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Today I found an organic pet bakery store right around the corner (never even saw it before) and they carry a number of raw frozen dinners. One that I'm pretty interested in is called Stella & Chewy's 100% Complete and Balenced Frozen Dinners. (web site: www.stellaandchewys.com)
They are made in my state about 20 miles away but are a little expensive (but I'll make the sacrifice if it will help my boy)

Back of the package reads:
Ingredients:
Beef Dinner: Beef, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe, ground beef bone

Chicken Dinner: Chicken (ground with bone), chicken liver, chicken gizzard.

Duck & Goose Dinner: Duck (ground with bone), goose, turkey liver, turkey gizzard.

Lamb Dinner: Lamb, lamb spleen, lamb liver, ground lamb bone, lamb heart, lamb kidney.

All Dinners contain: Pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, organic carrots, organic squash, organic apples, organic blueberries, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, direct-fed microorganisms (Pediococcus acidilactici, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterocuccus faecium), magnesium oxide, natural tocopherols, vitamin E supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement.

No grain, added hormones or antibiotics, artificial perservatives, sugar, salt or colorings.

Does this sound okay for a 11 week old GSD pup?? He is NOT food motivated AT ALL! The only treats he likes (that agree with his stomach) are string cheese cubes, bully sticks, and dehydrated chicken breasts and hearts. He skips meals frequently (we feed Blue Buffalo LBP) and only eats about 1.5 cups of his kibble a day even though he's offered food constantly. He's pretty skinny but not emaciated. His poops vary depending on what he's eaten (too many treats or a bully will normally give him diareha). I just want to do what's right for him but I really don't have the time or energy to DIY RAW feed. :help:

If you think this is a good option for RAW feed, which dinner would you choose if you had to??
 

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I was hoping some more experienced raw feeders would advise.

I have a young pup who has been something of a picky eater. I did purchase some of these type prepared raw meals for her. She did like them better than any kibble foods.

I figured they were a bit pricey and am now trying to make my way with a raw meal plan for her from the grocery. I still utilize the prepared frozen and the freeze dried raw some with her. She is a Stella and Chewy's fan also.

As far as feeding these prepared meals full time for any length of time, I can not advise.
 

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I would feed it if I had the $$. I think these type prepared raw foods are best for smaller breed dogs that don't eat much. A pup will eat about 2# a day...can you afford that?
I would start probably with the lamb, and not do the duck/goose for a baby puppy(that is pretty fatty). And then rotate w/ the beef. Chicken is so cheap to feed that I would not spend the money on a pre-made chicken blend.
 

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Variety, variety, variety. That is what is preached for raw diets. I try to feed as much variety I can afford. I buy the Oma's Pride mixes, and now just added ground salmon. She is dry with the wood stove going, so trying to help by adding the salmon. We also hunt so I always have a freezer full of venison too. The venison is very rich, so I only give a little bit with every meal. The mixes I buy are the beef, chicken and turkey. I only have the one dog, so right now it is affordable for me.
 

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This is what I just started myself, I don't think I could do my own raw (at least not yet) The price of the patties are not an issue for me and I feel like I could keep her more balanced with them. I think it's a good choice over feeding kibble if you don't want to do your own raw. I was told to start with chicken and turkey and once she's used to it try beef and others (rotate) to keep variety. My pup (18 weeks old) was not very food motivated either but is soooo excited for her raw meals now. We also have had a ton of tummy issues but have not seen a single loose stool since switching over (we are on day 3) I have also started giving a tablespoon of probiotic yogurt daily.

Hope you find what works best for you and you can always send me a message since we are kind of in the same position right now maybe we could exchange notes on our findings!
 

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I have feed Stella & Chewys before but it was more expensive than other brands I could get. It is a great food!
 

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Here's why I don't like using the premade mixes:

1. Ingredient list - there's no reason to have any of those veggies and fruits in the mix other than so they can use that "100% balanced" tag.

2. Ingredient control - how much (as in percentages) meat, bone and organ are in each of those?

3. There are several high sugar ingredients listed in those dinners. If a dog has any skin issues those sugars could make them worse.

4. With a large ingredient list you cannot pinpoint allergy triggers (if that's an issue with the dog).


I DO recommend (and use) the premade ground meat and bone ONLY products. They are a great way to get some variety into a dog and good for starting young puppies.
 

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Lauri,
What pre-made meat only patties are you talking about? I'm very interested in getting Bear some more meat sources, and venison has all but dried up for me. I have looked online at getting some buffalo and elk to rotate in every three months or so. I need to start duck hunting, because let me tell you, my town is being overrun with muscovy ducks, and they are supposedly the best breed for eating. I haven't figured out how to trap one yet, because you can't shoot them in city limits (Where most of them live) but when I do...yum.
 

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I have read on some discussions that ground meat really is not the most advisable to feed. I don't know why this is? Does anyone know the reasoning? I am finding myself somewhat limited here in easily obtained choices.
 

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Two reasons ground isn't the best choice...
First is that grinding greatly increases the surface area of the meat, increasing the chance for harmful bacteria.

The second is that dogs benefit from ripping and chewing large pieces of meat...it's good for their teeth, jaws, and as mental activity. With ground it's like kibble, they just swallow it basically.

That said - I get ground venison from a butcher here, and I don't hesitate to feed it. But I do also make sure the dogs get large meals that they have to work at on a regular basis...I wouldn't feed only ground food.
 

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I am going to have to look for some meat cuts that they can tear about on. The ground stuff is plentiful here but I did have a bit of concern about the possible bacterial issue.

The prepared meals seem pretty much ground up stuff.
 

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About half the meat we feed, my husband and I slaughter/butcher ourselves...deer, goats, and sheep. We basically just cut the animal into a number of large chunks. If the chunks are very large, my dogs get to eat their fill and then are fasted for a day or two.
You could also take the big pieces away after you feel they've eaten a meals' worth, but it depends on the dog. With mine it'd cause problems to take the food away and it's not worth the headache, and they do great with fasting.

For big meals you can buy whole turkeys (make sure they're not enhanced - most at the grocery store are, sodium should be less than 100mg per serving) or fryer chickens, or pork shoulder...those are the ones that are most common at the grocery store.
 

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I don't know where in WI you live, but My Pet Carnivore makes monthly deliveries there.

I started buying raw from them this year. They have a lot of different products, but I buy the "Whole Ground" animals. They grind the entire animal, bone, muscle and organs, including tripe. Pack it in 2 pound containers and freeze it. They make deliveries all around WI, IN, OH, MI, and some other places I think. Check out their schedule.

I can't afford total raw. Balto is allergic to chicken, so I don't buy anything with chicken in it. I supplement a grain free kibble. The puppy gets mostly raw because I'm showing him in conformation and I want him to look his best.

My Pet Carnivore | Raw dog, cat, and pet food including: tripe, beef, bones, chicken, duck, rabbit, turkey
 

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Two reasons ground isn't the best choice...
First is that grinding greatly increases the surface area of the meat, increasing the chance for harmful bacteria.

The second is that dogs benefit from ripping and chewing large pieces of meat...it's good for their teeth, jaws, and as mental activity. With ground it's like kibble, they just swallow it basically.

That said - I get ground venison from a butcher here, and I don't hesitate to feed it. But I do also make sure the dogs get large meals that they have to work at on a regular basis...I wouldn't feed only ground food.
That being said, for someone who can't do full on raw do you think premade raw is a better diet then kibble?
 

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As long as you are sure the diet is balanced, yes I would say it's definitely better than kibble. But I would rotate trusted brands and protein sources for variety. And if possible I would feed large pieces of meat at least once a week if the dog can handle the variety, to be sure his/her teeth stay nice and clean.

But I guess the question is - why not do full on raw? What holds people back?
 

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For me, raw at all was a hard pick with 2 young daughters in the house. Right now with the pre made. It stays in her dish and when she is done I wash her bowl, surrounding area and even wipe her nose down, right now I can't see my self going all the way because though I'm sure I could teach her to eat it in her dish I'm sure it would not happen right away and also I'm not ok with her using her paws also to hold big raw bones and such because I don't have the time to bathe her after every meal to be sure she doesn't have anything on her before playing with my kids again. I'm sure some would say these are not good enough reasons, but that's the way it is for me right now. That being said, I like the idea of raw and want her to have better then kibble (not to mention we had a very hard time with kibble)

I do mix up all types of premade raw, lots of things to chew on and now while she is a pup she does get an afternoon meal of 1/2 Cup kibble mixed with probiotic yogurt and fish oil.
 

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Lauri,
What pre-made meat only patties are you talking about?
They aren't patties, they are just tubes of ground meat and bone. Oma's Pride is one that I use. All my pups get weaned to raw using Omas and I use it alot for my little dogs (even as adults) because it's hard to find a variety of RBMs they can handle.
 

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I also get bones from MPC. The lamb bones are soft enough for them to eat, and the beef shanks aren't totally clean so the dogs spend a lot of time working on them and trying to pull the tissues off.
 

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Have you had any funky smelling meat from My Pet Carnivore cuz I sure have. The concept is great and I have made 2-3 pretty large orders and several times I was taken a back by the smell.If I had to eat the meat I wouldn't.
 

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CaseysGSD, I have the same concerns and limitations that you do.

How do the rest of you rationalize your dog walking around in your house with raw meat on their paws and face after eating it or do you bathe them after each meal? Has no one ever experienced consequences from this?


Also, CaseysGSD, what fish oil do you use, may I ask?
 
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