Canine nutritionist's guide to feeding your dog raw, meaty bones
If a dog’s prayers were answered, bones would probably rain from the sky. The canine-bone love affair is probably more than many millennia-old and for good reason. If done right, bones can provide dogs with supplemental nutrition, immunity boost and mental stimulation that is so very important for stress relief.
However, there’s one ground rule to this: Always feed your dog raw bones.
Raw, meaty bones or RMBs are real animal bones - different from bleached white rawhide bones available in pet stores. Watch this Video here to know the dangers of Rawhide bones for your dog.
From feet and trotters, tails to the scapula, there are different kinds of raw bones that you can offer your dog thats are safe and healthy.
To save you from going down the rabbit hole of information about feeding raw meaty bones, we’ve put together this guide. Here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog raw, meaty bones.
Why are raw, meaty bones an excellent addition to your dog’s diet?
Chewing bones regularly removes plaque build-up, reduces bad breath, cleans their teeth. But meaty bones go further.
Packed with nutrition and an immunity booster
Natural, real bones are excellent sources of nutrition. These bones come with cartilage, sinew, marrow and other soft tissue, all of which contain a chock full of valuable nutrients such as anti-oxidants, phosphorous and calcium - in the proper ratio.
Phosphorous helps in synthesizing protein for growth, maintenance and cell/tissue repair. It also helps in supporting B vitamins, healthy kidney function and good nerve conduction among others.
Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the approximate amount of bone in food.
Eating raw meaty bones may cause your dog’s poop to come out crumbly, pellet-like or just a little different - that’s okay. But, if your dog is pooping our pieces of bone after eating RMBs, check with your nutritionist immediately. It could be a sign of a gastric disorder or it could be the bone is not suiting your dog and you may need to try other types of bones.
Calms down hyper dogs and provides powerful pain relief
Yes! Chewing on raw, meaty bones can help boost your dog’s mood and alleviate stress and pain. The endorphins released during a good chew session act as powerful painkillers - if your dog has joint pain, HD or arthritis, chewing on raw, meaty bones should provide them with some relief. Not to mention that the nutrients from the bone will help with these conditions also.
Chewing is relaxing for your dog. It has a calming effect on hyper dogs and induces restful sleep. Sleep is the most important piece of the jig saw puzzle when it comes to healing the body and dealing with inflammation.
To ensure your dog gets the best of these benefits, it is important to know where your bones come from. We’ve got locally sourced, antibiotic-free and organic meaty bones for your dogs here.
Store them in the deep freezer and thaw them just for a few mins one at a time, rinse them under running tap water to give to your dog. Please note that some Dogs will prefer warm or room temperature bones in the winter, while others may not. And in the summer, it might be quite pleasant for them to get a cold bone to chew on! Making these little observations about your dog's preferences can make bone chewing an even better experience for them.
Cooked bones can choke and injure your dog
You might think that cooking gets rid of all bacteria and pathogens making it safe for your dog’s consumption, but it is far from the truth.
Cooking makes bones indigestible, brittle, more likely to splinter, thus dangerous and takes away any nutrition in it.
It causes the collagen, phosphorus and calcium in the bones to leach away, making it brittle and easily breakable. When your eager dog chews it, it splinters into jagged pieces that can cause the following:
Obstructions and/or tears in the oesophagus, trachea or intestines
Broken teeth and mouth injuries
Internal bleeding by piercing internal organs and Peritonitis
So to sum it up, cooked bones not only pose a serious potential risk of injury to your dog, they also offer very little other benefits nutritionally or for calming, better sleep or pain relief - heres how: Most often cooked, baked, dehydrated bones are over sized for the dog. This means one of two things -
1) Your dog will chew on the bone for hours and hours causing jaw, neck, gum pain, and making existing pain much worse. So there goes pain relief benefits out of the window!
2) Because your dog is chewing for hours and not actually finishing the bone, you may feel the need to take the bone away from the dog to give it a rest! THIS can cause stress and anxiety to the dog, which is the opposite of a calming effect we aim for with chewing activities. This can also lead to behavioral problems such as food guarding, hiding bones, wanting to be alone and not watched while chewing on bones, growling, snarling, biting if they perceive you as a "threat" to the bone!
ALL OF THIS is avoided by choosing a RAW MEATY BONE that is the right size for your dog, meaning, that he/she will finish the bone within 25-35 mins. This - a 25-35 min chewing session will give you all the therapeutic, nutritional, oral hygiene and healing benefits we are talking about.