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Welcome to Raw Foodie Friday! Every Friday, I post something about what I’m feeding my dogs a raw food diet. This weekend, I’ll be doing meal prep in anticipate for my trip to Las Vegas. I’m SuperZoo bound next week!!!
SuperZoo is an annual tradeshow held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s held in a building that is the size of over 50 football fields and contains every pet brand you can think of for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, horses – you name it, they got it. I’m able to attend as an Industry Professional, Press, and Retail (I represent our local raw food co-op). I spend a couple of days walking around the floor, shaking hands with brand owners and representatives while looking for cool new things that would benefit those of us who prefer natural alternatives for our pets.
Who’s Taking Care of the Dogs?
My better half will be staying home to take care of five dogs and one cat and he’s so looking forward to a period of bonding (that’s sarcasm) with all of the animals. We’ve hired a local dog trainer who is going to be able to help with the care too.
Meal Prep for Raw Fed Dogs
I do meal prep a couple pf times a month, making enough food (usually 60-70 pounds) to last 10-12 days. Now that we have five dogs, nothing has changed, I just run out of food a couple of days earlier than before because Apollo can pack it away (he’s a growing boy!).
This is what I’m going to be mixing up for the dogs:
- 25 lbs Emu (muscle meat only)
- 10 lbs Ground Duck Wings and Frames
- 5 lbs Duck Necks
- 10 lbs of Organ Blend
- 10 Chopped Sardines
- 4 Cans Boiled Oysters
- 15 tbsp Organic Kelp
- 5 cups of Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm
- 4 cups of Fermented Vegetables
- 1 dozen Raw Chicken Eggs
Yep! That’s a lot.
I’m only going to be gone for a few days, and this food will last more than a week. I don’t usually add this many ingredients when doing meal prep for our dogs. Instead, I add things like duck necks and raw eggs to the bowl alongside their grind. I'm trying to make sure everything is covered because it can be overwhelming to feed five dogs and I want to make it as easy for J as possible.
Also, I’m going to be exhausted when I return from SuperZoo and the last thing I’m going to want to do is meal prep and there will be plenty of food (we still have food from my last meal prep) in the freezer.
My Meal Prep Routine
Step 1: Take off my FitBit and tie back my hair, because I need my hands, wrists, and arms.
Step 2: Equally distribute Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm between five stainless steel, 8-quart bowls and add hot water and olive oil to hydrate (per instructions).
Step 3: While the Paradigm is hydrating, I start chopping – pork hearts, sardines, and duck necks. I’m chopping these things because (1) a whole pork hearts are too rich and messy for the dogs to eat and (2) the boyfriend isn’t used to feeding whole duck necks and sardines in the house so I want to chop them up so he doesn’t worry about the mess.
Step 4: Once the Dr. Harvey’s is hydrated, I add the fermented vegetables, equally distributing them between the bowls.
Step 5: I add all of the meat and other ingredients, mixing between each addition. I try to make it as equal as possible.
Step 6: This is when I get “Elbow Deep in Raw Meat.” I dig my hands into each bowl and manually mix the ingredients together. Since I did some mixing (with a big spoon) each time I added an ingredient, this step is easy.
Step 7: Transfer the food into freezer-safe containers and store in the freezer until a day or so before feeding (to allow time for thawing).
Tools I Use for Meal Prep
- Stainless Steel Bowls
- Big Spoons
- Measuring Cup
- Meat Clever
- Cutting Board
- Freezer Safe Containers
Is this A Balanced Meal?
There is a growing number of people who are focused on balancing every meal, which is fabulous because it's important that our dogs get the nutrients they need to thrive. I choose to balance over time, with the understanding that the water-soluble nutritional requirements need to be met daily.
I balance through feeding a variety of proteins and other foods, as well as maintaining an understanding of the nutrients in my dogs' raw food diet, tracked via a nutrient spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is available for free to Keep the Tail Wagging Facebook page Supporters.