View Full Version : Which raw bones can I give?

22nd May 2008, 07:40 PM
What type of bones could I give the dogs? Chicken, beef? And what do I need to do to them before I give it to them? Is it messy? Do I just put the raw bone on the ground and let them go at it? What bones should they NOT eat? (Can you tell I have no clue about the "raw food" diet thing?)

22nd May 2008, 08:25 PM
First, I would make sure you do your own research so you can decide if you are comfortable feeding raw. Many people are not comfortable with it for a variety of reasons, and other people swear by it. My breeder introduced me to raw feeding/natural rearing when I first got Miles, but I have also done a lot of research and read books on raw feeding so I could make my own decision as far as what I was comfortable with doing. My traditional vet doesn't agree with feeding raw but my homeopath vet does. I made the decision not to feed them "dog food" but to feed them a diet consisting of foods such as yogurt, cottage cheese, pumpkin, veggies, eggs, tripe, RMBs and some grains, along with supplements such as colostrum, Transfer-Factor, etc.

My boys eat chicken necks, chicken wings, turkey necks, beef necks, beef knuckles, lamb riblets and marrow bones, along with cooked fish. They eat the bones in all of the above except for the beef bones, fish bones and marrow bones (waaaaay too big for them to eat). The meaty bones I feed are frozen before I give them to the boys, and thawed out the night before; I've read that freezing them should kill off the bacteria...I put a small towel on the floor for each dog and they are trained to eat on their towel for sanitary reasons. The towels are used once and then washed. They also both wear snoods to keep their ears clean and out of the raw meat. I ALWAYS carefully supervise them while they eat. As for what kinds of RMBs not to give them, my breeder told me never to feed raw pork. There's a book that I use as a reference, Juliet de Bairclai Levy's book called "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" - it was written a while ago but has some interesting information on natural rearing/holistic care. If I remember correctly she was a breeder of Afghans.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

23rd May 2008, 01:52 AM
Never feed raw salmon either!

23rd May 2008, 07:01 AM
I feed in a very similar way to Carrie. If you want to really get into the nitty gritty of feeding bones & raw foods (aka BARF), I can highly recommend the book "Give Your Dog a Bone" by Dr Ian Billinghurst. You can read my review (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=18185&highlight=billinghurst) on this book. It has become my feeding bible.

23rd May 2008, 10:50 PM
Maverick gets kibble with a spoonful of plain yogert or cottage cheese and then when I find marrow bones small enough for him he gets one of those.

23rd May 2008, 11:49 PM
Raw salmon is I believe only a problem with Pacific coast salmon which can sometimes carry an organism dangerous to dogs.

Freezing in an ordinary home freezer won't kill many, if any bacteria -- you need a research grade freezer that drops the temperature way below what anything on the home or general commercial market can do. Bacteria are actually very hard to kill and many types happily live in ice -- scientists routinely freeze bacteria samples in order to PRESERVE them. Freezing will however kill most parasites but you need to freeze meat for several weeks for this to happen, not just pop it in for a few days then thaw it. So be aware that with raw, you do at least need to take all the appropriate cautions to keep from exposing yourself to bacteria -- stringent cleanliness.

Ian Billinghurst does not recommend turkey bones -- he actually cautions specifically against turkey necks in his book -- I've seen this debated on some raw forums as to why, as he doesn't really explain the problem as he sees it.

Just for an alternative view: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_6_67/ai_n13788104

There's a number of pro and anti barf/raw meaty bones links if you scroll down towards the bottom of this page: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html

I do know of dogs, including my own, that have had serious problems with raw bones. So just be sure to weigh up the risk factors on all sides. There's an incredible amount of nonsense on all sides out there about feeding dogs. h*lp

24th May 2008, 01:20 AM
I was curious more than anything... Not sure I will ever give them a raw bone, and I certainly would never feed them a BARF diet (not that I have a problem with it AT ALL, but it is just not for me!- I can hardly manage to prepare meals for my family, let alone my dogs too! :eek: I am all about KISS (keeping it simple sweetheart!). But I am interested in giving them the occasional bone if it makes sense and is healthy.

Karlin, what problems have you experienced with giving raw bones?

24th May 2008, 02:37 AM
I do the Marrow Slices from this company and my dogs LOVE them! Scroll down to the bottom of the page. They are pretty inxpensive and you can order them and keep them in the freezer.


25th May 2008, 06:38 PM
That's a great site, thanks!

28th May 2008, 12:13 PM
Nice site - but need one like this for UK

shell nyc
29th May 2008, 02:35 AM
I do the Marrow Slices from this company and my dogs LOVE them! Scroll down to the bottom of the page. They are pretty inxpensive and you can order them and keep them in the freezer.


Beef marrow bones are usually not recommended because 1) the bones are very hard and can crack teeth (often referred to as "wreck bones" and 2) marrow is very rich and can cause GI issues (commonly knows as "the splarts"...just use your imagination. :) )

The necks and backs sold on that site would be good choices, as would ribs. Of course, all of that can be bought at a regular grocery store...

29th May 2008, 03:10 AM
That's interesting... my dogs have not had any problems at all with these.... there is really not much marrow in each slice. I have friends who feed these, as well, with no problems. As for the teeth, it is my understanding that raw meaty bones are good for cleaning their teeth, although I'm sure an over-excited dog could overdo it, resulting in a cracked tooth. I suppose just like with anything else, it's important to do your own research and make an informed decision based on what you feel is best. I feed RAW, which a lot of people disagree with, but I did my homework and research and am a big believer in it, based on what I have seen.

shell nyc
29th May 2008, 07:33 PM
Hi Holly,

I feed raw too...my pups don't have trouble with the marrrow but a dog who is used to kibble might. I've heard some horror stories. ;)

I absolutely agree about raw meaty bones being used for teeth cleaning, however it's the MEATY party that does most of the cleaning...the ripping and tearing through the meat, not gnawing on bone. The picture may not do it justice, but they didn't look meaty to me.

And absolutely, everyone needs to make their own decision about what works for them. My guys each got half a chicken to work on last night. Lots of gnawing through meaty-meat leads to pearly whites!

29th May 2008, 08:50 PM
Good to know!! :)

29th May 2008, 09:00 PM
Lots of gnawing through meaty-meat leads to pearly whites!
Which is one of the big reasons I also feed raw! As for OK bones - Supervised, most bones are okay for dogs AS LONG AS THEY'RE RAW! There's dangers to anything you feed your pets, and you'll find endless debates about poultry bones - But honestly, softer bones, like poultry bones, are an important part of a raw diet because they need the calcium in those bones to balance out the diet! Necks and backs are also really good for adding the all important edible bone to the diet, and excellent for cleaning teeth! Most of my dogs are hitting middle age now, with the exception of Amber who's teeth where really bad when she first arrived, NONE of my dogs have ever had a dental, and all their teeth are sparkling white!!!

Marrow bones are OK, but I generally avoid "wreck bones", because my dogs don't need them - They give the dog something to do, but provide little nutritional benefit, and can break teeth. I do use them sometimes with puppies that are teething, or a dog that really seems to have a desire to chew, but aside from that I avoid them. My dogs LOVE ribs - I can generally get a rack of inexpensive ribs for around $.99/lb at the grocery stores, and my dogs love them!!! But once they've chewed the meat off the bones, generally they loose interest and I just throw the bone away.