What’s up with the fridge in the dog food aisle?

Before I got on this bandwagon, I had noticed the refrigerator located in the middle of the dog food aisle at my grocery store. I was kind of scared of it. #truth.

And once I began my journey into the RAW, I decided I needed to give it a look-see so I know what’s what in the world of raw dog foods.

There were 2 coolers side-by-side. One was filled with Freshpet Vital brand food. It’s wrapped in plastic like ground sausage, and marked with measures down the length of it like butter. There was a chicken option with peas & carrots, and a beef option with cranberries & blueberries. Still a tad hesitant because it’s got a pretty long shelf life (3+ months), but reasonably priced with seemingly wHOLesome ingredients; I got one of each to try.

This past weekend, I got so caught up in freezing everything, I forgot to put anything in the fridge to thaw. Crap! (And Alabama kick-off was at 5, Roll Tide!). What’s a girl to do?

Thankfully, I had the Vital logs up in there.

I cut open the chicken one. Smelled like potted meat.

It’s very densely packed. But I could see Forrest & Jenny (peas & carrots). (Sorry. Had to).

Dogs sniffed it for a few seconds, but both dove in, and raised up licking lips a couple minutes later. (Couple minutes, yes. This raw food thing is slowing them down in the race to clean the bowl, which I think is better for their systems).

This seems like a good option for when I have to travel. I have an awesome dog daycare/kennel (Just Happy Hounds. HOLla!) and as wonderful as they are, nobody has time to be fooling with my dietary particulars. But they can cut open one of these fridge packs. Easy peasy lemon squeeze-y.

There’s another brand that comes in frozen form. I’ve not tried it yet. I’ll report on it when I do.

For us, this is an option for when I’m out of town or short on time. I’m still convinced that what I make for them will taste better and be better in the long run. It’s always going to be fresher when homemade. I can control what’s in it. But for every now and then, I’m glad to have an alternative.

Don’t be afraid to try it.

pugs & kisses!

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Catfish, (not) the movie…

Raw fish filets are a cheap & easy protein source. Loaded in essential fatty acids. Good for skin & coat. Mine love it.

My book says to only feed it about 4 x / month to breeds not developed near the water, but doesn’t say why.

????

So feed it to your Portuguese Water Dog as often as you like, but a Pug should only get it once a week? Huh? Whatevs. 

Moderation & balance, y’all. Moderation & balance.

Catfish are plentiful in Alabama, and CHEAP! Salmon, however, is on the other end of the price spectrum….WAY at the other end. But if you’ve bought a filet for yourself, and you’re trimming off the excess, drop it in the dog bowl. Nom.

I buy filets. Although dogs can gnash their way through raw bones, fish bones are so fine, I err on the side of caution. 

Cut into bite size pieces & freeze in a single layer. Then load into single serving freezer bags along with some of your other frozen goodies. Pop it in the fridge a day ahead to thaw before serving. TA-DA!! Easy peasy.

For a 25lb dog:

1/4 -1/2 lb of raw fish, and

half cup of diced veggies.

Side Note: I feed fruit & yogurt for breakfast, and meat with veggies for dinner. But I don’t think it matters. 

Adjust up or down according to the size of your dog.

Moderation, balance & all that noise.

pugs & kisses!

 

Do the Math

I am not a math student. I hate math. Can’t do it. Totally avoid at all costs. Yay for liberal arts! Thank God for calculators! Can I get an Amen?

So last night, I had to do some math on this raw diet bit. I whipped out my Texas Instruments calculator that I’ve had since 8th grade my iPhone and pulled together my grocery receipts from the past 2 weeks.

Everybody said feeding my dogs fresh, uncooked food would be expensive. Too expensive. I poo-poo’d their comments, silently judging them for… well, a lot of reasons. I’m judge-y.

…They might be right tho. :-/

I almost choked on my pizza crust! Nearly $200 in the past 12 days! Over $8/meal! DAMN!

(Still cheaper than my last vet visit. And certainly cheaper than that surgery was gonna cost. Calm down).

Ok. So I might have gotten just a TAD carried away with the buying. After all, I am determined for this to work.

But what to do? What’s my budget? Where can I save? How can I do this without bailing out and resorting back to the commercial bag food?

I’ve decided, at least for now, my outside budget number will be what I spent on vet bills so far this year — $2200– for first one infection then another. The goal is to stay out of the clinic for infections, allergies, rashes, etc. because they’ll be healthy & won’t need to go. (I love my vet & all, but I think I paid for that new surgical wing).

There are 17 weeks left in this year (16 weeks till Christmas. Start shopping!).

That’s 238 meals each (I think). 476 total for 2 dogs.

Assuming I would spend an additional $1500 at the vet to finish out the year, that works out to be… (drum roll, please…) $3/meal.

HOORAY!!

$3 x 14 meals/week x 2 dogs x 52 weeks = $4,400 for a year. That still seems like a lot.

I can do it. I’m determined. They’re worth it.

For starters, produce from the farmer’s market is less expensive and tastes better than grocery store produce. While the bounty is still plentiful, I’m front-loading.

Stock piling. Squirreling away. Saving up for winter.

It’s expensive now, but in a few weeks when the market closes and my only choice is the grocery store, I’ll have a freezer full of fresh!

Freezer Fun:

  • Clean and dice your fruits & vegetables & meats and freeze in single layers on wax paper-lined cookie sheets. (If you just dump fresh goodies in a freezer bag without this step, you’ll have a big frozen glob).
  • Do all of one thing at a time so you don’t cross contaminate.
  • If you’ve got a big freezer, stack your cookie sheets.
  • Once frozen, put together some combos in individual meal-size freezer bags.
  • Drop them in the fridge to thaw the day before you need to feed, and you’ll be good to go!

to be continued

pugs & kisses,

Tay