- Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN
Confessions Of A Raw Feeder
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
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. 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. Instead, I was feeding straight up 80/10/10, and that just doesn't cut it. To find more about ration diets and balanced, click here.
Thankfully, I gave some (but not all necessary) whole food supplements to cover the nutrient gaps somewhat, 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 felt 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 you level out all of their nutrient requirements over a short span of time (I do five days). 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 two 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. Thankfully Stormy is easy and is always content with 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 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, 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!)
Antinol (very fishy, do 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 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 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 the fridge where I have a designated meat thawing shelf and completely forget about it 2 or 3 days after. After I discover my surprise defrosted ingredient and no longer need it... I stick it back in the freezer again.
If it smells a little funky or looks off, I'll toss it, but in most cases, 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.
Pro Tip: I'm not particularly eager 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 5lbs. (2.2 kg) of the beef lung, I will defrost the entire package once and then device it into five 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" 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 article had me cringing the whole time I typed away, 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. 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.
I hope you could feel a bit of relief while listening to all my mistakes or could relate! Just a reminder that you're doing great, and I'm here if you need me :)
I hope you learned something new today & Always Keep Exploring!