Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 1: Muscle Meat

Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 1: Muscle Meat

While there are a few different ways and formulas of feeding your dog raw meals, I personally find myself somewhere between the prey feeding and the B.A.R.F.ing approach when making my own dogs’ raw meals (I switch between making my own and buying pre-made meals, for variety’s sake and depending on deals I can find).

Without going into too much detail, the main difference between the two is the addition of up to 15% of vegetables and fruit in the B.A.R.F. diet, while a prey diet consists of 80% muscle meat, 10% raw meaty bones, 5% liver, and 5% other organs. 

So What’s Considered Muscle Meat?

The following cuts are considered muscle meat and make up the vast majority of prey fed diets:

What's considered muscle meat in raw feeding?

Muscle Meat I’ve Fed

  • Beef, Pork, Goat, Chicken, Duck, Rabbit & Turkey Hearts
  • Beef Backstrap
  • Beef Lung
  • Beef Gullet 
  • Beef Trachea
  • Beef Cheek
  • Beef Oxlips
  • Pork Jowl
  • Pork Uterus
  • Chicken & Turkey Gizzards
  • (Beef & Bison) Green Tripe 

A Raw Meal

Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 1: Muscle Meat (Raw Meal)

Where Do I Get My Muscle Meat?

When I put my own raw meals together and am in need of individual components of the raw diet, I purchase mainly from Raw Feeding Miami, but I’m also able to find some muscle meat at my local grocery store in form of chicken gizzards & hearts as well as pork chops.

I’ve found & purchased green tripe from Darwin’s Natural Pet, Raw Feeding Miami, Raw Paws Pet Food, and Raw Canine Foods. Raw Canine Foods definitely has the best deal on (beef) green tripe; I can get 40 lbs of tripe for $90. They’re a local distributor of TEFCO Raw Dog Food in the NC mountains. 

Our raw feeding shipment from @rawfeedingmiami arrived! Yummo! ??

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How Do I Prepare It?

I use a variety of knives and a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the muscle meat from Raw Feeding Miami into smaller chunks. Their product typically comes in 2.5 and 5 lb bags, so some meal prep is required, meaning I have to set away some time to first thaw the frozen product and then portion it out into food storage containers. 

Thawing Frozen Raw Food In The Tub Using Cold Water

Thawing raw dog food in the bath tub

Cutting Up Beef Backstrap

Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 1- Muscle Meat, Cutting Up Beef Backstrap

Meal Prep

Raw dog food meal prep on a granite kitchen counter with raw liver for dogs

Some raw feeders use commercial meat grinders because they have gulpers or their dogs/cats simply prefer the texture of ground meat. My pups have healthy teeth and gums and actually chew what’s in their bowls rather than just swallowing parts whole, so I personally don’t use a grinder. But it’s definitely one way of preparing raw meals.

My Saturday morning. #lifewithdogs #keepthetailwagging #rawfeddogs #rawfeedersofinstagram #cabelasmeatgrinder

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Some of Raw Feeding Miami’s product already comes in ground form, which is perfect for the reasons just mentioned, and is included in their bulk packs every now and then.

The June bulk pack I recently purchased came with ground chicken and green tripe that I’m saving for the next time I’ll be boarding the pups – it makes it easier to put their meals together and will make for less grossed out doggie hotel staff 😉

Ground Chicken & Green Tripe

Muscle Meat, Ground Chicken and Green Tripe for homemade raw dog food

What About Fish?

Raw fish is a great alternative instead of bottled fish oil and should be fed as 10% of the 80% muscle meat. I switch back and forth between supplementing with Bonnie & Clyde’s Fish Oil, canned sardines in water bought at the grocery store, raw fish purchased from Raw Feeding Miami (I’ve bought thread herring and ground sardines from them so far), and air-dried fish from our monthly single-ingredient treat supplier Real Pet Food (smelt, anchovy, pollock, salmon skins and chunks).

Raw Meal Topped Off With Canned Sardines In Water

Raw dog food topped off with canned sardines in water

I only feed wild-caught fish (oil) in order to get the most nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak 😉 Farmed fish is fed antibiotics and growth hormones and I prefer to not put those on the pups’ meals (nor on my dinner plate).

Bottom Line

Despite the work that goes into meal prep, it’s so much fun putting my pups’ own meals together and shopping for the different protein sources. A few necessities besides time and freezer space are cutting boards, sharp knives, and food storage containers.

As with everything in life, there’s a learning curve with meal prep. I have, for example, found that the easiest way to cut up beef lung is to use scissors and simply cut it into smaller pieces. The sponge-like consistency makes it a bit tough on knives.

Where do you source your muscle meat if you put your own raw meals together? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

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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.






4 responses to “Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 1: Muscle Meat”

  1. Lindsay Stordahl Avatar
    Lindsay Stordahl

    Awesome post, Barbara! You feed a ton of variety!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks, Lindsay! Yes, I try to vary as much as possible. That’s the main reason why I don’t just stick with TEFCO raw dog food although they have such great deals on food. But they only sell beef :/

  2. Anna Avatar

    I would buy “Barbara k9 over coffee” brand;-)

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I love your way of thinking AND your mental support, Anna! XoXo

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