Frequently Asked Questions
Why feed raw?
Raw diets contain higher levels of nutrients including essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants which are the building blocks to increased health and wellness. Our raw frozen food was developed over decades of continuous improvement to provide to best tasting, most nutritious, consumable food for pets. Raw Naturals is nutritionally dense and without fillers which allow the body to utilize and absorb more of these nutrients. Higher body absorption means less elimination through stool.
Benefits of a raw diet are evident whether feeding alone as a complete and balanced diet or mixing with kibble to enhance the enjoyment of a meal. Other benefits include healthier skin and coat from Omegas 3 and 6; reduced plaque and tartar resulting in cleaner teeth and fresher breath due to beneficial enzymes and amino acids; better joint function and mobility due to glucosamine and chondroitin from naturally occurring compounds; our recipe is grain, gluten and peanut free for dogs sensitive to allergies; and contains antioxidant and vitamins from berries and vegetables to support the immune and cardiovascular systems.
Why feed Stewart Raw Naturals as opposed to other brands?
Our recipes are prepared with whole meat, fruits, vegetables and other natural ingredients, then cold process pasteurized to retain the natural vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are so beneficial in raw diets.
Raw Naturals is not over-processed or ground and retains its full nutritional value; we use single source protein (except for Bison that contains Beef and the Chicken/Salmon recipe that contains both Chicken and Salmon) which is great for dogs with allergies plus it boosts the immune system.
Cold Process Pasteurized means harmful bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and e-coli are eliminated by pressurizing the raw food under 80,000 pounds of cold water pressure. This process collapses the bacteria cell walls and allows the natural Ph of the meat to destroy the bacteria naturally. This high pressure process does not damage or destroy the protein (amino acids) of the meat as is done during traditional heat processing.
Raw Naturals is made of human grade ingredients in an USDA inspected facility which requires more rigorous testing than FDA inspection. These are the same standards that are used in preparing human consumables. Heart shaped patties are formed and individually quick frozen at -20°F which reduces ice crystals therefore reducing cell damage.
How do I transition from my current kibble diet to raw?
When transitioning to a raw diet, start by replacing ¼ of your dog’s old food with raw and gradually increase the portion over the next 14 days. Food equivalency: ½ cup kibble equals 2 oz patty; ½ can moist dog food equals 2 oz. patty.
What are the main reasons of feeding raw?
- Better nutrients, no fillers
- Human grade ingredients
- Weight management – dogs require less; don’t feel the need to eat more due to nutritional density
- Healthier joints and better mobility
- Less lawn cleanup – dogs absorb more of nutrients
- Produced and packaged in the USA in USDA inspected facility
- Cold pasteurized (HPP or High Pressure Processing) to eliminate micro-organisms that cause spoilage
- Healthier skin and coat
- Better breath
- Brighter/cleaner teeth
- Food sensitivities – grain, gluten and peanut free
Why switch from kibble if my dog is completely healthy?
By feeding an all natural raw diet you are providing only natural ingredients in their purest form. Raw Naturals is not over processed or cooked which reduces or eliminates the natural nutrients in raw food. Even if your dog looks good now, in 2-4 weeks you will see an improvement! Your dog will have cleaner teeth and fresher breath and a shinier coat. For older or overweight dogs, feeding raw will help to regulate weight and restore lean muscle.
Can you feed raw frozen food with a combined schedule of dry food or use the raw as a treat?
Raw Naturals raw frozen food can feed as a complete and balanced diet, it can be fed in combination with kibble or small portions as a treat. When feeding Raw Naturals along with kibble, reduce the amount of kibble by referring to the chart on back of package.
Is it good for cats too?
Yes, as a supplemental food or treat only as it is not a complete and balanced diet for cats. Cats require more taurine (an essential amino acid for heart and eye health in cats) than dogs.
Should I feed twice per day like kibble or only in morning with kibble at night?
Feed the way you would normally feed kibble. If you normally feed in the morning and again in the evening you may continue to do so. We recommend feeding smaller portions twice daily.
If pets have particular diets or allergies is one protein better than another?
Studies imply that feeding single source or minimal source protein diets are beneficial in relieving symptoms in dogs with allergies. Because turkey is considered an easily digestible neutral protein, we find it a good first choice. Along with being a single source protein, dogs that have allergies to chicken are not affected by turkey.
Will it help dogs with problematic diets or digestive issues?
Yes. After the transitional phase from kibble or canned food (up to 14 days) dogs will begin to benefit from naturally occurring pro and prebiotics present in a raw diet which help to regulate the digestive system.
Can it be fed as a meal?
Yes. Stewart Raw Naturals raw frozen food is a complete and balanced diet for every phase of a dog’s life. It meets and exceeds the requirements as outlined in AAFCO.
What is the “freezer” life on raw frozen?
The freezer life is up to 2 years from production date if maintained frozen. Raw Naturals raw frozen food has a much longer freezer life than cooked refrigerated foods which is normally less than 10 weeks.
Cooked vs. raw diets, which is better?
Cooked or canned foods contain less nutritional value (enzymes and amino acids) due to the heating or cooking process. Raw Naturals is made fresh using human grade ingredients in an USDA inspected facility, cold process pasteurized to destroy micro-organisms that cause spoilage while maintaining the nutritional value of food in its purest form.
How long after I buy the product do I have before it starts to thaw?
The rate of thawing depends on the product size bought, how it is transported, temperature and time out of the freezer – usually thirty minutes.
How much time can be safely allowed to commute from store to home? Ex: If I purchase Raw Naturals and it takes 30 minutes to drive home would product still be OK?
Thirty minutes is a good average. The rate of thawing depends on the product size bought, how it is transported, temperature and time out of the freezer. Stewart Raw Naturals is the same as any consumer frozen meat product, although some thawing may have occurred round the edges during the drive home, if ice crystals remain the product can be refrozen.
Why raw instead of freeze dried?
Feeding raw is more affordable than freeze dried, although freeze dried is perfect for travel, pet sitters and boarding. Raw Naturals freeze dried food is the same recipe as Raw Naturals raw frozen food.
What is the best way to introduce?
Start by feeding small amounts at first; add more raw over next 14-day period and less kibble or canned food.
If transitioning to a totally raw diet start by replacing ¼ of your dog’s old food with raw and gradually increase the portion over the next 14 days. Food equivalency: ½ cup kibble equals 2 oz patty; ½ can moist dog food equals 2 oz. patty.
Some dogs if not transitioned properly will develop diarrhea due to the digestive tract being purged or detoxified from artificial additives found in kibble or canned foods. Raw Naturals contains only human grade, natural ingredients that allows dogs to develop and maintain a healthy digestive system and proper weight management.
Is this also good for low energy/less active or older dogs?
Yes. Our raw diet is nutrient dense and without fillers. This means your dogs body absorbs more nutrients with less food. Your dog will lose fat weight and gain lean muscle mass. Because there are no fillers, a raw diet is easier to digest.
What is the youngest recommended age to begin feeding raw?
You may begin as early as three weeks or just during the weaning process.
Is salmonella or other micro-organisms a problem?
The cold pasteurizing process, also known as high pressure pasteurization (HPP) eliminates salmonella along with listeria and e-coli bacteria. This process uses cold water pressure at 80,000 psi to collapse the cell walls of bacteria which then is killed by the natural Ph of meat proteins.
As with all raw foods, it is necessary to practice safe handling. Keep food frozen until ready for use. Keep raw food separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils, hands and your pet’s bowl with hot soapy water. Discard uneaten portions within 30 minutes.
How long can a thawed chub remain in refrigerator?
A thawed chub can remain refrigerated at 36°F or colder for up to a week with proper handling, same as any other raw meat for human use.
If the product thaws can it be put back into the freezer?
Stewart Raw Naturals is the same as any other frozen meat product, although some thawing may have occurred around the edges if ice crystals remain the product can be refrozen. If meat is completely thawed and still cold, refrigerate and begin feeding. Meat may be stored in refrigerator at 36°F or colder up to a week with proper handling.
Does feeding raw cause a dog to become aggressive?
No. There is no evidence to support aggressiveness caused by a raw diet.
Expense per pound versus dry kibble?
Raw is about the same per feeding as feeding high end kibble. The digestibility of food is important to consider when discussing the cost of feeding. You pay for the amount of food in the bag or can that you purchase, not the amount your pet digests and absorbs. Choosing a food simply because it appears inexpensive does not make it a good buy. Lower quality food may need to be increased in order to provide the same nutrition as a small quantity of higher quality food, thereby increasing or sometimes even doubling its cost.