Well, for woof sakes. It’s been a weekend at Casa de Kolchak.Here on the West coast, it’s been WET AND WINDY AS WOOF. Trees fallin’ over. Power lines comin’ down. CHAOS AND PANIC. I don’t know about you folks, but I am super, incredibly over attached to having power and access to the interweb. I get shaky when I can’t check my email, you guys!
After 8 hours without power though, I realized that I had a bigger problem than wondering if you guys were having fun on the Facebook without me:
My dogs are raw fed and my fridge was not cold.
WHOMP! WHOMP! Now, I know more than a little about food safety and food safety is the cornerstone of making sure you and your dogs don’t get sick from handling and serving raw meat.
There are a few things that I consider to be the cardinal rules of raw feeding:
- Make sure the diet is balanced and has all the nutrients your dog needs. Rotate your proteins. Make sure there’s enough calcium. Hire a nutritionist, if you need to.
- Defrost frozen raw dog food in the fridge. Defrosting on the counter or in the microwave is a major no go.
- It’s raw meat, so treat it carefully. Wash & sterilize counters, bowls and anything that comes into contact with the raw meat in hot, soapy water.
- Don’t serve rancid meat.
. So what do you do when the power goes out?
- Keep the fridge & freezer closed – A closed refrigerator will stay cold for around four hours and a closed freezer for abount 24 hours. You’ll have to discard any raw food that has been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
- Ice, ice baby – If you’ve got raw dog food chilling in the fridge and you expect the power to be out longer than 4 hours, pack it in ice and pop it in a cooler. The smaller space, combined with the ice will keep your food cool longer. I keep a ton of gel packs in my freezer, just in case.
- Get a magic cooler – OK, so it’s not magic, but did you know you can get coolers that plug into your vehicle? If you live in a locale where the power goes out on the regular, you might want to consider getting one of these puppies.
- Have a back up plan – Let’s face it. Sometimes the power is going to go out and stay out way longer than your raw dog food will last. It sucks and my heart always hurts a little tossing out a bunch of good raw dog food, but my dog’s aren’t going to go hungry. I always make sure I have some Bravo Freeze Dried Pork or Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Pheasant, plus some Wild Calling! canned rabbit dog food in the house.