Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Feeding a Freeze Dried Raw Diet to Your Dog

In early November, we made a transition to a freeze dried raw diet with our dog, Shiner. For the past two months, she has eaten Bravo® Pet Foods Homestyle Complete® Dinners for Dogs. This particular brand of freeze dried raw food has three proteins available - turkey, pork, and beef. Shiner has sampled all 3, but has mainly been eating the turkey and pork flavors.

If you missed our previous posts about this dog food, you can read about Bravo Pet Foods HERE and transitioning your pet to a raw diet HERE.


Because this was my first experience with feeding a raw diet of any kind, I wanted to go over some of the pros and cons that I experienced with the trial.

Pros and Cons of Feeding a Freeze Dried Raw Diet to Your Dog

First, I'll discuss to pros and all the good stuff about feeding Shiner Bravo Homestyle Complete for the past couple of months. There are definitely more pros than cons for me, but here is a list of what we experienced.

PROS

  • Tastes Good. What good is a dog food if the dog won't eat it? While Shiner is not a picky eater, she absolutely adores her meals of Bravo Homestyle Complete more than other dry kibble diets she has eaten in the past. It smells delicious to me - like the aroma of a home-cooked stew on the stove. 
  • Healthy. The food is made with premium ingredients that I am more than comfortable feeding my dog. The meat is raised without any added hormones or antibiotics. There are no artificial, colors, flavors, or preservatives. It's also grain and gluten free. It's keeping Shiner an active, healthy, senior dog!
I'm a healthy and active senior dog!
  • Made in the USA. Bravo Homestyle Complete Dinners for Dogs are made in the USA by a family-owned company. 
  • No need to refrigerate or freeze. My freezer is already full, and therefore I have no room for a lot of frozen meats to feed the dog. This freeze dried raw food can be kept on the shelf at room temperature, making it easy to store and travel with. 
  • Easy to feed. One of the reasons I was apprehensive about trying a raw diet with my dog was because I didn't want to get it wrong. Bravo Homestyle Complete Dinners for Dogs does most of the work for me, and I don't need to worry about adding the proper supplements to my dog's diet. All I have to do is add water and feed. A freeze dried raw diet is a great place to start for beginner raw feeders. 
  • Dog poop. All dogs poop, but one of the biggest changes I've noticed with Shiner's poop in particular is that it is more firm and formed than it was in the past. 

CONS

  • Cost. The price of Shiner's freeze dried raw diet is more than a bag of dry kibble dog food. However, even if I were unable to afford to feed Bravo Homestyle Complete Dinners for Dogs to Shiner exclusively, I would still want to fit it into her diet. Even if it was just partially. The pros greatly outweigh the cons in this case. 
  • Waiting. To prepare Shiner's meals, I must add warm water and wait about 15 minutes for the food to re-hydrate. Shiner absolutely hates waiting for the food and starts to get really antsy. 
Is it ready to eat yet?!
  • Not as "easy" as feeding kibble. Wait - didn't I just say freeze dried raw food was easy to prepare? Yes, it is. BUT, it's only slightly less easy to prepare than kibble. Really not much of a con, unless you are trying to rush out the door and realize you've forgotten to fill the dog's food bowl or something. 
I would describe our experience feeding a freeze dried raw diet as positive. The cons in this case are mostly just minor complaints that are not that big of a deal for me. I plan to continue adding Bravo Homestyle Complete Dinners for Dogs to Shiner's diet in the future. (She would probably hate me if I didn't!)

If you are interested in trying a raw food diet with your dog or cat, I recommend visiting Bravo's website for some helpful information. You can follow Bravo Pet Foods on Facebook to stay up to date with them. 

Bravo Homestyle Complete Giveaway


Since we've been discussing this food for quite some time now, it would only be proper to have a giveaway for our readers to try some! One winner will win 3 pouches of Bravo Homestyle Complete and 3 cans of Bravo Canned Diets for either cats or dogs. This giveaway is open to US residents only (void where prohibited by law), ages 18+, and ends on January 17th, 2015 at 11:59 PM CT. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bravo Pet Foods has provided us with free food and treats in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are our own. Bravo Pet Foods is not responsible for the content of this article. 

49 comments:

  1. If it tastes good and healthy, we would love to try! :) And it looks really yummy like human food! ;) Shiner looks great in her purple sweater. I never knew she was a senior! Looking young and healthy. <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feed Schooner and Skipper raw chicken, beef, organs meat, turkey...they only way the will eat it if it's frozen. I would love to try Bravo because when we travel or have some one come to feed them it sounds like it would be prefect. There are sometimes I am low on their food in the freezer so Bravo sounds like a good choice to feed them. They also eat grain free kibbles.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to try this as I like to give our dog a healthy diet, and these look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I must say, that stuff looks pretty darn good!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great points about feeding freeze dried raw. The waiting part is often hard, but it really makes visible difference to their health, doesn't it? I use a different brand, but these pros and cons apply to what I feed mine, too. Sometimes I think my dogs eat better than I do - and I'm okay with that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes think the same thing. Really, the waiting part isn't so bad. Just something different than kibble.

      Delete
  6. bravo has very good products. i like they are natural, meat, good veggies. feeding a good diet, you can tell by the poop as well, raw food and better foods, less poop and smaller. they also disintergrate better in the yard. less ingredients and additives. i like freeze dried better for my youngest b/c she does not like raw, but loves freeze dried food. i also have a entire freezer shelf full of dog food, goats milk, veggies, and raw venison.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would like to try this out on my dogs as a supplement to their kibble. The ingredients are high quality.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can relate to this post Ann. I switched the boys to THK dehydrated foods months ago. They love it, and I've seen lots of positive changes (more energy, firmer poop, perfect weight) but the cost YIKES! Jaxson eats so much - it's hard to keep it in the house! I'm budgeting differently because I (like you) believe in giving them the very best. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very interesting to know about dried raw food and how to use it ! Purrs

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have tried some raw/dehydrated dog foods but have never heard of Bravo. This is a new one! My dog recently started getting picky with her food which she has never been and it looks to appear to be her teeth hurting so soft food might just have to be a must.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll have to try this on my boys to see if they like it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  12. looks really nice and high quality...i ll test it...

    ReplyDelete
  13. We've heard lots of good things about this food. We are still sticking to kibble raw infused which is working well for us.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We eat some freeze dried raw food too. To help the rehydration process, the mom crumbles up the food and mixes it into some canned food and adds a little water. We don't hafta wait very long at all. We would love to try the Bravo food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum! They only have the frozen raw for you kitties, and of course the treats and canned stuff too.

      Delete
  15. Thanks for doing the give-away. We would love to try this food, as we are considering a switch in dog foods.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm very intrigued. You made us very interested. It seems if you did forget to feed and were trying to rrun out the door, it would be handy to have kibble or canned just for those instances.

    Thanks for your comment today on Annie's perch. It took her some time to like it. I thought she was going to end up not liking it. I just wanted to let you know in case you think she may come around given more time. I know some kitties just don't like them though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! Haha... well, about the perch... it's a size made for a kitten practically. It has a hidey hole in it, but Callie is too plump to fit in it.

      Delete
  17. It's healthier and my pup would love it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't Blame Shiner about hating to wait no dog likes to wait for their meals just ask Nala if she has to wait she obsessively squeaks her toys.

    Nala has allergies so she currently eats grain-free food and I make a homemade topper. I have been wanting to transition her to raw for awhile and have joined groups to learn about raw feeding but it quite intimidating because of all the ratios you have to get right. Freeze dried raw like Bravo seems like great starting point of transitioning her over to raw and she is little so cost shouldn't be too bad. She would love to try Bravo Homestyle Complete!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, getting everything perfect was always my biggest concern and reason for not trying raw in the past. This food is already formulated and ready to go though.

      Delete
  19. What a great product,my dog like it.I like and understand fully your topic and bookmark it for future post of you

    ReplyDelete
  20. When we moved aboard the boat, I transitioned Honey to a high quality kibble from the FreshPet refrigerated food we had been happily feeding her for years. I'm not happy about the choice. But without regular refrigeration or access to stores, I wasn't sure I had a better option.

    I've been looking for a dehydrated option. Honey finds Honest Kitchen too soupy so I'm hoping the chunkier appearance of Bravo would appear to her more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the HK is rather soupy. I guess I've never thought of that before. Good luck if you try it out. Shiner really likes it.

      Delete
  21. I am hoping it will be a good consistancy for my 18 yr old rescue who needed most of her teeth pulled- she is a tough cookie!

    ReplyDelete
  22. That food looks great...like a real meal!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to try this for my dogs because raw food is something I have looked into for a while now but never actually pursued.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It looks like it would be good for my old girl Shunta. She deserves the best.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beauregard would love to try this...he needs the best because he is my best boy.

    jackie241 AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm currently feeding my dog dry food mixed with Sojos as a topper, but I enjoy rotating brands to give her some variety.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Goldens have always had kibble so I think this would be a nice change up for them although, I'm not sure if they are patient enough! lol Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Interesting. Thank you for sharing your Bravo experience with us!

    ReplyDelete
  29. All the best to Shiner with his new diet! I am transitioning my cats to a raw/canned combo mix from a dry/combo mix and they are already thriving. We love our babies so much, don't we! Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey kitties

    ReplyDelete
  30. That looks really yummy-good enough for me to eat!. I have to say, Ted likes the freeze dried meat treats, but it looks so unappetizing to me. Maybe if it was rehydrated. I'll have to see what that looks like.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great post! I like how you broke down the pros and cons. It's definitely more pros! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Would love to try it because we are big fans of freeze-dried or dehydrated raw foods :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Always looking for a new dogfood that my pooch will actually like. WOuld love to try your product.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Bentley and Pierre eat Dr. Harvey's Canine Health and Veg-to-Bowl. I have to add my own protein source and Bravo would be great to use.

    ReplyDelete
  35. They're definitely convenient for traveling! Waiting is the hardest part.

    ReplyDelete
  36. We feed Primal freeze dried raw and, other than the insanely high price, we love it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have never had freeze dried before but it sure looks great! You did a great job with this review, very thorough and informative! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I think my dog would enjoy this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. my baby girl would love this! she is very picky but this looks like something she would really enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I know a lot of people who feed raw and love it. I can't/won't feed "true" raw for a number of reasons, but pre-mades like this might be a good compromise, and I like this brand.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Our rescue dog is older and we love spoiling her! I think she would really love these! I have never liked feeding her dog food of any kind because I know a lot of it is not good for dogs. The ingredients are just not great. I have also heard it's very dangerous for dogs and cats to eat hard food. So I would feel much better feeding her Bravo Homestyle Complete. I already try to feed her vegetables and other things I know are fine for her to eat whenever I can.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I will only buy pet food that is natural, grain-free and made in the USA. Bravo Homestyle Complete looks like a great option for my dogs.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...