|Toward the end of the bag|
We have been feeding Stella and Chewy's Super Beef food for an entire month now, and I wanted to give our final thoughts on the food overall. (Part One and Part Two of our three part review series.)
My first conclusion is that in many ways, it is way, way easier than feeding a prey model raw diet, or a prepared frozen raw diet. No freezer space need be taken up, no thawing needs to be remembered. When traveling, it is so much easier to put a few patties into a container and toss them in the car than having to remember to put meat in the cooler (at the last minute, so it doesn't thaw any more than it has to). The patties mean I don't even need a measuring cup, I just count out the number of patties.
The dogs really like it. They get super excited for their meals. They aren't super picky dogs normally, so this doesn't mean as much as it could, but it was still a plus- I certainly didn't have to talk them into eating, and they didn't linger over their food.
The freeze dried texture meant that when crumbled and covered with water, it was a great food to use in a puzzle bowl, taking longer to eat out of the puzzle bowl than kibble. Whole raw food can't be used in a puzzle bowl (though it can be a bit of a puzzle to eat on its own because of size, shape, bones, etc).
The ingredients of the Stella and Chewy's are excellent, and I have no second thoughts about if I am feeding my dogs a good food or not.
|Stella and Chewy's bag|
On the other side, there were some things about the Stella and Chewy's that I didn't love. The first and biggest was the sheer amount of food Koira needed to eat to stop losing weight. She was up to 13 patties per day. While 40 lb dogs are included on the feeding recommendations on the back of the bag, it does say that for larger dogs, use this food as a mix in or topping, and I think that that applies to Koira, despite her weight. And at least part of that is simply because the cost of feeding that much of this food is absurdly high. On the other hand, Ptera did fine on the food, maintaining weight and muscling, and eating a petite 3-3.5 patties per day. Between both of them, a bag of food last just over three days. For Ptera alone, though, a bag would last about three weeks, which makes the cost much more reasonable.
The only other thing was that I really did have to break apart the patties either into pieces, or crush them to a powder. Koira ended up kind of gulping and swallowing multiple times if given a whole patty, which I think was because the food gets a little slimy while wet, which made it weird to eat in large chunks. Some of the patties were super easy to break up, while some were harder, and my fingers could be a little sore after powdering them up. But breaking them into 4-5 pieces made them easy enough to eat for both dogs, and was fast to do, so it isn't exactly a big issue, just a slight dislike on my part.
|Back when we first started using Stella and Chewy's and took a trip|
Overall, this is a food that I really enjoyed feeding to my dogs. They enjoyed their meals, and the ingredients meant I was happy feeding it to them. At just over $40 for a 25 oz bag, I can't justify using it as the main food for Koira. But for traveling, camping, and as a back up food to have on hand (for when I forget to thaw out regular raw food), I think this absolutely hits the mark. And if I only had Ptera, who eats a much smaller amount, I would certainly find this a reasonable food to feed full time or as part of a rotational diet.
I would like to that Chewy.com for giving us the opportunity to try this food for a month. We did receive the food in exchange for a series of three honest posts about our experience, but we weren't compensated in any other way.