Confessions Of A Raw Feeder
As much as I wish we lived in a perfect world it's far from that. Everyone makes mistakes... especially me!
I am far from perfect and wanted to highlight some of my imperfections to show you that it is OKAY to mess up (we all do!) and that it's not the end of the world.
So pet parents here are my confessions as a raw feeder...
#1 Not Balancing... At First
When I first started raw feeding back in 2018 I had no clue what NRC guidelines were and definitely was not feeding "complete & balanced" DIY meals. I was just feeding straight up 80/10/10 just doesn't cut it.
★To find more about ration diets and balanced click here★
Thankfully, I was giving some (but not all necessary) whole food supplements and powders to somewhat cover the nutrient gaps but it still makes me cringe when I think about how I used to feed.
Now I follow NRC guidelines for Stormy's meals but if you scroll all the way down on Instagram to some of my older bowls, you can see my ratio bowls. 🤮
I remember how freaked out I was when I learned about NRC guidelines and feeling so overwhelmed. I felt like such a bad pet parent. But then I took a deep breath and changed my mindset and learned everything I could about it and now here I am!
#2 Lazy Meals
Although I do follow NRC guidelines, life gets in the way sometimes which means I can't handcraft every meal for her. This leads to me sometimes having to give her a turkey neck for dinner and balancing overtime...
⮞Balancing over time means that over a short span of time (I do 5 days) you level out all of their nutrient requirements. For example, if my dog needs 2 oz. (56g) of bone in her meal but one duck head is 6 oz. (170g) then I will feed the duck head in one whole sitting but retract bone from her meals for the next 2 days to even out the heavy bone content she received.
I feel bad sometimes for just throwing her neck for a meal but sometimes school piles on or I've just had a bad day. Stormy is such an angel though and is always content and full of whatever randomness I throw at her.
#3 Using Stormy's Supplements
With all the high-quality supplements I get for Stormy, I make sure to quality test them myself (aka they look yummy so I taste them). This one is probably me just being a weirdo but I thought I'd throw it in...
★ To learn more about supplements I give click here ★
Some of Stormy's supplements I've tried are...
Kin+Kind Berry Boost (which is very good sprinkled on yogurt)
CBD Dog Health (they say it's human-grade so it's okay...?)
All the herbs since they're for humans and dogs!
Soil Based Probiotics (I put them in my capsule machine and made homemade pills)
Golden Paste ~ recipe here (not one of my favorites but healthy!)
Answer's Goat Cheese (does not have any taste, would not recommend :/)
#4 The Old Ground Beef...
This is the one I HATE to admit most but one week when Stormy was still in her kibble fed days... I gave her straight up 85/15 ground beef, pasta, and veggies because she wouldn't eat her kibble (I don't blame her since it was Iams...) and I thought it was✨𝓱𝓮𝓪𝓵𝓽𝓱𝔂✨(it is very much not healthy).
It churns me that I was so naive that I fed this awful concoction but I was helpless since my dog wouldn't eat!
Now I look back and Stormy was probably telling "lady please stop feeding me this crap 🥴". It took me a while but eventually, I got the memo. And now Miss Stormy devours all of her meals like a little piggy.
#5 Thawing Oopsies
Sometimes (or a lot of times) I'll take a specific ingredient out of the deep freezer such as goat milk or liver and put it in our kimchi fridge where I have a designated meat thawing shelf and completely forget about it 2 or 3 days after. Then, after I discover my surprise defrosted ingredient and no longer need it... I just stick it back in the freezer again.
Now of course if it smells a little funky or looks off I'll toss it but in more cases than not it's fine going back in the freezer. I personally will defrost and refreeze my items until they are used up. The only thing that really happens when you refreeze multiple times is the taste and/or texture that most dogs don't care too much about.
Tip: I personally don't like to defrost huge amounts of meat together as I try and cut down on the thawing and refreezing process as much as possible. So, when I receive products in bulk I'll package them into smaller portions so I don't have to defrost the entire amount every time. For example, when I get a 5lbs. (2.2 kg) of the beef lung, I will defrost the entire package once and then device it into 5 smaller 1 lbs. (.45 kg) packages so I only have to take out 1lbs of the beef lung at a time versus the whole 5lbs. (2.2 kg).
#6 Knife Skills?
You'd think by now I'd be a pro with a blade...
I like to call them "battle scars" versus "knife injuries" just because it sounds cooler :)
But I have definitely injured myself more times than I liked to admit and 9 out of 10 times it's my fault. For example, trying to cut a piece of meat that is not thawed enough or using too small of a knife.
Basically, I'm clumsy and impatient... I am still actively making these mistakes to this day.
While this whole blog had me cringing the whole time I typed away but I thought it was important to show all the silly and embarrassing things I've done (and still do). This is just a reminder that we're all humans and we all have our own unique raw feeding journey and making mistakes is perfectly fine and vital to the process!
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better" - Maya Angelou
As always, I hope you enjoyed and Always Keep Exploring!