How to feed raw dog food without the mess

How To Feed Raw Dog Food Without The Mess

I’ve had people ask me how to feed raw dog food without the mess. This question is especially geared toward larger pups who are messy eaters and eat non-ground raw dog food.

Can you relate?!

I definitely can because all 3 of my pups have eaten homemade raw dog food with whole raw meaty bones.

Sometimes they also ate/eat commercial raw that’s pre-made and therefore ground. But I found that whenever they eat ground raw, they don’t make nearly as much of a mess.

That said, all 3 have picked the raw meaty bones out of their bowls and eaten them either next to their bowls (Missy & Buzz) or several feet away (Wally).

Little shits!!

Thankfully, there are 5 easy fixes for this (messy) problem.

How To Feed Raw Dog Food Without The Mess

How to feed raw dog food without the mess

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1. Feed On A Floor That’s Easy To Clean

The first option is sort of a no-brainer. Feed your dog on a floor that’s easy to clean.

This can be the kitchen, a bathroom, or the laundry room. Essentially any area of your home that has a tile or laminate floor.

You can also feed on wood floors, although I’d say it depends on the kind of wood floors you have.

If they haven’t been water sealed, I’d hold off on feeding messy raw dog food on there.

2. Feed In A Crate

If your dog’s crate trained, you can also feed him in his (wire) crate. Just remove the bedding or crate liner you have in there before mealtime.

That way, you can simply wipe down the plastic crate tray.

You can use paper towels and hot, soapy water, or disinfecting wipes to clean up. Either will work just fine.

3. Line The Feeding Area With Towels Or A Wipeable Mat

If you only have carpeted areas in your home, go ahead and line your dog’s eating area with old doggie towels or a washable mat.

That way you can simply throw them into the washer once your pup’s done eating.

How To Feed Raw Dog Food without the mess Inside The House

You can also put down silicone mats than can easily be wiped down.

Most are dishwasher-safe, too, so clean up couldn’t be easier.

Wally eating his raw dog food from a feeding mat

4. Restrict Your Dog’s Eating Area

If your dog likes to roam around with his raw meat cuts, teach him not to.

For example, you can teach him something like “towel” or “mat” that means that you want him to stay in one particular spot.

While he’s learning this, reinforce it with baby gates, playpens, or close doors.

Clean raw feeding with baby gates for dogs

You can also physically block him from moving away from his eating area. It’s super easy, and you don’t even have to touch your pup to do this.

Simply use your body as a barrier.

Step into your dog’s way when he’s getting ready to wander off. If he tries to walk around you on your right, move right with him. If he tries your left, move left with him.

Kind of like a little dance. He’ll get the message, you’ll see!

Dogs constantly communicate with each other and their humans using their body language.

That’s why it’s easiest to speak their language when you have a message to convey.

5. Fill Your Dog’s (Ground) Raw Into A Kong Toy or Slow Feeder

If you feed your dog ground raw, you can simply fill all of it into one or multiple Kong toys or stuffable Nylabone chew toys and freeze.

That way, there won’t be nearly as much residue as if you fed his food thawed.

K9sOverCoffee | Kong Toy + Darwin's Lamb = Raw Food Puzzle Toy - Missy Approves
Missy Getting Ready To Eat Her Raw Dog Food Out Of Her Kong Dog Toy

Another benefit is that his food will last longer, and that he’ll have to work harder to get to it.

That burns mental energy and is a great boredom buster!

Obviously only offer his raw food frozen if it agrees with your dog’s tummy. It works perfectly fine for some dogs, and not for others.

Know your dog!

You can also feed raw dog food without the mess if you’re filling it into slow feeders.

Wally about to eat his raw dog food out of dog slow feeder, the Outward Hound Slo Feeder
Wally and his Outward Hound Slo Feeder
To minimize the mess, Wally eats his raw dog food out of dog slow feeder, an ice cube tray

How I Feed My Dogs Raw Dog Food Without The Mess

I taught all 3 of my dogs polite behavior at feeding time. That one’s non-negotiable in my home.

That’s because I’m not a fan of unruly dogs around food, especially high value raw dog food.

I taught them to accept my hand in their filled bowls and on their raw meaty bones, and also to sit politely and wait for my “OK, go eat” release!

I also taught my first pups Missy and Buzz to stay in their feeding spot when eating inside.

They ate their raw dog food without the mess either in their crates or on washable towels and mats.

Every now and then, I’d also feed them larger raw meaty bones like salmon heads and duck frames outside in the yard.

But they ate the vast majority of their raw dog food inside the house.

K9sOverCoffee | Delicious Watermelon For The Pups & For Myself - The Pups Waiting Patiently Before Eating Their Raw Dog Food
Missy & Buzz Patiently Waiting For My Release To Eat Their Raw Dog Food

My current pup Wally eats his raw dog food on a tile floor next to the kitchen that’s super easy to clean.

He also sits politely and waits for my release to eat, and learned to accept my hand on his raw meat.

K9sOverCoffee | Wally patiently waiting for his release to eat his raw dog food
Wally Patiently Waiting To Be Allowed To Eat His Raw Dog Food

Every now and then, I also feed him in his crate. I also did that when I had first adopted him and wanted to give him a place where he could feel safe, especially at feeding time.

How to Feed Raw Dog Food Without The Mess: Bottom Line

So yes, it’s fairly easy to feed raw dog food without the mess, even inside your home!

It’s really just a matter of knowing your dog and feeding him in an area and a way that’s appropriate for his eating style.

Here’s a recap of what we covered:

  • Feed your dog on a floor that’s easy to clean
  • Alternatively, feed your dog in a crate
  • Line the feeding area with towels or wipeable mats
  • Restrict your dog’s eating area with baby gates
  • Fill your dog’s raw dog food into Kongs or slow feeders

Happy raw feeding!

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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.






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