Raw feeding 911 Part III;Useful tools and preparation for the kennel stay

 Through “raw feeding 911 Part I-II”, I covered how/what/where/when I feed Palette raw.

 In this entry on raw feeding,I like to write miscellaneous matters that comes handy for you.

Palette and salmon 3

Can I taste test da salmon,please?

When you feed your dogs raw, if you got freezer to stock up the items,it is pretty useful. When I started feeding raw,I was thinking about getting a new freezer for this reason,but I was afraid it might up the Electric bill sky-high.

Therefore,I asked my mother-in-law about freezer since she has a couple of fridge/freezer in the house. She told me that if you got one with energy star seal on it,it is efficient to run the freezer and not going to up the bill that much.

So,we looked around,read review on freezer and we got one freezer with energy star seal on it exclusive for Palette.

Mine is with Maytag,probably around 15-17 cubic ft (upright freezer),and has 4 shelves for main place and 4 shelves on door side. It came with key so that kids cannot open the freezer (or in this case,it maybe good if your dogs were quite smart and can open fridge or freezer by themselves).I got it from Home-Depot. I have been using this for over a year now. It runs pretty quiet and,I like it.

I then decided which shelves going to have what meat.

For me, 1st shelves in main part is poultry shelves,2nd shelves are Beef,Lamb,and Buffalo,3rd shelves are pork,fish,Tripe. Bottom shelves are poultry feet and other meat such as Elk or goat.

Then, I decided what shelves on door have what organs. For me, 1st shelves are poultry organs,second shelves are red meat organs,3rd shelves are more  red meat organs,and bottom shelves are miscellaneous stuff that did not get packed in any shelves. This way,you do not have to spend long time looking for one single thing in your freezer to feed.

To pack the freezer,I wrote how I bag the item up and store in freezer in previous entry. I use zip bag,and put one feeding portion to it if I could.If not,then I  would wrap the item with plastic wrap.Then,I put those into bigger freezer bag.On the freezer bag,I put item name on it such as “Beef ribs” with Sharpies,and put those big freezer bag to freezer.

If the item was huge like Goat Leg,Lamb leg etc then, I wrap it with plastic wrap first, and I keep the label of product sticker on package from store,and put it on wrapped item and wrap again around the area with plastic wrap,then,put that item into grocery plastic bag and stick into freezer.

You may ask how much our freezer can hold.I would think I probably have around 150lb but how much meat can fit to freezer bag is depending on mass of the products,not by weight of the products so,I cannot say for sure how much exactly mine can hold.

As long as you put the bagged item to bigger zip bag as flatten as possible on counter,then,you maybe able to fit more meat to one zip bag.

So, I buy probably around once in 6 – 8 months or so for meat that require shipping,and for things that I can get from grocery store,I probably buy once in 3 months.

To buy those meat cheaper,going along the season is usually good for you if you buy things from grocery store.

For summer,go get ribs,porkbutt or something that people use for grilling because those gets cheaper around summer. For Fall,go get Turkey AFTER Thanksgiving. You can get Turkey with pretty good price. For Spring,around Easter time,go get Lamb products because it gets cheaper around the season.

Other than freezer,having a pair of poultry scissor is good too. My favorite is Joyce Chen scissors with red handle. It is very useful in our house.

And I do not weigh food each day now,but having a scale is good just to get a rough idea of how big is how much amount of food for future reference during beginner period.

When I was new to this type of feeding, I weighed item when I got products from suppliers/grocery store to know how big is how much oz. I just weigh new item at very first time. Like.. I now know that average whole sardine weigh around 3oz,average chicken feet around 1oz,average whole mackerel weigh around 1.5lb etc etc.

My favorite scale is Escali.You can get it from amazon.com It shows lb,oz,grams,and it is very useful not just for rawfeeding but also for baking if you were a baker like me. I bake bread/pizza a lot and,this scale is really helpful for my baking.

Other useful tool is probably cleaver.I got one but I am not being able to find one that is really good so farso,I cannot say what brand is good for this.

Now,tool part is just that and,you may wonder what you can do if you have to leave for vacation but dogs have to stay at kennel.

Well, some kennels accept dogs that fed raw. Mine does. All you need to do is prepare the food up to the point that only thing kennel staff should do is to dump the food on their doggy bowl for your dogs. Giving them instruction if any is good idea too. Here is what I normally do for kennel stay.

I plan menu for “Palette” ,the menu being something that does not require long chewing time or not require staff taking bone away. So,I usually do  not plan beef/buffalo ribs menu during the stay,and also I do not plan the menu she may may not eat it. And,I do not plan to ask the staff to give fish oil as well.

Missing fish oil in menu for short time is fine,and my goal is to let the staff task as easy as possible for them.

Then,I put daily menu into one freezer bag,putting feeding date and dog’s name on it to avoid confusion. After that, I keep one meal thaw in fridge for the day menu Palette sleeps at kennel,rest being frozen.

I type up instruction.Basically,just type up saying meal is with date on it and ask the staff to put one meal thaw in fridge day before and dump them into dog’s bowl to feed. However, since Palette cannot eat cold meal straight out from the fridge,so,I note them that meal should be at room temperature to feed it otherwise,she would have diarrhea.

Then, I type up how to deal with diarrhea time, and give the kennel staff probiotic/slippery Elm powder for just in case she had diarrhea experience there.

Last but not least,I bag some treats for Palette and,off to our vacation.

Palette loves people,loves kennel staff,but having treats for her is good thing if staff needed treats to do anything. I know she gets diarrhea if she were fed very sugary commercial treats with preservatives in it,so,I tell staffs to give treats  we brought to them and nothing else.That usually works out fine.

And,when we do 12hrs road trip to our mother-in -law house,we do the same,pack the meal up with date on,and put the ice gel pack I saved from box we receive from meat supplier on bottom of the cooler and put the raw meat on them,and top it off with more ice gel pack and keep it close.

After 12 hours later,the meat was still frozen solid and, it worked fine. Don’t toss the gelpacks you get from raw food supplier,save it for such occasion.It is useful.

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Jan 27, 2009 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

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