I have a 9 week curly coated retriever, should turn out to be about 80-90 lbs or so. I’ve read enough about dog nutrition to know that I need to be watching the Calcium/Phosphorus ratio and keep it close to 1:1, or at least not over 1.3:1. This is easy when determining kibble, but it seems like there are differing opinions about how much bones contribute to this calcium ratio. I was at the local pet food store (where they pride themselves on being very knowledgeable about nutrition) and they told me I should get the meat that had bones ground and organs ground up with it because the calcium from bones affects dogs differently and they poop out what they don’t need. The same thing with giving him bones to chew on. The breeder also told me that they will just poop out the extra calcium and I only need to worry about the Ca:P ratio with kibble.
I took puppy for his first vet visit today. I chose a vet who is fine with raw diets and knows about nutrition. She told me calcium is calcium and that when she does blood work on dogs that get lots of bones, their blood calcium levels tend to be higher. She said I shouldn’t be feeding any meat that has ground up bones in it or giving bones to chew, at least until he is older and I don’t have to worry as much about bone formation.
What do you all do for your large breed puppies when feeding raw? Do you give bones to chew? Do you think bone calcium acts differently in their system than the added calcium in kibble? Thanks!
In regards to your puppy diet follow this, “She told me calcium is calcium…… . She said I shouldn’t be feeding any meat that has ground up bones in it or giving bones to chew, at least until he is older”
NOT this, “the calcium from bones affects dogs differently and they poop out what they don’t need.”
Puppies can not regulate calcium absorption, therefore they will not just poop out what they don’t need. Calcium in excess of needs will be absorbed and can interfere with proper growth. Recommended Calcium level for growth is 3 grams/1000kcals
I’ve found that the myth that “calcium from bones affects dogs differently” is perpetuated by those making inappropriate diets and trying to pawn off their poorly crafted food onto unsuspecting owners. Bone is a cheap filler!
Great, thanks so much for your input. I’m just getting into the raw food diets because the breeder had him on one and I’m trying to stay consistent. It’s quite a learning curve to try to tackle while living with a new puppy!
When would you suggest would be an appropriate age to begin introducing bones, 1 year?
Never. Unless you enjoy going to the emergency vet.
I would rethink the raw. Not worth the risk.
Hope these articles help you with your decisions.
Puppy’s obtain their adult teeth starting around 4 months. A year would probably be the best option. You can observe and make sure her chewing and eating habits will be able to handle bones and her teeth will be here complete adult set.
Aimee hit the nail on the head regarding the diet recommendations. Also just wanted to add that if the breeder has a recipe that she can give you that she has reared pups on successfully with no DOD’s then I would obtain that from her and follow it to the T during growth. This would be instead of DIY making your own recipe. Unless you trust the vet you see to help you.
As for bones, I generally do not feel safe giving any type of bone, but those that do insist that it is important to teach your pup the proper way to chew bones as soon as possible. Only concern is A) fractured teeth and B) adding calcium that will off set the diet. Waiting to introduce RMBs or recreational bones is probably best to do when he is fully grown and can regulate calcium on his own.
To reiterate what others have said: no! No, no, no. Bone splinters may be a myth, but I am not willing to take that risk. I suggest that you don’t, either.
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