What is Prep Day for Raw Feeders & Why I Don’t Have One
When I was introduced to a raw diet for my dogs I was overjoyed to start feeding my one dog, at the time, a healthier diet. I soon wanted to start feeding raw ‘hardcore’. That meant prepping my own dog food. I soon found what that took and decided against it.
What Is Raw Dog Food Prep Day?
This the process where DIY raw feeders take all their meats, vegetables, and supplements; chop, measure, grind, and combine them into a complete and balanced meal. Then portion out meals and refreeze everything for doggos to consume later. There are a few different diets, a couple of feeding methods, and many recipes to choose from. This whole process takes:
- massive counter space
- additional freezer just for dog food
- multiple expensive knives
- meat grinder
- prep outfit that will be covered in blood by the end
- an entire day
All things I don’t have, nor any desire to obtain one day. This blog isn’t called The Lazy Raw Feeder for nothing.
Why I Don’t Need to Prep to Feed My Dogs a Healthy Diet
As I mention on my about page I do work for a raw dog food company, so yes, I am spoiled by being able to bring home pre-made, complete, balanced, ready to serve raw meals. I know I am spoiled and I am so happy about that. But what about rotation, treats, work doesn’t have any extra, or I forget to get food? Well here are my raw feeder hacks I learned over the years.
two thirds85% of dog’s diets need to be complete and balanced. I am not sure if this a 100% fact, but that is what I heard and I like it. Update: Dr. Becker confirmed that the true number is 85%. That means I can supplement 15% with whatever is fun and convenient, and I love fun and convenient.
- Almost all fruits and veggies are okay for my dogs. Whenever I am cooking I just take the bits and pieces I don’t use and treat the dogs. If there is enough I package them in some Tupperware and throw into the fridge. When dinner time for my pups comes around I just add the fresh vegetables to their meals as a topper. This stretches my pre-made meals when I am running low.
- Raw eggs. Cheap, easy, and nutritious. I was thrilled when I found out that raw eggs, shell and all, are good for my dogs. All I have to do is crack and serve. That is a prep process I can handle. Also, it is a healthy topper for their meals.
- As my pre-made meals are defrosting they leak blood. Just like any other meat from the grocery store would. I just defrost in another Tupperware and make pup-sicles out of all that nutrient-packed goodness. All I do is pour the blood into a spare ice cube tray and freeze. If I need more juice to make a complete sicle I just add some low-sodium broth from the grocery store.(Custom TLRF Pin coming to a Pinterest board near you soon.)
- Sardines, packed in water only, from the grocery store are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids. This is a stable product, unlike fish oil, that I can add so easily. They are also quite cost-effective when I order them from Amazon. There have been many nights that my dogs get a whole meal of sardines because mommy decided to work from home that day and therefore didn’t get any dog food. Lazy, remember.
- When I am completely out of food I can send my husband to the store for a few ingredients. Ground turkey – it is a cleaner meat, pumpkin in a can – for digestion, and green beans or carrots – that I chop a little. I just mush it all together and feed. I don’t recommend this as a long-term solution due to it not being a complete. But in a pinch or during travel; you betcha I do!
- I am also a fan of the Frank n’ Feed method. That is a form of raw feeding where you keep track of what you feed throughout the week and make sure that by the end your pup has had all the vitamins, minerals, meat, veggies, and whatever else you think is correct. I like this idea of feeding because of the freedom. Whenever I have meat, fish, or other whole food stuffs that I am not going to cook in time for me and my humans I can justify it by feeding it to my dogs. Zero wasted food, pre-made meals stretched further, and a reason to order pizza. Everybody wins.
These Tips Are Not the End All
Yes, all these tips are based on me buying some sort of pre-made raw. I wouldn’t be lazy if I didn’t take advantage of all the great raw options out there. They are not intended to substitute a complete and balanced meal for long term. Merely the hacks I have found to compliment and stretch the meals I have already acquired. They can also be added to all types of pet foods, not just raw. I have listed more tips from the experts that inspired/justified my hacks below. I hope they are as helpful to you as are to me.
15 Tips to Improve Your Dog’s Diet by Dana Scott – Great raw feeder that taught me about the Frank N Feed method I love so much.
One Thing You Can Add to Our Dogs Meal – By Rodney Habib with Steve Brown- Rodney is the social media guru of the raw feeding community and has loads of quick great tips. Steve is a personal favorite of mine but is not simple or easy when it comes to his recipes and formulas. He is the most ‘hardcore’ raw feeder there is. Needless to say, I am a huge fangirl of his and do buy one of the brands he consults for.
How to Choose a Good Food – by Dr. Karen Becker – She is my favorite go-to holistic vet for everything. She has an extensive collection of articles published online. Her on-line information has been so helpful with my quest for a convenient holistic pet lifestyle.