Frozen dog and cat food is a great choice because it’s minimally processed, nutrient-rich, and closest to what their bodies instinctually crave. That being said, some pet parents may be hesitant to give it a try because feeding frozen dog or cat food works a little differently. We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to feeding your dog or cat frozen food, so you and your pet can enjoy the benefits!
Help Your Dog or Cat Transition to Frozen Food
Whenever you make a change to your pet’s diet, it’s best to slowly transition. Sudden changes can cause temporary digestive issues, and your dog or cat might need some time to get used to the smell, taste and texture of the new food.
We recommend a transition period of 7-10 days where you mix the new food with the food they’ve been eating, and gradually adjust the ratio. These articles will walk you through it:
How Much Frozen Food Should I Feed My Dog or Cat?
Every package of Stella & Chewy’s frozen pet food has portioning guidelines on the back. Our feeding guidelines give an overview of how many portions you’ll get from products of different sizes. Feeding guidelines are a starting point– they can be adjusted to suit your pet’s individual needs.
Whether you’re feeding our frozen raw dog food, frozen raw cat food, or gently cooked frozen dog food, always provide plenty of fresh water at mealtime and between meals.
Defrosting Frozen Dog & Cat Food
Our frozen dinner patties or morsels should be gently defrosted overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator. If you’re using our frozen dinner morsels, these can be defrosted in a bowl on your counter for 10-20 minutes. Please note that our products should never be cooked, heated, or microwaved. If you need to defrost product quickly, you can place the food in a zip-top bag or glass bowl and submerge the product in warm (never hot) water for a few minutes.
Stella & Chewy’s frozen dog food is available as frozen raw dog food patties, frozen raw dog food morsels, or frozen gently cooked meals. Stella & Chewy’s frozen cat food is available as frozen raw cat food morsels.
The size of the frozen food pieces inside the package determines how long they take to defrost. Frozen raw morsels thaw the fastest, followed by frozen raw patties, and gently cooked frozen dog food takes the longest (but you can serve the thawed gently cooked food over multiple days).
Tips for Feeding Frozen Raw Dog or Cat Food
Raw dog and cat food has a lot of benefits, and there are a few food safety tips to keep in mind when feeding your dog or cat a raw diet:
- Wear gloves when handling raw dog or cat food, or wash your hands immediately after.
- As with any food item, wash your hands after handling.
- Use a clean dish every time (also clean any utensils/surfaces the raw food touches).
- Once served, raw food can sit out for up to 2 hours – anything left after that should be discarded.
- Once thawed, frozen raw patties can remain in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- Don’t refreeze raw dog or cat food after it has thawed.
- Frozen raw patties may be broken up after thawing, if preferred.
- You can add extra hydration with cool or warm (never hot) water or broth after thawing.
Tips for Feeding Gently Cooked Frozen Dog Food
Our Freshmade dog food is made from 100% human-grade whole foods, gently cooked in small batches and frozen. To feed our gently cooked frozen dog food, follow these steps:
- Thaw in the refrigerator in original packaging—it may take 24-36 hours to thaw completely.
- Once thawed, cut the package along 3 sides to open (heads up: our food is fresh and juicy!)
- Place the food and broth into a resealable container.
- Use a fork to break up the food, creating a consistent texture and mixing in the broth.
- Portion out the food at mealtimes.
- Keep remaining food stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Thawed frozen gently cooked dog food should be used within 5 days.
Frozen Pet Food FAQ
Can dogs and cats eat food that is still frozen?
Some dogs and cats might eat frozen food, but we don’t recommend serving pet food that’s still frozen. Animals that tend to wolf or gulp their meals run the risk of choking on frozen food. If you’re short on time to thaw, try putting the frozen food in a zipper bag and submerging it in warm (not hot) water to speed things along.
Is frozen dog or cat food good for itchy skin/allergies?
All Stella & Chewy’s frozen and freeze-dried raw diets contain fewer allergy trigger ingredients and are grain-free, yeast-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. Our formulas contain natural oils and are minimally processed, which can aid in the relief of skin allergies.
Learn more about food sensitivities or allergies in dogs and cats, or addressing seasonal allergies in dogs and cats.
Is frozen dog food good for large breed puppies?
All of our products are complete and balanced for large breed adults. However, large breed puppies (defined as over 70 lbs full grown), have different requirements. Large breed puppies can eat any of our frozen or freeze-dried raw dog food as a complete and balanced diet, with the exception of our Venison Blend and Simply Venison recipes.
Learn more about how long to feed your dog puppy food.
Can I mix frozen raw and regular pet foods?
Yes, you can combine frozen raw pet food with one of our broths, or put one of our meal toppers on it. If your dog or cat prefers a mix of kibble and wet food along with some frozen raw food, that’s fine too. Just make sure the frozen food is properly thawed before serving with other products.
Is frozen raw pet food safe?
Feeding Stella & Chewy’s raw food to your dog or cat is safe, as long as you adhere to proper food handling guidelines (see above). We use HPP (high-pressure processing) on all of our raw pet foods to effectively eliminate any harmful pathogens. All batches are tested in a third party lab for pathogenic bacteria, and the results are listed on our website so you can look up your product LOT number for peace of mind.
Learn more about our commitment to food safety and quality.
Can you cook frozen raw pet food?
No. Our products should not be cooked, heated, microwaved, nor should they have hot water added. ,A safe method to try, however, is a warm water bath. To do a warm water bath, you put the product in a zip-topbag or glass bowl and submerge that in warm (not hot) water for a bit. This will slightly raise the temperature of the food and/or defrost the food more quickly.
Which is better, frozen or freeze-dried raw pet food?
In truth, you can’t go wrong with either option! Frozen and freeze-dried raw Stella & Chewy’s products are essentially the same and can be given to your pet interchangeably. The only difference between the two is that freeze-dried raw contains no moisture, making it shelf-stable unlike frozen raw. It is up to your discretion which format you prefer to feed your pets.
Frozen Dog and Cat Food From Stella & Chewy’s
Whether you’re ready to go raw or want to give gently cooked dog food a try, Stella & Chewy’s has you covered. Check out our full selection of frozen and freeze-dried dog food or peruse our selection of frozen and freeze-dried raw cat food to get started!