Some diets call for meat, both raw and cooked depending what you are feeding. Raw meat has more nutrients than cooked meat, but raw meat can potentiallly carry bacteria and parasites. You will have to do your research and think carefully when deciding how to feed meat.
You should also always take care when handling raw meat, especially chicken which can carry salmonella, a potentially deadly bacteria. Wash your hands and areas where you prepared the meat thoroughly with hot soapy water when finished.
- Thaw meats in the refrigerator over night – never on the counter if it's a raw meat diet, don't thaw in the microwave
- Once thawed, pour water over the meat if it is ground to hydrate
- Place water-saturated meat in an enclosed container in the refrigerator
- Mark the date on the container – you don't want to leave the meat in the refrigerator for longer than four days
To Grind or not to grind
You may want to consider getting a grinder and grinding whole meat and bones for your dog. There is much discussion about whether bones in raw meat can be dangerous to teeth, become choking hazards or cause perforations in the gut. Some say that bones are only dangerous if cooked, which makes them splinter. If you feel raw meat is the right choice for your dog, grinding the bones may make you feel more comfortable with this diet if you choose to feed it to your dog.
Meat grinders can be electric, attachments to electric mixers, or old fashioned hand grinders. Depending on the time you have to spend and your budget, if you grind meats, you'll want to choose what works best for you.
Directions for Grinding Meat:
- Line your entire counter top with plastic shopping bags for easier clean up
- Assemble the grinder with the sharp/flat side of the cutting blade towards the spout end of the grinder.
- Place the grinder sideways, facing the kitchen sink. Adjust it so that the spout rests over a bowl big enough to hold all the meat you will be grinding.
- Cut up a chicken by starting first at each joint. Cut across the middle lengthwise or across the back into several pieces. Depending on the size of your grinder's chute you'll want to cut into even smaller sizes. A good cleaver will really help for this
- To clean-up, fold over all the bags, disinfect the exterior of the grinder, and clean the sink. Place grinder parts in dishwasher to be cleaned.