Raw feeding – – It doesn’t have to be messy!

dogs-horses-playday-rides-006.jpgAs many people consider the benefits of feeding raw, they also consider the difference between putting dry boring kibble in a bowl vs. feeding juicy raw meat and bones. How on earth can you keep it neat and tidy?? How do you stop your dog from dragging raw chicken backs all over the house? How do you deal with the MESS???? In fact, its easy to keep clean and give your dog the best that the world has to offer – it takes but a minute to keep things tidy!

Personally I have always made it a point to train my dogs to eat in “their” spot. Each dog has a place and in that place they get their scrumptious meals. They know that if they try to take their food to a different place that they will be sans food before too long. Believe me, it only took a couple of tries before they realized what made sense – dogs are smart that way! Yes, they do still take it out of their bowls and put it on the floor BUT its always in “their” spot. I have chosen a room with a laminate floor in which to feed my dogs for this reason. Since they still stay in “their” spot, clean up is as easy as a quick wipe down. No fuss, no muss, no hunting down a raw meat trail the originates in the kitchen and ends up under the coffee table. Its just not acceptable to wander in my house. Keep in mind that I do this with five dogs – and it WORKS!

If you are still skeptical and would prefer that no meat hits your clean floor than how about a crate? Nowadays most dogs are crate trained as puppies. Even if your dog has never needed a crate one can be utilized at feeding time. All you need to do is feed your pup right in his crate. Take out his bed, blanket, crate pad and set that food on down. Crates have easy to clean hard bottoms that are a breeze to wipe down after dinner is done. Most dogs are happy as clams hanging out in their “dens”. If your dog has never been crated or has always hated a crate, you will be shocked and pleasantly surprised to see how quickly they take to it when they know that a juicy turkey neck is going to hang out with them. Quick and easy clean up is the key but another benefit is for multiple dog households. Even though our dogs might get along fine under normal circumstances, when there is dinner involved even the most staid and stoic can sometimes get a little grumpy. If you have dogs who feel the need to keep all other dogs away from their meal than a crate is a perfect solution. Simply put everyone up (or at least Grumpy Pup) in their crates for feeding time. Voila! No more scrapping over tasty morsels!

Some people prefer to keep mealtimes out of the house entirely by either feeding in the garage or out in the backyard. Now the success of this plan can depend greatly on the weather in your area – if you happen to live in Upstate NY where there are 6 foot snowbanks out there in November than the backyard may not work for you! The garage or a covered porch is an alternative but outdoor feeding is best suited to temperate zones where there aren’t extremes in weather. Garage floors are easy to wipe down, mop up, hose off.

As you can see, with a little bit of training, little bit of ingenuity and a little bit of thought, raw feeding is no messier than kibble. Heck, even if it IS slightly messier, the ease of cleaning up your yard now that your dog doesn’t have those big huge messy kibble poos well makes up for it! Besides, isn’t a tiny bit more work well worth the positive influences that raw feeding has on your dogs?