|Barked: Mon Sep 26, '11 4:33pm PST |
|I've made 3 changes:
I've added feeding old meat to the section on what to do with leftovers and refreezing meat.
What To Do With Leftovers, Refreezing Meat & Old Meat
When feeding meals that are more than your dog will eat at one time, what do you do with the leftover piece?
If what is left over is big enough to be safely fed, put it in the fridge and feed for the next meal.
If what is left can’t be safely fed to your dog, you can pull the meat off to feed as treats or to use as part of a boneless meal.
Leftovers can be refrozen for later use.
It is perfectly safe to refreeze meat multiple times as long as the meat has not sat around unrefrigerated for hours and it hasn’t spoiled.
The only reason humans don’t eat refrozen meat is because we don’t like the change in texture and taste. Dogs don’t care.
It is fine to feed meat that has been frozen for years, even decades, with a few safety precautions.
Even meat that was thawed and refrozen is fine to feed years later as long as the meat was frozen before it had a chance to start to spoil and it was not allowed to sit out a room temperature for hours.
Dogs don’t mind eating meat that has severely freezer burnt or frozen for extended periods of time though there will be some flavor loss so picky eaters may not eat it.
Once the old meat is thawed, if anything seems off or not quite right about it, you may want to throw it away instead of feed.
I've added that bone may be seen in poop when starting raw.
Raw Fed Stool
Raw fed stool should be firm, small, essentially odorless and quick to dry out/decompose.
When a dog is starting on a raw diet, expect to see some soft, badly formed, oddly textured and/or oddly colored stool. Dogs sometimes have trouble digesting raw food properly after being on highly processed commercial foods and it takes a while for everything to start working properly.
You may even see pieces of bone in the stool and your dog may go a couple of days without having a bowel movement when starting raw.
Diarrhea, which is loose and watery stool that is frequent and/or urgent, can occur but with some basic feeding changes it should go away after a day or two.
Stool with some flecks of bright red blood is a sign of large intestine irritation, especially if the dog has had diarrhea or has been straining to go, or is a result of small scratches in the gastrointestinal tract caused by very bony stool.
When loose stool occurs during the starting phase, there are several things that can be done:
• Remove a little skin and/or fat, especially if the stool is a little mucousy. Once the stool is normal for a couple of days, slowly start removing less and less of the skin and/or fat.
• Feed a little more bone. Once the stool is normal for a couple of days, slowly start feeding cuts with less bone.
• Slightly reduce meal size or, if you are not weighing meals, start weighing the meals in case it is caused by overfeeding. Remember to keep track of treats given as well to see if you are overfeeding.
When loose stool occurs during the introduction of a new protein or organ, go back to the last thing fed that produced a normal stool and feed that until the stool is normal for a couple of days. Then start adding in very small amounts of the new protein or organ again.
Monitoring the stool is crucial with a raw diet.
A stool that is too firm or white and crumbly means too much bone has been fed so the next meal should be meatier.
A stool that is too soft may mean too little bone or too much organ or too much overall food.
A stool that is too soft with mucous may mean too much fat and/or skin.
Knowing how different combinations of bone, meat, fat and organs interact together for a particular dog helps avoid surprises. For example, if a meal is supposed to be bone-in but you only have boneless then you know the stool will be soft and the next couple of meals need to be bone-in.
There can even be stool differences caused by the animal fed or if large meals of certain organs are fed. For example, feeding a lot of chicken may produce a yellow or orange stool. Feeding a lot of liver at once may produce a dark stool. Generally the darker the meat, the darker the stool.
Added to store meat uncovered in the fridge.
Preparing And Storing Meals
If you prepare raw meals ahead of time, it makes raw feeding just as quick and easy as pouring food out of a bag. All you do is remove a couple of days of food from the freezer, thaw it in the fridge and feed.
• Cut the meat into the proper-sized portions (a digital kitchen scale comes in very handy).
• Put the portions into a plastic zip-close bag.
• Label each bag with the weight, type of meat and cut (this way you know if it has bone or not).
Storing meat in the refrigerator should be done in open containers to prevent the growth of anaerobic bacteria.
A separate freezer just for meat comes in handy so you can stock up on sales or get bulk discounts.
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