit and trim kibble and pedigree can to nature variety’s raw.

    keep up the great work!!

  • Mary Lou

    Hi Dionne ~

    Our pup doesn’t do well with chicken, but LOVES the duck, duck, goose and has no issues. The freeze-dried is great if you want to eventually do away with the kibble. We are a “kibble free” family!

  • Dionne

    Mike/Mary Lou/Shawna,
    Thanks for your input! I’ve been rotating his diet for 7 months now and he’s handled it well. Thanks to Mike for recommending rotating proteins (and for this site!). It’s allowed me to discover he has a chicken allergy. He’s good with duck, bison, buffalo, turkey, beef, lamb and various fish.
    I will email Emily soonest to ask her opinion on how long to wait between.
    And we do a lot of camping and road-tripping, so the kibble is very convenient and economical for that reason alone.
    Thanks again.

  • Shawna

    That is a great suggestion Mary Lou!!! :)

    I’m a raw feeder and I can tell you what I and many others I’ve consulted and work with do..

    I thaw out a pound or two of food at a time and feed it til it is gone. I have all toy breed dogs but have 9, right now, total. Five of those eat raw exclusively and 4 of them (foster dogs) eat a combination of raw and kibble. I would feed them all raw but it’s easier to transition to adopter if they are used to eating kibble.. :) Two pounds of food will last me about two days and then I switch — not only proteins but I switch brands. I do the same with kibble too — each time we purchase a new back we switch protein source AND brand.

    Dr. Karen Becker DVM once stated on her forum that she changes the protein source with EVERY meal… That we be a lot of work but more power to her!!! She feeds a pack of large/r dogs too. In Dr. Becker and Beth Taylors raw (or cooked) food recipe book, they recommend switching between three different primary proteins (beef, chicken and turkey) within a one week period of time. They include sardines and eggs throughout the week.

    Mike also brings up a good point — if you dog/s is not used to rotation then going slow to start may be prudent.

    (PS — I feed now (or have fed in the past) all of the following proteins in rotation — buffalo, beef, lamb, venison, ostrich, elk, rabbit, pheasant, quail, duck, turkey, chicken, eggs, sardines, salmon, mackeral, tilapia, catfish and beef/lamb/venison tripe)

  • Mary Lou

    Ha. Glad I could contribute; since I obviously can’t begin to engage in the livelier discussions. Funny thing is ~ my husband says I talk more than anyone he knows! ; )

  • Mike Sagman

    Thanks for sharing that tip, Mary Lou.

  • Mary Lou

    Hi Dionne ~

    I feed our pup Stella and Chewy’s. If you have ANY questions at all ~ email Emily at their site. I emailed her quite a bit at first because I had so many questions. Feeding raw was totally new to me. She usually gets back to you the same day, unless it is the weekend. She is wonderful!! : )

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Dionne… You ask, “how long should he be on one dinner before transitioning him to another?”

    It most likely depends on your dog and how significant the change is between the two recipes. If you’ve been practicing diet rotation for a while and your dog’s digestive system appears to be doing OK, I don’t see any reason to be concerned.

    But if this is new to your pet, or if you’re making a radical change in diet, then transition very gradually over a week or two.

    You also asked, “Does it really matter with raw? And I keep going back-and-forth about keeping the kibble part of his diet.”

    Once again, I believe this question is best answered by how radical is the change? In any case, there are a number of qualified and experienced raw feeding “coaches” that tend to hang out here. One of them could probably answer your questions in more detail. So be sure to check back for a possible response from one of them. Hope this helps.

  • Dionne

    I’m in the process of transitioning my 11-month old Golden/Chow Mix onto Stella & Chewy’s frozen dinners. He’s started with the Dandy Lamb and simply ADORES this food! I give Sherman one large patty in the morning and his regular kibble (Orijen Regional Red) in the evening. My question is, “For those who rotate, how long should he be on one dinner before transitioning him to another?” Does it really matter with raw? And I keep going back-and-forth about keeping the kibble part of his diet.

  • Shawna

    Like Nature’s Variety and, most recently, Primal “Poultry” Products, Stella & Chewy’s high pressure pasteurizes all their foods and treats. For some this is a plus but for many raw feeders this process makes a raw food no longer truly raw. I had a very lengthy conversation with Sandy Goodman, CEO of Stella & Chewy’s July of 2010 on Dr. Becker’s Healthy Pets website. Sandy was able to alleviate many of the concerns I had found in science and news articles. In the end, I posted this comment “I’m still a bit of a skeptic. BUT you have certainly addressed all of my concerns and left me no reason to be skeptical (down to a gut feeling now). I can’t in good faith cast doubt on a product (or procedure) simply because of a gut feeling — so, I recind my earlier comments about not recommending foods subjected to HPP…” I still have that “gut feeling” and know that others do as well but have not come across any new science. For any interested in reading the (very long and indepth) discussion it can be found here (Sandy’s comments begin towards the end of the first page — I am Swinn btw).

    Earlier this year I had a lovely conversation with Jacqueline Hill of Answer’s Pet Foods and she has concerns about HPP as well. To address customer concerns about pathogens, Answers chose to add “Kombucha” (a “fermented” tea that is acidic and FULL of enzymes and good bacteria but harmful, due to the acidity, to most bad bacteria). Here is Answer’s thoughts on HPP

    Aunt Jenni’s raw also has concerns on their website regarding the use of hpp on raw foods.

    Some may decide that HPP is nothing to fear while others may chose to avoid foods subjected to HPP. I’m not trying to turn people against a food subjected to HPP but I do want all to be aware of HPP so they can make an informed decision for themselves. :)

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Lisa M – To give Isabelle that “crunch”, give her Raw Meaty Bones. Read Mike’s article that describes The Natural Way to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth:

  • Mike Sagman

    HI Lisa… Since the company claims this food meets AAFCO profiles for all life stages, your dog’s not missing anything. However, you may wish to consider diet rotation. For more information, please visit our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Diet Rotation for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Lisa M

    All I can say is WOW! My chihuahua is the pickiest dog EVER. I have never known a dog to turn up her nose at steak but she does, every time. I have tried just about everything and happened upon Stella and Chewy’s as a free sample where the lady said it was marketed as appealing to finicky eaters. I thought, “yeah, right!” they don’t know my Isabelle. I took it home and I should have known by how much attention she was giving it while it was still in my purse. Maybe she enjoys the game, but I literally have to stand on my head every meal, and even then I am lucky if she eats one bite. Most of the food I buy just ends up being cat food (they stand around and wait for her to leave the bowl). So I reconstituted the freeze-dried patty and the only word that comes to mind is devour. She ate every drop and was looking around for more. I have NEVER seen her so enthusiastic about eating but I thought it might have been because she was extremely hungry. Slightly hopeful, I bought a bag and today, three days into the bag, she eats a patty in the morning and one at night. She acts like my beloved mutt did when presented with a hamburger. Like I said, WOW. Fortunately for me, since she is so small, it really isn’t any more expensive than the Little Caesars I was trying to feed her. They say it is a complete diet, and I wonder if there is something she is missing (like crunch)?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Jessica… There are so many ways to “estimate” the proper serving size. Package directions. Feeding calculators. Patties. Packets. Scoops. Cups. Breeders. Vets.

    Since each dog has its own unique energy requirements (just like people), there’s no way to reliably predict the exact serving size that’s right for each pet. No matter which method you use.

    So, I’d suggest starting with the package’s feeding instructions. Always measure the food with a real measuring cup. Not a scoop. Never guess. Keep an accurate record of how much you’re feeding.

    Be sure to weigh your dog periodically (every few weeks or so). Then, simply adjust (titrate) that serving size up or down to establish and maintain your pet’s ideal weight.

    Sure, titration is a little work. But in the end, it’s the only real life method you can scientifically rely on.

  • jessica

    Angus is my very active silly little Brussels mix (rescue) he’s 9lbs and just turning 1 this month. He has been on Stella’s for 4 months now but also rotating between Wellness Core and Honest Kitchen Keen…I get a little confused about how many patties to give him because he loves Stella’s so much he cleans his bowl and acts like he wants more, where the other foods he will not always eat his entire serving…So I just want to make sure I am not overfeeding in fear he needs more, or underfeeding by not listening to his pleas!
    When we first started he was getting 2 patties in the morning and 2 for dinner, was already full grown but still a puppy.
    Now he is getting 1.5 in the morning and 1.5 for dinner…..and the recommended serving is between 2-5 patties for dogs 5-15lbs.
    Any suggestions??

  • Mary Lou

    Hi George ~ I started Stella and Chewy’s a couple of months ago for our Bichon. He was getting constipated with the frozen, and ended up switching over to the freeze-dried. Did you have any issues? I am quite happy with the freeze-dried, and less concerned with how the frozen was being handled; so we plan to stick with the freeze-dried.

  • Gordon

    I have a JRT too, george. She’s 2 years and 9 months old though. Raw is the best and most appropriate food type for dogs. I’m not surprised your JRT has taken to Stella & Chewys quite nicely by the sounds of it.

  • george

    Just an update for any body. My 15 yr old Jack Russel is eating this food since for likr 2 weeks now & hes doin better than ever! Big tick of approval from me Stellas!!!!

  • george

    i hear this food is highly recommended. anybody here feed this dog food & get good results?

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Paula – You write “Raw food is highly recommended for this condition” for your dog’s EPI. Who highly recommended raw for EPI? I would definitely consider raw, even with moderate fat. But check with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy regarding dog nutrition and dog health.
    For all animals, raw REAL FOOD is considerably different than processed food. From all of my research, I’ve found that dogs digest RAW FAT differently than fat that is in a baked kibble. In addition, fat in a kibble has likely started on the path of becoming rancid, or is totally rancid.
    So it could be that the consideration should be about the QUALITY of the fat and not the QUANTITY of the fat.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Paula… I’m assuming by EPI you mean exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. I found just over 100 articles when I searched articles about canine EPI. is the US Government’s National Library of Medicine.

    However, please be aware many of the commercial raw foods can be extremely high in fat. And high fat foods would probably be contraindicated with cases of EPI. Be sure to find one that’s low in fat. And check with a vet knowledgeable in nutrition. Hope this helps.

  • paula

    I have a German shepard that has EPI. Raw food is highly recommended for this condition, but the fat content is much higher than the recommended 12%. Have any studies been done on dogs diagnosed with EPI?

  • Gordon

    Nola Sawyer – I’m not surprised that your dog licked the bowl clean from Stella’s. Raw food for dogs is as attractive to them and then some, as what ever you consider your favourite ever food that you might salivate over.

    There are other ways to compensate for the expense. An example is what I do, and that is I feed a commercial raw dog food to my 2 small breed dogs every second breakfast, then every alternate breakfast and every dinner they get a cheaper alternative in good quality grain free kibble, plus a raw meaty bone every night from your local butchers etc. Something you could consider also doing to balance out the expense somewhat.

  • Nola Sawyer

    I have had such a hard time balancing my puppy’s taste preferences with finding a good quality food. During our vacation, he just completely refused to eat his Castor & Pollux puppy food anymore. I had to buy cheap stuff to hold him over! So I was nervous he wouldn’t like this food either, but he is actually in love with it. I’ve never seen him actually excited about eating! He goes back to his bowl and licks it clean until I take it away out of annoyance. Unfortunately, Stella and Chewy’s is too expensive for a big dog. I could spend $100 and have barely 2 weeks worth for him. So it’s back to the drawing board :(

  • Anna

    Mike, Ginger Balazs is talking about, like: how Bil Jac is made with just organ meats. Now can you help him??

  • Anna

    It depends on how fast she eats and how wet the food is. Just like for us, only teas can really offer so much protection for our cells in liquid form, hot or cold. Fruits should be eaten fresh or freeze dried for us, so if that’s just smothered oil over vegetables Gina, it probably won’t do much as far as absorbtion. At that weight, you probably only need to feed her some 1/2 cup a day or twice a day, and hopefully, it’s a little dry, like lettuce. If so, yes: that’s a good food.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Ginger… Most raw dog foods are made with organ meats. I’m not aware of any raw foods made strictly with striated skeletal muscle only.

  • Ginger Balazs


    I need some help – I have a dalmatian and want to feed her raw food but Dalmatians do not do well with organ meats because they are high in purines and Dalmatians have the propensity to form “stones” which can cause life threatening blockages (for the males) – Do you have a food that has no organ meats or can you direct me to raw food that would have no organ meats?


  • Greg Lucas

    To Joanne Savage: I have had a dog with the same problems and I feel I can help because I’ve had a very good outcome. About 4 years ago my German Shepherd got Lyme Disease and then he had constant ear infections due to allergies. I had him on on the best grain free kibbles like Orijen and Nature’s Variety Instinct. The ear problems continued. Starches and processed foods just don’t workout for my dog, not eventhe best of the processed foods.
    He’s 100 percent free of all alergy symptoms now after a change in his diet. I use Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried raw for 1/3 of my German Shepherd’s diet and the other 2/3 is a homemade cooked diet with a wonderful supplement that I highly recommend called Wysong Call of the Wild.

    My dog won’t eat frozen raw, but he loves the freeze dried raw. If your dog likes frozen raw feed all the different protein types of the Stella and Chewy’s and if he doesn’ t like the frozen raw consider the freeze dried raw. The Wysong Call of the Wild is a powder that is added to boneless fresh meat (raw or cooked). It is not terrbily expensive. It includes raw meats, raw organs, phytonutrients many vitamins and minerals and a very long list of nutrients (naturual and synthetic.) It is intnded to balance an all meat or high meat fresh food diet. I also add sardines, ground almonds, ground steamed vegetables, blueberries, and include cooked eggs. If i don”t use sardines, I use Aunt Jeni’s fish oil with vitmain E.
    Read Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet by Steve Brown (amamzon) and Mary Struas’ site (She writes the nutrtion articles for The Whole Dog Journal and for Dog World.)

    Stella and Chewy’s raw is a wonderful food and it will help your dog a lot. But the homemade fresh food diet with the inclusion of totally fresh omaega 3′s from the sardines and eggs has made the most difference. (The sardines should be unsalted and in spring water.) Meats should be organic if possible.
    My dog and I run about 60 miles per week. He’s the most physcially fit dog I’ve ever seen or known. He looks fabulous.

    Never feed Science Diet. It’s one of the worst foods out there. Find a vet who understands the importance of a raw and/or fresh food diet! I refuse to go to vets who sell Science Diet and who are against raw foods.

    I hope this helps you out.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Joann,
    If I were in your shoes I would stick with Stella and Chewy’s Frozen Raw! Do not feed your dog Hill’s Science Diet because it is expensive junk food! Most vets are totally clueless when it comes to nutrition. If you want to mix the raw food with some kibble I would strongly suggest Acana. I feed Acana kibble to my weimaraners along with Stella and Chewy’s Frozen Raw and they are both doing great and have amazing coats. They have had allergy issues in the past but I have had no problems with this food! Try the Acana Pacifica (fish formula). It is excellent kibble and the fish is usually a good choice for allergy prone dogs. Also, you might want to put your dog on a good quality supplement. It sounds like your dog needs to build her immune system and good quality supplements will help her tremendously! My dogs are on the vitamins from the online vet and I have also used Platinum Performance in the past. Both are excellent supplements! Here is the info fof you:
    Good luck,
    P.S. You might want to consider getting your dog allergy tested. My first weimaraner (who is in Heaven) had severe allergies and she was allergy tested. She had some food allergies that I wasn’t aware of so the allergy testing was very helpful. You should tell your vet about Dog Food Advisor…He might learn something!!!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Joann… Even though there are many reasons to consider a raw diet, I’m not sure treating Lyme Disease is one of them. In any case, since I’m not a veterinarian, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. You may wish to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • joann savage

    i need help! i’m freaking out, my 16 month old PWD is having health issues, i feel it has to do with the grains in her foods? she was diagnosed with lymes disease and bad knees. I just dont believe the bad knees. I’m in the process of changing her to RAW and i felt she was doing a great job. She spent the week at her vets when we went away on vacation, unfortunately our vet doesnt believe in the raw diet, so when Keel was there, they didnt feed her her diet!, without letting me know! They gave her their food! Needless to say im a little upset! My vet wants her on the Hills allergy. i’m not a fan of Hills! but i want the best for my baby! Help what do you think???

  • Gina

    Thanks for the help. I started her on the duck formula and so far she loves it! Hopefully with the gradual change, she will respond well.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gina – You are thinking correctly. Read this web page to learn more:
    Mike includes this statement on that page: “Dogs are simply not genetically optimized to consume the fifty percent carbohydrate content of today’s commercial kibbles.”

    5-STAR Stella and Chewy’s Raw Frozen is an optimal dog food, as the brand has 44% protein, 35% fat and 13% carbs. No near comparison to 3-STAR Natural Balance Potato and Duck where the brand has 23% protein, 12% fat and 57% carbs. 57% CARBS!
    57% carb content is a typical Diabetes Diagnosis just-a-waitin-to-happen in a decade or so for your Maltese.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Gina… Generally speaking, raw foods are closer to “the real thing” than kibbles or canned products. Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own way, it would be misleading for me to assure you Stella and Chewy’s (or any other specific product) would be better for your dog than others. Wish I could be more help.

  • Gina

    Do you see this being ok for a 5lb Maltese? Currently she is on Natural Balance Duck and Potato and I was thinking this might be better for her?

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Alex,
    Both of my weimaraners are on Stella and Chewey’s Frozen Raw! When I started feeding them raw food I just gave half of a patty for about a week and then gave them a full patty by the 2nd week. In addition to Stella and Chewey’s Raw, I also feed them a very high quality kibble…Acana! (Expensive kibble but well worth the money). Is U/D Prescription food Hill’s Science Diet? If it is then I would get your dog off of that junk immediately! Seriously, you could really be compromising your dogs health!!! There are several 5 star dog foods that are excellent. You will really like Stella and Chewey’s Frozen Raw and you probably won’t have any problems feeding this product to your dogs. My dogs absolutely love it! :)

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Alex… It’s always a good idea to introduce a new food gradually (especially when changing to a very different recipe like this). Please see our FAQ page and look for the topic, “How to Feed a Dog”.

  • Alex

    I’m about to switch my two dogs to Stella and Chewy’s – can I do it “cold turkey” or do I need to gradually transition. Currently one of them is eating Natural Balance kibble and the other is eating U/D Prescription kibble because he used to have calcium oxalate crystals in his urine (has since tested clear three times over the last two years).

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Jessica… On a short term basis, I wouldn’t be the least concerned about sodium selenite. Selenium is an essential mineral for both dogs and humans. However, all minerals can be delivered to a dog in its food in various forms (such as simple “elemental” selenium versus its more common form, sodium selenite). And each form can have a different toxic threshold before it can be considered dangerous.

    Toxicosis is the medical word for poisoning. Although selenium is essential for life, ANY mineral (copper, zinc, calcium, etc.) or vitamin can become excessive and cause toxicosis.

    The recent Blue Buffalo dog food recall is a perfect example of how even too much of a vitamin (in this case, vitamin D) can become toxic.

    And selenium is no exception.

    According to AAFCO, the maximum amount of selenium recommended for dog food is 2.0 mg/kg which is 18 times the minimum (0.11 mg/kg) for this mineral.

    Even though AAFCO sets a maximum limit to most minerals, the National Academy of Science has never determined the safe upper limit (SUL) for most mineral nutrients (including selenium).

    These days, it looks to us like the current selenium controversy might be exaggerated and inducing unnecessary concern. After all, over 90% of all commercial dog foods today (even some of the very best) contain the selenite salt version of selenium.

    But here’s the real problem. Other ingredients (grains, meats, bone) naturally contain minerals… before a dog food manufacturer actually adds the vitamin and mineral supplements to the recipe.

    So, unless you test each and every batch of food, you never truly know whether you are exceeding the (still unestablished) safe upper limit of a mineral.

    Although no one can assure you every dog (or people) food product you buy will be 100% safe from the potential long term build-up of minerals, you can take at least some comfort in the apparently safe margin between the AAFCO minimums and the maximums.

    Those who still consider themselves “selenite phobics” should simply look for foods that contain selenium yeast (considered by some a safer alternative) rather than sodium selenite.

  • Jessica

    Is the fact that this contains sodium selenite a bad thing? I remember a discussion about this on one of the other foods and was wondering what this means?

  • Stephanie

    Is this food okay for a large breed puppy?

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  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Paulina… These are both 2 excellent raw foods. I don’t see how you could go wrong with either one. Unfortunately, I cannot provide customized reviews and product comparisons for each reader. For more help, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • paulina

    also mike,

    i am trying to decide between darwins and stella and chewys, do you have an opinion on comparing the two products? i love visiting your website.. your reviews and analysis of the different dog foods really do help!!!!

  • paulina

    hello mike!

    thank you so much for confirming that information, i guess some of the pet stores in my area havent gotten the new “shipments” of the reformulated products. do you know if they maybe changed their packaging to show their new reformulated products? i guess i am not sure if i have the “reformulated” one or the older one.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Paulina… Stella and Chewy’s recipes have already changed and we’ve now updated our reviews.

  • paulina


    I was looking at stella and chewys website and it said something about an reformulated product of “chelated and none chelated minerals’ do you know if they recently updated their formula so the minerals are chelated??? It seems as though my older dog has a more difficult time with breaking it down…

  • Janice Henningsen

    I have a 7 year old English Bulldog Mac! We have been on about 40 or more brands of dog food (this includes 2 raw foods). I had given up trying to find a food he would eat! We to my local pet store related my problem and was told to try Stalla’s. Brought home the duck duck goose and he is a happy bog. I feed him twice a day and he can’t wait until I open the freezer. I have to give him a frozen patty while I get the bowl filled. Thank you sooo much!!!