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Raw dog food diet

CHAPTER 5

HANDLING & STORING RAW DOG FOOD

Raw dog food handling and storage

You may be tempted to skip over this section.

Preventing salmonella poisoning is important because yada yada.

But just because you’ve managed not to poison yourself through cross contamination so far, doesn’t mean you can use the same haphazard methods to ensure your dog and family don’t become sick.

Why do you have to be extra careful now? Because you’re not cooking any of your dog’s food. And although your dog has a hardier digestive system than you do, parasites and other critters can cause a lot of harm if ingested (especially if you’re buying meat off of a hunter).

You may be tempted to skip over this section.

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Don’t.

HANDLING RAW DOG FOOD

The best thing you can do when starting out on this raw food venture is to have separate tools that are set aside just for preparing your dog’s meals. This means separate cutting boards, knives, containers, bowls etc. It’s an extra step to avoid cross contamination with your own food.

You don’t want your kids cutting up carrot sticks on a board that was just used to debone a raw wild quail.

At the same time, washing your hands before and after prepping and wearing gloves will protect you from picking up any germs. By touching your face or biting a nail (read: picking your nose) unconsciously, you’re giving bugs an open invitation via your oral cavity.

After you’re done prepping your dog’s food, make sure you wash everything down, preferably in a dishwasher or with hot soapy water, and give the counters a thorough wipe down with an antibacterial spray (not just any dirty old rag).

STORING RAW DOG FOOD

You’ve also got to be careful about how you store your dog’s food.

You can’t just keep a month’s supply of raw ground beef in your refrigerator. If you’re trying to make your dog sick, that’s a great way to go about it.

Ideally, you want to freeze all of your dog’s food, and only take it out 24 hours before you’re going to serve it.

That being said, if you need to, you could take out 3-5 days worth of food to thaw and serve as needed before adversely impacting the meat’s freshness.

Leave raw food out in the fridge too long and microbes like mold and yeast will start to make a home there.

Also, don’t leave your dog’s food to thaw on the counter. It’s a much better idea to slowly thaw your dog’s food in a cooler environment like your fridge than the sticky humidity of your kitchen counter on a warm summer’s day.

You may be thinking, surely I’ll be able to smell or see if the meat’s gone bad, won’t I?

Were you able to tell when that street sushi was bad, only to end up curled over your toilet for hours?

The problem with pathogenic bacteria is they don’t really have a specific smell, flavor, or appearance that would allow you to identify them in your pet’s food.

In this case, better safe than sorry.

Raw dog food handling and storage

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