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I've been doing some more research since we are switching foods. I'm looking more into freeze dried varieties since I think he will enjoy those more than his current dry food. He's a SUPER picky eater and we're having trouble with his current food causing us a need to switch. I've looked into the Honest Kitchen and a couple others but just wanted to get an idea of what you all recommend. He is sensitive to chicken so I just avoid all poultry to be on the safe side. What are some other brands of freeze dried that I could look in to? Preferably one available on Amazon although we do have some local options for high quality foods. Currently he's on Zignature Trout and Salmon.
 

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If you go to Chewy.com and put 'Freeze Dried dog food' in the search bar, you get a pretty good variety of what is commonly available and they also list the ingredients and on some the whole back panel of the package.....pretty much all the info you need to make a decision.
 

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We've used a few. I personally recommend: The Honest Kitchen as the cost per feeding is much less then other freeze dried. There is also Orijen de-hydrated pucks, NRG, Nutrisource, and Sojos.

I've only used Orijen or THK because my dog has had reactions to flax and Orijen doesn't use flax at all, while THK has a couple of flavours that doesn't as well.
 

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I have a question: I'm intrigued with this idea of freeze-dried food, but it looks awfully expensive, and I'm not quite sure how much you'd need to give each dog. We have a Sheltie and a Westie, and I can see it being reasonable for the Westie, but seems like it would be very expensive for the Sheltie. Can you give me some information about this? If I compare the cost to what we have paid for having sick dogs over the years, it seems like it might just even out, but I dunno....

P.S. We pretty much swear by Chewy.com, because they're fast and if you order at least $50 worth, you don't pay shipping....and as far as I can tell, their prices are as good as any.
 

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@Eklutna It all depends on your budget. I have a 32 kg black lab cross that I'm feeding. She's active, but not working dog active, and only required 2 cups of food (total regardless of kibble or dehydrated) a day. You will have to figure out your costs depending on your dog's body condition, their weight, and activity level, though I think I can safely say your costs will be less then mine since you have 2 small dogs.

So for example: I recently purchased THK Chicken and Quinoa 4 lb box. It retails for around $60 after taxes (I'm in Canada and can't purchase it online, except thru Amazon which is the same cost). If I were to feed Tess exclusively THK then we would go through that box in around 16 days. So 60/16 = $3.75 per day. Not cheap but not too bad. The bigger the box the longer it lasts. Your costs may be much less and the box will last longer because of your dog's sizes, unless they are ridiculously active. The cost is the reason I choose to do grain free Kibble in the am (orijen 6 fish) and THK in the pm, that way she gets a little of both - 1 cup kibble and 1 cup THK. This also allows the small sized box to las bus 2x the amount of time, meaning I'm paying closer to $1.8 a day to feed THK to Tessa, although that is made up with an additional $1.25 per day cost for the Orijen.

Plus who the heck wants to remember to rehydrate food at 6 am when you haven't even had a coffee yet? Not I.

Orijen is by far the most expensive as the pucks are less caloric (74 cal per puck) and would require my dog to eat 3 per serving. They only sell 32 pucks in the large bag, for $32. Tess would be out of food in roughly 10 days so 32/10= $3.20 per day for less days.

My budget allows this. I also know the difference in a dog's health when they are fed quality food over generic junk, and with Tessa's allergies, this method of feeding saves us money at the vet. Keep in mind my numbers are based on the THK version I feed, there are also cheaper versions, but they contain ingredients my dog can't have (flax).

Feeding just a quality kibble is fine too, if you can't crunch the numbers to make dehydrated work, and raw is probably a little less expensive, but more work intensive.
 

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@Eklutna
Feeding just a quality kibble is fine too, if you can't crunch the numbers to make dehydrated work, and raw is probably a little less expensive, but more work intensive.
Thanks for the good information. I have to say I have my doubts about Kibble. In the last ten years, we've lost one dog to osteosarcoma, we just lost one of our Shelties, probably to old age (he was twelve), but who knows....and we just spent a fortune on our other Sheltie due to what is probably serious arthritis (we're waiting for the blood test results). So I think I'm ready to start feeding raw with maybe some freeze-dried or actually frozen meat on hand for emergencies. In the end, I'm thinking it may pay off. We bought a little Westie who is now two years old, and we started him out on Orijen grain-free and are now feeding another grain-free, wickedly expensive Kibble I can't remember the name of...and so far he's fine, but after all, he's young. I want him to live a healthy life, so I'm thinking to switch him now. He doesn't much like the Kibble, he didn't like the Orijen either, frankly....but he LOVES "people food!" And meat he wolfs down, so the handwriting is on the wall, I think. I want more information about raw feeding, and I see that there are other threads here, so I will go to them and see what I can find out.

Thanks,
Eklutna
 

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I really liked Stella and Chewy's for my cats. However, it IS very expensive. I tried THK, as well, and they seemed to enjoy it, but it was much... messier? than Stella and Chewy's, and I was only supplementing, as my cats were crazy carb addicts and would turn up their noses if I only fed raw for long enough.

I am hoping to supplement on occasion with Stella and Chewy's (and possibly THK) with my future dog, but honestly, it'll just be too expensive for me to make it their full diet. If money is no issue, then I would fully recommend giving it a shot.
 

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Oops, forgot to mention this. You can also take a good look at various freeze-dried foods and their ratings on the DogFoodAdvisor site. Stella and Chewy's is a five-star rating, hence my willingness to back it even though I've only personally had experience with the cat side of things. Raw Dog Food Reviews | Dog Food Advisor
 

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I had forgotten the dog food review site, thanks.... I think I have decided freeze-dried food is generally too expensive. Maybe good to have some one hand for emergencies or trips, but otherwise, not. I did order a box of the "base" THK...will see how that works, but it still seems expensive, particularly since what I'm learning is that plain old raw meat is probably best anyway.
 
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