Raw Feeding in the COVID-19 Pandemic

So you, like me, are a raw feeder. And the reality is setting in on you — what are you going to feed if you can’t get your usual raw foods, whether DIY, commercial, or a mix of the two? Hopefully you stocked up, but do you have enough?

Well, if you are like me, there is no f*$#@* way kibble is coming into your house! What your dogs eat must be human quality. And you want it to be in its most natural state, preferably raw, but you know you may have to make some compromises. So what will you do? Here are my go to ingredients for stretching out a limited raw food supply, or substituting when my options are limited.

Eggs

Eggs are a great protein to incorporate into meals. If you can find a local farmer, even better! Eggs can be served raw, or soft boiled with minimal nutrient loss if you prefer. And you can even share them with your dog!

Frozen whitefish

These are available in 10 pound boxes at my local restaurant supply store and wholesale club. You may also find them in smaller packaging. They are individually frozen, and thaw very quickly. I choose the 4-6 ounce plank size, so it’s easy to know how much I am feeding.

Canned sardines in water

Canned sardines sometimes get a bad rap. Choose one with no salt added, but don’t stress about the salt! It’s not like your dog will be eating them exclusively every meal! They are a great flavor booster, and help with omega 3 fatty acids.

Canned tuna, jack mackerel

In a pinch, I will use these canned fish, as they are usually always available. As bigger fish, I do worry more about mercury, so I don’t use them often. And I always combine them with other proteins in a meal.

Raw meaty bones – recreational

These are my dogs’ paws-down favorite! What could be better than a good long chew on a beef rib or knuckle bone? I use this as part of a modified fasting day, not just when I find myself low on food. I’ll serve a meaty beef rib, about 10 – 12 inches long, as a morning meal, and skip dinner.

Kefir, preferably home cultured

Making your own kefir is very easy. It’s a counter top fermentation of milk. You can get starter at your local health food store, or from Amazon. You’ll just need a jar or pitcher, or get an easy to use fermentation kit. In approximately 48 hours, you will have a probiotic rich culture slightly thinner than yogurt, which your dog (and you!) can enjoy.

Bone broth

My dogs think bone broth is the elixir of the gods! You can purchase it, or make your own. Read how I make it in just a few hours with no mess or fuss.

Dehydrated or freeze dried commercial products

Freeze dried and dehydrated products can be a great convenience option. While not raw, many are high quality and can fit in with a variety of feeding philosophies. Some popular brands are Dr. Harvey’s, Vital Essentials, and Honest Kitchen. You may have others available in your region.

As we work our way through this crisis, we are going to be challenged in many parts of daily life. But feeding our dogs in the way believe is best for them can be accomplished, with just a few hacks. Please share your favorites on my Facebook page.

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