We know now that one of Silas’s safe foods is venison. The problem with venison is that it’s not the easiest thing to come by, which is what motivated me to post yesterday’s list. I can’t cobble together enough components to make a complete raw venison diet in-house, and what raw venison I can get is so expensive that I might as well buy pre-made foods and save the hassle.
My go-tos for prepared raw food are always Primal and Stella and Chewy’s. Now that Silas can eat venison, there’s also Ziwipeak.
The first thing I bought by Ziwipeak was their venison treats. These are handy little flakes of dried venison, and Silas loves them. One day I did the math, though, and realized that the Ziwipeak Air-Dried Venison food was the same texture and probably the same taste, but much cheaper per ounce. (For my allergy peeps: do note that while Ziwipeak’s jerky treats are pure venison, the food also contains green-lipped mussel.)
Then we went on vacation. Prepared food is the easiest thing to travel with, so I grabbed all his venison foods. In a total rookie move, though, I grabbed the nearly-empty bag of Stella and Chewy’s instead of the full one, AND the bag of frozen Primal turned out to be almost empty. Fortunately the Ziwipeak was almost brand new. With a dog like Silas you do NOT do trial-by-fire with new food, but we didn’t have much choice.
Fortunately, Ziwipeak saved the day.
I first realized its magic while we were still driving. We were still driving at dinner time. I scooped out his scoop of Ziwipeak, and he dove in nose-first and ate it straight from the measuring cup while sitting in a moving car. He also ate every bite when my husband and I left him with my parents over night, which is unusual. Remember, this is my dog who doesn’t really like food, especially not when he’s stressed.
Travel, in my opinion, is where this food really shines. It’s apparently delicious, and it’s basically like feeding kibble. Scoop, dish, go. Unlike regular raw food, or even the frozen stuff, I would have no qualms at all leaving this food with a dog in boarding, with a house sitter, etc.
There are a few drawbacks. First, this food stinks. When you open the bag, you get a blast of really strong meaty smell, like sticking your head inside a bag of beef jerky. I don’t think it’s terrible, just strong. My mother said she almost gagged. It also seems a little hard for Silas to digest. Visibly everything was okay, but let’s just say that he was not the most pleasant companion for the 12 hour drive back home. I think our next bag will be the venison and fish. Maybe since it’s a white fish it will make the food a little easier on him to process.
Another downside is the price. Venison is expensive. According to our package, the 2.2 lb bag would last Silas, weighing in at 32 pounds, a week, and it costs (brace yourself) between $32 and $39, depending on your source. For venison, this is definitely within the range of average, which is why Silas only eats venison one week out of five. Still, if your dog doesn’t need exotic proteins, I can’t imagine that being appealing. If you do need a pure-convenience, no-refrigeration-required venison food, Ziwipeak is actually a good bit cheaper than Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried.
The Ziwipeak Daily Dog food comes in Beef, Lamb, Venison, and Venison & Fish flavors. Beef and Lamb are somewhat cheaper.
Fine print: I bought this my own self, but I wish someone had given it to me.