Stewart Raw Naturals (Freeze-Dried)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Stewart Raw Naturals freeze dried dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Stewart Raw Naturals product line includes seven freeze dried raw dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Lamb [A]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Turkey [A]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Chicken [A]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Bison (4 stars) [A]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Beef (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Puppy (4.5 stars) [G]
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Chicken and Salmon [A]

Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Chicken recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Stewart Raw Naturals Fresh to Home Chicken

Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 17%

Ingredients: Chicken, ground chicken bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, cantaloupe, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, egg, ground flaxseed, inulin, salmon oil, apple cider vinegar, blueberry, cranberry, dried kelp, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, whole ginger, whole parsley, whole garlic, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (as preservative), vitamin D supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis45%26%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%27%17%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%51%13%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 13%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

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

The second ingredient is ground chicken bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

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

The fourth ingredient is chicken gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.

The fifth ingredient is cantaloupe. Cantaloupe contains dietary fiber, niacin, folic acid as well as vitamins A, B6, C and potassium. Its Nutrient Completeness Score2 is 62.

The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.

The eighth ingredient is lettuce. This green leafy vegetable is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, lettuce boasts an exceptionally high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 88.

The ninth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

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 five notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

In addition, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.4

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

And lastly, this food 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.

Stewart Raw Naturals Freeze Dried Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Stewart Raw Naturals freeze dried dog food looks like an above-average raw product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 17%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Stewart Raw Naturals is a meat-based freeze-dried raw dog food using a significant amount of named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Stewart Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

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

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

08/25/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  3. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  4. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • sandy

    Yes, I still use the freeze dried foods as treats. Occasionally I pick up a bag of Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried bites as well but they are very soft and has lots of crumbs in the bag (which does not go to waste!)

  • Judy

    Hi Sandy, are u still using Stewart’s dehydrated Raw? I have price these comment are a year old, and I’m considering trying it if still recommended. Plmk

  • Bill Calhoun

    Thanks Sandy. I was a bit worried. Its such a vast difference.

  • sandy

    The Honest Kitchen is a cooked food and it seems to have alot of plant matter and Stewart is raw so he will need some time to adjust. Every time my dogs eat raw their poops are smaller (pretty much the size of Stewart pieces LOL). When they eat kibble or cooked freeze dried foods, their output is larger (more log shaped). Both of those are normal and expected (for me) since I feed all forms of food.

  • Bill Calhoun

    Heya folks, i switched from Honest Kitchen to Stewert’s and will also try Primal, later. However, I’ve noticed Billy Jr’s stools are less-often, darker, and smaller (just transitioned 4-5 days ago). When on Honest Kitchen his stools where perfect in shape/color/texture and he was more regular. Please share your thoughts?

    Thanks

  • Bill Calhoun

    Hahaha, that’s cute. I didn’t know they had anything like that. Let me go search…great idea…

  • Bill Calhoun

    Perfect, I was considering ZiwiPeak but, see its fat percentages are really, really high.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Bill! Hope all is well with you and Jr.!

    I have looked at snoods for my long eared Cavalier to wear when she’s eating to keep her ears clean. Do they make anything like that for dogs with beards?

  • sandy

    I just remembered – one of the Primal formulas, lamb maybe, was difficult to crumble. The others I used (turkey/sardine, duck, pork, beef) were softer. The duck would actually be 25% crumbled up in the bag when I got it. Had to use a scoop to get it out of the bag.

  • Bill Calhoun

    Awesome insight. Thanks Sandy.

  • sandy

    I’ve been using Stewarts since my last comment below. It is not hard and can be crumbled as can Primal and Stella and Chewy’s (which I also use too). I also like to use Vital Essentials nibletts and mini nibletts. These are crunchy and can’t be crumbled.

  • Bill Calhoun

    I note there are few comments here. Is this because Stewarts is fairly new? I currently use Honest Kitchen (for years) and I’m thinking of switching over. I’ve a mini-schnauzer and have been waiting for a premium grade, raw-food equivalent to HK. Primarily because I’m spending a fortune on wet-wipes (i mix HK with water) for Billy’s beard…Yikes! The grains get stuck and I spend about 10-minutes cleaning him. So, Stewart’s looks like a comparable option and he can just munch-down the nuggets.

  • The pugs love this product. It’s just the right size to give as a treat too! They are eating the turkey formula right now which is soft and can be crumbled up.