A primary challenge with a raw diet for dogs is portion sizes. Since different types of meats, fruits and vegetables will vary in density, dog owners need to be mindful not to overfeed or underfeed their animals. Trying to "eyeball" portion sizes is much more difficult with raw dog food and can potentially result in improperly nourished dogs. Many believe that to properly raw feed pet dogs, a food calculator and food scale is necessary.
Having used a variety of food scales in the past, Gauthier has noticed that her work flow can be disrupted by poorly-designed scales. For efficient use, she says, a food scale needs to meet the following criteria:
- Easy to turn on and off (many scales feature poorly-designed power switches that require multiple pushes)
- Measures in both grams and pounds/ounces
- Quickly resets to “0.00” when the “tare” function is used (for when an empty dog bowl is placed on the scale)
- Doesn't turn off prematurely (waits at least 20 seconds before auto-shutdown occurs)
- Can measure at least 10 pounds of food (Gauthier’s dogs are larger breeds)
Gauthier uses a pair of AcuRite food scales (a 22lb. model and an 11lb. model) in conjunction with a food calculator found on Raw4Dogs.com. The calculator provides precise portion recommendations for each dog, which Gauthier measures out using the food scales. Since she is feeding multiple dogs a variety of foods, she often uses the two scales simultaneously.
Gauthier says the scales have enabled her to quickly, efficiently and accurately feed her dogs. And since the scales feature durable designs, they have stood up to daily use.
"I love [the 22 pound model] because it keeps up with me when I’m making lots of food for our dogs," Gauthier said. "It doesn't shut off and it’s easy to reset. I use this one the most."
"[The 11 pound model] doesn't have the 'bugs' that I've experienced (with other scales)," Gauthier added. "Like the 22 pound scale…it's easy to use and reset and I've used both scales together when I'm mixing up large amounts of dog food."
…these scales are affordable and stand up to repeated use. I use them daily.