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My dogs don't eat all the fascinating things Grimm eats. (Gosh, they're missing out!). The best they get is the occasional bug in the kiddie pool. And while I don't "worry" about funky bacteria, I do keep it in the back of my mind at all times.

I buy the freshest food: I fanatically check sell-by dates and buy the latest date packages, and I buy where I can get the freshest meat, which means I buy at Costco, my local co-op, or other sources I have. For example, the sell-by date at my grocery stores is a few days out. At Costco its 7-14 days out for chicken (not that it ever stays in the store that long), even longer for lamb. Grocery stores use warehousing that keeps meat hanging around longer. I avoid that however I can. Bacteria grows as meat hangs around.

Whenever I can buy organic, I do. I think organic meat is safer. Just my opinion, and I might be wrong. But I think it's safer.

When I'm shopping, my meat stop is the last stop. Then, I don't make any other stops. After I buy meat, I drive home, and it goes into the refrigerator or freezer asap.

I have plastic cutting boards that I can toss in the dishwasher (I don't let meat touch my counters to the extent I can control. This way, everything goes into the dishwasher. But of course, I have spills now and then.
). I actually toss my expensive knives on the top rack of the dishwasher too (gasp!). So everything is disinfected from one batch of meat to the other.

When I weigh and portion my meat, these portions go into zip-loc containers that after use go into the dishwasher as well.

Meat is defrosted in the refrigerator. When I forget to defrost meat, I usually have some MM that I'll boil up for dinner if I can't quickly finish up defrosting in a minute in the microwave or within two minutes in hot water. In other words, I don't leave meat lying around to defrost. I'd rather feed a cooked meat for one meal than let bacteria build up.

If my dog doesn't eat all his meat (it happens), I toss it. If it happens to be icy cold and clean (he eats in the back yard when it's nice out), I'll put it back into the refrigerator), but it's rarely still icy cold. Better to toss a chicken drumstick than get runny poop for 4 days, is my feeling. My guy is prone to SIBO, but I'd likely feel that way even if he weren't.

I wash my hands with plain old soap and warm water (not anti-bac stuff which just builds up bacterial resistance) before making the dogs' dinner, after, and anytime I touch raw food.

To me, none of these are crazy outrageous obsessive-compulsive steps. Just basic steps to ensure that my dogs are eating healthy food, and honestly, they're things that I did when I was just feeding my husband meat for dinner. Now, it's just bigger scale. More of an assembly line.

Oh, I also feed my dogs an acidophilus capsule daily. I figure that will give them good bacteria to fight any bad bacteria that manage to get through.

And, some dogs can't handle a raw diet, whether it's because of bacteria, because it's too rich, or too something. I don't know. My senior can't. So I feed her premium kibble supplemented with cooked veggies and cooked MM. Try raw and stick with it for a little while. If you or your dog don't like it or can't handle it, you'll know relatively soon. But it's worth trying, IMO.

And keep in mind that if you really can't get over the bacteria issue, home cooked is an option. But if I were you, I'd try raw first.
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