Many pet owners are increasingly embracing raw diets as they believe it is best to mimic their dog’s ancestral diet. It can be frustrating to have to deal with raw meat every day. Can you refreeze dog food that has been prepared and stored in raw meat?
Raw dog food can be refrigerated as long as it is still cold to the touch and uncontaminated. Raw food can be thawed to allow for portioning. However, it is best to keep the raw food in the fridge to preserve freshness. It is not safe to freeze meat that has been completely thawed.
This article will discuss the properties of raw dog food as well as why food storage is so important. You can also safely refreeze raw food to make meal prep for your pet.
Why it’s important to keep raw dog food frozen
Freezing raw dog food reduces the chance of food-borne disease-causing pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella or E.coli.
Dogs can become sick from ingesting contaminated raw meat just as humans. Cross-contamination is less likely if you know how to properly manage raw dog food.
It is a good rule of thumb to treat your pet’s raw food as if it were for human consumption.
Pasteurization and cooking are two traditional ways to kill bacteria. Raw dog food should not, however, be heated. Raw food can lose some of its nutritional value if it is cooked. Pet owners and food producers should instead use freezing methods.
This is what happens when you freeze raw dog food
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as their official policy, encourages pet food handlers and owners to submit any animal-source protein to a process to eliminate pathogens in order to reduce health risks for pets and humans.
Although freezing doesn’t completely kill germs in meat, it can still be used as a method of food preservation.
The enzyme activity of meat is reduced when it is frozen, which makes it last longer. Preservatives might not be a good idea for your dog, so freezing can help prevent the meat from getting spoiled.
However, bacteria can be frozen to partially remove them from meat. They are still present, but they cannot reproduce and grow at low temperatures.
These microorganisms will reproduce if meat is not kept at room temperature. Raw meat should therefore be frozen as soon as possible to prevent them from reproducing again.
The primary function of freezing is to freeze:
Raw dog food keeps fresher for longer
What is the shelf life of frozen raw dog food?
If you pack it properly, frozen raw dog food can be kept for up to six months. According to the FDA, uncooked steaks can keep frozen for 6-12 months. Organs and other meats have a shorter shelf life of 3 to 4 months.
Raw dog food made by commercial producers has its own rules. Their food can be stored up to nine months after the date of production, but it is best to verify the expiration date on the label of the preferred brand.
Even if the food has been slightly defrosted during transit, it is generally safe to refreeze frozen food. To prevent cross-contamination, inspect the meat for signs and symptoms of spoilage before you place it with other foods.
How to Safely Freeze Raw Dog Food
Let’s now look at what goes into conserving raw meats. Now let’s see how to freeze food for dogs.
Refrozen raw dog food
Pet owners often refrigerate raw dog food when feeding their furry friends. These tips will help you do this efficiently:
From the time you purchase the food, make sure it is frozen until you get it to your fridge. While some defrosting is okay, the food must remain frozen. If you intend to freeze raw perishables, they must be allowed to cool in the fridge. If you plan to use the meat the next day, let it cool on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Raw meat will begin to defrost from within, which can lead to bacteria growth on the meat’s outer edges. You can prevent food waste by dividing your dog’s food into appropriate portions before freezing. Dog food you portioned yourself should be stored in secure containers. To prevent oxidation or leaking, make sure to use sealed containers and plastic bags.
Tail Blazers has a feeding calculator that will help you calculate your dog’s daily food.
Perfectly Rawrsome created a calculator that will tell you how much food your dog eats each day, even if it is homemade raw dog food. It calculates the recommended food groups to be included in your dog’s diet.
You can feed your pet frozen raw dog food
Refrozen raw food should be handled in the same way as before. Take out the appropriate portion and place it in the fridge before your pup eats.
Defrosting takes between 12 and 24 hours. The results can vary depending on the ingredients.
Three days of raw dog food can be kept in the fridge. You will need a full defrosted pack of food, a second day’s worth food, and the third day’s food that you just pulled out of the freezer.
You can repeat the process until your pet never misses their favorite meals during the week.
What goes into making raw dog food?
Raw dog food is made from uncooked meat, bones, or vegetables. Both commercial and homemade raw dog food use human-grade ingredients. The meal is made without any preservatives or additives.
The absence of chemicals makes freezing meat the most important step in preparation and storage. Low temperatures prevent bacteria from flourishing and growing, which will stop the meat going bad. This will also keep your dog from getting sick.
Can raw dog food be refrigerated? It is possible to safely refreeze raw dog food as long as you follow the appropriate food handling guidelines. Freezing raw dog food is the best way for it to stay fresher and prevent bacterial growth.
Raw meat should be kept cold and frozen until it can be stored properly. You should only defrost raw meat when you have a plan and the right amount for your dog’s needs.