A whole raw duck sitting on a grey silicone feeding mat

Surfaces for Raw Dog Food

Let’s talk surfaces for raw dog food!

6 different ones, to be exact.

And just for clarification, I’m not talking about the surfaces you’re raw dog food meal prepping on – although that could make an interesting blog post or video, too!

But for today, let’s stick to surfaces you can feed your dog raw dog food on.

Specifically the kind that makes raw dog food clean up REALLY easy because raw feeding can get messy.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

Surfaces for Raw Dog Food

Brown Feist dog lying down on wood floors in front of a silicone feeding mat with a large raw duck on it. It functions as a surface for raw dog food.

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Regular Dog Bowls

The most obvious surface for raw dog food that’s easy to clean is a regular dog food bowl. And that’s what I began my own raw feeding journey with.

When I switched my Boxer mixes Missy & Buzz from kibble to raw, they had stainless steel dog bowls.

And that’s exactly what I continued to use, except that I no longer filled them with kibble, but with raw dog food.

First, commercial raw, and then homemade raw dog food.

2 stainless steel dog bowls filled with homemade raw dog food on granite kitchen counters
Missy’s & Buzz’s dog bowls

Surfaces for Raw Dog Food: Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

I also alternated their stainless steel dog bowls with slow feeder dog bowls. Back then, it was mostly KONG dog toys.

You know, the ones you can stuff with foods to turn them into a fun dog food puzzle.

And yep, they tick the box of being a raw dog food surface that’s easy to clean because they’re dishwasher safe.

Here’s a list of other dog slow feeders I’ve used since the early day KONGs.

2 black boxer dogs on a DIY dog bed frame with filled KONG dog toys
Missy & Buzz with their frozen KONGs

Doggie Towels

Once I started making homemade raw dog food, I added old doggie towels to my feeding set up and lined the pups’ bowls with them.

And here’s why – because both pups would pull their respective raw meaty bones off on the floor right next to the bowls.

They usually first ate the smaller cuts of meat, and then they’d eat their raw meaty bones.

So when the pups were done eating, I’d just toss the towels into the wash.

Interestingly enough, Wally does the exact same thing when his raw dog food is not ground (which it rarely is these days).

In the video below, I was low on my homemade raw dog food, so I mixed some freeze-dried raw from Grandma Lucy’s into their bowls, and lined everything with a towel:

Grandma Lucy's Freeze-Dried Dog Food: Scrumptious Chicken & Rabbit

Related Reading: Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food Delivered in Style


That one’s self-explanatory!

Thankfully, we had a big yard in the States, and on nice days, I fed Missy & Buzz outside.

Especially, when they ate larger cuts of meat like duck frames or raw salmon heads.

Feeding Raw Salmon Heads for Dogs

I’ve also fed Wally outside, but not as frequently as I did Missy and Buzz.

But just the other day, he got to eat a whole prey rabbit in my parents’ yard when we went to visit for Easter.

A yard really is perfect for that type of raw feeding.

But you’ll want to make sure to supervise. That way, you can grab any leftovers, put them into containers or plastic bags and store them in the fridge for the next feeding session.

I definitely don’t recommend leaving any half eaten cuts of meat outside. Unless you want to attract any wild animals (or neighborhood cats).

Dog Feeding Mats Make Great Raw Feeding Surfaces

When I worked for a dog brand called Mighty Paw, I got my hands on their silicone feeding mat with raised edges.

I’ve used it to line Wally’s raw dog food bowl and water bowl with ever since.

I really love that it’s dishwasher-safe, so again, clean up is super easy and I also appreciate that it defines his feeding area.

Brown Feist dog lying on wood floors in front of a grey silicone feeding mat with a whole raw duck on it
Wally’s silicone feeding mat holds a whole raw duck

Easy-to-Clean Floors

If I’m feeding Wally a whole animal following the prey model raw feeding approach inside, I feed him on floors that are easy to clean.

So either on woods floors, laminate floors or on tile. That way, I can just wipe them down with paper towels and/or mop them.

I’ve tried placing the whole prey animals on Wally’s silicone dog feeding mat, but they never stay on there for long because he drags them off.

So these days, I no longer bother.

Vet-Approved Whole Prey Rabbit Feeding, Part 1

Surfaces for Raw Feeding Dog Food: Bottom Line

So there you have it – 6 different surfaces for raw dog food that are easy to clean:

  • Dishwasher-safe dog food bowls, slow feeders and feeding mats
  • Wood floors, laminate and tile
  • Doggie towels
  • Grass

If your pup is crate trained, you can also feed them their raw meals in their kennels. The easiest way would be to remove any bedding and just feed them on the crate floor.

Do you have another favorite surface for feeding raw dog food? Let us know in the comment section below this blog post!

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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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