Close up of a soapy kitchen sink

Do You Hate Raw Dog Food Clean Up?

Yep, unfortunately, raw dog food clean up is unavoidable when you’re making your own raw dog food.

That’s just the not so glamorous part of DIY raw dog food. But an essential one, at least if you’re trying to keep food borne illnesses at bay for the humans in your home.

But lately, I’ve been coming across several notes of my newsletter readers who said that they seriously hate raw dog food clean up.

So I took some time to ponder solutions for the raw dog food clean up conundrum.

And here they are – 5 to be exact, and I’m starting with what I suspect to be the least popular one first.

…and just FYI: I’m not crazy about clean up either, and yes, I’ve resorted to all but one of the alternatives myself!

Do You Hate Raw Dog Food Clean Up?

Do you hate raw dog food clean up?

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Allow Yourself A Break From Raw Feeding

Gasp, I said it!

Sometimes, it’s not easy to incorporate raw dog food meal prep into our busy lives. I mean, we all have a lot going on.

From jobs, significant others, social commitments, sports to play, trips to plan, kids and sick pets to care for, our responsibilities are seemingly endless.

So if raw meal prep stresses you out and you can’t find the time for it unless you get up at 3 am, it’s OK to take a break for a while.

How long is a while? I don’t know, maybe a month, maybe 2, maybe 3. However long you need a breather for.

You can still offer your pup a raw meaty bone a couple times per week to ensure their teeth stay clean and their jaws get a workout.

During this time, you can switch your pup over to a dehydrated or freeze-dried dog food.

For example, Dr. Harvey’s Specialty Diet Allergy Turkey Recipe. A 5 lb bag makes 20 lbs of food.

Or Sojos Complete Turkey & Salmon Recipe. A 7 lb bag makes up to 40 lbs of food.

Or how about Grandma Lucy’s PUREformance Rabbit Dog Food. A 10 lb bag makes 46 lbs of food.

All you need to do is add warm water, and let it sit for a few minutes.

Grandma Lucy's Freeze-Dried Rabbit Dog Food

Another option is a high quality dog food.

For example, Ziwipeak’s air-dried dog food. You don’t need to add any water to this type of dog food.

It comes in:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Tripe & lamb
  • Mackerel & lamb
air-dried raw dog food from Ziwipeak

Buy Premade Raw Dog Food

If you can afford it, you can switch your pup to premade raw dog food for a while instead of making your own meals.

There’s lots of options to choose from these days.

My 3 favorite brands are Darwin’s, Raw Paws Pet Food and Raw Feeding Miami.

Darwin’s only offers raw dog food that’s ready to eat.

Raw Paws Pet Food and Raw Feeding Miami have both individual cuts of meat as well as premade raw dog food that’s ready to be fed as is.

Besides those brands, you can also try the ones you’ll find at local pet food retailers like PetCo, PetSmart, and independently owned stores.

You’ll find brands like Stella & Chewy’s, Steve’s Real, Bravo, Answer’s, Instinct, Vital Essentials, and Primal.

The picture below shows my late pup Missy at an independently owned pet store in Fayetteville, NC (Naturally Unleashed).

They had an awesome raw dog food selection! You can see part of it in the freezer section behind her. Whenever I saw something on sale, I grabbed it and stored it in my raw dog food freezer at home.

Checking out Vital Essentials Raw Bar with Missy at a local pet retail store

Line Your Meal Prep Surfaces With Towels or Tarps

If not raw dog food meal prepping is not an option for you, try to meal prep smarter.

For example, line your kitchen counters or prepping tables with several layers of towels or (disposable) tarps.

Lining my raw meat cutting surface with a towel for easy clean up

Once you’re done meal prepping, toss the towels into the washer. If you opt for a disposable tarp, toss it into the trash.

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option, try a washable canvas drop cloth.

As long as you line your prepping surfaces with something thick that doesn’t let any juices through, you won’t need to wash your counters down with hot, soapy water.

Meal Prep Larger Batches

Another idea is to raw dog food meal prep less frequently. That way, you’ll also be doing raw dog food clean up less often!

So if you’re currently meal prepping once or twice per month, plan for a larger batch that’ll last your pup(s) 2 or 3 months.

Obviously, you’ll need the freezer space and enough food storage containers to hold all of those meals.

Here’s a tip: Use stackable meal prep food storage containers.

Making a large batch of DIY raw dog food

Ask Your Family For Help

One last idea I had was to ask someone in your family for help with raw dog food clean up. This could be your significant other, or maybe your teenage kids.

Cleaning your prepping surface could be part of their chores!

I personally haven’t had any luck with this approach because I don’t have any kids and the bf does the hunting and no cleaning, but hey, maybe you will!

Do You Hate Raw Dog Food Clean Up: Bottom Line

Don’t beat yourself up for needing a break from raw dog food clean up!

Like I said before, it’s not glamorous and it can absolutely be annoying to have to clean something else on top of all the other things you’re already cleaning in your home.

Remember, you can take a break from making your own raw meals and feed premade raw dog food, dehydrated dog food, or canned dog food instead.

If making your own raw dog food is the only option you have because your pup has lots of food sensitivities and it’s hard to find anything premade that agrees with them, try to be smarter about meal prep days.

You can line your prepping surfaces with towels or tarps that either go into the wash or into the trash once you’re done meal prepping.

Or meal prep larger batches that result in less frequent clean up.

Last but not least, try to turn raw dog food clean up into a job your family members take turns checking off that household chore list!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






3 responses to “Do You Hate Raw Dog Food Clean Up?”

  1. Alisson Avatar

    Hey Barbara,
    I love your post today. I just finished 25 lbs 😭 today. It took Saturday and Sunday. What a mess for sure. Worth it though. I could never go back. 💗💗💗

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Thanks Alisson 🙂 How long do 25 lbs last you?

  2. Alisson Avatar

    These 25 lbs will last a little over two weeks, so I can dog food prep every other weekend and change proteins then. If I have left over after the 2 weeks I keep in the freezer for backup 😋
    We have a freeze dryer too, so we buy frozen 25 lbs meal bars from Northwest Naturals and freeze dry those. They fit perfectly in the trays!!! Great for RVing, and taking breaks on meal prep 🤩
    We also throw in beef kidney and beef heart in bite size pieces for our dogs.
    Lucky dogs…. But they have lived longer and than any of my dogs before them. Ditch the kibble. It’ s worth it.

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