How do I begin introducing a raw diet to my pet?
Congratulations on your decision to make the switch! When transitioning from a cooked food such as kibble, you should go slowly, typically transitioning over 7-10 days. Most people start with the following guideline and then adjust the timeframe as needed:
- Days 1-3: 25% Stella & Chewy's along with 75% current diet
- Days 4-6: 50% Stella & Chewy' along with 50% current diet
- Days 7-9: 75% Stella & Chewy's along with 25% current diet
- Days 10-Forward: 100% Stella & Chewy's
It's important to remember that some digestive upset is normal during a transition this typically shows up in diarrhea, constipation or (very rarely) vomiting. This will eventually subside as your pet adjusts to the new food.
Is Stella & Chewy's appropriate for puppies?
Yes! Stella & Chewy's dinners for dogs are designed to be complete and balanced for all life stages this means they're great for puppies, too! They do meet AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition across all life stages. You will, however, want to introduce them slowly a typical transition takes about 7-10 days. Puppies do need more food than adults at the same weight. Feed up to twice the amount recommended on feeding guidelines. We also offer a puppy-specific lineup of Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties!
Where are Stella & Chewy's ingredients sourced?
All Stella & Chewy's ingredients are responsibly sourced from farmers and ranchers we know and trust.
- The meats, poultry, fish are antibiotic-free and have no added hormones.
- Beef, Lamb and Venison are sourced from North America, Australia and New Zealand. They are grass-fed.
- Chicken, Duck, Goose and Turkey are sourced from North America and Europe. They're cage-free.
- The fish is North American, wild-caught.
- The rabbit is from Western Europe and/or North America.
- All fruits and vegetables are 100% organic. They are all sourced from North and South America based on seasonal availability.
- The vitamin and mineral mix we use our products is formulated for us in the United States the individual components are from the US and Western Europe with Taurine from Japan.
What are the sharp things I'm finding in the freeze-dried foods? Aren't they harmful?
Stella & Chewy's adds raw ground bone to all dinners as it's an essential part of a raw diet. The bone is safe and highly digestible when raw. The bone is ground with a 3/16 grind plate this means the bone could appear up to approximately 1/4-in size. The bone in the diet is ground to that size because of the health benefits it provides. A carnivore's teeth and body are designed to consume bone especially raw bone, like the bone used in each S&C meal. If it's ground to a powder, it doesn't have as many of the benefits. While it may feel sharper to our fingers, a carnivore's body is designed to consume and process the bone effectively and safely, as long as it's never cooked, heated, or microwaved.
What food safety procedures does Stella & Chewy's follow?
Stella & Chewy's has a patented food safety procedure to ensure the safety of every product. The most powerful step in this procedure is the high-pressure processing (HPP) step this is a cold-water pressure process that effectively eliminates harmful bacteria from the food. This process is used on all products, regardless of the protein. As food-borne bacteria can be present in any type of meat, Stella & Chewy's feel that incurring the extra cost of HPP for all products is the responsible thing to do. This way pet parents can rest assured that they're always bring a safe food into their home. Additionally, HPP is the only reliable method for maintaining the wonderful raw nutrition of our products while still removing harmful pathogens.
All batches of food are sent to a 3rd party testing facility to be tested for both Salmonella and E.coli and Listeria no food ever leaves the plant without negative test results in hand. These test results are posted on stellaandchewys.com. Stella & Chewy's is highly committed to creating the most nutritious, safe, and delicious product on the market.
How do you prepare Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried foods for dogs?
Freeze-dried Dinners and Mixers for dogs can be fed dry or rehydrated prior to feeding. If you choose to use the products dry, please be sure your pet is drinking plenty of water at mealtime. If your pet isn't a big drinker, or you're afraid that they may not get enough water, then rehydrate the food with cool or warm (never hot) water prior to feeding. If fed dry, the food can sit out for up to 12 hours prior to discarding. If fed rehydrated, the food can sit out for up to 2 hours.
Can I feed my pet more than one flavor of Stella & Chewy's?
We do suggest rotating proteins every 2-6 weeks. This means you would feed one flavor consistently for 2-6 weeks, then switch to another flavor for 2-6 weeks, etc. This is a great way to give your dog variety and to help keep protein-based allergies at bay.
Can the Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried foods be cooked or heated?
Stella & Chewy's products cannot be cooked, heated or microwaved. Doing so removes much of the nutrition. Additionally, we add raw, ground bone to our products as it's an essential part of a raw diet. Raw bone is incredibly safe however when bone cooks, it can become brittle and can splinter. Cooked bone is never safe for animals.
What is the shelf life on Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried products?
Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried foods have an expiration date of 18 months past the date of production. It is suggested to use our products by this date, or within a few days after. Much past that and we would recommend discarding the bag. Freezing or refrigerating would not extend the listed shelf life.
How many patties or scoops are in each bag of Stella & Chewy's?
All of Stella & Chewy's products are packaged by weight, not by patty count - this means that the number of patties per bag can vary somewhat.
Are the cat and dog products the same and can they be used interchangeably?
It's a question we hear a lot and we always suggest using the Stella & Chewy's product that was designed specifically for your cat or dog. Our dinners for dogs are not harmful to a cat, but they don't offer the balanced nutritional requirements of a cat either. You could occasionally offer the dog food to your cat, but wouldn't you prefer to give them the nutrients their furry little bodies need?
Do I need to give my pet any supplements in addition to the Stella & Chewy's dinners?
Nope! Zip, zilch, nada. Stella & Chewy's dinners for dogs and cats are designed to be complete and balanced. As long as you're using the product appropriate for its species, our dinners don't require additional supplements.
Why do the patties sometimes look, smell or feel different?
Just like the food we eat; everything isn't always identical. Our products are made in small batches using natural ingredients. And while there's never any change in the formula or the ingredients we use, you may occasionally see lot variations between batches. The differences are safe and normal in a natural product like ours.
Is Stella & Chewy's suitable for diabetic cats or dogs?
Many pet parents have told us that their animals thrive on a raw diet because of the low carbohydrate content. But every animal is different, so we recommend consulting with your veterinarian to determine what is best suited for your pet.