Dog food seems simple enough. You pop into the grocery store, buy a bag of kibble, and you’re on your way. At least, that’s how it always was for me growing up, and that’s how it was until I began working at a local, independent pet supply store here in Philadelphia. Little did I know, my dog Dipper wasn’t receiving the nutrition he needed—until Stella & Chewy’s came along.
This serves as my informal disclaimer that I discovered Stella & Chewy’s and many other items reviewed on this site as a former employer at BONeJOUR Pet Supply. Regardless of the circumstance, I’m truthful about what I have to say. And what I have to say here is this: I love Stella & Chewy’s.
Revolutionary but easy
Stella & Chewy’s is a raw pet food brand. That is, raw, uncooked meat. It’s like going to your local butcher, but better. For one, a wholly meat diet is not nutritionally complete. Stella & Chewy’s is combined with all of the fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog or cat needs to thrive. But when I first began feeding Dipper Stella & Chewy’s, I didn’t care about all that—I was just looking for something to encourage his appetite. I’d had the former stray for about six months, and while he’d gained a nice amount of weight, he was still a bit scrawny and largely unenthusiastic about his kibble. Dinner? Meh.
I myself was enticed by Stella & Chewy’s own catchphrase for their Meal Mixers—“Kickstart your kibble.” As a raw food supplement, the Meal Mixers would simply enhance Dipper’s kibble diet rather than replacing the only type of pet food he and I had ever known.
Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers are simple enough. In addition to a easy-to-understand feeding guide, one for a supplemental raw diet and one for a totally raw diet, each package comes with a 1/4 cup plastic scoop for measuring. The 11 lb Dipper gets one scoop of raw Meal Mixers, equivalent to a quarter of his diet. The rest of his food, approximately a 3/4 cup, remains kibble. But Dipper would prefer if four quarters of his diet were Stella & Chewy’s.
An improved schedule and diet
Stella & Chewy’s has rocked this little dog’s world. The first thing I noticed was obviously how much he loved it. Originally, dinnertime came at any time of the day. When his bowl was empty, which was rare, I’d fill it. But with Stella & Chewy’s, nothing was ever left behind—except maybe his kibble. This had the added benefit of introducing a schedule to our lives.
After Dipper’s surgery last year, I began rehydrating his Stella & Chewy’s with water for added hydration. Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers are freeze-dried to remove liquid for a longer shelf life, though they also sell frozen varieties. Dogs can be fed a dry diet, though they recommend that cat owners always rehydrate their cats’ food. For a year or so, I fed Dipper an entirely dry diet, which he loved. Still, he often left behind his kibble to pick out his Meal Mixers. Since rehydrating his food, I’ve been better able to entice him to eat his entire meal, kibble and all, as the meal mixers moisten it all with that meaty, raw goodness. Yummy.
Why not feed him canned food, you ask? On a selfish level, I think canned food is disgusting. I can’t stand the smell, and I hate the cleanup. The metal cans seem wasteful, and they’re too heavy to lug back to my apartment. On the other hand, Stella & Chewy’s is surprisingly odorless when fed dry, and while it has an undoubtedly meaty smell when rehydrated, it’s not bad. It’s also extremely lightweight when freeze-dried and easy to store.
New diet, new dog?
Dipper didn’t transform into a new dog when I began feeding him Stella & Chewy’s. The changes to our routine and his increased appetite were the first things I noticed. But I have since noticed some little improvements in his body and behavior.
For one, I bathe him less. Though fish is good for skin and hair, his fish-based kibble is lackluster compared to the raw. With it, his coat is shiny and glossy, and he doesn’t get that unwashed-hair smell as quickly he used to.
According to Stella & Chewy’s, pets on a raw diet—or, as I noticed with Dipper, even partially raw—have a tendency to “even out.” Overweight pets lose weight and underweight pets gain weight as their bodies receives the precise nutrition they need. Stella & Chewy’s had that precise effect on Dipper, though it may have been the fact that he was finally eating something he truly enjoyed.
I ultimately believe that the added benefits of even a partially raw diet are endless. However, I can understand the limitations of the added expense—for a dog like Dipper, I spend $30 or so on Stella & Chewy’s every month. Even supplementally, a large dog would need much, much more. But like their tacky-yet-true tagline, I still think “a little goes a long way.”