A blog about my life with dogs.......

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dog food prep essentials

Here is a snap of my dog food prep area.
Because I feed raw meat to my dogs (and cats) daily it is important to me to keep this area separate from people food prep areas for safety purposes.I highly recommended feeding raw meals to dogs and cats.
As you may have seen in the "Whats for dinner?" photos the cats occasionally have 'cat food' (prepackaged). I always keep some grain free dog and cat kibble on hand for two reasons.
1. My dog sitter(A.K.A. my mother) prefers not to feed raw
2. On occasion something might run out and I have this as a back up option.
My cats can be picky and sometimes I find myself with a giant box of duck necks and no ground anything. My cats refuse to eat of a large piece of meat so when supplies are low they get high end cat food.

Here is a list of tools I keep in my raw food prep area

1. Meat Scissors
2. Sharp knives (a few)
3. An ice cream scoop
4. A blender for ( for pet food only)
5. Some washable plastic or stainless steal containers
6. A cutting board ( for pets food only)
7. Vitals Vault
8. Stainless steal bowl for each pet

(1)The meat scissors are very useful for cutting up pieces of muscle meat small enough for the cats to eat. Also useful for cutting meat for several purposes, like splitting a large piece between dogs.

(2) Sharp knives are used for cutting vegetables and meat.

(3) An ice cream scoop makes scooping and measuring ground meat easier and less messy.

(4) I often blend together food items for the pets.For example, today I dumped my left over cereal milk into the blender with eggs, kale, green pepper, and lettuce then dumped this mixture over the duck necks I served. Some have argued I could share a blender with the dogs, but once you have put pork liver into a blender,  that's just the end of it for me!

(5) I keep my meat portioned in plastic bags in the freezer and pull bags out every meal to keep in fridge to thaw (sometimes I feed frozen meat). No matter how quality the freezer bags are , you will have leakage from time to time and blood dripping in your fridge is no fun. I keep my thawing meat in plastic or stailness steal containers to reduce mess. I mark each container with "PF" to ensure these items are used for pet food.

(6) I keep a separate cutting board for use in the pet food prep area to reduce the likelihood of salmonella contamination to my food.

(7)A Vitals Vault is a container I keep in the cupboard. It has a lid that must be spun off and is difficult for an animal to open (nothings impossible though, right?!?!?!). In this large, thick plastic container I keep excess treats, supplements, dry bones, and kibble.

(8) I don't like plastic bowls for the same reason I don't like using plastic plates, cups, etc for myself. They can harbor bacteria and may leak chemicals into food. Plastic bowls are also easily chewed up by a bored dog. Stainless steal lasts and is easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher.

Some things to remember about feeding raw.
Do your research. There is ALOT more info out there waiting for you to find it. Much more than the scope of this blog can cover. So check it out.
Raw feeding may not be the right choice for you if you have small children in the house.
Cleanliness is important for the safety of us people! Wash your dogs' bowl regularly and keep your dog food prep area clean.
You don't have cut up meat every meal, and you don't have to always feed in a bowl either.For example: Comet has easily eaten and entire small chicken which I simply laid in front of him in the yard.
My dog food prep area didn't look like this when I started feeding raw. It has built up in a span of over a year. It is all a matter of finding what works for you and your furry friend.
If you have been a kibble only feeder and are thinking about switching to raw, You can do it! and Good luck!

                                                  Comet enjoying a bison bone on a lovely day.

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