I typically feed a mix of raw foods in a bowl. Below is a sample of what I feed Odin. I feel this gives me greater control over what I feed and it is easier for me to give a balanced variety of bones, meats, and organs. Some people will argue that I’m not mimicking the true Prey Model by feeding this way, but the only thing this type of feeding is missing is the tearing and ripping motion an animal would perform when fed larger pieces of meats with bones, like a whole chicken. I do feed leg quarters and breasts with bones at least 4-5 times a week so they are getting the benefits of chewing bones, which promotes clean teeth – in the last 12 years, I have never had the need to clean any of my dogs’ teeth so it’s working pretty well.
Fear of bacteria.
One of the most frequent reasons for not feeding raw is the fear of bacteria spreading around the house and making people sick. Some people cannot bring themselves to give a dog a huge piece of meat and bones because the dog will tear into it with its mouth, holding the meat with its paws, and later go running around and playing with their kids – the thought is just too much to handle. Some go to great extents to clean the area where their dog ate as well as cleaning the dog itself. This makes raw feeding a huge, time consuming task that many quit after a short time.
Feeding the way I do eliminates most of the above. When a dog gets used to being fed from a bowl, the dog will eat most of the meat from the bowl itself or in its immediate area; most dogs will only take the larger pieces of meats and bones out of the bowl. When they grab a piece that is larger than they can wolf down, they move away from their bowl and either drop the meat down for a moment to grab it in a different way or they move it around in their mouths, crushing the bones until they can swallow it. They will never move far from the bowl because if they think there may be more food there, they will, instinctively, not leave it unguarded. Therefore, you can limit the area any meat can come in contact with. Simply place a large towel under the bowl and you should be protected, and you can wash this towel as often as you feel you need to. I wash mine every other day or so and the dog towels are all one particular color so I never get these mixed in with my own.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the bowl. To a dog, the bowl represents a “food source”. This means that you can feed your dog anywhere you place the bowl. I travel quite a bit with my dogs and, as long as I feed them from the same bowl with the same towel underneath, they’re happy.
If you have any questions about this or other things related to raw feeding, please let me know.