Back To The Basics
Let me repeat: this subject is not complicated! It’s something you already deal with when you prepare, store, and handle fish and meat for yourself. Just take a common-sense approach!
1. Defrosting Meats
Defrost in the fridge to prevent foodborne illness. Use a dedicated glass container on its own dedicated shelf lined with a towel that you wash every time you defrost a new batch of proteins. This shelf should be the lowest in the fridge so that any contamination doesn’t drip onto other food. (These tips apply when you’re defrosting or storing raw meat for your own consumption, too!)
2. Storing Defrosted Meats
Remove plastic wrappings and then store defrosted meats in a tightly sealed glass container. Stainless steel can rust, and plastic or other porous materials can leach into the food. Never reuse a storage container without washing it with hot water and sanitizing it with natural antibacterial soap. Check how long you can store defrosted meat in the fridge with the brand you use. I play it safe and go no more than two days.
3. Sanitize Everything After a Single Use
Wash and sanitize bowls with hot water and natural antibacterial soap after every meal. Wash and sanitize cutting boards, knives, bowls, spoons, containers, and anything else that comes into contact with raw meat or fish each time you use them. We rinse everything well and then run it through the dishwasher.
4. Wash Surfaces
We prefer giving our pups their large meaty bones on a deck or balcony, but a tiled floor inside works if necessary. Choose a place to feed your pups their large meaty bones, then wash it well before and after your pup eats there. Another option is to serve the bones on a large towel or bath mat, then toss it in the washing machine for a hot cycle as soon as your pup is done eating. Never give meaty bones on carpet or rugs. Avoid lawns, because they’re often treated with pesticides and herbicides.
5. Triple the Bowls
In our experience, it’s best to have at least three food bowls per pup. After each meal, we place the used bowl in the dishwasher. This way, we have another few bowls ready even if we haven’t started the wash yet.
6. Avoid Cross-Contamination
Don’t use an item that has come into contact with raw meat for anything else until it’s washed and sanitized. If you used a spoon to handle the meat, don’t use it for veggies. Don’t cut veggies on a cutting board that you used for meat. You get the idea! This way, you’ll easily prevent cross-contamination.
7. Dedicated Items
We have dedicated tools and supplies just for the pups, including cutting boards, knives, glass storage containers, towels, etc. We never use these for anything else, giving me more peace of mind!
8. Multiple Water Bowls
To avoid bacteria growth on water bowls, get an extra! This way, you can easily wash the used one every day in the dishwasher. Only use glass water bowls.
9. Wash Covers
We have covers for everything: the pups’ beds, the sofa, and the car. This is a fantastic way to keep the pups’ environment much cleaner overall. We wash these covers often to keep a clean home, and keep the Squad healthier and free of accumulation and dirt.