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Fall has arrived and along with it are the sounds of sniffling, sneezing, and coughing on the train.  Yesterday, I stayed home because of my wretched back, hip, and knee pain.  I was in an accident 6 months ago – I was rear-ended at a high rate of speed – and the pain lays me out some days and yesterday was one of those days.

So what do you do when you have to feed the dogs (or worse, do meal prep) and you're not feeling well?

5 Tips When a Raw Feeder has a Sick Day

DepositPhoto/AndreyPopov

 

1 – Buy Premade Raw Dog Food

I always have freeze-dried raw or dehydrated dog food on hand for when I'm not feeling well.  Thankfully, yesterday wasn't THAT bad and I had the foresight to know that I'd probably be staying home and I mixed up raw over the weekend.  But there have been those mornings when I stumbled downstairs with a congested head only to realize that I forgot to thaw out raw.  That's when the backup food comes in handy.

Freeze-Dried Raw and Dehydrated Dog Food I Recommend

  • Steve's Real Food
  • Vital Essentials Raw
  • NRG Dehydrated Dog Food

I also plan periodic orders from Darwin's Pet – lamb and green bison tripe – that are easy to thaw and feed.

2 – Have a Back-Up Meal Prepper

It's always a good idea to have someone else in the house know how to prep the meals and feed the dogs.  While J knows how to feed the dogs (add food to the dog dish and weigh), I still need to remind him how much each dog eats and what supplements or meal toppers to add.  Why?  Because I'm a control freak, that's why.  I love love love making my dogs' meals and I'm the only one who knows what everyone's poop looked like yesterday so I know what to add to their meals today and so on.

While I'm not practicing what I preach, I will say that it's a good idea that if you live with someone, teach them how to back you up for those days when you're not able to do meal prep.

3 – Work in Small Batches

I order everything in bulk the day after I pick everything up, I organize the food to make it easier to feed later.  For instance, I order a 40-pound case of duck necks, and I split it up into smaller freezer bags that can be thawed one at a time to feed to the dogs over a week.  I also order two 20-pound cases of duck wings, which I grind because it takes up less space in the freezer.

I don't do all of this in one shot; instead, I do a little one day, more the next, and I keep going (an hour each time) until I finish.

Organizing my orders this way makes feeding raw a lot easier.

4 – Balance Over Time

Thank heavens I started balancing over time because it makes raw feeding so much easier.  No more hours in the kitchen mixing up balanced raw meals.  And I don't do the whole raw meal prep either.  When I thaw out food for the week, I have two bags of ground duck wings, a container of ground venison, a bag of whole duck necks, and a couple of chubs of organ blend.

I spoon some of each into my dogs' dishes (at the appropriate weight), I add the supplements and feed to my dogs.  Voila!

If I wake up and realize that I don't have enough raw to feed the dogs, I can always improvise because I feed balance over time.  This morning, the dogs ate the following:

  • ground duck wings
  • organ blend
  • 1 can of sardines per dog (in water, no salt added)
  • 1 raw egg per dog
  • 1/4 cup of raw goat's milk

5 – Invest in an Anti-Fatigue Mat

After my accident, standing or sitting for long periods of time became a problem.  My lower back and left hip begin to hurt if I don't take a break. The first time I did meal prep after my accident left me feeling awful.  Someone told me about anti-fatigue mats and I noticed employees standing on them at Costco and asked them how they worked – I heard nothing but good things and learned that they sell out quickly whenever our location has them in stock.

I bought one that day and LOVE it!

Anti-Fatigue mats work to relieve pressure on your feet, back, and joints, reducing pain caused by long periods of standing.  It's no slip, I purchased a dark red one to match the color of our kitchen, and I use it daily – organizing my orders and mixing up raw meals for the dogs.

Here are the highest reviewed mats:

 

Sick days are unavoidable for many of us.  I draw from what I learn about raising healthy dogs and apply it to my diet.  I eat whole foods; eating out less.  I've added apple cider vinegar, raw honey, kombucha and fermented foods to my diet.  The difference has been amazing.  I have less anxiety and depression, fewer headaches, and my hayfever is nearly gone.

So take care of yourself and hopefully the tips above provide some support when an illness gets you down.

 

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