Today, I’ll share raw dog food freezer organizing ideas!
Personally, I’ve had 3 different raw dog food freezers since I first started feeding Missy & Buzz raw in 2015.
My first one was a side by side fridge/freezer combination.
Then I added a 5 cu ft chest freezer, and these days, I have a dedicated 8 cu ft upright freezer for Wally’s raw dog food.
That said, I have 9 general tips for you that apply to all 3!
But since each type of freezer also requires a specific approach to maximize its space, I’ll share those with you as well.
Ready for raw dog food freezer organizing ideas?
9 Tips To Organize A Raw Dog Food Freezer
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1. Group Similar Items Together
Categorize your frozen items and group them together.
For example, have a designated area for:
- Muscle meats
- Secreting organs
- Raw meaty bones
- Plant matter (fruits & veggies)
- Your own DIY raw dog food meals
- Premade raw dog food you buy from brands
2. Separate Proteins
Store different types of raw proteins (e.g., beef, chicken, lamb, duck, pork, rabbit, etc) in separate containers or bags.
This makes it easier to find specific meats for raw meal prep, especially when you’re feeding multiple dogs with different food sensitivities.
3. Label Everything Clearly
Use clear and visible labels to identify the type of protein and the date it was frozen. Alternatively, you can also write on your food storage containers.
This is especially important for individual cuts of raw meat as it can be difficult to distinguish between different cuts once they’re frozen.
You may think you’ll remember what you put into the container with the red lid in the far back. But realistically speaking, 3 months from now, you probably won’t!
At least I don’t.
Tip: Use removable freezer labels or make your own using paper, then attach them with scotch tape.
4. Use The FIFO Method In Your Raw Dog Food Freezer
FIFO stands for “First In, First Out.”
When you add new items to the freezer, place them behind older ones.
This way, you’ll use up the oldest items first and avoid food waste.
5. Use Freezer-Safe Storage Containers
Invest in high-quality, airtight, freezer-safe food storage containers or ziplock bags.
Since you’ll likely have different size cuts of meat, you’ll want to get a variety of containers and storage bags in various sizes.
All are airtight, have lids and are leakproof to prevent any messes.
I also have a couple small glass containers, but honestly, to me personally, they’re too expensive to get a large collection going.
6. Rotate Commercial Raw Dog Food
If you use commercial raw dog food, check the expiration dates and use the FIFO method to ensure you use up the oldest products first.
7. Use A Raw Dog Food Freezer Inventory List
Keep a list of what’s inside your freezer on a raw dog food inventory list that you attach to the freezer door or lid.
Update them whenever you add or remove items.
That way, you stay organized and avoid overbuying.
As an alternative, you can also get a dry erase magnetic whiteboard organizer.
8. Don’t Overstuff Your Raw Dog Food Freezer
Avoid cramming your raw dog food freezer with too many items.
If you overstuff it, that can obstruct air circulation and lead to inefficient cooling.
Leave some space for air to circulate freely.
9. Know Your Freezer’s Temperature Settings
Check your freezer’s recommended temperature.
Adjust it accordingly to maintain the quality and safety of your frozen raw dog food.
Side By Side Freezer Organization
As I mentioned earlier, when I first started feeding raw dog food back in 2015, I only had a side by side freezer/fridge in my kitchen to work with.
Back then, I mostly fed premade raw dog food from Raw Paws Pet Food & Darwin’s, but I also began learning how to make my own DIY raw dog food.
That said, here’s how I set up my side by side freezer:
- I used the two top shelves to store my premade raw dog food as well as my homemade raw meals.
- I stored any individual cuts of meat I’d use for raw meal prep in the bottom wire baskets.
Looking back at the set up, I’m still surprised that I made this small space work to feed my 55 and 75 lb dogs with!
Because here’s the thing, I didn’t get my first freezer chest until 2017.
So, since the pups ate about 2 lbs worth of food per day, I had to place raw dog food orders every 3-4 weeks to make the space work.
When you’re working with a dedicated raw dog food freezer chest or upright freezer, you won’t have to place as many orders since you have a lot more space to store everything.
That said, do keep in mind that as far as organizing a side by side freezer, you’ll have the least amount of room to play with.
How To Organize A Chest Freezer
In 2017, I finally bought my first 5 cu ft chest freezer.
I set it up in my garage, right outside the kitchen, and it was a total game changer.
Although it only had 5 cu ft of storage capacity, it made shopping for raw dog food as well as meal prep so much easier.
As far as how to organize a deep freezer, you’ll want to maximize its space and be able to reach things on the bottom.
Use Baskets On The Top For Smaller Food Items
The easiest way of doing that is with freezer organization baskets on the top, for example:
That way, you can easily lift them out and access the cuts of meat you keep in the lower half.
My first 5 cu ft chest freezer came with one wire storage basket.
After it died, I kept that basket and added it to the 7 cu ft deep freezer I bought as a replacement.
Since the replacement freezer came with a wire basket as well, I had two baskets, as you can see in the picture below.
I used the one on the far left to store any secreting organs I put into food storage containers, and the basket right next to it held secreting organs that were still in their store-bought packaging.
Store Larger Cuts Of Meat On The Bottom
Under the wire storage baskets, I kept larger cuts of muscle meat, fish, and raw meaty bones.
Here’s a tip if you’re on the shorter side or if you have a hard time bending over and reaching things from the bottom once you’ve removed the wire basket(s).
-> Place those cuts of meat into stackable bins with handles! That way, you can easily lift up the bins.
As a matter of fact, I have two of those Ikea bins under my kitchen sink where I use them as trash cans.
That said, I can totally see the concept of stacking them work in a chest freezer!
You can also use stackable freezer bins on the bottom to group loose bags together.
Keep Your Prepped Raw Meals On The Side
I used the space on the right of the wire baskets to stack Wally’s raw meals that I made at raw meal prep.
This prevents them from getting lost or buried in the freezer.
In my smaller chest freezer, I stacked them on the other side.
Organizing An Upright Freezer
After our move from the States to Germany, I bought an upright freezer with drawers to use as Wally’s dedicated raw dog food freezer.
That one holds 8 cu ft.
It has 4 drawers and 2 shelves (on the top).
Label All The Drawers
To organize this upright raw dog food freezer, I dedicated one shelf/drawer for each raw dog food ingredient category.
- Plant Matter
- Secreting organs
- Muscle meat
- Raw meaty bones
I also used one for Wally’s finished meals.
Then I printed out labels for all, cut them out and taped them to each drawer/shelf section.
Raw Dog Food Storage Ideas For Upright Freezer Without Drawers
If you have an upright freezer without drawers and shelves only, you can use stackable freezer bins to group loose items together.
You can group them together by category and/or protein sources, depending on how much space you’re working with.
So for example, you could keep all of your muscle meats in one freezer bin and all of your fish in another.
If you want to break it down further, you can keep all of your chicken muscle meat in one bin, all of your rabbit muscle meat in another, all of your duck muscle meat in a third, etc.
How To Organize A Raw Dog Food Freezer: Bottom Line
The best way to organize a raw dog food freezer depends on your particular set up.
If you have a chest deep freezer, you’ll want to use a combination of baskets and bins:
- Wire storage baskets for smaller items on the top
- Bins with lids and handles to store items (on the bottom)
If you’re working with an upright freezer, use built-in drawers for specific meat categories, or use stackable freezer bins for shelves instead.
However you end up organizing your particular raw dog food freezer, don’t forget to:
- Label everything
- Group similar items together
- Use leakproof food storage containers
Do you have any additional freezer organizer tips? What are your favorite freezer organizer bins? Drop them in the comment section below for other raw feeders to draw inspiration from!
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