Friday, September 2, 2016

Food Friday: Caru Real Beef Stew

Caru's Real Beef Stew comes in a package that is unique to the pet food world. Not to the human food world though, it's basically a juice box. A juice box full of dog food. The food itself looks a lot like people food too, though. It actually looks and smells better than any canned beef stew I ever took camping. In the interest od disclosure I have to tell you that the company gave me this particular carton of stew at SuperZoo. However, I've also purchased cartons of Caru stew at one of my local stores because Ru likes it.
Dog food in people-food packaging

The Company

Like so many wonderful pet companies, Caru was inspired by one special dog. The founders' golden retriever, Karu, had ear infections until they started feeding him a healthy home cooked diet on the advice of their veterinarian. I had a very similar experience, my cocker spaniel had lifelong skin and ear issues until I switched her to raw food.

Once Karu's humans started making him food, they wondered why there wasn't anything like that at the pet store. I really like their thinking, rather than trying to make a better kibble or canned food, they found a way to package their homemade food. The packaging is the big thing that sets Caru stew apart from...everything. They use Tetra Pak cartons instead of cans, that's a food packaging technology that's for people food. Caru's foods are made out of human-grade ingredients, handled like human food, and packaged in a process designed for human food. This is the closest thing you can get to cooking for your dog without actually cooking.

The Food
homecooked packaged real food for dogs

Yeah, it doesn't look like dog food. It doesn't smell like dog food. It's made in the USA. You can warm it up on the microwave and fool your dog into thinking you just made it. The meat looks like chunks of meat. The vegetables are readily identifiable. The top of the carton can be folded shut easily to keep it fresh in the fridge for three days after you open it, so you can mix it with kibble and just use a couple of spoonfuls per meal. 

Dog Food Advisor only gives this food a rating of three out of five stars, but it's not because of the ingredients themselves. That site rates foods based on their ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Because of all the veggies, Caru stews have a lot of carbs. These are totally grain-free foods though, and they don't use vegetable proteins to boost their protein content. It's a very honest food, and one I wouldn't mind feeding my dogs long-term.

The Verdict

Ru eats it. There's not a lot of foods that immediately get his interest, but he dove right in when offered some Caru Real Beef Stew. 

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