Raw feeding can be a safe and healthy way to feed your dog. But what does mealtime look like? We’ll take you through the routine step-by-step

How to serve and defrost raw dog food safely



Quick takeaways for serving raw food

  • When handled properly, raw food comes with minimal risk.
  • Just practise the same good hygiene you would to cook a roast dinner.
  • Natures Menu’s meals are designed to be handled as little as possible to make it simple and mess-free.


Your dog is one of the family, so when it comes to feeding them a raw diet, it’s important to take a little time to learn how to serve and defrost their food safely.

The good news is that it’s easier than you think, and when done right, is completely safe for you, your dog and your family.

A simple routine is all it takes and this guide takes away the guesswork – from storage to defrosting to serving.

  How to serve and defrost raw dog food safely  


How to store raw dog food

Your meals will arrive in specially designed frozen boxes via our temperature-controlled vans. Once the raw food is delivered, pop it in the freezer.

Remember that once frozen food defrosts, it can’t be refrozen, so it’s best to get it in the freezer as soon as you can.


How to defrost raw dog food

Defrosting your dog meals is straightforward:

1. Portion out the meal

You can measure it out directly into your dog’s bowl or a separate air-tight container. We’d recommend using a dog bowl with a lid if you have one.

  • Nuggets – Snip the corner of the bag and pour the right number of nuggets directly into your dog’s bowl, then cover it up.
  • Blocks – Place the right number of blocks into your dog’s bowl and cover it up.

2. Defrost the meal

Next, defrost your dog’s food away from your own food – whether in a separate area or on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

We recommend 2 defrosting methods:

  • Overnight – To defrost tomorrow’s meals, just pop them on the bottom shelf of your fridge overnight. Make sure they’re in an airtight container to avoid any leaks.
  • Same day – Leave the meal at room temperature in an airtight container. Most of our products, like nuggets and minces, take 2 hours to defrost this way. Denser products, like minced blocks, may take a little longer.

Next, defrost your dog’s food away from your own food – whether in a separate area or on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

How long does raw dog food last once defrosted?

Defrosted raw dog food stays fresh in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Never refreeze dog food after it’s defrosted.

What if you’re in a rush?

Need to defrost raw dog food quickly? Place it in a bowl, then set that bowl in a larger bowl filled with cool water.

This should speed up the thawing process without exposing the food to high temperatures.

Can you defrost raw dog food in the microwave?

We don’t recommend cooking or microwaving raw dog food – heat can encourage bacterial growth.

Natures Menu meals are also specially designed to be eaten raw. We can’t guarantee the meal’s nutritional value once it’s cooked.


How to serve raw dog food

Once your food is defrosted, you can serve it up. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water after any food handling.

Sanitise all surfaces that have come into contact with raw food, from counters to cutting boards.

What’s the best way to serve frozen raw bones?

Whether they’re a treat or part of a meal, thaw and serve frozen bones just like any other frozen dog food. Defrost them for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Always feed bones raw, never cooked. It’s also smart to keep an eye on your dog while they’re enjoying any kind of bone.

Can dogs eat frozen raw food?

Ideally, you’ll fully defrost a raw meal before you give it to your dog.

But some dogs can eat frozen food – as a fun treat, even. Frozen treats have a different texture and can help slow down the pace if your dog likes to scarf their food down.

Crunching on frozen food might not suit dogs with oral health issues or sensitive stomachs. If in doubt, ask your vet.

What if you’re travelling?

You can travel with raw food in a cool bag or box – this could make up part of the defrosting time.

When it’s tricky to get freezer access – whether you’re on the road or away with your dog for a longer period, try our cooked cans, pouches – or freeze-dried raw (coming soon!).

These are all a handy alternative when you’re travelling or when someone else is looking after your dog.


How to handle the clean-up

After every meal, clear away your dog’s bowl right away and scrape out any leftovers into the bin. Next, you have a few options:

  • Hand-wash: Scrub the bowl with a brush or sponge (separate from the one you use for your dishes) in hot, soapy water, then let it air dry.
  • Dishwasher: Pop your bowl in the dishwasher on the hottest setting. Using high heat means it’s okay to do this along with your normal load, but you might prefer to wash it on its own.

Give the same treatment to any utensils or other kitchenware you’ve used. Finally, clean and sanitise all surfaces with a disinfectant and voila!

How do I choose the right dog bowl?

We recommend a metal or ceramic dog bowl to keep things as clean as possible.

The same goes for any utensils or cutting boards you might use. Steer clear of anything wooden, which harbours more bacteria.

We’d also recommend reserving separate utensils just for your pooch.

How can I keep children safe when raw feeding?

Whether you’re feeding raw or any other food, it’s best to keep kids away from your dog’s food.

Children need to learn that your dog’s dinnertime is a play-free zone. This is safer for them germs-wise and helps your dog feel secure when it comes to their food.

If there are any leftovers, get rid of them once your dog is done eating – and never leave raw or wet food out.

The bottom line

When it comes to raw feeding, a little extra care and attention go a long way. And once you’ve got the routine down, it’ll likely become second nature.

It also helps that Natures Menu is designed to be stored, defrosted and served with the least amount of handling from you as possible.

Our subscription service makes things even simpler, delivering meals right to your door so you’ve always got what you need.

Try our personalised meal plans with high-quality raw ingredients to help keep your dog healthy and happy.