No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. This includes raw-feeders and raw-feeding. Now before you think, "hey isn't she an advocate of raw-feeding?". Why yes I am, which is exactly why I decided to write this post. Raw-feeding is not easy, raw-feeding is often not fun, raw-feeding is pretty gross a lot of the time (I'm a vegetarian), raw-feeding is...well (in my opinion and many others) the most nutritious diet my dogs and cats can eat.
For me, I do it for my animal's health, well-being and longevity. However, raw-feeding has to some extant become a fad (not that that's a bad thing, but we want to make sure animal's are not becoming nutrient deficient on a raw diet and that owners are educating themselves properly!). There is a difference between educating people on feeding whole, raw nutritious foods to their companion animals while also educating yourself versus just giving your dog a random raw diet because it is "cool".
Yes, I post on Instagram, no i'm not bashing other raw-feeders (because everyone does it completely different, since every dog is different). The point I am trying to make is that raw-feeding is hard. I say this after each and every post I make on this blog. It takes time, education, commitment, money and space. Yes, many people are totally up for the challenge (keep in mind everyone defines "challenge" differently) and do an awesome job at educating the public as well as consistently and constantly educating themselves, which is great! I am here for exactly that; I love educating people, especially about something I am so deeply passionate about. But...I am not perfect, I am still constantly learning and educating myself. These are some confessions and feelings I have about being a raw feeder. Enjoy ;)
Confession 1: It's F***king expensive (as much as you make it).
Yes, you can definitely get away with feeding a low budget/cost raw-fed diet. People do this by usually buying in bulk. Buying in bulk does one of two things for me, 1 - it helps me save money and costs on meats and 2 - it racks up my electric bill (in the end it does end up being worth it though). We have to put the meat somewhere right? Designated freezers cost money, electricity costs money...you see where I'm going here. BUT like I said it is as expensive as you make it for your lifestyle. In my opinion, raw-feeding can still definitely be cheaper than other non-raw diets. It takes some trial and error, but if you are constantly educating yourself and researching on what certain things are supposed to cost in your area (co-ops for buying bulk are a great way to start if you have more than one large dog), then you really shouldn't have a problem setting a budget that works for you and your dog's lifestyles.
Confession 2: It's a bloody, smelly, s***ty mess.
Ok, so I guess this is more of a preference feeling amongst people. But honestly who says they actually like their entire house smelling like green tripe (ew)? Behind those pretty bowls (usually after a large meal prep) I post on Instagram, is a bloody mess. It's inevitable, theres no way you can't get blood, and who knows what else on your counter and floors - which is why it is nice to also designate a certain area to prep your dog's food. This is where the hard work comes in - if you buy in bulk - you need to prep it (to whatever extent works for you and your lifestyle), which is exactly what I do. I thaw the meat for an hour in the chilled container it came in (unless I got it fresh from the butcher), I then thaw it for 24-48 hours (depending on how frozen it is) in the fridge. And then I am finally able to empty everything out of their bags to then be cut up in portion sizes. This is where "It takes a lot of work" comes in, at least for people who do it this way - not every raw-feeder buys in bulk. These bags are filled with blood and fat and yes it splatters...it splatters everywhere. However, if you take the necessary precautions to keep the area cleaned and sanitized (as you should be when working with raw meat), there should be no problem at all. Believe me when I say, it does get easier ;)
Confession 3: I forgot to prep, and feelings of: now my dogs are going to starve.
Unfortunately this has happened to me more than once (not the dogs starving part). Actually as I'm writing this I just remembered that I forgot to order the dog's food (ugh). Not to worry though, there are tons of ways you can prepare ahead of time to make these times of "forgetfulness" a little easier on your mind. For example, for my cats, I will keep on hand a stock of high quality wet food cans and dehydrated/freeze dried foods that they are already used to in case they run out of raw food or it spoils due to the power going out because of some freak storm. I do the same for my dogs. This ensures that they are still getting the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) that they need for the short duration of a week or so before I can full restock and prep their main meals. At first I felt terrible giving my dogs and cats anything but raw for a couple of days while I got my s**t together. However, I realize now, that feeding them for a couple of days like this has the most minimal impact on their health and well-being when comparing the fact that the other 28 days of month they are raw fed 100%.
DISCLAIMER: It is always important to do your own research first in regards to raw feeding or feeding fresh foods for your pet (dog or cat). Every animal is different! What may work great for some may not work great for others. It is important to know that if you are a beginner at raw feeding, there are tons of ways to feed fresh raw foods to your pets (commercially prepared, freeze dried etc.). Starting out can be a little difficult, so if you do your research accordingly, then you'll have more knowledge about EVERY aspect of raw feeding. Remember, if you are not ready to feed a raw diet to your pets, wait to transition and utilize the help of experienced raw feeders, connect with integrative veterinarians, read books geared towards a holistic dog diet and gain knowledge from all of your research so you can effectively give your pet the nutrition it needs to thrive. "The Raw Fed Pet" site is only for informational/educational purposes and is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.
Did you know?
GREEN LIPPED MUSSELS ARE GREAT FOR JOINT HEALTH?
"In addition to their inflammatory healing properties, these mussels are considered a superfood because they contain a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, enzymes, and many more nutrients" (source).