New to raw diets and not sure what tools are needed to get the job done? There are a few tools to help pet parents feed their pet a raw diet. Some tools are necessary while others are optional but very useful.
There is a small investment into equipment needed to properly raw feed. Luckily, many items can already be found in the standard home kitchen. Here are a few necessary items for raw feeding:
Kitchen scale for weighing out meal portions.
Knives for cutting raw muscle meats and organs.
Kitchen shears for cutting poultry and/or packaging.
Freezer space for storing pet food.
In addition to the equipment items needed to successfully raw feed, there are additional supplies that prove beneficial but are not a necessary component for beginning the transition. These items help make the raw feeding process go smoother:
Dedicated freezer(s) for bulk storage.
Knife sharpener to maintain cutting blades.
Storage containers to hold food in the freezer.
Bussing tubs to hold raw meats and prevent spills while prepping.
Cut resistant gloves to protect against cuts from sharp knives.
Apron to stay clean when prepping raw food.
Necessary Tools for Raw Feeders
There are tools necessary for all raw feeders to have. These tools are needed to weigh, prep, and store items for a pet’s raw diet. Below are necessary tools to have as a raw feeder.
It is important to use a scale when beginning raw feeding. Raw feeders should use a kitchen scale when assembling or prepping meals not overfeed their pet. Over feeding can result in diarrhea and unwanted weight gain.
Digital scales are very user-friendly, inexpensive, and worth the small investment. It is useful to select a scale with the ability to weigh in pounds and kilograms because then there is the option to measure in ounces and grams.
A knife is a useful tool when prepping large items. There are many types of knives which provide different functions. Always remember to maintain each knife’s blade so that it remains sharp. Ceramic handheld sharpeners are a great option for sharpening knives.
Best for cutting meat & organs into chunks.
Beneficial for butchering poultry & fowl.
Ideal for removing meat off of bones.
Kitchen shears are useful for breaking down whole chickens, ducks, and rabbits. Kitchen shears can cut through smaller, lightweight bones and portion out smaller items instead of using larger knives.
Having a portion of freezer space dedicated to the pet’s food is ideal. At minimum, it is a good idea to have at least 1 to 2 weeks of raw food on hand. Plus, this will save the pet parent daily trips to the grocery store!
Many of these items are already in home kitchens. The items discussed this far are the bare essentials to home prepare a raw diet for your pet and to start the raw feeding transition.
Optional Tools for Raw Feeders
There are optional tools to provide convenience and ease to the raw feeding lifestyle. Here are some additional tools to help make meal prep easier.
Having a dedicated freezer, or multiple, is a great way to build up a raw food stock. Freezers specifically dedicated to storing the pet’s food allows the pet parent to monitor sales papers for bargain prices to stock up; contact local hunters for scraps; buy in bulk from grocery stores, restaurant supplies, or co-ops; and score freezer clean outs off of sites like Craigslist – all of which helps maintain lower costs in the future.
A knife is only as good as how sharp it is and with frequent use, it will become dull. Maintaining a knife’s blade by using a knife sharpener once a week will help keep a nice and sharp blade. A sharp knife helps prepping meals go by much faster because less force is required to cut through items.
Many raw feeders prep multiple meals in advance for easy thaw and feed convenience. Freezer-grade storage containers are recommended to minimize waste from plastic bags and maintain freshness of the food while in storage.
Defrosting and moving large quantities of raw items can become messy. The plastic bussing containers contain the mess in a sturdy tub which is easy to carry around.
Added bonus: Bussing tubs will contain all the defrosted liquids and blood after prepping. Pour the defrosted liquids into a plastic storage container or make blood cubes for feeding!
Cut Resistant Gloves
Additional safety measures can be taken to prevent cuts from sharp knives. Durable, cut-resistant gloves are beneficial for raw feeders who have a tendency to cut themselves when prepping food for their pet.
Maintaining a clean prep space is one piece to the puzzle and an apron is the second piece. An apron helps keep clothes clean from any splashing or spilling while prepping meals. Additionally, some aprons come with pockets to carry a knife sharpener and any other tools needed for prepping.
These items are beneficial to the raw feeding lifestyle; however these items are not essential to start the raw feeding transition. Purchasing these items can be accomplished over time.
"BE PREPARED WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT."
Ronny LeJeune, CertCN, CPDT-KA, CCC
It is recommended to have the bare minimum tools to begin raw feeding. These tools will make prepping and meal assembly easier!
All tools listed can be found online and at local supply stores. Amazon is a great place to source scales, knives, storage containers, and supplements. Resale marketplace websites, such as Craigslist, are great places to find second-hand freezers at an affordable cost!