Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stella and Chewy, Part Way Through

I wanted to give an update on how the girls are doing on the Stella and Chewy food we are reviewing for a month for Chewy.com.

Stella and Chewy-2478
Patties, counted out and divided 

First, I had to dramatically increase the amount Koira was eating. The feeding guide on the back of the bag suggests 8 1/2 patties for a 40 lb dog, so that is what I started Koira on. But she started getting really ribby pretty fast. For a dog who is already on the thinner side of healthy and who gets a good deal of activity, it doesn't take long for her to drift from "healthy weight" to "too skinny". I upped her intake to 12 patties, and she was not gaining any weight, so I upped it again to 13 yesterday. I will have to see if that is enough or if I need to up it again.

Stella and Chewy-2480
Crushed patties ready to add water and feed

Of course, Koira is notoriously hard to keep weight on. Most kibbles, she has to be fed a completely absurd amount of food for her size (like, the 4-6 cups range, when she only weighs 40 lbs, for most grain free high quality kibbles we have tried). Prey model raw normally keeps her at a good weight more easily than kibble, and I wasn't sure what the impact of a freeze dried raw food would be on that equation.

Ptera, on the other hand, is getting the suggested amount for her weight of 3 patties, with an extra half patty every few days. She appears to be maintaining her weight really well, and is looking good overall.

Stella and Chewy-2490

The patties can be fed whole and dry, whole and covered with water, broken into pieces, pieces covered by water, etc. To use the puzzle bowls with the dogs, I like to crush the patties and add water. It seems to provide a good deal of challenge to the dogs so their feeding time lasts longer than two seconds.

Stella and Chewy-2495

I think it is safe to say that even after 2/3rds of a month of eating this food, the dogs are still fans.

Stella and Chewy-2503

Normally, Koira eats in the bathroom, while Ptera eats in her crate. But that doesn't make for good pictures, so I fed them outside this time, making sure to keep them well separated so there were no disagreements over who gets the food.

Stella and Chewy-2511

I have to say that I was highly entertained watching them eat out of their puzzle bowls. I normally watch a tiny bit, but actually sitting on the ground with them the entire time they eat isn't something I've done before.

Stella and Chewy-2506

Ptera's nose is too big to fit into the slots, so she has to use her tongue to work the foodstuffs out. And she is serious about her foodstuffs.

Stella and Chewy-2514

Koira's nose is also too big for most of the slots (that is how it is supposed to be for these bowls). But she has the tongue work down pat.

Stella and Chewy-2518

Koira is much more systematical that Ptera when it comes to working the food out of the bowl and into the mouth. But that might be partly due to the design of the bowl each of them was using, since Koira's has longer stretches of straight grooves.

Stella and Chewy-2537

If you look close in the above photo, you can see Ptera's tongue working on getting the food out of that groove.

Stella and Chewy-2565

But, though it takes them awhile, the dogs can manage to completely clean these bowls out, without missing more than a tiny drop or two of food.

I'll be posting again at the end of the month to give a full sum up of our thoughts after a full month of feeding this food.

We were provided with this food in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we were not compensated in any other way.


  1. Wow, a whole month's worth of food! Lucky you! Lucky dogs!

  2. That is a lot of food! Nola is on freeze dried raw too (Orijen and Primal, though I'm going to grab Stella and Chewy next), and only eats 2-3 pieces a day, haha.