When your dog eats raw food or is getting ready for a transition from dry dog food to raw dog food, you should know the proper raw dog food handling and storing guidelines to prevent bacterial contamination and ensure the safety of both dogs and humans.
How Much Raw Food Should Your Dog Eat?
As a general rule, dogs should eat approximately 2-5% of their body weights in raw food daily. However, not all dogs have the same appetite or nutritional requirements. Food serving size for dogs varies based on their weight and activity level, adjusting accordingly.
For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, they should consume 1 to 1.5 pounds of raw food daily. However, manually calculating the right serving size for their dogs can be difficult for pet owners. So, to determine the precise portion size for your dog, you can use the RawFedK9 calculator. Simply input your dog's weight and activity level, and the calculator will generate the recommended amount of raw food.
How To Store Raw Dog Food?
The best containers to store raw dog food are airtight containers made of materials such as high-quality plastic, stainless steel, or glass – that can stop bacteria from growing and keep the food fresh for a long time.
- Once the raw food is packed, store it in a freezer below 0°F (-18°C) until it is ready to be thawed for feeding.
- If storing in a refrigerator, make sure the temperature is kept between 34°F – 40°F in order to prevent the bacteria from growing.
- Label each container with the date of preparation to use the oldest food first.
- Leftover food must be discarded safely or stored in the refrigerator immediately. The leftover food should be eaten between 5-7 days.
What Are The Raw Dog Food Safely Handling Guidelines?
Raw dog food might contain pathogenic bacteria in it. Dogs can naturally digest this, but humans can’t. That's why you must wash your hands and the surfaces that touched the raw food. This might include kitchen counters, knives, bowls, cutting boards, etc. The top 4 guidelines include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw pet food, and after touching surfaces or objects that have come in contact with the raw food.
- After your dog eats, don't let them lick your face.
- Disinfect any surface or objects that comes in contact with the raw food.
- First wash with hot soapy water and then follow with a disinfectant.
- Safely dispose of spoiled raw dog food in your trash or a disposable bag.
- Separate raw meats from other foods in your fridge to prevent cross-contamination.
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