Hygiene Safety Tips when Feeding Raw
Whether you are new to feeding raw or are curious about your current feeding practices these feeding raw hygiene safety tips will help ensure your fur family are enjoying the food nature intended for them in a way that is safe for them and your human family!
There is no doubt that feeding your pet a raw diet isn’t as simple as throwing kibble into a bowl and walking away. Choosing to feed raw means that you will need to be more involved in your companion’s meal prep and eating habits. This will involve careful steps to ensure the safe handling of food, correct storage and sterilisation of kitchen utensils and bowls. Being more involved in your pet’s food preparation is a privilege for many and a sacrifice for some. For many of you though you have made the move to raw because you want the best for your pet. It is an investment of both money and time that rewards your companion friend with a healthy diet that provides them with the most nutrition from their food.
When dealing with raw meat whether it be for human or pet consumption there will always be some risk of contamination from bacteria if the food is not properly handled, stored or prepared. We’ve long been taught that the bacteria in raw meat can be harmful to us, so it’s easy to assume the same for your dogs. Knowing the right way to feed raw and ensuring the proper precautions are taken should help eliminate concern for cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.
Will Bacteria Harm My Dog?
Their efficient digestive systems can also process food, raw meat in particular, much faster than ours do. This means that bacteria can pass through their system quickly enough to prevent the bacteria from populating any part of their digestive system.
The risk of bacteria in raw meat is a common source of debate. From what we know about a dog’s biological makeup their digestive systems are designed to handle bacteria. They have an extremely acidic stomach environment that can kill a lot of the bacteria, and prevent the rest from colonising their digestive system.
The fact that they can handle bacteria that we can’t doesn’t mean that they are invincible. Improperly stored or prepared raw diets can still pose a risk to our pets. Like the raw meat you prepare for your own meals, it shouldn’t be left out for long periods of time. Exposure to room temperature will allow the bacteria to multiply quickly.
3 Raw Feeding Safety Tips
All raw meat prepared for our pets should be handled with the same caution that we use with our own raw meat preparation. Safe food handling practices are a necessity. Here are our 3 main tips for feeding raw safely:
1. Wash Your Hands
The biggest concern with raw is scary bacteria like salmonella and e.Coli, both of which should be taken very seriously. How you handle your dog’s food is important. Use common sense, and treat their raw food just as you would treat your own raw meat.
All pet food regardless of the format has the potential to host bacteria that can make us sick. Whether you are touching kibble, treats, or raw, washing your hands and surfaces that the food touches is a best practice approach to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
2. Store it Properly
The materials that you use to store and feed raw are important factors for consideration.
Avoid plastic bowls
Plastic dishes can scratch easily and create a place for bacteria to hide. Over time, those grooves will be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Instead choose to serve your pet’s food in metal, glass or ceramic dishes. They are easy to clean and sanitise, and will not host bacteria as plastic bowls do. Consider glass, ceramic, or metal dishes and containers for both feeding and storing your raw pet food.
Instinto’s range of fresh raw pet food is delivered to your door in either food-grade plastic bags that are taped/tied or cryovac sealed. These can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen. Cryovaced food will stay fresh in your fridge for up to 1 week but once they are opened they must be either used or frozen.
All of our bones are delivered in food-grade plastic and in the centre are frozen, these can be partially defrosted to a point for separation then refrozen.
You will find that our meat will oxidize and go brown quicker than the “human” product because we have no preservatives, we suggest to bag up your quantities and freeze them to keep the product as fresh as possible for your furkid.
Use your best judgment, but remember dogs can handle a lot more bacteria than us because they have shorter digestive tracts and a higher level of acidity in their digestive juices. Also, remember if time is tight and your food is still partially defrosted, dogs will still eat it; cats, on the other hand, maybe a little more particular and prefer warmer food.
3. Disinfect the Natural Way
Bowls should be cleaned after every meal, counters and utensils should be sanitised, and any surface or container that touches the food should be disinfected. Disinfecting makes us think of chemicals, but there are natural solutions to eliminate bacteria that are safe for you and your pets.
Vinegar is nature’s secret disinfectant.
Use vinegar to clean surfaces, floors, bowls, and anything else used in raw feeding. Don’t use full-strength vinegar, as that would be overpowering. Instead, use a vinegar and water dilution. 10-15% vinegar to water is suitable for cleaning, and the smell will dissipate quickly.
Feed Safely with Instinto
Instincto is a food handling and manufacturing business. We follow guidelines and recommendations provided to us from governments and health organisations around hygiene and food preparation and these measures are standard practice for us. We uphold strict standards and keep up to date with any new guidelines as required. These include sterilisation, food preparation and personal hygiene.
At Instincto, we prepare our fresh raw pet food 3 times a week, so you can be 100% confident that our proteins are 100% free of nasty preservatives! We supply and deliver fresh raw pet food to people who care to feed a more holistic, raw diet to their companion animal. Our raw pet food proudly has:
- No preservatives
- No additives
- No fillers
For more information and articles about fresh pet food and raw food for dogs and cats or to browse Instincto’s great range of fresh raw pet food visit us online.