Meal Prep for Raw Fed Dogs

Hello! This is part 3 in our Raw Feeding Series that Nicole from WildCardMeela writes. Nicole feeds Meela a raw food diet, and I asked her to share more about how she feeds and what she feeds. This is one persons opinion and shouldn't be taken as whole fact. If you are interested in raw feeding, you should do your own research and use this series as part of your research. I personally feed Diego Orijen Kibble, but this series has really made me a whole lot more interested in raw feeding. With all that being said, let's read what she has to say about the dreaded meal prep day.

Meal prep day. I love it as much as I loathe it.
If you haven't heard of it before, meal prep day is the one day where I gather all of my meat, vegetables and supplements that we discussed in the last blog post and put it together into individual portions. This makes raw feeding a lot easier, because instead of every meal having to be individually put together with the different components, you can just do them all at one time and pop out each meal as Meela needs them. 
Since Meela isn’t exactly a huge fan of vegetables, I’ve learnt to blend them up with organ so that she is eating them without even realising it (sneaky right). For example, Meela gets 20g of liver per meal. I will blend liver, green beans and a little bit of water (to help the consistency) and then divide it into moulds in a way that each mould will have 20g of liver and 20g of green beans, and then freeze it. This is another great hiding spot for other supplements your dog may not be fond of such as turmeric, spirulina or mussel powder.
In terms of quantities this is something I highly recommend you do a bit of research on yourself. It can vary on what your dog needs, where they are sitting in terms of their weight and what age they are. A basic way to do it is you feed them approximately 2-3% of their total weight, daily. So, if Meela weighs 20kg, and I choose to feed her at 3%, she will get 600g total per day, 300g per meal. This amount is then divided up into the various parts of the meal.

Depending on whether you choose to feed vegetables/fruits or not, the muscle meat quantity will be 70 or 80% of the meal total. The edible bone will make up 10% of the meal, liver will make up 5% and the other secreting organ will make up the other 5%. Vegetables/fruit will also make up 10% should you choose to feed them. So, back to Meela’s example, out of a 300g meal, 210g will be muscle meat (this includes green tripe and heart, but no more than 20% of the 210g each), 30g of edible bone, 15g of liver, 15g of another secreting organ and 30g of vegetable/fruit (fruit should make up no more than 3% of this 30g). This can be a bit confusing to begin with but the best tip is just to plan it all out, so you know exactly how much you need of certain things. There are also plenty of free apps you can download to make life simpler.
Finally, we get to the meal prep extravaganza. I’ve tried doing this various way to see what speeds up and slows down the process and this is what seems to work best for me. First, I lay out quite a few plastic containers, one per meal. I then will weigh out the two secreting organs, which will always include liver as well as another type like spleen, brain or kidney. Once I’ve done this I will put the green tripe into the containers. The bone is then weighed out and I calculate how much muscle meat is part of the bone (like a chicken drumstick or thigh) and top this up to reach the total muscle meat amount. I then add blitzed vegetables if I want to and I add any supplements I have already prepared. Here is where I also add the oily fish like sardines, pilchards or mackerel.

There is nothing more satisfying than putting the lids on all the full containers before stacking them up and just admiring the tower of beauty. I then will obviously put them into the freezer, and I take a meal out 24 hours before I plan to give it to Meela and thaw it in the fridge. Over summer I will probably leave them more frozen so that it provides her with more entertainment to chew at as well as cooling her down on hot days.
And just like that, your weeks of preparation is scoffed down in a mere few minutes, but hey, at least they enjoyed it! I love seeing Meela finish every meal before racing in, licking her chops like she just ate the world’s finest dish and insisting on a slobbery kiss. That’s when you know you’re doing right by your dog!

In my next blog post I will talk about all the supplements I’m giving Meela and what their purposes are. As with anything in life I would always recommend you do your own research on meal prepping before trying it out for yourself, as all dogs are different and we as owners will always have access to different things too.
See you next time, and happy meal prepping!