View Full Version : Bones - chicken wings and the like

4th April 2011, 09:44 AM
So I have a question...I did a search on bones to get a little reading in, and I noticed that some of you chop chicken wing bones up so that they are not a choking hazard. This is a great idea (because last weekend I witness mine swallow one down and it scared the you know what out of me!) and while I would love to give her bones to help with things like her anal glands, I can seriously not witness that again. So, what size do you cut them up into??
Also, do you keep the skin on the chicken wing or cut it off?
And lastly, do you leave the "Drum" part attached or take that off?

On the note of bones...what else does everyone give in terms of bones? I feel her kibble (Eagle Pack Holistic Select), so I don't want to over do it as I am not feeding a raw diet, but I would still love to supplement them in for her.


Kate H
4th April 2011, 09:49 AM
My two love their chicken wings. I cut them into three at the joints (easier than trying to carve through solid bone!). Oliver chews his, Aled swallows his whole but seems to survive - though I do always stay in the room with them in case anything goes down the wrong way!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

4th April 2011, 09:52 AM
There is a lot of debate on whether it is safer to feed the bones whole–on the basis that they then have to chew them down into smaller pieces–or broken into chunks–on the basis that this may not actually get them to chew them and they swallow entire chunks of sharp bone. I have also seen a lot of debate about whether to feed drumstick bones at all.

I do know of dogs who have died very slowly and very painfully from ruptured intestines who were fed raw meaty bones as part of a raw diet–and this from experienced raw feeders, not from novices who might have given an incorrect bone. I have also seen two of my dogs vomit extremely sharp pieces of chicken wing more than eight hours after they ate the wing, so the notion you often read that the dog's stomach totally pulverizes the bones and they are safe is simply not true, or at is least not always true. Having this happen once with one dog might have seemed a great exception, but it has happened twice with two different dogs which were both experienced raw feeders at the time.

So I am ambivalent about the benefit of raw meaty bones set against the risk of a potentially terrible death (and believe me, the death is really terrible–I have spoken to a deeply shaken vet who tried to save a large breed dog that had a punctured rectum and this could happen with even small pieces of bone. and she said this was not an isolated case within their vet practice, but that they had had numerous other incidents as well in which the dog often cannot be saved). Even experienced naturalists who work with wild wolves say it is probably very likely that there are regular deaths from ingesting sharp bones but that observers just do not see them. A lot of the sanctuaries only feed really large bones that they have to gnaw down or they feed killl that come complete with skin, feathers, and fur as this is felt to cushion the passage of bones–or they feed meat without bones. By contrast, a lot of raw feeders are feeding just bones with small bits of meat left on them and they would lack this cushion.

I do sometimes feed raw chicken thighs complete with skin because they really have to chew and crunch down those bones. It was wings that cause problems both times for my dogs (I've actually saved the shard of one of the bones just as evidence for when people say this kind of thing simply can't happen). My gut feeling is that I would really rather grind down the bones in a meat grinder, or else just give marrow bone chunks that the dogs can gnaw-and get the meat off but they can't fully eat the bones. I am just really unsure of the benefit versus the risk factor of feeding something like a chicken carcass or most bones. I think someone has to feel very strongly that the benefits outweigh the risks to feed bones on a regular basis. I fully respect the decisions made by raw feeders, but it is virtually impossible to make any argument against raw feeding without being attacked on the raw feeding forums, and for the most part they all insist that these incidents simply don't happen or that a dog is more likely to choke on a piece of kibble. Just to test that theory, I have asked a number of my vets over the years if they have ever had a case of a dog choking to death on a piece of kibble, and none have.

Brian M
4th April 2011, 10:11 AM

My four have been on raw for about nine months and no accidents .Chicken wings I get from one of the local superstores and buy packs of around twelve pces and keep four packs in the freezer and rotate and feed by date .I feed one pack approx every 10/14 days so they have all been frozen for about six weeks before being given . My four are on a permanent diet so everything is carefully weighed at the present time thay are having 35 gramme of meat each twice a day so with each wing I use a pair of rose secateurs and usually chop them into three and then weigh each piece so I have 35 gramme of meat with skin on then add their veg ,whitebait ,goat yogurt and one sprout ,2 pces shredded wheat and two tea spoons of natural bran ,omega 3 oil and their other bits .I also feed lamb ribs and lamb neck but my friendly butcher chops everything into small manageable pieces ,as he appreciates my cash or just humors me :) ,also fed are beef stew pieces and mince and liver and heart and lamb chops.I also never ever leave them if they have any bone and occasionally if they have a piece of bone they are struggling with I try to swop it for a highly valued treat ,I also have in the freezer venison ,bison and chicken livers which are now due to be fed .
Good luck and be very careful but I personally do believe raw is better for them in all ways .:)

PS I do not feed drum sticks they would make me too nervous ,I also have a big chopping board a meat cleaver an axe and a bug lump hammer to pulverise
and am fastidious on cleaning everthing in case of contamination.

Kate H
4th April 2011, 05:45 PM
I think that basically you have to be cautious with anything dogs can put in their mouths. I won't give my two a kong, since that episode when a cocker spaniel had to have his tongue cut off because when he pushed it into the kong it created a vacuum and no-one could get it out. I won't leave them unsupervised with a chew either, and balls and sticks can get swallowed if caught in mid-air or played with. Having said that, Aled seems to swallow his bits of chicken straight down, never biting into the bone, and nothing is ever seen of them at the other end, so either he has a collection of bones sitting in his inside - or he has mighty powerful digestive juices! (I presume the latter) Oliver on the other hand always chews his chicken bones up very small. But a dog's world is full of hazards...

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Daisy's Mom
4th April 2011, 06:21 PM
On the Kong episode, I thought I would throw this comment in in case anything like that ever happens to one of our beloved doggies (or people for that matter). If any body part is stuck inside something with a vacuum effect, all you would need to do is puncture, cut, or break the other end of the object to allow air in. Whoever cut a dog's tongue off and didn't think of just cutting through the end of the Kong is an idiot. I believe the kongs I have have a small hole in the end so that doesn't happen, but a quick poke with a sharp object or cut with a knife or saw would solve the problem as well. I don't use kongs hardly at all anymore, so I'm not sure but I think I remember seeing the hole on the end.

I remember an old episode of ER when a couple who had been camping came in and the husband had a bucket stuck to his butt and the vacuum kept him from pulling it off. The couple was actually a plant to test the wisdom of the ER docs. The doctor simply cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket and it fell right off. I also remember a Pokemon toy that was given out at Burger King a few years ago. A couple of toddlers died when they put the toy over their nose and mouths and couldn't pull it off. Obviously that is way more dangerous and worse than the other cases mentioned. If there was no adult around to see it happening, suffocation happened very quickly.

Don't mean to go too far off topic, but I thought it might be a good thing to make sure people would know what to do in an emergency situation.

Jasper and Holly
4th April 2011, 11:26 PM
My two have been on a raw diet for just over 3 months and so far not a problem. They are loving it. I haven't given chicken wings it would make me nervous if they swallowed them whole. Like you say you wouldn't want to see that again. I feed my two chicken frames which I cut right down the middle and cut all the fat off and they have half each. Frames have soft bones. They love them. Or turkey necks, Jasper has his whole and is good with that, Holly is a gulper so I chop her's up into smaller pieces and she's good with that. Another one I give is chopped chicken necks with chopped heart and liver. Just for some variety. They also love fresh sardines maybe 4 with heads and tails still on with grated carrot. They go wild for it. You can also use sardines in oil in a tin just drain most of the oil off. They also get table scrapes too healthy ones as in veggies etc. I only feed them a small amount of kibble in the evening. Also for their teeth you cannot beat beef soup bones you can get them at Woolies, they are great and they don't break or swallow them and work great for healthy teeth. Always supervise them then after an hour or so when they have cleaned all the meat of it. Take it away and bin it! Otherwise they will go and bury it for later! Yuk.

5th April 2011, 12:02 AM
This is all great feedback, thanks everyone.

I guess this is why I am so confused about "bones"...there are so many opinons out there that it is hard to know what to do. Right now I am very comfortable with chicken necks, Brooklyn eats them carefully and it takes about 15 minutes for her to eat on down. But, I always wanted to try bones to help with things like anal glads (she gets hers emptied a lot) and things. But I worry...a lot...that something will happen :( and after she swollowed the wing, I will always be nervous. Karlin brings up a point I wonder about too...even if they chew them, can the shards they did chew hurt them on the inside.
Such a good debate, but still confused at what to do :confused:

This is all such a personal decision and I respect everyones opinons so much...not I just have to make my own! I love hearing all sides though, so keep them coming.

Maybe I will try some big bones too like you guys mentioned, just for the meat/knowing effect. When you get a marrow bone or beef soup bone...what do you ask for at the butcher? Do you cut most of the meat off or is there a lot of meat on it? I myself am not a meat eater so I don't know any answers to this stuff :rolleyes:

Thanks again everyone...I really appreciate all this learning. Too bad there is not just one good answer!

Jasper and Holly
5th April 2011, 02:53 AM
Beef soup bones are from your woolies or Coles supermarket. They come in a pack of about 4 or 6. Just ask in the butchers department. It depends about how much meat is on them it can vary. They are sort of star shaped which is why they spend a lot of time getting the meat off. I won't give mine a marrow bone I think they would probably splinter more than chicken bones. It is about personal preference and what you feel comfortable with. I feed Jasper out on the grass and Holly on the patio, on a foam mat so I can hose it off when she's finished, and so they can't get to each other or they would end up in a fight.