The hydrochloric acid in a carnivore’s stomach is a protective enzyme against pathogens. Their stomach is highly acidic (about a pH 1) while their digestive system is short and lacks complexity. Bacteria is killed when ingested and passed within 4-6 hours as waste. Since the time to complete digestion is very short, the bacteria does not stay in the body for long.
Raw feeding is no different than cooking for yourself and family within your own home. Typical sanitary habits should be practiced when handling raw meat such as cleaning your area throughly after prepping, washing hands after touching raw meat, sanitizing utensils once they have been used on raw meat, etc.
A very common misconception about feeding bones is that raw bones are dangerous. In fact, raw bones are great for your pet and are totally safe! Raw bones are soft and are easy to digest in comparison to cooked or dehydrated bones. Cooking and dehydrating bones removes moisture from the bones which makes them hard, splinter when eaten, and difficult to digest.
Calculating out how many pounds will be needed for a whole month will allow you to figure out a rough estimate on monthly costs. In order to do this, daily feeding ratios will need to be determined for muscle meat, bone, and organ; and multiplied by thirty (30 days).
Cost relies heavily on your local area’s average cost for meat plus the amount of footwork you’re willing to put into sourcing. Chicken and pork are two of the easiest to find cheap meats. Chicken is usually under $1/pound and you can find pork on sale for $0.99-$1.49/pound.
The average person keeps raw meat in their refrigerator up to 3 days. However, dogs and cats are able to tolerate meat that stayed out much longer. Once meat is fully thawed, it will last in the fridge about 7 days.
If the meat smells a bit “off” it is ok to feed, however do not intentionally feed rotting meat. Don’t forget dogs are able to consume dead animals and feces.
The best way to start feeding whole prey is to start small so you do not overwhelm your pet. Day old chicks (DOCs), whole quail, and feeder mice are all great options to begin with. Coating the feathers and fur with bone broth and bloody juices is a way to encourage your pet to eat whole prey. Additionally, sometimes you will need to split open the stomach to expose the meat.
Once your pet accepts small whole prey, you can work on introducing larger whole prey as it becomes accessible to you.
If you are on Facebook, join the Raw Feeding University (RFU) group! RFU is a place for users to share experiences, ask questions, connect with other raw feeders, and expand their knowledge on all things raw.