Monday, October 26, 2009

Stella & Chewy's Fresh From the Farm

I've long been intrigued with the thought of a raw food diet for my pets. Several of the magazines I read and a few sites I regularly peruse have touted the benefits of the raw food regimen and I've met a couple of people who swear by the diet for their dogs and cats. Yet I have never been brave enough to try it myself, mostly because I've felt fairly confident that at some point I'd inadvertently poison my critters which, despite my occasional frustrated threats, I never want to actually do. With my luck they'd all be ill for several days and I'd end up in debtor's prison from the vet bills and I'd still be stuck cleaning up behind their sicky selves.

Apparently I'm not the only person with a phobia like this, because along came Stella and Chewy's, a company that makes all-natural, raw, frozen fresh and freeze-dried pet food products. If you're interested in moving your pets to a raw food diet but are afraid you won't get the proportions right, or are concerned about possible health hazards if you do it yourself, this is the company for you.

I was given a sample of their freeze-dried Chicken Dinner. Let me say right up-front that I'm a HUGE fan of freeze-dried foods for pets. The day whomever came up with the brilliant idea of freeze-drying salmon chunks as pet treats should be honored as a national holiday for pet lovers, because we finally had a terrific cat treat that wasn't full of fillers. I love freeze-dried products so much that I'd buy a machine if I could, just so I could expose other people to how cool freeze-dried products are. Whew --- glad I got that out of my system.

All of this matters for naught if I can't get Darby, one of the world's pickiest dogs, to eat it.I needn't have worried. I couldn't even get the package all the way open before he was at my side, working his "best-dog-ever" routine like a pool shark hustles the new guy in a bar. He was serious about getting a taste for himself.

The dinners are freeze-dried into patties, making proper portion size easy to figure out. It's also wonderfully easy to break off small chunks to use as training treats or as toppers for dry food meals. I pulled off a few small pieces and put Darby through his admittedly limited paces, which he was more than happy to perform in exchange for some of that chicken goodness. These are near-perfect training treats, but if you don't enjoy doing the breaking yourself, there are several items available in a smaller chunk size as well.

Stella & Chewy's uses grain-free, free range, human grade ingredients with organic fruits and vegetables in all of their products. The meat and poultry is free of hormones and antibiotics, and there are no dyes, preservatives, sugar or salt added to their products. This truly is "the good stuff".

The freeze-dried varieties of Stella & Chewy's dog food (and a bit of their cat food) can be found at one of my favorite online retailers,

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